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Default MMOWatch Feature - Vanguard: Early Impressions

February 9th, 2007, 14:56
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Ok additionally in case anyone cares Vanguard is a no loading zone game (like Gothic 3), as mentioned before I am not expert but I don't recall of hearing of a no load MMOG before, maybe just me though.
Secondly they Unreal series of engines has not to my experience ever breached this technology before and certainly the first mainstream engine I have heard, plus the graphic level of quality and Unreal's ability to have great looking textures with excellent network capability is pretty cool at least from a technological standpoint.
DAOC only had a few loading zones, big cities mostly. You could basically run from one end of a continent to the other without having to head for a zone line.

VG still feels like it has loading zones though. Every time you cross a chunk line (basically zone line) the game freezes up and whackyness can occur. It isn't seemless but much better than running towards a gate between two outside zones.

I would think VG can get 250k people. EQ2 had that for most of the last couple of years and they survived well on it and much content was released for it. VG is fun and there is a lot to keep people entertained for a long time to come. I am just not one of those people.
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February 9th, 2007, 20:58
Only thing was EQ2 seemed to make sure there was solo content, not as much as WoW from reports but still it was a focus.

Yes there are problems, I lose my pet occasionally but the game is a new engine just released it isn't that bad.
So far I haven't seen a loading screen but it does studder like G3 when a new area loads, though many people said G3 was not bad once you got over 2 gig of RAM and it's quite possible Vanguard is similar.

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February 10th, 2007, 00:02
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Ok additionally in case anyone cares Vanguard is a no loading zone game (like Gothic 3), as mentioned before I am not expert but I don't recall of hearing of a no load MMOG before, maybe just me though.
Vanguard certainly does have (invisible) loading zones like any MMO as you go from area to area. Those areas are frequently (depending on the popularity of the area) powered by dedicated hardware even, i.e. you're basically handed off from one server to the next as you traverse zones. That's also the most likely reason why you're losing your pet. It's a very typical problem when you cross a server boundary that your pet will forget to follow you or stop responding to commands etc
Anyway, it's called a "persistent world" for a reason . Most MMOs only have real loading zones when you actually leave the world (to go from one continent to another or when an instanced zone needs to be loaded etc).

Secondly they Unreal series of engines has not to my experience ever breached this technology before and certainly the first mainstream engine I have heard, plus the graphic level of quality and Unreal's ability to have great looking textures with excellent network capability is pretty cool at least from a technological standpoint.
Lineage 2 is based on the Unreal 2 engine and Minions of Mirth is based on a heavily modded Quake (2?) engine. Just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There may be more.

Only thing was EQ2 seemed to make sure there was solo content, not as much as WoW from reports but still it was a focus.
Yep. It did very quickly become a focus at least when SOE realized a few months after the game went live that they were losing players left, right and center because their game was 100% solo unfriendly in the beginning .

So far I haven't seen a loading screen but it does studder like G3 when a new area loads, though many people said G3 was not bad once you got over 2 gig of RAM and it's quite possible Vanguard is similar.
While more RAM will most certainly never hurt, it is more likely that the stuttering is caused by network latency when you cross the above mentioned server boundaries (the hand-off from one server to the next server… just picture it as if you were an airplane that is going from one flight zone to another flight zone and is handed off from one air traffic controller to the next). Even WoW has that kind of "lag" (while WoW is otherwise a game that is definitely not overly demanding in the tech department and where more RAM doesn't solve that particular lag issue either). It's a server-side issue mostly.
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February 12th, 2007, 03:03
Right I understnad what your saying about zones handing off and if your sure it's a loading zone then ok.
It didn't seem any different than G3 as I mentioned and it certinaly makes sense it could cause the pet loss.
Ahh if all MMOs are the same I didn't realise it, I could have sworn EQ1 (did a short trial) and EQ2 about 6 months (a year or more ago) had loading zones, thanks for clearing that up.

Ok how about this, the Unreal 3 engine is amazing, what they are doing with per pixel lighting just blows me away.
The mapping is stunning, think about the way water reflects in games then imagine the whole world takes on that same princpal.
When you start to see a sunset with purples, blues and oranges then imagine how those lights efffect the landscape in the RL taking on hues with different types of surfaces whether is white sands, brownish mountians or green fields all are simulated by giving off lighting based on the absorbtion of world lighting.

Unreal has always had the best looking skies and now they are taking that accomplishment and adding to every texture in a game, as far as I can see. :stunning:

Lets hope someone makes an RPG with this engine, please oh pleasae let it happen.

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February 12th, 2007, 03:39
Indeed. Let more RPG developers licence a rather I believe costy graphical technology so they make more shooter-like RPGs. We never have enough of those.
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February 13th, 2007, 19:48
Ahh, so Vanguard is now a shooter-like RPG, intresting.
You mean sort of like Deus Ex that piece of crap RPG shooter?
Oh I know you meant Fallout and Fallout 2 those piece of crap RPG shooters, right?

To think any dev looking for high quality grapical engine and network cappable code to make an RPG could have made a mistake.

Can anyone imagine the piece of crap Gothc 3 might have turned out to be had PB been able to afford an engine instead of being forced to use a frankenstein engine?
I am so glad that jowood was too broke to afford the Unreal engine, man it just brings a tear to my eye.

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February 14th, 2007, 07:19
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I don't think that they are aiming that high realistically. If the usual sources are to be believed then it looks like D&D Online barely ever broke the 100K barrier so if Sigil is realistic (which they must be since they intentionally made Vanguard with "hardcore" players in mind) then they must know that they can call themselves lucky if they can get that same 100K.
Acleacius sent in a news link that proves they aren't as smart as you credit them:
He says he’s going after “players who are looking for something deeper, more like a home.” He adds, “I don’t expect to get six or seven million players, but if we have 500,000 by the end of the year and keep growing after that, I’ll be happy.”
NY Times

-= RPGWatch =-
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February 14th, 2007, 12:34
I did not say Vanguard is a shooter like RPG, neither are FO or FO2. Deus Ex is a good example, though.

While it may be true that using a platform as opposed an inhouse engine may look like a good idea, I guess a few things in your little scenario - 1) probably not always an existing engine can be made to do what the developers want it to do (i.e Unreal 3 engine to power Gothic 3) and 2) - PB, who I have absolutely nothing personal against, probably would have messed the release of an Unreal 3 Engine G3 as well, even if not worse, as they released it using the other engine (which is also licenced. SO they probably had the option but found it way too expensive), based on evidence that release day Gothic and Gothic 2 were not the most polished of games, as far as I remember.
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February 14th, 2007, 15:33
Afaik Unreal would work for any format but as you mentioned it's probably quite pricey.
I love a good RGP and it certainly isn't required to have great graphics but I can't think of a single RPG made with a state of the art engine like Unreal's, I wouldn't be all over in a heartbeat.
Just imagine how great games like PlaneScape or Fallout would be on state of the art engine, woot!
Errr, of course I mean like they are now in every respect with just new graphics, certainly not say bethesda's vision of Fallout with a good (not great) engine, well at least with their track record.

One thing about an engine like Unreal is its life expectancy is usually at least 4 years, so what we are seeing now is only what most PCs can handle, atm.

I would say from what little I know that had PB for example had been given Unreal 3 cost not being any factor and unless their engine is similar creation methods they could have spent 6 months learning it, but with their unmatched skill at geo architecture they could/would have created the best looking game world ever seen to date and maybe for several years to come.

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March 5th, 2007, 16:49
I'm sorry to say it, but Vanguard is a mess at the moment. In some nostalgic EQ1 mood I bought the game, and have to say that I just cannot recommend anyone to buy the game. Not because it's not good, but because it's just damn buggy. There are a lot of people who are experiencing major problems with that game. Plus we're talkung about SOE here, the masters of non-existing customer-service.

On a side-note… only SOE manages to offer a digital download without a resume function. Ah well, isn't that bad, you can resume the files anyway… they are just all corrupted afterwards and you won't be able to install the game. Ah, no problem… it's only 7 gigs. So you can either download again (and there are good chances that you'll get a corrupted file again), or you can just use the Vanguard patcher that will download the uncompressed game files, which are around 17 gigs. YAY!!!
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March 7th, 2007, 05:30
I play Vanguard, and it is not solo unfriendly, not to me at least. I soloed all the way through beta up to lvl 24(only grouped once briefly for 10 minutes), and had no problem doing it(I played a psionicist, other classes may be worse or better at soloing). I am having no problem at all after release in soloing either with my psionicist character who is lvl 15 now.

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March 7th, 2007, 06:42
Dang thats a bummer Ionstormsucks, it's a huge download for sure biggest I ever downloaded and I think its actually 9 gigs, 16gig installed/uncompressed.

Guest12345, I played the Necro and was also able to play up to 20th range though and feel i could have higher easily and I am playing EQ2 EoF atm, but am thinking of getting a dual accout (not sure the proper name).

Anyone know about this and how it works, you pay something like $25 a month instead of the $15 a month and you can play multiplue titles off the $25 instead of having 2 or more accounts at $15 each?
Thanks.

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March 7th, 2007, 10:51
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Anyone know about this and how it works, you pay something like $25 a month instead of the $15 a month and you can play multiplue titles off the $25 instead of having 2 or more accounts at $15 each?
Thanks.
Try this link http://StationAccess.com.
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March 10th, 2007, 06:07
Thanks.

Too bad, it doesn't seem to include Vanguard.

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March 11th, 2007, 06:54
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Thanks.

Too bad, it doesn't seem to include Vanguard.
Vanguard may not be a part of that Station Access Collection box that they are advertising on the front page (which includes most of the Station Access games on CD/DVD and 30 days of free play time for each game) but it is a part of the Station Access subscription plan for $24.99/month (or $29.99 as of April this year). You get access to Vanguard, SWG, EQ 2, EQ, EQOA, Planetside, MxO and some other casual Station games with the All Access subscription plan.
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April 3rd, 2007, 12:54
Should have checked this sooner, your right Moriendor.
It's what people inmy guild have told me too, they use since our guild is in both.

Thanks for the heads up!

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