Technically, I suppose GDC 2012 was the start of show season, but as sort of exclusive club GDC is more about the developers than the fans and the games they want to see and play. That’s what PAX East is all about. The second largest gaming convention on the east coast, PAX East is shaping up to be an awesome time this year, with a little something for everyone planned. As you read this, I’ll be dozing on a plane to Beantown, Suzie will be running the show, and Garrett will be wishing he was in Boston with Mike and I to see all these awesome games. Let’s give you a rundown of what we’ll be seeing this weekend when it comes to MMOs, and then we’ll touch on the weekends biggest event for online gamers… The Future of Online Games Panel at 6pm on Friday in the Main Theatre. I mean, I may be biased, but you’ll see why. Scan down to read about that.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: First thing Friday morning the MMORPG.com team will be getting a delicious taste of the new Novare Coast Warzone, and some good interview time with James Ohlen himself to chat about 1.2 and the future of The Old Republic.
The Secret World: We get to play it. Enough said. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on this one, even if it’s just for a little bit.
Firefall: One of the final shows before Firefall’s official release, we expect to get a good solid look at the game’s “open world” PVE component. The PVP matches have thrilled us in the past, but it’s this open world stuff that makes the game an MMO and we can’t wait to see how it plays.
Hi-Rez’s Tribes and SMITE: Both of these fall into a sort of middle-ground category, but Tribes: Ascend is the precursor to HR’s eventual Tribes Universe MMO, and SMITE is an MMO-combat MOBA, so we’re itching to see how both fit into the larger picture.
Torchlight 2: Again, not an MMO, but it might as well be the harbinger of what’s to come from Runic on that front. Brand new build, brand new stuff to see.
Planetside 2: There’s not an official PS2 presence at the show, but Matt Higby will be on hand for interviews, and we’ll be picking his brain about the game’s direction and when we can finally get into the beta.
TERA: The last show for this game before its launch, we’re hoping to see some of the later game stuff from En Masse and Blue Hole. Maybe a focus on the PVP aspects? The team’s demos are always top-shelf, so it should be a good one.
DDO: Underdark – We’ll be sitting down with Turbine’s folks to get some hands-on time with the Underdark and hopefully Forgotten Realms content. As the biggest thing to happen to DDO since its change to Freemium, our inner Drizz’t fans are eager.
Wargaming.Net – As we did at GDC, I believe we’ll get a good solid look at World of Warplanes, and as someone who prefers flight to tanks, I’m cautiously optimistic here. Plus we’ll be talking with Wargaming’s charismatic CEO, which is always a riot.
PWE: Raiderz and Neverwinter – Not only do we get to have a brand new hands-on experience with the Monster Hunter-esque Raiderz, but word is that we’ll be treated to some hands-on time with Neverwinter as well. One can hope!
THE FUTURE OF ONLINE GAMES
The third year we’ll be hosting this panel, and it’s also going to be the biggest one yet: hosted in the Main Theatre at 6pm on Friday, with room for you and 2,999 of your closest friends. Here is a look at the folks on the panel:
- Curt Schilling – 38 Studios (Copernicus)
- Matt Higby – SOE (Planetside 2)
- Craig Morrison – Funcom (Age of Conan)
- Jon Peters – ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2)
- James Ohlen – BioWare (SWTOR)
- Brian Knox – En Masse Entertainment (TERA)
- Rob Hill – Trion (Defiance)
If you can’t make it to Boston in time? Don’t worry as we’ll be filming the entire thing and posting it for you here as soon as we’re able. These guys will be taking your questions on their games, and there just might be a few surprises as well during the event. So come early if you’re going to be there and get in line, because we’re expecting the 3K seats to fill quickly.
We really have a great show lined up, and we can’t wait to bring you all the coverage. We’ll be downing the NOS like champs and staying up until my eyes bleed… because we love you all like our own game addicted children and want you to have the best of the best content while we’re there.
One more thing! If you’re going to be in town, be sure to stop by Lucky’s Lounge at 7pm on Saturday night. Mike’s put together a nice little meet and greet for us all, so come by and harass us in person, say hi to Pokket, Mike, and Christina and slap me in the face if you feel compelled. It’s going to be a blast!