One of the biggest consumer gaming shows of the year is coming up in the next couple of weeks – PAX West 2017 located in the ever MMO centric city of Seattle, WA. Will you be there? If you can’t then MMO Central can keep you engaged with our on-site coverage, and soon to be posted (after the event) interviews/articles. This year I will be roaming the event, leveraging every Econ-PvP power on my skill bar to gather everything (and I mean everything) that I can! Here is a break-down of the whirlwind three days this year.

PAX West 2017 Preview Panels

The team at PAX has an amazing skill in hosting panels that draw it’s attendance base into long lines, and if you think about it that is truly an amazing skill. Even with a show floor full of games, the PAX panel programmers create content that pull passionate players from the floor to the presentation theaters. Here are a few of the panels that caught my eye, and will be attending.

Go Behind the Sound of Video Games with ArenaNet (Friday 2:30-3:30)

Join ArenaNet’s adventurous audio team for a look at the sound design for Guild Wars 2. Experience the sometimes-unbelievable elements that bring the world, creatures, and magic of Tyria to life. Some of the audience members will get a chance to be part of a live recording!  PANELISTS: Drew Cady [Audio Director], Jerry Schroeder [Sound Director], Joseph Clark [Sound Director]

Ashes of Creation – Making MMOs Great Again (Sunday 12:00-1:00)

Delve into the most anticipated MMORPG in development, watch live gameplay and experience the team discuss the process of starting a gaming studio from scratch and leading the most successful MMO Kickstarter in history. PANELISTS: Steven Sharif [Founder/Creative Director, Ashes of Creation], Jeffrey Bard [Lead Game Designer, Ashes of Creation], Ashes of Creation Developer Team, Special Guest TBA (I wonder who this will be?) 

PAX West 2017 Preview Floor

The show floor of PAX West (will always be Prime to me) is an amazing mix of every game format imaginable. From the small indie shops of the top floor to the massive studio booths on the main, everywhere a person looks there is a game to be playes and 100 players hoping to play it. As you all know MMO’s are my passion, so below are the list of booths and demos/interviews I will be hunting and hoping to share with you all.

Trion Worlds: (Rift, ArcheAge,Trove, Atlas Reactor)
Booth 123 – I will be focusing on:

  • ArcheAge: Celebrating its second anniversary in September, ArcheAge I will be previewing ArcheAge 3.0: Revelation, which is launching this fall. Its rumored that expansion includes two new playable races, deeper skill customization for all characters, Fresh Start servers and much more.
  • RIFT: I am hoping to get a look at Starfall Prophecy (RIFT 4.0), which is said to increae the size of Telara with five huge new zones, two new dungeons and massive battles in the form of Fortress Sieges and Assault Rifts and maybe get a peek at a new dungeon, Prophecy of Ananke.

Digital Extremes: (Warframe, The Amazing Eternals)
Booth 233 – I will be focusing on:

  • WarFrame: With the Plains of Eidolon expansion, the is talk that the game will meet some for MMO players needs and I am excited to see what game Director Steve Sinclair has cooked up.

Soulbound Studios: (Chronicles of Elyria)
Booth 6502 

  • Chronicles of Elyria: I am excited to get a chance to try out the new Jousting feature that the devs at Soulbound have been talking with their community about. I have yet to try any of the game, and I have a feeling I will need my full 30 mins to dive into this title. When I read “becoming a master blacksmith than waiting on a progress bar. Requiring fast reflexes and good hand-eye coordination” I knew I must get my hands on this game to see how its vision of crafting will play out.

Intrepid Studios: (Ashes of Creation)
Booth 2513

  • Ashes of Creation: A lot of pre-conference buzz has surrounded this title, including a call for me to loot as many Pax pins from them as possible … challenge accepted!!! The ability to test out two different should allow me to get a good look at this game. First there is a “dungeon-mastered” experience where I and three other players will join one of the studios developers for an adventure through the untamed wilderness of Ashes.  The other will be a fast and loose battleground experience focused on highlighting the archetypes and combat mechanics in a controlled Player-vs-Player arena. You all know how much I suck at PvP should be hilarious.

Studio Wildcard: (Ark: Survival Evolved)
Booth 803

  • Ark: This game has been in development for a few years, and i was fortunate to grab a few minutes with it last year, but this year its officially ‘launched’ in its 1.0 release and I am curious about what has changed in the game from last year and what its vision is for the games future expansion.

Bethesda: (The Evil Within 2, Quake Champions, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Elder Scrolls Legends, Dishonored Death of an Outsider)
Booth 1102 – I will be focusing on:

  • The Elder Scrolls Online: I had friends talk about the recent lives stream of a team of ESO devs taking on Veteran Falkreath Hold, one of the new Horns of the Reach dungeons o a live stream last week. It sounds like some exciting content and I am hopeful to dig around in it a bit.

Off the Floor

Not every game/studio that you can grab some time with are located in the Convention Center, many find places near by. A few I am excited to get updated on are:

NCSoft: (Wildstar, Blade and Soul, Master vs Master{MxM} )
Hilton

  • Blade and Soul: this game is releasing a new class, the Gunslinger, I haven’t looked at it in a while but players whom I respect are encouraging me to give it another look.
  • MxM: I can’t help but have a soft spot for this game as its full of iconic characters that really pull the feels for me. I suck so bad at this format but I want to dive in and fail my way through some game, and rumors of a new Master reveal has me very curious on what famous character will be added next.

Frostkeep Studio: (Rend)
Sheraton

  • Rend: This studio has many familiar names, and have been working diligently on their upcoming fantasy survival game. there are rumors of an expanded map, an even stronger sandbox feel (is that even possible) as well as the addition of more RPG elements. I am looking forward to getting some hands on time with the game and it’s devs.

Amazon Studios: (Breakaway, New World, Crucible)
Amazon HQ

  • Breakaway: This is a game that I have been bumping into a lot lately, it has a feel of squad based PvP from games past and getting my hands on a playable demo is the type of opportunist that PAX is all about.
  • New World: What follower of MMO’s have not heard about this game out on the horizon. The studio has no listed news items for new World to be released at PAX, but that does not mean I can’t use my sleuthing powers to dig around and hopefully find out something as the number of friends/colleagues I have that are following this game is impressive.

Nightlife

When there is loot and gamers to be found, I will find a way to be there and a few of the evening events that have caught my eye already are:

Guild Wars 2 Fifth Anniversary Party – Friday 7PM @ Hard Rock Cafe, 116 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Trion PAX Mixer – Friday 7-10PM @ Sole Repair Shop, 1001 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122 – RSVP The first 300 people will take home an awesome Trion Worlds Beer Stein!

PAX West Afterparty hosted by Riot Games – Friday 8PM-2AM @ Showbox SoDo, 1700 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134

The Lenovo Legion Lounge at PAX West in partnership with Intel and PC Gamer – Saturday 9PM-2AM @ Hard Rock Cafe, 116 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Event Coverage

I will be tweeting out as I stumble across games that are not listed above and grabbing images and snippets to help those that cannot attend feel a little connected to the madness that is PAX West.

PAX West 2017 Preview Swag

Plus if you see me on the floor then the above is the loot I am taking with me to give away to studios, devs and players. World of Warcraft plushies and pins, Rift Beer stein and mousepad, Crowfall coaster, Gigantic, Archeage pieces and more.

James
Lurk me!

James "Anhrez" Burke-Frazier

Staff Writer at MMO Central
James Burke-Frazier, or Anhrez to his frenemies and enemies alike on Auction Houses across the MMO spectrum, has been actively playing and talking about games for the last 10+ years. Accumulating wealth in games is as much of a passion for him as clearing a raid boss or gaining a fancy title in PvP. In the real world he works in Financial Services software (think Bob from Office Space) and is quite possibly the worst FPS player you’ll ever find.
James
Lurk me!

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