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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the wife and daughter. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

Baby got a New Axe

Posted by Hluill Tuesday March 1 2011 at 10:54AM
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Granted, if my DreadKnight was a real woman, she would beat the stuffing out of me for calling her "baby", but she'd have to admit that the axe is uber.   It has a higher damage rating then ultra-rare stuff, ten-levels higher.  It's also huge and ugly.

She got the axe because some upper-level caster helped her finish an elite quest.  Helped may be the wrong word.  All's my toon did was loot and turn in the quest.

The community in Vanguard rocks.  It is made up of a majority of people who love the game and go out of their way to share their love by helping and explaining and showing all the cool stuff that one can do in Vanguard.  I have been playing for over a year and try to do what I can for the newer players as well.

Most of the community will commonly chat about how Vanguard is the best game out there.  I agree.  But that doesn't make the game perfect.  The challenge and excitement of the game can quickly become soul-crushing frustration.  Too many games, in an effort to be more user-friendly or more inviting to casual players, have become solo-only treadmills, unless you can break into the endgame-raid click.  Veteran Vanguard players will bemoan the added fast-travel rifts as a compromise to easy mode.

I see their point.  Running around the vast, open spaces of Vanguard is a wonderful aspect of the game.  It definitely enriches the game experience.  But there are times when I get tired of holding down the forward button for hours at a time.

If there were actually developers working on the game, which I doubt, I would ask them a few questions: 

Why did you replace the ships with the rifts?  I think it would be so much better to maintain the ports, which still exist as ghost towns now, as travel hubs.

Why did you put the housing in such remote locations?  I would love to see the cities of Telon resemble real cities with outlying sprawls.  Having player housing surround places like Khal and Ahgram would also inject even more life into these well-rendered cities.  Having tier-one, shanty plots would be a great introduction to Vanguard's Player Housing.

Why can't I have an appearence slot for my weapon?  I have appearence slots for armor.  I want to strap a more intelligent-looking greatsword to my DreadKnight's back instead of that huge, goofy axe.  It seems to be the rule in MMOs that the more effective the weapon, the more silly its appearence.

Why is that tier-one, crafted greatsword only useable by a tier-two adventurer?  In most cases, I have little idea what an item is going to look like when I craft it.  My weaponsmith used one of his rares to upgrade his dagger.  It changed from a modest karambit pattern into some huge, serpentine-patterned thing.  Okay, my highest crafter only made it to twenty and I know I have a lot to figure out, but it hurts to have to expend rare resources doing it.  Crafting in Vanguard is as deep and challenging as adventuring, but the inconsistencies in appearence, effectiveness and even useable level of finished items is frustrating, if not just plain ridiculous.  But that's a rant for another day...

My final question for the absent developers  would be:  When are you going to spend anytime just fixing some bugs?  There are quests that have been broken since launch.  And then there are major graphical errors.  I want to wear my cloak ON TOP of my shirt, not half under it.  I want to see the floor in my guild hall.  I want to see the rain and not just hear it.

Maybe it's better that the game stays rough around the edges.  Maybe it's better that it only attracts those that want to spend hours holding down their move-forward key.  Maybe this is part of the marketing plan to corner the "old-schoolers" niche. 

It occured to me to draw on some reference to the "Velveteen Rabbit" (read the story, it's short and quick and touching).  It would be nice for Vanguard to get some developer love.  It's got something better and rarer, though, player love.

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