So rAge 2018 and the Nag LAN are just around the corner, coming at us in a couple of months and bringing with them a whole lot of interesting stalls and a 52 hour, 1500 man LAN that is large enough to make your sister blush. This is all hitting you on Friday 7 October 2018 and lasts to Sunday 9 October 2018. That is a lot to take in, and for some, a bit intimidating (it was for me the first time I went to rAge a few years ago). So where do you start? Where do you go first, and what can you look out for? This article covers some of the aspects of rAge 2018 with a Survival Guide as it were to the Nag LAN and what you need to make sure you’re kitted for those 52 hours.
Edit: rAge 2018 has come and gone, I wrote a follow up about the event that is below, click here to get there.
Where do I start? Well, for one thing, I don’t think 1 day is enough. Yes, if you speed walk, browse over, and only spend a few minutes at each stand, you could get through the entire expo in 1 day. Is that what you want to do though? Just browse, speed walk, and then feel completely shattered by lunch that you want to go home and call it a day? The answer, especially if you’re into Tech and love all things Tech, should be an emphatic NO!
The reason it’s a no is what you can do at those stalls. There is so much to learn from each individual manning those stalls, that I guarantee you, you won’t be bored, not anytime soon. For me, heading to an expo like this (and I’ve been to 2 this year already) you need a plan of action, an itinerary, and a goal. Let’s break down why you need all of them:
- Action Plan: An action plan is your pre-goal as it were. The bigger idea as to why you’re going to rAge. Is it to see cool stuff? Are you going to meet your online friends that you have yet to meet? Or is it something else, perhaps going to see the latest Tech on the market? This is all included in your Action Plan. When you have this in mind, you have a broad idea of how long you want to spend at certain places, how many places you want to see, and if you’re meeting friends, where that is going to be.
- Itinerary: Your itinerary is what you’re going to be taking with you, the basics are needed, money, phone, ticket, etc. Question is, how much money? There are going to be sweet deals available at your favorite Tech stores and also deals on games. There will also be food for sale, so you will definitely need to carry some cash on you for lunch and drinks. Lastly, make sure your phone battery is fully charged for rAge, there are going to be cosplay people walking around, the stores are going to be decorated to the T and there will be videos on display that you will want to make sure you catch on camera.
- Goal: This may seem similar to your action plan, but it is different. Your goal is the purpose of being at rAge. Yes, while your action plan covers where you’re going and what you will be seeing, your goal is the end product, what you have to get done before you leave. This can include one of all the items mentioned under the action plan, and there can be multiple goals, but this is something that you want to complete. Having a goal for rAge will make sure you walk away not feeling like you wasted your money and that you actually achieved something for your day.
So we have a few ideas of ways we can plan for rAge 2018. The last thing we need to check off our list before we go is how many days you want to spend there. As mentioned above, while it is possible to get everything you want to be done in 1 day, you are not going to be able to soak everything in. There are 3 days to in total that you can attend, and while there’s nothing on paper yet, but we could possibly be seeing some game launch videos and those might fall under the days you’re not there, so seriously consider (if it’s not too far for you) to try and attend as many days as possible.
Rather than purchasing a 1-day pass, look at the 3-day pass which will save you money rather than buying 3 individual tickets, and will more than likely encourage you to be at rAge 2018 all weekend.
rAge 2018 is set to be the best yet! There are some changes to the NAG LAN as well, which is mentioned below, which means the expo area will be bigger. With a bigger area for the expo, there will be more happening at the expo itself. You don’t want to miss out on this!
We’ve covered rAge, the expo side of things. What about the Nag LAN. This is for the lucky 1500 people who purchased their tickets, at R700 each, in time (yes, sadly all the LAN tickets are sold out already). These 1500 gamers are coming to possibly compete in the eSports events, and also try to play against those present at the LAN. The gamers too will need to have a Survival guide, and a checklist ready so that they don’t forget anything at home. Below is a list starting from the most obvious to the items I personally think is important, if you have any other suggestions, don’t hesitate to drop me a message below and I’ll add it to the list.
- Your Computer: This is very obvious, you can’t LAN without your pc. However, don’t forget all the essentials that you need (Your power cables, mouse, keyboard, headset, mic if it’s separate from your headset and screen).
- A pillow: This can range from 1 just to use when sleeping, or 2 so that you have a separate pillow to sit on during the LAN session.
- Sleeping Bag: It doesn’t have to be a sleeping bag, a blanket of any kind will do, a sleeping bag is more compact, so for transporting purposes it’s the best to have.
- Foam Mattress: This can also be swapped out for a blowup bed, but comes down to what you have and what you prefer. I would say this is essential to have to try and at least have a decent nights sleep, but it doesn’t guarantee that (it’s LAN, people are going to be loud, playing computer and listening to music).
- Your phone charger: I would recommend you bring the USB charger and charge your phone through your computer, there is no guarantee that the electrical side will be set up to plug in two-prong plugs.
- Money: Very obvious one as well, and very important, no money means no food and drink. You can also come across some really good deals on tech for sale (maybe new parts for your pc or extras for your console). Don’t forget it!
- What to Eat: This falls under a point, but isn’t necessarily part of the checklist, you can purchase food there, but you will need to find out if you can bring food and drink in from outside. For food, try stick to healthy food – it’s difficult I know – eating healthy will help your body handle the no sleep and you won’t feel as wrecked at the end of the LAN. Remember, Monster and RedBull keeps you awake, yes, but it does not hydrate you. When you are sitting behind a computer (even though you’re not doing anything too physical) you still lose a lot of fluids, stay hydrated by drinking water, not just coffee and energy drinks.
This is part of my survival guide for a LAN. Personally, I find drinking lots of water and trying to choose the healthier options for food the best. That way I don’t feel too lethargic and I don’t get dehydrated. Like I said though, this is what I find helps me personally and does not mean you have to do that. I have attached a link to download an actual LAN checklist, feel free to use it to make sure that you have everything you need for your LAN session at the Nag LAN at rAge 2018. I made this checklist myself, with some additional columns for you to add whatever else you think you would need for the LAN.
So we covered surviving the LAN, and briefly what to expect at the LAN. Some additional information has come through, which is just increasing the excitement for the NAG LAN. Michael James, Owner and Project Manager at rAge released this note: “For the first time ever, gamers will be able to pre-select their preferred experience in three dedicated LAN areas when purchasing their tickets. Two of the areas will be fully carpeted, one area will have padded chairs, and two areas will be quieter and more secluded from the noisy expo show floor, ensuring that the NAG LAN experience is more tailored to everyone’s individual tastes and levels of comfort.” Gamers are also allowed to sleep next to or underneath their desk without being disturbed.
I look forward to seeing how rAge 2018 fairs against all the other events that have happened this year. It’s been a busy year in the eSports and Tech industry with Rush, DGE, Icon, and EGE within a span of 2 months. I’m hoping all of those were just the tip of the iceberg compared to what we will see at rAge, and who knows, maybe we will see a game launch or 2 (I know I hope that will happen!) I will be present at rAge 2018. I won’t be LANNING though, I think my LANNING days are done. If you are there and what to say hi, send me a message below, and we can organize a meet and greet. A reminder on the dates, it starts on Friday 7 October 2018 and ends on Sunday 9 October 2018. Also, all the pictures in this article are from rAg2 2017 (just an idea of what to expect, but with more!). I will be doing an article after rAge 2018, which will include what happened with pictures and interviews. For additional information you can always head over to the rAge website. As always, I would like to hear what your thoughts are on the article.
My Experience at rAge 2018
So rAge has come and gone, and wow, it went by so quickly that all that’s left is the memories of the 3 days at the Dome. It was a very enjoyable 3 days at that. There was a buzz around the expo center with so many people coming in and out to see what would be available, not only for the sales but also with regards to what is new on the market. This part of the article will cover the few areas of the event that I enjoyed, there will also be some pictures of the cosplay (mind you, my photography skills are horrible, so I apologize in advance). Let’s get to it
The expo saw over 34000 people enter through the doors, which was impressive given Comic-Con Africa that was just a few weeks prior. The gamers were busy at it, in their own section where they could enjoy gaming without being interrupted by those walking in for the event. The actual expo area itself was set up in a way that everything looked new, even if you walked past it a few times. There was plenty of breathing space – thanks to the LAN area being moved – but that didn’t mean you weren’t cramped on Saturday. I specifically mention Saturday, because that’s when most of the people turned up to walk around the expo. There was some very awesome cosplay happening at the event as well – which is to be expected at an event like this.
There was an awesome PS4 stand, where you could go and play Spider-Man. This was incredible because it was just so busy all the time. All those who played the game seemed to really enjoy it as well. This was not the only PS4 stand though, there was a Fifa tournament that took place as well on the PS4, and trying to get a chance to play was just insane. There was a queue that was so long, it almost wrapped around the actual stand itself.
The Fifa tournament stand was not the only one that was really busy. Black Ops 4 was playable, and like the Fifa area, the queue was just nuts. Honestly, it went around the actual booth, which was massive, to say the least. There were so many gamers just trying to get a chance to play Black Ops 4 before the official release this week.
EVETech had an insane stand as well, with a stage set up for the Quake Champions competition they were having. This, coupled with their computer area where one could play Forza 4 was also so busy. I really perved over the pc’s that were set up, all fitted with Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics cards. This means that they really invested, and put money into the stand which is always great to see.
Another huge shoutout to rAge themselves for having set up the “home_coded” area. This was a section at the expo, neatly positioned close to the center, where local developers were provided a small stand to show-off their current projects. I managed to try a couple of the games out and this is the few I had time to look at:
- Nektaar: This is a browser-based game that you can play on any browser. All you need to do is connect to www.nektaar.io and whilst it’s difficult to explain what the game is about, it kind of reminds me of the Zerglings from the first Starcraft. You mission around on a map collecting nektaar, which allows you to shoot at the NPC’s that will attack you if you’re too close to them, or helps you to heal up. Once you have collected 20 nektaar though, you are able to build a small hut. This can be attacked and destroyed, so positioning is the important part. Others can also join your server, who you can either work with or play against.
- Quasistellar: They had their mobile app game that was on display. This is something that I don’t think I’ll install for fear of getting addicted. Loot defense is a mobile game where you have to defend your island from incoming pirates trying to steal your…you guessed it, loot. This is super addictive with bosses showing up here and there as well as needing to power up your cannons to be able to handle the waves of pirates. Personally, I just managed to pass the 4th stage, but that was definitely a close game. It’s a free to play game that is available on the Play Store for Android and Windows store. Have a look at their company here.
- E-Lag Creations: They were showing off their mobile game that is also free to play called 4Pillars. The short answer to this is, it’s like DarkSouls, but for your mobile phone. To me, this is correct, and a little off-putting. I like a difficult game just like the next person, but when I heard DarkSouls, all I could think of was “Roll – Roll – Roll – Dodge – Dead”. That does not necessarily mean that this game is like that, but it is a difficult mobile game nonetheless as you have to mission through deadly dungeons. For those who are keen on adventure and intense boss fights, this is the mobile game for you. If you would like to learn more about E-lag and their game 4 Pillars, click here to go to their site.
There were other stands that were showing off their games too, unfortunately, time does not allow me to go into all of them, but this really just showed how talented South African’s can be and that there are local companies out there making some really good quality games.
I had the opportunity to interview Michael James (a real honor and privilege to meet him). For those who don’t know who that is, there is a small write up below, then I asked him a few questions about rAge itself:
Michael James stands at the forefront of the fast moving and ever evolving gaming geek culture in South Africa. As a serial entrepreneur in this field, Michael has successfully launched and run the fastest growing expo of its kind in South Africa (rAge). Recently his company launched a new event (Rush) to cater to the growing demands of esports.
FTT: How long does it take to set up an event like this?
MJ: This planning process starts in January of the year, so that takes close to 10 months to get all the planning done for rAge, and then we start getting the expo floor area prepped and built a week before everyone arrives.
FTT: This year there is over 20000 square meters of the expo, do you think next year will be bigger?
MJ: Oh yes, most definitely. We are seeing a lot more sponsors like that of ABSA, Castle, and other companies similar to those who are trying to gauge a new generation but are unsure how to do so. They have noticed that there is a trend where younger people are moving to the eSports, the Tech industry and they have approached us to have stands. I feel that next will definitely see a few more companies wanting to get stands of their own. So yes, next year will be bigger, definitely.
FTT: Lastly, what are you looking forward to most at this event?
MJ: Unfortunately I don’t get much time to enjoy the even, especially when there is still so much going on. However, if I had to choose, I would really like to get a 3D scan of myself. I’ve never done that and I don’t think I’ve ever had a look at what the back of my head looks like.
It was a weekend that won’t be quickly forgotten.
The last 2 mentions are the interview that Sam Tech Girl had with one of the writers of the Assassins Creed – Oddysey game. This was very informative and truly enjoyable to watch. The amount of detail and the level at which Ubisoft went to create this game was made so clear during a well-rounded interview. The second mention is the Bring the Bravado stand that was present at the expo. Here we had the privilege of seeing the Bravado team who Skyped in from America. We were also entertained with talks and workshops that really brought attention to the eSports industry in South Africa.
Before I end this off, I would like to say that I really enjoyed the rivalry that was going on between the Cooler Master stand and the Incredible Connection stand. Nothing was more enjoyable to see the people 2 steps from one stand to the other, while both companies fought to keep their interest. Also, I had the opportunity to interview the Channel Sales Manager from Micron – the manufacturer of memory – with regards to their RAM, memory and how they are supporting eSports in South Africa. You can read the interview here.
To view some of the pictures I took – some of them are terrible – just click this link.
If you did not have the opportunity to make it to rAge 2018 if feel sorry for you. Jokes aside though, this was a great event, with so much going on that I really cannot just cover it all! However, that doesn’t mean that you lost out entirely, next year is rAge 2019, and as Michael James said above, it is just going to continue to get bigger and better. All we need to do is be there to see it unfold. I hope to see you at rAge 2019.
Hi there! My name is Corbyn and I enjoy love writing tech guides on a variety of topics. I always answer comments so if you have anything you want to ask or suggest, please go ahead and I will reply within 48 hours. If you are interested in getting your hardware or software reviewed, please use my contact form and we can talk business. Thanks for visiting my blog!