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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Returning to Vanguard

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

New MMORPG.com contributor Justin Vincent writes this look at returning Vanguard after, like many others, having abandoned the game some time during its turbulent launch.

It has been three years now since Vanguard's catastrophic launch, and as one of the launch-time players who left after the first six months (yes, the launchers who have stayed faithful through thick and thin can scoff at my infidelity), I have always found myself curious about what is happening in the most immersive fantasy-based MMO-world that I have ever encountered. Sure, I've been seeing other games since then, even enjoying them for a time. But the ever-lurking thought in my mind in any of these other games is "I wish Vanguard hadn't been broken."

Well, as the player community of Vanguard will quickly tell me, it turns out that it was me who was broken, because Vanguard is doing just fine, thank you. Last month I renewed my subscription, and almost immediately upon re-entering the amazing game-world of Telon, I realized I wouldn't be disappointed.

Read Returning to Vanguard.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    I agree with this 100%.

    However, once you hit about level 22-25 you are going to start hitting walls. Solo leveling walls at least. Even joining a large guild, I still wasn't able to overcome that level hump, since they were running endgame raids.

    I ended up unsubscribing because of this, but it wasn't for lack of trying on my part. I even looked up how the game is supposed to be run at those levels and found about 10 to 20 different world dungeons with TONS of group quests that would have helped with those humps IF there were anyone around to do them with. Sadly, everyone in the game seems to be on the high end and it shows.

    If they ever, somehow address this issue or throw in a ton of solo leveling content for those humps, I would come back in a heartbeat. You are spot on about the classes in Vanguard. I actually wish they didn't limit you to only 12 characters and made it more like WoW where I can have a total of 50. This way I can roll one of each class, they are THAT good and fun and well designed.

    image
  • GajariGajari Halifax, NSPosts: 984Member

    I may download the trial...

    My only worry is that the game has too small of  a population to really be that fun. And with so small of  a population, if they're even putting much time into development of new content and the like.  If I were to play all the way to the end and there's hardly anything to do, and it takes months to get even the smallest bit of content, then ... well, it would suck at the very least.

  • rmk70rmk70 Toronto, ONPosts: 397Member Uncommon

    This is definitely one of the best PvE games I have ever played. It's really unfortunate how the population is dwindling away. SOE really should step up to plate and market the game better, and clearly commit to long-term support and development.

     

    I know one of the main reasons I'm not going back is due to the lack of support and the sense that the game will be axed in the near future.

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,064Member Uncommon

    How empty where those gorgeous lands...

     

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    "I have always found myself curious about what is happening in the most immersive fantasy-based MMO-world that I have ever encountered."

    Interesting point of view. Personally, I found Vanguard to be the least immersive world that I had ever played. I was there at launch, for about the same length of playing time, and the world - though beautiful - felt completely devoid of any life whatsoever. Just pretty scenery and static npcs and fauna.

  • ShojuShoju Hicksville, NYPosts: 771Member Uncommon

    'This game has seen its share of dark times and dismal prospects, but if my last few weeks in Telon have taught me anything, it's that the sun hasn't quite set on Vanguard, and brighter days may very well be ahead."

    The writer obviously hasn't read any of the developer posts on the official forums then.  There is nothing really bright to look forward to in Vanguard's future.

  • fyerwallfyerwall Posts: 3,155Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by rmk70

    This is definitely one of the best PvE games I have ever played. It's really unfortunate how the population is dwindling away. SOE really should step up to plate and market the game better, and clearly commit to long-term support and development.

     

    I know one of the main reasons I'm not going back is due to the lack of support and the sense that the game will be axed in the near future.

     I have a feeling SOE will be using Vanguard as a starting point for EQ Next.

    They saw how many people were interested in the game while it was in development and how many people bought the game at launch. I think one of the reasons they didnt put too much effort into keeping the game as lively as they should have (beside the fact that they didn't 'make' it) is that they were using it more as a beta test to see how much they could aim it at the mass market while keeping the main fanbase the game was originally designed for.

    Basically Vanguard was kept alive just to let SOE test the waters without wasting time and money on development beforehand.

    I was one of the people who were really pumped for the game and loved everything it had to offer (looking past how rough it was). The lack of support and the drama that happened around launch plus the population drop off due to such issues drove my guild back to EQ2 and WoW. If the game had launched in a polished state it would have been a winner.

    There are 3 types of people in the world.
    1.) Those who make things happen
    2.) Those who watch things happen
    3.) And those who wonder "What the %#*& just happened?!"


    image

  • LyrinaLyrina HechingenPosts: 46Member Common

    Anyone has expirience with playing solo in VSoH? is it possible to reach the max. level, w/o grouping/guilding/raiding?

  • fyerwallfyerwall Posts: 3,155Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mailhunter

    Anyone has expirience with playing solo in VSoH? is it possible to reach the max. level, w/o grouping/guilding/raiding?

     It's not impossible to solo to level cap.

    It just isn't (or wasn't) as easy as it in current titles.

    There are 3 types of people in the world.
    1.) Those who make things happen
    2.) Those who watch things happen
    3.) And those who wonder "What the %#*& just happened?!"


    image

  • brostynbrostyn Louisville, KYPosts: 3,092Member

    I think VG is a fun game, but like so many other fun games without a community it just gets dull playing by yourself.

  • GPrestigeGPrestige Guelph, ONPosts: 521Member

    If you join a good guild, then you will never have a problem finding people. While the world is massive, it gives the illusion of a completely empty game. Playing on the Seradon server, there is about the same population as a WoW "medium" server. However, BECAUSE the game is so massive, it doesn't feel like it.

     

    Use the guild tool and try and find one that has a lot of people.

    -Computer specs no one cares about: check.

    -MMOs played no one cares about: check.

    -Xfire stats no one cares about: check.

    -Signature no one cares about: check.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    -Narcissism: check.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

    How empty where those gorgeous lands...

     

    I've seen a few players utter these words. I'm not sure if you are talking about the world or the lack of players but if it is the former:

    My position is that they created vanguard properly. There aren't mobs dotting every square inch so it's possible to ride out into the world and just appreciate the world. Then, as you ride you see enclaves of activitiy. Whether it be a temple or a slope to the earth where caves are with their denizens or an increase in spiders (vanguard has the best spiders that I've ever seen in any game save Guild Wars - my opinion) or perhaps a group of tough hobgoblins (depending on level) walking down the road not caring who you are...

    This is over such games like LOTRO where if I leave the main road I can look forward to being stopped every 20 or so feet. A slight exaggeration but one is left with that feeling.

    As far as people go, I always see people. It's not like grand central station but I have helped several people in chat, by grouping and have received friendly buffs from people.

    Chat of course is a mixed bag. oh, you wont see "barrens chat" but it's either players asking questions, one or two players trolling saying how much better x game is to vanguard or people lamenting that more people don't play Vanguard but that they will be there with their last dying breath.

    I do see both xeth and Seradon get to medium population at times (whatever that means) and I do see people playing. However if players are expecting to hit the game and be doing non-stop groups or getting pick up groups every 10 minutes then no.

    if one solos it can be the perfect game. Unlike Elocke I did get past the lvl 25 hump (didnt' know there was one) to lvl 30 on one character. But I don't play this game to level, I play this game to explore and see what trouble I can get in. There are definitely areas that require groups but if you are tenacious you can find areas where one can solo. Or, it is possible to get groups but I don't know how often that happens at lower levels. I have patiently done some group quests solo on my dread knight (a sort of tank that uses a 2 handed sword) and for my tastes it was very rewarding.

    The world is FAR smoother then when it launched. It's like night and day. Turning on triple buffering and turning off volumetric clouds also helped with this. However, the game is still a bit creaky. It's more noticable when going from Vanguard to LOTRO. There are a few bugs here and there but nothing game breaking and not like when the game was launched.

    They do add some new content and have recently added some magi's tower or hold or something. I don't exactly know what it is.

    There aren't many game worlds out there like this and from what I hear from people in game it does hearken back a bit to early eq.

    For my tastes I will keep a vangaurd account in perpetuum as a game like this needs to be supported.

  • NethermancerNethermancer Toronto, ONPosts: 520Member

    Vanguard is the best pve MMO on the market hands down.....but the problem is Vanguard was the best pve MMO on the market 6 months ago and still the population is very low. I am afraid that no matter how good Vanguard is and no matter how many articles MMORPG.com puts out on Vanguard nothing is going to change. And this is a very sad thing. I have absolutely no idea how people can play EQ2 when Vanguard is right around the corner. To each their own i guess......

    Playing: PO, EVE
    Waiting for: WoD
    Favourite MMOs: VG, EVE, FE and DDO
    Any person who expresses rage and loathing for an MMO is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

  • Damage99Damage99 Upstate, NYPosts: 173Member Uncommon

    If the population were on the rise I would rejoin.  I know, that in itself is part of the problem...but an MMO that is not multiplayer is not fun.

     

    edit:  clarification

  • manowar88manowar88 kungsbackaPosts: 82Member Uncommon

    Maby sombody whit i burnig hart and to mutch free time somday whill start i privet comunity for PR Vanguard. whit other people Like him. Then maby you will se plenty of players running around in vanguards amazing world,For sony (soe) never gone do somting to pr the game..its upp to the players,So if vanguard ever will have the fate it deserve it up to the players.

    x1muft.png

  • LamamotoLamamoto DusseldorfPosts: 20Member

    played Vanguard  2years ago, sometimes I miss my ranger lvl 53 , which is deleted *sigh*, or my lvl 45 Bloodmage (again *sigh*, slaps head and knocks head on the edge of desk =)   ).

    played other mmo's in between......., maybe i should return and start again.

  • YasouYasou GenevaPosts: 86Member

    Vanguard is magnificent, however there are a few things that prevented me  from getting totally immersed. One of them (might be a small detail to most players) is that there were always a few seconds delay between the moment the mob died and the moment it fell on the ground. So you were never sure if you were lagging or if it was a defect (for me, it was).  It made the combat feel less spontaneous.

    Also, when swimming it never really felt like you were really in water. It merely felt like you were gliding over some static geometry (graphic settings were maxed on GTX285 & intel core i7 & 6 gig of ram). Same goes for NPCs, as static as wooden puppets.  All in all the world felt very gorgeous but static (the sky though was the most beautiful I've ever seen).

    And the nail in the coffin was when SOE announced they would finally not implement all the elements they were working on for the past year  they basically officially admitted this game was their last priority) and this is pretty obvious by the number of expansions we get for EQ2 compared to VG. Such a shame...

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Yasou

    Vanguard is magnificent, however there are a few things that prevented me  from getting totally immersed. One of them (might be a small detail to most players) is that there were always a few seconds delay between the moment the mob died and the moment it fell on the ground. So you were never sure if you were lagging or if it was a defect (for me, it was).  It made the combat feel less spontaneous.

    Also, when swimming it never really felt like you were really in water. It merely felt like you were gliding over some static geometry (graphic settings were maxed on GTX285 & intel core i7 & 6 gig of ram). Same goes for NPCs, as static as wooden puppets.  All in all the world felt very gorgeous but static (the sky though was the most beautiful I've ever seen).

     

    Yeah that's still there and sort of feel it is part of that creakiness that is in Vanguard.

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    Isn't that interesting. A game with apparently no problems. "Expertly executed."  I guess "expert" means spending over 3 years just trying to get the bugs out of a game that has not seen any major expansions and likely never will.

     

    There has been article after article about how great Vanguard is now. No wait it's better now. Seriously now it's good. Really. Try now. Ok tomorrow for sure.

     

    This game doesn't have an extremely low population without reason. And it's not just for having one of the worst launches in history.  

     

    People have been invited back over and over and over, always with the promise that it's finally good. Let's just go ahead and calendar this time next year for another mmorpg.com article about how great Vanguard really is then.

     

     

     

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

  • kb4blukb4blu Fuquay Varina, NCPosts: 683Member Uncommon

    I would like to play Vanguard but what is stopping me is SOE.  As was stated earlier they cancelled some of their plans for the game.  If they would stop treating it  like a 'Red-Headed stepchild' I would sub to the game.

    It seems that SOE does not care about the game.  I might be wrong but that is the impression that I get from reading its forums.

  • bcrankshawbcrankshaw JohannesburgPosts: 547Member

    I play Vanguard ,the population is not massive but it offers a brilliant PVE experience

    Unique dungeons and awesome quests

    Nice review

    "after the time of dice came the day of mice "

  • WarpHunterWarpHunter Vancouver, WAPosts: 147Member

    I would love to still play vanguard. My only problem is there is no one to play with and being in the mid 20s soloing is not an enjoyable option.  I play late at night and while I expect there to be less of a population on any game I play, vanguard is almost completly void of people. I dont ever see this changing either as SOE is not promoting Vanguard in any way and I never see them coming out with an expansion to help boost population..

    Warp

  • hamvortexxhamvortexx Champlin, MNPosts: 4Member

    Originally posted by Shoju



    'This game has seen its share of dark times and dismal prospects, but if my last few weeks in Telon have taught me anything, it's that the sun hasn't quite set on Vanguard, and brighter days may very well be ahead."

    The writer obviously hasn't read any of the developer posts on the official forums then.  There is nothing really bright to look forward to in Vanguard's future.


     

    Obviously you don't play the game then, because any look past what dipshit Silius has said - would confirm wrongly.  He said there would be no more raid progression mobs and hey look, 6 new raid mobs just came out by the great developer still on the VG team, Ikik.  Ikik should just be made the Lead Dev for VG and the game would prosper, of course if SOE would do this.  People aren't coming back because of Silius.  My guild has taken out 4 of the 6 new raid mobs so far - and they are some of the most unique and challenging raid mobs I have ever encountered.  Great new content if you are in a high end raid guild to experience it.

  • bronecarbronecar onestiPosts: 685Member

    I'm downloading the trial as we 'speak'. I'm bored with WoW and until the new titles come out, there's a big void I need to fill.

  • gordunkgordunk Mt. Prospect, ILPosts: 114Member

    Maybe if I had a better computer...I can run Aion on max but this game kept feeling like it was gonna crash on the trial.  When I did the trial about...6-months to a year ago, I just remember it feeling really...unpolished I guess is the word.  I love PvE experiences, but I doubt I'll check this out in the future unless the population magically rebounds.

    In the meantime I'll look forward to FFXIV and TERA, especially FFXIV for PvE.

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