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Vanguard better, but still belongs to SoE.

Posted by godpuppet Wednesday July 2 2008 at 6:50AM
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This slogan really irritates me, the only limits are your own, wtf? reminds me of


In the light of AoC's abysmal effort, and the recent flood of Vanguard fanboi threads, I decided to give this dieing donkey another go. I unfortunately graced this game a year ago and as a result I felt the effects of its initial failure. I remember distinctly its main problem was performance, requiring you to have a beast of a machine to run on medium settings with no lagg and it was Brad's furvent belief that bad performance wasnt down to any fault of the game, but everyone elses computers, so I quit.

A year on however and im pleasantly surprised.

Upon initial login im faced with a near perfect frame rate, "fantastic" im thinking, SoE are actually LISTENING for once! But then it dawns on me, that in the years time since I last played it, ive upgraded my graphics card and memory. I would be interested to see just how much of an FPS the new client has over the old client on the same older hardware.

At any rate, I tweaked the game up to ultra settings, minor hitching, but thats becuase of my shit memory. Visually the game is how I remember it, bland and boring. The Animation is hitchy and in some places amusing (goblins flip staffs around like its a circus trick), gameplay wise, I find myself falling asleep. However I will praise Brad's design choice of having three gameplay archetypes, when you get bored of combat, you can go do some crafting or diplomacy, it does add a level of grind distraction.

I noticed the old EU server is now an international server (there is no EU server), whether this was becuase of low pop im not sure. Also they've reduced the options in character creation, whereas before you could edit players faces, now you have a selection or 3-4 standard faces and you can modify parts of the body + hair.

It wasnt long before I hit my first bug. I think its around 3 hours into the game and its a pretty annoying one as it effects a key quest line. Players in local were polite and suggested I send a petition, so I did, then I waited 3 hours for a response, nothing came, went to bed, got up the next day and a GM contacted me around noon. No qualms the GM fixed my problem, but the fact all GM's are in the US (im EU) is slightly annoying, I have to check times so I can work out when I need to be online to get a GM response.

Since then ive found numerous bugged quests, from the mug quest in the docks, to crafting and diplomacy bugs. They are far and few between to be honest, but they do exist. When you arrive at the docks you notice the NPC's that have fallen through the floor (and have been that way since beta). Simple things like this really should have been fixed months ago, but then I think to myself, its SoE, what do you expect?

One feature I really liked was the Rift system, its a teleportation system, like griffons. You talk to an NPC, choose the location, pay a sum and you teleport. It makes getting from A - B in the game much easier.

Over all, ive tried to enjoy this game but it just isnt fun. Most of the gameplay is solo as there are very few players around, and when there are players around they dont seem to be able to communicate. I seem to recall most group quests are at 20+, however I dont think ill make it that far as im bored already.

Ive reached level 15 with my character (in all three archetypes), Ive mildly enjoyed the game. Its just a shame the game wasnt this playable back when it released. But I cant play this game anymore. The gameplay is boring, theres very little player interaction and the bugs and glitches make it frustrating at times.

More then anything, I think its the fact that SoE is running this game that drives me away from it. Every flaw, problem and mistake is amplified in my own mind, reminding me of their previous errors in prior games which eventually led to even worse decisions. It eventually brings me to the conclusion that, if SoE do become successfull with Vanguard, it will be patched slowly, new content will only come out on yearly expansions and they will only seek to milk it for as long as they can. And thats if it goes well, if it doesnt go well, it will either get shelved with a minimal dev team or have some horror like patch called NGE unleashed onto it.

SoE just make me think, meh...

Sorry Brad, but I cant pay for your game, and its becuase of this bloke.

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