Friday, August 9, 2013

SOE Live 2013

Last week I was lucky enough to attend SOE Live for the first time! I had won a ticket to the convention for the video I entered in this contest. So I started saving up some money for a flight out to Las Vegas! This event was a big deal for me because I love to play EverQuest 2. I have played it for 6 years and met so many friends online. For the last couple years I have been raiding with a guild called Brimstone. This group of people have become a second family to me. We raid 3 nights a week, and I hardly ever miss raid night. So I spend a lot of time with these great people, and it was a real treat to get to meet them in person! We all clicked right away and had so much to talk about. In all there were about 12 of us from our group there. We made new friends, too, and I even sat next to a Planetside 2 player on the plane!

One of the coolest things that happened was getting interviewed by Destructoid! We were waiting in line to get our badges when two of my guild members and I got picked to be filmed for the video. You can see us at 0:26 and 0:43!

Since I could probably talk about my trip forever .. I decided to make a Top Ten List of my favorite moments at SOE Live. These are in no particular order.. because each one was so much fun!

1. Meeting My Guild Members

I am so thankful I had the chance to meet everyone. You guys truly are incredibly awesome, and I miss y'all so much. I can't wait until next SOE Live when we can all hang out again :)  I have to give a shout to Cylaa (Diane) for being my necro sister! We both play the same class in EQ2 and we ended up having so much in common. We shared a pizza and talked about our cats! How perfect!! :) Also, shout out to Banguk (Kyle) for driving me around Las Vegas. It was SO much fun exploring the strip with you and thank you for putting up with all the times I asked you to take my picture lol ....  And to Astijia (Greg) and Herminee (Jackie) for taking such good care of me.. so grateful to have you pick me up/drop me off at the airport and provide us all with the Taj Mahal to crash at :)

2. The Reveal of EverQuest Next

This was really cool to witness.. I got goosebumps a few times watching the keynote and attending the panels. There's some major upgrades and unique changes coming to this game. My guild leader (Astijia) typed up a summary that I think covered a lot of it:
"Keypoints: Destructible environment, multiclassing, parkour style toon running, VERY improved world graphics :) planetside 2 engine, and – mobs no longer have static spawns…. The pop in the world, and wander until they find conditions they like. (the orc camps don’t just pop every 15 minutes, if they are harassed, they pack up and move to a new spot…. Piss off the orcs too many times and the king sends an invasion force.
Downsides: Need a mainframe to run it – but that remains to be seen, toons are very cartoony – very wowlike. The devs said they were trying to appeal to a broader audience, we will see how that goes. We all got beta invites, so scouting will be done.
The world is topside, with 2 subterranean levels; you can literally stop where you are and dig down to see what you may find…."

3. Seeing the "Pawn Stars" Shop

Something super fun I got to see was the store where they film the TV show "Pawn Stars".. Since Banguk had rented a car (a black mustang!!) he invited me to ride with him so I could see the shop. We were in a hurry to get to the convention for the EQ Next announcement so I didn't have time to go inside (there was a line out the door) .. But I did hear that the dad was in there taking pics with people. Maybe next year I can go in!

4. Playing in the EQ2 Tournament

My guild members have entered the tournament at SOE Live before, but this was my first time competing. We knew it was going to be a pre-set character group and you had to finish the zone as fast as you could. The group that finished the quickest would win $6,000! Well we thought we kicked butt... Finishing The Dreadcutter in just 19 minutes and 40 something seconds ... but sadly other groups beat our time. We even had a computer glitch - Cylaa's video card crashed and her computer went black for a good 3 minutes. But even though we didn't win, we were all hyped up after playing together. It was an adrenaline rush, and I couldn't have been with a better group of players :)

5. Eating at the Bacchanel Buffet

One thing we all looked forward to from the moment we got to Las Vegas was eating at the Bacchanel Buffet at Caesar's Palace! We arrived at the buffet at a perfect time because there wasn't a line. So we got our table and immediately headed for the food :) I enjoyed the sushi, mini hamburgers, and mac & cheese! But the best part was the dessert bar. It was HUGE! I wanted to take one of everything (and I almost did.) It was totally worth the $50 it cost to get in!

6. Attending the SOE Pool Party

Last year's pool party left quite an impression on everyone that attended SOE Live. So this year I was excited to see the craziness for myself. Sadly, the lines to get drinks were really long.. And not too many people were in the pools. But I still hopped in and played some volleyball with a few people. It was a cool feeling to look around and see the beautiful Las Vegas hotels in the background.. I felt like I was in a movie!

7. Seeing a Bride and Groom

This may seem silly to some of you, but to me I thought it was so romantic! I think it would be really fun to get married in Las Vegas, so I was hoping I would spot a few brides. Well not only did I see one, but she sat right next to me! Yep, after me and Banguk ordered our gelato at The Venetian we sat on a bench to watch a statue performance. Well next thing I know this BEAUITFUL bride sits right next to me! I told her how lovely she looked and was just giddy to see a fairy tale right before my eyes. After we left The Venetian we saw her and the groom on one of the gondolas outside!

8. Playing Slot Machines

Even though I didn't spend much money on the slot machines, I knew I needed to at least give it a try! I put two dollars in the Wizard of Oz machine and me and Herminee both won about $10! But we decided to just play it out until we lost.. So at the end of my trip I only lost $7 gambling which I think is pretty good :) I can definitely see how people get hooked on it though.. I really wanted to keep adding more dollars in! lol

9. The Costume Contest

As you know, I love to cosplay, but since a lot of my costumes aren't plane friendly I decided not to bring one to SOE Live. But two of my guild members did, and Cylaa got Best in Show! Gothicangel also was also in the Top 10 with her costume. They both looked awesome! I hope next year I can make something to bring.

10. Riding in a Limo on the Strip

On our final trip back to the house, Astijia got a limo for all of us to ride in! This was the first time most of us have ever been in one! I got super excited when it turned onto the strip.. it was nighttime so all the lights outside were going and it was a Saturday night! I felt super special - I mean we were in a limo on the strip in Las Vegas!!! It was an epic way to end our adventure.


Other fun things that happened that I have to include is getting a Nagafen Hat from the SOE team (I've been wearing it around the house all the time!), seeing Elvis impersonators (one was even singing!), spotting a crowd at the Forum Shoppes and finding out Mike Tyson was inside the store, running into Ron Haras (winner of one of my Yoshi Eggs!), getting my picture with The Rock (ok ok it was just a wax figure), and all the awesome SOE/EQ2 swag I bought!


Now I am counting down the days until next year's SOE Live! This was the most fun I have ever had.. I live and breathe EverQuest 2 so being surrounded by friends that share the same interest was so much fun. I will never forget all the great times we had, and I am certainly looking forward to next year :)


To view all 368 photos I took while in Las Vegas click here to see my Facebook album!

And my guild member (Adaac) took amazing pictures and posted them on his Flickr. So please check them out, too!


  1. Looks like you had an amazing trip. Lots of fun new people and experiences. How cool was that limo?

  2. So jealous, that looks like so much fun!!! We're saving up all our money for Fan Days right now since John Barrowman will be in attendance, along with some other amazing guests!! I've gotta start thinking up of a new costume idea. I hope to see you out there again too!

  3. Dang! That trip sounds like fun! Vegas is awesome, and it sounds like you did a lot of really great things while you were there... in addition to going to SoE Live and meeting your guild! It's a shame you didn't win the contest... after seeing your tweet about it, I thought for sure you guys would've nailed it. Thanks for sharing about your trip.

    EQ Next sounds like it will have some interesting gameplay mechanics. I'll be keeping an eye on it to see how it comes out. Pretty cool that you'll be in the beta, but it's a shame you won't be able to tell us about it (assuming they have the usual NDA at first).

  4. I loved reading about your trip, it seemed like a really awesome time. My husband and I were thinking about going, but San Diego Comic Con just wiped us financially to make the trip. Maybe next year though :)

    One thing I did find funny was one of the downsides to EQ Next that your guildie listed was that the toons look too cartoonish and WoW-like. I am a huge World of Warcraft player, and to me, the graphics of Everquest (I play EQ2) look super cheesy. But at the end of the day both games are still fun and its just a matter of perspective.

  5. Looks like you had too much fun out there. Good to see you had such a blast out there. Remind me to give you a high five next time I see you.

  6. Looks like you had a great time!! I love traveling to new places for geeky events :)


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