Hotels and the Wrath of Dragon…CONNNNNN!

Wow. Friday morning at 7AM hotel rooms were made available for reservation at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Atlanta for next year’s DragonCon (Sept 2-5, 2011). The nerdrage due to webpage failures, calls on hold, and inability to get a room have been the most I’ve seen since the DragonBall Z movie.

Let’s break it down:

-The passkey website that Marriott used for the reservations was down at least 5 minutes before the start time. People that were able to crawl to the final reservation page ran into multiple database failures and “unable to load” pages.

-Phone calls to reserve rooms were hit or miss (or miss, or miss). You either got right in, was put on hold for 15-30 minutes, or told that you were too late. Rumor has it that the calls went up to Canada, so you hopefully got overly apologetic people to tell you that the rooms were sold out (or would they say “oot”).

-The aftermath, or actually the “duringmath”, was insanity. Many of my Facebook friends, of whom I’d say 40% were planning on attending DragonCon 2011, posted stories of failure. People were bouncing ideas off each other and reporting from the field of battle. It’s surprising that the traffic didn’t take Facebook down as well. For the most part, the updates teemed with frustration. With good reason I’d say, as they each got up early, started their attempts at the start time, and all deserve to get a room (because all of my friends are f’ing awesome unlike your friends that suck.)

If Facebook looked like Best Buy on Black Friday, then Twitter was the free KFC grilled chicken fiasco X 20. Look at tags #dragoncon #MarriottFail #passkeysucks for 3 examples of how many people struggled. Here’s a couple choice ones:

doginthewild Here it is, 11 months to #dragoncon 2011 and I’m caught with my pants down and all the hotels sold out. WHAT THE FUCK CHARLES

aeontrin I really tried to get a reservation at the Marriott Marquis for DragonCon 2011, but was no joy after multiple failed attempts

EidolonBird How much do I hate @MarriottIntl and Passkey right now? More than Twitter’s word limit will let me say. #dragoncon 2011 better be worth it.

So now we’ve got the annual shift and swap and double-check going on. Friends try to find friends that were able to hold extra rooms. People immediately jump over to the Hilton then the Hyatt trying to find space, some of them saying “Screw the Marriott the (insert hotel name) is the new place to be!” and others saying “Well this sucks, (insert hotel name) it is…”

What’s the answer to fix this? Usually there’s a college football game going on the same weekend, and this last DragonCon was overrun with jerkwad fans from LSU, home of the LSU FUCKING BASTARDS (their official mascot I’m told.) But the word this year is that the teams weren’t announced yet. So that should have cut down on “those” people. It sounds like mobs of us nerds crammed it to the brim in 15 minutes. So once again, any suggestions? I heard some ideas about only allowing pre-registered attendees reserve rooms first, but won’t that just increase the pre-reg line and still fill up the rooms immediately?

For now it sounds like the answer is still luck and persistence. Hopefully anyone that really wants to go will find a friend or catch a break that will get them where they want to be. Keep checking the Marriott site, call them back throughout the day, and hit up acquaintances that might have lucked out.

Yes, I got a room. But I won’t be dancing naked around the house or spamming Facebook about it because, damn, there’s a lot of upset people and I’m not one to rub it in (I just like to rub it out WOOAAAAAHHHHH).

Oh, and seriously, football fans, GTFO of my DragonCon.

Blazblue: Continuum Shift on July 20th

It’s not the title of a pompous adult folk-rock album. Blazblue: Continuum Shift is a follow-up to the cult-ish fighting game from the makers of the Guilty Gear series. The first game had just the right amount of insane attacks, character designs, and things spelled incorrectly to grab the attention of a few of the hardcore/core/nerdrage gamers. It didn’t hurt that the game wasn’t just fancy petticoats with shit fighting either. Blazblue: Calamity Trigger (the original game released last year) was a quality game that was so “oh shi fuk da mainstreem dis is fo reelz” that the first batches were sent out with a DVD of how-to’s and such (although if it were really hardkore it should have come with a Usenet link to a .mkv file but I digress).

Instead of trying to explain the tripping-balls colors, characters, and music (which is a big part of why you should check it out), I’ll just copy/paste a few images and vids real quick from the webs:

and a vid…

So the fact that a lot of screenshots look like 12 layers of bitmaps on top of each other should be enough to convince you that there’s a shit ton of things going on in this game.

Continuum Shift improves on Calamity Trigger by adding more stages, 4 new characters, and a $40 price tag. You’ll notice that it seems to be following Street Fighter IV hand-in-hand by releasing an upgraded version a year later. This game definitely needs more love though because Street Fighter is always going to be hashing out more titles (unless they try 3-D again) while there’s no guarantee of more Blazblue in America. Ask yourself if a niche game like this could have come out 15 years ago… Now ask yourself if what amounts to an upgraded version would come out a year later… exactly. This isn’t a charity case though, because the upgrades involved make this a must-buy for fight-a-holics. Plus I’m sure there’s a greasy army of 250-pounders that have been working on new Blazblue cosplay for the past year. You’ll need to play this game to know why there’s a butter goblin dressed as a gothic vampire with some pink ass thing flying with her.

Only sad note is the ALREADY ANNOUNCED DLC to unlock a character or two. Total bullshit and arguably a bad decision to convince an already small audience to invest additional funds. Thus is the state of nickel and dime gaming. Not reason enough to ignore this game when it is released on July 20th in the US.