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.