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Figured out part of why VG feels so lifeless

nethervoidnethervoid xanex, CAPosts: 528Member

I think I figured out at least one piece of why the game feels so lifeless: the quest text.  I'm probably not the first one to notice, but most of the quest text is just lifeless and has no emotion to it or even hints at regional dialect or even slang.
Most quests seem like they're written by possibly non-native english speakers.  They're without colorful words to describe things and describe how hopeless the situation is, etc.  Most quest givers seem to speak with a pretty educated vocabulary and grammar.  It's hard to get the feeling the quest giver your talking to herds camels or whatever when he speaks so exacting and always seems to say 'I'm so glad someone of your caliber is here to fix the situation' instead of
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<NPC is waving his hands, etc, in excitement - More emotional animations>

"Oh praise 'Insert god name here (where are all the religious references??)'!  I'm so glad you're willing to help!  I thought I'd have to try and fight those ratmen myself, those damn pigs!  *so and so spits*  Hurry up and save, 'insert name of his daughter here'!  Every second that goes by is another second they might be beating her, or doin' something else even worse!
...
*eyes frightful and hurried*  Well what are you waiting for 'insert name of big bad hero here'!  Get to it!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's at least one reason the game feels so lifeless.  Still, it's a decent game with a lot of different avenues of play.  Hopefully quest text gets more interesting later on?
Actually, I like the text written for the diplomancy stuff.  It's still doesn't have enough emotion, but it's a LOT better than the adventure quest text.

nethervoid - Est. '97
[UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

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Comments

  • KombatJesusKombatJesus Detroit, MIPosts: 236Member

    The adventure text is lifeless because you are not following an adventure. . .youre just a lackey going about the world doing odd jobs for lewt and items. . there is no main story whatsoever, as soon as you are plunged into the world, you are not following anything. . .i think they took it too far when they said set yourself free. . .that should mean that I have the choice of whether or not to follow the main story. . .

    Diplomacy was well written and seems to be the only way to get into the lore of the world. .

    http://mentaltruancy.guildportal.com - Friendly Vanguard:Saga of Heroes Qalia based Guild.
    image

  • MX13MX13 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,489Member

    You get an "A" for interesting, that's for sure...

    I may not feel the same way, but I can't say you're off track...

    I'll start my own SWG... with Black Jack... and Hookers!!!

    In fact, forget the SWG!!!!

    image
    image
    image

  • gimpusmonsgimpusmons Seattle, WAPosts: 60Member

    The generic NPC text is one of the first things that flashed a warning light for me when I first entered the game world. I expected less than perfect performance, but not such mundane and in some cases truly bad quest text. It's written like a cheap teen novel. I got to the point where I just ignored all but the summary at the bottom, but other factors about the game design that I thought were poorly implemented caught up with me so i threw in the towel.

    It's a shame. I would love to have a chance to engage in world building, to create rich lore and exciting plots. MMOs have so much potential in this area, especially VANGUARD because its not restricted by any license and because its so ambitious. Also, there is a wealth of material one could use as inspiration from world folklore and history to books and movies.

    I was particularly disappointed when I came across an NPC in Kojan named "Oda Nobunaga." For anyone who isn't into Japanese history, he was a samurai warlord and one of the men responsible for the eventual unification of the country into what became the Tokugawa Shogunate that lasted a couple hundred years. I was disappointed because the NPC with his name was just some generic quest-giving captain of the guard. There was no "wink wink nudge nudge" element to suggest anything other than some Sigil employee was grabbing random Asian names they found on the net. A good dev would have altered the name in a humorous way and given the NPC some title or quest related to the real figure. Blizzard had these kinds of in-jokes spread all over WOW, but never just randomly threw in exact names of famous people.

    I wouldn't bother trying to convince anyone else of this, but for me I became convinced that the devs had put together a second-rate game, thinly masked as something better simply by the sheer size of it. It's lack of imagination and attention to detail that turns me off more than anything.

  • bebopdrumsbebopdrums Los Angeles, CAPosts: 166Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nethervoid


    I think I figured out at least one piece of why the game feels so lifeless: the quest text.  I'm probably not the first one to notice, but most of the quest text is just lifeless and has no emotion to it or even hints at regional dialect or even slang.
    Most quests seem like they're written by possibly non-native english speakers.  They're without colorful words to describe things and describe how hopeless the situation is, etc.  Most quest givers seem to speak with a pretty educated vocabulary and grammar.  It's hard to get the feeling the quest giver your talking to herds camels or whatever when he speaks so exacting and always seems to say 'I'm so glad someone of your caliber is here to fix the situation' instead of
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    <NPC is waving his hands, etc, in excitement - More emotional animations>

    "Oh praise 'Insert god name here (where are all the religious references??)'!  I'm so glad you're willing to help!  I thought I'd have to try and fight those ratmen myself, those damn pigs!  *so and so spits*  Hurry up and save, 'insert name of his daughter here'!  Every second that goes by is another second they might be beating her, or doin' something else even worse!
    ...
    *eyes frightful and hurried*  Well what are you waiting for 'insert name of big bad hero here'!  Get to it!"

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's at least one reason the game feels so lifeless.  Still, it's a decent game with a lot of different avenues of play.  Hopefully quest text gets more interesting later on?
    Actually, I like the text written for the diplomancy stuff.  It's still doesn't have enough emotion, but it's a LOT better than the adventure quest text.
     



    its because there are NO FLOWERS!!!!!!! where are the FLOWERS!????!!! doesnt ANybody else notice that??? just some FLOWERS would be enough to add life...just some flowers....


  • random11random11 TemeswarPosts: 765Member
    It's because they thought that they can disregard the evolution of MMOs.
  • gimpusmonsgimpusmons Seattle, WAPosts: 60Member
    Originally posted by bebopdrums 

     



    its because there are NO FLOWERS!!!!!!! where are the FLOWERS!????!!! doesnt ANybody else notice that??? just some FLOWERS would be enough to add life...just some flowers....



    I think you're on to something, as opposed to on something, which would be insulting.

    Anywho, I seriously find myself stopping in LOTRO to check out the flowers in the game, be it some little garden-type patch or an open field full of undulating wild flowers.  It's very pleasant.

  • DeadJesterDeadJester maricopa, AZPosts: 499Member
    Originally posted by gimpusmons

    Originally posted by bebopdrums 

     



    its because there are NO FLOWERS!!!!!!! where are the FLOWERS!????!!! doesnt ANybody else notice that??? just some FLOWERS would be enough to add life...just some flowers....



    I think you're on to something, as opposed to on something, which would be insulting.

    Anywho, I seriously find myself stopping in LOTRO to check out the flowers in the game, be it some little garden-type patch or an open field full of undulating wild flowers.  It's very pleasant.


     you 2 just stop that if you  2 play games to look at flowers you are both on something
  • AirspellAirspell warsawPosts: 1,391Member
      Well LoTr is a static game, no housing, hence you can mold everything into a perfect eutopian vision. Also LoTr has so much pre-existing content that ou can't help but to make great sceneray just copying the books.



      Vanguard is a dynamic world and those ALWAYS looks worse.  It is hard to detail all the terain when you know someone might stick a house on top of it and makes it pointless. 



      As far as the text goes, there is absolutely no excuse for it. This is a big production and shame on them for doin a halfassed job on an integral part of the pve process.

    image

  • ChessackChessack Lynnwood, WAPosts: 978Member
    As for being just a cog in the wheel... that is sort of how adventuring seems to be set up at least in the early levels (1-13, which is all I can speak to from experience). However, the dialog for the Diplomacy quests is very engaging and it does tell you some of the Lore. You get to meet the high people (princes, courtiers, etc) and take part in a larger story.



    Now if you don't like Diplomacy then that'd be a serious problem. I happen to like it so I felt the story and text were fine. But I realize that if you just did adventures the text is pretty lame.



    C
  • roadwarriorsroadwarriors Skokie, ILPosts: 218Member
    I don't even read the text I just hit accept and  move on. I would much rather they concentrate on other things right now than chaning Aye to Hoy'ye, or whatever type of dialect you want. Seriously, I never read text in any game, if I want to read a book I'll go buy one. A game should have all audio like diablo. That's what made taht game awsome, you enver had to read. I also don't read because I have a painful stigmatism in my eye, so even if I wanted too, i couldn't.
  • bebopdrumsbebopdrums Los Angeles, CAPosts: 166Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by roadwarriors

    I don't even read the text I just hit accept and  move on. I would much rather they concentrate on other things right now than chaning Aye to Hoy'ye, or whatever type of dialect you want. Seriously, I never read text in any game, if I want to read a book I'll go buy one. A game should have all audio like diablo. That's what made taht game awsome, you enver had to read. I also don't read because I have a painful stigmatism in my eye, so even if I wanted too, i couldn't.
    huuked on fonix wurked fer mee



    ...no seriously....FLOWERS....man....FLOWERS....they go a long way....im gettin tired of seeing the same meadows of flowing grass for miles...without any gdmn stinkin flowers...gimme a rose....a tulip...a daffodil...and bluebell...shit screw it....im gonna go play viva pinata.

  • Terminus-EstTerminus-Est GlasgowPosts: 352Member
    I don't think that is true. I don't think Vanguard's quest text is really any worse than any other game (eg. Lotro) nad in fact the diplomacy texts are quite nice (it is just a pity they don't dynamically change with the cards you play).



    I think the reason that Vanguard feels lifeless is because it is so big, but rather empty. There are rather large areas of space with really nothing interesting in them - even in cities. They need more content to bring life, such as NPC's walking around, engaging in conversation, kids playing in the street etc. I presume this was intended but was unable to go in because of the early release. With hindsight they would have been much better spending all their time on one continent, making it high quality and full, and then released the other continents after launch (as free expansions).
  • RyakuenRyakuen Hong KongPosts: 32Member
    Here's the answer to all your questions, doubts, and opinions: THE GAME BLOWS BALLS!!!!! Just summing it up for you guys. no thanx needed
  • Drea-merDrea-mer tunesyPosts: 217Member
    lol
  • tharkthark FalunPosts: 1,148Member Uncommon

    In my point of view the game feels lifeless due to many reasons. and the one you mention may be one of them..

    Here is some other reasons

    1. Rather dull and very lacking animations, usually an NPC's just stand there and does nothing, sometimes they even stand looking into a wall or tent fabric with eyes pointing in the very wrong direction...In EQ2 the NPC's face "you" at all times and a much more lifelike in any possible way, more emoting etc and even a "sort of " lip synk is available.

    2 The absence of "real" voice overs, nut just a very generic "Hi or Hello"..The so called voice in Vanguard is absolutly dreadful for the most part and they seem to use the same voice actor/actress for an entire race( like the Vulmane)Again EQ2 has almost every NPC at voice overs.

    3. Bad and small uninspired quest interface, atleast this goes for me, It feels like "You don't need to read this text...press Accept" and I do...I seldom or never read it, only when I want some general guideline i quickly browse trough the text...But not once have i been inspired to read more or finding it interessting, not once..

    4 This takes me to your point, dull text..

    5.Places doesnt feel like the places they are suppose to recreate, bars doesn't feel like bars etc..again people just stand there, no idle chit chat or drunken people at the tables etc-

    /Thark

  • HexxeityHexxeity Kansas City, MOPosts: 848Member

    I am not trying to defend or excuse this lousy game in any way, but I thought I'd mention something that I happen to know for a fact ...

    The MMOG industry is pretty small, and the number of people who are qualified and talented enough to write for them is pretty limited.  There are tons of people who think they are good enough, but -- well, play Vanguard to see how true that is.

    To make things worse, a lot of companies, especially smaller ones, don't think the writing is important enough to spend a lot of money on, so they don't offer much in the way of compensation.  This means that the big, established companies are able to snatch up the good writers ... which explains why WoW's quests are generally better written than most other games'.

    One of the reasons Mythic's Romans-in-space game (i forget the name) was canceled is because they couldn't find enough people to write decent quests for it.  There were many other reasons, but this is one of them.

  • dendeadendea !, ILPosts: 110Member
    Originally posted by Airspell

      Well LoTr is a static game, no housing, hence you can mold everything into a perfect eutopian vision. Also LoTr has so much pre-existing content that ou can't help but to make great sceneray just copying the books.



      Vanguard is a dynamic world and those ALWAYS looks worse.  It is hard to detail all the terain when you know someone might stick a house on top of it and makes it pointless. 



      As far as the text goes, there is absolutely no excuse for it. This is a big production and shame on them for doin a halfassed job on an integral part of the pve process.

    Im kinda wondering how you think vanguard is dynamic, is housing makes the differnce between a static world and a dynamic world?

    I am just wondering because i have never really seen anything dynamic while i played the game.

    If only i could find a troll with a tin foil hat. =(

  • bebopdrumsbebopdrums Los Angeles, CAPosts: 166Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ryakuen

    Here's the answer to all your questions, doubts, and opinions: THE GAME BLOWS BALLS!!!!! Just summing it up for you guys. no thanx needed
    you are a fool.

        no thanks needed
  • OrgoneOrgone Mansfield WoodhousePosts: 90Member

    Theres a quest to pick flowers, wallflowers to be precise, in the giants starting area.

    Maybe thats why there are no flowers.

    Anyway, its a boring quest in a dull game, but there are at least 10 flowers in it (if you're on that quest)

     

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    When Brad and his team made Everquest, they were making a game. When Brad and his new team made Vanguard, they were making a world. That is a distinction with a difference.

    In EQ, things were more cohesive. If something was in a zone, it had a reason for being there, and that reason was related to gameplay. So even though the game was smaller, it played big and had a lot of fun content.

    This isn't the first time we have seen a gamemaker morph into a virtual worldbuilder. Raph Koster did the same thing. Btw, is he employed yet?

    When toymakers become civil engineers and start  "worldbuilding", their games play that way.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • Unicorns_PwnUnicorns_Pwn suburbs!, WVPosts: 427Member
    Part of the problem stems from the horrid voice acting. Usually when I return to an NPC to turn in quest they end up saying something to the effect of  "What do you want?" like i just pissed in their cheerios. Hell one time one of the npcs I had to shuffle back and forth between to start crafting said  "I think i had a bad potato" when I said bye to him.  That really makes me feel part of something special. Also stand around nearrly any NPC and you will hear them go "hmmmmmmmmmmmm" like they have found the cure for cancer ever 15 seconds.





    Don't even get me started on the moonwalking cows
  • kbm99kbm99 nunyabidness, FLPosts: 27Member
    Originally posted by Ryakuen

    Here's the answer to all your questions, doubts, and opinions: THE GAME BLOWS BALLS!!!!! Just summing it up for you guys. no thanx needed
    What most people are complaining about in this thread all comes down to a common factor: polish. Vanguard is a game that lacks polish, much in the same way the post quoted above lacks content.



    Love WoW or hate it, the fact is that Blizzard took great care with the look, feel and sound of the game.  Zones are thematically consistent, both graphically and otherwise. NPC dialog is colorful and entertaining. Voice acting is, for the most part, an asset. You get the feeling that Blizzard spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on art direction, audio recording, writing and so forth.



    Vanguard, on the other hand, has some striking graphics, but no strong themes, unless you travel from one continent to another. The NPC dialog is mostly uninspired and unmoving. The voice acting is laughably bad. Some of the quests are inventive, or at least, no less inventive than WoW or any other computer game, but they are presented so listlessly that they never really catch your imagination. I find myself skipping the quest dialog more often than not and only reading it later if I need a clue as to how to proceed. You get the feeling that the writing, sound recording, and particularly the voice acting were all cobbled together slap-dash towards the end of the development cycle.



    Even more than the bugs and other glitches, it's this lack of polish that damages the play experience in Vanguard for me. Worst of all, it really hampers the sense of immersion. Even if there were a tightly-scripted backstory to explore, I suspect it would be presented so soullessly that most players wouldn't bother.
  • alyndalealyndale Posts: 854Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kbm99

    Originally posted by Ryakuen

    Here's the answer to all your questions, doubts, and opinions: THE GAME BLOWS BALLS!!!!! Just summing it up for you guys. no thanx needed
    What most people are complaining about in this thread all comes down to a common factor: polish. Vanguard is a game that lacks polish, much in the same way the post quoted above lacks content.



    Love WoW or hate it, the fact is that Blizzard took great care with the look, feel and sound of the game.  Zones are thematically consistent, both graphically and otherwise. NPC dialog is colorful and entertaining. Voice acting is, for the most part, an asset. You get the feeling that Blizzard spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on art direction, audio recording, writing and so forth.



    Vanguard, on the other hand, has some striking graphics, but no strong themes, unless you travel from one continent to another. The NPC dialog is mostly uninspired and unmoving. The voice acting is laughably bad. Some of the quests are inventive, or at least, no less inventive than WoW or any other computer game, but they are presented so listlessly that they never really catch your imagination. I find myself skipping the quest dialog more often than not and only reading it later if I need a clue as to how to proceed. You get the feeling that the writing, sound recording, and particularly the voice acting were all cobbled together slap-dash towards the end of the development cycle.



    Even more than the bugs and other glitches, it's this lack of polish that damages the play experience in Vanguard for me. Worst of all, it really hampers the sense of immersion. Even if there were a tightly-scripted backstory to explore, I suspect it would be presented so soullessly that most players wouldn't bother. I agre here.  Theme is part of plot and plot is part of storyline.  Storyline brings content.  Vanguard is supposed to be content rich.  Please explain to me or give me several examples of this rich content. 



    Thanks



    All I want is the truth
    Just gimme some truth
    John Lennon

  • ThamorisThamoris Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    I'll go against the grain of my usual fanatical stance as a Vanguard player by putting my two cents in.

    The quests don't bother me so much as I don't rely on them heavily for immersion.

    What does take away from the game a bit is the way the mobs spawn. They spawn in the exact same place every single time. This is particularly evident in the dungeon areas. This lack of " roaming " has to be one of my few complaints about the overall game play.

    Mobs in wilderness spawn in the same spots too...but at least they do have a scripted roam area. In the wilderness I am roaming too so it's less evident. The dungeons feel WAY too scripted and that has never sat well with me. However, I still prefere that verses an instanced dungeon which is why they did it that way. Heavy scripting like that reminds me that I am playing a video game ..and not condusive to immersion.

    Now to be fair...to make the mobs random and roaming freely would require an immense amount of coding and very likely be a huge system load...particularly in a persistant world where their servers would have to handle a much more sophistacated AI to each mob...numbering in the 10's of thousands I'd imagine....if not more.. Perhaps THAT will be the definition of a true..next gen..mmo.

    There ...now you have a " Vanbois " capable of being critical about the same game he loves.

  • ThamorisThamoris Posts: 685Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kbm99

    Originally posted by Ryakuen

    Here's the answer to all your questions, doubts, and opinions: THE GAME BLOWS BALLS!!!!! Just summing it up for you guys. no thanx needed
    What most people are complaining about in this thread all comes down to a common factor: polish. Vanguard is a game that lacks polish, much in the same way the post quoted above lacks content.



    Love WoW or hate it, the fact is that Blizzard took great care with the look, feel and sound of the game.  Zones are thematically consistent, both graphically and otherwise. NPC dialog is colorful and entertaining. Voice acting is, for the most part, an asset. You get the feeling that Blizzard spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on art direction, audio recording, writing and so forth.



    Vanguard, on the other hand, has some striking graphics, but no strong themes, unless you travel from one continent to another. The NPC dialog is mostly uninspired and unmoving. The voice acting is laughably bad. Some of the quests are inventive, or at least, no less inventive than WoW or any other computer game, but they are presented so listlessly that they never really catch your imagination. I find myself skipping the quest dialog more often than not and only reading it later if I need a clue as to how to proceed. You get the feeling that the writing, sound recording, and particularly the voice acting were all cobbled together slap-dash towards the end of the development cycle.



    Even more than the bugs and other glitches, it's this lack of polish that damages the play experience in Vanguard for me. Worst of all, it really hampers the sense of immersion. Even if there were a tightly-scripted backstory to explore, I suspect it would be presented so soullessly that most players wouldn't bother.

    I very much disagree with this poster.

    Vanguard has many...VERY strong themes. First you have the three continents..as he pointed out...each very different. THEN you have each racial area.... from the rocky cliffs and hills of Dwarven land to. the gentle pastures of some Human and Halfing lands..to the heavy woods of the Half Giants ..to the deserts of the Dark Elves.....to the crystal caves of the Gnomes....to the dark and mysterious High Elf tree towns to the beautiful tree homes of the Wood Elves.

    In over 500 hundred hours of play...I have yet to see any voice acting whatsoever. Have you even played the game?

    Each are has its own..unique trees, foilage, wild life, mobs, and npc creations.

    Vanguard is over flowing with themes and varied environments.

     

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