The price seems steep at $160 just to play 16 hours of D&D. What are the perks for signing up as it seems there is something here to justify the cost.
I know there was an idea being bounced around of food being brought to the table while you played this year. It doesn't mention it in the event description though. I'm really lazy and I really like food, so if I can get confirmation on that, I'm probably in for All Access this year.
After last year's CF there's likely to be no talk of perks. If it isn't EXPLICITLY mentioned (as in when, how much, what color, etc.) by Wavestar it's not happening. Should something be provided, be happy. Otherwise, enjoy the 16 hours of gaming.
For me it just comes down to why pay $10 an hour to play a game that I already play weekly. I don't need incentives to play a game, but paying $160 to play D&D where there are no materials provided seems a bit high.
Last year was pretty bad. They moved the game to a new venue to, hopefully, reduce noise. With that said, there is very little new content. Season 5 will only get the intro 1 hour adventures and there is the "new" baldman stuff that works out to 3 adventures for each tier (that conflicts so you could only do one tier near as I can tell).
It's iffy if it will be worth it. They really should clearly state what the expectations will be.
I'm curious if Pazio/Pathfinder has something similar. If they do, it may be worth checking out.
Paizo has a premiere event that they hold on Saturday. However, unless they have changed, it is extremely poorly run.
They have a ton of volunteers working the event did nothing to help people.
I was wanting to play in the event and asked several Paizo volunteers what I needed to do. I was told to wait until they started letting people into the event. Once that started the volunteers stood around doing nothing and several told me it is not their job to organize the groups and I, as a single person looking for a group, had to find a group that needed one player.
I had played in the D&D 5th Edition launch events that were run very well. They formed all the groups while we were waiting and organized each session really well.
I hope that Paizo has fixed this or at least realized that their organized play events need to be better run. Their volunteers in 2014 were the worst I've seen. They were a absolute poor representation of Paizo and seemed to just only be interested in putting in hours to collect free stuff by doing as little as they possible could.
With WOTC not attending GenCon and my experience with Paizo I don't see myself playing any RPG events this year. I don't if this is a by product of GenCon getting bigger every year or not, but I hope that the gaming companies put more effort into their events and start doing quality control on their volunteers.
Sorry for the delay. Mothers-day weekend and had lots of fun things lined up for the wife and kids. They are exhausted and tucked into bed (I'm exhausted and checking emails - go figure).
So first we've done a big update to the website with event information - so head here to check it out - http://baldmangames.com/gen-con/
We have revamped our program from last year and going through hundreds of feedback forms last fall. We want this program to kick ass and always deliver exactly what was promised and be 100% transparent. No surprises.
All D&D eXPerience events will happen in their own separate room. This will have a concierge like person out front who will be able to help with things (like I need an extra tacking form, forgot my dice, need some pencils/pens/paper, can I print my character out really quick) as well as answer questions if possible. The room only has 14 tables in it and will be all the same D&D XP track playing. Nobody else will be allowed in the room and doors will be shut to help with noise if needed.
The DM's from this are handpicked form the best of the best. These DM's have been running at shows for me for years and years and some over a decade and counting. They are highly trained and skilled and have the feedback forms stacked table high to back them up. You will not be disappointed in them I promise.
The adventures you are playing are D&D Adventures League legal and have not been released or played anywhere else in the world. There is no other way to play these events at the show outside of this program. Each track/trilogy will culminate in a special adventure that will be run at Gen Con only. It will not be released for home play.
So premium play space, premium events, and premium DM's. One continuous storyline told over 16 hours for the best D&D eXPerience you can get at Gen Con.
As to Wotc not attending Gen Con. I've run D&D at Gen Con for over a decade. You are not going to see a difference. We are going to have awesome D&D events in a new and better play space. We will grow again and hopefully next year take over even more of the Hyatt until it is all ours.
also it is $150 not $160. Not sure where that came from but it has been bouncing around the various boards.
Thanks for the clarification Dave. I will see what other events there are when the listing is complete and see if this will be something I sign up for.
Mustering for the PFS Interactives (there's only one this year, on Friday) is my least favorite part of playing PFS at Gen Con. As a very introverted solo player, being left to find a party in the big mob outside the ballroom is not a good experience. The last couple of years I've used my tablet to make a sign with my class and level and found a place that way, but it's not fun by any means. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how they can improve things given roughly 1,000 players showing up with who knows what characters. :(
Once you get a party together the folks sending you to tables and the GMs have been fine for me.
Appreciate everything upfront this year- it should certainly help thing go smoother in 2016!
Just to be 100% certain- there will be no swag in the Experience this year- no books, special dice, unique certs, etc?
I would expect no books or things of that nature (I don't even know when the next D&D book is coming out much less if I can get it in time for Gen Con). That is part of the nature of me changing the program. I want anything involved in the program to be 100% within my control and transparent. I want to be able to say exactly what is going to happen and have confidence that it will (and if it doesn't then it is once again my fault and my burden to carry).
Now I will always try to get something cool. So who knows there might be a special cert, opportunity, or fun thing. I will always strive to bring the cool. Just do not go into it expecting it and expecting each year to be better then the last (as that is just doomed to fail from my end and is not sustainable). The special events that cap off these trilogies give us opportunities to do a lot of neat stuff and Origins / Gen Con will be our first opportunities to hopefully show these off.
trying to be 100% transparent, but at the same time saying "who knows," is not very clear ... don't expect swag, but there could be some cool swag! ??? Will it be worth my $150 to play dnd? I feel like I'm gambling if I sign up. Maybe I'll win, or maybe I'll be disappointed. No, I don't expect it to be better than each preceding year (well, this year it does given last year), but if the only promise is that for $150 we get to play in a private room with hand picked dm's, then for me, I don't think that's worth $150 per person... there are other dnd events where I can pay $2-$20 and get the same, if not better, experience. Why pay for this one? What makes this one $150 more special than the others?
So, from your post a few spots up from here... separate play space, premier events, premium DMs & One continuous story-line; wait, that's it?? Is that worth $150??
---With all due respect to you & your company, I hate to say it but to most of us (methinks) don't think that justifies the very high cost. That's why people keep asking about it. Maybe you'll sell out the event; if so, good for you guys. But If you expect me to pay that much of my hard earned money you need to provide more than just 4 gaming sessions that would cost less than 1/3 your asking price or less for virtually the same thing (run by others) that could be just as good or even better. And while the separate play space is cool, I can have that in my hotel meeting room... speaking of which it's also not going to be in the same building as the convention. Meaning an inconvenient walk away from the convention. Couldn't you book a separate room in the ICC for that kind of fee that you're charging? The continuous story-line that is previously unreleased is cool... though for those who might not want to shell out $150 they can just wait and play it later, with the exception of the final 4 hours that you said will not be released for home play.
I may still consider this but the money I would be spending on it could also be spent elsewhere on goods/swag/gaming supplies. I think what some of us are asking is that for all the money that you're clearly going to be making off of this that you promise attendees something MORE for their money. I would more seriously consider attending if something more were offered (say a box of D&D Monster Menagerie Miniatures or a cool set of Dice or a D&D T-shirt). Saying 'maybe there will be something but I can't promise' just doesn't cut it. OR, even better charge $80 for the event; that's $20 per 4 hour session, DOUBLE what other D&D events are charging... Other than that, I can wait till the modules are released, buy them and Run them at that point & have all the same things you offer for only the cost of the modules... Oh, you also said, "Just do not go into it expecting it and expecting each year to be better then the last". Isn't that setting the bar pretty low?? Wouldn't you try to make each year better than the last? I realize that you run a business & a business needs to make money... since the price is so high, why don't you guarantee to offer some sort of swag?
At past conventions Wizards of the Coast has provided exclusive Certificates for the Adventures League that were unique to big cons AND only available there. One such Cert if the Death Domain Cleric of Kelemvor Cert. If you guys could get something like these in the mix, Faction pins, Faction Folders, etc it would do a lot to draw us players in. Since there are nearly 3 months until the Con, there is still time to try to get that done... and might not even cost a dime. It certainly would be worth contacting Mike Mearls @ WotC (or whoever) to see what, if anything you can get. Sell us on this, Wavester/Dave!
If you think what is listed is not worth it then 100% don't buy a ticket. I am not being mean in saying that or making fun. Only you can decide what is and is not worth the money you work for.
I only put in the description exactly what I know, right now, 100% I can deliver. We will always continue to try and update what we are doing through the Gen Con descriptions as well as the BMG messaging sources (mail lists, FB, Twitter, etc). If that costs me some potential ticket buyers then I accept that. I would rather have somebody not be sure and not buy a ticket then buy it thinking they were getting something I cannot deliver.
I fully intend for there to be special AL certs, a limited Trading Post (where people can also use their special AL cert from last year allowing an uncerted item to be traded). Could be some special guests stopping through to say hi and sign things as well. I do not have 100% confirmation on them yet though so I do not have them listed. I will not add anything from a company that I do not have their items in hand or a really high confidence that they are on the way. Whether that is dice, shirts, or whatever.
So yes that does put people in a bit of a gambling spot right now because I might add something two weeks from now that would have made them say "Man that is awesome I want in!!!!" but the tickets are already gone. I get it but I cannot help it. My only choice would be to freeze it right now and not add anything cool after tickets go on sale and I find that option to just be silly.
As I've said in other posts the reoccurring theme from the feedback last year that people wanted was 1) A more private and premiere play space, 2) A continuous unique story-line like they got in year 1, and 3) the awesome DM's they've had and a way to organize their tables and DM's ahead of time (concierge type services). Stuff - was way down on the list.
Your response is exactly why I believe that WOTC should be running their own event.
The statement you made about if you don't feel that the event is worth the cost don't sign up is simply childish.
Precedent has been made in the past that the people who sign up for the All Access Pass were given a lot of swag in the past. The reason I asked is that I was thinking about signing up for this event, and yes the swag had crossed my mind.
However, and I think many will agree with me, I want to see a certain level of professionalism in your responses rather than justifying your posts, especially when you say one thing in one post and a contradictory comment in another post.
You will have a hard time justifying to people how a private venue is going to be enough to pay $150 for D&D. Most people can play D&D at home so you really have to offer something to them that they can't already get at home. A storyline event isn't something that people will go wild about.
My recommendations are have all the details worked out before you are required to submit your events to GenCon so that you don't have to go through this in the future.
I do thank you for making it easier for me to decide to pass on this event. I want to know that I will enjoy the events that I sign up for and I have too many doubts about this one to warrant the chance.
A continuous unique story-line like they got in year 1, and 3
This is the big perk for me and the reason I will try to get tickets to one of the 3 tracks. The Dark Sun story arcs from BMG were some of my favorite con gaming experiences.
Gen Con LLC
So I'm left wondering why would not cut the price of the event or offer more for the money. If it was only $100 I'd take a chance and grab a ticket. This really made my decision easier as well. I won't be attending this event despite my love of 5th ED D&D, this being my first GenCon & I can afford it. The attitude lost me; they certainly didn't sell me on attending. From what I hear, despite this event being far from perfect, with WotC not having a presence @ GenCon this event sells out. Perhaps that's why Wavestar doesn't really seem to give a hoot that many are unhappy about the high cost & believe it's not justified. They'll still make their $$. To me, this feedback ought to be considered right along with the feedback forms he keeps mentioning. Wavestar didn't mention it but I'd bet big that if this event cost this much last year, people would have complained about it. I'm curious, does anyone know what the fee for this event was last year??