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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    The dirty South
    Posts
    123
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 27
    Given: 80
    Good
    • Internet stable for all of the event
    • Speed of alcohol delivery from Qjacker
    • NEC cleaning staff
    • Overwatch being sold for a fantastic price
    • The expo stalls
    • Toilets always being clean (I always used the ones to the left of the BYOC door entrance, not the ones in the halls, which I only found out about on Monday)
    • Discord chat and memes
    • Aircon levels
    • Ice cream was delicious
    • GANG BEASTS (seriously, this should be a staple of lans)


    Bad
    • Price of alcohol - I spent WAY less than usual on drink this lan
    • Speed of food delivery from Qjacker
    • Quality of food from Qjacker vs getting yourself from the food vans, which confused me
    • Being stuck behind a CSGO team (we were a million miles away from the CS section) who had TONS of people behind them when playing making it difficult to talk, move or do anything
    • Location - everything looks and sounds super close, but supermarkets/anything else is actually a long way away even with access to a car, and you can't drive anywhere for risk of not getting back in the nearest car park (I know you could pay more and get selected stuff on site)
    • Yet again people that can't handle their drink
    • Lack of clan boxes


    Ugly
    • Not much to put here really, except one incident where I was happily in a toilet cubicle reading reddit, as you do, when I heard the guy next to me flirting with a girl on the phone then suddenly there was a bang and he was violently vomiting in the toilet. His hard hat then slid under the gap into my cubicle - no idea what the hard hat was for! After this happened his phone rang and he continued chatting to what was the girl from before, I assumed!

    0 Not allowed!

  2. #12
    Secret Agent in training.
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    286
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 146
    Given: 46
    The good

    New LAN friends to sit with, and the resultant new LAN games (L4D2 as a zombie is awesome!)
    Robots! Seriously - fighting robots need their own stage, where the competitors can enter as the heroes and legends that they are
    Stone baked pizzas - expensive, but extremely tasty
    Crepes - as above
    Dark room - YA DIE! YA DIE! YA DIE! YA DIE!
    Free Monstar - well played addictive drinks company, I'm hooked.
    Early entrance to the Expo for BYOC - might not have been done perfectly, but it was a great opportunity that I'm normally too asleep to enjoy.

    The bad

    Qjacker - waiting over two hours before being finally able to beg to have our order cancelled, just so we could go home hungry and sleep. If you fail that badly, have a system for cancelling
    Lack of Pokemon Go portals in range of BYOC hall - obviously an unacceptable oversight, leading to a complete lack of pokeballs by the end of LAN. Wizzo, surely you have the power to fix this?
    Excessively loud drunk group on Sunday night - might be a surprise to those involved, but not all of LAN found this as hilarious as you did.

    The ugly

    The queue out - good that things are getting checked so well, but man that was painfully slow.
    Some people's treatment of the food runners on Thursday night - yes it sucks that we have no food. No it is not okay to be rude to people with zero control over this, who are working late into the night so that we can eat.

    0 Not allowed!

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    25
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 8
    Given: 1
    Good
    Internet being stable
    Food vans so we don't have to put up with QJacker
    All the people
    Tuck shop ice cream!!
    Free Monster
    Gang beasts - AMAZING

    Bad
    Security being incredibly inconsistent
    The level of rudeness displayed by the CSGO kids in row AE? (Behind row ~AD70ish) and their group of 20 spectators
    QJacker food was very slow when it worked at all, some of our row never got their food hours later
    The EAS line on Thursday
    No clanboxes
    BYOC not getting into expo earlier than public

    Ugly
    People drinking more than they can handle but expecting the rest of us to put up with the aftermath
    The whole event feels less of a gaming festival and more of a money grab now

    0 Not allowed!
    Last edited by Narz; 29th August 2016 at 23:45.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    10
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 4
    Given: 4
    Good
    - This was the first time I'd camped at an Insomnia event since Telford, and I think I'll be camping for the foreseeable future. Not too noisy despite having no earplugs (with some exceptions), temperature wasn't quite perfect but still comfortable, decent showers, and all a short walk from the BYOC hall. Certainly beats heading back to a hotel in the cold and getting rained on, and paying out the nose for the privilege!
    - Breakfast in the camping hall, excellent way to start the day.
    - Pub Quiz as usual.
    - NEC staff were pretty friendly in my experience, and I don't think I saw a single bin that was even close to overflowing where I was sat.
    - Getting food and drinks delivered to your seat is still awesome, even if you have to wait. Only did this a couple of times though, as there was lots of good food available nearby.
    - Exhibition hall was much better this time around, and the early entry for BYOCers is much appreciated. Musterbrand's clothing was great, please have them back next time!
    - AOC's free bag and washkit were an absolute lifesaver; we managed to accidentally leave our washkit at home, so getting a toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo given to us was perfect.
    - Dark Room was still entertaining a second time round.

    Bad
    - The Dark Room felt very cramped to me? I would have preferred a wider setup, I found it difficult to sit comfortably next to people. We were right at the back and wouldn't have been able to see any of it, but that wasn't an issue thanks to the top notch camerawork. Also didn't really like that it was on Sunday evening, I was exhausted by that point and didn't really end up getting into it as much.
    - Our group essentially got our arms twisted into babysitting a young teenager for a chunk of the event, who seemed to have gotten a ticket on the door. He was basically there on his own with his Dad, who wasn't much of a gamer. Props to his Dad for embracing his hobby like that, but we did get left with the kid for large chunks of time and kind of felt obliged to try and include him. I feel kind of mean admitting this, but I come to LANs to catch up and have fun with friends I don't get to see most of the year, and I didn't really appreciate having a stranger's kid intrude on that time. I think he had fun, at least!
    - EAS queue was pretty crap at first. We were happy to wait it out in Wetherspoons, but an hour later and the queue had only gotten longer. At some point there were clearly more staff added and it was much better - I don't mind a long queue when the doors open, so long as it appears to be visibly moving at a decent pace.

    Ugly
    - Didn't sleep very well on Sunday night since I was woken up by someone loudly and drunkenly ranting near my tent. Sounded like his friends knew he was being far too loud, but didn't really do much about it other than say "sssh" and giggling. Also got woken up again later in the night by the same guy (I'm assuming) throwing up. Ew. Earplugs are LAN essentials!
    - People booing the winning pub quiz teams? It's a charity event

    As a side note, it's interesting how we get complaints about both the queue times and the varying levels of security. I'm not sure you can really have one without the other? Plus I get the impression that security's there more for the NEC than for BYOCers - they seemed to be more worried about what was being brought in than what was being taken out. My view is that if you're really worried about things being stolen, better to get lock leads and take anything valuable with you, rather than relying on some stickers and a cursory check at the door.

    0 Not allowed!

  5. #15
    Mintopia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    A LAN Party
    Posts
    2,563
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 82
    Given: 178
    The Good

    • The network and Internet, aside from one small outage on the Thursday (during EAS, so don't care!), it was rock solid all LAN.
    • Multiplay Staff and Volunteers - did a great job.
    • The iHunt - Apart from one question, it was really enjoyable with a great theme and a lot of hard work put into it by the admins - thank you for everything!
    • Q-Jacker - Delay getting food on the Thursday, but every day it was shockingly convenient and reasonably priced. Loved it.
    • Pub Quiz - Alex and Mark knocked it out of the park again. Although we didn't win this time, it was a great evening.
    • The Dark Room - Just amazing. Will definitely see it again ASAP.
    • Holiday Inn Express - Great room, breakfast had bacon as well, which was surprising.
    • Discord - Reminded me of old event IRC. Useful.
    • NoxCrew Minecraft Area in the Exhibition - My 11 year old cousin loved it.
    • Twitch eSports Stage - Awesome production values, looked amazing. Needed more music all the time and more activities on the stage, during the music tests in the morning it almost captured the feeling of Hall D at DreamHack.


    The Bad
    • Lack of organised casual gaming. Remember when organised big games were a thing?
    • Difficult to find information about what was happening and when. The current website is difficult to find it on and we weren't given event guides or even a PDF version. Viewr would have been handy, but I know why its no longer available.
    • That question on the iHunt.
    • The crazy route out of the car park at night. I mean really, they could have opened one set of gates!
    • Inability to take alcohol from the hall into the atrium and back in. Really annoying having got a drink before The Dark Room, then having to down it to leave, to then buy an inferior drink from the small bar in the Expo Hall.


    The Ugly
    • Ties in with the next point, but the massive 2 hour plus queue to get in on Thursday. There was no need for this queue. Once NEC security were told to only check bags and doubled the staff, it moved a lot better and they cleared it quickly; but they should have done that sooner.
    • The inconsistency in security. On Monday they were great, checking all stickers, etc. Was really happy with it.

      On Thursday evening they were over-zealous on their checking for alcohol/whatever and we were stuck in a queue for 2 hours. On Friday I was able to take a monitor out of the BYOC hall without being stopped or checked once.

      Bag searches were inconsistent. Either check them or not; and if you're checking them - what are you checking for? There's no way my handbag has a PC/laptop/monitor in it! And I'm unlikely to be sneaking alcohol out of the LAN hall.


    This was my first time doing BYOC since Newbury (the second time round) and although it was OK, it felt lacking something to convince me to bring a PC back. One of the main reasons was at the time there was no way to ensure as a spectator I'd be able to go to evening events (The Pub Quiz and The Dark Room are my main reasons for coming).

    With the introduction of separate ticketed evening entertainment (giving the ability to stay into the evening), discounted day spec available from Game on promotion normally (5 a day if you buy anything in-store) and BYOC guest wristbands, I think I'll make do without a PC. I only used it for iHunt and playing Factorio.

    0 Not allowed!

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Groningen, the Netherlands
    Posts
    202
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 38
    Given: 46
    Awesome:
    - The cloakroom on Monday. Really saved me worries and time catching my plane.
    - Monitor rental. Thank you Chillblast! Hope you continue this (though you have done an investment now).
    - Seeing all my foreign friends.
    Good:
    - Monday! There's still stuff open! - Though hotel breakfast lasted me long enough, did get a drink.
    - Lots of hotels and rooms around.
    - QJacker. Though I only ordered once (apparently I do have feet, but there was also plenty stuff open for long). I finally could now with it not using PayPal.
    - Airco was sometimes a little bit chilly. But better that than too warm! Hoodie ftw.
    - The size. Halls but especially the concourse.
    - The exchange rate of GBP/euro
    The bad
    - No pedestrian route to the Holiday Inn Express (repeating thatbloke).
    - Premier Inn doesn't have a real pedestrian route either.
    - Disconnect of NEC versus hotel (Holiday Inn Express) recommended taxis, which weren't always allowed to drop off at the taxi ring).
    - No cozy quiet corners where we could bring beer and play werewolves.
    - I suck at XCom2.

    0 Not allowed!

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    193
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 442
    Given: 1
    Good
    Hindering people... again

    Bad
    Forums have less and less people looking for "assistance" every event

    Ugly
    Helpdesk

    0 Not allowed!

  8. #18
    Cider Powered
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    198
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 31
    Given: 25
    Good
    The people attending, nice mix of great people!
    Pub quiz.
    Bar staff when ordering rounds of 20 drinks they actually helped me carry them into the pub quiz instead of letting me struggle with a tray legends!
    The air con, felt happy being in a t shirt day or night never to hot or cold.
    Dota2 tourny was fantastic great admin team and all the teams entering seemed awesome, also first time in 15+ lans my team has ever won a cash prize! (ok it all got spent on booze at the pub quiz) but it was a sweet feeling!
    Addiction Esports Ninetails bringing over a pizza for our starving sweede, great people happy to lose to them!




    Bad
    I forgot to buy any of wizzos ice cream dam air con was to effective past lans have always been so dam hot ice cream was essential!
    Loud music from the cod/monster section!
    The layout of the twitch stage, there were no screens low down at stage height and if you sat in the front half of the available chairs you got a really nasty neck ache trying to watch the match on the high up displays (went back to my seat and watched the match's on the twitch stream!)
    The bar near the twitch stage always seemed really dark when sat on any tables, I missed the multiple choices of bar coventry/telford had to offer. (correct me if I am wrong I only saw one bar at the twitch stage and the weatherspoons)



    Ugly
    People pissing on the sit down toilet seats.



    All in all a great lan with far fewer negatives than Telford or Coventry in the key areas.

    0 Not allowed!

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    37
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 7
    Given: 7
    This was my first time at Insomnia.

    The Good
    - The Pub Quiz. Woah, this was a real surprise for me - I had heard good things but I was still blown away. I think I spent atleast half the event saying "This is so awesome". Memes, free beer, binary and Bohemian Rhapsody, what more is there?
    - Security. I have some inkling of this subject, and I was quite impressed by the majority of the event security staff. Mostly professional, friendly, understanding of the type of event and quick to react.
    - Atmosphere! I was hoping for a good atmosphere at the event, and in general it was superb. Most people were really, really friendly. Most people were having loads of fun, and it showed. Really good feels.
    - AGN Gaming. Genuinely a great group of people who I joined for the quiz - they took me under their wing and involved me in iHunt as well as a few games Overwatch, as well as a hilarious game of ArmA3
    - Barry Chuckle. Professional, available at almost all hours and honestly interested in helping people. This guy needs recognition for his services at the event.
    - Hindrance Desk. Vive monsieur Bureau

    The Bad
    - Random merchants in BYOC. I was interrupted several times in the middle of games by random merchants trying to give me things or ask me questions. It didn't really matter, and it was great to get a card game, really it was, but I get the feeling people who were involved in more serious gaming would have been rightfully upset at being interrupted without consideration for what they're doing. This goes for QJacker staff as well, most of whom seemed to struggle with finding the right seats without asking several people along the row.
    - helpdesk. Pretender to the throne.

    The Ugly
    - The Red Cap. You know who you are. Take a long, long look at yourself and sort it out!


    Having thought about things a little, I think things like people having too much to drink at the quiz, and the state of the showers, are to be expected.

    After the quiz I was a little surprised at first, when I saw how bad a state some people ended up in, but on reflection I think that it was probably somewhat inevitable, what with the general constitution of the average gamer combined with a few days without sleep or a decent meal. Putting two cans of drink into a one-can-body is never going to end well.

    That said, the incident involving the red capped drunkard on Friday evening could have ended much worse, leading nicely into my last point - on the whole I really was quite impressed with the response times by staff (both security and medical) to the small number of incidents I witnessed (small relative to the size of the event, at least). I think several times there were potentially quite bad things happening, but each time there was either security or medical personnel arriving within a couple of minutes and handling matters in a calm, profressional manner.

    This was overall a very positive experience for me - I really hope to attend again.

    0 Not allowed!
    Last edited by Integrity; 30th August 2016 at 02:05.

  10. #20
    Rapey Face
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Birmingham / Empire of Adammia
    Posts
    112
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 42
    Given: 106
    Good:

    Pub quiz as always
    Seeing my lovely Internet friends <3
    This side of the NEC feels nicer than the other side, more open

    Bad:
    Long walk from BYOC to indoor camping, felt like I was back at the Ricoh...
    Esports bar had no atmosphere, felt very isolated from LAN and could still do with some (quiet) music playing
    Found a pretty huge hole in security. On Thursday and Friday it was actually possible to get my friend a BYOC guest wristband without her being checked for any kind of event wristband. She was then able to walk into the expo hall via the LAN hall, a route which also has no checks. Therefore, she basically had access to the entire of Insomnia... for free! To be fair, by Saturday they were checking for weekend festival wristbands, so hopefully that won't happen again.

    Ugly:
    Someone spilt an entire can of that free Monster energy drink on my friend's keyboard. We came back to our desks to find it had even splashed onto her monitor and had gone down the back of the desk literally onto the power strip. It's honestly a miracle that keyboard is still functioning. Whoever did it still hasn't owned up. However, we're fairly certain it was someone with a BYOC guest wristband, because a regular attendee would have no reason to sit at her desk. Although I strongly support the BYOC guest wristband, the system really needs looking into as I've mentioned it twice in this post. Although we realise that this is partly the responsibility of my group, and that we should probably be more strict in our vetting for our guests (we ended up with a LOT), there are ways Multiplay could help. For starters, make sure that everyone has an event wristband before giving them BYOC guest, because people who can get in for free have little to lose and tend to be less careful as a result. Secondly, work on improving the bar area so that we actually have somewhere decent to go and chill with our guests instead of trying to cram 20 people and their drinks into an area designed for 10 people.
    Also, I forgot my bow tie, so my pub quiz outfit wasn't complete

    0 Not allowed!

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