I'm going to be honest, it seems like a light show compared to what we've seen in the past couple of years. No GW2 (for obvious reasons), no TERA, no CCP, no SWTOR main presence and even Elder Scrolls Online is skipping the shindig... but that doesn't mean there's not a lot to see. It's true that Gamescom pretty much overshadowed PAX from a "news" perspective this year. But there's still a lot going on at PAX Prime, and plenty of new games to check out.
I'm personally stoked to find out what Neverwinter's going to show, what Defiance is looking like and how housing is shaping up in Rift. I'm also really stoked to check out Phantasy Star Online 2, of all things. I loved the original way back when. Of course Wildstar's going to be there and is quickly becoming a title to watch, and I'm curious about Marvel Heroes' "Diablo Roots". And yes, I'll be trying not to die in front of thousands when I step up to play SMITE and Planetside 2. So, I guess the show's not "smaller" after all. It's just changing, as other games launch new games go into "hype mode".
And of course, what kind of maroon would I be if I didn't mention our Future of Online Games panel at 1130am PDT in the Pegasus Theatre? Be there, or be square people. Check out the PAX site (link this: http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/mmorpg.com-future-of-online-games-panel) for more info, but with a couple of surprises from Firefall and Planetside 2, you should probably just attend.
The PAX shows are my favorite shows of the year for one simple reason: the fans! It's such a community oriented show and this means there are tons of awesome gamers around, often dressed up as their favorite characters. Of course, there are also great panels and interesting appointments to be had, but honestly, I'm more excited for all the community stuff at this year's PAX Prime more than anything else. PAX Prime is in a weird position of being so close to Gamescom that it's not very likely we are going to see many new reveals (other than the Torchlight II release date!) or demos, but we do have our awesome Future of Online Games panel and the MMORPG.com Meet 'n' Greet to look forward to and I am super excited for both.
Games wise, I'm interested to find out how WildStar and Neverwinter are coming along and I'm also excited to check out Marvel Heroes.
I must admit that this is my first PAX Prime. I've done the GDC and E3 thing in years past but this is the first time I get to go to Seattle and I am excited! Not only is it the first time I've been back to Seattle in many years but I get to check out some games that really have me intrigued. I know that tops on my list are Neverwinter, WildStar, World of WarPlanes...in short, just about anything they throw at me. To top off my trip, I also get to check out the enhanced Baldur's Gate (SQUEE!) and Torchlight II, a game that's been squarely on my radar since it was announced. And on a purely personal, "these are the things I'll do instead of eat lunch" list, I'm definitely making plans to stop by the Bioware booth and wander around with my jaw hanging open and my camera at the ready to take many awesome shots of cosplayers and the wicked booths that I just know will be there.
And, honestly, if it's not enough, we have our own MMORPG.com panel and our community meet and greet. It just doesn't get better than that....though it might take me a week to recover.