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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

So, who IS to blame for the recent Vanguard announcement?

Posted by beauturkey Tuesday December 22 2009 at 7:02PM
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In the recent announcement on the official Vanguard forums, Lead Developer Silius basically said "We are sorry, but no more new raid content, the world is going to end...blah blah..server merges.."

Of course, everyone is posting their usual.

And while I think most of my readers would know this already, let me explain to you where the blame rests. At least, of course, in my humble opinion. A quick short history, though, about my involvement with the game: I started hosting the Voyages of Vanguard podcast almost 2 years ago. I have posted about 4500 posts on the official forums. I was voted "Player of the Year" and have interviewed the development staff quite a few times. While I stopped doing a VG specific show/blog a long time ago, I have noticed that I am still one of the only bloggers/podcasters that still talks about the game with any positive light.

Are there other people in the community that shine positive light on the game? Of course. I just don't know of too many.They can talk about themselves on their blog.

This is not an attempt to say that I am "somebody", being that in this community there are no "anybodies" at all (the most famous representative of us is that girl from the Guild. C'mon bloggers.) but this is simply an attempt to point my finger squarely at certain members of the community and laugh. OK, wait, I mean to mock. OK OK I mean to blame. That's right, to blame.


First of all, I am aware of how SOE has ignored Vanguard. Well, how they have ignored it in some ways after sinking millions of dollars into it. They took a chance and it didn't grow out of being a small game. That's enough for any developer. But, SOE has allowed the servers to go on as well as the staff (although knocking them down to very small numbers) which, again, is enough. No re-announcements or re-releases would do much of anything. Even with a flood of new players, there is just a certain type of player that will stick around a game that has the issues, complexities and unique game-play that VG does.

Ryzom has the same issue. It's never going to be bigger than a few servers. But, the new developers seem to know this. So do the developers of Fallen Earth and Darkfall. But, that small physical size of their game does not stop them from working wonderfully with what they have. They are the types to grab the blank white box and to add a use for it everyday, while other developers take the blank white box, shrug and go "put some pencils in it I guess?"

VG needs to tighten up, be smaller. Thanks to SOE they are going to be that. While I would hate for anyone to lose their job, the game needs to be streamlined. And now, SOE has made sure that it does that or does the way of MxO or Tabula Rasa. For the record, I am in no way ignoring the fact that SOE does not want to do more with the game. I am simply acknowledging, without spite or malice, that they did many things for the game even if it isn't cool to say so.

And in those games where the developers acknowledge that growth is only going be so much, the community seems to pick up on the vibe. They seem to enjoy themselves a bit more. The Vanguard community, since the very beginning of my involvement, has for the most part been nothing but a bunch of whining, complaining and bitching sad-sack gamers that have done absolutely nothing for the game but log into it. Let me tell you this, and this holds true especially in this age of a million MMO's and a million choices: just logging in is not enough for smaller games. It is not. Throw on the constant whiny Emo posts that absolutely FILL the official forums (as well as sad forums like Silky Venom) and smirky developer jokes, and you have a community that (mostly, I am not talking about the amazing community members that there are. They know who they are.) does absolutely nothing in a situation that completely needs positive community representation.

I'm so sick of gamers that think that they are somehow entitled to their favorite type of game-play in their favorite game. Not only that, but I am so sick of theory-crafting Hardcore players that do nothing but suck the very life out of the game. I am so glad to see that Blizzard has (very wisely) decided to take the "hardcore" (meaning too much time spent in a video game to be healthy) out of their raids. I am in love with the fact that the days of "elite" attitudes (as though there is something to brag about spending 8 hours a night for 6 months in a game) are going..going...gone. May Blizzards example lead the way.

And let's hope that this recent announcement spells the end of these same attitudes in Vanguard. Let it get down to it's 2 servers (Fallen Earth is ONE. Two servers will be just fine for VG.) and let the dev staff stop working on content for level 55 plus. All the work taken to build, code and host a series of events as in Pantheon could easily fill out several incredible quest lines, some live events...hell, maybe a new Lore website?

I'm tired of the community (the bulk of, I should say) in VG thinking that since they pay 15 dollars a month that SOE is going to give them everything they want. If they wanted the game to succeed, they should have left the seclusion of the SAME RAID NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT and maybe, I don't know, spread the word a bit? Hosted a live event, host a blog or podcast...SOMETHING.

So yeh, I blame SOE. That's a given. But that's like blaming Target for wanting to sell designer sheets. It's what companies do, and SOE does other things that are freakin' brilliant.

But coming up very close behind is the blame for the members of the community that have literally done nothing but make smart ass remarks every time a dev posted, played a game that they bitched and moaned about instead of leaving, and been probably one of the sourest bunch of nerds I have ever come across. The recent announcement, and the eventual closing of VG can be squarely placed on the immature gamers that could not simply accept what many of us grown-ups learned long ago:

Sometimes, companies don't do exactly how you want them to. You either whine about it like a child, leave the products of the company behind, or accept it and try to make the situation better by shining light on the killer products that you DO enjoy.


Beau

Stevon writes:

Hmmm, no.   Your first mistake, SOE was the savior of this game and I for one can't blame them for letting it live on it's own after their most generous bailout.

I played the game from very early beta, played with a number of the Devs back then, and I can tell you the problem this game had... is them AND the original self styled ex-hardcore-eq groupies who pushed and pushed for a game based on their super-niche MMO play styles.   This game was doomed from day 1 and it's all due to those early days and a complete inability of the original crew to listen to reason who let a truckload of Blizzard hate and envy affect their judgement.


I have no sympathy.  I came back to Vanguard a while back to see what had changed (I was playing  EQ2 at the time - and still do) and it was embarrassing how poorly designed the game was.

Blame SOE???  Please, if it wasn't for SOE this game would have died a quiet death when Microsoft got smart and bailed not long after they sent in a crew of evaluators during beta... and saw the writing on the wall.

Tue Dec 22 2009 9:08PM Report
Mizzoufan writes:

great post

Tue Dec 22 2009 9:13PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 Stevon, maybe you missed this part:

 "Well, how they have ignored it in some ways after sinking millions of dollars into it. They took a chance and it didn't grow out of being a small game. That's enough for any developer."

 Beau

Tue Dec 22 2009 9:40PM Report
coldandnumb writes:

I definitely agree with all the points that the op makes here and I do agree with most of what Stevon said also. For me the worst part about my limited time in vanguard was the community I have never encountered such a bunch of elitest snobs in any other mmo that I have ever played. Always going on an on about how vanguard was "their" game. So that sort of attitude coupled with both a bad launch and lingering technical issues and broken gameplay mechanics is what train wrecked the game.

 I hope vanguard can hang on but if this announcement causes any large number of current players to bail out then I would say the plug will be pulled shortly which is really say as there are hardly any other games out there anymore that have the same sort of high fantasy deep questing gameplay.

Oh well back to eq2 for me then.

 

Thu Dec 24 2009 1:25PM Report
Amathe writes:

SOE doesn't see Vanguard in isolation, and never did. They have a package of games they market together and Vanguard fills a niche in that package. It's like the corkscrew in a Swiss army knife. Sure, you want one but there are 15 other blades and you are only going to focus on that corkscrew a little.

This game never properly filled a need for a broad enough, or targeted enough, playerbase to sustain it. Worse, the marketing of the game worked at cross purposes and alienated people. Hard core players railed that it wasn't hard enough, and casual players railed that it was too hard, until hardly anyone saw the game as something they wanted to try. That issue is inherant to every new game, to an extent, but it is the game company's responsibility to provide something enjoyable to enough people that will support the product, and then communicate their message in a consistent and persuasive way, neither of which ever happened for Vanguard. By the time SOE purchased it, the damage to the game's reputation was irreperable.

While there were many problems and blame to go around, in my opinion this game was DOA after Brad allowed, and contributed, to the game's narrow target market and oftentimes mean spirited reputation on the game's message boards, which went on for years prior to launch. Day after day, interested people would stop by and try to join the Vanguard discussion, and were promptly told they were casual noobs who should just go back to WoW. And so, they did.

 

Sun Dec 27 2009 12:41PM Report
patrikd23 writes:

I thought this game already was terminated atleast a year back, guess i was wrong

Sun Dec 27 2009 7:56PM Report
Torak writes:

I agree and disagree with you bea.

On one hand I think the size of the player base is directly reflected in the quality of the game. That's just how things work.

On the other hand, I think SOE only made a full hearted effort the first year and a half they owned the game. As usual, they seemed to have lost interest and focused on other things. SOE is notorious for putting its products on the back burner while it churns out another.

I also think they originally bought the game as a favor to Brad. I don't think they really wanted anything to do with it.

So they got tangled up in it, not didn't bare fruit so here you go.

My advice to players is to find a new home because this games clock is ticking. How long can it last on maintaince mode? Maybe a year or two at most.

Tue Dec 29 2009 1:07AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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