Desperately needed: Ambiance.

jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

Vanguard is one of those games I sincerely wanted to love. It has, at its core, some of the things I've always wanted to see done in a AAA title-- huge, seamless world, ships, housing, wide variety of races and classes, flying mounts, and so on. What the game has sorely lacked, imo, is ambiance. In many places in the world, it just looks... well... "blah".

Take New Targonor for instance. The place is massive, and realistic as far as citadels go. It's a city and castle all neatly wrapped in fortified walls, and puts to shame any other MMO capital cities in terms of scale. But it's just... boring. There's no clutter. No sense that people live there. I never thought I'd miss that old RPG trope of crates randomly stacked here and there, yet those aren't even present. The castle halls are barren and empty, and the various town buildings are likewise. Even taverns are stark and uninviting. As someone who likes to RP, I feel no inclination to hang out anywhere and engage in some. Now, granted, right now the lack of population is the main hindrance to RP, but the aesthetics of the locations doesn't help much.

What I would love to see, though I doubt it would happen, is for the newly assembled dev team to make some clutter passes to the major cities and beef up the ambience. Put some brighter colors in and add lighting. Break up the monotony of the bare stucco and brick walls with art or bookcases, or anything to give a more "homey" feel. Make those taverns and inns welcome sights to see after long days of adventuring, and put some life into those cities.

The game would only benefit, I think.

"You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

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Comments

  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAMember Posts: 1,777
    I am a fellow RPer, i see what you're saying when it comes to main citys. For me i RP outside of citys mostly, but that is my style thou. Try to bring people in with you or ask around for some RP, my name is setsua or look for dracons. Not high levels but still fun to go around. Maybe when more players come it wont feel so dead, maybe they thought millions would play and no need for NPCs, or you could RP that most npc moved out lol or outside just when you're inside type deal, or there traveling. At times i will make up my own quest and try to find them lol. There is lots to go off on, just play with you're mind a little.
  • ArdwulfArdwulf Columbus, OHMember UncommonPosts: 283

    NT is admitedly boring. I think it's a function of the sheer size of the place. Bordinar's Cleft is much the same. There are, however, a lot of places with more dressing than NT. Even Khal does, or Leth Nurae.

  • LetsinodLetsinod Ramsey, MNMember UncommonPosts: 372

    NT is horrid.  I don't like the layout.  Every MMO I play, the big cities are wastelands.  There has to be more than can do to spice up big cities in MMOs.  Jousting, battles, PC merchants, etc etc....

  • SpeedhaakSpeedhaak CorkMember UncommonPosts: 296

    Unfortunately OP, such is the consequence of scale. The larger an environment or area is, the harder it is to populate said outing with features and interactivity. 

  • kevjardskevjards carlisleMember UncommonPosts: 1,452

    Have to admit i stay away from NT has much as possible,normally due to the fact that it is boring but also a complete lagfest..Leth Nurae on the other hand is amazing looking,just needs more life in it.Khal is great looking but imo so big that  you hardly see anyone,same has NT really.

    Its going to be interesting to see how the f2p stacks up when released.

  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisMember Posts: 1,066

    Originally posted by Letsinod

    NT is horrid.  I don't like the layout.  Every MMO I play, the big cities are wastelands.  There has to be more than can do to spice up big cities in MMOs.  Jousting, battles, PC merchants, etc etc....

    I would not say it's horrid but it's dark and cold but i trhink it fits well.All vanguards citys could do with some more entertainment other than your diplomacy convos.

    I mean take this magnificent cities in the sands and deserts of Qalia,i know Khal is the main citiy of qalia but come on..

    Adventure awaits..

  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisMember Posts: 1,066

    Originally posted by kevjards

    Have to admit i stay away from NT has much as possible,normally due to the fact that it is boring but also a complete lagfest..Leth Nurae on the other hand is amazing looking,just needs more life in it.Khal is great looking but imo so big that  you hardly see anyone,same has NT really.
    Its going to be interesting to see how the f2p stacks up when released.

    Ca'ial Brael beats Leth Nurae hands down and all day long..

  • kevjardskevjards carlisleMember UncommonPosts: 1,452

    Originally posted by Sylvarii


    Originally posted by kevjards


    Have to admit i stay away from NT has much as possible,normally due to the fact that it is boring but also a complete lagfest..Leth Nurae on the other hand is amazing looking,just needs more life in it.Khal is great looking but imo so big that  you hardly see anyone,same has NT really.
    Its going to be interesting to see how the f2p stacks up when released.

    Ca'ial Brael beats Leth Nurae hands down and all day long..

    you know what..your right..i never spent too much time there,but from what i've seen of it,it is stunning.

  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAMember Posts: 1,777

    I like Tanvu the best, then again i am new to the game so have not been around to other places.

    But i really love it there it`s not to big or small and always alive when i go.

  • jacklojacklo BlackpoolMember Posts: 570

    SWTOR has zero ambiance and 1.7m subs! What's all this rubbish about ambiance.

    /sarcasm

  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

    Originally posted by jacklo

    SWTOR has zero ambiance and 1.7m subs! What's all this rubbish about ambiance.
    /sarcasm

    LOL! That's why I spent a grand total of 6 hours playing before saying "F-this!" The first few hours of a game are where it's supposed to grab you by the short and curlies and get you anxious to play more, and TOR failed miserably in that department. But this isn't about TOR...

     

    I'm really trying to nail down just what it is that I feel is "off" with Vanguard. I can only come up with disparate examples which, by themselves, might seem petty. Still, it begins to add up. So for the sake of example, here it goes--

    1. Size mismatch between city as a whole and venues within. Go to any of the main hub cities with individual buildings and step into a tavern. The city is HUUUUGE, but the taverns are cramped, claustrophobic places. Not just taverns, either. Look into the various shops. Similar building/interior models, and all are low-cielinged, bare-walled, and tiny. For a contrast, check out a WoW tavern. WAIT! No, don't go into a tirade, please. I think the comparison is valid. Despite the difference in graphic style, gameplay, and how much you may hate WoW, consider the mere aesthetics of the taverns. There's graphical variety. There's warm light. A nice big fire. The walls are anything but monotonous, what with the decorations and exposed half-timbered Tudor-style frameworks. There's plenty of seating all around, and room to move about. There are sound effects to lend an air of activity, and the music is absolutely distinct. In short, the place is comfortable and fosters socializing. In Vanguard, there doesn't seem to be any sort of change in music, and the rooms look like... well, dollhouse rooms.

    2. Sound effects (related to architecture) that seem inappropriate to the culture of the town/city/specific building. The best example is the metal plating on the inside of elven buildings. The last thing I expect to hear when walking into an elf structure is the "clank clank clank" of bootsteps on deck plating. It's just... odd. Elven structures seem cold and imposing to me. Call it a trope, call it overdone if you will, but I think Leth Nurae would be better represented with more wood a la Rivendell and less metal.

    3. Music in general. Some of it is great. Some of it is absolutely annoying, particularly the vocal bits.

    Like I said, these may seem petty, but for me, they contribute to how I feel when playing the game. I enjoy it immensely, so don't let this get misinterpreted as hating. I just would like to see some refinement in these areas now that the game's getting the attention it desperately needs.

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisMember Posts: 1,066

    Originally posted by jonrd463


    Originally posted by jacklo


    SWTOR has zero ambiance and 1.7m subs! What's all this rubbish about ambiance.
    /sarcasm

    LOL! That's why I spent a grand total of 6 hours playing before saying "F-this!" The first few hours of a game are where it's supposed to grab you by the short and curlies and get you anxious to play more, and TOR failed miserably in that department. But this isn't about TOR...

     

    I'm really trying to nail down just what it is that I feel is "off" with Vanguard. I can only come up with disparate examples which, by themselves, might seem petty. Still, it begins to add up. So for the sake of example, here it goes--

    1. Size mismatch between city as a whole and venues within. Go to any of the main hub cities with individual buildings and step into a tavern. The city is HUUUUGE, but the taverns are cramped, claustrophobic places. Not just taverns, either. Look into the various shops. Similar building/interior models, and all are low-cielinged, bare-walled, and tiny. For a contrast, check out a WoW tavern. WAIT! No, don't go into a tirade, please. I think the comparison is valid. Despite the difference in graphic style, gameplay, and how much you may hate WoW, consider the mere aesthetics of the taverns. There's graphical variety. There's warm light. A nice big fire. The walls are anything but monotonous, what with the decorations and exposed half-timbered Tudor-style frameworks. There's plenty of seating all around, and room to move about. There are sound effects to lend an air of activity, and the music is absolutely distinct. In short, the place is comfortable and fosters socializing. In Vanguard, there doesn't seem to be any sort of change in music, and the rooms look like... well, dollhouse rooms.

    Rubbish lol. Lets take Khal for instance,the city is a port city and has a dock and many other buildings including taverns and banks plus crafting facilities

    The tavern of khal is massive and has two floors and plenty of rooms,some occupied others emty.Then we take the vast city of angram on Qalia as well,it has many many buildings that all can be entered plus a vast palace that is totally open as well.Some cities are small and some are large but everything is in proportion

    2. Sound effects (related to architecture) that seem inappropriate to the culture of the town/city/specific building. The best example is the metal plating on the inside of elven buildings. The last thing I expect to hear when walking into an elf structure is the "clank clank clank" of bootsteps on deck plating. It's just... odd. Elven structures seem cold and imposing to me. Call it a trope, call it overdone if you will, but I think Leth Nurae would be better represented with more wood a la Rivendell and less metal

    Lol,picky or what all i can say about this to be honest.Vanguard has good sound effects IMO and i really havent bheard or read about ayone else having a problem with it.

    3. Music in general. Some of it is great. Some of it is absolutely annoying, particularly the vocal bits.

    Vanguard has  some of the best music you will hear in any MMO to date,i ask anyone to google vanguard music or even youtube it

    Like I said, these may seem petty, but for me, they contribute to how I feel when playing the game. I enjoy it immensely, so don't let this get misinterpreted as hating. I just would like to see some refinement in these areas now that the game's getting the attention it desperately needs.

    They are petty to be honest and missinformed on all accounts.

  • EduardoASGEduardoASG AzoresMember Posts: 832

    theres a reason why art gets better paid than programers..

    art gives a game a soul.. without good art ( dont cofuse with special effects under a dx 20 base or w/e ) a game is lost at least for me.

    you can do art in various forms resolutions and technology.. but when you see art you know its there somehting special and the game shines,,

    Games need Soul, like humans do.. and that is art related.

    ~ D R A G 0 N . S L A Y E R S ~

    Aion, AoC, AC, AO, DDO, Eve, Eq2, GW, MW3, L1&2, RF, RIFT, SWG, SWTOR, TR, UO, WOW, WAR
  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAMember Posts: 1,777
    I love the music thus far, thou i have only been on kohjan. The music i hear gives me a boost to go explore around and get into random fights lol. I once got lost and came across a random dock that the ra'jin were attacking, so i went to go help the defenders with the epic music playing in the background. Thats just me thou on my travels, it helps to be a RPer at times like this.
  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAMember Posts: 1,777
    Art is a big deal for me also, it has to look good for me to be able to get into the game, there has been times i stop and just look at things or places in the far view that just amaze me. It really brings in the RP value for me, EQ2 was the same for me, thou i think Vanguard looks way better to be honest.
  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisMember Posts: 1,066

    Originally posted by EduardoASG

    theres a reason why art gets better paid than programers..
    art gives a game a soul.. without good art ( dont cofuse with special effects under a dx 20 base or w/e ) a game is lost at least for me.
    you can do art in various forms resolutions and technology.. but when you see art you know its there somehting special and the game shines,,
    Games need Soul, like humans do.. and that is art related.

    Vanguard has plenty of soul and some great art.

  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

    Originally posted by Sylvarii


    Originally posted by jonrd463



    Originally posted by jacklo


    SWTOR has zero ambiance and 1.7m subs! What's all this rubbish about ambiance.
    /sarcasm

    LOL! That's why I spent a grand total of 6 hours playing before saying "F-this!" The first few hours of a game are where it's supposed to grab you by the short and curlies and get you anxious to play more, and TOR failed miserably in that department. But this isn't about TOR...

     

    I'm really trying to nail down just what it is that I feel is "off" with Vanguard. I can only come up with disparate examples which, by themselves, might seem petty. Still, it begins to add up. So for the sake of example, here it goes--

    1. Size mismatch between city as a whole and venues within. Go to any of the main hub cities with individual buildings and step into a tavern. The city is HUUUUGE, but the taverns are cramped, claustrophobic places. Not just taverns, either. Look into the various shops. Similar building/interior models, and all are low-cielinged, bare-walled, and tiny. For a contrast, check out a WoW tavern. WAIT! No, don't go into a tirade, please. I think the comparison is valid. Despite the difference in graphic style, gameplay, and how much you may hate WoW, consider the mere aesthetics of the taverns. There's graphical variety. There's warm light. A nice big fire. The walls are anything but monotonous, what with the decorations and exposed half-timbered Tudor-style frameworks. There's plenty of seating all around, and room to move about. There are sound effects to lend an air of activity, and the music is absolutely distinct. In short, the place is comfortable and fosters socializing. In Vanguard, there doesn't seem to be any sort of change in music, and the rooms look like... well, dollhouse rooms.

    Rubbish lol. Lets take Khal for instance,the city is a port city and has a dock and many other buildings including taverns and banks plus crafting facilities

    The tavern of khal is massive and has two floors and plenty of rooms,some occupied others emty.Then we take the vast city of angram on Qalia as well,it has many many buildings that all can be entered plus a vast palace that is totally open as well.Some cities are small and some are large but everything is in proportion

    Khal is the one exception. It's like that was the one city that got proper attention before development ran into all the problems it did. Ahgram is nothing more than a bunch of bland blocks with a few large, "epic" structures thrown in. While it's true that many cities are vast and epic in scope, they're empty and hollow. Maybe it really is the lack of population that's skewing my perception, but we're talking subjective opinion here. It's a concept lost on "see-no-ill" fanboys, I understand.

    Perhaps pictures can explain it better. See bottom of the post.

    2. Sound effects (related to architecture) that seem inappropriate to the culture of the town/city/specific building. The best example is the metal plating on the inside of elven buildings. The last thing I expect to hear when walking into an elf structure is the "clank clank clank" of bootsteps on deck plating. It's just... odd. Elven structures seem cold and imposing to me. Call it a trope, call it overdone if you will, but I think Leth Nurae would be better represented with more wood a la Rivendell and less metal

    Lol,picky or what all i can say about this to be honest.Vanguard has good sound effects IMO and i really havent bheard or read about ayone else having a problem with it.

    Vanguard DOES have good sound effects. But it was sound effects that tipped me off to the larger problem IMO, and that's the oddity of having an abundance of metal in elven architecture. Metal accents here and there are one thing, metal plates on the floor making the clanging sound as you walk is something altogether different. It pulls me out of the setting. Metal floor plating in a fantasy setting is something you'd associate with a harder race, like orcs or goblin, or perhaps a technical race such as gnomes. Or better still, Dwemer from the Elder Scrolls setting.

    3. Music in general. Some of it is great. Some of it is absolutely annoying, particularly the vocal bits.

    Vanguard has  some of the best music you will hear in any MMO to date,i ask anyone to google vanguard music or even youtube it

    Purely subjective opinion. Mine was, and so is your's. I find some of the vocal interludes to be grating.

    Like I said, these may seem petty, but for me, they contribute to how I feel when playing the game. I enjoy it immensely, so don't let this get misinterpreted as hating. I just would like to see some refinement in these areas now that the game's getting the attention it desperately needs.

    They are petty to be honest and missinformed on all accounts.

    Misinformed? Well, since my biggest beef seems to be the whole tavern experience, perhaps some pictures will illustrate my point:

    The Prancing Pony in LOTRO. It's spacious and homey. Visually, it has enough activity to keep the eyes moving around checking the details. The fire serves as a focal point and ties it all together.



    LOTRO Prancing Pony

    An inn in Rift. I believe it's the one in Silverwood. It's a narrow field of view, but just from that you see similar attributes as in the Pony above. There's a warmth and sense of comfort that makes this the kind of place to gather with a few friends, or maybe take shelter from the rain.

    Rift inn

    World of Warcraft Inn. I know merely mentioning the name is grounds for a lynching, but once again, just consider the aesthetics. It's busy visually, but coherant. There are windows, and while they're non-functional, they do serve to give a sense of place. There's general clutter laying around and decorations. The fire, again, makes a focal point and gives the place a sense of warmth. There's room to maneuver, places to sit, and a general hominess to it.

    And finally, The Tooth and  Nail in New Targonor. It's a box. With a few tables and chairs. Some kegs behind a bar. It's square. In fairness, the 3 or 4 textures in use here are very nice. But there's nothing that says "Hail adventurer! Take off your cloak and settle into to a nice mug of ale! Have a story of your deeds to share? Come sit by the fire and warm your tired bones!"  Wait, there is no fire. Just blank walls, cold stone, dull wood, and zero personality to the place. Given that it's in the largest city in the human area of Thestra, one would think the place would be at least comparable to the Prancing Pony, but instead we get this:

    I'm not attacking the game, honestly. I'm merely expressing my opinion on things I feel could be better, and giving a bit of hope that some of the little things that seem to have been neglected over the years since released will get some attention with F2P. I know fanboys are gonna fanboy, but I also know there are those out there who at least understand subjective opinion, and perhaps a few that might agree with me.

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • allegriaallegria San Francisco, CAMember CommonPosts: 682

    Originally posted by jonrd463

    Vanguard is one of those games I sincerely wanted to love. It has, at its core, some of the things I've always wanted to see done in a AAA title-- huge, seamless world, ships, housing, wide variety of races and classes, flying mounts, and so on. What the game has sorely lacked, imo, is ambiance. In many places in the world, it just looks... well... "blah".
    Take New Targonor for instance. The place is massive, and realistic as far as citadels go. It's a city and castle all neatly wrapped in fortified walls, and puts to shame any other MMO capital cities in terms of scale. But it's just... boring. There's no clutter. No sense that people live there. I never thought I'd miss that old RPG trope of crates randomly stacked here and there, yet those aren't even present. The castle halls are barren and empty, and the various town buildings are likewise. Even taverns are stark and uninviting. As someone who likes to RP, I feel no inclination to hang out anywhere and engage in some. Now, granted, right now the lack of population is the main hindrance to RP, but the aesthetics of the locations doesn't help much.
    What I would love to see, though I doubt it would happen, is for the newly assembled dev team to make some clutter passes to the major cities and beef up the ambience. Put some brighter colors in and add lighting. Break up the monotony of the bare stucco and brick walls with art or bookcases, or anything to give a more "homey" feel. Make those taverns and inns welcome sights to see after long days of adventuring, and put some life into those cities.
    The game would only benefit, I think.

    Use this and crank the bloom

    http://forums.station.sony.com/vg/posts/list.m?topic_id=56757

     

    Put bloom threshold LOW and the sliders at bottom HIGH and the colors will jump at you.

     

    Saturation helps too.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowhereMember UncommonPosts: 3,989

    I cant help but wonder how bored the OP must have been for starting this most extremely pointless thread.

    Vanguard is 5 years old, runs on a graphic engine almost twice as old, has a small playerbase, and features an extremely huge gameworld. In short, every reason imagineable is present that we can be sure to NOT see huge investments to improve the graphics of this game.

    And NT specificically: that city is an awful lagfest. Adding "ambience" would make it an even worse lagfest.

    Ambience is just that: decoration. Its as needed as better graphics. Yeah, nice to have - but in the end always just fluff and play.

     

  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

    Originally posted by Adamantine

    I cant help but wonder how bored the OP must have been for starting this most extremely pointless thread.
    I can't help but wonder how bored you must have been for replying to this most extremely pointless thread.
    Vanguard is 5 years old, runs on a graphic engine almost twice as old, has a small playerbase, and features an extremely huge gameworld. In short, every reason imagineable is present that we can be sure to NOT see huge investments to improve the graphics of this game.
    Obviously bug squashing should be the number one priority of the new dev team working on the F2P conversion. However, there are areas that are obviously unfinished since release, graphically speaking. A little love spent on them wouldn't hurt. WoW, being an evolution of the Warcraft 3 engine, uses a decade old engine and it pulls off ambience just fine. Everquest 2 also does it nicely. Check out the Lion's Mane inn in Qeynos. The engine is at least 8 years old. LOTRO came out just a few months after VG, and I already gave the Prancing Pony example. 
    And NT specificically: that city is an awful lagfest. Adding "ambience" would make it an even worse lagfest.
    NT is silky smooth for me, and I've got my graphics practically maxed. Other than chunk hitching, I see no slowdowns.
    Ambience is just that: decoration. Its as needed as better graphics. Yeah, nice to have - but in the end always just fluff and play.
    "Fluff" and "decoration" contribute to the feel of the game. "Play" is... hell, I honestly don't know how to respond to that. I mean, I don't know about you, but I play my games, so... yeah. Exactly. As for gameplay,  it's already nice for the most part. No problem with questing, or diplomacy, or crafting. The only thing I really can criticize are some of the aesthetic features. 

     

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • XexvXexv Milton KeynesMember Posts: 308

    Just wondering jon are you playing Vanguard off a SSD?

  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

    Originally posted by Xexv

    Just wondering jon are you playing Vanguard off a SSD?

    Nope. Just a very streamlined SATA drive with very little else on it. I'm also running in "gaming mode", i.e. all unnecessary services and processes shut down. I don't have the latest processor or video card, either. I don't play with ultra high screen resolution, though, which might also account for it. 1440 x 900.

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

  • XexvXexv Milton KeynesMember Posts: 308


    Originally posted by jonrd463

    Originally posted by Xexv
    Just wondering jon are you playing Vanguard off a SSD?
    Nope. Just a very streamlined SATA drive with very little else on it. I'm also running in "gaming mode", i.e. all unnecessary services and processes shut down. I don't have the latest processor or video card, either. I don't play with ultra high screen resolution, though, which might also account for it. 1440 x 900.


    Ah right yeah - was just wondering whether the SSD investment would be worth it for chunking etc.
  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHMember UncommonPosts: 1,180

    I agree 100% with the OP, maybe Ambiance isn't the right word, but its close. The game has always lacked the feeling that it was alive. Cold empty and lifeless... and that's not talking about player population.

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • jonrd463jonrd463 Tacoma, WAMember UncommonPosts: 600

    Originally posted by Xexv

     


    Originally posted by jonrd463





    Originally posted by Xexv

    Just wondering jon are you playing Vanguard off a SSD?





    Nope. Just a very streamlined SATA drive with very little else on it. I'm also running in "gaming mode", i.e. all unnecessary services and processes shut down. I don't have the latest processor or video card, either. I don't play with ultra high screen resolution, though, which might also account for it. 1440 x 900.






    Ah right yeah - was just wondering whether the SSD investment would be worth it for chunking etc.

     

    I do get chunking hitches, but I think that's tied more to coding problems than performance. I don't think there's an end-user solution for that, unfortunately.

    "You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous

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