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Elsie

epic.LAN #14 - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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By popular demand ....

 

The Good

  • Thursday and building the LAN. Up at 5am, left at 6am at the venue for 7:30 and working all day with the other volunteers to build the LAN is hard work but fun.
  • Meeting old friends again - esp those I haven't seen for a while!
  • The opening ceremony was enjoyable
  • The bar and staff were great.
  • On site catering, especially the pre-paid breakfasts were awesome.  
  • Big games of Blur, TF2, DoD,  Supraball,  HL2DM,  Armagedtron,  CS etc ... this is a LAN, we played LAN games!
  • Mort blowing my mind with Oculus Rift - I could almost touch the asteroids. 
  • The Pub Quiz ... even though we lost :(
  • Communal breakfasts and evening meals; the food was good but the people and conversation was better. For me, this is the best part of LAN. Anyone can sit at their desk for hours on end but it's the communal gatherings that are hugely enjoyable.
  • The staff in Fair isle; good comms and willing to help an old man get the Retron 5 working so I could play Desert Strike. Princess Beej and Co, I salute your efforts, it was a great room / atmosphere.
  • Seeing Kara and Josh - the little man is really growing now; you've got your hands full there Tim!
  • Late night DoD Source was loads of fun  ... esp when shooting John McLane "Why you dirty, sneaky mutha ...."
  • The console area in general, I loved the Retron 5
  • Watching the nerds play board games :P
  • The music wasn't as bad as I expected it to be - I managed to get some Maiden, Who and AC/DC played ... as well as some Taylor Swift (phwoaar!) and even though I was near a speaker, it wasn't too loud.
  • LAN Hugs :)
  • The best news ever - Some of you call me LAN Dad but now I know I am going to be a LAN Grandad again after Rab showed me the ultrasound scan. That one moment made it worth attending. Best wishes to you and your family :)

The Bad

  • The damage done in the corridor leading to the  dorms.  The act of one or two morons has an impact on our whole community, maybe the future use of the venue. Whoever did this disgraceful and unwarranted act should be ashamed of themselves. 
  • At times in Lakeside it felt like being in wind tunnel as the air con was blasting out cold air. Spoke to Beej and it was turned off straight away allowing us to warm up a bit. We'll probably be grateful of the AC in the summer so this is not exactly a bad thing!
  • In every room there are rubbish bins. On every desk join the staff tape on rubbish bags. If you fill the bag you can ask for another and a member of staff would supply you with a new one. Yet some people don't seem to understand the  concept of using a bin, deciding to use their table (or more often) the floor, to dispose of their rubbish.  The staff don't get paid to be at epic.LAN, all the are volunteers, giving up their time and, energy and money to try and put on an event for everyone to enjoy. Because some people refuse to use the bins that are provided, it takes 3 times as long to clear the rooms and pack down. We can't even start to move the 125+ rented tables until we have got rid of all the liquids, wrappers, pizza boxes and assorted  garbage that has been mindlessly dumped. I filled a bucket 6 times with the assorted liquids that had been left on tables in Fair isle.  Is is really that hard to use a bin or tidy up after yourselves?! 

The Ugly

  • Besides me, nothing really but I do feel sorry for my dear friends that were subjected to the sight of a naked Gunsmith when the shower rail broke crashing the curtain to the floor. Although the person that told me was crying with laughter ... at least, I think it was laughter ... it could have been pain?

And finally ...

 

I know that some are going to reply to this post with complaints about the internet but you won't hear that from me. Yes, I come to the LAN as I want to play a few games but for me, that's not the primary reason. I come to see old friends and make new ones, I come to have a chat with people I haven't seen in months or even years, have a drink, something to eat and get a few friendly LAN games in. The epic staff faced technical challenges that really pushed them to the limit; Rizzo having to make a round trip to Stoke was a example of how a volunteer goes the extra mile (or 200) to try and get things working. As I now understand it, some of the issues were completely outside of the epic's control and I am sure they'll be taking these up with the relevant people to make it better for next time. Epic don't hold a LAN and deliberately throttle the net connection, they were mortified about the situation and did everything they could to get fix it. 

 

If you couldn't play a particular game because it needed an internet connection then I feel sorry for you. However, it is a bit stupid of games developers to make games that force the use of an 'net connection but that's a different discussion. When the net was playing up, we still managed to play a lot of LAN games in Lakeside and when we weren't, we just did the usual LAN social things, the things that make it worth coming to an epic.LAN.

 

I would like to finish by saying a huge THANKS! to everyone who helped make this a great event; the epic staff and management, the volunteers, the KCC staff (who I am getting to know well now!) and especially for all the LAN Hugs.  

 

You guys are my family and I love you all ... except the **** that vandalised the pictures :x

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The Good

 

The people and the atmosphere.  Eighteen months ago I came back to a LAN as a one off (or so I thought !) because my my step son was interested in checking one out.  People old and new made me feel welcome then and here I am four events later having already paid up for the fifth!  As Elsie says to me it's as much about the people as it is the gaming.  It was great to see familiar faces and meet new folk too.  This event was the first time I took part in the quiz which was great fun, not sure I contributed much to the answers though!

 

The games.  I thoroughly enjoyed the usual favorites UT2004 (which 10 years later I still suck at) Armagetron, Blur, The Ship and our now obligatory shouty drunken (was that just me?) games of DOD:S

 

The beer (and food).  The wider selection of Ales was much appreciated and the bar staff were great. Food catering and staff also pretty damn good, thanks!

 

D&D.  I love it when I can indulge another of my geeky hobbies at a LAN and it was great to introduce the game to a couple of new players this time, I just wish I'd thought to take a group photo for my blog :(

 

The boat race. On the winning team for the fourth consecutive time!

 

The Bad

 

It's a tough one, not much to be unhappy about.  I do miss Pendeen being the 'quiet casual' gaming room but I understand why things have been changed around.   At times I was wishing I had secured as spot one of the clan rooms as the majority of the music was bit pants and quite repetitive but it was good to hear some rock thrown in the mix, thanks!  

 

The toilets were pretty grim at times too, this could be resolved by more frequent cleaning but that wouldn't really be necessary if more of the attendees had been potty trained properly.  Seriously how do people justify leaving a cubicle in a state like that?

 

The Ugly

 

Vandalism.  I hope the selfish morons responsible have a just comeuppance.

 

& the internet

 

..is a nice to have at the LAN but not essential.  The connection issues didn't spoil my enjoyment of the event at all.  I feel for those worse affected but there was plenty of other stuff going on and no excuse not to have a bloody good time!

 

Thank again to all the staff for their hard work, see you all again in July!

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Guest DCX

The Good

 

After not being at epic for a good number of years, my last main even being at Uttoxeter at epic 8, only to spectate at epic 11 was fantastic to be back amongst friends and to make new friends at the same time, to be fair pretty awesome ones at that!!

 

The bar staff and selection available was good, although admittedly I did only have Doombar and Superchiefs Jaegerbombs :D. Longstone room I think on the saturday night wiped out the stock of Doombar WIN.

 

Having a good game of Cards Against Humanity even though it was a rather small group of people but was still enjoyable to see people with minds like myself hehe.

 

John McClane being sporting and swapping seats so I could come up and sit in Longstone rather than in Lakeside *no offene to Lakeside intended* but most of my friends was in this room, so worked out rather well.

 

Staying up until 5am on the saturday/sunday night with a selection of awesome people and the fun that was had.

 

The huge order Longstone had of the Pizza Hut delivery with 40% off, they will certainly wish they didnt have that offer on that weekend.

 

The Bad

 

Its epicLAN there generally isnt much Bad happens to be fair.

 

My only issue really was the lack of toilet training many of them had in the gallery section toilets, hence I didnt use these unless I had been in that area. Nappies will be on sale at epic.FIFTEEN im assuming for those in need.

 

The Ugly

 

Vandalism is always bad no matter where it happens, but when its somewhere that people who don't see each other alot come to enjoy themselves, a selection of selfish people can ruin that for a large number or well behaved, sensible adults.

 

Missing out on warewolves on the saturday night, but then again there is next lan.

 

 

& Finally.....

 

<-->

 

Edited by Haden: This is a feedback thread, please respect other people views / opinions.

 

<-->

 

 

Needless to say .... MOARE LAN NEEDED

 

Cannot wait for epic.Lite 15 in May & epic.FIFTEEN in July.

Edited by DCX

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The Good:

 

- The Food

 

- Overall Atmosphere (although I'd say it wasn't as good as Epic 13's atmosphere, something just felt... missing. Can't pinpoint it. Probably just me nit picking)

 

- 30p cups of tea from the tuck shop, they were a god send as at 13 I probably spent around £30 alone over 3 days getting KCC's puny little cups for a quid which is diabolical in my opinion. Good job Epic staff for thinking of us tea bags.

 

The Bad:

 

-The Music, I was in Pendeen so a lot of the time we had the communities choice of music on, which I personally didn't enjoy as I'm not a big fan of transformers having gangbangs. But when I did hear the music going on in the other areas, it was all EDM or some 8 bit sounding stuff. I don't mind a bit of EDM and 8 bit whatever you wanna call it, but at 13 there was WAY more Rock and Metal being played. I don't know if this was simply due to less people using the request system or what, but it was a kind of let down. After I came home from 13 last year my love for rock/metal was reignited simply by the event and I was really looking forward to hearing some more of it this year, but hey ho.

 

-Some of the staffing attitude, again, this POSSIBLY could have been me, and it wasn't all staff, but a few times I approached the admins, in a friendly manner with a simple question (a few times regarding the internet, and my own access to certain things) and another time about a water jug and I just felt that the responses I got contained quite a... catty? Perhaps unnecessary almost-sarcastic attitude, for lack of a better phrase. If I ask a staff member a question, I don't want quips or jokes, I want straight up informative answers in a polite manner. I don't feel I received this.  

 

The Ugly:

 

Quite simply, the internet connection. While I appreciate that some people can have fun at a LAN event without internet access, I don't feel this is applicable in a blanket sense. From my experience, the majority of people were very frustrated with the lack of internet for the duration of Thursday through till Friday evening, which when the event itself is spanned over a weekend, ending on a Sunday afternoon - is quite an awful long time.

 

The problem is, a lot of people play games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA2, League, Team Fortress 2. These are all games in which most people that attend LAN want to a) play with their friends who are with them at the event B) play with their friends who might not have been able to make it to the event (thinking clan mates who perhaps couldn't book time off work etc) and c) to be able to use these games inbuilt match making systems so that they can play games of their skill level. Now, obviously you can play these games on LAN, but when you then have to find 4-10 other people to play the same game with, and ideally being opponents of similar skill level to yourself and your team, you're cutting that player base down quite considerably when you're at an event with only 400 participants, and of course, not all of those 400 will be players of said games. This is why we need internet.

 

Then of course on top of that you can add things such as wanting to watch maybe a few videos on youtube, maybe catch up with a twitch streamer that you follow, check in with family on facebook, upload a few LAN photos, browse some forums or whatever. You simply cannot expect that people should just put up with it and do "other LAN things" - because the internet is expected. If EPIC were to advertise the LAN as: "Come play video games in a building with 400 other people but no external internet connection" I guarantee you that they would not sell 400 tickets. People expect to come to the event and have internet access and that is the problem at the end of the day. It literally ruined the whole event for me because even once the internet came back up, I could barely use it. 

 

Last year when I came home from 13 I was singing the praise of Epic, this year I cannot say I'll be doing the same thing. 

 

 

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The Good:

 

- The Food

 

- Overall Atmosphere (although I'd say it wasn't as good as Epic 13's atmosphere, something just felt... missing. Can't pinpoint it. Probably just me nit picking)

 

- 30p cups of tea from the tuck shop, they were a god send as at 13 I probably spent around £30 alone over 3 days getting KCC's puny little cups for a quid which is diabolical in my opinion. Good job Epic staff for thinking of us tea bags.

 

The Bad:

 

-The Music, I was in Pendeen so a lot of the time we had the communities choice of music on, which I personally didn't enjoy as I'm not a big fan of transformers having gangbangs. But when I did hear the music going on in the other areas, it was all EDM or some 8 bit sounding stuff. I don't mind a bit of EDM and 8 bit whatever you wanna call it, but at 13 there was WAY more Rock and Metal being played. I don't know if this was simply due to less people using the request system or what, but it was a kind of let down. After I came home from 13 last year my love for rock/metal was reignited simply by the event and I was really looking forward to hearing some more of it this year, but hey ho.

 

-Some of the staffing attitude, again, this POSSIBLY could have been me, and it wasn't all staff, but a few times I approached the admins, in a friendly manner with a simple question (a few times regarding the internet, and my own access to certain things) and another time about a water jug and I just felt that the responses I got contained quite a... catty? Perhaps unnecessary almost-sarcastic attitude, for lack of a better phrase. If I ask a staff member a question, I don't want quips or jokes, I want straight up informative answers in a polite manner. I don't feel I received this.  

 

The Ugly:

 

Quite simply, the internet connection. While I appreciate that some people can have fun at a LAN event without internet access, I don't feel this is applicable in a blanket sense. From my experience, the majority of people were very frustrated with the lack of internet for the duration of Thursday through till Friday evening, which when the event itself is spanned over a weekend, ending on a Sunday afternoon - is quite an awful long time.

 

The problem is, a lot of people play games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA2, League, Team Fortress 2. These are all games in which most people that attend LAN want to a) play with their friends who are with them at the event B) play with their friends who might not have been able to make it to the event (thinking clan mates who perhaps couldn't book time off work etc) and c) to be able to use these games inbuilt match making systems so that they can play games of their skill level. Now, obviously you can play these games on LAN, but when you then have to find 4-10 other people to play the same game with, and ideally being opponents of similar skill level to yourself and your team, you're cutting that player base down quite considerably when you're at an event with only 400 participants, and of course, not all of those 400 will be players of said games. This is why we need internet.

 

Then of course on top of that you can add things such as wanting to watch maybe a few videos on youtube, maybe catch up with a twitch streamer that you follow, check in with family on facebook, upload a few LAN photos, browse some forums or whatever. You simply cannot expect that people should just put up with it and do "other LAN things" - because the internet is expected. If EPIC were to advertise the LAN as: "Come play video games in a building with 400 other people but no external internet connection" I guarantee you that they would not sell 400 tickets. People expect to come to the event and have internet access and that is the problem at the end of the day. It literally ruined the whole event for me because even once the internet came back up, I could barely use it. 

 

Last year when I came home from 13 I was singing the praise of Epic, this year I cannot say I'll be doing the same thing. 

 

 

The only thing I can say here is that the issue was pretty much out of epic's hands. Whilst I agree on having a net connection, I'm not going to rip epic apart (not saying you are) for having issues which were out of their hands(in the main). As with everything, it's a lesson learnt and I'm sure Jon/Murray will be in deep discussion with KCC management.

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Here's my attempt

 

Good

 

New Ales - Cpt pigwash and pigtails.

Catering - high standard as usual with a couple of grumbles.

Seeing old friends, sorry if I didn't get back to you or couldn't remember you.  Names and faces aren't my greatest attribute.

Finally taking part in the pub quiz, it was about time seeing as this was my 5th epic.

Discovering D&D, thanks M0rt, there are better ways to waste 4hrs, but I can't think of them right now ;)

Amazingly, I missed absolutely tons and still had a great time.

_Jay_'s jump leads, I do actually have a set of my own in my toolbox, in the hall cupboard at home, perfect place for them for when I need a jump start ;)

 

Bad

 

Rice - slightly better this time but I still found it a bit dry.  Maybe it's just me but I seem to complain about the rice every time.

Ale - pigtails, no complaint with the taste but that it wasn't available until Cpt Pigwash had ran out.

Missed out on a lot of the big games and fun tournaments, maybe next time.

Avoiding the technical staff, I didn't feel it fair burdening you with me when you looked busy and bothered.  I will be back.

Event layout - I didn't like having to go out to the foyer every time I wanted get a pint, it meant having to mingle with normal people who were there for other things.  Surely there's an internal stairs we can use to go between Lakeside and the rest of the event without having to go out into the communal areas.

Missing the closing ceremony and a few other things on the Sunday because I was engaged with sorting my flat battery.

 

Ugly

 

Vandalism - no excuse.  We might have grumbles about the KCC, there isn't a venue where we won't have grumbles but this affects our relationship with the KCC. I mean, who really wants someone coming back if they're going to wreck the place and affect the other events that they run.

The number of people who still don't wash their hands before leaving the toilet.

 

Special Mention

 

Internet - I don't come to a LAN event expecting great internet but the guys did work their butts off resolving the issues they had with both the internal network and the internet.  There's not many organisations with the knowledge, experience and kit that epic has.  To echo an earlier comment, it's not the problems that arise but how you deal with them that shows what you're made of, and you guys are EPIC.

Edited by dex
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"Surely there's an internal stairs we can use to go between Lakeside and the rest of the event without having to go out into the communal areas."

 

Not that can be used by the general public as it goes through staff and kitchen areas and naturally the venue dont want hundreds of people walking through their kitchens. There are lots of service areas in a building that size, but good reasons for them not being open to the wider public, like in any public building. That is the layout of the building we have to work with I'm afraid.

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The Good

 

  • Being at LAN again and seeing people I haven't seen for over a year.
  • Getting back to doing my DJ set @ LAN.
  • Seeing Swyft, good times.
  • The epic Sat / Sun morning with good friends.
  • The Internet & network failing: Yes, for me this was a good thing. I actually got up from my PC, went to the bar only to find like minded individuals and friends doing the same thing. Chatting away, laughing (mostly about shower accidents) and generaly making the most of some social time. Whilst not great for the EPIC team, it worked quite well for me.
  • Ultimate Trolling of Winbars set....lolololololololololol
  • Haden dropping 11052 in his set, nice one.
  • LAN Staff, epic as always. Good to see you again :)
  • Breakfast - Om nom nom nom
  • Bar staff & Catering staff : just awesome.
  • Shower incident

The Bad

 

  • The Jagerbombs, oh dear god all the Jagerbombs.
  • The fact that i seemed to be patient 0 for the lan plague
  • Phone failing to charge all lan and somehow the alarms waking everyone up in the room....even after turning them off.
  • Laptop spazzing out on penultimate track of my set.
  • No DJ off /me shakes fist at Haden and Mole

The Ugly

 

  • Me during the Sunday hangover period
  • The shower incident.....although was simply the funniest thing i have witnessed at lan.

The Damn Right Wrong

 

  • Vandalism : Wrong, just wrong. A small number of people potentially ruining it for the rest of us. I get a bit silly at LAN but there is always respect. And if i make a mess or do something silly i will always clear up, apologise and hang my head in shame.

 

Overall a great LAN. I know the network issues and Internet were frustrating for a lot of people. The LAN staff worked very hard on fixing it and i would like to commend them for the sterling work done on every part of the event. For me it was a good excuse to get some quality socialising done.....including many shots, Jagerbombs, Guinness.....well you get the picture.

 

Great LAN, see you at the next one.

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