The lights are on
OMG! Level 15! - Level 15
Call of Duty XP has come and gone...
the huge reveal of MW3 multiplayer, details on the Elite
service and all kinds of partnerships were announced. There is much to discuss related to those topics... but first, picture time!
Disclaimer: This blog was edited from my "prelude" post I made the day before the event - so the first 9 user comments and 120 views or so are from that.
Some things that happened before we arrived...
After a late night with relatively little sleep, we sprung from bed around 05:10 and got to it...
Left: We decided to go out for some teppanyaki on Thursday night on a whim. The place (Daikoku) is less than two miles away, and we had a coupon for buy one entree get one free that expired the next day right - turned out to be the best decision we ever made. We were the last table of the night and the owner of the place apparently makes a habit of sitting with the end of the night table, and the freebies just kept coming. Free cuts of steak, free scallops, free shrimp fried rice since we all just went with steamed... drinks and a 25% tip included, we walked out spending 45$... insanity. The most food I've ever eaten in one sitting, and it was phenomenal.
Top left: When exiting our place of residence around 07:00, we saw this mantis at eye level
just outside the door o.o He's actually has been hanging on that same
spot for 4 days in a row now... creepy/awesome little bugger turns his
head to watch us go.
Right: The lady of the house (alias Etharis) smiling for the camera(phone) before we head out.
Bottom right: One critical item we almost forgot... 100 SPF sweat-resistant spray-on sunscreen. Absolutely a good thing we got it, because despite then thick marine layer we had all day, plenty of people came back for day 2 sunburnt. Glad to have not been among them.
Bottom left: Day one parking was a nightmare, but at least this guy was nearby the remind everyone about proper etiquette. I have no idea what that company actually is, but I love the mental image it gave me of professionals who walk around public places slapping rude people with a dueling glove and reminding them of common decency. More on parking; we pulled up to the left turn into the complex around 8:50, sat in that lane alone for about 20 minutes not moving... then got into the queue to head into the parking garage which took another 40 minutes or so. Only to stand in another massive line for registration, then finally the line to enter... when it was all said and done we got to our seats for the keynote around 11:20, and thank goodness they started it late, I am very glad we got to see it live - the energy was insane. Check out the video below.
A quick look at the exterior before the keynote...
Our batch of attendees was walked around to the backside of the hangar to an auxillary security check point, so we got to see some of the events before entering the hangar...
Top left: The back of the main hangar. I asked if I could have that poster when they were done with it... I didn't hear a "no"
Top right: The gates had been open for 45 minutes and the ambulance had already been summoned. Or they just felt the need to roll in closer with the siren on for no reason. Also, zip-line - wooooo.
Bottom left: Burger Town shortly after the gates opened. For the rest of day one, the line stretched about 20 persons deep per window (with a total of 10 windows I think), despite the food being exceptionally mediocre and overpriced. The nature of convention food, sadly :/
Bottom right: The front end of the hangar as we were being walked in for entrance. Major Nelson was there with a camera crew just to the right when I snapped that picture.
Once we got inside...
It was around 11:15 if I recall, and I was exceedingly happy to see
that the keynote had been delayed. Not only that, there were still
plenty of seats available right up front (even in a massive hangar setup
length-wise people felt inclined to fill in the back... I imagine the hangars are a good 900ft long... insane).
I snapped about 40 pictures during the presentation that can be viewed here. Also, you can check out the 5 minute video we recorded here,
which captured the intensity of the crowd during the 1 minute before
reveal countdown and during the initial trailer... it was intense, I
must have gotten waves of goosebumps 8 or 10 times in that 4 minute
Furthermore, if you're a fan of the franchise I would advise you to watch the keynote in it's entirety if you haven't already. Lots of good announcements, stats and cool dudes in there (and some not so cool dudes who may or may not represent Jeep). If you do watch it, you'll be treated to the Operation Kingfish unveiling - the Activision funded sequel to the fan project Find Makarov. Very cool little project.
Top left: High ceilings and aircraft-hangar-grade ventilation was nice... and purdy.
Top right: Snapping pictures or video of screens of the MW3 areas directly were prohibited :/
Bottom left: Ghillie suit guy taking a load off in the lounge area.
Bottom right: A view from the west end of the south hangar (near the zombies stations)
Juggernaut Sumo: I was lucky to snap some really well timed pics of a particularly interesting round as we walked past.
Heading outside again...
Immediately after the keynote we decided to get on the zip-line...
Top left: Girls manage to look cute while rigged up...
Top right: While the guys (especially those in skinny jeans) just become a lot more high-pitched when they speak. The guys helping you into the rigging just say "Ready?" and before you can answer or ask "for what" they've yanked the straps which happen to be over your crotch'ular region and obliterate your testicles.
Bottom: A shot of the zip tower.
Middle: We felt it was only right and proper to take an arm-length duckface self portrait when we were done.
Scrapyard paintball was... something. Beyond the insanely long wait, (between 2 and 4 hours), I was quite disappointed to find that the map was not balanced in the slightest, and I was unfortunate enough to have fallen on the wrong side of that. I am fairly confident every single round that was played during the entire event went to the Taskforce 141 side due to much better positioning, and having the sun behind them... which was a huge deal considering the amount of dust flying around and covering your visor in reflective specks... anyway, we didn't get anything good in the way of pictures of the action or even me while suited up, so this is all ya get :/
Also, I snapped a bit of video of the safety briefing while we were waiting in the tent that you can watch here, but it's nothing terribly interesting.
In case you're wondering how I did, 1 kill / 1 death... confirmed kills anyway. Had 2 glancing shots but the guys didn't walk off so, whatever. We had "respawn" rules for the first 5 minutes of the 7 minute game, by the way.
Top: A view of the Scrapyard paintball course from a distance. Check out a much better overview photo here, which was actually taken during the round I played in and sent to my Facebook after merely swiping the RF ID wristband when entering the field.
Left: Army men were given as an admission token once you passed a certain point in the line.
Right: A terrible picture of the only mark I walked away with after a round of indefinitely being pinned down -_-
As for celebrity appearances... I don't know why but I've always felt silly about taking pictures of/with well known persons. Didn't bother Freddie Wong when we were hanging out for Roller Coaster Day 2011, and at XP I actually crossed paths with the one and only SeaNanners outside of the event and got a high-five and trademark smirk/laugh/nod but... I will forever regret not asking for a picture... would have been so good being away from the crowds and before the festivities, ugh. Got to say hi to Hutch and OpTicJ as well... but I know, pics or it didn't happen :/
However... we ran into another fella you might be familiar with.
Another sweet opportunity away from crowds, we ran into Tejbz in the apparel shop. Pardon the quality, was taken with an iPhone :/ Heh... funny story... I was trying to snap the picture with my Droid X but it decided to act crazy out of no where and bring up the camera view behind my icons and not actually take pictures... so I turn to show them and say "Sorry guys hold on, I can't get it up!" I'll give you three guesses to guess what Tejbz said after that, but you should only need one (Hint: It's on his shirt, which is his own design). Very cool guy, I'm glad we got to talk with him. By the way, he was given exclusive permission from Activision to capture gameplay from the event to post to his own channel, so be sure to check out the link on his name above... good stuff.
From left to right: Makarov and Soap hanging out with some supporting cast.
And the COOL GUY Award of Call of Duty XP goes to... whoever drives this vehicle.
After the event...
Against my better judgement, we did catch up shootist2600 at his place after day 1 and got to chat for a good while, adequately weirding out his wife, before we had to call it and head back up to our place for a recharge. Much to my surprise, I actually walked away with more swag from his place than I did from the first day of the event though XD Thanks for the shirt dude, and I remember the the game now XD I certify that he's just as cool of a dude as you might imagine from knowing him online. Twas a real pleasure sir, thank you again for your hospitality.
The fancy bags that contained some other goodies which include a two-sided poster for the Rezurrection zombies-only map-pack... (Most know that I'm not a big zombies fan... so I may be selling or giving those away to friends)
A fancy one-per-attendee only limited production Mountain Dew cans. Apparently if we take a picture with these and send it in to the appropriate place, we'll be given a double XP code for the game, weeewheeew!
And the tin case which contained our codes for the complimentary Hardened Edition of MW3 as well as...
this patch... pretty snazzy. Speaking of patches...
Attendees were awarded patches for any events they took place in, and if you did really well at the event, you were awarded a prestige patch. Ooooh aaaahhh... Sarah and I each got one for a round of Spec Ops Survival we got to wave 19 on (our first attempt actually). The wristband above the patches used an RF ID tag to integrate with your Facebook account, like I mentioned with the Scrapyard photo.
Aaaand... that about does it for pics and stuff. We each bought a souvenir t-shirt as well but haven't taken any pictures of them yet. This final picture below was a little message packed inside the tin that I thought was pretty sweet (like dawwww kind of sweet).
As for points of discussion...
The details of MW3 gameplay, the role of the Elite premium service now and in the future of the franchise, the partnerships and everything else... if you have any questions please let me know in the comments section. If you're not already a member of the Call of Duty member group here on the site, be sure to join for community discussion on these topics and everything else related to the games.