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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    So my friend at work has been hyping up Vanguard: Saga of Heroes to me. Now I'm a recently recovering WOW player (clean for 2 months now!!) an hadn't really been thinking about a new MMO yet, but some of the stuff he's been telling me about crafting was really tempting (the whole player created ships thing just screams "buy me" to a part of me that used to play trading/transport style games). I'm not sure if I should listen to him though, since he's a hardcore fanboy (he's been in since early betas). So I'm curious, is the game worth investing some time into? Keep in mind that while I played WOW from launch untill last december, I have no other MMO experience.
    Last edited by Cyranne; 2007-02-06 at 05:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I haven't been following it at all, but I've heard its a very PvE centric game. While there is nothing wrong with that, and probably what you are used to coming from WoW, it takes a lot of the longevity out of a game for me.
    I've also heard it is missing a lot of polish.

    I'm going to skip Vanguard, there are a number of other better looking MMOs coming out this year and I'm waiting for them. WAR mostly, but there are a couple others that look pretty good too.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I felt that it looks terrible. I have had it since Sunday and I'm already considering canceling my subscription because with all the visual settings on max it came to pretty much EQ2 standards but I couldn't move without the screen freezing for a few seconds. With the sliders at the lowest it was as bad as runescape and still jumpy. So its pretty much EQ2 but doesn't play very well. All this game has done is remind that I like EQ2 and will probably give this up and buy the new expansion for that. Shame though, I wanted to be a pirate.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I haven't played it much yet, but I like it and it feels deep. The "three spheres" concept is awesome, and yay to the return of housing, and many race and class options!

    I hates EQ and EQ2. EQ it is not.

    People who care about graphics more than anything probably won't like it, agreed, but the graphics aren't bad. I'm sure it'll get a bit more fluid, but it will never be Oblivion. I care about games for their depth, number of ways to play, and options for mental exertion. It sounds like this is more of a cerebral game, not a Playstation graphics-jock game.

    Edit: It's like a glorified, multi-play style 3D Ultima Online (which incidentally has help up well against EQ despite being the original MMO. UOers will like it.) Also, for some reason I said "insatnced" housing when I know it isn't. Thanks for the note owL.
    Last edited by Arlanthe; 2007-02-06 at 10:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Don't really mind that it looks bad, just that it looks bad and still doesn't play well. If WoW can look good and play well and EQ2 can at least play well while still looking good enough why can't Vanguard?

    edit: Oh and also the whole point about Vanguard Houses are that they are not instanced.
    Last edited by Crazy Owl; 2007-02-06 at 10:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Owl View Post
    Don't really mind that it looks bad, just that it looks bad and still doesn't play well. If WoW can look good and play well and EQ2 can at least play well while still looking good enough why can't Vanguard?
    Because they spent a lot more time on content, races, classes, an immersive world, and interesting systems. The game is bulging enough without extra graphics or animations.

    If you like going "tink tink" with a few materials as "crafting", then fine, stick to WoW. If you like the item-XP treadmill, great, play any otehr MMO with graphics you like. If a simple "faction" bar strikes your fancy over a complex, involved diplomacy system with real consequences, there is no reason to play Vanguard.

    It's going to be a content driven game for (I)ntuitive thinkers on the Myers-Briggs scale, not a graphics or pellet driven game for the (S)ensing players. Some people don't like rote gear and XP treadmilling, and like many options for character creation, world content, crafting, and dilpomacy. Some people like having choices, and decisions, and options they can take while playing that create different outcomes for different people- uniqueness.

    Not kill 2,000 trolls to get Honored with the Zandalar, or make 100 ingots to get your mining skill up. Or "to complete that quest you do linear option XYZ. I did the same thing the last four times I did that quest. Oh, because duh, every problem in this game has only one solution". It's about thinking, and deciding, and making your own choices.

    I wouldn't trade that for graphics, but hey, if graphics make you happy that's fine too.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Read again. I don't care if it looks crap but if it does at least play well. If EQ2 can manage, why can't this. Also I have played to 63 in WoW without grinding ever, so don't say its a grind fest.
    Last edited by Crazy Owl; 2007-02-06 at 10:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Is there a beta trial or a free trial for it. It seems fun.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Owl View Post
    Read again. I don't care if it looks crap but if it does at least play well. If EQ2 can manage, why can't this. Also I have played to 63 in WoW without grinding ever, so don't say its a grind fest.
    Well I think that depends a lot on what you consider "grinding." There are several different, and all equally valid, definitions of grinding. Some people would say if there is a quest involved then its not grinding. Some people would say if the quest asks you to get 10 items and you have to kill 50 monsters to get those 10 items that is grinding. WoW does do a good job at hiding a lot of its grinding in places that other games don't though, so its grinding is a bit less obvious.


    To Penguinizer: Beta is over since its been released, I'm not sure if it was a full open beta or not. As for a free trial, it is not likely, usually the game has to be out for a while and/or not doing very well before they start giving out free trials. Since the game has just been released yet they don't have a great idea of how its going to do and don't want to shoot themselves in the foot by completely eliminating box sales by releasing free trials.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    They have a free trial in the box but not a one you can download. If you know a friend who has the game ask if you can have their free trial.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I play Dwarf Fort, never bothered with WoW, and considered character creation to be the best part of CoH.

    I'm feeling lazy today, linky to Vanguard?

    The story arcs were the second best part of CoH, and it was a really close second because of the Freakolympics. I only stopped when they cut 30% off most all the defense and control powers while increasing damage. As a response to "the game is too easy/fast" it struck me as a really dumb move. Adding a few more control/defense powers to higher level mobs would have made more sense to me. I'll probably give it another year before rejoining, by then it will be different enough that I won't mind the things that made me leave.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I've been playing Vanguard and am currently enjoying it. The diplomacy aspect, in particular, is fascinating to me.

    Crazy Owl is correct in that it is not running very smoothly at this time. My friends and I have all experienced some measure of choppiness during play. I'm reserving judgment on this aspect since the game is so new and also because the game is essentially one gigantic world, not sectionalized zones and instances. It would not be fair to compare it to EQ2 and WoW seeing as how they've been out for years with lots of patches and updates to polish them up.

    I think the game is worth it and I agree with Arlanthe, it is a very deep game with a lot of options. If you're hesitant about plunking down the cash for it then I'd recommend waiting a few months to give them time to iron out some of the kinks.
    Last edited by Sailacela; 2007-02-06 at 07:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    It runs fine to me...but yeah, I have heard of people having trouble. Not knowing Crazy Owl's system specs, I can't give any advice, but it may be that they have a conflict with his hardware (not saying that his hardware's bad). The game has bugs, for sure, but it has potential.
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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talanic View Post
    It runs fine to me...but yeah, I have heard of people having trouble. Not knowing Crazy Owl's system specs, I can't give any advice, but it may be that they have a conflict with his hardware (not saying that his hardware's bad). The game has bugs, for sure, but it has potential.
    Ah yes. WoW would barely run the first month it was released, and in fact three months in it was still choppy. It prompted Penny Arcade to temporarily withdraw their Game of the Year award. It eventually smoothed out, and so will Vanguard.

    Now I'm not a WoW hater. I think up until this year it has been the best MMO to date. I AM an EQ hater, but then again so are most EQ players. But half of WoW IS grinding, and I agree with Erloas below- they hide a lot of it in the "collect 9 flint stones from gnolls" type quests (20% drop rate), so you slowly grind a bit here and there. That's ok, because the quest system was really a great improvement in WoW all the same.

    I just don't like how there is only one way to finish a quest. Everything is scripted. I've killed a GOD, Hakkar, like 6 times and the Zandalar people still don't revere me. I guess you have to kill a god 10 times to earn their utmost respect.

    WoW is great as a G-2 game, but Vanguard is the prologue to G-3 MMOs, and I'm intrigued by the depth of the PvE, Diplomacy, crafting, and 15 tradeskills, Scads of races and classes, and deeper, more numerous features than WoW.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I got a free copy from work, so I'm trying it. I don't see how it's any less grinding than any other MMO out there -- so far it feels like more grinding than WoW, and honestly the combat is easier and not as fun. I also don't think the world is terribly interesting. I also wish the graphics were nicer, not necessarily in graphical power, but in artistic design. It's kind of bland so far; I actually liked EQ2 better. The voice acting could definitely be better as well. These aren't just extras, they are necessary to immerse the player in the world. The music is good, though.

    I'm still giving it a chance -- after all, I'm only level 5. Incidentally, I got to level 5 faster than I've ever gotten to level 5 in WoW, which I found rather amusing.

    Edit: I'm also often having major graphical bugs that make it basically impossible to play. Also a weird minor one: half the time when I log in, my character's appearance has changed to something random, and I have to log out and log in again to fix it. That's not the kind of thing that makes people want to play your game.
    Last edited by neriana; 2007-02-07 at 12:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Yeah, the major drawback is it requires a top notch system to really play smoothly. I just turned the graphics settings all to lower quality, which is fine with me.

    But I feel like it took me the same amount of time to get to level 5 in Vanguard as in WoW, and the quests in the first ten levels (what I have done so far) feel similar. Kill seven imps for time dust. Collect the four journal pages from the animated books. Kill six risen zombie farmers. Go talk to Mr. Bob over at some tower. The quests feel strikingly similar.

    However, those are only the adventuring quests. The separate, well planned and detailed diplomacy sphere adds a new type of quest and dimension to the game. Never in WoW did I have to plan a diplomatic strategy to convince a lord to ignore a particular noble house, or deceive a traveler into taking an incorrect road. It's great how your strategy matters. Is your mark a hard fisted demanding type? Prepare arguments in your convincing "strategy" to capitalize his arguments. Is the purpose of your argumt to entertain? Convince? Demand? You'd better plan your strategy accordingly. And the little song and dance of negotiation and balancing expression and other factors is great. You can play the diplomat for hours, and never get bored.

    The crafting is too complex to describe in the amount of detail to do it justice here- far better than any MMO to date, and puts WoWs *Click Craft all* (Your Alchemy rises 40 in two minutes) economy to shame. Within the various trade professions there are 15 skills, and a whole set of attributes like finesse and reasoning that apply only to crafting. Then of course, there are sub skills such as “sculpting” and “sculpting tools” and “shaping” just to carve a piece of wood in different ways. You have many kinds of actions you can do, and many additional and optional materials you can use to increase the quality of your item, your speed in crafting it, and handling complications. Complications pop up. Did your vice come loose? If you have rigging tools and good reasoning, maybe you can solve it quicker that way. Don’t have rigging tools in your tool belt, or is your finesse skill higher? Maybe you manipulate the vice… and different problems have different effects on the outcome. It’s even possible to discover new strategies, solutions to complications, or recipes while crafting and dealing with complications. It is even neater that different materials have different problems associated with them. Copper can develop thermal cracks, wood warps etc. But that’s how you learn and discover new things.

    So you level as an adventurer, diplomat, and crafter separately. You can choose to engage in one, some, or all of these spheres- and with 19 races and 15 classes to choose from, you can really be unique.

    If only it would run better.
    Last edited by Arlanthe; 2007-02-12 at 03:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlanthe View Post
    Yeah, the major drawback is it requires a top notch system to really play smoothly. I just turned the graphics settings all to lower quality, which is fine with me.
    I have a top-notch system. I can play Oblivion with all the settings maxed; further, I can play Oblivion with mods that make the graphics look better than the game out of the box is capable of producing, mods with warnings that they will slow one's system down, and not have any hitches in performance at all. Vanguard has an issue with nVidia cards, and they don't have any information on how to fix it. Besides, the few times I have been able to play it without the ground disappearing, the graphics have seemed rather dull -- certainly nothing that should be causing even mid-range systems problems, and my system should be able to run it like butter. I don't have framerate problems, anyway; I have "the world just disappeared" problems. And that bug in which PCs' appearances change randomly on log-in is just silly.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by neriana View Post
    I have a top-notch system. I can play Oblivion with all the settings maxed; further, I can play Oblivion with mods that make the graphics look better than the game out of the box is capable of producing, mods with warnings that they will slow one's system down, and not have any hitches in performance at all. Vanguard has an issue with nVidia cards, and they don't have any information on how to fix it. Besides, the few times I have been able to play it without the ground disappearing, the graphics have seemed rather dull -- certainly nothing that should be causing even mid-range systems problems, and my system should be able to run it like butter. I don't have framerate problems, anyway; I have "the world just disappeared" problems. And that bug in which PCs' appearances change randomly on log-in is just silly.
    Yes, you're right. It's quite buggy right now aside from being bad on Nvidia cards and some systems. I can't deny any of that. Sometimes I see just my eyeballs and teeth floating around if I zoom in in a cramped area in a bizarre way. It's kind of gross. I too can run Oblivion decently.

    I have been able to ramp up the graphics, and in FPP all the way up they look pretty good- the world is just very open in someplaces, but it slows my FPS to a 2D12 roll.

    All I can say is that the game content is very good, but they have serious graphics and bug issues. I hope they fix it all soon, because the gameplay is too good to run backseat to technical problems.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Not to sound like a hater or anything, as i do plan on playing this in a couple months when everythign is evened out, but Vanguard is having start problems worse than anything but the launch of the origonal EQ. I've played both WoW and EQ2 (not that i played this very long) at launch and while they had their fair share of issues, its was nothing like the world disapearing or the massive graphical glitches where verything looks like a checker board. And thats not counting all the quests that are only particialy implimented, not just adventureing but in the crafting and diplo spheres as well. Until these issues are fixed, and i'll know as most of my table top group is playing, i won't be breaking the seal on my collectors edition.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I have not played Vanguard and don't intend to.

    Now, I really like the sound of some of the things I've heard about the game. This "spheres" thing sounds interesting and I like the idea of being able to level the three individually. The diplomacy thing sounds interesting and I love the idea of the involved trade system. I like the idea of being able to build my own house or ship. I've heard what an expansive world the game has and I'd love to explore it. There's a lot of stuff about the game that sounds cool.

    The problem is that the game was designed by Brad McQuaid. He's also the person who designed the original Everquest. I played EQ back when it first came out and I found it to be an exercise in endless frustration. My experience back then was that McQuaid designed his game for the dedicated hardcore group gamer and wanted to reward the people who were willing and able to devote a huge amount of time and effort to being successful in the game. In contrast, he seemed to dislike casual gamers and despise soloing (or any form of non-group play, really). A lot of the frustration I felt came from the fact that I was a casual gamer (or, at least, casual in that I had a full-time job and friends and family and a life outside of the game).

    Now, fast forward several years and I hear about Vanguard and I like some of the things I hear but I also I start hearing stuff that doesn't sound so good. The instance that really sticks in my mind was reading about how great crafting was but then reading how you couldn't just go out and get materials in the wilderness by yourself. Evidently it requires (or did require a couple of years ago when I heard this) going into some kind of "crafting mode" where you can't fight well and then getting a group of people to basically follow you around protecting you from monsters while you chop down trees or whatever. I remember thinking "that sounds just like something that guy who designed EQ would do." Well, guess what...

    There's a lot of stuff about the game that sounds interesting, but looking a bit deeper I see the sign that McQuaid is up to his old tricks again. There is no instancing, for example. What this means to me is it's McQuaid rewarding the people with the time and dedication to not only fight their way through the dungeon to the end-boss, but also to stick around competing with several other groups also trying to be the one to kill him the next time he spawns just like back in EQ. I suppose it's not an insurmountable obstacle if you're willing to set your alarm clock around the mob's spawn schedule or have the time to keep going back (or a big guild to help you), but if you're a casual player you probably just shouldn't bother. Player housing is another example. It isn't instanced and others can damage and destroy it (that's what it says on Wikipedia, anyway) which means if you decide to take some time off from the game or can't log in every day you can expect anything you've built or stored in it to be gone when you do come back. I'm sure that's not a big problem for the hardcore types who will be online a lot, but more casual gamers are probably best advised to just not bother. I'd be willing to bet player ships work in a similar way.

    I've heard the McQuaid has been making posts about how he's making allowances for casual gamers, but I don't think the proverbial leopard has changed his spots all that much.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Right now, I think the main thing is the technical problems the game is having. They're more catastrophic than I've seen in any game, and for a game that expects you to pay monthly, that's a severe problem. When such a very large portion of people who should be able to play the game, literally can't, you've got a massive issue that transcends anything else. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay for it.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    MaxKaladin- I was swayed by your long post somewhat. You posted a lot of direct, practical examples that support your case, which is pretty cool.

    I don't like Sony. I don't like their business practices, their attitude and marketing, and especially don't like how they put size DD b00bs on every game package. I hated EQ. I tried and hated EQ2. I hate how they want you to have to grind for all eternity to get anywhere, kill bosses, and get epics (because y'know, you pay more in the long run).

    But I really wanted the kind of content in Vanguard to succeed, not McQuaid or Sony. I was hoping that if there was a huge favorable reaction to the kind of multifaceted play in Vanguard, another company (Bethesda? Firaxis?) would build an even better version of it.

    Neriana- yeah, the problems are catastrophic. They really bungled the release.
    Last edited by Arlanthe; 2007-02-13 at 07:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlanthe View Post
    But I really wanted the kind of content in Vanguard to succeed, not McQuaid or Sony. I was hoping that if there was a huge favorable reaction to the kind of multifaceted play in Vanguard, another company (Bethesda? Firaxis?) would build an even better version of it.
    That's more or less what I'm hoping will happen. I'm hoping the kind of content in Vanguard will be popular enough that someone else will come along in a few years and create a game that implements it in such a way that makes it accessable to more people.

    Like I said in my earlier post, I like a lot of the ideas. I just see McQuaid's name attached to the game and know it's not going to be for me.

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    Default Re: Vanguard, Is anyone else playing it?

    I finally figured out my problem: environmental shaders was set too high, anything above 80% apparently causes the world to disappear with certain cards. I had to dig through a ton of links to find this information, though; as far as I can tell SOE doesn't have it anywhere. So I'm going to give the game another go for a bit.

    Oh, on my server, the chat channels aren't working at all, either. :-P
    Last edited by neriana; 2007-02-13 at 01:04 PM.

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