Why Red is My Favourite Colour
So. There are a ton of Fan Faire write ups going up left and right. I've read almost all of them and they're all very good. Happily no one seems to have noticed anything embarassing that I did. I'll remember to pay the trained assassins for getting rid of the witnesses.
I spend a lot (read: Oh dear gods woman don't you have a LIFE?!?!) of time on the forums. The red names there are accessible and fun. They answer questions, read posts, toss around cute little sallies: "You can blame the deletion of all your characters on my senility, Nocte."
Way back before launch, heck even before beta, when there was only Moorgard and Faarwolf, I posted a couple of threads about why I found the red names to be so much fun and why I liked them so much.
This is sort of my new version of that.
When I got to Fan Faire, I immediately crashed for a couple of hours to take it easy and recover from the grueling hour and a half flight. Yes, I know. In reality I was coming down off a sugar high and the adrenaline rush of being all excited and unable to keep myself from bouncing off walls for the 12 hours prior to my flight.
My phone starts ringing like mad and I pick it up to hear Joel (Raijinn Thunderguard) telling me to haul my buns down to the sports bar in the hotel and to dig up RadarX and drag him along as well. You have no idea how hard it is to track down a dwarf and drag him out of his pink pants into something presentable and get him to go out in public. It took a good 30 minutes to convince him to leave the pink pants in his room and wear REAL clothes.
We meander down to the sports bar thingie and it's like... packed. Wow. So I look around for the freaks and can't find any. All I see is normal folks. And I can't find Joel anywhere. Radar points out Blackguard and Moorgard and some other folks. And I go "That's nice, where the hell is Joel?" Radar shrugs and starts wandering around looking. Men! They NEVER ask for directions. So I take out the cell phone and call Joel. "Dude. Where the hell ARE you???" Have I mentioned how men are all kinds of helpful? "In the back." Oh yeah. Greeeaaaat.
We wander back to the back of the bar. There are 8 gajillion people. Some weird looking gangsta guy walks up to us and just stands there looking at us. It takes me a minute cause Joel is clearly in disguise. I can't see the light shining off his head so I don't realize right away that it's him. I figure it out and the first thing I can say is, "OMG you BRAT!!" This is a common occurance through our daily conversations. He hugs Radar. It's so cute. But I don't get a hug. * sniffle * I feel all kinds of unloved. Must be because I don't wear pink pants.
So he takes us around a bit and points people out. I'm gnawing on my arm at this point and the guys are like, gee maybe we ought to feed her and stuff. So we're sitting there eating and Joel is drinking this thing he swears is a long island ice tea, but doesn't even remotely look like it. I finish eating and would like to note that when you tell a man that you want your burger cooked medium that it comes out a lot more done than medium and so in the future you have to remember to say medium rare cause yeah...
Never start a food fight with a red name. Joel managed to throw popcorn down my shirt. I have no idea how. But he did it. Although, I did manage to bounce a fry off his face. So it's all good.
Kyle (*coughsRyancoughs*) aka Glendral, stopped by our table to say hi and get some love before he took off to * snort * sleep. Wuss. But then again, he'd been socializing and making himself available for several hours and had a lot more of that to do over the weekend. So we let him go. After a few minutes. Okay more like 20. But who's counting?
Next morning. Phone call from Joel. Hanging around downstairs waiting for the set up to be finished. Much harassing of the 6'1" halfling... is that allowed? Brenlo is way cool by the by. But really... I thought halflings were sposed to be short and stuff. He's clearly been at the entwater.
Couple of hours later. Try to sneak into the set up to bug Joel. Get caught by Brenlo and shivvied out with jokes about evil things done to my poor innocent dark elf. Meanie halflings.
Couple of hours after THAT. Go to the airport to pick up Coyote and have to listen to no less than 12 hymns in the cab while driving in the emergency lane and hitting a couple of downed tourists. Oops.
Get back to the hotel and bounce around between Ashlanne, Joel, Garva, Brenlo, Joel, Blackguard, Joel, and the pretty German Mod whose forum name I don't know but her real name was Vanessa, to get my badge (mine was the easy one. Did you know that Garva is the reason I have two i's in my name? Yeah. Still bitter.) and Coyote's badge and all of our nifty SOE swag. This actually took about an hour because we didn't just bounce between them all. We actually sat and chatted. I'm sure it could have been accomplished in about 10 minutes. But where's the fun in that?
We found the other fishies. Yay! And we found ... Joel! Yay! But he couldn't go to dinner with us because he had this official thing he had to do. Pft. What's up with that? As everyone already knows, we stumbled down to Hooters (although none of the girls there could compare to Loolee, who has a totally awesome rack) and ordered food. Then followed the famous /coaster duel thingie. Which, I have to tell you was absolutely hysterical. I got a room key! No, I didn't use it.
We head back for Radar's room (which was far too warm until I hit the thermostat) after Sandor invited the /duelees (yes it's a word) for a room party. Phone call from Joel. We give him directions and he shows up!! Other red names were visiting other room parties and having a great time with the players. Then the random people show up. And yes, the Gilligan hat guy really did make comments about Wash that don't bear repeating. Contrary to popular belief however, I did not try to rip out his still beating heart and feed it to him. I simply very politely expressed my displeasure with his blasphemous viewpoint and invited him to vacate the premises. Really.
For those of us who didn't drink, the next morning wasn't so bad. For everyone else... wow. Just wow.
That was the day I went to the Gameplay discussion thingie with the guys. Not only were the red names on the panel jovial and accessible, they were FUNNY. Blackguard: So what you're saying is you want your monk to be a scout? Moorgard: The booing over there is from the raiders who are incapable of defeating the mobs. Moorgard again: More booing from the raiders incapable of defeating the mobs. Blackguard again: So what you're saying is you want your Paladin to be a scout? Lockeye: No, the Templars are fixed. Learn to play your class. (Okay that last bit was mine.) Moorgard having Coyote removed from the room? Priceless. After that was the future of Everquest 2 panel. Scott Hartsman was leading that one and he's a blasphemer. A totally cool and cute blasphemer with the adorable little bandana thingie on his head who can totally rock the Georgia Satellites... (Black Crowes totally covered that, Radar), but a blasphemer nonetheless. And why you ask? Because he's a ninja person! We all knew Moorgard HAD to be a ninja person cause let's face it, he's been a monk since we played on Povar. But for them BOTH to sit there and tout ninja's?!?! At least Blackguard was there to balance it out with a nice healthy "YARRRR." That made me feel better. However at this point I'd had a lot of caffeine and half a bag of M&M's and it was time to move before I started bouncing off walls. At some point here during the day we had lunch with Lockeye and his gf (whose screen name I can't spell so won't even try) who were both beyond awesome and I'm not just saying that cause he gave Templars DPS.
After the guys finished enjoying themselves they came and found me with Joel and we all went to find food and do the Tabernacle thingie. There we found Kyle ("Dude! 4 people from work have called me Ryan and asked me stuff about YOUR job wtf!!!!") Hill. HE found us Steve (Saavedra I have awesome spots on my back) Kramer, Chad (Lotus the really cute guy) Haley, Ryan (YARRRRR Blackguard of course) Shwayder, Scott (I can't spell his screen name so I don't bother to try) Hartsman.... are we seeing a pattern here? Everyone we met that night was BEYOND cool. They were totally willing to listen to (well some of us who were sober) talk about things we liked about the game and even listen to some of the things we thought needed improving. They were totally accessible. Welcomed with open arms anything we had to say and were just downright the nicest bunch of people ever.
Saturday, I think. We met up with all kinds of people from the night before. Got to meet Tracy (Owlchick), who has to be like the coolest person ever. Hers was the first interview Radar ever did, and I have to say she's awesome in person. We also got to meet Higby, who was sharing a room with Saavedra and even played along with the jokes about it. I'm sure there are more people that I got to meet and talk to, but by this time I was pretty much star struck with all the awesome SOE people and how easy to talk to they were.
The point of the story? Fan Faire was a blast. Partially because of the players and everyone we got to hang out with, but mostly because of the staff. They were warm, caring, and down to earth. They were genuinely interested in everything we (the players) had to say. Not just the praise (of which there was tons) but also the questions and the "this isn't my favourite thing in the world" comments. A lot of the time they'd even go out of their way to explain the reasoning behind things, clarifying the thinking behind it and giving (well me at least) a whole new understanding of some of the mechanics in the game. So while for them, it's all about the players, for me, it was all about the staff and how much they really care.
So thanks guys. Thanks for all the hard work you put into the game. Thanks for the long hours, the missed sleep,the numb backsides from sitting at a computer for insane hours working on this. You're doing an amazing job, and you're appreciated.
And besides... I had dinner with Larry Elmore!
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