Taken from www.angryguildleader.com :
Yes, you read right. I don't know if you live in a cave, but Vanguard: Saga of Heroes seems to be getting more fan-based press and attention than any other MMORPG at the moment. In fact, there are three games listed at Curse.com as the most popular. Yes, Vanguard has been one of these three lately. Ironic, since they recently shut down support for Vanguard on their site.
Those of you who read my blog know that I've never been a fan boy. Well, there's a first for everything. You may also have already read my blog concerning the fact that AOC might be the best thing to have ever happened to Vanguard. Well, I won't go into that again. Quite frankly, it is.
What I will go into is the fact that even I was skeptical about trying the game again. I was one of the bigger proponents of the game, and aside from all of the good that Brad McQuaid did, I wanted to string him up for the mismanagement of the game just as anyone else did.
There were a myriad of problems, and I do mean problems, and this gave the game a bad rap. Well, I'm here to tell you (and I'm putting not only my neck, but my rep on the line) this game is ready for release, and not only that, it's the best thing going at the moment. Yes, you read right.
Oh, there are still occasional bugs, still things that need to be worked out, but folks, AOC is more bug-ridden currently that Vanguard. Yes, you are still reading correctly. The game that caused you to change gender and have your head sticking out of your ass when you chunked is now shining brightly, and on the path to quite possibly having a beautiful future.
I've always been multi-MMO. I praise the good, and complain loudly about the rest. Times are a changin'. I don't think I have ever been so supportive of an MMO in the past. I am going to say this once, and you can heed my words, or you can keep paying $50 every three months to someone for the new flavor that starts to taste like shit in your mouth after the first 30 days of free playtime. Get Vanguard. I don't care how, just get it. Fry's still sells it, and I believe Direct to Drive does, as well. Not only that, there are a few sellers that are still pimping the $100 collector's edition on eBay for $9 or so sealed.
Again, get it. If you don't, you're going to be left in the dust, or be way behind the curve once the wave comes, and the ripples have already started. Stop it. No, I said stop it. Forget anything and everything you knew about Vanguard. Get the damn game.
This game is so sandbox, so open, and has so much potential, that with the game finally being ready to move forward, if you don't you are going to be left way behind. I have never seen so much potential in an MMO. From adding content of Lovecraftian elder creatures, to alien lifeforms, to dragons, to winter questing areas, and beyond, anything is possible. Okay, have you got the game yet? Arggg. Keep reading...
All of my officers and I decided to give Vanguard another shot with some trial keys, and within 3 days, we and most of the active members in the guild left AOC for the game. We didn't go back to our guild that was sitting in wow with 5 bank slots and plenty of junk, ready to raid. We didn't stay in the not-ready-for-prime-time AOC. We didn't go looking for something else. We played Vanguard, toyed with classes, crafted, did some diplomacy, and more importantly, went through some dungeon content, and we had the best time we've had in two years, in any game.
As this game has so much to offer, and we are having so much fun, this will probably be one of my longer posts in some time.
This isn't just a bunch of real-life friends who game on Friday nights who moved either. Many of these members are from my world kill guild, The Covenant, in Lotro. Some of them have been with me for a year and a half. Not only that, when some of the people from our guild heard we'd moved on and gotten together to some extent, they joined us, as well. We also picked up some fine people in AOC. Guys, we ALL went to Vanguard, and none of us could be happier. We aren't raiding (yet...), we aren't super uber. We're having fun! Wow, can you fathom that? An MMO that's offering fun for the monthly fee.
Before I even get into what has made this game fun, and the potential it has, let me say that the community is outstanding. Everyone is friendly, ready to help, and there are very few asshats. This doesn't mean with more subscriptions that asshats won't come, but hands down, this is by far the best community I have ever been involved in, when it comes to an MMO. The Gms and game staff are also steallar and bar none.
What makes Vanguard fun? I guess first of all, it's the classes. I came to learn, only just recently, that it's not the world, it's not the quests, the setting, etc., that make or break a game. It's the classes. The characters. Or, more to the point, the character in the classes.
I don't think I've had this much fun since WOW was released, when it comes to classes. I take that back, I had a good deal of fun with the classes in EQ2. That was one of the few things EQ2 got right, and did a far better job than everyone else. If you like WOW, if you like EQ2, especially if you liked EQ1, then you will like Vanguard. Again, I repeat myself, but I'm having the most fun I've had in years.
Rather than go into great detail, I will list the things that I believe contribute to Vanguard being a great game, and not only that, but being the best viable option to MMO fans in the current market. These are in no particular order.
1. It's fun. Plain and simple, the damn game is actually fun. The classes are fun to play, and there are quests everywhere. In fact there are too many quests.
2. The world is huge. This might be pre-BC, but the last quote was 3 times larger than WOW. This place is huge. There are people who have four to five level 50 characters, and they claim they still haven't seen all of the game. That is replay potential there, folks.
3. The world is beautiful and alive. It's not quite as pretty as AOC, but then again, AOC has no soul. Vanguard is still in the upper echelon of graphics (though they are still on an ever-ending quest to tweak the engine and one day give us anti-aliasing that doesn't tax the system too hard). The game can be simple in some moments, and breath-taking at others. But no matter how you slice it, this is a world, and it feels like one. And there's no instances!
4. There many races to choose from, unlike that other game recently released where you have the option of being a human, a human, and a human. Oh, and I forgot... a human.
5. Dungeons - OMG. If you like dungeon crawls, or instances in other games, you will be amazes at what's in Vanguard. We entered a small cave the other night just to do some "spider quests." This place went on forever, ended up being 15+ quests, and we STILL haven't seen the end of it. Every dungeon we've entered has been the same. They may start out looking small, but they branch off into different halls, corridors, etc. This game wasn't unfinished when it was released guys, just buggy. These places are enormous, and one helluva fun time.
6. Combat is fast, and a blast. This doesn't suffer the slow combat of Warhammer or Lotro. I would say it's damn near on par with WOW and EQ2 in regards to speed. And it's fun! Wow, can I say that an MMO is fun any more than I have? You guys who are used to me bitching must be amazed. I don't care what you read about combat in the past, or what you saw in beta. It's fast.
7. Comabt requires skill and crowd control! This might seem silly when compared to WOW or EQ, but AOC required very little. We came into Vanguard expecting little, and within the first few nights were developing group dynamics. One of my officers, Wizrobe, and I were just killing level 14 mobs one day, and we realized, wow, we have to use strategy. We were actually using fear, stuns, roots, dots, etc. Crowd Control! Something that was painfully missing from AOC.
8. Lots of classes to choose from. There are 15 different classes from the Typical Warrior all the way to the unique Blood Mage.
9. Diplomacy. 'Nuff said? In what other game can you control your character or guilds destiny by diplomacy. What is it? A neat little card game inside of the game which actually gains you xp, faction and other neat benefits. You even need one bad ass diplomacy master to be able to get your guild hall.
10. Crafting rocks! This game probably has the best crafting available in an MMO. The only game that I think might be able to beat it is EQ2. There are people who play this game JUST TO CRAFT!
11. Flying mounts. Yes, we have them two, but guess what? You don't have to fly them in certain zones. Sure, we only have the Wyvern and Gryphon at the moment, but we have the Pegasus on the way.
12. THE best customer service I have ever encountered. I don't need to go into detail here.
13. 23 Different mounts. Hell I might even be missing a few. Everything from Spiders to Unicorns. From Scorpions to Shadowhounds.
14. 19 Races. Not only do you have a good number of classes to choose from, you also have to choose from a number of races.
15. Growing subscriptions. Yes, the subscriber base may be low, but the devs do almost as much work on this title as others do on high profile MMO projects. And because of AOC and the void of offering at the moment, Vanguard subs have been going up. There are so many new people in the game now, as well as those who have returned. Not only that, Vanguard is part of the Sony Station, therefore you can subscribe to it while also subscribing to EQ2, Star Wars, the Matrix, and others for one monthly fee.
16. SOE under new management. Sony is no longer being run into the ground by Sony Pictures. They are now being run by the video game branch of Sony. New blood, new ideas, and a promise that this time around they won't forget to listen to their customer base.
17. Performance has improved. The game has gotten much better, and now that AOC has forced people to buy new machines, most of them should run Vanguard like a dream now. The first part of the new anti-hitching code has been implemented, and this is just part one of a five-part process. Personally, I am getting great framerates.
18. New character models coming. Yes, Sony has been hard at work on new character models. The old ones aren't even that bad, but hey, let's not complain, we're getting new next-gen ones.
Honestly, I am probably leaving out 17 more points, but I think you get the point. This game has come nearly full circle, and I see nothing but potential here. If this game gets some more attention, nothing will be able to compete.
If you're still reading, good. Go to http://vanguard.station.sony.com/ and check out the site. See you in the game, we're on Seradon.
Again, I don't care what you've heard about Vanguard. I don't even care what you saw. Play it. If you are going to hold on to grudges, judgments, or old news, than you won't like this game anyway. Why? Because it's good. In another year, you'll have nothing to bitch about. Hell, I might be out of a blog.