It’s time for another Virtual Market! This one just began on the night of the 20th at around 7PM PST, so instead of having to stay up until 7AM like with Vket 2 I got to just go at a normal time and spend a bit longer in each world because I wasn’t horribly tired. However, this time they kinda went all out in some ways and a little lazier in others so I’ll talk a bit about it before diving in.
First off, as with last time this is a limited event and the worlds are down for a few months after it ends if last time is anything to judge by. So, by the time you read this, the worlds are likely inaccessible but if you want to see them personally then just wait a bit and they’ll show back up.
As a reminder if you don’t know or haven’t seen my prior post where I covered Virtual Market 2 some months back when that event took place, Virtual Market is like a much smaller scale and (mostly) completely VRChat/3D Modelling focused Comiket run by Japanese players and designed by Japanese players within VRChat with worlds that serve as areas for creators who want to sell models, world objects, shaders, and so on (sometimes even their own music and singing) to make booths to market themselves, allow you to try their work, and so on. This time around it’s quite a bit different in some ways.
The biggest change is that VRChat is actually supporting them – every VM (both the bigger numbered ones and the smaller ones) has been very niche but actually some of the highest numbers in a world the game has seen (VM2 getting almost 2000 players into the hub world within the first 20 minutes, I don’t think anything else has had that amount at the same time let alone that quickly), I guess the VRC staff finally decided to care. They’ve pushed it on their twitter, encouraged streamers to go, and they even dedicated a new row in the world selection menu at the very top for Virtual Market 3 so nobody can miss it really – now it is truly a full on sanctioned VRC event which is pretty cool and huge for the event as it no doubt will have far higher viewership numbers and potential sales, solidifying it as an important genuine full blown event and not just some niche thing outside of Japan.
Secondly, and more importantly, last year it was 4 worlds with about 3 versions of each world being identical in terms of the world but all the booths being different. This lead to most people simply looking at one and missing all the other fun, cool, and of course important to the groups that made-them-and-paid-for-the-space-to-put-them’s booths – because a lot of players simply felt they ‘already saw that world’. So, this time they went with an extreme change – instead of 4 worlds…there’s 15. And they aren’t small either. You may also notice if you watched my videos of VM2 (which are in the post about it and on my Youtube) this time the booths are far more spaced out so it’s less cramped in each world which is also nice, some of the worlds even have little sitting areas to take a break in while you look around. This change is why this is “Part 1”. These worlds are barely smaller than last time around and there are 15 of them and, unlike last time I don’t just have to cover 1 version of 4, all 15 are different, so this is not gonna be 1 post or it’ll be insanely long.
I recorded mostly in private instances purely due to the biggest issue of Vket – the worlds are way too big, have way too much going on, and are not very well optimized. In public, even in friends+, these worlds will lag like hell or even crash you. I did try public for a few, and I did go look at the worlds in friends+ with one of my groups of friends, but still I recommend going alone or in Friends-Only or even Invite+ because even on your own these places can be terrible to run, ESPECIALLY for VR users.
That all being said, lets get started on my coverage of another fun Virtual Market!
Before the worlds, the new sub-menu is worth bringing up just like last time as these are some of the only worlds in the entire game that use this stuff and it’s actually really useful and should be more popular but is probably difficult to do. This time around you get some similar things – portable personal mirror, selfie stick, BGM volume control, etc.
New to it, and actually really fucking cool, is a feature that lets you teleport to other players meaning you’ll never get lost from your friends! It’s a little dangerous if it starts being used in other worlds eventually because you get a selfie auto taken of every user to find your friend that takes itself as you click on each person in the world – you could get caught doing naughty things!
It also has a “Circle” tab which will, when you’re in a booth, show you the ‘circle’ or group or person who made that booth and has a link that will open (in whatever browser you have as your default internet browser) their website or Booth (the JP online store, not their little booth in-game) page, making purchasing anything you’re interested in extremely convenient. Another cool thing, though laggy for many, is the 3D map! Pretty cool thing.
Also, more than last year even, almost every booth beyond just the Circle tab in the menu (which many people probably didn’t even notice), pretty much all had a QR code to easily scan and reach their website or that specific avatar’s selling page.
Now, with the worlds, we’ll start with my absolute least favorite in both forms; they both ran like shit and looked like a mess. Or wait, first, I did say the Hub would be in this post…but there’s nothing there. I mean literally nothing unless I missed all of it, but I looked pretty thoroughly. There’s a nice little transport into the Virtual Market world thing like in the 2nd one, but after that there is fuckall to look at or do aside going way off into nowhere just to see the giant sponsor list. So it doesn’t really count as a world this time, unlike the really cool hub world last time that had some of the most fun stuff and a giant Kizuna Ai. Well, at least this time around instead of the small 7/11 cafe we got a 7/11 in every single world, which was kind of hilarious as it was always totally out of place.
To be honest, some of these I didn’t really take screenshots of because I was taking video and otherwise screenshots – especially in hard running worlds already – tend to crash my game, so yeah.
Pretty Pop Party: [Vivid] and [Pastel].
Like I said, this place was a mess in every possible way. Ugly to look at, mostly shitty booths, really I have nothing good to say about either version of Pretty Pop Party and preferred to avoid them both – only going back to be fair and show my friends EVERY world in Vket 3. On top of everything else, the place ran like total shit for absolutely everyone no matter how good their PC was or if they were in VR or simply on desktop. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Don’t bother. I’d have more to say but really I just hated it. Don’t worry, the rest are way fucking better.
Even taking the videos sucked, the only time I had one of the worlds just entirely kick me out of a private instance for no reason was while filming one of the two versions. Out of not giving much of a shit about these places, I combined the two versions!
And, well, that’s kinda it for part 1 – I mostly wanted this as an intro anyway. The other parts (and videos) are coming soon. Part 2 is HERE.