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Posts: 1,297
Reply with quote  #1 
first off, I had an amazing time, as did my crew. I am VERY much looking forward to Artemis Armada II, however I wanted to go into a little more depth than just saying that it was amazing and really let the people that couldn't come know what it was like to be there.

We were all a little nervous about going to Armada. It was fairly short term as far as planning from what we could see. specific details about scheduling, events, how to sign up, etc. came out super close to weeks or days before. It was also a first con, very few people were talking about going on the forums and it was basically a big LAN party (anyone who has ever gone to any LAN party ever knows how many problems those can have). There were so many opportunities for things to fail it wasnt funny. We do however love this game and figure at the worst case we spend a weekend playing an awesome game with a couple of other bridges.

As soon as we got to the ballroom we were amazed at the positive energy of the room. We had a lot of stuff to bring in (that bridge set takes up a lot of space), but they found us a convenient place to set up by the door and after talking with Thom (I was seriously being such a fanboy, sorry not sorry) we got everything set up withing acceptable space boundaries and started the con.

We were worried there wouldn't be many people, but there were approximately 12 bridges there, not all of them full, but there none the less; I estimate about 50+ players.

As expected Friday was mostly about getting set up and making sure everything worked. we arrived at 6pm, got set up and after some technical difficulties and the opening speech, we were ready to go at about 8. I wondered around, looked at the cool bridges (man longbows TSN bridge had some cool electronics!) chatted a little bit and settled into some multiplayer games. 2-3 ship games were happening all over, but the really cool thing was the 8 ship game. at first it was...not so good. Then we found a beefier computer to run it and it ran fine. It was crazy good fun. All too soon it was midnight and time to stop for the night.

Security: this was something we had thought a lot about and had bought a whole bunch of cable locks to lock everything down. At midnight they ushered everyone out and locked the doors. no one got in until 8am the next day. I approve!

Saturday was when everything really seemed to start.pick up games were a blast. the staff was super helpful and would act as runners. every half hour or so someone in a yellow staff shirt would come by telling us that someone was starting a game and asking if we wanted to join and then handing us an IP address of the server if we did. So awesome!

Everyone was great to play with. Artemis brings out awesome people the way only a game based around teamwork, organization and communication can.

Special events;
Canonical battles: I love scripted missions...when they work. sadly they dont always and can be anticlimimatic. Playing the Canonical battle was a scripted mission that had already been playtested and known to work well. Mike gave us a ton of good in depth backround story about the mission we were playing that made it seem so much more immersive. my mission was about 2 hours long and was comprised of a warm up siege mission, the actual mission, an "IC" interview with our characters of how we felt going in and an OOC interview with players about how they felt about the mission. Im sure these will be released eventually.

Roleplaying mission: I did not go on one of these, but my 1st officer did. the staff played the part of enemies if you wanted to talk with them and they worked on a physical prop puzzle and deciphered an alien language while avoiding being killed by enemies. it also involved interviews and I assume a warm up if requested.

the "contest": a competitive mission was played were we all played jump missile cruisers on our own servers with our kill, time and various other scores compared to determine winners. most lasted just a few minutes when they got hit by Skarans. It was fun, though it would have been nice to play just a normal siege to actually test skill with other crews, though I understand why they did it; it really leveled the playing field between experienced and newer crews.

The war server. it was a lot of fun, it was cool to have everyone fighting in the same war, though it was a little weird since we couldnt actually see ships in the same sector. basically, if multiple ships went into the same sector they both played the same map and when one ship took the sector, the sector was cleared. Sending multiple ships in didnt mean they worked together, just that there was a better chance of someone being victorious. My only complaint was that the first Admiral treated us too much like underlings there to follow orders rather than people that were there to have fun and paid to be there. I did not take it well and due to the endorphin rush of being at Armada and the bit of alcohol I had earlier I was, regrettably, more verbal about it than I should have been/would normally have been. If you have anything to say about it or want to talk with me about it, please keep it to PM rather than putting it on the boards; thank you.

Space monsters: pretty cool. didnt think I would, but I really enjoyed them. We got to try out a newer version of the game, 2.1.9. it added several new types of creatures, seemed to have made Skaraans even more challenging (so much anti torp) and now if there is a monster, you have to scan it to see what kind. the dragon was super cool, but I didnt habe the stones to do more than sight see.

Talking to Thom was really great. very easy to talk to and seemed like a genuinely nice guy. He also seemed to not be sure what to make of all the people there thinking he was awesome [biggrin]
Thom Captaining my crew was THE highlight of my weekend

Networking: the con supplied everyone with a switch to connect to, so getting connected to everyone was super easy. on the other kind of networking; turns out there are players near Dayton that came out. A multi bridge get together is imminent.

Sunday: as expected, Sunday was mostly about breaking stuff down. we played a few games, chatted some more, packed up, said goodbye and went home.

At the end, I honestly wanted more. I thought for sure I would be sick to death of Artemis by the end of the weekend. Instead I found myself inspired by the community and the possibilities of where it could be going. The staff did an amazing job of running something that could have easily gone south. I only see this growing in the future.

-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
-Eastern Front online group member
-My continuing bridge build:
Mike Substelny

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Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for the great review, notsabbat. The Snackbar bridge build is an awesome sight to see and everyone was very impressed.

In the future we need a more detailed system for people to volunteer their servers for multi-bridge play. It turns out a Surface doesn't have the horsepower to host eight bridges at once.

The new space monsters are just the tip of the iceberg. I think you are really going to love the new stuff that is coming this year!

"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

Posts: 294
Reply with quote  #3 
Very nice review. Like you, I was a little nervous about bringing my bridge. It was the first time out of my house - I brought the TSN bridge with all the lights :-). I was concerned how the networking and power especially would be handled, so I planned my bridge to be completely self-contained, bringing a router and switch myself. However, I had been reassured by Mike Substelny and also got an email from Thom that it would be taken care of. And, as you mentioned, all of that was managed quite well.

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Posts: 889
Reply with quote  #4 
Coming from a person who was a big naysayer of Armada, this seems to have been quite the event. I'm quite sad I missed it... Sounds like there were still things to be improved, but like it still would have definately been worth going to.
Captain of the USN Basroil.
"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." - Hoban Washburne
"Give me a ship to fly and I'll make it sit up and beg, roll over (but NEVER play dead), and even do the jitterbug if you so fancy." - Unknown
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