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I happened to stumble upon Vanguard in late 2005. I find the game to my liking, and follow it occasionally. I was oblivious of the storm that was occuring through then.
In Jan 2007, Vanguard gone gold. I bought a hardcopy at a gamestore, and I was like "OMFG! A new mmo!" I created a Vulmane shaman, and customized his looks carefully. When I log in, the screen was flooded with other vulmanes in the starting zone, a small camp just outside the vulmane city, Dahknarg. I was literally trembling with excitement, as the chat is filled with reference to Everquest.
The next thing I noticed, is my character's customization is gone. ZZZ. So I log out, load from a saved copy of customization, log back in, and continue to tremble with excitement. Oh WHAT A FEELING!!!! KEEPS BELIEVING!!! I CAN HAVE IT ALL NOW I'M GAMING FOR MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Running to the first quest giver, I accept the quest of harvesting some berries, and kill some puny gnolls. I was like "WOW! A quest!" After a while I was level 2, and I was like, "That was fast..."
Moving on, at level 8, there is a cave just outside Dahknarg, that requires a group to clear. I invited a dreadknight and a druid. Clear and clear.... the last quest mobs is two 3dot and one 4dot. We were swept off the ground several times. Still, we preserved, and won the challange by using all our mana to root the two 3dots while the dreadknight handles the 4dot.
After this event, I was like, "Ah, f**k it!" And just wander around West Thestha for a few days. I ignore most of the quests, just killing mobs for fun. Eventually, I joined in group contents. I could not remember the names, like that elven ruins where you have to farm those nasty runes, candles and books for a full set of uber armor, and that undead castle to farm enough insignas to kill all the quests boss.
It was the best 6 months of Vanguard, and yes, I stayed for 6 months since i gone gold. Alas, the inevitable dawns on me. Player rate is down to the drains, game is still very buggy after 6 months, and all my friends in list is gone...
Even after the game gone f2p, it just does not give me that magic that was when I first started playing Vanguard. Farewell Vanguard, perhaps the magic may come back again in the future. And no, not supporting that Panthenon thingy.
The possibility of the universe collapsing into a singularity is higher than the birth of a perfect MMORPG.