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Well I can honestly say I am pleasantly surprised… After a few years of stale MMOs including F2P re-releases I decided to give Vanguard another shot. It has been a long time since I have truly enjoyed an MMO, a lot of them out there try really hard to succeed but for some reason do not grasp my attention nor my imagination. This is simply not the case with Vanguard. I realize it is an old game, and there are a few negatives to the game that I have already noticed but I think it has some redeeming qualities for those with a bit of patience. I have been playing only for a bit (level 13) but I am going to try to sum up my experience in a short pros and cons (equal amounts to be fair) list for anyone considering giving it a shot (although everyone should now that it’s free!)
· Sense of nostalgia, while not something that seems like a good thing, in this case it is. Remnants of EQ days are surely to hit that comfort feeling for our longer playing MMO-aholics.
· Deep systems, crafting is amazingly complex and nothing like most click to create systems and diplomacy is one of the more unique minigames I have played in a game in a while and is an interesting take on faction relationship building.
· Combat is surprisingly difficult depending on what it is you are trying to do (negative for this incoming later).
· Community is great, most of the players are extremely helpful so far with the exception of a few.
· Outdated graphics, not really a con in my opinion but I know that is a turn off to some amongst us.
· Game engine is a little rough around the edges and produces some odd moments including clipping and constant minor frame issues (not really too noticeable after playing for a bit).
· Combat feels a little slow/sluggish, maybe because it is based off older styles of combat in MMOs but it just lacks a certain oomph to it.
· Small player base in the starting areas, although this is changing every day with the F2P bringing players in.
All in all (TL;DR) the game is a great homage to older games, although feeling a bit archaic at times due to an older engine and graphics it may be exactly what some of you are looking for. I would especially recommend it for those who complain of newer MMOs being too simplistic or being too clone-like to their counterparts. Hope to see you in game, it deserves a second chance.
Waiting for: TESO