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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » MMOWatch Feature - Vanguard: Early Impressions

Default MMOWatch Feature - Vanguard: Early Impressions

February 6th, 2007, 07:09
It's taken quite some time but we finally have our first MMOWatch feature up. From the dreamteam of big name developers to the design philosophy, Vanguard is a fascinating game. With several weeks of playing under his belt, Moxie has some detailed early impressions of Sigil's new release:
Vanguard is big and it's attempting quite a bit. I started playing the beta a month ago and have followed the game through launch. When I logged into the game for the first time, I was honestly concerned as things felt clunky and the polish just wasn't there. However, a slew of daily updates have brought the game to level that legitimizes its release. For an MMO, being ready for release doesn't just include bug-free gameplay, but content plays an equally important part. I've played new MMOs that had streamlined their mechanics only to fail in providing enough to do or wrapping activities into a meaningful narrative. This point may be Vanguard's greatest strength - not only does the game deliver content in spades, but it presents it within a convincing, fully-realized world.
Read it all here.
More information.

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February 6th, 2007, 07:09
Intresting is there a free 7 day trial similar to EQ2?
It certianly would help and keep anyone intrested from asking thousands of basic questions like which classes do this and can they still do that?

Example I go to the official site and can't find out anything about the each class only able to look at previous created toons, basicly current toons but nothing on descritptions provinding info of advantages or disavantages of each race and class.

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Last edited by Acleacius; February 6th, 2007 at 07:15.
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February 6th, 2007, 08:37
Nice work, Moxie. Great review, and so good to see something on the front page of MMO Watch at last.

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February 6th, 2007, 10:40
Acleacius, for being the first to comment, my 10-day friend trial is yours if you want it. Private message me if you're interested and I'll send you the key.
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February 6th, 2007, 11:34
You article inspired me to start looking into it and I checked the system requirments and seem to qualify, so I would give it a try.

Also I seem to have found a very informative site about Vanguard, with lots of info on classes and such if anyone is intrested.

http://vanguardvault.ign.com/

Doh! No Summoners.

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February 6th, 2007, 15:37
I think they're going to miss the boat on this one, again. WoW should've been the obvious indication of what the typical online rpg'er wants; simple and fun, not throwbacks to the EQ days. i'm sure they'll have their small hardcore crowd (typically made up of the folks that sit in their basements 100% of their free time and game day after day after day), so if that's all that they were after then i guess they'll succeed in their goal.

the masses still don't have the RL time to put into an EQ clone.

sadly i would've enjoyed this game, had it been solo friendly.
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February 6th, 2007, 15:50
What makes you say it's not solo friendly?

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February 6th, 2007, 18:16
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
What makes you say it's not solo friendly?
The devs said from the start that it's a team orientated game.
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February 6th, 2007, 20:11
I saw in an interview, I forget which, that they plan on implementing a character development system at some time, anyone from beta know what this is or how it is planning on working out or have any info i can have? If they are still tweaking the classes without any character diferation, it probably wont be anytime soon.
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February 6th, 2007, 20:34
I don't want to play a game with 'the masses', personally. The best gamers are the minority.
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February 8th, 2007, 14:46
Originally Posted by Yates1968 View Post
I don't want to play a game with 'the masses', personally. The best gamers are the minority.
Unfortunately, they also tend to be the ones with unhealthy amounts of focused time to dedicate to a game. As a result, this means limited people with families, children, time-consuming jobs, and/or healthy social lives. May indeed be the "best gamers" but not people I could likely play with or even really relate to.

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February 8th, 2007, 16:55
Originally Posted by araczynski View Post
I think they're going to miss the boat on this one, again. WoW should've been the obvious indication of what the typical online rpg'er wants; simple and fun, not throwbacks to the EQ days. i'm sure they'll have their small hardcore crowd (typically made up of the folks that sit in their basements 100% of their free time and game day after day after day), so if that's all that they were after then i guess they'll succeed in their goal.

the masses still don't have the RL time to put into an EQ clone.

sadly i would've enjoyed this game, had it been solo friendly.
I don't think they were ever trying to build that boat. The devs have been very vocal in the type of game they were trying to build. I would say they succeeded very well. I played 2 weeks of beta then pre retail and retail until now.

The game is fun and has some great ideas in there.

The problem is that Vanguard has me evaluating the time I can spend on a computer game for what I will get out of it. Vanguard didn't come out so good and I don't think I will be subscribing to it. For instance, in around 15 hours of crafting I got to level 8. You can't even make anything useful until level 10 so it is just grinding work orders. The crafting system is good and somewhat entertaining but this development rate isn't for me and it will get slower the higher I get.

I have other hobbies (RC planes and cars, a wife) as well as playing Oblivion, NWN2 and other games. I just don't want to devote the hours that VG demands. I am sure there are others that will love this game, even if they don't see much daylight in the next few years.
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February 8th, 2007, 21:54
"Succeeded" depends on how you evaluate the apparent success. I'm betting Vanguard won't exceed 250k subs, which I would think is a commercial failure for this project. I have no issue with their goals but I think this design needs to be built for a niche audience.

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February 9th, 2007, 00:06
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'm betting Vanguard won't exceed 250k subs, which I would think is a commercial failure for this project.
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.
But it's going to be a little more complex to evaluate Vanguard's success anyway since it's part of Sony's Station Access program.
In fact, regarding how tight-lipped SOE have always been about their subs, it should pretty much turn out to be nearly impossible to guess at the game's success.
And -no- retail data won't help either because SOE is offering the game for digital download, too. The only chance to get any (hopefully) real data is if we hear from SOE's marketing if/when the game surpasses certain sub milestones (like 100K, 250K, 300K etc) but until then it's totally stabbing around in the dark .

I would assume, however, that Sigil is kind of on the safe side anyway. The inclusion in SOE's Station Access probably means that a nice, reasonably-sized check is sent their way every month and that their risk is very limited. On the downside, they probably had to trade security for royalties so if the game turns into a smashing success, I would assume that SOE will be happier than Sigil. But that's just guess work as well…
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February 9th, 2007, 00:51
Well the one thing that is pretty amazing is this is the first showing of the Unreal 3 engine and it looks fantastic, not that I have a great system to see I maxed out, alos a first of the Unreal engine being a MMOG, iirc.

Yes it does seem they are aiming for the hardcore to me, as pox67 mentioned everything is very lean like xp and gold, atm.

I have been playing the Necro class since I tend to like pets and it's the only pet class atm.
It does have some intresting new ideas like the creature (abomination) once your reach 10th you can start salvaing parts of dead foes to upgrade your pet, I just hit 9th level so I should know a little more about it soon.

I think I would focus on creating a good solo content first to get people in and enjoying themselves doing quest, then building up enough to do an addon or such for the hardcore.
To me getting the moderate to casual gamer in as a base then you can much more flexiblity.
It would be much better to have a minority of hardcore complaining till you got the first expansion out, then not getting the causal or moderate customers because it's too hard.

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February 9th, 2007, 03:11
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Well the one thing that is pretty amazing is this is the first showing of the Unreal 3 engine
No, it's not . Rainbow Six: Vegas came out last year (so long before Vanguard) and is also powered by Unreal 3. And I think Gears of War is Unreal 3 as well though it's "only" on X360, of course. Don't know if there were any other games in addition to those two but Vanguard certainly doesn't deserve credit for "first showing of Unreal 3".
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February 9th, 2007, 04:23
Looks like your right about Ranbow 6, but is certianly is the first MMOG, so yes it does deserve some credit.
It's looks like there are only 3 counting Vanguard, though Moby hasn't been updated yet.
http://www.mobygames.com/game-group/…-unrealengine3

It is rather odd though Rainbow 6 was out Nov 21 and Vanguard has been in closed beta for a couple of months though correct?
So techically it could have easily been used first in Vanguard.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/tom-cl…nbow-six-vegas

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February 9th, 2007, 09:13
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.
But it's going to be a little more complex to evaluate Vanguard's success anyway since it's part of Sony's Station Access program.
I agree on the 100k but I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. My feeling was that McQuaid, Butler and Co. were pursuing a relatively expensive design with top-class personnel, so they would need to hit fairly big. If they've been smart enough to budget for 100k, more power to them, but I'm still not sure.

I doubt Turbine are remotely happy with their figures and this indication would have come too late for Sigil to do much but hold on and hope. Still, who knows?

Guess we'll see what the media and hints like server closures (or whatever) tell us over time.

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February 9th, 2007, 09:48
Originally Posted by araczynski View Post
I think they're going to miss the boat on this one, again. WoW should've been the obvious indication of what the typical online rpg'er wants; simple and fun, not throwbacks to the EQ days. i'm sure they'll have their small hardcore crowd (typically made up of the folks that sit in their basements 100% of their free time and game day after day after day), so if that's all that they were after then i guess they'll succeed in their goal.

the masses still don't have the RL time to put into an EQ clone.

sadly i would've enjoyed this game, had it been solo friendly.
Well, I have to disagree… there is no such thing as the typical online rpger. I also very much disagree with the "all mmos have to be like WoW because WoW was successful" methoddology. And as mentioned before Sigil is not aiming at 6 million subscribers. The technical requirements of Vanguard alone make that pretty much impossible anyway.
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February 9th, 2007, 12:55
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.

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