fanfest_mainstageWell, FanFest 2016 is now behind us, but the memory of the experience will live on for a very long time. I had an absolute blast meeting everyone there, from the SE Dev and Community teams, to fellow Podcasters and content creators, but mostly the players and fans of the game. The amount of love and admiration people have for this game and this community is absolutely mind-blowing, and my own enthusiasm was reinvigorated after seeing this first hand.

klauss_foxclonThe event itself was spectacular, from the beginning keynote klauss_aniero_juxta3where Yoshi gave us teaser information on Stormblood, the new Expansion coming Summer 2017; to the concerts featuring Susan Calloway on Friday and The Primals on Saturday. The lines for many of the most popular attractions like the Trials Roulette, Fat Chocobo pictures, and merchandise line were long, but others were moving very smoothly like the mini game booths, PvP, and the Proto-Ultima alliance fight. There was a lot of energy and emotion that kept everyone upbeat and excited which I was personally very glad for as I did not sleep at all during FanFest. Why, you ask? It has to do with my one and only complaint about the event, and that is how the merchandise kiosk was handled.

For those who maprimalsignaturewally not be aware, the lines to buy merchandise were horrific. There was no direction, barely any regulation, and they were painfully slow. To those who got merch the first day, you have both my sympathy and my jealousy, as many spent the entire day in line to get swag and did not get to experience any of the other events. Hundreds of people were turned away at one point, and it wasn’t until later in the day when they started handing out priority tickets for the following day to those in line who would not get served before the close of the day’s events. SE also announced they were going to give out a limited number of time-stamped tickets for the next day, which had many klauss_eskaliapeople, Luna and myself included, spending the night in line to get them as we wanted to make sure to get the items we wanted. Despite the lack of sleep from this, I had a lot of fun talking with the other players in line. We ended up starting a mini LAN party with our laptops, and did what we could to keep awake and excited to get our spot in the merch line. This made the next day’s adventure to buy items much easier, but at the expense of many others not able to buy anything. I sincerely hope the community team takes a good long look at how this part of the event was handled, takes feedback from the community, and can come up with a way to make sure that everyone has an equal chance to buy souvenirs from SE. That, and the fact that the main item I was hoping to get, the Lore book, was sold out before we had a chance to get in line were the two biggest complaints I had about the event. There were other small things that could be improved upon, but lets save that for another time.

klauss_ethysWith this being said, every other experience I had at FanFest 2016 was positive, memorable, and downright amazing. I met some fantastic people, and I want to make sure to shout out as many of you as I can remember. The podcasters – Aniero, Juxta, Eskalia, Kallo, and Nika from LBR; Pete and Avi from She Heals I Tank; Rubi and Yelta from Gather Together; Cirrisian from SBXIV; Flattuss and Shyntyrr from Maelstrom Radio; Remix Sakura and Emi from MuseCastXIV; Chille from PDR, MGR, and PSU and Garri from PSU. The content creatorklauss_jnfs and personalities – Mr. Happy and Sly AKA Grey Fox, Ethys Asher, Nariko Star, FusionX from GamerEscape, JoeNeverFails, Samus Rageborne and Sonoma from BlueGartr. The awesome people – Tom Irwin, Belle Dandy, Cyrillo Rongway, Lady Couture, Valdrake Knechtschaft, Jynx McNinja, Cinnamon Riesling, and Ryael Arkash. And last but most definitely not least, the SE Community and Dev teams – Aya and Chenin, Matt Hilton, Mr. Ozma, Koji Fox, Soken, Foxclon, and Yoshi-P. I know there are a few that I am forgetting and for that I am sorry. I am terrible with names, but I still am so happy to have met such an amazing group of people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my first FanFest an event that I will never ever forget.

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