Surprised nobody has started this yet...interested to hear what others think.
The Good :
1. Low crowds were nice, I could move around easily and find a corner to tuck into if I needed to do something (grab something out of my pack, make a call, text, tie my shoes...)
2. Mask brawls just didn't happen. In the end, I think the groups that were either massively pro masks or anti masks just sat this out and what you were left with was a large group of 'Eh.. whatever, your rules, I get the point' people.
3. I always enjoy going to the Escape Rooms over on Meridian. Was nice this year because I could just go with the person I went to the con with as opposed to a large group.
4. Big Game Night with AEG. 1st time doing that. Not sure how fast that sells out in a normal cons, but that was the best event of my weekend.
The Bad :
1. Did notice a number of vocal 'fights/disagreements' over seemingly stupid things. I walked past some werewolf game where 2 groups were going at it and a guy had to be pulled away, another game where a player was inserted into a bad starting position and was eliminated quickly by 6 other players that got heated and a few other spats. Can't say I've ever really seen that much prior to this year.
2. Shipment issues (which are plaguing the industry) forced a number of vendors to not have stock in some games they wanted to bring.
3. Felt bad for the food trucks placed on Capitol Street. This year, for whatever reason, seemed like those were at 25% crowds compared to Georgia street. I stuck with trucks on Capitol Street.
The Ugly :
Nothing really ugly stands out.
Can't wait for 2022!
Must be a Battletech thing. The 6v1 player thing I mentioned in my above comments was a Battletech game that got heated.
Or it could have been the same guy.
In the "embarrassingly bad" category, we found the escape room events at the ICC to be underwhelming. We did Nevermore and Escape the Wizard's Curse and they both seemed like something a couple of college students threw together over a weekend. We also had the room attendant hovering over us the whole time telling us "don't touch that", "there's nothing there", etc. They were nothing compared to the nearby permanent escape rooms or the Dragon's Lair escape room from 2019, but just as expensive.
As said, just being there in person was awesome above everything else. Never realized how much I would miss my Nirvana.
Did meet a really cool couple who were very friendly and ended up playing in many of the board game events that I was in.
Still was able to get my walking mileage in for the month :)
Somehow I missed having more people around and the pick up games were few and far between this year. It really did seem like people showed up with their group and basically stayed with their group the whole time. I mean at 8 pm on a Saturday night in Hall A they were literally only two orange cones up for games with a single person who were pretty much ready to pack it in. Next year I’m bringing a very large hat that will say “ let me know if you need one more“ lol
Not having access to LOS.
I’ll settle this one in the VIG sections and forums…
Not constantly bumping into people in the exhibitors hall.
Most people were very laid back and cordial just happy to be at Gen Con
Events ran smoothly overall.
Exhibitors hall just seemed lacking due to the usual suspects not being there
The weather was warmer than originally forecasted
Downtown Indy showed the affect of COVID
A lot of women wearing skirts with unshaven legs. I wasn't trolling as I am happily in a relationship. I just didn't expect to see that many women with leg hair similar to my own.
All of the games we played in were excellent. The Hardy Boys mystery (Hi Callie!)
(I'm going with Great, Good and Bad because I'd rather be 2/3 positive than 2/3 negative.)
Contagion Escape Room (run by Escape Room Indianapolis down the street, not the people running the ones others have complained about).
Great DM or two with Baldman Games
Many cool costumes
Awesome after hours gaming with friends, especially Pandemic Legacy Season 0
Exhibit hall seemed to be almost as large; maybe just missing one row?
Good food at Crab 99 Bar and at Thai Paradise
Closing convention center at midnight, which hampers "Are You A Werewolf" and other things
Missing board games sales; none by Cool Stuff; was hoping for The Crew Mission Deep Sea
Lost food establishments: Ram, Scotty's, Claddagh, Jimmy John's
Companies that chose to skip: Paizo, True Dungeon, etc.
Might have a late 'bad/ugly' to add. My credit card has multiple charges from the hotel, none of which align to the bill that they gave me and 1 occurred at like 3 in the morning for an even amount (which is odd in itself) so, have to track that stuff down and figure out why.
Bought a few items, mostly for in-person D&D. Also ordered a backpack.
Enjoyed myself! Glad I went, needed the break from work and have had no vacation for a while.
Was supposed to be in an RPG game, but even though they saw us in their system, they hadn't placed us at a table with a DM. We wound up not playing.
Played in a D&D game, about half way through I was thinking that this was probably the worst written module I had ever seen. The players were all good! I got home and bought the module just to read it. The module was fine, our DM had been ad libbing large portions, torturing mostly 1st level adventurers with ridiculous situations that were definitely NOT in the module.
Nothing, really. I missed the auction and some of the food places.
The good far outweighed the bad, we weren't really upset at the "bad", just moved on and chalked it up to a learning experience.
Played a number of games I hadn't before, including some I'd never heard of. Sat down for Gaslands with an impressive array of mocked up film cars including an amazing War Rig, tried out Numenaria and The Night Cage, and others.
The DM for my first game of the con was a no-show. But it played out in my favor, because the organizers shifted me to the above noted Numenaria game, where the DM did a great job with a mixed group of experienced players and the uninitiated.
I learned about The Night Cage, but did so too late to get in on a special edition that was being sold at the con, and then due to my own hesitation missed out on some neat pewter play pieces that sold out before I was willing to commit.
Had one good run at the Battletech Grinder, but one that was significantly less good. Not "have a hissy fit and throw your stuff" level, but not great.
Got told "we're out of X" quite a bit at food trucks and restaurants, but still had good eating all weekend (minus one incident).
A bad food truck experience led to me having to abandon a game on Saturday night, and then spend the rest of the evening/part of Sunday morning seeing to certain biological impulses.
Spent about a half hour blindly wandering around the JW looking for a non-existent pool. They apparently got rid of their pool in a remodel 2ish years ago, but still have signs up in the elevators saying there's a pool on the second floor.
A few GPS failures during the trip in and the trip home, and a few unpleasant close calls on the road.