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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: It's a Gem of a Game

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,588MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In our continuing effort to look at games that are considered to be 'aging' yet are still healthy and viable, MMORPG.com's Som Pourfarzaneh takes another look at Vanguard in our re-review. Som opines that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a 'gem of a game that could use a little developer love'. Check out Som's re-review and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.

We’re happy to report that most of the performance issues have been fixed, and a ton of content has been added since launch. In addition, while the community remains small and SOE hasn’t done much with the game for the past year and a half or so, the player population seems to be slowly growing and the developers have begun a new content and balancing push. We can’t say exactly how much support the game will be getting in the coming months, and will be basing our re-review on the game as it currently exists, but we can say that Vanguard is very much well-worth checking out and has the potential to become even better if SOE can continue improving on its strengths.

Read more of Som Pourfarzaneh's Vanguard: Our Re-Review - It's a Gem of a Game.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • DreamionDreamion GothenburgPosts: 286Member

    I love this game, but I wish it had better success

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    I was there at the start of this game, and while it as beautiful, huge and open, some things just didn't entertain me:

    1. Dull character models and armour.

    2. The world itself seemed unpopulated, sparse, and bereft of soul. NPCs would just stand around doing nothing - or in the case of dark elves, would do rediculous crap like stand around and fart or burp - or would just walk a dull, monotonous set path down a corridor and back again.

  • UltramarUltramar LisboaPosts: 1Member

    needs f2p and pvp server

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    They should make VG2, updated grpahics, do it right this time. Leave the same game mechanics and grow on them. Could be a huge hit. Id go back to VG now but lack of players and old school graphics.........

  • LasterbaLasterba Winter Park, FLPosts: 65Member Uncommon
    lol @ old school graphics

    This guy probably considers Oblivion to be "old school"
  • LasterbaLasterba Winter Park, FLPosts: 65Member Uncommon
    Man...if everyone that said "I would go back to Vanguard but the population is too low" would actually go back the game would need 40 servers.
  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Lasterba

    lol @ old school graphics



    This guy probably considers Oblivion to be "old school"

     Yeah lol, meant to say older graphics :/ Old school came to mind from other forum readings.

     

    My bad :P

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member

    Been thinking of returning myself... I am burnt on all the solo oriented MSORPGs that are coming out.

    Massive

    Solo Oriented

    Online

    Role

    Playing

    Games

    Anyway hearing SOE is turning its attention back at it made me start think about giving it another go. I played it for 2 years thru all the bugs and still loved it. Not only for the game but for the community which I greatly miss.

  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member

    Recently started playing again, enjoying it quite a bit. Good review.

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,300Member Uncommon

    Kinda burned out of Lineage II at the moment and looking around what other MMO to pick up (again). Vanguard has crossed my mind, but last time I was playing it (half a year ago), I got stuck around level 13, missing players to do group quests. Perhaps now is the time to give it an other go and hope that indeed the server is more active and I can actually do the party quests ;)

    AsRock 990FX Extreme3
    AMD Phenom II 1090T ~3.2Ghz
    GEiL 16Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
    ASUS GTX970 3x HD monitor 1920x1080

  • Nonsensei436Nonsensei436 Delmar, NYPosts: 14Member

    Tried this game 4 or 5 months ago.

     

    1) Nobody was around. Nobody spoke. Nobody did anything. It was like playing a single player game.

    2) After finishing the very first starting area and reaching a town i had just absolutely no clue what to do next. The minimap system in the game is awful and i found myself wandering around hoping to stumble across my objective. Instead i stumbled across a large group of strong enemies any one of which could probably have killed me by itself.

    The game is lackluster, lonely, and uninteresting. It doesnt have what it takes to compete in the MMO market as it will be by the end of this year and i expect the game will fail at that time.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    Currently the game does not have to be purchased to play. Simply download the 14 day trial and then subscribe!

    also, the playerbase has been growing lately. i have played this game off and on for at least 3 years and i have never seen this many people on at one time on the US server. also, from what i understand many of the Oceanic and Euro players have moved to the US server, Telon.

    there are three reasons i came back (again) recently, and in order of importance:

    1. i always end up coming back no matter what else i try.

    2. the promise of updates.

    3. the drop in StationPass price.

    i highly reccomend new players to do the Isle of Dawn and level up crafting and diplo while they are there if they have ANY inkling that they might want to do them later. the tutorials and rewards cannot be beat for starting off in those areas on the mainland.

    also, find a good guild. Twilyghte Song regularly has 50 members or more on during the weekends, US time, though there are late night players.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,938Member Uncommon

    I've been in the MMO duldroms for a couple years now. Tried Rift at release, got bored after a month. Last week I resubbed to WoW, played for a half hour and havn't touched it since, I'm sooo done with that game.

    Really miss that immersion factor I use to get... a long time ago now.

    Vanguard has the world and systems for that, but never had the population.

    Really tempting to come back and giver her another go.

    "If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member

    I played the trial and wasnt impressed. The gfx looked old, the adventuring was typical. Dumb AI, repetitive and slow action. It had some unique mechanics, but it just wasnt fun.

  • VikingGamerVikingGamer Nowhere, TXPosts: 1,347Member Uncommon

    The game is great. The world is huge and feels very real and explorable. It is grouping oriented and has a harder edge to it, much like L2. While it is best played in group, the game is still mostly soloable and most classes can solo though some are faster at killing than others. Warriors and Rogues probably have the toughest time soloing. There are lots of unusual classes and lots of interesting races to explore. Diplomacy isn't simply a mini game added to the main but a whole different way of "attacking" the world.

    My only complaint is that the game lacks people playing it though many have been coming into the game recently because of the new push of bugfix updates and the promise of content updates. I hate the idea of Vang going free to play but that may be the best way to boost the population back to a healthy level. This seems like the likely path though for Vang since SOE is big on the F2P now and they have recently show renewed interest in the game and have assigned developers to the project again.

    For this reason I think Vanguard has a promising future as an F2P or nearF2P.

    As for graphics, Vanguard was way ahead of its time on some things. Only now are the most current crop of games passing it. But some things are lacking. Textures and shadowing could do with some updates. Also the character animations are primitive and the models are blocky by curent standards.  Also the graphics could use some optimization for new hardware. Overall the graphics are still very good but could use some work in places.

    All die, so die well.

  • KothosesKothoses GalwayPosts: 760Member Uncommon

    "its clear SOE love this game" at that point I found it very very difficult to take your review as an objective one I am afraid.

     

    SOE love EQ 2, beyond that, no.... they dont "love" their games, they are slowly slowly changing in attitudes towards their games but it is a very gradual change and they have yet to come up with anything but talk about Vanguard so a renaissance review is a little premature.

     

    Still atleast it plays to the audience you have here, which is basically where the Vanguard fans come to nest.

    Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.

  • HyrimHyrim VenicePosts: 22Member

    I just wish to add a point to this very good review, aimed at those who may be interested in trying Vanguard.

     

    As for the general levelling experience, I just want to point out that Vanguard is deeply different from more recent MMORPGs.

    There is no endgame in the current meaning we got to know recently.

    There's no such thing as rushing to the level cap in order to experience the "real" game (WoW, Rift), the levelling experience is the game.

    The review didn't mention that the game features dozens of dungeons, and that the vast majority of them could take hours just to explore.

    To give you an idea of the vastity of the group PVE content, I have maxed three characters to max level, and I have never repeated a single dungeon or haven't quested in the same zone twice (except from hunter's league, which gives a very nice armor set :P).

    And all these dungeons are spread across all levels, because in Vanguard I think the goal is having fun while you play, and not play to have fun some day when you're all maxed out.

    I'm currently playing with a dedicated group of friends and, I must say, we're all just having a lot of fun.

     

  • aithieelaithieel WroclawPosts: 232Member

    Diplomation always was great feature of the game.

    image

  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHPosts: 1,184Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Hyrim

    I'm currently playing with a dedicated group of friends and, I must say, we're all just having a lot of fun.

    From what I hear this is the best way, if not the only way to play this game anymore. It's tempting in this respect. If VG ever goes F2P with cash shop they probably could make more money off group oriented, friends leveling together types of things like summoning scrolls, group bonuses (dmg, exp, regen), group mobility (mounts or whatever), or anything else around this concept. It's still gotta be one of the best group-oriented games out there with EQ.  

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

  • gavvinggavving Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 51Member

    I've tried this game as well and played it for a few months.  I was pleasantly suprised.  It is old-school in some ways, but has some character classes and mechanics that you just dont find anywhere else.  It's nice to go into an oldschool type open world with flying mounts and non-zoned dungeons. 

    It should be noted that the 50+ game is completely different than the game 1-50.   The 1-50 game shines with some great content and promise.  The 50+ game is reportedly a complete grind fest.   But there's no reason why you have to play 50+...

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 1,556Member Uncommon
    I really enjoy vanguard. However, i would warn ithose looking for instant flashy action to probably look elsewhere. Not sure why some are talking down about the graphics. I find the enviroment gfx to be quite good. The biggest downside i see are the quests dull at best. Highly recommended to pve fans looking for a massive open world to explore.
  • InktomiInktomi merrick, NYPosts: 663Member

    If you’re only interested in vertical progression, or taking your character to the level cap and then raiding or doing PvP, it’ll take you a good long while to reach level 55, but you won’t have much to do after that.  As we’ve mentioned, there are several dungeons and raids, but not much to do for hardcore raiders and really nothing at all for PvPers.

    The article is a good read, but I wanted to weigh in on a little of what you wrote up there. How can someone justify a 8/10 score with that comment following? Nothing to do for pvp is not good for longevity, what I got from that comment was, "You can grind until cap, then start a new character and grind until cap, because there is really no endgame content (and no one to do it with.)"

    I gave Vanguard a month and 2 weeks of time to enthrall me and it had a real problem in keeping my interest. My problem wasn't the graphics, I can get over the fact it is really outdated. What I wasn't happy with was the outdated mechanics and the lacking of current MMORPG tools that are being built in to most of the newer games.

    If I may recommend a better game that a person would get more of their moneys worth if they are looking for a Wow-like game with decent pve and pvp, would be Rift. Yes, Rft has its issues, but the game is more up to date than Vanguard, has the full support of the developers and warrants your subscription.

  • ElidienElidien Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,058Member

    Originally posted by Hyrim

    And all these dungeons are spread across all levels, because in Vanguard I think the goal is having fun while you play, and not play to have fun some day when you're all maxed out.

    I'm currently playing with a dedicated group of friends and, I must say, we're all just having a lot of fun.

    This is how I approach all games regardless of it being Vanguard, AOC, WOW, etc... Have fun while you play and don't worry about the end-game. I recently returned to an MMO that everyone says is only endgame focused and I am having a blast leveling. And by the way, this is where I think Mythic messed up with DAOC - all the focus was on the RVR endgame and they ignored the PVE leveling experience.

    And any MMO is better when it is experienced with a group of friends. Vanguard moreso since so much does require a group.

    I wish more people approached MMO's as you do.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    Originally posted by Inktomi



    If you’re only interested in vertical progression, or taking your character to the level cap and then raiding or doing PvP, it’ll take you a good long while to reach level 55, but you won’t have much to do after that.  As we’ve mentioned, there are several dungeons and raids, but not much to do for hardcore raiders and really nothing at all for PvPers.

    The article is a good read, but I wanted to weigh in on a little of what you wrote up there. How can someone justify a 8/10 score with that comment following? Nothing to do for pvp is not good for longevity, what I got from that comment was, "You can grind until cap, then start a new character and grind until cap, because there is really no endgame content (and no one to do it with.)"

    I gave Vanguard a month and 2 weeks of time to enthrall me and it had a real problem in keeping my interest. My problem wasn't the graphics, I can get over the fact it is really outdated. What I wasn't happy with was the outdated mechanics and the lacking of current MMORPG tools that are being built in to most of the newer games.

    If I may recommend a better game that a person would get more of their moneys worth if they are looking for a Wow-like game with decent pve and pvp, would be Rift. Yes, Rft has its issues, but the game is more up to date than Vanguard, has the full support of the developers and warrants your subscription.


     

    for someone who gave it a month and a half it appears you never really came to understand the basis of the is *not* grind to cap then the game begins. while someone can do either with any game, Vanguard is terrific because it encourages slow, long play, enjoy while you play, not enjoy only once youre done grinding.

    those kinds of games rule the market right now. which is fine, people seem to enjoy them.

    and clearly no game w/o pvp can have longevity, i mean look at FFXI ... oh wait.

    and i wholeheartedly support your reccomendation that folks looking for a WoW experience, look elsewhere, particularly at Rift. you'll find Rift to be a great game for you. and you'll stay away from crying about Vanguard not being what you were looking for ~ a grindtocapandthenthefunbegins kind of game.

    i play Vanguard because my ideas of fun do not include waiting in queues to grind the same battlefield over and over, or pugging the same raid over and over, hoping to gahd someone doesn't act like a complete jerkoff and ruin the run. because if we kick them, we then have to wait even longer for someone to fill the whole they left.

    as for the graphics the only thing i hear ingame is people being amazed. i dont know what youre settings were at or what youre standards are but seeing as most forums are mostly for complainers, i'm sure youll agree having played WoW and Rift as i have, its unusual that no one says this.

    either there is a gfx hard/software issue going on here or what would be even more fascinating for me a psychological mindset that attributes certain turns of movement, or curves of features which alerts someone to say, OMG that sux! or OMG thats awesome!

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    and geez, maybe someday i'll learn how to type in proper English ... =)

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

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