In a bid for “Father of the Year” I let my daughter take Friday off from school, and chaperoned her and her friend down to the Boston Anime Convention this weekend. In a bid to ruin next year’s “Father of the Year”, I vow to never do this again.
I am sure now that my crisis regarding PAX East has much more to do with the physical act of attendance. This weekend, we parked in Cambridge and took the MBTA (aka “The T”) into Boston because there’s a stop right across the street from the Hynes Convention Center where the event was held. Cambridge is the closest station to where I live, and involved the least amount of traffic headache. Navigating the public transport system wasn’t too bad, although on Saturday we had to switch to busses as there was something up with the Red Line, but all things being equal, aside from having to do it at all, it was OK.
The convention itself was a disaster. As in, poorly managed for the number of people in that rather tiny space. PAX East had been at the Hynes for one year. One year before they decided that they needed more space. Anime Boston doesn’t have that luxury, apparently, but they should consider it. On Friday, we spent about an hour in the badge collection line, because they don’t ship them too you to save time or anything. This line stretched through the hotel lobby, up two flights of stairs, across a major walkway, and into a very small ballroom. We then had to continue the line through to the bag check line, which crammed several thousand people through a handful of metal detectors. We managed to get through OK on both days, but my daughter was then waiting to see a friend who was traveling down on her own, and we heard that she was stuck in line on Friday for about three hours. Three hours of time that should have been spent at the convention proper, not in line to get in. We started waiting for her at about noon, which meant she didn’t get into the con until about 3PM. On Saturday, the admission line snaked outside in the chilly Boston morning air, a different pattern from the previous day that leads me to believe someone said “Hmmm…Friday’s methods weren’t working. Let’s fuck it up in a different way!”
As for the con itself…well, anime isn’t my bag, baby. The interesting difference between anime and video games is that anime crowds are way more into their hobby than gamers are. I’d reckon’ maybe 75% of the people there were cosplaying, I guess, because I couldn’t I.D. 99.65% of the characters to tell if they were characters, or just confused people who normally dressed up like that. My sole job was to follow in the wake of my daughter and her friend and carry their crap, but they were indecisive about what they wanted to do. We wandered the dealer’s hall several times, didn’t sit for any panels, went to lunch, and by the time they decided on an activity, the tickets for it were sold out.
I don’t know how many people were there this weekend, but being Easter Weekend, we didn’t attend on Sunday. I’m OK with that. There were far too many people for my liking, and it seemed like way more than attends PAX East, although it could be the difference in scale between the Hynes and the BCAC. Funny thing, though: Google Photos wanted me to Remember This Day From 2010, and in a frightening coincidence, the pictures from That Day In 2010 were from PAX East, held at the Hynes. I had several photos of the crowds there, and there was no where near the number of people who were packed in there this weekend. I know that PAX East has reached upwards of 70,000 a few years ago, but that’s at the BCAC, a much larger venue. Still, there were too many people for me to even think about volunteering to go again next year.
Plans for Black Desert Online
At some point over the weekend, I started another alt in BDO, a Sorceress. Since BDO is pretty alt-friendly — actually, “alt-required” if you want to maximize your CP, energy, and inventory space — I figured that I could plow through the previous content and pick up the extra contribution points, inventory space, and cash while still managing production and trade. The game is weird in that some missions are “one and done”, meaning that progress on one character carries over to other characters who can complete it on behalf of the entire account, while others can be repeated by individual characters.
So that being the case, I’ve decided that my main character, a Ranger, will be the vanguard. She’ll stop dilly-dallying around Velia and will move ahead to Hidel, taking the missions there and playing the game like a traditional MMO. Whenever she receives long-term missions, she’ll take them, but I won’t be keeping her back to work the Velia-Olvia Trade Corridor any longer. I have two alts (and probably two more in the future) who can lag behind at various stages to handle the presence needed in Velia, Olvia, and the surrounding farms. As needed, I can push them ahead one by one to fill in the route gaps to ensure that I’ve got people covering areas of the map where I might need to travel to in order to deal with node business. At some point, someone will undoubtedly be the trade runner, who’ll pilot the carts between the furthest nodes that I’ve unlocked.
Busy Work In NYC
I think about playing The Division now and then. Truth be told, I’ve not had the desire or time to sit down and play anything for any stretch of time, recently, which means that setting up AFK fishing in BDO is the go-to activity, it seems.
But I did jump in on Sunday morning before Easter dinner to just continue clearing out elements in the lower level areas (XB1). This time I was after cell phones, intel, survival guide pages, and all of those kinds of blue collectables. I wasn’t running missions as a rule, but did a few that I passed by.
Later that night I jumped into a game with Mindstrike and my brother, but they have been playing more often and have since out-leveled me. My presence was jacking up the difficulty, but I wasn’t able to really contribute to the battle aside from being another target to take the heat.
The Division has kind of become a “back burner” game for me now. Originally I was happy to play mainly when others were playing, but now that it seems that most everyone I know has been climbing the leveling ladder much faster than I have been (on the Xbox One, at least), playing with others has become difficult. So I’ll keep on working on things solo here and there, and maybe folks will still be playing when I reach the level cap.