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Fan Faire Blog, Part Four

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SOE Fan Faire Blog - Part Four

News Editor Jon Wood files the belated last report from Atlanta

Editor's Note: Be sure to read part one, part two and part three of Jon's trip to SOE's Fan Faire.

Well, this is going to be the last of my entries from Atlanta as the Sony Fan Faire / Community Summit comes to a close and I have to head from warm and sunny Atlanta, back to windy and chilly Halifax.

Today was an interesting day as I attended a few more seminar sessions. I had noticed that the names of the different sessions were similar to those that I had attended during the summit. Still, I went along anyway to see what it was all about. I walked into a much bigger room this time, seating far more than the 20 or so that the summit sessions held. So many, in fact, that the developers needed microphones to be properly heard. I was impressed by the way that they were handled though, as the same informal feeling that we experienced during the Community Summit, when there were so few of us, was maintained through to the fan faire sessions. While I can not speak for the other games, and how they handled themselves, this was certainly true of the group from EQII. From talking to various Faire attendees, I have gathered that the other games sessions had a similar feel. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t pick up too much that was new from the sessions. Most questions were either repeats of old question that I had heard during the summit. If they weren’t that, they were very specific and personal questions that would be almost impossible to get across properly to you here.

What convention would be complete without a farewell banquet? Certainly not this one. All of the assembled guests gathered in enormous hotel ballroom for a buffet style dinner. I ended up at a table with mostly my fellow members of the press, even though that hadn’t been my intention, it was a pleasant surprise. We chatted through dinner, and generally just had a good time. The highlight of the evening for me had to have been the costume contest. There were lots of great entries this year, but the woman who won was dressed as the most impressively accurate troll that I had ever seen. Congratulations to her.

When all was said and done and the banquet had ended, marking the official ending of the Fan Faire, there were many who lingered, stayed to talk to fellow players and guild members. This brings me to a point that I’ve been wanting to make. It’s about guilds. Personally, I’ve never been a member of a guild. In-game, I like to fly free, so to speak. I either play solo or I group, but I’ve never taken that big step to join a guild. I know there a quite a few players out there who feel the way that I do. Still, looking around that floor, I saw groups of people, obviously guilds, who had probably never met in real life but nonetheless had formed an important and very real bond. It was that which made me think that just maybe I’d like to try and become a part of something like that some day. I also spent a great deal of time this week talking to guild leaders and guild members. For those of you who might be thinking about joining a guild, I learned one important tip that I’d like to share with you. Do your homework. As a player, coming to a guild, it is helpful if you know what it is that you’re trying to get out of a game. Most guilds have a very specific mandate with goals that they post online. If, for example, you’re not into raiding seven nights a week, don’t join the uber-raid guild that requires it. It’s not that there’s a problem with playing or even raiding seven days a week, if that’s what you like. The bottom line is that you and everyone else in the guild should have similar goals. When that happens, it seems like everyone has more fun. I know that’s something that most of you probably know. But I’m sure there are just a few who are like me.

Well, that just about wraps it up from the Fan Faire. Thanks for reading along with me on the trip. It was a good time.

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Jon Wood