I was able to attend QuackCon 2018 this year and have a wonderful time. QuakeCon has been held annually in Dallas, Texas since 1996. The convention is made up of gaming tournaments, charity booths, game previews, and some other events, but the largest part of QuakeCon is the bring-your-own-computer (BYOC) LAN party. This is where people game all weekend and enter various gaming tournaments in an expo hall where they have all brought from home. For the first time, I was able to attend this and experience something that the people of Dallas have known about for 20+ years.
If you are like me and not an avid player of Quake – I actually haven’t played any of the Quake games in over a decade – then don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy this convention. There were plenty of other games on display to play and panels around other franchises. Since the convention is put on by Zenimax, the majority of the games were a game by them or from Bethesda. First and foremost if you are a fan of BYOCs, the convention was built around this and it remains their strongest area as a convention.
My experience at QuakeCon 2018 may be a little biased since Bethesda is my favorite developer and the majority of the games on display I have been looking forward to seeing. Some of the major titles on display were Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), Elder Scrolls: Legends, Rage 2, and Doom Eternal. We were able to see all the new announcements and more gameplay footage for some of these games at the keynote address.
The big one was getting to see actual game-play footage for Doom Eternal. I am not a big Doom fan, but this new one actually has me interested in playing again. We got some nice reveals on more ESO content that is coming out soon including Wolfhunter and Murkmire DLCs launching later this year. We also got more information on the game that I’m waiting for: Fallout 76, which included co-op play footage. A large announcement was also that Quake Champions is also going free to play, forever. This will hopefully boost them as this been one of the longest going franchises ever. Just the world premiere announcements alone made this convention worth it, to me.
The convention floor overall was rather small, compared to some of the other conventions we have been to in the past, so if you were just looking for booths then you could run into trouble. As I stated above, this was a Bethesda and Zenimax run event, so outside of them there were no other games, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any other people there. The con floor consisted of demos to various games such as Rage 2, Elder Scrolls: Legends, Elder Scrolls Online Summerset, Quake Champions, Bethesda VR games (sadly it booked up pretty quick every day), among few others so they really gave you a chance to test out all of their new games. The game lines were pretty reasonable and if you came on Sunday you definitely had an opportunity to play all of them.
The biggest disappointment, however, was that there was no demo of Fallout 76 available to play.This was the one game I was most looking forward to see and possibly play, with its release fast-approaching, November of this year, I really thought they would have something. They did have a nice huge set up saying Fallout 76 across the top, but that’s all it was, a huge TV with Todd Howard on a loop, free purge err Pip-Boy mask, and a nice 76 penny (Pictured Below). The proceeds from the vault boy penny went to Habitat for Humanity, as it cost exactly 76 cents to get one from the crank machine. By Saturday, you were like please go away Todd. Based on everything they had there, I am going to assume they are just going to keep it under wraps until the B.E.T.A is released in October.
There were also major tournaments going on all weekend at QuakeCon 2018, along with smaller BYOC tournaments. Anyone interested in watching Elder Scrolls: Legends and Quake Champions could watch these tourneys on the main stage. The tournaments also were doing giveaways to go along with them, as you pick the correct winner and were entered into a raffle for a possible prize. QuakeCon 2018 actually had quite a few nice giveaways from the booths this year. Surprisingly there were eight charities present and each doing their own set of signed Bethesda giveaway so there was a good chance for you win something for anyone interested in giveaways.
QuakeCon is totally worth your time, especially since it’s a free convention for general admission. If you enjoy Bethesda games then definitely a convention that should be considered. QuakeCon 2018 was their 22nd year and it does not look like it is going to be slowing down anytime soon.