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[Column] Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Wayback Wednesday: Vanguard Saga of Heroes

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In our latest Wayback Wednesday, we take a look at perennial favorite, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. We've got a terrific in-game video, members of the dev team on hand and some thoughts about the game itself. Check it out and then tell us about your experiences with Vanguard in the comments.

We started the evening off talking about one of my favorite topics in MMORPGs: Crafting. While not entirely unique, Vanguard has a very robust crafting system. It is so in-depth that it is almost a game unto itself. There are multiple stages to crafting to Vanguard and at each stage you are provided an opportunity to increase the quality of your output. You harvest materials, refine the materials, and then finish your item. While you are adventuring through the world, you can have fellow adventurers assist you in harvesting a node and increase the amount of materials that you receive and increase the chance you will receive a high quality item. While you are forging your base materials to create a finished item you can add components that will add resists or stats to your items as well as increase the quality of the item. During the finishing process you will again be presented the opportunity to increase the quality of your output. 

Read more of Rob Lashley's Wayback Wednesday: Vanguard Saga of Heroes.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • nethervoidnethervoid xanex, CAPosts: 528Member

    Vanguard was / is a really awesome game. The world is truly immense, and my favorite part is some dungeons are really unknown to most people. They're way off the beaten path, and because there are far more dungeons than are needed for the 'level grind' you can almost always find a new one you haven't been to.

    I spent a lot of time tabulating a giant list of all the dungeons in the game, and there are something like 50 in total. Check that list out here if you're interested. The list also shows players exactly where to find the dungeon. http://dungeonguru.net/index.php?title=Category:Dungeons

    ... You know I might actually play this game again it's so good compared to newer games like Neverwinter. lol

    nethervoid - Est. '97
    [UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
    13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

  • Storm_CloudStorm_Cloud MalmoPosts: 369Member Uncommon

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    while im sure the filming software eats a lot of resources up, it would be great if either a higher end computer was used so that the graphics could be really shown off or a disclaimer made with each video.

    Vanguard looks far better than what has been presented here.

    "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

  • GrakulenGrakulen Staff Writer St. Charles, MOPosts: 460MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    The graphics are maxed out and the stream is at 1080p 30 FPS. It isn't the computer.
  • flizzerflizzer Manchester, NHPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon
    I'm so confused by this game. I remember trying it out more than a year ago and the problems then cut my playing short. I had heard it was on life support and all development had ceased; now I hear a major update is happening with the game. Are there plenty of people playing to run through those dungeons?   Or do the vets just play with each other?   I'm debating about trying to make a comeback.  How would it be for a relatively noob going through the Isle of Dawn?
  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member
    despite the never ending claims of growing population,performance improvements,bug fixes,new content,etc this game is still a train wreck near devoid of life. Down from 2 servers to one since ftp release tells you how big an impact ftp had on population. It is still a bug ridden mess and that isnt going to change due to limited "manpower". There is enough content to keep new players busy for quite a while but if you dont raid that pretty much ends at 50 as 51-55 is just a waste of time for non raiders.
  • ironhelixironhelix fairfield, OHPosts: 448Member
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    despite the never ending claims of growing population,performance improvements,bug fixes,new content,etc this game is still a train wreck near devoid of life. Down from 2 servers to one since ftp release tells you how big an impact ftp had on population. It is still a bug ridden mess and that isnt going to change due to limited "manpower". There is enough content to keep new players busy for quite a while but if you dont raid that pretty much ends at 50 as 51-55 is just a waste of time for non raiders.

    This guy speaks the truth. I'm not sure why there is such a big push to paint this game in an overwhelmingly positive light, but this game is not any better than it was a few months after launch. It has it's good points, but performance is garbage on an i7 with a 660ti. Given the leaps in technology since it launched, it should pretty much run on an iPhone at this point. This tells me that the programming is terribly flawed, and let's not forget that there is almost NO development team. Game is dead. Move on.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    The people that act like SoE didnt put forth a pretty big effort are either liars or ignorant of history.  Considering by the time they acquired it the game had under 50k players and how vastly improved it was (plus end game content added) 18 months later blame cant be put on SoE for this.  Sigils pathetic coders and the players who abandoned the game long before SoE did are the real culprits.

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    The people that act like SoE didnt put forth a pretty big effort are either liars or ignorant of history.  Considering by the time they acquired it the game had under 50k players and how vastly improved it was (plus end game content added) 18 months later blame cant be put on SoE for this.  Sigils pathetic coders and the players who abandoned the game long before SoE did are the real culprits.

    [mod edit]No one forced $oe to take over from microsoft nor to buyout sigil. They took responsibility by forcing sigil to release early and then taking over the game entirely. It was 100% their responsibility to do the due diligence required to know if the game was worth investment and/or buying. It is 100% their fault for the current state of the game 6 years after release, to suggest otherwise is moronic.

  • JimmyYOJimmyYO Columbus, OHPosts: 520Member

    SoE put this game on autopilot. Brad McQuaid came back only to realize the game was unfixable shortly after and instead moved to EQ1.....EQ1!!!! If that doesn't tell you this game is far beyond dead nothing will.

    It deserves it's stellar 6.5 rating and will forever be a gleaming example of what not-to-do in the MMO hall of shame.

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    This game was a busted game when it was released.  It was about as bad as SWG was, but the difference was that SOE always had SWG so they knew it inside and out.

     

    When they got their hands on Vanguard, there were things that made them scratch their head.  I remember when they changed the graphical wire mesh of the characters.  They had to throw out what the original designers put in simply because it was such a hog on resources and slowed the game down.  That took a lot of time and money.  There were other problems inherent with the code that could not be fixed.  The game still has a ridiculously short draw distance for objects, so they pop into view when you are really close by making the game just look bad.  Don't forget the bizarre "chunking" of the smaller squares of the zone.  That could not be fixed as well.

     

    Those are just two of the myriad of problems that game had on just a technical level.  When you got to gameplay, they had to fix a lot of things that were flat out broken.  Not just quests and such, but entire skill sets AND they had to try to balance them.  Then they had to redo a lot of the loot, as well as put IN stuff like mounts and housing all in a timely manner.....for a game that no one played.

     

    And no one plays it to this very day.  They tried to take it F2P, put in a starter island thing like and tried to "EQ" it up.....still no one played it.

     

    Vanguard became a junior designer game.  Developers that needed some experience were put on this game, so they could grow and eventually move on to the real SOE projects.

     

    SOE has done some crappy things in their past, but they actually tried to make Vanguard a success but too many people left with such a bad taste in their mouth that no amount of fixing could bring them back to the game.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by finnmacool1
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    The people that act like SoE didnt put forth a pretty big effort are either liars or ignorant of history.  Considering by the time they acquired it the game had under 50k players and how vastly improved it was (plus end game content added) 18 months later blame cant be put on SoE for this.  Sigils pathetic coders and the players who abandoned the game long before SoE did are the real culprits.

    Im sorry but blaming players for not supporting a subpar game with a  AAA sub price is retarded. No one forced $oe to take over from microsoft nor to buyout sigil. They took responsibility by forcing sigil to release early and then taking over the game entirely. It was 100% their responsibility to do the due diligence required to know if the game was worth investment and/or buying. It is 100% their fault for the current state of the game 6 years after release, to suggest otherwise is moronic.

    They didnt force sigil to release early.  Sigil was out of money.  Its not the publisher's responsibility to finance a game.

    The only reason Vanguard even exists is because of SoE.  It was an awful investment, but it was also throwing the guy that made them big a bone.  they lost millions of dollars trying to polish a turd, but Brad had made them millions more in the past.

    But blaming a company for halting development after 18 months on a  game with 20k players by that point is pure stupidity.  SoE has *none* of the blame for Vanguard.  Zero.  Its not dead because they stopped supporting it, it was dead *LONG* before they stopped supporting it.  Sigil just sucked, horribly.  

  • marganculosmarganculos BrnoPosts: 190Member Uncommon
    vanguard WAS such great game... R.I.P....
  • protodoxaprotodoxa Seattle, WAPosts: 14Member

    I am playing this now on a laptop that struggles to run many games, and Vanguard runs pretty well on it without a lot of tinkering (I would actually like to scale the ui to a lower resolution, to get bit more fps, but i'm fine at my desktop resolution with shadows off and a couple of bells and whistles muted). Honestly, it's much much better than it used to be, where it would crash randomly and on this same laptop would be an unplayable sideshow. So, in my opinion game is going good in the performance department. Now, if I had a beast of a machine, and it still ran like it does now, I would be critical too, so there's that.

     

    The rest of the game has a lot of brilliant immersive qualities to it and challenging combat that does often necessitate grouping. It seems that there is a bit of a population now. I wouldn't say it was a humongous population, but I see people running around almost all the time, and although I just started again, I've joined a few groups. I am not sure how good the community is  or anything, but I've not seen any assholery in chat and grouping has been generally pleasant.

     

    There are flaws, yes. Object loading in the distance is of the popping variety that can be distracting, some ui elements are confusing, character models are weirdly ugly, animations are generally stiff. And there are lockboxes.

     

    Still, it's a good game, and this from someone who stopped playing three times out of frustration.

     

     
  • Moridin82Moridin82 KristiansandPosts: 101Member Uncommon
    Give me a pm if anyone gona start again maybe i do the same. just dont want play alone hehe.
     
  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    went back a few months ago to try this out again and there was enough people active to play through all the lower end content..

     

    With all the graphics maxed out it actually looks pretty decent as well.. sure its no age of Conan but its still up there with some of the recently released games..

     

    Anyway I might spend a bit more time playing this.

  • ShadanwolfShadanwolf Posts: 2,114Member Uncommon
    I just wish there was faction vs action conflict.Pve with nice crafting just doesn't satisfy me for an extended period.
  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    They spent a couple of months not implementing the right features like the PvP system or the naval combat system, and getting rid of key pieces of the game. They mismanaged it and drove off the population.

  • f0dell54f0dell54 Des Moines, IAPosts: 329Member Common
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    They spent a couple of months not implementing the right features like the PvP system or the naval combat system, and getting rid of key pieces of the game. They mismanaged it and drove off the population.

    Why would they try to implement new features when the features the game had didn't work. If anything drove the population a way it was the slow response to fixing bugs.

     

    Falling to death whenever you're on a flying mount and you hit a chunk line is only fun for so long.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by f0dell54
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by strangiato2112
    Originally posted by Storm_Cloud

    Vanguard to me is what I always saw as what should have been EQ2. It's a shame it got so neglected as it did because I think this game would have been nr 1, easily,  if it had been shown a lot of love from the beginning when SOE bought it.

    I'm about to start playing again myself. Starting fresh. (It's been a long time)

    I assume you mean it got neglected by the players, because it most definitely did NOT get neglected by SoE after they acquired it.  They spent 18 months or so trying to fix it before they threw in the towel.

    They spent a couple of months not implementing the right features like the PvP system or the naval combat system, and getting rid of key pieces of the game. They mismanaged it and drove off the population.

    Why would they try to implement new features when the features the game had didn't work. If anything drove the population a way it was the slow response to fixing bugs.

     

    Falling to death whenever you're on a flying mount and you hit a chunk line is only fun for so long.

    They were constantly fixing bugs as fast as they could. It was hard to do after SoE fired almost everyone who had a working knowledge of the game. Hard to complete a puzzle when some people left with the pieces.

    They were fixing bugs as fast as they could, but they were also trying to WoWify the game, and that drove off their core audience. Without that, the game had nothing.

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    They didn't have a core audience lol. That was kind of the problem. They had a lot of pissed of people who quit right away or read all the awful reviews/feedback and stayed away.

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

    It's just easier to blame SoE than to think "the little guy" could have possibly bitten off more than he could chew.

    Or to admit that without Smedley to kinda reel in that "visionary" Brad Mquaid and bring him down to earth EverQuest 1 might have ended up exactly how Vanguard launched. It takes more than just vision and grand ideas to make a successful product.

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  • vanguardian1vanguardian1 andebyPosts: 1Member

    Vanguard has gone down the path of pay2win with the introduction of the new marketplace(The marketplace allows you to trade ral money for in-game items or "services").

    Best in slot items are now available only through the use of store credit, and these items are also tradeable, making the aquisition of in-game currency very easy, if you're willing to pay real money for it.

    Furthermore, crafting has become pointless with the addition of the most sought after craftable items to the marketplace.

    Diplomacy is a simple grind, achievable with a G15 keyboard, and has not been worked on for years.

    Exploiting, botting, basically all forms of cheating, has become the norm, SOE has demonstrated time and again that they are unwilling to enforce any part of their so called "code of conduct".

    But the adventuring part is still good right? Wrong! Levels are now so easy to acquire that they lost all meaning, raiding has seen only a couple of new encounters during the past few years, all of which are buggy, laggy and poorly designed. The two new high level group areas are equally bugged, and offer little for the average end-game player. Gear acquisitions are equally pointless, as the marketplace items are far superior, and basically only requires you to open your wallet.

     

    My advice? Stay far away, the first impression might be good, but the game is rotten to the core, and you will end up leaving with a very bad taste in your mouth.

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