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Vanguard, and other Failed MMO Launches - some insight

ElmorenElmoren Warhammer Online CorrespondentDenville, NJPosts: 110Member Common

Copied and pasted from my blog, which is receiving daily updates and covers everything from game reviews to general MMORPG and digital entertainment topics. 

Feel free to review leave feedback here, or on my site

 


Vanguard and the Road to Recovery


 

I feel like the title of this one is a bit misleading.  For anyone who was a part of the MMO scene in 2007 when Vanguard Launched, I'm sure you're already conjuring images of the absolute insanity that was the launch of this exceptionally high potential MMO.  For those that weren't, allow me to recap:



Vanguard had been publicized for years as generally awesome.  It filled a niche market - somewhere between hardcore gamer and casual MMO enthusiast, and offered multiple paths of character development incorporated with unique racial choices, innovative (for the time) spell and class selections, and unicorns.  What was eventually delivered was a buggy mess, quickly earning the game the nickname of Vanguard:  Saga of Crashes (It's actual title was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes).



As a result of the poorly optimized graphical engine, MANY (probably 95%) of the users experienced problems with their systems and the display of the game.  Most grew frustrated, but being a proud group of people, we played with our settings, downloaded and re-downloaded drivers, and tried to tough it out.  Most of us were unsuccessful in doing so for more then a few weeks.  Other frustrating elements existed, server downtime, odd NPC behavior, quests and crafting not working as intended (or at all), some stats not working, or being reflected.  The list goes on and on.  Murphy's Law states; "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."  With that in mind, I classify Vanguard as having a Murphy's Launch. 



As a result of Murphy's Launch, the game began to hemorrhage players immediately, and in doing so became part of the ever-growing club of video games launched by production companies far earlier then they should have been launched.



One might be asking how this happens so frequently.  Vanguard, while an infamous example, is far from alone in experiencing this.  The market is literally flooded with rushed titles these days - some have SOMEWHAT recovered from their poor launch - Age of Conan comes to mind.  Note the word 'somewhat' before recovered; the game will almost certainly never be what it could have been had they waited 6 months more to release it and actually delivered on what they promised.  Or at least what was printed on the box.



So why do games get released early.  As you can probably imagine - software development has a budget.  Failure to meet that budget usually falls into one of the following categories:



-Failure to correctly obtain a level of effort (time estimate) on how long all the parts of the development process will take.

-Failure to account for the potential (and certain) problems you will encounter during software development.

-Poor Project Management

-Inexperienced personnel attempting to 'be the hero' and take on an extensive task in an unreasonable time period.  This forces them to either learn at a rapid rate and attempt to wing it, or to rush (or both), which generally leads to disaster.

-Inadequate QA throughout the development process, resulting in a lot of people saying "Oh shit" when launch time comes around and there are for more bugs in the software then are feasibly manageable.



So much can go wrong with software development, as the above is really just a small subset of potential mishaps, but I'd generally commit to nearly 100% of the rushed-launch games that we're seeing went over budget as a result of the above and needed to be rushed out the door to compensate.



So where does Vanguard go from here?  A patch with some additional content was announced recently.  It doesn't seem like much - but it shows development effort in a game that hasn't seen a major update since January of 2010.  It's a good sign - pending the community responds accordingly.



You see, while Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) gives us an inch, they take a yard.  Vanguard currently has no way for returning players to hop back into the game unless they pay the monthly fee (~$14 if I remember correctly).  That hurts everyone, especially SOE - but they probably figure that that people that re-subscribe to check out the game will provide more funds then those that'll re-subscribe after a free trial.  I disagree in the long run, but in the end, they run a business, and have to do what's been best for them, historically.



What it really comes down to is the success of this patch.  If the community responds well, they might start sparsely supporting it.  If not, Vanguard will probably be shut down, and or made free to play.  Both are good possibilities.  Free to play might be the best thing for the game - but they've already stated adding an item shop into the game will be very difficult and time consuming.  It's more then likely that if the community remains sparse, and the game stays unpopulated, that we'll see Vanguard shut down by this time next year.



In the end, game publishers care about one thing.  It's not whether you like the game, hate the game, enjoy grinding, enjoy groups, enjoy instancing, PVP, PVE, raiding, or crafting.  It's whether or not you're paying for it.  I can't imagine many people are paying for Vanguard lately (forums more or less confirm that suspicion).  Which leads to my prediction that despite its diehard and loyal community, Vanguard probably won't see another Thanksgiving.  Which is a shame.



Vanguard, despite all it's past faults and a poor launch, is still nothing short of a great game.

“The contents of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com and its management.”

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Comments

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,933Member Uncommon

    Good read

     

    What would you guess the community's reaction be if SOE didnt shut the game down but but sold it instead.

     

    Pure conjecture of coarse... but on the same hand Microsoft sold theyre flightsimulator code and copyrights to Locheed Martin. Who are finally investing and making the product into what it should have been.

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

  • ElmorenElmoren Warhammer Online Correspondent Denville, NJPosts: 110Member Common

    Thanks! 

    If they sold it to the right, ambitions and well funded company - I'd say that's almost as much of a win/win as the game going free to play.  That company needs to be both experienced and well funded, as handing over a fully functional game is no joke - especially one like Vanguard which was developed by one studio, and subsequently taken over by another.  It's now a much more complicated code base with a steeper learning curve as a result.

    “The contents of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com and its management.”

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,933Member Uncommon

    I cant forsee Vanguard just flat outright dying. I believe it will survive one way or another, even if its only on private server's. It also dosnt have a huge costly IP ala SWG. I believe if SOE had it in theyre plans to close the game down, they would sell it if someone were to come up with a meaningful offer.

     

    It has quite the foundation to build on.

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

  • ElmorenElmoren Warhammer Online Correspondent Denville, NJPosts: 110Member Common

    Agreed, the lack of IP is definitely something that's helping it's survival. 

    Planning to go more into the F2P versus Subscription model, and talk specifically to Vanguard and it's future in an update later this week.  If you've got the time, check back on my blog every once in awhile for updates about topics just like this one.  Should be interesting to see where Vanguard goes - like you, I hope it doesn't die outright.  But I just don't see it getting anywhere meaningfully after such a pitiful launch and the stigma now associated with it.  That's just the times we live in.

    Let's pray I'm wrong, for Vanguard's sake.

    The (shameless) plug to my own blog is http://balance-reviews.blogspot.com/  Hope you enjoy.

    “The contents of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com and its management.”

  • NethermancerNethermancer Toronto, ONPosts: 520Member

    I was hoping Gamers First would be a good home for all these failed MMO's. But after playing F2P Fallen Earth i see them as a very poor company so i dont know who would buy Vangaurd and make it great again.

     

    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.

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,933Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Nethermancer

    I was hoping Gamers First would be a good home for all these failed MMO's. But after playing F2P Fallen Earth i see them as a very poor company so i dont know who would buy Vangaurd and make it great again.

     

    It would all depend on wether SOE would be willing to sell it and what the pricetag would be. A handfull of talented  developer's could make a handsome living off of it.

    20,000 subscribers would equate to $300,000 a month in sales. I'm a 1/4 partner in a small business with 32 employee's, alot of them tradesmen. We average $350-$400,000 a month in sales. We use alot of raw materials and I make quite a handsome living from it.

     

    I would personally consider investing a significant amount of capital in such a venture.

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

  • SuperXero89SuperXero89 Amory, MSPosts: 2,544Member Uncommon

    I don't think Vanguard was rushed.  I mean, they'd been working on that game in some fashion since basically when McQuaid left SOE.  The problem is they tried to do too much with too little.  They didn't have the means to create a game as large in scope as Vanguard and it showed when the game finally released a buggy, unoptimized mess, but holy crap did it ever have plenty of content and explorable land.

    Trion Worlds, as much as I dislike a lot about their game, played it safe with Rift.  They released a perfectly functional albeit highly generic relatively small MMORPG.  They are currently building on Rift's solid foundation when a hefty amount of regular content updates rather than trying to build everything at the same time.

  • TealaTeala SomewherePosts: 7,430Member Uncommon

    The story that is Vanguard is littered with tales of woe.  :(

    image
  • csthaocsthao Saint Paul, MNPosts: 1,111Member

    They used to give out a free month of gameplay for anyone who used to play. They did this 3 or 4 times, got me hooked on it again and eventually got me subscribed for a few months at a time. This would probably be the best way for SoE to bring back players.

    I think the best way for them to get players (and new) is to do it once more. Give a free month of gameplay upon the release of the new content. I enjoyed coming back to playing when they did the christmas event when Randolph was first introduced. Then another time for the anniversary, might have been the second or third year. The gifts you recieved was very nice. Enjoyed it while it lasted. I would definitely play again and maybe even subscribe again (after the free month) if they gave out the free month.

  • sephersepher Atlanta, GAPosts: 3,561Member

    "Vanguard, despite all it's past faults and a poor launch, is still nothing short of a great game."

    And that's why Vanguard never did become anything great. In beta and launch it was always called 'great' when it wasn't. 

    It's astonishing how to this day the vocal Vanguard enthusiasts blame everything under the moon for Vanguard failing other than the fact it was a shitty game.

    The truth of the matter is 'early release' doesn't matter (Vanguard had 5 years and tens of millions of dollars, that's not an early release), a buggy release doesn't matter. If a game is fun enough, players will play through any bugs. World of Warcraft is testament to this given the first few days everyone was freezing completely if they dared loot a kill, only to relog and deal with ridiculously long queues. Vanguard at launch didn't have a problem nearly as widespread and crippling as those. 

    The reason why WoW went on to gain millions of subscribers and Vanguard tanked is because WoW was fun for most of the people that bought it and Vanguard sucked for most people that bought it. It's as simple as that. It has jack to do with Microsoft or Smedley or the medicine cabinet at Sigil or all the other crap that's gotten flung around other than admission that the game -sucked- to all but a few people that tried it.

    200,000 boxes of Vanguard was sold at launch. Of those 200,000 purchases each had at least 1 trial key, a lot of them had 5 trial keys via the guild edition. There was a lot of hype and interest in Vanguard and a lot of people on boards like this asking for trial keys. It's reasonable to believe at the very least 400,000 people tried Vanguard in its first couple of months, if not double that. Almost immediately the number of people that tried Vanguard dropped to 10% of that, now its more like 1% of that, if not 0.1% of the people who've ever tried it. 

    If during beta, and the short time after launch when there were enough developers left to actually improve the game, Vanguard's diehards were as ardently supportive of the honest critiques about what could make the game better from people that didn't like the game instead of telling them to "go back to WoW", the game would've actually improved and that huge initial amount of players wouldn't have gone back to WoW so quickly. 

    Another thing. Smedley and SOE didn't destroy Vanguard, they saved it. The servers are plugged in because they say so. Stop with the crap about "SOE should sell Vanguard". Who in their right mind would buy it? Isn't the point of launching and maintaining an MMO is to have a successful one? As aforementioned, Vanguard has already failed to keep all except 1% or less of everyone that ever tried it. No one buys a failed product in an industry where already all but one lacks any kind of remarkable success.  

    McQuaid created a shitty game. The community zealously guarded the shitty aspects of it as "features" because McQuaid said they were. My favorites are: 



    • 'Chunking', i.e. a world record amount of zoning in an MMO, all without the courtesy of a load screen


    • '19 races', i.e. 19 half-assed uninspired bonus templates I doubt even the most zealous Vanguard player can name all of without googling. 


    • '15 races', i.e. 15 half-assed classes with laughable spell and combat animations that pales in comparison to MMOs as old as DAoC.


    Long diatribe short, no one ruined Vanguard except those that refuse to believe Vanguard was and still is anything more than a shitty game, and whoever called the shots at Sigil to actually listen to them. 


     


    It's far too late now but the first step to fix a shitty game is to admit its shitty. Or, you know, go back to believing Vanguard is the best MMO ever made and SOE is the devil thats killing it and should sell Vanguard to a fairy developer that'd want it. 

  • allegriaallegria San Francisco, CAPosts: 682Member

    Originally posted by sepher

    "Vanguard, despite all it's past faults and a poor launch, is still nothing short of a great game."

    And that's why Vanguard never did become anything great. In beta and launch it was always called 'great' when it wasn't. 

    It's astonishing how to this day the vocal Vanguard enthusiasts blame everything under the moon for Vanguard failing other than the fact it was a shitty game.

    The truth of the matter is 'early release' doesn't matter (Vanguard had 5 years and tens of millions of dollars, that's not an early release), a buggy release doesn't matter. If a game is fun enough, players will play through any bugs. World of Warcraft is testament to this given the first few days everyone was freezing completely if they dared loot a kill, only to relog and deal with ridiculously long queues. Vanguard at launch didn't have a problem nearly as widespread and crippling as those. 

    The reason why WoW went on to gain millions of subscribers and Vanguard tanked is because WoW was fun for most of the people that bought it and Vanguard sucked for most people that bought it. It's as simple as that. It has jack to do with Microsoft or Smedley or the medicine cabinet at Sigil or all the other crap that's gotten flung around other than admission that the game -sucked- to all but a few people that tried it.

    200,000 boxes of Vanguard was sold at launch. Of those 200,000 purchases each had at least 1 trial key, a lot of them had 5 trial keys via the guild edition. There was a lot of hype and interest in Vanguard and a lot of people on boards like this asking for trial keys. It's reasonable to believe at the very least 400,000 people tried Vanguard in its first couple of months, if not double that. Almost immediately the number of people that tried Vanguard dropped to 10% of that, now its more like 1% of that, if not 0.1% of the people who've ever tried it. 

    If during beta, and the short time after launch when there were enough developers left to actually improve the game, Vanguard's diehards were as ardently supportive of the honest critiques about what could make the game better from people that didn't like the game instead of telling them to "go back to WoW", the game would've actually improved and that huge initial amount of players wouldn't have gone back to WoW so quickly. 

    Another thing. Smedley and SOE didn't destroy Vanguard, they saved it. The servers are plugged in because they say so. Stop with the crap about "SOE should sell Vanguard". Who in their right mind would buy it? Isn't the point of launching and maintaining an MMO is to have a successful one? As aforementioned, Vanguard has already failed to keep all except 1% or less of everyone that ever tried it. No one buys a failed product in an industry where already all but one lacks any kind of remarkable success.  

    McQuaid created a shitty game. The community zealously guarded the shitty aspects of it as "features" because McQuaid said they were. My favorites are: 



    • 'Chunking', i.e. a world record amount of zoning in an MMO, all without the courtesy of a load screen


    • '19 races', i.e. 19 half-assed uninspired bonus templates I doubt even the most zealous Vanguard player can name all of without googling. 


    • '15 races', i.e. 15 half-assed classes with laughable spell and combat animations that pales in comparison to MMOs as old as DAoC.


    Long diatribe short, no one ruined Vanguard except those that refuse to believe Vanguard was and still is anything more than a shitty game, and whoever called the shots at Sigil to actually listen to them. 


     


    It's far too late now but the first step to fix a shitty game is to admit its shitty. Or, you know, go back to believing Vanguard is the best MMO ever made and SOE is the devil thats killing it and should sell Vanguard to a fairy developer that'd want it. 

    There were bugs where people would:

     

    1. Lose tons of XP as Tombstones fall through the world.

    2. Lose leves due to 1

    4. Lose items - there were issues losing items

    5. Horrible coin exploits

    6. It took quite a computer to run it well.

    Most people didn't get far enough to evaluate the actual content, that is a fact.

  • sephersepher Atlanta, GAPosts: 3,561Member

    Originally posted by allegria

    There were bugs where people would:

     

    1. Lose tons of XP as Tombstones fall through the world.

    2. Lose leves due to 1

    4. Lose items - there were issues losing items

    5. Horrible coin exploits

    6. It took quite a computer to run it well.

    Most people didn't get far enough to evaluate the actual content, that is a fact.

    WoW had some bugs more severe than Vanguard, Vanguard had some bugs more severe than WoW. Both lacked proper PvP in the beginning, both lacked a lot of promised features in the beginning. To this day, WoW still doesn't have a lot of pre-release promises like housing that eventually even Vanguard got.

    The point is, "released too soon" doesn't have jack to do with why Vanguard shrunk as exponentially as WoW grew. Vanguard is a bad game and WoW is a good one.

    Even far beyond launch Vanguard -still- continued to not keep the people that tried it. When trial island released and was relatively busy years beyond any "released too soon', it STILL didn't keep anyone. Why? The game sucks! Even now Vanguard purists are complaining about measures SOE is taking to make the game more modern and less of a first-gen MMO. 

    Vanguard could've been something, but only if its supporters demanded from day one that Sigil drop the first-gen MMO crap and actually try to improve over WoW instead of promoting a lack of WoW's features as features. 

  • RazeronRazeron Goodsprings, NVPosts: 180Member

    The only thing VG got right was the world, lack of zone lines, terrain/sky graphics and the breast slider for maximum H-Cup goodness.

  • allegriaallegria San Francisco, CAPosts: 682Member

    Originally posted by sepher

    Originally posted by allegria

    There were bugs where people would:

     

    1. Lose tons of XP as Tombstones fall through the world.

    2. Lose leves due to 1

    4. Lose items - there were issues losing items

    5. Horrible coin exploits

    6. It took quite a computer to run it well.

    Most people didn't get far enough to evaluate the actual content, that is a fact.

    WoW had some bugs more severe than Vanguard, Vanguard had some bugs more severe than WoW. Both lacked proper PvP in the beginning, both lacked a lot of promised features in the beginning. To this day, WoW still doesn't have a lot of pre-release promises like housing that eventually even Vanguard got.

    The point is, "released too soon" doesn't have jack to do with why Vanguard shrunk as exponentially as WoW grew. Vanguard is a bad game and WoW is a good one.

    Even far beyond launch Vanguard -still- continued to not keep the people that tried it. When trial island released and was relatively busy years beyond any "released too soon', it STILL didn't keep anyone. Why? The game sucks! Even now Vanguard purists are complaining about measures SOE is taking to make the game more modern and less of a first-gen MMO. 

    Vanguard could've been something, but only if its supporters demanded from day one that Sigil drop the first-gen MMO crap and actually try to improve over WoW instead of promoting a lack of WoW's features as features. 

    i can't agree with you at all. Vanguard was really bad stability wise at release. Wow set marks in the industry for how stable it was at release. You seem to be comparing features here not stability. Wow was 1000000000X more stable than vanguard at release times for both on lower grade hardware.. it is not even close.

    This had nothing to do with features, the game just didn't run properly ( vanguard ). It was a mess and unplayable by many. In fact according to articles by developers most people quit vanguard before level 6. . . . 

    How that is seeing the content is beyond me . . .

  • sephersepher Atlanta, GAPosts: 3,561Member

    Originally posted by allegria

    Originally posted by sepher


    Originally posted by allegria

    There were bugs where people would:

     

    1. Lose tons of XP as Tombstones fall through the world.

    2. Lose leves due to 1

    4. Lose items - there were issues losing items

    5. Horrible coin exploits

    6. It took quite a computer to run it well.

    Most people didn't get far enough to evaluate the actual content, that is a fact.

    WoW had some bugs more severe than Vanguard, Vanguard had some bugs more severe than WoW. Both lacked proper PvP in the beginning, both lacked a lot of promised features in the beginning. To this day, WoW still doesn't have a lot of pre-release promises like housing that eventually even Vanguard got.

    The point is, "released too soon" doesn't have jack to do with why Vanguard shrunk as exponentially as WoW grew. Vanguard is a bad game and WoW is a good one.

    Even far beyond launch Vanguard -still- continued to not keep the people that tried it. When trial island released and was relatively busy years beyond any "released too soon', it STILL didn't keep anyone. Why? The game sucks! Even now Vanguard purists are complaining about measures SOE is taking to make the game more modern and less of a first-gen MMO. 

    Vanguard could've been something, but only if its supporters demanded from day one that Sigil drop the first-gen MMO crap and actually try to improve over WoW instead of promoting a lack of WoW's features as features. 

    i can't agree with you at all. Vanguard was really bad stability wise at release. Wow set marks in the industry for how stable it was at release. You seem to be comparing features here not stability. Wow was 1000000000X more stable than vanguard at release times for both on lower grade hardware.. it is not even close.

    This had nothing to do with features, the game just didn't run properly ( vanguard ). It was a mess and unplayable by many. In fact according to articles by developers most people quit vanguard before level 6. . . . 

    How that is seeing the content is beyond me . . .

    Because you've put it in your head that Vanguard had a worse launch than WoW. From some people's perspectives, it was in terms of bugs experienced and all. For a lot of people though, like myself, Vanguard's launch was much more stable than WoW. With WoW for the first week I'd loot, freeze, be forced to exit and then wait a ridiculous amount of time in queue before I could get in and do the same thing again...it took a week of wading through bugs, including fall through world bugs, to gain any kind of levels.

    Vanguard I was able to level up just fine. Few lost gravestones but that was something I was able to actually work around since I wasn't frozen, crashed or in queue. That's if I gave a shit that is. Same goes for everyone else that played, found the game shitty, and began quitting immediately.

    You're fixating at launch, but months after Vanguard's initial bugs were fixed it -still- didn't keep players. When it invited players back for free months, and I like a lot of others tried it out, it was -still- shitty. When the free trial came out it was STILL SHITTY. Exaggerate how bad the launch was you want, it still makes zero sense to blame an "early release" on people trying and still by and large refusing the game months and years after the fact.

    And of course people quit Vanguard before level 6. If level 1 is shitty why play to level 6? If spell effects and animations are laughable at level 1, if the zoning without the courtesy of a load screen is unbearable at level 1, if every other one of Vanguard's bad "features" or lackthereof sucked at level 1, exactly what's the point of grinding and suffering it all more? Levelling doesn't fix bad design decisions made by Sigil and encouraged by 1st gen MMO masochists. 

    Alas, go ahead believing "early release", SOE, Smedley, the recession, the need for GeForce 8000 or higher GPUs was or still is the reason Vanguard sucked. I think my theory of it was a shitty game that people didn't find fun so they quit makes a lot more sense. It's why I quit. 

    Vanguard has gotten better over time whenever developers dared earn the ire of the visionists by actually having Vanguard adopt good ideas from 2nd and 3rd gen MMOs. It'll be better after the next patch that strikes down some more 1st gen lack of features and courtesies. But its far too late to start thinking about bringing Vanguard up to part with MMOs released at the turn of the century when it needs to be something from this decade instead. 

  • allegriaallegria San Francisco, CAPosts: 682Member

    Originally posted by sepher

    Originally posted by allegria


    Originally posted by sepher


    Originally posted by allegria

    There were bugs where people would:

     

    1. Lose tons of XP as Tombstones fall through the world.

    2. Lose leves due to 1

    4. Lose items - there were issues losing items

    5. Horrible coin exploits

    6. It took quite a computer to run it well.

    Most people didn't get far enough to evaluate the actual content, that is a fact.

    WoW had some bugs more severe than Vanguard, Vanguard had some bugs more severe than WoW. Both lacked proper PvP in the beginning, both lacked a lot of promised features in the beginning. To this day, WoW still doesn't have a lot of pre-release promises like housing that eventually even Vanguard got.

    The point is, "released too soon" doesn't have jack to do with why Vanguard shrunk as exponentially as WoW grew. Vanguard is a bad game and WoW is a good one.

    Even far beyond launch Vanguard -still- continued to not keep the people that tried it. When trial island released and was relatively busy years beyond any "released too soon', it STILL didn't keep anyone. Why? The game sucks! Even now Vanguard purists are complaining about measures SOE is taking to make the game more modern and less of a first-gen MMO. 

    Vanguard could've been something, but only if its supporters demanded from day one that Sigil drop the first-gen MMO crap and actually try to improve over WoW instead of promoting a lack of WoW's features as features. 

    i can't agree with you at all. Vanguard was really bad stability wise at release. Wow set marks in the industry for how stable it was at release. You seem to be comparing features here not stability. Wow was 1000000000X more stable than vanguard at release times for both on lower grade hardware.. it is not even close.

    This had nothing to do with features, the game just didn't run properly ( vanguard ). It was a mess and unplayable by many. In fact according to articles by developers most people quit vanguard before level 6. . . . 

    How that is seeing the content is beyond me . . .

    Because you've put it in your head that Vanguard had a worse launch than WoW. From some people's perspectives, it was in terms of bugs experienced and all. For a lot of people though, like myself, Vanguard's launch was much more stable than WoW. With WoW for the first week I'd loot, freeze, be forced to exit and then wait a ridiculous amount of time in queue before I could get in and do the same thing again...it took a week of wading through bugs, including fall through world bugs, to gain any kind of levels.

    Vanguard I was able to level up just fine. Few lost gravestones but that was something I was able to actually work around since I wasn't frozen, crashed or in queue. That's if I gave a shit that is. Same goes for everyone else that played, found the game shitty, and began quitting immediately.

    You're fixating at launch, but months after Vanguard's initial bugs were fixed it -still- didn't keep players. When it invited players back for free months, and I like a lot of others tried it out, it was -still- shitty. When the free trial came out it was STILL SHITTY. Exaggerate how bad the launch was you want, it still makes zero sense to blame an "early release" on people trying and still by and large refusing the game months and years after the fact.

    And of course people quit Vanguard before level 6. If level 1 is shitty why play to level 6? If spell effects and animations are laughable at level 1, if the zoning without the courtesy of a load screen is unbearable at level 1, if every other one of Vanguard's bad "features" or lackthereof sucked at level 1, exactly what's the point of grinding and suffering it all more? Levelling doesn't fix bad design decisions made by Sigil and encouraged by 1st gen MMO masochists. 

    Alas, go ahead believing "early release", SOE, Smedley, the recession, the need for GeForce 8000 or higher GPUs was or still is the reason Vanguard sucked. I think my theory of it was a shitty game that people didn't find fun so they quit makes a lot more sense. It's why I quit. 

    Vanguard has gotten better over time whenever developers dared earn the ire of the visionists by actually having Vanguard adopt good ideas from 2nd and 3rd gen MMOs. It'll be better after the next patch that strikes down some more 1st gen lack of features and courtesies. But its far too late to start thinking about bringing Vanguard up to part with MMOs released at the turn of the century when it needs to be something from this decade instead. 

    It is very obvious that Vanguard even in current state, is not the game for you and would never have been. Just let it go its not for everyone. It is a niche game that did not even go after the same market WoW did.

    Some of us ( have about 6 characters in VG ) with quite a bit of /played time there did see some amazing things that sadly may never be in MMOs again.

    Everyone has their reasons for sticking with  / leaving games, I for one would tell you today or years ago, don't bother with Vanguard it is not your type of game. :)

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    I dont consider Vanguard a niche game ? Its very mainstream, with good support for soloing, grouping and raiding.

  • GreenHellGreenHell ludlow, MAPosts: 1,322Member Uncommon

    VG is very niche. It's a hybrid throw back to an earlier time in MMO development. I liked what the devs were trying to do with VG it was just far to large of an undertaking for Sigils limited budget.

  • sgelsgel HeraklionPosts: 1,081Member Uncommon

    I tried Vanguard a few months ago... it was by far the best mmo I've played this year.

    My only problem was the lack of other players... the US server had some people in the evenings.. but in general the population is quite low.

    Other than that the game is amazing fun. Highly recommended.

    Saddens me to see games like this slowly die when games like SWTOR will sell millions.

    People seem to prefer new+ generic gameplay than old + innovative gameplay.

    ..Cake..

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    Err ... the only thing thats "niche" about Vanguard is its low population.

    Otherwise it was developed as an AAA title and thats exactly how it plays: powerful interface, detailed character generation, high graphics quality, huge gameworld with massive quest content, highly detailed classes, excellent and challenging combat, complex and worthwhile crafting, etc.

    I dont know a single thing about Vanguard that is not mainstream in the best sense.

    The only thing really missing in this game is better PvP.

     

  • kevjardskevjards carlislePosts: 1,463Member

    thanks..fantastic read..i remember i could,nt get past lvl 3 unless i wanted to do random killings.all my quests were bugged,but has you say like conan ,vanguard turned out to be a fantastic game in the end.we could really do with someone other than SOE showing this game some much needed love..ty again for the great read m8.

  • allegriaallegria San Francisco, CAPosts: 682Member

    Originally posted by Adamantine

    Err ... the only thing thats "niche" about Vanguard is its low population.

    Otherwise it was developed as an AAA title and thats exactly how it plays: powerful interface, detailed character generation, high graphics quality, huge gameworld with massive quest content, highly detailed classes, excellent and challenging combat, complex and worthwhile crafting, etc.

    I dont know a single thing about Vanguard that is not mainstream in the best sense.

    The only thing really missing in this game is better PvP.

     

    My point on niche should have been:

     

    Traditional DIKU-World style MMO, not a action/MMO hybrid or full themepark. Since everything since has become more "themepark or action oriented" I would call it niche from that standpoint.

    And yes it annoys me that the gameplay of Vanguard seemingly is going away for a more console gaming experience.. :(

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    Okay, lets say it like this:

    Mainstream is to me:

    1. Easy accessibility, you can instantly play if you know this type of game and the interface is intuitive and powerful

    2. Easy play, there arent oddities or worse bugs in the game that make gaming very complicated

    3. Easy enjoyability, the efford to reward relation is obvious, again you only need to be a normal human to enjoy it

    A good example for a non-mainstream game was, for example, The Temple of Elemental Evil by Troika Games (R.I.P.):

    1. Very complicated rulesystem (a very faithfully implemented D&D 3.5), though obviously the same kind of rulesystem hasnt stopped Baldurs Gate, an otherwise very mainstream game, to be a huge success back when it was released.

    2. Very odd behavior in many often very central aspects (for example: The whole game was extremely buggy at release. The ingame party NPCs behaved so odd in multiple respects that it was more worthwhile to mostly avoid them. The levelup was completely hardcore D&D and required tons of rerolling. The waysearch routine was extremely awful and literally had bugs like: in an open field, you clicked to move the party to the east; but the party started running WEST. In larger battles, you often would accidentaly click on fallen opponents and the game would interpret that as moving to the opponent and looting them, even if that makes no sense in the first place and loses the action for the combat round of that character. There was no way to specify the target location of a NPC without looting, thus it wasnt possible at all to move the party NPCs to locations with fallen opponents. The game lacked the basic feature of knowledge skills to identify objects without expensive spells, meaning you had to blow a ton of money to identify magic objects of low value. There was a hardcore mode but it was braindead. The rules to roll a character have been quite odd).

    3. Very bad in respect to storytelling, the joy of the game was mainly in managing the hard battles.

    With this definition of mainstream, Vanguard is very mainstream.

     

  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member

    Yeah, I had a top of the line computer when Vanguard came out, so I didn't have nearly the problems that most did, and I didn't crash much or anything else...So I have never been that jaded about that part....Only when they said they were stopping pvp support, and the server died...Thats when I left.

     

    I loved Vanguard, but its been so long that they let it sit, I really have my sites on other games, if they really and truely had a real commitment to Vanguard, I would look at going back (have to look at whats changed since I left).  I am not saying they don't, but one update in years doesn't make me forget the years of none.

     

  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member

    Originally posted by Adamantine

    Err ... the only thing thats "niche" about Vanguard is its low population.

    Otherwise it was developed as an AAA title and thats exactly how it plays: powerful interface, detailed character generation, high graphics quality, huge gameworld with massive quest content, highly detailed classes, excellent and challenging combat, complex and worthwhile crafting, etc.

    I dont know a single thing about Vanguard that is not mainstream in the best sense.

    The only thing really missing in this game is better PvP.

     

     Well, the niche part was the slower experience that the game was supposed to have, which they sped up, and the crafting is also slower and more work than most themeparks...It was supposed to have more grind than most WoW+ themeparks had.

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