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Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - All News

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Box Art

Monday - August 03, 2009

Vanguard - Revisiting Vanguard

by Myrthos, 23:06

Ten Ton Hammer takes a new look at Vanguard after abandonnig it for 2 years and have some good news to share.

Vanguard still offers as much (or more) variety as any game around. Your character always has plenty of quests to do, or you can get caught up in a single dungeon for days. In addition to the standard adventuring and crafting, players can partake in the diplomacy system. Diplomacy may not have the depth that was promised by Sigil during development, but SOE has worked to smooth out the kinks of what is there. Players who love lore will enjoy digging through each races story as a diplomat and then traveling the world in search of new parleys. If nothing else, you have to appreciate the city buffs to crafting unlocked by diplomacy.

The ultimate question a player must ask himself when playing a trial is will I continue to pay to play this? Considering the current state of Vanguard and my play style, the answer is a resounding yes. The performance in improved enough that I feel as if I could recommend it to a friend without having to apologize, the vastness of Telon caters to my adventurous spirit, the graphics are still among the best available, and the gameplay has enough options to keep a casual gamer busy for years on end.

Thursday - July 02, 2009

Vanguard - Interview @ MMORPG

by Myrthos, 12:44

At the SOE Fanfair MMORPG managed to corner Vanguard Lead Designer and Acting Producer Salim Grant and ask him about the current state of the game.

"We've worked hard. Very hard in the past two years," he said, "to make Vanguard what it should have been at launch. Finally, we are at a point where we are deciding what to do next instead of asking what we needed to fix next."

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was always meant to be a sequel to EverQuest. "That was Brad's goal," said Salim, "a graphically updated EverQuest with new content and features which were not then technologically possible, so you'll find many parallels to EverQuest and the designs of dungeons in Vanguard have the best EverQuest dungeons as their touchstones."


Fans of EverQuest and fans of the "hard" game had looked forward to Vanguard, and to this date, Vanguard has its own cadre of passionate fans of the game; a community of dedicated players who have remained steadfast through the game's rocky beginnings.

Tuesday - February 10, 2009

Vanguard - Past, Present, Future Interview @ Massively

by Dhruin, 23:52

Massively talks to Vanguard producer Thom Terrazas about the past, present and future of Vanguard:

So I've only heard about Vanguard. I heard about the rocky launch, it's been two years into the game and many people are at level 50. Why should a new player pick up Vanguard today?

Thom: I think that if you're interested in playing a game that is a little bit different than the hack and slash games, Vanguard gives one of the best vistas and looks of any game I've played or been associated with. It is incredible to just hop on a flying mount and just see the vast areas that have been created for Vanguard and explore this artwork that is inspired by Keith Parkinson and continues on with our current art team.

This is something you don't see in every game. I'm not saying we're doing something that nobody else has done. But I'm saying the views, the artwork, the level in detail in Vanguard can measure up to some of the highest games you can think of.

If you're looking for visual, but also exciting playstyles, you have three spheres of progression you can choose to be an expert in. So, I guess the experience in Vanguard is just limitless.

Sunday - December 21, 2008

Vanguard - Game Updates

by Myrthos, 22:13

Vanguard has been updated with a range of new stuff, such as: new class combos, new raids, fishing and galleons to name a few.

Sunday - September 14, 2008

Vanguard - Update 6 is Live

by Dhruin, 23:22

Update 6 for Vanguard has gone live, adding a newbie area called the Isle of Dawn, a character model revamp, class damage updates and a slew of other fixes apparently adding up to around 1000 changes.

Source: Blues News

Sunday - July 06, 2008

Vanguard - Producer’s Letter

by Woges, 12:54

 Talks about updates and returning to the game for a free trial.

As most folks probably already know, we've just recently started what we internally call a "win back program". As one might assume from the name, the goal is to bring back former players who for whatever reason quit the game. To that end, we've turned on all cancelled or closed accounts this month to let those players come back and see everything that has changed in Vanguard over the course of the last year and a half.

So far we've been really happy by the results and for anyone who has spent time in game lately, especially around one of the starting cities you'll likely notice a lot more new faces popping up. With all the bug fixing, performance increases, new features (like flying and racial mounts) and just general polish that has been done over the last year, we're expecting good things from this campaign to get folks to give Vanguard another look.

Additionally, we're also hard at work on three big new items right now – the Isle of Dawn ( Trial Island ), Game Update six and the second phase of the character model revamp. The plan was always to release them all when they were ready, and we are working on each as a separate entity unto itself. However, with the way things are shaping up it is looking like rather than having to space them out and keep folks waiting we will actually be able to launch them all at the same time. So depending on how you'd like to look at it, Game Update six could be considered a mega-update of sorts.

We know folks are going to want to know what date this stuff will be launching, and while we like to avoid setting exact dates in stone this far out we can say that you can expect all three things very shortly after the Las Vegas Fan Faire (which takes place on August 14-17 th – and you're all coming, right!?).

Now, we realize that is about six weeks away still but these are some pretty significant updates and we want to make sure we take the time to get them right before sending it live for you guys. For anyone who is interested, some of this stuff will start popping up on the test server in the very near future (and we will give updates on that as it happens).

We also realize that now that we've got everyone excited about this stuff that making everyone wait is kind of a mean thing to do. So we're also going to be doing a much smaller update sometime between now and then that will add some smaller new stuff (like factional armor rewards among other things). More details on that will be coming shortly.

Thursday - May 29, 2008

Vanguard - Game Update #5 Released

by Asbjoern, 23:16

Game Update #5 for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has been released. The update adds a "Citizen Favour System" for gaining racial mounts, class updates, improved particle effects and performance optimizations. Go here for the full release notes.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

Vanguard - Interview @ Allakhazam

by Woges, 01:15

Interview with Vanguard producer Thom Terrazas.

Allakhazam: Looking back at Vanguard, there were undeniably some issues at launch. What would you say was the greatest issue facing this title, and where does that issue stand today?

Thom: Performance; Optimization; High System Requirements. Everyone may have a different name for it but at the end of the day, optimization challenges were the biggest hurdle faced at launch. We lost too many customers at launch due to the inability to run the game smoothly and we have been making huge improvements in this area in every update since. I can speak to this first hand actually: When I started playing at launch, I experienced some horrible “hitching” while moving from one area to another on what I consider an average gamers’ computer. When I began to play more extensively a couple months later, I noticed some considerable improvements to my frame rate. Today, it is night and day superior than it was at launch. Optimizing the game has been one of our top priorities and in the last six months, we have made some considerable strides in improving the player’s experience. If you haven’t logged in recently or if you gave us a look in the beginning and haven’t been back since, check it out now - I’ll even flag your account for free for a period of time if you want to go in and prove me wrong.

Monday - May 12, 2008

Vanguard - Dalmarus’ Chronicles @ TTH

by Woges, 02:57

Update on Vanguard. 

The first item of note is that more character transfers have been announced. There are a number of players that have come back to the game in the last few months, but as such, missed the character transfers that ended in December. Players that were originally on Woefeather, Florendyl, or any of the other previously combined servers have come back to find they've been moved. Even if you have already taken advantage of an earlier character transfer, you can still transfer again. Read the announcement from Vanguard Community Representative, Ellyra, right here.

The second piece of information I want to make everyone aware of is a poll thread from Vanguard Developer, Silius, can be found here. The poll revolves around what the players would like to see happen in regards to the new faction system being implemented with the release of Game Update #5. Please read the entire post before voting. Silius is requesting that you only answer A, B, or C. That's it - no discussion, no debating, no conditions set, etc. Before anyone gets themselves all worked up over this though, it should be noted that there are multiple threads that are dedicated to the discussion and debate about the poll. If you wish to add your two cents, please use one of the existing threads instead of creating a new one.

Sunday - April 20, 2008

Vanguard - Game Update #5 Preview

by Asbjoern, 14:38

There's a preview of Game Update #5 at the official website. Below is the introduction and table of contents:

Hey all! You should expect to see Game Update 5 on the Test sever after the weekend! Below is an outline of the main features included in the final update – please note though that they are not all fully implemented yet. As you play through the content on the test server, please keep an eye open for any bugs and be sure to submit a "/bug" for any you find – particularly in regards to particles not displaying correctly. Thanks, and enjoy!

Game Update #5

  1. Racial Mounts
  2. Class Updates
  3. Anti-Hitching
  4. New Particles

Source: WarCry

Monday - March 17, 2008

Vanguard - Wyvern Wallpaper @ Official Site

by Asbjoern, 22:50

To help celebrate the release of Game Update 4, a wallpaper in different sizes has been published on the official site depicting a mounted wyvern.

Thursday - March 13, 2008

Vanguard - Dev Chat Log @ MMORPG.com

by Asbjoern, 12:47

The log from a MMORPG.com IRC chat with representatives from the development team of Vanguard has been made accessible.

Vanguard - Game Update #4

by Woges, 03:17

Latest patch adds flying mounts, class updates, bug fixes etc etc. 

Source: Bluesnews

Wednesday - January 09, 2008

Vanguard - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 21:05

Parts one and two of a planned four part interview with Vanguard Producer Thom Terrazas are now available at Ten Ton Hammer.  The first two installments cover the Riftway System and flying mounts.

Dalmarus: With the addition of the Riftway System some time ago, traveling the lands of Telon has certainly become a much more friendly experience to the player with limited play time. Are there any plans to add even more stones to some of the more remote locations of either Thestra or Qalia? If so, will they be on their own network, or will they be incorporated into the existing three?

Thom: We actually plan on revamping the riftway system a bit to make it a little more user friendly. Right now it can be sort of confusing (especially if you don’t have a riftway map handy) and there are regions of the world that don’t have proper riftway access. We plan on addressing that in our next update – we can give more details as we get a little closer to it.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Saturday - January 05, 2008

Vanguard - What went wrong? @ FoH

by Inauro, 23:54

Bluesnews directs our attention to the Fires of Heaven forums where Vincent 'Teclisen' Napoli, one of the designers on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, responds to the GameSpy article naming VSoH as the biggest disappointment of 2007.  As with any opinion piece from a former (and possibly disgruntled) employee, you might want to take some of this with salt.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. The most shocking reality that I don't think anyone really ever understood is that Vanguard was made (exclusively the design staff, I should say) COMPLETELY by amateurs. People who had been hired less than a week with 0 prior experience were tasked with designing entire newbie areas that shipped. People who had never produced a game in their life were asked to fix a 40 million dollar fuck up. People with no experience were asked to fix the item, diplomacy, ability, content, quest and pretty much every system in the game.

The game that exists now was designed in a single year by people with 0 experience. If that sounds too vague think of it like this: about 1 year from release we had 0 quests in the DB because the tool didn't exist yet. When I decided to split the team there was over 30,000 quest object entries. Yeah, explains a lot doesn't it?

What a huge let down indeed.

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

Vanguard - Second Look @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 23:57

Eurogamer has kicked up a second look at Vanguard, moving their original release score of 6/10 to 7/10 after nine months of improvements:

So far, so good - and nine months of improvements have definitely polished and fixed the three core spheres of the game to a point where they can actually be enjoyed. Other additions, too, are welcome. Vanguard has adopted World of Warcraft's concept of rested XP, which grants you bonus XP for a time after you've spent a while either logged out or in a settlement, and a new system called Brotherhoods allows you to link up with friends around a similar level and share XP from your activities - even when one of you isn't online. It's a fantastic way of making sure that friends who can't always play together stay around the same level, rather than outpacing one another.

Friday - November 23, 2007

Vanguard - Overland Raiding @ Official Site

by Inauro, 22:58

Head on over to the official Vanguard site for a preview of the new Overland raid content being added to the game.

In addition to the much anticipated Ancient Port Warehouse, the final release of Game Update 3 will give players a taste of raiding in the Overlands! To compliment the arrival of APW, the Vanguard team has added exciting, outdoor raid encounters geared toward high-end adventuring players.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Monday - November 19, 2007

Vanguard - Ancient Port Warehouse @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:06

The official Vanguard site has been updated with a preview of the Ancient Port Warehouse, a new raiding zone being added to the game.

Soon the gates will open to Vanguard's premier raiding zone, Ancient Port Warehouse. A flurry of excitement surrounds the community as preparations are being made for the release. Many hours of design and testing have gone into the zone to ensure that it will provide months of entertainment for even the most hardcore of guilds.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Monday - November 05, 2007

Vanguard - Producer's Letter @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:24

Head on over to the official Vanguard site for a new producer's letter.

These are pretty exciting times for Vanguard right now. The team is currently putting the finishing touches on Phase 2 and 3 of Update 3 after having launched an astounding performance update in Phase 1. We received a lot of great feedback from you on Phase 1, and we're going to continue our focus in delivering consistently high quality, engaging and in-demand content in each update.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Monday - October 15, 2007

Vanguard - Dev Team Moves to San Diego @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:17

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has word that the development team is relocating to SOE's San Diego studio.

The Vanguard development team is relocating its offices to SOE's San Diego campus effective Monday, October 15, 2007. As part of the integration into the SOE family, the developers will benefit from having access to shared resources and the combined experience of SOE's other game development teams. As a result, not every Carlsbad employee has been invited to stay with the development team.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Monday - October 08, 2007

Vanguard - Ksarvari Gulch Quests @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:04

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has been updated with a preview of the Ksavari Gulch quests to be added with Game Update 3.

Everyone is really excited about the arrival of raiding in Vanguard via the Ancient Port Warehouse, but level 50's aren't the only ones getting to have all the fun. There's a lot more in store for Game Update 3, including the beefing up of some areas in Telon that many of you may already be familiar with! Game Update 3 - Phase 1 is bringing a few new and exciting quest lines to the game!

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Vanguard - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 22:57

MMORPG.com has added eight new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes images to its screenshot gallery.

Source: MMORPG.com

Monday - October 01, 2007

Vanguard - Naming Policy @ Official Site

by Inauro, 22:54

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has been updated with a  look at SOE's naming policy.

SOE is fairly flexible when it comes to naming. Be aware that while some names do not violate policy, they still might not be the best choices. Pick your name wisely; your reputation may rest partly upon it! While the name N3wbPwn3r clearly shows a player's IQ, some may say it doesn't fit within the world of Telon.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Wednesday - September 19, 2007

Vanguard - Re-Review @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 23:11

Ten Ton Hammer heads back to Telon to see if anything has changed since SOE took over at the helm of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

My final analysis? If you dropped Vanguard early on due to performance issues and instability, or if you've never tried Vanguard before and your curiosity is getting the better of you, wait until SOE introduces Vanguard's free Trial Island (just follow the trail left by SOE's marketing campaign). The Trial Island should help SOE introduce even more optimizations and fixes in the live game, plus improve their developer's toolbox. I say give the game a shot. It may not prove to be the game for you, but you've got nothing to lose, and you may just find that you're one of those niche players, like me, who love this game despite itself.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Saturday - September 15, 2007

Vanguard - Art Creation @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:00

An article on the creation of art in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has been added to the official site.

From concept and design, to in-game and living within the world of Telon; how is it that art is created? I've often wondered what a task it must be to create an expansive, living, and colorful world like what you see in Vanguard. How do you build a city's walls with a mouse, computer and code? It's certainly easier said than done, and the artists on the Vanguard team seem to do it by instinct!

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Wednesday - September 12, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:41

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has been updated with an interview with Silas Morse.

What is your official title here at SOE?

My official title is Game Designer.

You don't want to add Super-Duper Superb to the front of that? I think it has a ring to it, but what do I know. How long have you worked in the gaming industry, what did you do before that, and what lured you into this business. Please tell me there's a sad, starving waiter story somewhere within your early years.

This was my first job in the industry. Previously, I was a PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Florida's College of Medicine.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Saturday - September 08, 2007

Vanguard - Guild Halls @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:58

Guild halls have been added to Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and the official site has the details.

Guild Halls have been added to Vanguard, and no time was wasted in their construction! Although the quests have been active in-game for players to conquer, it wasn't until just a few days ago that plots to build on were available for purchase. After many hours of non-stop labor, quite a few determined guilds within the lands of Telon became proud owners of a grand Guild Hall! It was my pleasure to visit a few of these distinguished dwellings, and be given a guided tour through what is now home to many dedicated guild members.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Saturday - August 18, 2007

Vanguard - Game Update 2 @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:45

The patch notes for Game Update #2 are available at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.  The patch includes changes to:

1.   Guild Halls
2.   The Brotherhood System
3.   Bind on Equip
4.   LFG Improvements
5.   Rest Experience
6.   Level Based Diplomacy
7.   Diplomacy UI
8.   Deconstruction
9.   Item Level Requirements
10.  PVP Bug Fixes
11.  Crash Fixes & Optimizations
12.  Quest Journal & Quest Tracking
13.  Item UI
14.  Scrolling Combat Text
15.  Additional Patch Notes

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Thursday - July 26, 2007

Vanguard - Game Update #2 @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:10

The offficial Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has the full patch notes for game update #2. Here's a summary of areas affected.

1.    Guild Halls
2.    The Brotherhood System
3.    Bind on Equip
4.    LFG Improvements
5.    Rest Experience
6.    Level Based Diplomacy
7.    Diplomacy UI
8.    Deconstruction
9.    Item Level Requirements
10.  PvP bug fixes
11.  Crash To Desktop fixes and Optimizations
12.  Quest Journal and Quest Tracking improvements
13.  Item UI
14.  Scrolling Combat Text 

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Monday - July 23, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ Darke Counsel

by Inauro, 23:10

Darke Counsel reviews Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and concludes:

Despite it engine’s problems, character models and poor sound quality, Vanguard is enjoyable to play. The variety of content is enough to offer plenty of gaming hours for players. While Vanguard does pay homage to old schools MMO games like Everquest with it’s death penalty, experience curve and character options, the real challenge that players face are overcoming the obstacles of the engine and the mediocre elements it shipped with. Although they can be annoying, they’re not game killers and can be corrected in time.

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

Vanguard - E3 Update @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:10

MMORPG.com chats to Bill Fisher, Senior Game Designer and Adventuring Content Lead, about the current state of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

"We are improving and polishing the game," he said, telling me about the optimizing that has taken and is still taking place. "Players have reported as much as a 20% improvement in frame rate." He went on to list the things they had done. Increasing dedicated Quality Assurance staff, to be sure nothing falls through at patches, and a dedicated Bug Team were two. "We fixed 1,200 bugs in the first 1 ½ weeks after SoE took over the game. Game updates are scheduled for approximately every six weeks, and the ability to construct Guild Halls will come on live very soon."

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - July 12, 2007

Vanguard - Server Merge Update @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:13

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has some updated details on the server merge.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Tuesday - June 26, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:17

MMORPG.com's Laura Genender reviews Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and concludes:

All said and done, I would recommend Vanguard to a casual gamer. Vanguard makes a good game a couple hours a day, or only a couple days a week, but hardcore play or long-term play just aren't options, yet. Community should improve with the upcoming planned server merges, as the world once again becomes populated and playable for non-solo classes.

Source: MMORPG.com

Saturday - June 23, 2007

Vanguard - New Player Guide @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:02

SOE shows its hand in a new player guide at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

As the game begins, a character must be created. A race must be chosen from the regions of Thestra, Kojan or Qalia. A class must also be selected pertaining to a player’s personality and occupation choice. The classes are Protective fighter, offensive fighter, healer and caster. The protective fighter is a set of fighting classes that focus on defense, while offensive fighters center on attacking. The healer set has special abilities to increase their health or that of their friends. The caster set is able to administer spells, much like a wizard from fantasy.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Saturday - June 16, 2007

Vanguard - Server Merger Q&A @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:53

The Vanguard: Saga of Heroes team answer community questions regarding the server merge at the official site.

What is the future health & longevity of a MMO that is reducing its servers

[Hasium] Much better actually. With a healthy population on the servers it becomes much easier to find groups and make friends. Historically, many MMOGs have had server consolidations and gone on to have increased population.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Thursday - June 14, 2007

Vanguard - Server Merger @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:14

SOE has announced that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be undergoing a server merger sometime in the next three weeks.

Hey Everyone,

Here are the details on the server merge. We don’t have a firm date as we are still getting all the back-end details worked out. The intent is to have them done within the next three weeks. We will announce a date as soon as we have it.

Please feel free to comment as I know you will. I will try and clear up questions as they arise. I realize that not everyone will be happy with all of the decisions, but I’m open to suggestions if someone presents a better idea and it’s something that is feasible for us to implement in time.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Tuesday - June 12, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

Game designer John Hegner answers a few questions at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

How would you describe your job?

One part writer, one part orchestra conductor, three parts relationship councilor, shake vigorously and pour into a glass of two parts sleep deprivation and five parts awesome.

When did you decide on this career?

When I was in first grade and the teacher asked us all what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said I wanted to make video games.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Vanguard - Crafting Review @ MPOGD

by Inauro, 23:04

Multilplayer Online Games Directory has a review of the crafting system in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

To begin crafting, the player is required to perform certain "learning steps" which, in some instances, requires the player to journey around for a good bit of time to gain the faction necessary to learn recipes from the crafters of the land they are in. After that, they begin on the first steps of making basic items and learning the actual art of how to craft.

When finished, the crafter is able to craft a bit more before being required to learn a specialty. This specialty requires the player to yet again wander about perfecting a specific item to give to the quest giver and obtain their working title. As the crafter journeys upwards through levels making all sorts of random items, they are periodically required to do more insanely difficult quests to get their next tier of ability.  

Monday - June 11, 2007

Vanguard - Q & A @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 23:00

Ten Ton Hammer has compiled the results of a recent Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Q&A session into an interview format.

Four months ago we heard the fellowship program was there or would be shortly and nothing has come out of that. Any reason its not working four months later? Update please.  - BruteForce

Dave Gilbertson: It's back on test as "Brotherhood" and, assuming all the bugs are worked out, we hope to push it live in a couple of weeks.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Monday - May 21, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ MPOGD

by Inauro, 23:00

Multiplayer Online Games Directory offers a "diplomatic review " of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

It is a fine balance. The developers have already said that they had a choice when they made the game. Paraphrased, the choice was to either plan the game around today's capabilities and in two years it would need improved heavily to keep up with the newer technology, or plan two years ahead and build it for then so that the game would have a great deal of longevity. This trade-off has its prices though, and stability on machines of today is one of them. As time goes by though, players will start to have better machines, but will Vanguard have been forgotten by then because so few could play it back when it came out?

Saturday - May 19, 2007

Vanguard - Brad McQuaid Interview @ F13.net

by Inauro, 01:41

F13.n3t chats to Brad McQuaid about recent events in the world of Sigil and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

f13.net: I was told that Microsoft actually came in and set a firm release date when you all were somewhere between 55 and 65 percent done.

Brad McQuaid:: Before the regime change, they had committed to us that they would adjust budgets and time frames to make sure it was a AAA game. These things take a long time to develop. Changes are happening, getting more expensive and customers are expecting more. We went back a couple of times together with [the managing team] to increase our budget or increase our time here and there. They were totally cool with that and understood that it was necessary to remain competitive.

Vanguard - John Smedley Interview @ Shacknews

by Inauro, 01:35

Shacknews talks to SOE President John Smedley about the acquisition of Sigil Games and the future of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Shack: Many players are concerned that there will be major changes made to the game, especially in regards to its "hardcore" nature. How do you plan to balance the concerns of the fans with the need to move Vanguard forward at this point?

John Smedley: Let me broadly say that there's a perception out there that, oh, we're going to make this into a "carebear" game, and just change it into a [World of Warcraft] clone. I have no idea where this stuff gets started. The simple reality is the team is going to make these decisions. There's not some sort of overriding "let's make it easier" mentality. Nothing like that. The team already has a long list of things they want to do, and they're going to talk to the community about it. So ultimately it's going to be the community that decides the future of Vangard's gameplay. And if most of the players want the game to be exactly the way it is now, you know…

Source: Shack News

Tuesday - May 15, 2007

Vanguard - SOE Acquires Sigil

by Inauro, 23:18

As expected, Sony Online Entertainment has acquired the assets of Sigil Games.  The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has more from SOE President John Smedley.

Today I would like to formally announce that SOE has acquired the assets of Sigil Games Online, including Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. As a part of this acquisition, we are bringing on approx 50 people from Sigil in order to insure that Vanguard continues to grow. SOE is dedicated to making sure that Vanguard is well taken care of and that we provide the same level of service we do for our other titles. In the near future we will come out with a publishing plan that will largely be driven by the strong player community that Vanguard has already built up. We plan on supporting Vanguard for many years to come, and you can expect many content updates as part of your subscription. Down the line we will of course be coming out with new expansion packs, but right now the focus is on making sure Vanguard is running the way it should be.

Source: Sony Online Entertainment

Thursday - May 10, 2007

Vanguard - Tomb of Lord Tsang @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18

A tour of the Tomb of Lord Tsang , one of the many dungeon areas in Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, is available at the official site.

Deep in the Jin'ka Forest lies the ancient resting place of the great Lord Tsang, the warrior poet who fought with faith and steel to unite the warring states of ancient Kojan into one kingdom under Jin. Though Lord Tsang did not live to see his empire realized, his son finished the task and was credited as the first true emperor, he is commonly afforded the same respectful title. Despite Tsang's humble teachings of Jin, the people built a great tomb in his honor outside his home city of Tanvu, and consecrated his body within.

Source: Sigil

Saturday - May 05, 2007

Vanguard - Ulvari @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:13

A new creature feature focusing on the Ulvari is online at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

The verdant islands of Kojan face daily ravaging at the hands of the otherworldly ulvari. These aberrations came to Telon on the heels of the fleeing raki population, whose world they summarily destroyed – just as they threaten to destroy Kojan. The ulvari hunger for magic the way a leech hungers for blood, and they will not stop until they have drained every last drop from the Kojani people.

Source: Sigil

Monday - April 30, 2007

Vanguard - Changes Coming @ Official Forums

by Dhruin, 22:25

Brad MacQuaid has posted on the official Vanguard forums, admitting that the game is not doing as well as they would like, that changes will be made and Sony may take a bigger stake in the title -- perhaps even an acquisition:

SOE is in discussions with Sigil regarding the future of Vanguard and Sigil Games in Carlsbad.  Talks are going well and first and foremost, our primary concern right now is what's best for Vanguard and its community.  We want to ensure that this game and its community have a healthy future.  The specifics that we work out over the coming days will all be with that single goal in mind."

What does that mean?  It means that right now Vanguard is doing decently but not as well as we hoped.  If you haven't read my last long post that outlined some of the things that went wrong during development, etc., please do. So the bottom line is that SOE is going to be getting more involved with Sigil and Vanguard - our relationship is going to become even tighter - much tighter.  At this point I can't say much more than that.

Does this mean an acquisition? I can't say at this point.

Does this mean more or less people at Sigil?  I can't say at this point.

Does this mean management changes at Sigil?  I can't say at this point.

What it does mean at this point is that both companies agree that we need more of SOE's involvement if Vanguard is going to continue to get the support it needs to both continue to be worked on and improved and debugged and optimized.   When people start getting burned out of the Warcraft expansion (pardon the pun), we need to make sure that the game is more polished and will play on lower end machines.  As people continue to level up, it means that we need additional higher level content, including raid content.  If we are going to change our marketing message effectively to target those who played a lot of EverQuest but who have ‘grown up' such that they have jobs, families, etc. that they cannot and will not play another EverQuest even though they enjoyed they game years ago.  We've done studies and it's not atypical of an old EQ player, when they hear about Vanguard, to assume that because many of the people involved in Vanguard's development worked on EQ as well, that Vanguard must simply be an EQ 3.  From that point they don't even give Vanguard another look.  They don't do any more research on the game.  They don't go to the official sites. They don't go to the affiliate sites.  Instead they think to themselves, "ah well, were I younger and had my life not changed, I'd give it a shot, but I just don't have the time for another EQ with better graphics right now."  [more]

Wednesday - April 25, 2007

Vanguard - The Riftway @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:32

Sigil has revealed details of The Riftway , a network of portals offering instantaneous travel for a price.

A forgotten power has returned to Telon. Ancient riftstones have come to life with their potent magic having been lost since the days of the Cataclysm. Channeling great energies from altars scattered across the world travelers are now able to venture forth via interlinking networks spanning all of Telon… Welcome to the Riftway!

Source: Sigil

Monday - April 16, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 23:48

Ten Ton Hammer discusses the life of a Vanguard: Saga of Heroes GM with Norm Freeman (GM Volson).

[Ten Ton Hammer:] Describe a typical day in the life of a Vanguard GM.

[GM Volson:] The typical day for a Vanguard GM normally starts with downing multiple sodas and/or energy drinks, and checking email for any outstanding player, bug, and/or game issues. Our priority is however to get in-game ASAP to assist with players’ petitions. Once in-game we spend a lot of time researching issues that players are petitioning about. This involves searching through logs, talking to the game designers, and lots of research. Also, as it is impossible for one person to know everything about the vast amount of content in Vanguard, we spend a lot of time asking each other for help and advice.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Vanguard - In the Works Update @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:23

Sigil has updated the In the Works page at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site with information on forthcoming bug fixes and gameplay changes.

Source: Sigil

Tuesday - April 03, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ RPG LAND

by Inauro, 23:12

RPG LAND reviews Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Vanguard seems slightly unfinished and as though it was rushed to completion, but the SOE and Sigil team have done, to date, a great job at creating new content and squashing bugs as they appear, and also promise that the game will continue to improve in the upcoming months. There is already a bevy of content available for players of all ages, so many MMO players will not have boredom seep in while they're grinding to level 50. Come on, how many MMOs out there turn you into a vampire when bitten by one?

Sunday - April 01, 2007

Vanguard - Reviews @ gameSlave, MPOGD

by Dhruin, 22:42

A pair of new Vanguard reviews are available on the 'net for your edification.  Let's start with gameSlave, who slam the title for 5.5/10:

Vanguard reminds me a bit of a boy racer's banger: plenty of ideas and fancy tricks under the bonnet, but still somehow less than the sum of its parts. It's outrageously difficult, clumsy to control, is littered with outrageous design decisions, full of bugs and does absolutely nothing to satisfy any sort of boredom. But, having said all that, you can't help but sit back at times and concede that it's a bit cool too.

MPOGD asks if Vanguard really adds up, settling on an average 7.5/10 after describing each gameplay sphere without much actual critique:

Vanguard has a lot to offer in areas with crafting and diplomacy, but adventuring seems to get a bit tedious with the long travel times and slow advancement rate that requires that most players adopt an old time method of grinding and lather-rinse-repeat. Harvesting helps to break up the monotony of killing one after the other though, and since it is required to harvest materials so that a player can craft, it all ties in together fairly well overall.

Wednesday - March 28, 2007

Vanguard - In the Works Page @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:27

Sigil has added an In the Works page to the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

Ever wondered what kinds of things the developers of Vanguard have in store for the game? Wonder no more! With the new In the Works webpage, we will be giving a quick glimpse of the projects we’re currently working on. The page will show both short term and long term goals, as well as provide a top 10 bug list. You can find the page here.

Source: Sigil

Thursday - March 22, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 21:23

Ten Ton Hammer posts an article format interview with the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes team.

When asked what the biggest challenge the team was facing at the moment, one thing sprang to Jeff Butler’s mind: settling the game into the market. “To me, settling a game into the market means that we can look at the game and are able to compare it with what the consumer finds palatable,” he said “We know that Vanguard was always a game that was intended to aim at people who tended to like a more challenging experience than say…World of Warcraft. So without alienating the player who chose Vanguard, we need to discover what elements of Vanguard do not sit well, EVEN with that person.”

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Sunday - March 18, 2007

Vanguard - Weekly Round Up @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:14

Sigil has kindly collected the week's coverage of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes into a Weekly Round Up at the official site.

Source: Sigil

Thursday - March 15, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ CVG

by Dhruin, 20:35

It's CVG's turn to review Vanguard, with the article taken from their PC Gamer (UK) magazine.  The score is 6.8/10 and here's a harsh excerpt:

The trouble is, it's all presented with machine-like coldness. The writing and voice-acting is miserably flat, while any game that announces "establishing ownership" in its ugly, cramped font when you start attacking a foe hasn't stopped to consider whether you're having fun or not. There are so many numbers to keep track of that most become meaningless - just running around doing nothing creates an irregular flow of messages about some obscure ability improving. 

There's logic behind it - if you haven't practised jumping off buildings, it's understandable that it'd hurt more when you do fall off something - but there's no attempt to mask the mechanical nature of this role-playing model. The quests and creepily static NPCs are unrelentingly bland, while combat is stilted and robotic, mostly a hollow facsimile of what's gone before.

Vanguard - GDC Look Forward @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 20:28

WarCry has an article on Vanguard moving forward based on details from GDC.  The intro sets the scene, so here's a snip:

At this year's Game Developers Conference, WarCry was able to meet up with Jeff Butler, April Jones, and Ryan Elam - the President and Executive Producer, Senior Manager of Marketing and PR, and the Director of Technology respectively - of Sigil Games Online. With the release of Vanguard only a month and a half ago, WarCry learned about how they felt regarding the release of Vanguard, the problems they've had, how they are working to resolve them and how the player base has reacted to the release.

Saturday - March 03, 2007

Vanguard - Reviews @ 1Up, Play.tm

by Dhruin, 23:25

Taking opposd positions, two new reviews for Vanguard show the range of receptions Vanguard gets.  Here's 1Up who smack the game down with the devastating score of 3/10:

From a more common point of view, it's a poor illusion: The things that make Vanguard so appealing to the cult can also be described as tedious, frustrating, dull, and just plain bloody-minded. The "average" MMO player won't enjoy the prospect of traveling for three hours every time he needs to train once his guild moves to a continent that doesn't have any priests. Immersion, be damned -- that's no fun.

But Play.tm sees more enjoyment in the title and their score is 81%:

Overall, I have enjoyed the time I have spent so far in the world of Telon and intend to see how Vanguard progresses. Even though the game has its annoyances (like the steep death penalty you have to endure) it's a very accomplished title with a lot of rewards for a dedicated player. Yes, it takes time to get to a good level and to find a good group of players to meet up with, but with the prospect of flying mounts and houses later on in the game as well as content updates in the future ensures there are many reasons to own this game. It's hard however to recommend it to casual players as they will be put off by it's difficulty early on, however if you were a fan of Everquest and find World of Warcraft to be on the easy side then Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is certainly a game you should consider trying.

Friday - March 02, 2007

Vanguard - Update #1 Details

by Dhruin, 23:23

The first Vanguard content patch has been revealed at Sony Online's official site - here's a snip:

Whether it be in the desert sands or the swamps of the Deadlands, Vanguard Update #1 brings you some dirty villains to fight, new weapons to kill them with, and new places to kill them in!

On Tuesday, March 6th 2007, Vanguard Update #1 will go live. It will be a much larger patch than usual as not only will there be new content but a great deal of additional art as well. Update #1 includes:

Dozens of new weapon models
Six brand new NPC races to battle
Two new mid to high level adventuring areas
Nine dungeons with revamped art and/or lighting

Details are below!

Thursday - March 01, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ Strategy Informer

by Dhruin, 20:41

Vanguard has been reviewed at Strategy Informer, receiving the lukewarm score of 6.4/10 despite the fairly favourable text in the article:

One of my favourite skills in Vanguard is the diplomacy system. Fame systems in most games are usually very simple and are just simple 'do quests til person likes me' type affairs. With the diplomacy system this gets taken a step further. With the diplomacy system of cards you are a little more involved. In essence it is as close as I've seen to real time conversation with an NPC in a game. The card system is easy to understand and it's possible to get additional cards to broaden your 'deck'.

Wednesday - February 28, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ GPM

by Dhruin, 22:22

A short and to the point review of Vanguard is on offer at Gameplay Monthly with a score of B+ :

The pacing of the game, meanwhile, is a step backward in the eyes of many. The current trendsetter, WoW, makes it very easy to gain levels and get the best gear you can for your current level. Vanguard takes a page from older games like EverQuest, Ultima Online and the early days of Dark Age of Camelot. You're really going to work at it to hit 50, get your flying mounts, and get your uber gear. Sigil makes no apologies for this, that’s what they have said Vanguard was going to be about all along. So if you aren't in it to win it over a long while, steer clear.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - February 23, 2007

Vanguard - Anti-Review @ Gamers with Jobs

by Dhruin, 20:22

Describing at as an "Anti-Review", Gamers with Jobs has a blistering critique of Vanguard that really lets fly.  Here's the summary and hit the link to read why they are so unimpressed:

So, what to say in capping off my thoughts on Vanguard. First, to you Vanguard faithful who, even now, are anxious to point out all the little things that make Vanguard great on which I completely missed the boat possibly because I'm just some World of Warcraft lamer who can't handle a man's MMO, go suck a sock. I don't care about the stuff I missed because the larger picture, the game itself that's supposed to facilitate my giving a crap about the exploration was barely functional, obtuse and uninspiring. To the guys who made Vanguard and for whatever reason maybe put themselves through reading this, I'm sorry to kick your baby down the stairs, but too many game writers these days are so busy tap dancing around offending someone in the industry that they've lost sight of telling consumers not to buy mediocre games. And, finally, to the reader who is wondering if Vanguard is worth playing, had I to do it all over again I sure wouldn't, and my copy was free.

Thursday - February 22, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 20:33

Calling it an "unfinished symphony", Eurogamer has given Vanguard the relatively low score of 6/10 in their review.  Citing some excellent innovations (diplomacy) but bugs, poor writing and "arrogant" design, here's a snip:

In Vanguard, the storylines of the various races, continents and factions are spread over the world more thinly than a condom over a blue whale. The "lore" of the game (the fantasy world which you uncover) feels like an amateur Sunday effort; it's patchy, hackneyed and badly written. And while the diplomacy system makes the delivery of the whole thing vastly more interesting, there's a constant feeling that diplomacy gameplay is just filling in the cracks for a pretty awful back-story. Comparisons with WOW - or indeed with many other RPGs - are inevitable, and unkind; and while many players probably won't care, there are a great many who want the worlds they explore to be more than just a lot of pretty pixels. The lack of rich lore in Vanguard is a black mark, and feels like a throwback to the Bad Old Days.

Wednesday - February 21, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 22:17

WarCry has posted their review of Vanguard.  There's no score, although the reviewer writes he isn't sure if he would subscribe, citing complex gameplay as a positive but bugs and missing features as a negative.  Here's a bit on crafting:

One major aspect is in character development. Like in EverQuest II, crafting has been split off from combat progression into a completely independent progression path. For each of these paths, every character maintains a completely different set of equipment, one which impacts only those character actions. There are also three other sets of equipment - harvesting, player mounts and their accessories, and the completely new diplomacy (which I'll get into more later). All are worn simultaneously, and are switched to automatically whenever needed.

The crafting process itself has also been significantly improved. For virtually every MMORPG with a crafting system to date, advancement means hours and hours of churning out worthless items, usually at a financial loss. Vanguard has taken a different approach by providing crafting taskmasters that provide crafting missions. These missions provide limited use, material-free recipes to the crafter, and when completed provide experience, coin, and random item rewards. This moves level progression away from item creation, which is limited to more valuable items, and makes crafting a self-sufficient character option.

Vanguard - Review @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 21:19

It looks like Vanguard review scores are settling into a pattern and the latest, which can be found at GameZone, is no exception.  The score is 7.8/10 and here's a clip:

But the main course at this MMO table falls in the category of combat. Vanguard employs a system that is entertaining. Chain attacks occur when you have the skill sets and often involve a sequential trigger of skills that will result in a final devastating coup de grace-style of attack. This definitely gives the game a wonderful feel, with each battle fresh and alive. It is not merely a matter of punching buttons, but rather players have to pay attention to the flow of the combat and insert the right commands/attacks at the appropriate times.

Sunday - February 18, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 20:16

GameSpot has finally kicked up their review of Vanguard, awarding a score of 7.5/10 despite what they describe as "a litany of bugs".  Here's a bit on diplomacy:

Vanguard's most fascinating feature is diplomacy, which lets you earn favor with various factions, area-wide buffs, and more by engaging NPCs in conversation. Parleying is a simplified strategy card game in which you play five cards that represent different types of statements, such as flattery and inspiration. A game board with an influence marker keeps track of how you are doing, and as long as you keep the marker on your side for the specified number of turns, you win the parley. As your skills improve, you earn new cards--and even gain the use of temporary cards when visiting certain areas. Parleying itself is pretty simple, although as you gain skill, winning a high-level conversation gets to be quite a challenge.

Thursday - February 15, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ TrustedReviews

by Dhruin, 20:07

Another day, another Vanguard review - this time at TrustedReviews with a score of 7/10.  Here's an excerpt:

‘Bigger’ and ‘more’ are very much the themes here. The world itself – Telon – consists of three huge, completely explorable continents, modelled after European, Asian and Middle Eastern settings. You also get a huge range of character races and classes and some enormous skill trees to start off with, plus such lofty long-term goals as flying mounts to ride on and virtual property you can build and decorate. There are even areas that you’ll only be able to access by air or boat. ‘Forget the other MMORPGs’, Vanguard seems to be saying ‘I want to be your one and only, not just now, but for the rest of your life.’

Source: Bluesnews

Wednesday - February 14, 2007

Vanguard - Movie @ Gamers Hell

by Dhruin, 22:07

Gamers Hell has a new trailer for Vanguard that shows off an advanced mount (27Mb).

Vanguard - Review @ AtomicGamers

by Dhruin, 21:48

AtomicGamer has reviewed Vanguard with plenty of criticism and a score of 72%:

One new feature I've seen in Vanguard is the new Diplomacy system where you choose "cards" to use in conversations with NPCs before you talk to them. This way some conversations will get you different results depending on which cards you decide to play. It's a unique part of the game, but I'm not sure it really fits in with the rest of the package. Nowadays almost any slight innovation in the tried and true fantasy MMO genre will be hailed by some as a major achievement, but it's my opinion that if it doesn't add something really substantial to the game, then more time probably should have been spent on core game mechanics and balance. A broken game with a few unique features is not really the best way to go for a game like this, and while Vanguard's not broken, it's pretty close.

Vanguard - Review @ GameSpy

by Dhruin, 00:45

Describing Vanguard as a "buggy, premature release", the score in GameSpy's review is still a reasonable 3/5.  Here's a sample:

 If you were a fan of the original EverQuest, or find World of Warcraft to be unchallenging to the point of boredom, then Vanguard was made with you in mind. It's a game for those who don't mind or even crave punishment when things don't go according to plan, for those to whom mishaps must be disastrous for victories to have meaning. You will be penalized harshly for character death. Many times in your adventuring career, you will find it difficult and time-consuming to fully recover from these deaths, having to trek back to your tombstone and then make up lost experience. Your level progression will take time, and it's slow going past the initial levels if you're not the type that plays well with others. While you can play Vanguard on your own, it's far more efficient to level in a group.

Tuesday - February 13, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ GamerNode

by Dhruin, 23:11

Sigil's Nick Parkinson has been interviewed at GamerNode about Vanguard:

Brendon Lindsey: Whenever a new MMORPG is released, gamers immediately want to know what exactly is going to be different about it and whether or not they should switch over from their current game. What is the most unique feature about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes compared to other MMORPGs on the market, and why should fans switch?

Nick Parkinson: Two major things will separate us from the crowd and are why folks should play Vanguard. First, our visual style - the late master fantasy artist Keith Parkinson served as art director at Sigil until he passed on in late 2005. He established the look of Vanguard through the eyes of a painter and as a result, it feels much more alive and organic - much like an oil painting.

Depth of game play is the other big thing. There's just so much to do. Gameplay is broken into three separate spheres. Two of them, adventuring and crafting, should be familiar to most players. But the third, diplomacy, is something that's pretty new to the MMOG genre. In addition to that you've got player owned houses in non-instanced plots, player created and owned ships, flying mounts that aren't set on tracks and the freedom to explore anyplace that you can see.

Monday - February 12, 2007

Vanguard - Database @ Curse

by Dhruin, 20:42

Acleacius dropped us a line about a site and software that might be of interest to Vanguard players.  Curse is hosting a Vanguard database (along the lines of Thottbot), with data collected from users running an application you can grab there.  Silky Venom also has an interview with the creator:

2. In your own words, please describe what exactly your program does.

This can become very technical but I’ll avoid that going into any inner details. The software basically interfaces with Vanguard via the dynamic link libraries provided by the game. While these DLL’s do not provide a proper interface one can use it if you reverse engineer the client. All reverse engineering done was for pure interoperability purposes. The game exposes a lot of functionality that can be used for this type of application and many other types of applications. The application then uses these DLL functions to query for game state information. It was really important that the software didn’t have a negative impact on performance. So far none of our users have complained about performance being affected negatively and as far as we can tell there’s no real measurable performance difference.
Currently the client fetches information about all the items you have in your inventory, all quests you have active, quest sources and quest targets, everything you see, loot information, when you click item links and character profile information. This may be extended in the future to include spell, skill information and more.

All this information is the sent to a central server for processing.

Friday - February 09, 2007

Vanguard - Reviews @ DriverHeaven & GamesRadar

by Inauro, 21:45

DriverHeaven and GamesRadar review Sigil and Sony's newest online venture, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

DriverHeaven

One of the first things you have to know about Vanguard is that there is almost no hand guiding throughout your adventuring. Except for a few tutorial pop-ups at the beginning of the game which explain the mechanics of the various game spheres (more on that shortly) you will have to figure out things on your own. You want to get a mount? Go ahead, figure out where to buy one and do whatever you want to do. Interested in exploring the land? As far as the developers are concerned you can go wherever you want and do whatever you like, just don't expect to survive for long. Want to get from point A to point B? You've got your legs, so use them! When you go stronger you'll be able to use a horse or even a flying mount, but you'll still have to get to point B by yourself – no fancy autopilot flight-paths.

GamesRadar

After nearly five years in development, Vanguard has created much buzz in MMO circles. Originally billed as the game that hardcore World of Warcraft players would want to leap into after getting tired of grinding Blizzard’s end game, and later toned down (if not the game, then at the very least its marketing) to appeal to a wider audience, Vanguard’s lengthy development has clearly had its share of ups and downs. But despite any hate you may have heard on message boards in the days and weeks leading up to its release, Vanguard is actually quite fun.

Thursday - February 08, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ Gamepyre

by Inauro, 21:26

Gamepyre reviews SOE and Sigil's newest online venture, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

The world itself is absolutely beautiful, making you want to see more and more of it. The different races starter areas all have very distinct looks to them, too. The elves area is rich with trees, and the reminisce of a once great empire, toppled statues and ruins everywhere, whereas the dwarf area is strong fortresses, with watchtowers and stationed guards all over the region. And the beauty isn’t just in the world design; the textures on just about everything look great.

Tuesday - February 06, 2007

Vanguard - Launch Event Report @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 21:20

RPG Vault reports in from the recent Vanguard: Saga of Heroes launch event.

In terms of the play, the team leaders have stated all along that its goal was to provide an in-depth experience. This has, at times, been misinterpreted to mean it would incorporate elements like a lot of grinding and substantial death penalties. When I spoke with Co-Executive Producer Jeff Butler about this image, he did express a desire to address it so prospective players can make their decisions based on more complete and accurate information. During the same conversation, he did say he was satisfied with how well Vanguard turned out relative to the initial vision for it. Further to that, he volunteered that some elements not implemented at launch will be going in before too long. As a couple of examples, he cited guild buildings and flying mounted combat. In the latter case, he briefly described being aboard a mighty griffon clawing at the enemy.

Source: RPG Vault

MMOWatch Feature - Vanguard: Early Impressions

by Dhruin, 05:25

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.

Monday - February 05, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ HEXUS.tv

by Inauro, 21:22

HEXUS.tv offers up a video review of Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Vanguard - Interview @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 21:18

GameSpy speaks to Jeff Butler, the co-creator of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, about the game's recent launch.

GameSpy: First off, how is Vanguard being received? From your perspective, what's the response been like?

Jeff Butler: Vanguard is being received, in every measure, as I would have hoped it would be received at launch. We couldn't have had higher ideals and goals in mind when we set out to put Vanguard together. We aimed it at what we considered to be the "core," the "glue" player of massively multiplayer games, and of course we've had many debates over the years about how that guy or girl has changed. What he was looking for, what his expectations were in a massively multiplayer game; there's been evolution from the core Vanguard intended gamer on day one of concept and today, for sure, as the industry has grown larger, as it's changed and shifted, but in general, I think 75% of what we intended Vanguard to be in terms of features, systems, so on and so forth is there today at launch, which is as much as I would have ever hoped for. Every bit I could have hoped for, given everything I know about the industry and the genre, and all of the systems - all of the innovations and things that we tried to push the envelope on - are fun. I am pleased. 

Source: GameSpy

Sunday - February 04, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ GameDaily

by Inauro, 21:04

GameDaily offers some thoughts on Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Geographically, this fantasy massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game has it all, including wide rolling hills, towering mountains and a practically endless ocean. Of course, danger lurks around every corner, so players must take care when exploring it. It would take months to put the "If you can see it, you can get there (via walking, riding, sailing or flying)" tag line to the test, but it seems to hold true. The promise that players would encounter practically no load screens while traversing the world also holds up. Created by the same minds behind EverQuest, Vanguard represents a new generation in MMO games in just about every respect.

Vanguard - Review @ Yahoo! Games

by Dhruin, 20:43

Yahoo! Games has posted their review of Vanguard.  The score is 3.5/5 and here's the intro:

So there we are, killing a couple of giant bees on a cliff overlooking the city of Khal. Guildmates are chatting about traveling across the vast and magnificent landscape of Telon, the setting for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Someone jokingly suggests Druid Circles, which allowed players in the original EverQuest to teleport quickly around the world. Immediately, one guildmate responds: "I don't want any teleportation. The harder they make this game, the happier I'll be."

That's the guy who will call Vanguard home, six hours every day for the next three years. Sigil has created a game for hardcore MMORPG players who want full immersion in another world. While World of Warcraft proves you can attract millions with a polished but simple approach, Vanguard hopes to fulfill the dreams of MMORPG veterans with its intricate, challenging, and unforgiving experience.

Vanguard - Jeff Butler Interview Pt.2 @ Vanguard Vault

by Dhruin, 00:31

Fansite Vanguard Vault has a pretty nifty interview with Sigil's Jeff Butler looking at the release and future plans:

Vanguard Vault: Are there any plans for PvP mechanics such as arenas, duels, battlegrounds, guild vs guild, etc for the PvE servers?

Jeff Butler: Yes. Because we built a big world, we want to explore not only mounted combat, flying mounted combat, ship-to-ship combat. Thinking about a big, expansive world--I must in Vanguard, some day in the future, be standing on the crest of a hill with an army of horsemen and infantry, looking across the field at another army and call the charge. We WILL see that stuff in Vanguard, its got to happen. Its the sort of play experience that the game was intended to deliver from its conception... being able to sail up alongside an enemy guild vessel and fire the cannons and sink them... that's the sort of thing that we really want to see. Its hard to say with today's technology how many horsemen and infantry can be seen on the screen at the same time, but even if its just my guild versus yours, it should be really fun.

We'll try explore the use of some of the islands out in the ocean for some sort of ongoing PVP struggle that involves control of territory. If you're familiar with Warsong Gulch, that sort of style of PvP. Not instanced, but find a way to reset it on a regular basis. I think we've got some pretty good ideas how to bridge that gap and come up with a pretty engaging PvP experience. You should expect to see, I would say arenas right off the bat, but you should expect to see certainly some Battlegrounds-style PvP plans in the works in the near future.

We have the ability in terms of the structure of our game to instance a zone. We decided that's not how we were going to approach the game. We acknowledged we may have to move to instancing so we allowed for it in our engineering just in case that's how it shook out. It turned out not to shake that way, we ended up with more than 5000 players on one server during Beta and we were able to run successfully. But instancing on things like islands in the middle of the Ocean, a la Battlegrounds, is a possibility, it could be the easiest way to do it. We'll see--its not going to be our default, I think we're going to try and figure out a way to do it with a shared experience first.

Oh, and PvP Diplomacy is on the way as well...

Thursday - February 01, 2007

Vanguard - First Week Impressions @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 20:35

GameSpot has some first impressions of Vanguard.  Here's the intro

It's no secret that Blizzard has dominated the massively multiplayer online game scene since the launch of World of Warcraft, so developer Sigil and publisher Sony Online Entertainment have some understandably lofty expectations to fulfill. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is SOE's newest entry into the massively multiplayer RPG market, so we dove into the fantasy world of Telon and embarked upon an adventure. While it's hard to say quite yet if Vanguard will swipe some of Blizzard's sizable share of the market, it does at least offer a solid first impression.

Wednesday - January 31, 2007

Vanguard - Official Site Relaunched

by Inauro, 21:24

The official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has been relaunched in the familiar station.sony.com format. Head on over and check out the new look.

Source: Sigil

Tuesday - January 30, 2007

Vanguard - Pre-Launch Preview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:13

Carolyn Koh spends some time with the pre-launch version of Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

I did not know what to expect when I logged into Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Despite a couple of previews at shows and an interview with Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna, I had a nebulous idea of a game with lots of grinding in various forms of game play.

I had deliberately not played in beta as I wanted to approach Vanguard as a new player. While the game patched, I read the manual which was surprisingly well written. Score… one point.

 

Source: MMORPG.com

Vanguard - Shipping News @ Bluesnews

by Inauro, 21:08

Bluesnews is carrying a press release from Sigil and Sony regarding the North American and European launch of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

San Dego, CA – January 30, 2007 - Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and Sigil Games Online announced today that the hotly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game, “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes(TM),” is now available at retail outlets across North America and Europe. The game is also offered for digital download at www.station.com.  

Source: Bluesnews

Vanguard - Out of the Box @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 21:06

GameSpy shares some initial impressions of Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Vanguard opened up its servers early this weekend so that pre-order customers can get a head start on those who pick up the game at retail this week. While the servers were up and down intermittently, and lag spikes were a noticeable problem, for the most part players were able to get started on an endeavor that could easily consume the next year or two of their lives. Vanguard was here, and newer MMO players used to being coddled by today's friendlier brand of online experience were going to be in for a shock. Touted as a return to the adventure and exploration of the original pre-SOE EverQuest, Vanguard is an interesting counterpart to World of Warcraft's approach. It would be too hasty to call them polar opposites, however, as Vanguard also draws from Blizzard's design in many ways. 

Source: GameSpy

Thursday - January 25, 2007

Vanguard - Preview @ GameSpot

by Inauro, 22:47

GameSpot offers up a hands-on preview of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

The setting for Vanguard is the world of Telon, which has three distinct parts. Thestra is a more traditional setting for a fantasy story, while Qalia and Kojan have more of an Arabian and Asian feel to them. To populate these regions, there are 19 races of playable characters, split roughly evenly between the continents. While the usual suspects turn up--gnomes, elves, dwarves, and humans--there are a number of interesting, more original races included, too. For example, the vulmane, raki, and kurashasa are races derived from wolves, foxes, and leopard-like creatures, respectively. 

Source: GameSpot

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

Vanguard - Review @ Stratics

by Dhruin, 20:38

Jumping the release just a little, Stratics is the first site to pump out a Vanguard review.  The score is 9/10 and here's a grab:

There comes a time when you have to ask the question when working on computer programming projects (and make no doubt that’s what this is) you ask yourself are things good enough? Right now Vanguard is a solid MMO. Vanguard’s adventuring sphere rivals current games, and will rival those soon to be released. They’ve raised the bar on traditional crafting and turned it into a playful, engaging work out. And they were revolutionary with diplomacy; introducing it as a solid, creative game sphere. Future MMO developers will need to think long and hard about including diplomacy into their game design.

Is there enough content? Most emphatically, yes. Telon is big enough to provide five separate, level-appropriate, land masses for you to explore.

Is combat fun? Assuredly it is. There’s enough mob and dungeon variety to challenge everyone at all levels. They’ve begun testing raid content.

Tuesday - January 23, 2007

Vanguard - Preorder Access Servers Open Friday

by Dhruin, 22:13

Sigil has kicked up the details for Preorder early access:

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Early Access to Live Servers Begins Friday, January 26th

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online announced today that early access for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will commence January 26 at approximately 10:00 a.m. PST. Gamers who placed pre-orders either at retail or digitally will get to experience Vanguard: Saga of Heroes before the game’s official launch on Tuesday, January 30th. Players can select from multiple servers in North America and Europe and are not restricted by region. A link to a list of server names has been released on www.vanguardsoh.com. A character’s selected server during the early access phase will remain the same once the game launches.

The North American subscription fee for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is $14.99 monthly with discounts offered for longer subscription commitments. For players who already have a Station Access subscription, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is included in the $24.99 monthly fee. Players can now pre-order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes digitally and at retail. Additionally, gamers that pre-order the retail version will receive an exclusive endurance buff scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time (one per account). Pre-order customers will need to complete their purchase of the full game in order to continue playing after the early access phase.

For more information or to order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, visit www.joinvanguard.com/buy/.

Monday - January 22, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 21:02

Ten Ton Hammer speaks with Nick Parkinson, the Community Manager for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, about the game's impending release.

[TenTonHammer]: When does the 3 day head start period begin? What time? If you can't give us a time now, will we be informed before release?

[Nick Parkinson]: Look for a press release about this to go out very soon. We’ll be giving folks plenty of time to see it so they can make plans to play the game.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Friday - January 19, 2007

Vanguard - Beta News

by Inauro, 22:37

As reported in various places around the net, the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta is to close on the 23rd of January in anticipation of the game's launch on the 30th.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Open Beta to Close Jan. 23

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online announced today that the “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” open beta will close on January 23 at 11:59 p.m. PST. In anticipation of the January 30th launch of the fantasy-themed MMORPG, the servers will be shut down, and all beta character profiles will be transferred to a test server. The test server will open after launch with timing to be determined. For those who have pre-ordered “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes”, early access will be granted to the live servers before the official release date. More information regarding the early access will be released shortly.

Players can now pre-order “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” digitally and at retail. Additionally, gamers that pre-order retail versions will receive an exclusive endurance buff scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time (one per account).

For more information or to order “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes”, visit www.joinvanguard.com/buy/.

 

Vanguard - Media #5 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:16

RPG Vault offers up five exclusive Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots

Source: RPG Vault

Wednesday - January 17, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 21:37

WarCry talks with Nick Parkinson, the Community Manager for Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

WarCry Network: You're into the late stages of beta now. How has the process treated you guys and what are some of the changes in the game that came from the beta testers?

Nick Parkinson: The first part of that question might be better answered once we'd had some time to sleep *grin*. That last few months have been a lot of work, but it's really paying off now. Overall, there's been things that have worked and things that haven't. Most things we expected, but there have been a few surprises.

In terms of what the players have affected, their feedback is invaluable for tweaking the difficulty of encounters as well as how each class interacts with each other. There's always going to be differing viewpoints though, and knowing when to change things and when not to is the real trick.

 

Source: WarCry

Vanguard - Preview @ HEXUS

by Inauro, 21:27

HEXUS previews Sigil's soon-to-be-released Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a mammoth fantasy MMORPG from the creators of the Everquest series. Full of dangerous creatures, dwarfs, goblins and elves, the world is rich in history, lore and magic. The multiple gameplay paths give you a diverse range of options that shape your character based on your decisions -your destiny is your hands.

Sunday - January 14, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 03:46

The industrious Carolyn Koh talks with Brad McQuaid and Paul Luna about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

“Who will want to play Vanguard?” I asked.

“We wanted to recreate the experience for the old school DAoC and EQ player. The player who wants to be challenged, but we also did away with the tedium.” Said Brad.

Paul continued, “Also the WoW players who wants more immersion and challenge. Those are the players that Vanguard will appeal to.”

 

Source: MMORPG.com

Friday - January 12, 2007

Vanguard - Digital Download Pre-Orders Available

by Inauro, 23:01

Sigil and Sony are now taking pre-orders for the digital download of their forthcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Source: Sigil

Vanguard - Media #4 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 21:08

Five new hi-res screens of Vanguard are available at RPG Vault in their Media #4 feature.

Thursday - January 11, 2007

Vanguard - UK Release Details Announced

by Inauro, 21:15

This one's for our UK readers.

Basingstoke, January 11th, 2006 – Koch Media announced today an exclusive deal in the United Kingdom with GAME whereby people can pre-order the regular edition or Limited Edition of the next MMORPG from Sony Online and Sigil Games, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

The pre-order box available at retail locations offers GAME customers special added value game content and privileges, whilst acting as a deposit and securing a copy of one of the next generation MMORPGs for 2007:

GAME UK Exclusive Retail Pre-Order Box Includes:

• Early access to the game! Log on and get a jump start up to three days prior to the official launch!
• Special account key that will grant you a unique exclusive in-game scroll that will allow your character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account).
• Invitation to the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta (for eligible participants).
• Guild Mail recruitment tool to help you build your guild before launch!
• A king’s ransom of assets, including wallpapers and screenshots.

Available starting 12th of January from GAME Stores and Game.co.uk. Customers that pre-order and purchase online will receive access to the game three days prior to launch and the in-game scroll and beta access. To do so, players must log onto: http://www.game.co.uk/

 

Source: Sigil

Vanguard - January 30 Launch Date Set

by Dhruin, 21:03

An official release date of January 30th has been set for Vanguard:

VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES MAKES THE JOURNEY INTO RETAIL STORES ON JANUARY 30, 2007

San Diego, CA - January 11, 2007 - Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced that the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be released to retail outlets across North America and Europe on January 30, 2007, for the suggested retail price of US$49.99. A limited edition is also available for a suggested retail price of US$89.99.

Currently in beta, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes features vibrant environments reminiscent of oil paintings, a robust character customization tool and three distinct spheres of advancement in a seamless world without zoning or instancing. The immersive fantasy world is comprised of three massive, uniquely-themed continents for players to discover new creatures, new items and unlimited adventure. Players have complete freedom to roam the world whether flying dragons to islands in the sky or riding swift steeds to exotic lands.

“We are excited about delivering an MMO with immersive gameplay features that bring new depth and fun to the genre,” said Brad McQuaid, CEO, Sigil Games Online. “Vanguard gives players the chance to live in a breathtaking world and try new things such as our diplomacy system and our unique approach to crafting. We’re proud to be delivering this level of great gameplay for years to come.”

“SOE is pleased to be working with Sigil to bring the eagerly anticipated Vanguard to fruition,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment, “Vanguard not only broadens our product portfolio in the online space, but will also be a welcomed addition to our already value packed all-in-one Station Access subscription line-up.”

Players can pre-order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes now through a variety of methods including digitally and at retail, and by doing so, obtain an invitation to entrance into the live beta and, with purchase, access to the live servers up to three days prior to the official release. In addition, players that pre-order and purchase at retail will receive an exclusive in-game scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account). For more information or to order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes visit www.joinvanguard.com/buy/ .

Wednesday - January 10, 2007

Vanguard - Forums to Close @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:41

Sigil has announced that the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes forums are to close in preparation for the game's launch.

Greetings Everyone!

On January 16th, 2007 the Official Vanguard Forums will close. We’re excited to provide this opportunity before launch for the community and our Affiliated Sites to adjust and familiarize themselves with one another. The Affiliated Fansites are dedicated to serving the community and its needs and will be the primary source for information and discussion about Vanguard; while the program will change and grow this goal will remain the same.

We will provide a seamless network that promotes an active community without the hassle of finding information when you need it. The center of this community will be the Vanguard Community Site, www.vanguardsoh.com; this site will continue to provide constant updates and links to the discussion on the sites that concern the community. In addition to updating the site with links and news we will provide the community with tools to find the Fansite that is right for them. To view a list of our Affiliated Fansites please visit www.vanguardsoh.com/fansite.php.

We understand there will be questions and concerns, and invite the community to share them with us here and we will be happy to answer as many as we can.

Thank you everyone, we look forward to seeing you in Telon and on the Affiliated Fansites!

- The Vanguard Team

*Please note that the Beta Forums will remain open, and those that have yet to receive access will. Thank you for your patience.

 

Source: Sigil

Vanguard - CES Preview @ IGN

by Inauro, 21:23

IGN has garnered a few more details regarding Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes from the CES show.

US, January 9, 2007 - Sigil opened the Beta 5 for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes last week, and the developer had the latest build on hand at CES today. Representatives told us at this point the work being done is mostly in regards to the game's balance.

Part of what differentiates Vanguard from other MMOs is its community aspect. Players are encouraged to work with others and build a community together. You can build your own house and decorate it with trophies won while questing. Then you can invite other players over to show off your stuff. You can make your house either public or private, with permissions available to be doled out to those you deem worthy.

Source: IGN

Tuesday - January 09, 2007

Vanguard - Preview @ GameDaily

by Inauro, 21:26

GameDaily takes a look at Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

The world of Telon has been swept by a tide of undead minions, threatening to wipe out all life from the land. Old foes put aside their differences and join forces to face this common threat, and new heroes rise up in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. As the latest project by Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler, some of the people behind EverQuest, this game has some big expectations to live up to. Using a modified version of the Unreal 3 engine, Vanguard will help usher in the next generation of multiplayer online games.

 

Monday - January 08, 2007

Vanguard - Developer Journal @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:31

Nick Parkinson is back with another installment of his developer journal, So You Want to be an MMO Developer?

We’re lumping Quality Assurance, Customer Support and Community together because while the jobs are very much different all three are often seen as “foot in the door” jobs, so to speak. Meaning, a lot of folks get hired on in a position in one of these areas and want to eventually move on to some other area (typically design, though sometimes art). If you find yourself applying for one, don’t feel that you need to keep that fact a secret either as it’s usually not a problem.

Source: MMORPG.com

Vanguard - First Impressions @ Eurogamer & GamersInfo.net

by Inauro, 21:26

 Eurogamer and GamersInfo.net share some first impressions of Sigil's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Eurogamer

Perhaps, on reflection, Sigil Games might feel that putting the word "Saga" into the name was asking for trouble. Calling a game a "Saga" of anything, aside from inviting silly jokes about old age pensioners that don't play very well beyond England's shores, also practically guarantees that your development process will indeed become a Saga - a long, drawn out and somewhat painful experience abounding with whispered half-truths and vague generalisations. Still - even given the number of misconceptions and conflicting views which exist on the topic of Vanguard, Sigil's developers can at least count themselves lucky that they avoided the "Forever" pitfall, eh?

GamersInfo.net

I'm one of those people who is a fan of MMO's in general. If it has multiple people playing together online, I'll probably at least try it. It was Christmas seven years ago that my husband and I bought one another our first MMO, his and hers copies of Everquest, and I've been hooked on MMO's ever since. So when we had an opportunity to join Vanguard beta and take an early look at the game, I was more than a little excited. I knew enough about the game and Brad McQuaid to know that this game had potential to take me back to those glory days of my first MMO. While Vanguard hasn't quite done that, I do see many similarities to the early days of Everquest, though already I can see design decisions which are an improvement over some of the things I didn't enjoy in EQ. The one thing I will say right from the start, though, is that if you are considering playing this game in release, upgrade your computer system with your extra Christmas money, or tax refund, now. It doesn't matter if you just upgraded six months ago. To play Vanguard you are going to at least need a new video card. Let me begin by explaining why.

Vanguard - Beta Sign-ups @ Eurogamer.net

by Inauro, 21:20

Eurogamer.net has 10,000 Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta keys to give away to registered readers.

Eurogamer is the exclusive partner of Sony Online Entertainment and KOCH Media for the European beta, and we've got a massive 10,000 beta keys to give away to our readers. Each key comes with instructions on how to download the game client (it's about 7GB, so be prepared for an overnight download) - and then sets you loose in the fantastic world of Vanguard for the duration of the public beta. The beta will run for a number of weeks - with a final closing date still to be revealed - so it's a good idea to get involved as quickly as possible, in order to maximise the time you can spend with the game!

Saturday - January 06, 2007

Vanguard - Status Page @ Official Site

by Inauro, 22:44

Sigil has added a status page to the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

We've launched a new page to help keep the beta community up to date on the latest Vanguard developments. For daily updates, looks at what is in the works and a constantly growing FAQ, check out the beta info page here!

Source: Sigil

Vanguard - Updated Preview @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 22:33

GameSpy takes a look at the changes that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has undergone since its last preview.

I figure that it's best for us to start with a location that has seen the most drastic changes: the High Elves' homeland called Leth Nurae. As one of the oldest locations that beta testers have had access to, Leth Nurae (pictured below in its original state) is a land infused with the magic that is the centerpiece of High Elven society. Of course, to look at the above image, it didn't have quite the impact that Jeff Butler, Executive Producer and President of Sigil, had hoped for. In an interview a couple of months ago, he stated, "I want everyone that plays Vanguard to be able to enter the game and, within minutes, see some kind of vista or terrestrial feature that will astonish them; that they have to take a moment and just admire the world we've created for them."

Source: GameSpy

Vanguard - Beta 5 Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:22

IGN has a preview of the latest Vanguard beta, written by Sigil's Nick Parkinson.  Here's an early snip:

It has been a long road to get here though. While Beta 5 is our first "public", so to speak, phase of beta we've actually been testing for quite some time. With Vanguard, we opted to have a significantly longer beta period than many games choose to. We started inviting the very first testers to come join us way back in July of 2005 for what we called beta 0, or more commonly known as friends and family beta. Back then, only small portions of the game world were in and we were still trying out a lot of new ideas as far as game play mechanics go. Gradually, over the next year we moved through phases 1, 2 and 3 each time adding proportionally larger amounts of both testers and content.

Friday - January 05, 2007

Vanguard - Screenshots @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:57

RPG Vault has five exclusive Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots available.

Source: RPG Vault

Thursday - January 04, 2007

Vanguard - New Movie @ GameTrailers.com

by Inauro, 21:37

GameTrailers.com has a new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes movie available for download. 

Source: Sigil

Wednesday - January 03, 2007

Vanguard - Interview @ Stratics

by Inauro, 21:20

Stratics talks with Sigil about the company's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Stratics: How did Vanguard start? Were you having lunch one day and the idea struck? Or was the game a long term plan from EQ days?

Sigil: When Sigil was founded, the original dozen or so employees wanted to make the next step in online gaming. The phrase “third generation” stems from this desire. With EQ, they proved it was possible to create a massive 3D world and have it be a success. With Vanguard though, it was the opportunity to create a MUD-esque style game, knowing what worked and what didn’t in first and second gen games, with the most modern and advance graphics. This time around, we know what to expect and we’re planning Vanguard out for the long haul. As for where the inspiration came from – it’s just the game we’ve wanted to make. The game we’ve always wanted to develop but lacked the advanced enough technology to do it until now.

 

Source: Stratics

Tuesday - January 02, 2007

Vanguard - Developer Journal @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:22

Sigil's Nick Parkinson returns to MMORPG.com with another installment in his So You Want to be an MMO Developer? series.

If you’re reading this, there’s good news. You’ve probably already starting doing all the things you need to do to be a designer. Bag of Doritos in one hand? Highly caffeinated beverage in the other? If you answered yes, you’re already halfway there. First and foremost, you need to play games. You need to love it, and we’re not just talking “I root for the Bears when they’re winning” love… we’re talking “I wore my Mike Ditka signed boxer shorts to my wedding” love. If you don’t have that, you’ll probably get tired of it pretty quick.

Source: MMORPG.com

Vanguard - Coverage Round-up @ Stratics

by Inauro, 21:14

Stratics has a nice round-up of the recent Vanguard: Saga of Heroes coverage from around the net.

Source: Stratics

Sunday - December 31, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 00:06

Vanguard Spheres talks with Senior Game Designer, Salim Grant about work on Sigil's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Mel: Were you heavily involved in crafting in past MMOs and when did you start working on the crafting system for Vanguard?

Silius: I tend to craft a lot in all MMOs I play. I like being able to do all I can so between my wife and I we have multiple characters to do various trades and classes.

I started working on the crafting system about 4 months after I arrived at Sigil.

 

Source: Sigil

Saturday - December 23, 2006

Vanguard - Screenshots @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:31

Four new player-submitted screenshots have been added to the gallery at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

Source: Sigil

Friday - December 22, 2006

Vanguard - Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 20:26

Another Sigil employee steps into the spotlight at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the guy behind the curtain. Sometimes I make pretty stuff, other times the guys just laugh at me.

How did you get your start at Sigil?
After months of Brad pleading with me, I decided to cut him a break and help him out. Or was that the other way around? I forget. In any case I’m here now and I don’t even get gas money! 

Source: Sigil

Thursday - December 21, 2006

Vanguard - Flying Mount Movie @ Eurogamer.net

by Inauro, 21:16

Sigil, Sony and Eurogamer.net have teamed up for an exclusive release of footage showcasing one of the flying mounts from the forthcoming Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Here's the official press release.

Basingstoke, 21 december - Koch Media, Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online, in partnership with Eurogamer TV today released footage the Wyrm, one of several flying mounts available to players in the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game, “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.” Once players obtain their first flying mount around level 45, they are free to explore the skies, and gain a new perspective on the vast world of Telon. Discover hidden valleys tucked behind rugged mountain ranges, or uncharted islands in the sea. The three continents and seamless world offer players a lush environment riddled with secrets, mystery, and adventure. Currently in closed beta, “Vanguard” is scheduled to ship in Q1 of 2007.

To download gameplay footage please visit: http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=71271

The only limits are your own in Telon, where the adventurous can choose from multiple paths of exploration within the three spheres of advancement, Adventuring, Crafting, and Diplomacy. Players can delve into the mysteries of Telon, and embark upon quests to slay monstrous beasts locked deep inside rugged mountain ranges. Those with a quick mind can use diplomacy to convince kings to move armies and change the course of history. With player-crafted boats, flying mounts, and customizable player housing, Vanguard offers players a world of their own choosing.

For more information about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes please visit: www.vanguardsoh.com and www.joinvanguard.com

Tuesday - December 19, 2006

Vanguard - Developer Journal @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:23

Sigil's Nick Parkinson returns to MMORPG.com with another installment in his developer journal series, So You Want to be an MMO Developer?

Where to Start

Most development studios work with C++ and maybe some C#. Fortunately, more and more schools (high schools included) are offering beginner courses in various forms of computer programming, C++ included. Take those, see if you like it – it’ll be challenging but if you enjoy it keep going. If you find yourself not liking it at all, it’s probably best to focus on some other area of development as it’s only going to get more intense.

 

Source: MMORPG.com

Saturday - December 16, 2006

Vanguard - 5 New Screenshots @ MMORPG blog

by Kawika, 19:05

MMORPG blog has five new screenshots of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, showing off examples of the new game's beautiful outdoor environments.


These screens show the various surroundings of the world of Telon. We see trees of green, red roses too... And we think to ourselves, what a wonderful world! There's magical ruins, majestic valleys, and hundreds of other points of interest to play as the stunning backdrop for your journey.

Monday - December 11, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ FiringSquad

by Inauro, 21:35

FiringSquad speaks with Nick Parkinson, Sigil Games' Community Manager, about the forthcoming launch of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

FiringSquad: Why did Sigil decide to team up with Sony Online to co-publish the game?

Nick Parkinson: This is a question we are asked a lot, and the simple answer is because for what we need they’re the best at, plain and simple. As our co-publisher, SOE will be handling distribution, data center operations (hosting the game, etc), technical (not in-game) support and will be helping us a lot with marketing. All areas where SOE really shines.

Not to mention, logistically they make a lot of sense too. They’re just down the road from us here in San Diego and a lot of us have worked with them before, so we’re already familiar with one another.

 

Source: FiringSquad

Saturday - December 09, 2006

Vanguard - Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:36

Brian Mazza, one of the programmers working on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, steps into the employee spotlight at the official site.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Brian Mazza and I’m a programmer. More specifically, that means I spend about 10 minutes writing code for every 20 minutes spent compiling it, and 20 minutes testing it.

How did you get your start at Sigil?
I’d always wanted to be a game developer, so I went to the Fanguard in Las Vegas to see the game and test my luck at getting hired. I was the only person there wearing a suit, and after standing in the 103 million degree heat for about 30 seconds, I knew why. But my interview went a lot smoother – I very quickly proved to Ryan Elam I had no idea what I was talking about, but he hired me anyways. I think the suit paid off! 

Source: Sigil

Friday - December 08, 2006

Vanguard - Screenshots @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:01

RPG Vault has five new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots available for your viewing pleasure. 

Source: RPG Vault

Wednesday - December 06, 2006

Vanguard - Guild Mail

by Inauro, 21:31

Sony and Sigil's latest Vanguard: Saga of Heroes press release concerns the guild mail system...in a 'round about way.

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online Announce That Guild Mail Has Bridged The Gap Between Gnomes and Dark Elves in "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes"

True love knows no boundaries, not even between a stoic Dark Elf male and an enchanting female Gnome. In what seemed like a love destined to fail, this fairy tale romance has triumphed with a happy ending. The young female Gnome Royle, and the Dark Elf Adorin met on Qalia many moons ago, but it was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes’ Guild Mail that allowed their love to truly blossom. Royle and Adorin transcended years of hate between their two peoples to become the hottest item on Telon since the two dwarfs, Brahd and Engelina.

The Guild Mail system allowed the lovers to send personalized messages from across the continent. The couple started off using the text to speech audio feature to give their good tidings a voice, and the customizable portraits to give their love letters a face. However, that was hardly adequate. Royle and Adorin soon wound up using their own voices through the ‘record a message’ option, heating things up a bit. Many mails and one season later, the happy new couple is now off on a honeymoon to Thestra! Head to http://host-d.oddcast.com/php/start_vanguard1/door=171&cl=64&AID=0?id=16825877
to see the Cupid in disguise for yourself.

Create your own guild mail at: http://host-d.oddcast.com/vanguard1

The only limits are your own in Telon, where the adventurous can choose from multiple paths of exploration within the three spheres of advancement, Adventuring, Crafting, and Diplomacy. Players can delve into the mysteries of Telon, and embark upon quests to slay monstrous beasts locked deep inside rugged mountain ranges. Those with a quick mind can use diplomacy to convince kings to move armies and change the course of history. With player-crafted boats, flying mounts, and customizable player housing, “Vanguard” offers players a world of their own choosing.

For more information about “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” please visit: www.vanguardsoh.com or www.joinvanguard.com

and send it to fellow Vanguard fans

Source: Sigil

Tuesday - December 05, 2006

Vanguard - Pre-orders @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:51

SOE and Sigil have announced that they are now taking pre-orders for their upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced the arrival of “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” pre-order boxes in select retailers. The boxes should be available starting December 5th, depending on the retailer.

The culmination of years of work in “Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” would not have been possible without its strong community support. In the homestretch before launch, the pre-order program is a perfect way to gear up for the impending release, and gain access to a few goodies as well.

The pre-order box includes the following:

• Early access to the game! Log on and get a jump start up to three days prior to the official launch!
• A special account key that will grant you a unique exclusive in-game scroll, allowing your character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account).
• An invitation to the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta (for eligible participants).
• Guild Mail – a fun recruitment tool to help you build your guild before launch!
• A king’s ransom of assets, including videos, wallpapers and screenshots

You can pick up your pre-order boxes at the following retailers – GameStop, Best Buy, Fry’s as well as a few other valued retailers.

“Vanguard: Saga of Heroes” immerses players in a rich, seamless fantasy world filled with mystery and intrigue. The only limits are your own in the world of Telon, where the adventurous can choose from multiple paths of exploration within the three spheres of advancement, Adventuring, Crafting, and Diplomacy. Players can delve into the mysteries of Telon, and embark upon quests to slay monstrous beasts locked deep inside rugged mountain ranges. Those with a quick mind can use diplomacy to convince kings to move armies and change the course of history. With player-crafted boats, flying mounts, and customizable player housing, “Vanguard” offers players a world of their own choosing.

Source: Sigil

Friday - December 01, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ MMOSite

by Inauro, 23:31

Sigil's Darrin McPherson talks with MMOSite about the company's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

MMOsite.com: How do you come up with so many abilities/spells? Have any other games or works influenced your work?

Darrin McPherson: Good question.  We have a lot of influences.  Games we have played, books we have read, movies we have seen.  It is not any one source, but more a collection of them.  It is not easy and we often feel pretty thinly stretched.  It is not because we run out of ideas, it is much more that we run out of new things to do within our limits.  A good example of what I am talking about can be had by comparing a video game to a pen and paper game.  Pen and Paper designers are not constrained by things like Interface, Animations, NPC assets, Sound and Particle Effects.  Our limitations are very real and it can be tough to do something new time and time again using the same building blocks.  The challenge is fun though!

Tuesday - November 28, 2006

Vanguard - Preview @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:13

Worthplaying has put up a fairly detailed general preview of Vanguard:

Returning back to what I was touching on in the introductory paragraph of this write up, there is the “this is nothing new” effect. That’s a harsh way of putting it, but my ability to phrase that in a more elegant fashion has temporarily vacated my skull. You see, the play elements of Vanguard aren’t paradigm-shifting. No, they are essentially the exact same mechanics as we see in EverQuest 2 and World of Warcraft. Create your avatar, click on NPC characters for a series of quests to complete that not only explain the world lore and mythology but provide you with better equipment than what you have, rinse, repeat, explore, find new NPC’s, do their quests too, take in some crafting, make some better equipment, make some friends, maybe join a guild, and just generally bomb around in this world-that-isn’t-yet-is. While this doesn’t sound immediately engaging, remember my pizza analogy- “ugh, pizza is pizza”. No, when placed in the hands of a chef with any skill pizza is so much more than just pizza. (I’ve now just used the word “pizza” five, no six, times in two sentences. So much for my vow to avoid word repetition.)

Thursday - November 23, 2006

Vanguard - Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:48

James Rochelle, maker of Shaders and Textures for Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, steps under the employee spotlight at the official site.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m James Rochelle, and I make Shaders and Textures…and even a crate or two.

How did you get your start at Sigil?
After hearing about the studio from my good friend Tad I decided to take a break from coloring comics freelance. After doing the infamous test, I was hired as an environment artist.

Source: Sigil

Wednesday - November 22, 2006

Vanguard - Interviews @ Vanguard Spheres & WarCry

by Inauro, 21:50

Vanguard Spheres and WarCry talk with Sigil's Associate Producer, Todd Masten and Whitney Slagle, Office Assistant, respectively.

Vanguard Spheres

“Wow, it's been over a year since our last interview. It now seems to be approaching the home stretch with a Winter '07 release window, rather than back in Fall of '05 when you folks had a larger window of "2006". To summarize (if even possible), how has development changed since then?”

“Where to begin? We've made significant advances in our development pipeline and really streamlined the process. We've implemented all of the major systems in the game world and we are in the process of iterating, tuning, and tweaking everything. There are several places where the team was perhaps a bit, (read insanely), overambitious, and we've had to make some tough choices in scaling certain areas of the world down and earmarking other areas for post-launch and expansion content. We've also switched publishers to better position Vanguard in the market space since last we spoke. This was a relatively controversial decision, but one that was the best thing for the company and game moving forward.”

WarCry

2. What are the responsibilities that your position entails?

Basically, my position covers a little bit of everything. I help get the place up and running in the mornings, which always involves providing several different means of caffeine, and the ever popular sugar rush. I’m fairly certain that the Sigil machine would shut down given a shortage of soda, Snickers bars, and Laffy Taffy, so I provide the fuel for the fire.

Source: Sigil

Friday - November 17, 2006

Vanguard - Screenshots @ Vanguard Vault

by Inauro, 22:48

Vanguard Vault has five new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots available for viewing. 

Thursday - November 16, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 21:33

Vanguard Spheres talks with Donato Giancola, the cover artist for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Q:You were commissioned by Sigil, at Keith's request, to complete the box cover for Vanguard. Up until now, what types of art have you mostly been involved with?

I think what caught Keith’s interest in my work was the highly narrative images I had been creating for science fiction and fantasy book covers. For the first half of my career in the nineties, paperback and hardcover book jackets were the mainstay of my art: producing 25 to 30 covers a year. This cover work had been, and still is, evolving into higher complexity as I embrace multi-figural compositions and tackling dense architectural forms to flush out design aesthetics and abstract compositions. About 8 years ago, new commissions began to present themselves, from Playboy Magazine to Video Game advertising and box covers, from concept art to private commissions. These various venues helped expand my artistic interests as well as add variation in the narratives I presented in my portfolio. With each major commission, I found challenges, technically and aesthetically, to push me further afield to the artistic horizons. Thus by the time Keith and the Vanguard commission needed me, I was well immersed in a mature style and looking for new challenges to round out my portfolio.

More... 

Vanguard - Screenshots @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 21:25

Ten Ton Hammer has a couple of new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Vanguard - Class Profile Preview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 11:01

GameSpot has a Class Profile Preview for Vanguard, which looks at 10 classes in Sigil's upcoming game:

The fantasy realm is a popular one for massively multiplayer role-playing games, as these magical settings let you play as a completely different race and do all sorts of heroic deeds, such as clearing out infested dungeons, slaying dragons, and generally killing everything hostile that stands in your way. With Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games, which was founded by creators of the famed EverQuest, are preparing a whole new fantasy world to explore. And there are over a dozen character classes, or careers, that you can pursue in the game. In our previous preview we covered the first five, and now we present another 10 so you can study up and figure out what you want to play as when the game launches in January.

Tuesday - November 14, 2006

Vanguard - Name That Creature Contest @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:48

Sigil is holding a Name That Creature Contest at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site. 

Source: Sigil

Wednesday - November 08, 2006

Vanguard - Beta Crafting Preview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 21:03

A look at crafting in the current beta of Vanguard is now up at Ten Ton Hammer.  Here's an early grab from the article:

 Let me start by saying the critics were very wrong. Vanguard is much more than I could ever have hoped. It’s an amazing game. It’s really hard to compare it to anything else because it’s so huge, complex and has such an epic feeling to it. Most games can’t compare to Vanguard. Sigil is actually building a living breathing world while most MMOGs are building small amusement parks,

The crafting in Vanguard is very good; much better than I could have hoped for. It’s easy to get started in crafting, but at the same time it is complicated. I have been in beta a few weeks now and I still feel I know very little about crafting. But my lack of knowledge does not stop me from crafting (although I suspect it stops me crafting as well as I should). But the little I do know, I have been allowed to tell you. Just be aware that I am still a noob and my information is far from complete.

Tuesday - November 07, 2006

Vanguard - Narrated Video Tour @ GameZone

by Rheric, 21:27

GameZone has a recently released video tour of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes for download. The 20 minute video, narrated by Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler, shows off some of the customization options and features such as player housing.

Sunday - November 05, 2006

Vanguard - Preview @ Voodoo Extreme

by Inauro, 02:54

Voodoo Extreme previews Sigil's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes .

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is being put together by Sigil, a core group of folks that were part of the original EverQuest, including the well-known Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler. While we hadn't seen or heard much about Vanguard in the last year, recently a few movies have been surfacing that have piqued our interest. Vanguard purports to have several distinguishing features, including very large zones, player-made boats and a deep crafting system. On Halloween, Sigil's Jeff Butler and April Jones showed up at our offices, and we managed to rescue them from the Fear Factor Food Eating contest going on in our office lunchroom to get a demo of what's happening in Vanguard.

More...  

Source: Sigil

Friday - November 03, 2006

Vanguard - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:08

IGN has posted an updated preview of Sigil's Vanguard:

Artistically the style is supposed to resemble an oil painting. This influence is most noticeable in the distant landscapes like mountain ranges. The way some of the textures and colors blend does have some resemblance to more classic art mediums. Outside of that, Sigil is hoping to infuse the game with enough fantastic environments and views that it draws players into the world and helps them want to explore. The draw distance in the game is huge so that players in some parts of the world will be able to see objects several kilometers in the distance and know that they can get there. Whether their level is high enough is a whole different thing. Even restrictive mountain ranges are supposed to make players wonder what's on the other side.

Thursday - November 02, 2006

Vanguard - Movie @ GameSpot

by Inauro, 21:40

A new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes movie is available at GameSpot. 

Source: GameSpot

Wednesday - November 01, 2006

Vanguard - Audio Interview @ Stratics

by Inauro, 21:43

Stratics talks with Darrin McPherson, systems designer on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, in an audio interview available for download here.

Source: Stratics

Vanguard - First Look @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:29

MMORPG.com's Jon Wood shares some first impressions of Sigil's forthcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

The first thing that struck me about this game when I sat down to play was the general look of it. I don't just mean graphics, either. I find the overall art style of this game to be very appealing. Vanguard does a pretty good job of skirting the line between realism and fantasy. Often companies make a decision about the look of their game and take it so far in one direction that takes away from the other. The cartoony style of a game like World of Warcraft sacrifices realism for the sake of having a "fantasy" feel, while I have also played games that tried to look ultra-realistic and in that effort, took the fantasy feel out of their game. Vanguard doesn't succumb to either extreme, looking real enough to satisfy me, while still free enough to be fantasy.

More... 

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - October 26, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ MMO Reports

by Inauro, 23:27

MMO Reports talks with Nick Parkinson, Sigil’s Community Manager, about the company's forthcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

2. Vanguard: Saga Of Heroes was only recently brought under the SOE banner. Can you tell us what brought this about and how it will affect the game?

Sony Online Entertainment will serve as co-publisher for Vanguard. They will be helping us market the game and get the game into the stores, as well as helping out with backend things like hosting servers. Beyond that, pretty much everything else is up to us. So what that means for the game is that we (Sigil) have much more control over how Vanguard will turn out.

In terms of why we split with Microsoft, it was just that – more control. I do want to note though that the spit was amicable and we’re still very friendly with the folks up at Microsoft.

More...

Monday - October 23, 2006

Vanguard - Brad McQuaid Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 22:54

In article format, Ten Ton Hammer speaks to Sigil's Brad McQuaid at a recent Vanguard press event:

“How do you decide which content will go into a live update and what’s worthy of an expansion pack?” I asked.

“It’s all planned out,” he said. “We have it all mapped out for the next 7 or so years.” In the game preview andTaking aim group interview session earlier McQuaid had said, “My dream one day is to create the never-ending MMO. People talk about a game where it could take you years to see everything. How about if there’s no flippin’ way you could see everything?” He explained that when he plays the Vanguard beta himself, the scope of the game still surprises him. “I’m going to be experiencing things at the character level where I go, ‘Oh, cool! We put this in? That’s awesome!’ And so...I want to create the never-ending MMO. I think it could be Vanguard.”

Sunday - October 22, 2006

Vanguard - Flyby Movie

by Inauro, 01:49

Bluesnews directs our attention to 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell and Worthplaying where a new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes flyby movie is available for download.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - October 20, 2006

Vanguard - Press Event Coverage @ Stratics

by Dhruin, 04:40

Vanguard Stratics has a ton of coverage from the recent Gamer Day event.  Head over for a blog of the event, as well as coverage on Aventuring, Crafting and Diplomacy.

Vanguard - Class Profiles @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 04:16

Five character classes from Vanguard have been profiled at GameSpot:

The popular massively multiplayer role-playing genre that lets you adventure online with thousands of other players is set to get even bigger next year with the release of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, the debut title from Sigil Games. There's a lot of potential in Vanguard, as it is being created by some of the creators of the groundbreaking game EverQuest. This is a fantasy-themed game set in a world populated by humans, elves, dragons, and other mystical creatures. You'll be able to create your own unique character which you'll use to explore this vast world. This character will be based on one of the many character classes in the game. We've got an overview of five of those classes below, and we'll have details on the others later on. For now, read on and find out more about the bard, blood mage, and others. Vanguard is looking to launch early next year.

Tuesday - October 17, 2006

Vanguard - Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Dhruin, 07:54

Vanguard Spheres speaks with Sigil's Customer Support Manager Michelle Butler about her role in the company's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Q: So, Michelle...It's been a while now. Is there anything new you can tell us about the Customer Support that will be such a strong focal point in Vanguard?

Customer Support will have many new creative tools available to us both for player support and for events. We have some exciting ideas on how to keep the players involved with GM Events.

Q: Are you still enjoying putting this together, or are you ready to head for the hills? /grin

Customer Support will always be my favorite aspect of game development. While I enjoy creating NPCs as a designer I prefer the ability to assist a player who is in need. The interaction with the players is very rewarding to me. The team is stabilizing now and we will be ready to participate more in the community very soon.

More...

Monday - October 16, 2006

Vanguard - Pre-Order, Collector's Edition & Guild Edition Details

by Dhruin, 14:40

Sigil Online has announced the details of their pre-order program as well as revealing Collector's and Guild Editions of Vanguard:

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT AND SIGIL GAMES ONLINE REVEAL THE VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES PRE-ORDER PROGRAM AND COLLECTOR’S & GUILD EDITION DETAILS

SAN DIEGO, CA – October 13, 2006 – Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online announced today the special features included in the Collector’s & Guild Edition, as well as pre-order details for the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. In the vast world of Telon, players are free to choose their destiny by exploring three spheres of advancement, adventuring, diplomacy, and crafting. With intricately detailed environments inspired by oil paintings, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is scheduled to make the journey to retail stores in Q1 2007.

The pre-order box at retail includes:

* Early access to the game! Log on and get a jump start up to three days prior to the official launch!
* Special account key that will grant you a unique exclusive in-game scroll that will allow your character to sprint for longer periods of time due to an endurance buff (one per account).
* Invitation to the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes open beta (for eligible participants).
* Guild Mail recruitment tool to help you build your guild before launch!
* A king’s ransom of assets, including videos, wallpapers and screenshots.

AVAILABLE EARLY DECEMBER

Regular Edition - $49.99 MSRP
Packaged in a DVD box, the Regular Edition will include:

* A one month subscription to Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Station Players™ - an array of premium features that give incredible access to characters and guilds by merging the game world with the World Wide Web.
* Your choice of an in-game magical wand to create fireworks or an in-game set of horseshoes with +speed to use once you get your first horse (one per account).

Collector’s & Guild Edition Details - $89.99 MSRP
Packaged in a custom leatherette chipboard box, the Collector’s & Guild Edition will include:

* An art book featuring many original pieces by seminal fantasy artist, Keith Parkinson.
* A cloth map with an overview and points of interest for each continent.
* A CD featuring the full Vanguard: Saga of Heroes soundtrack.
* A three month subscription to Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Station Players™ - an array of premium features that give incredible access to characters and guilds by merging the game world with the World Wide Web.
* One of three Hero Cards each granting a unique in-game item (one per account).
o The Jeric card grants a cloak that increases adventuring stats.
o The Eila card grants a cloak that increases crafting stats.
o The Idara card grants a cloak that increases diplomacy stats.
* Your choice of an in-game magical wand to create fireworks or an in-game set of horseshoes with +speed to use once you get your first horse (one per account).
* A Guild Kit which includes:
o An in-game guild trophy that buffs stats for the entire guild*
o Ten 10-day buddy keys

*Need to earn/create guild house to use

Vanguard - Media Event Report @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 14:32

Ten Ton Hammer joins a number of other sites (see yesterday's news) in reporting back from the recent Vanguard: Saga of Heroes media event.

I remember getting very excited back in the day when news about EverQuest II first started to break. Say what you want about Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), but you can’t say that they fail to pack a punch in the marketing department. SOE pushed out a tremendous deal of hype when SOE was in its pre-launch stages. Although the game has grown and improved vastly since the days when it was launched to much fanfare and noise about innovative features and celebrity voice-overs, EQ2 may have missed its chance to really shine due to over-hype and initial under-delivery.

Enter Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, a game poised for publication by SOE in the first quarter of 2007. SOE has just begun to fire its heavy-duty marketing engines where Vanguard is concerned, but the fact that the game is being published by SOE begs the question: will Vanguard be all flash and no substance?

More...

Wednesday - October 11, 2006

Vanguard - Event Report & Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 22:41
MMORPG.com reports back on the recent Vanguard: Saga of Heroes media event, and offers up a selection of new screenshots into the bargain.
I had an interesting experience this past week, when I flew from Halifax to San Diego to attend an event being hosted by the people at Sigil Games and SOE for the upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

When we arrived at the event, we were treated to a viewing of the game, as we watched the screens as someone controlled the avatars, we listened to Sigil President and Executive Producer Jeff Butler and Sigil CEO and Executive Producer Brad McQuaid as they discussed the game and answered questions from those reporters in the audience.

Immediately upon seeing the game in action, I was blown away by the graphics, from the realistically blowing trees and grass to the impressive horizon, which we were told holds actual locations in-game. In general, they said, any place that you can see on the screen, even in the distance, can be reached, either through walking, flying mounts, or by some other means. While you might not have instant access to everything, the developers want to give people at least a look at what's out there so that they will be curious, and strive to find a way.
More...

Source: MMORPG.com

Vanguard - Media Event Report @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:34

Sigil and co-publisher SOE provide some insight into the progress of their upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Qalia is a continent where violent sandstorms sweep across arid desert sands baked by the blazing sun. It's a land of legends and superstitions, with innumerable accounts of deities, wars, monsters and heroes. Some of these tales are derived from ancient fallen empires like those of the Mordebi and Qaliathari. The island chains that comprise Kojan are also steeped in history. In the Imperial city, Tanvu, the Half Elf and Kojani human residents strive to restore its past glory. Within the jungles beyond that hold the ruins of settlements swallowed in ages past, the Wood Elves and their allies, the Raki fox people, dwell together for protection from the many dangers surrounding them. The perils in the port of Martok include the resident Orcs and Goblins, both constantly on the alert for opportunities to relieve unwary adventurers of their gold.

More...

Saturday - October 07, 2006

Vanguard - Race Information @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:30

Sigil has updated the About Vanguard page at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site with information about the races of Thestra.

Vanguard - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 01:18

TenTonHammer have put up an interview with Bill Fisher about Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Here's a snippet:

Vanguard TenTonHammer: Many people hope that Vanguard Saga of Heroes can bring back the magic and sheer excitement of EverQuesta "!s dungeons. Peoplea "!s expectations are quite high. What is Sigil doing to put the fun, challenge, and scare-factor back into dungeon design?

Bill Fisher: To put the fun, challenge, and scare-factor back in, we are making our NPCs a bit harder than some people today may be used to. Areas that cause you to bite it if you do not control your situation will be more common in Vanguard.

We will continue to tweak the power of certain types of epic NPC spells that require you to counter or suffer horribly, melee stances that maim and debilitate the players that must be reacted to, the frequency of runners, early runners, and other situations that the players will actually need to pay attention to in the group settings. It is not where we want it yet, but as we continue to dial this in, Ia "!m confident it will reach our intended goal.

We feel that a level of challenge is required for an area to actually be fun long term a  both from an actual combat standpoint and from an overall achievement standpoint.

More...

Vanguard - Second View @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 01:11

RPG Vault takes a second look at Sigil's upcoming Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Commendations

Vanguard aims to be a next-generation title incorporating impressive visuals and sound effects while minimizing downtime and tedium. At the same time, it will take a cue from its predecessors by incorporating a "more challenge equals more fun" philosophy. The world of Telon will be seamless, and players will be able to travel to just about anywhere that is visible on the landscape. Both questing and crafting will be supported, with the overall play seemingly more focused on groups than solo activity, and on investigating and traveling the world over camping monster spawns. With some 19 races and 15 professions available, players will have plenty of choices for their characters.

More...

Tuesday - October 03, 2006

Vanguard: Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 22:59
Vanguard spheres talks with John Larberg (aka GM Verityn) about Sigil's upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Q: You're one of the "newer guys" at Sigil. How do you like it?

I love it. I've been in customer support/service for as long as I've been working, but it has never been anything like working for Sigil. Though it is quite a challenge, I feel that I can definitely grow with Sigil and help develop it into something great.

Q: What is your gaming background?

My MMO background consists of UO for about 6 months, EQ from beta 3 until Luclin came out, and then miscellaneous others like AO, CoH, DaoC. I'm also a big RTS fan and I definitely like to incorporate that level of strategy to MMO raiding. Just an FYI: I can not be beat at Red Alert! Med tank rush ftw!
More...

Source: Vanguard Spheres

Sunday - October 01, 2006

Vanguard: Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:40
Another of Sigil's employees steps into the spotlight at the official <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a> site.<blockquote><em><B>Who are you and what do you do?</B><br>My name is Jeremy Jiao and Ia "!m one of the Environmental Artists on the Vanguard team. In short, Ia "!m the guy in the picture. I make stuff, I place stuff, and I do stuff to make stuff prettya ¦and stuff.<br><br><B>How did you get your start at Sigil?</B><br>I was born in 1975 and Fate and/or the Space-Time Continuum did the rest (choose one based on your foundation of beliefs). Actually, I started in the MMO industry with a game called Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. After SWG released, I found out that Sigil was hiring artists. I completed the art test, went through the interview process (which involved a trip to the local go-kart track). And now, here we are.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.vanguardsoh.com/ES-09-29-06.php" target="_blank">Moe...</a>

Source: Vanguard

Monday - September 25, 2006

Vanguard: Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 22:50
Vanguard Spheres <a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6775-orc-orc-course-course.html#post15125" target="_blank">talks with</a> Ian Conway, AKA GM Aughos, of Sigil's <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a> team.<blockquote><em><B>Q: You and Verityn are two of the newer GMs. Are you adjusting to Sigil's way of life well?</B><br><br>So far, the transition has been painless. The staff here is extremely dedicated to the project and their fellow GMs. I was welcomed in and made part of the team by everyone and I have felt at home since day 1. In a nutshell, I have no complaints. Everyday though I have to remind myself that this isna "!t a dream, I have wanted to be a part of Sigil for quite sometime now and being here is as good as I had hope it would be.<br><br><B>Q: What was the hardest thing about coming into the Pit?</B><br><br>Being the only GM who doesna "!t have an Elf maybe? I actually like the environment of the pit. It allows me to be closer to the core team in CS and communicate a lot easier for server issues and questions I may have. Also, as a bonus everyone is in range for paper projectiles. I know eventually the pit will be expanding but for now, I am enjoying the fact that this team has become so close so fast. Eventually they will all understand the Orc way of life.<br></em></blockquote><a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6775-orc-orc-course-course.html#post15125" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard Spheres

Wednesday - September 20, 2006

Vanguard: Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 22:50
Vanguard Spheres <a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6757-introducing-gm-daegarmo.html#post14957" target="_blank">talks with</a> Gary Grobson, one of the GMs for Sigil's upcoming MMORPG, <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a>.<blockquote><em><B>Q: You've been a GM for a number of years now. Do you really like it that much?</B><br><br>Ia "!ve been in the industry now for 8 years, in that time I have held the positions of Apprentice Guide, Guide, Senior Guide, Game Master, Gaming Integrity Specialist, (Internal Affairs), Events Coordinator, Senior Events Coordinator, EQ-Live Production Coordinator, Senior Game Designer, Customer Service Representative (DAOCa "!s name for Game Master), and back to Game Master. With my background, I can pursue careers in Customer Service, Game Design, Game Production, Operations, or Community Relations.<br><br>That being said, you can believe me when I say that I find Customer Service to be the most emotionally rewarding position the industry has to offer. Every single day I have an immediate and direct effect on not only individual players, but the overall player base as well. It is this interaction, along with the pace and problem-solving aspects, that keep my interest above and beyond what the others have.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6757-introducing-gm-daegarmo.html#post14957" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard Spheres

Saturday - September 16, 2006

Vanguard: Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:48
Mike Wyatt, the Associate Game Designer for <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a>, is the latest Sigil employee to step into the spotlight at the game's official site.<blockquote><em><B>Who are you and what do you do?</B><br>There are many, many things that I do. What an unusually broad question! Here at Sigil, Ia "!m an Associate Game Designer for Vanguard. Blast! I forgot to introduce myself firsta ¦ Michael (Mike) Wyatt, otherwise known as Tsudanosh.<br><br><B>How did you get your start at Sigil?</B><br>I was a member of the off-site testing team for Vanguard at Microsoft Game Studios when I had my first glimpse at the game and the opportunity just arose to join the design team. It was all quite the whirlwind of events as one day I had my humble little apartment in Seattlea ¦ and the next? I had donated all my earthly belongings, loaded up my car with the items that made the moving a Scuta ?, and drove on down with my good pal Wendel (hea "!s the green guy in the picture!).<br><br>Which reminds me, when you drive for 20 hours with a garden gnome riding shotgun a  people laugh at you on the freeway! Watch the road people, not the gnomes!</em></blockquote><a href="http://vanguardsagaofheroes.com/ES-09-15-06.php" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard

Friday - September 15, 2006

Vanguard: AGC Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 01:48
Fron the Austin Games Conference comes an <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?gameId=147&setView=features&loadFeature=871&bhcp=1" target="_blank">interview</a> on Vanguard's Diplomacy and other issues at MMORPG.com:<blockquote><em>On Thursday I met with Sigila "!s President/Executive Producer Jeff Butler and Senior Manager of Marketing/PR April Jones to talk about the highly anticipating upcoming MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.<br><br>I took this opportunity to talk to Butler and Jones about one of Vanguarda "!s unique features: the presence of an in-depth diplomacy system. According to Butler, this system is complete and is being integrated into Beta 3. All that is left between now and launch - which should be some time this winter a  is for designers to flesh out the depth of the system.</em></blockquote>

Wednesday - September 13, 2006

Vanguard: Class Selection Preview @ Games Radar

by Inauro, 23:05
Games Radar takes a look at class selection in Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
There are actually three different Spheres of classes in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (didn't we mention that this game is huge?). In this portion of the preview, we'll focus on the Adventuring Sphere of classes which you'll select when you initially create your character. (We'll cover the Crafting and Diplomacy Spheres later in the week.) Your Adventuring class determines what kind of skills your character will be able to learn as you gain experience. These skills are predominantly combat based, whereas other Sphere's focus on other game aspects such as item creation and faction interaction.
More...

Source: Games Radar

Monday - September 11, 2006

Vanguard: Crafting Interview @ MMO Craft

by Inauro, 22:54
MMO Craft <a href="http://www.mmocraft.com/" target="_blank">talks with</a> Daniel Newman, Associate Game Designer of <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a>, about the crafting system in Sigil's upcoming MMORPG.<blockquote><em><B>MMOCRAFT</B>: How much effort was put into the crafting system as opposed to the other professions in Vanguard? <br> <br><B>Daniel</B>: Each sphere has had roughly equal amounts of focus on them and we all work on them daily to improve the experience. We want each sphere to be both unique and fun, so we put as much effort as possible in all aspects of the game. <br> <br><B>MMOCRAFT</B>: Is the crafting a full class rather than a Ssomething adventurers do in their spare timea ?? <br> <br><B>Daniel</B>: The crafting sphere is definitely a well-rounded and robust game of skill and chance. Crafters who have been looking for a more involved form of crafting will be pleased with the system and find it to be very entertaining. Of course, less involved crafters will be able to dabble if they want to as well.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.mmocraft.com/" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: MMO Craft

Vanguard: Caravan Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 22:18
Ten Ton Hammer serves up a Vanguard interview with focus on travel. Here's the intro question:
[Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer]: Caravans seem to be one of the more mysterious and least understood travel features in Vanguard. We know that caravans will allow groups of players to remain together even when some of those players are offline. Can you explain the basics of how the caravan system is intended to work?

[Vince Napoli]: The caravan system is rather simple. Through a tiny element in our UI, group leaders will be able to form a caravan by inviting their members to join them much like they do to form a group.

Once you have accepted an invitation to join a caravan, you are free to log your character out at any location you desire.

When you return to the game, you will be presented with two options:

1. Log in exactly where you logged out previously, or
2. Log in at your caravan leader's bind point.

Wednesday - September 06, 2006

Vanguard: Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 22:54
Vanguard Spheres <a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6621-all-world-stage.html#post14596" target="_blank">talks with</a> Todd Thomas, one of the Game Masters working on <a href="http://vanguardsagaofheroes.com/" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a>, about his role in this upcoming MMORPG.<blockquote><em><B>Q: Tage, how long have you been in gaming Customer Service?</B><br><br>I started only a few years ago, but Ia "!ve got a lot of CS background in other lines of business and Ia "!ve been gaming since a ¦ well, a really long time ago.<br><br><B>Q: What is it that you like about your job, in particular?</B><br><br>The interviews? Actually, Ia "!m always excited by the potential of whata "!s yet to come. I see so much room for evolution in MMOs, how they appeal to players and how they are presented and how I could fit into and even push that evolution that every day is exciting. It also helps that Sigil seems to be looking forward to the same things I am.<br><br>Day to day, I really enjoy working on what wea "!re calling a Sdynamic eventsa ?, which are the standard a SGM eventa ? from other MMOs, but hopefully improved and evolved to a a S3rd gena ? level. Ia "!d like to think that I can learn from my background and even from what Ia "!ve heard about from others to make each a Sdynamica ? progress beyond the last. I want to see Vanguard dynamic events blow people away and break the barriers of what people think is possible with GM-run and a  acted events.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/6621-all-world-stage.html#post14596" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard Spheres

Saturday - September 02, 2006

Vanguard: Developer Profile @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:09
Head on over to the official <a href="http://www.vanguardsagaofheroes.com" target="_blank">Vanguard: Saga of Heroes</a> site for a profile of David Forrest, one of the senior programmers of Sigil's upcoming MMORPG.<blockquote><em><B>How did you get your start at Sigil?</b><br>I started out with an interview that I didna "!t think went very well. I had recently graduated from UCI with a computer science degree and was chomping at the bit to get a job in the industry. I was persistent and eventually my persistence turned into a second interview which must have gone pretty well since Ia "!m here. I think I was hired because when I was asked, a SWhat would you consider your weaknesses?a ? I responded with, a SWell, Ia "!m overconfidenta ¦ [dramatic pause]a ¦ and so have no weaknesses.a ?</em></blockquote><a href="http://vanguardsagaofheroes.com/ES-09-01-06.php" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard

Wednesday - August 23, 2006

Vanguard: Inteview @ Stratics

by Inauro, 23:15
Stratics talks with Salim Grant, Senior Game Designer for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes about how crafting will function in the upcoming MMORPG.
What is your current focus going into beta 3?

We are getting the new customization functionality on the server and working on the factional crafting paths and general polishing of the system. I am happy with where we are currently in the stage of the system as most questions have been answered and we are in pure implementation mode.

Can players craft any vehicles other than boats?

Boats are where we plan on keeping it for now. Once that is worked out any other vehicles we have in game could be craftable in some way.
More...

Source: Stratics

Saturday - August 19, 2006

Vanguard: Dev & Monster Profiles @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:50
Drop by the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes for a new developer profile and a closer look at some of Thestra's less lovable denizens.

Source: Vanguard

Thursday - August 17, 2006

Vanguard: New Screens

by Dhruin, 23:45
The Vanguard site is pointing out new screens at Ten Ton Hammer and WarCry.

Wednesday - August 16, 2006

Vanguard: Windows Theme @ Official Site

by Inauro, 22:59
Sigil has put together a Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Windows theme for those wanting to dress up their systems in the colours, sights, and sounds of this upcoming MMORPG.
Now serving fresh delicious Brownies!

That's right! We've put together an action-packed Windows Theme featuring those mischievous little Brownies!

Visit our Downloads page and get the Theme Pack today!

Included in the pack you will find:

* Exclusive Brownie Wallpaper!
* Custom Desktop Icons!
* Actual In-game Sounds!
* and An Animated Cursor!

Have fun!

Source: Vanguard

Wednesday - August 09, 2006

Vanguard: Bill Fisher Interview @ Online Welten

by Inauro, 23:24
hill and you might find a human castle taken over by orcs, delve into a chasm and you might find the cavernous entrance to a mini dungeon or play area. There is no loading a  you simply enter and leave. Of course, many monsters have a Sleashesa ? which stop them from being a Straineda ? too far from their dungeon of origin.<br><br><b>2. How do you avoid players stealing mobs from each other?</B><br><br>Ultimately, we do not a Sstopa ? players from stealing mobs from one another. Our system is very traditional a  the group that does the most damage takes the monster. This stands true unless it is a special spawned a Sgoldena ? monster, which only members of the group that spawned it may interact with.</em></blockquote><a href="http://vanguard.onlinewelten.com/include.php?path=content/articles.php&contentid=694" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Online Welten

Saturday - August 05, 2006

Vanguard: Updates @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:33
Interviews, videos, concept art, music, employee spotlights, oh my! It's all happening at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site this week.

Source: Vanguard

Thursday - August 03, 2006

Vanguard: New Screenshots & Movie @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:05
Sigil has released 10 new player submitted Vanguard: Saga of heroes screenshots, and directs our attention to 1UP where a new video is available for viewing.

Source: Vanguard

Wednesday - July 26, 2006

Vanguard: Jack Turner Interview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 23:18
WarCry talks with Sigil's Jack Turner about his role as an artist on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.<blockquote><em><b>1.Tell us your name and your position at Sigil.</b><br>Jack Turner, and Ia "!m an Artist <br> <br><b>2. What are you responsible for in Vanguard?</b> <br>I am responsible for the final appearance of the characters in Vanguard. I make sure that the models, bump maps, color maps, and tinting systems all work correctly for the creatures, PCs and NPCs in the game. Ia "!m also the a Uclothing wranglera "!; I color all the player outfits and organize them for easy reference. This is, to those that know me, truly ironic; normally, I have the fashion sense of your average gamer. Ia "!ve had to learn a LOT about fashion in the past few months.</em></blockquote><a href="http://vs.warcry.com/scripts/news/view_news.phtml?site=64&id=57319" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: WarCry

Sunday - July 23, 2006

Vanguard: Employee Spotlight @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:01
Head on over to the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site for a new developer profile. In the spotlight this time around, Peter Rocchio.
Who are you and what do you do?

I am a god among men. My true name is unpronounceable by tongues of flesh. Therefore, on this plane, I am called Peter Rocchio Jr.

I create quests with but a thought, populate entire dungeons using a keystroke from my pinky, and slay the most powerful of creatures with a single command. There is no challenge that I cannot meet.
More...

Source: Vanguard

Friday - July 14, 2006

Vanguard: Preview @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:15
Sigil's Vanguard has been <a href="http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=35448" target="_blank">previewed</a> at Worthplaying:<blockquote><em>For the last two years at E3, Sigil has gone out of their way to pontificate about the current crop of MMOs being too easy, and damnit, hardcore is where it's at a  retrieve your corpse uphill in the snow, both ways stuff. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was going to be the title for that hardcore crowd.<br><br>When Sigil told me this year that they were backing off from needing two sets of armor a  one to fight with, the other to reclaim your corpse with a  and level-losing death penalties, I was thrilled. Finally, someone there "gets it." Now, don't get me wrong; death penalties should hurt and not be so light that it's just a quick ride back to your bind point, but taking up to 10 hours to get your body back after a mistake is horrendous game design. I've suffered through enough lengthy corpse runs in EverQuest to last me until I die for real.</em></blockquote>

Tuesday - July 11, 2006

Vanguard: Rob Matzker Profile @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:35
Sigil profiles one of its own in a new Employee Spotlight feature at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.<blockquote><em><b>Who are you and what do you do?</b><br>Ia "!m Rob Matzker - web developer, build master and tools guy. I work with Sean Hamilton to create and maintain our web presence while also keeping the gamea "!s build tools updated. When I am not spinning the web, I play keys in a San Diego rock-n-roll jam band called Moontucky Risin.<br><br><b>How did you get your start at Sigil?</b><br>It all began in when I was accepted into EverQuest Beta - Phase 3. I instantly fell in love with the style of game play and the awesome 3D worlds that Brad and his team created. After the March 1999 release date, I played the game almost non-stop and eventually joined the guide program, because I could not get enough of EQ and wanted to help fellow players. It was there where I met many cool people including Michelle Butler, whom wanted me to come out and be a Game Master on her team at Verant Interactive.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.vanguardsoh.com/ES-07-07-06.php" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Vanguard

Vanguard: Interview @ Vanguard Spheres

by Inauro, 04:33
Vanguard Spheres talks with Sigil's Technical GM, Paul Luna about his company's forthcoming MMO.
Q: You've done a lot of different things at Sigil, and now you've gotten your feet wet in the GM pool! What haven't you done for SGO that you'd still like to try?

I would love to learn our 3D modeling tools so that I can create something to place in game. I enjoy painting miniatures, given that experience I would also love to make an attempt at creating a texture for one of the many NPCs or armor sets in our game.
More...

Source: Vanguard Spheres

Friday - July 07, 2006

Vanguard: Thestra Information @ Official Site

by Inauro, 05:37
The About Vanguard section of the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site has been updated with "...lots of screenshots and information about the environments of Thestra.".

Source: Vanguard

Friday - June 30, 2006

Vanguard: Interview @ Mondes Persistants

by Inauro, 02:24
The Vanguard: Saga of Heroes team answer a few questions over at Mondes Persistant. Here's a snippet from the English translation of the article:<blockquote><em><b>Mondes Persistant</b>: 1) (April) In your background, we have noticed that you have worked on the European market, youa "!ve been working for Ryzom, which is much known here in France. What did you learn from this experience and what is your opinion on the European market and its dynamism.<br><br><b>April Jones (Sr. Manager of Marketing & PR, Sigil)</b>: I worked in Norway for 3 years, some of that with Funcom working on Anarchy Online, and some of that with my own consulting company, Arctic Light. My consulting company was lucky enough to win the contract for helping promote Saga of Ryzom in the Nordic Region. It was a fantastic experience! French developers are known for their visual flair and Nevrax certainly lived up to that expectation with Ryzom. What a beautiful game!<br><br>My opinion about the European market in general is that it is far too often underestimated by many North American marketing and PR professionals. There are very robust gaming communities throughout Europe and I was surprised to learn about broadband connectivity and the fact that many countries are actually more connected to modern technologies than Americans &#61514;. SMS is a great example. In Norway, I could do my taxes by SMS and my bills were all handled electronically by my bank. In the US, Ia "!m still writing paper checks for most of my bills, although more places are slowly making it easier to pay online. We are really behind many parts of the world on that front. So, my time living in Europe opened my eyes to the fact that there are a whole lot of tech-savvy gamers out there craving information about video gamesa ¦and theya "!re just across the ocean from us.</em></blockquote><a href="http://vanguard.mondespersistants.com/articles-0-188/Internationalisationenglish/" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Mondes Persistant

Vanguard: Screenshots & Dev Journals @ Stratics

by Inauro, 02:14
Sigil has <a href="http://www.stratics.com/#newsitem1151627266,61190," target="_blank">gifted Stratics</a> with six exclusive Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots and two new developer journals to go with them. Here's a snippet from one of the journals:<blockquote><em>Brennana "!s Stead was designed to make you feel like you have a safe place to come back to and repair, sell items, and talk with people after a hard day of questing. Being that there is a vast wilderness beyond the village it is nice to know there is a place like that to come back toa ¦ If you make if back alive!<br><br>I think the location itself being nestled into a mountainside helps give it a sense of protection, but the guards that patrol the area to let you know that danger lurks not too far away.</em></blockquote>

Source: Stratics

Thursday - June 29, 2006

Vanguard: Steve Williams Interview @ VGTact

by Inauro, 00:26
VGTact speaks with Steve Williams, Associate Designer on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, about his role in the development of Sigil's upcoming MMORPG.
VGTact: "From the several leaked beta newsletters, we've heard that Diplomacy is being revised and improved - can you comment on how Diplomacy is improving, and how major of a change it is?"

Williams: Making the art of conversation 'fun' can be quite the challenge. Beta test feedback and our own internal review of the systems we had implemented showed that they needed a facelift. For this reason we sat down and took a good hard look at the ultimate decision-maker of the success of a system: gameplay. Going from that standpoint, we are moving closer to the concept of what I call "the dance of argument" - pushing and pulling on each other until one side comes out victorious.

The playtests of the enhanced system that Zahariel and I have cooked up is like nothing seen before in an MMO - yet, we're building off the original system and the original vision of Diplomacy.
More...

Source: VGTact

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Vanguard: Screenshots @ Gamona.de

by Inauro, 12:55
Gamona.de send word that they have seventeen new Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots in their gallery.

Source: Gamona.de

Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Vanguard: Darrin McPherson Interview @ Paladins of Telon

by Dhruin, 01:36
Sigil's Darrin McPherson speaks to the Paladins of Telos about the paladin class in Vanguard:<blockquote><em><b>Paladins of Telon - Other than tanking, what do you think will be the main aspects of a Paladin that will make them desirable to groups?</b><br><br>Darrin McPherson - Paladins are our most defensively oriented Protective Fighter. They are very geared towards protection and augmentation of their group. They have auras that can heal, empower or protect their parties. They have heals and buffs, which you would expect, but they also have powerful rescue abilities. One of the themes that I wanted to go with for the Paladin was protection and retribution a  You dona "!t want to attack a Paladina "!s ally. Our Paladin is the least damaging of the classes in his archetype, except when he is performing rescues. A Paladina "!s rescues deal damage to the offender, damage that is on par with or that exceeds the Warrior in some cases.</em></blockquote>

Sunday - June 25, 2006

Vanguard: Beta Screenshots @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:21
Six player-submitted beta screenshots are the order of the day at the official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes site.

Source: Vanguard

Friday - June 16, 2006

Vanguard: April Jones Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 07:41
Sigil's Senior Manager of Marketing and Public Relations has been <a href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=296" target="_blank">interviewed</a> at Ten Ton Hammer:<blockquote><em><b>[Ten Ton Hammer]: When we last spoke at GDC in late March, you described Microsoft as being "highly supportive." Did something change between then and when Microsoft sold the publishing rights to Sigil, who in turn entered a co-publishing deal with SOE? Do the rumors about Microsoft wanting to put Vanguard exclusively on Vista play into this at all?</b><br><br>[April Jones]: Microsoft is actually still highly supportive of Vanguard so that statement is still true. The game remains a premier title for the Windows platform, after all. So their belief in the game and desire to see it succeed hasna "!t changed at all. However, we started to realize that we had differing opinions about a number of specific topics ranging from marketing tactics and our presence at E3 to when our release date should be; nothing related to Vista was an issue in the decision to part ways. Ita "!s been interesting to see the creative efforts behind some of the conspiracy theories though. I only wish our dealings were that exciting and full of intrigue.</em></blockquote>

Wednesday - June 14, 2006

Vanguard: Guild Beta Applications @ Official Site

by Inauro, 07:08
Sigil is now accepting applications from guilds wishing to join the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes beta.
Sigil Games Online is now accepting applications for guilds/clans to be accepted into Beta. We are looking for guilds of all sizes and play styles to help us test Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

In order to be considered for acceptance, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

* Only one application per guild may be submitted. Multiple applications will be automatically rejected.
* The submitted list of members must be complete and may not be amended after submission.
* All guild members submitted for consideration must have active accounts on the Vanguard forums.

The guild application is available here.

Source: Vanguard

Thursday - June 08, 2006

Vanguard: E3 Impressions @ GamingExcellence

by Inauro, 04:33
GamingExcellence shares some first impressions of Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes as seen at E3 2006.
So where does Vanguard fit into this picture and what does it have to offer? Well, the gameplay follows more closely that of the classic MMORPG genre, with a few major differences. The focus however, is more towards creating a realistic world than a fantasy-based one. For those comparing, and I do make this comparison in a broad sense, think more along the lines of Guild Wars as opposed to EverQuest or World of Warcraft.

Vanguard takes place in the war-torn world of Telon, which consists of two large continents. Upon entering the world, players have the option of choosing between nineteen different races for creating their character, including Orcs, Goblins, Dwarves and Elves; fifteen different classes, which include the common Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer and Rogue, as well as the less common Psionicist and Bard. Standard trade skills are available, as are mounts. However, instead of only having one mount, players will be able to collect dozens, all with unique attributes and purposes.
More...

Source: GamingExcellence

Vanguard: Screenshots @ Gamona.de

by Inauro, 04:14
Gamona.de send word that they have fifteen new and exclusive Vanguard: Saga of Heroes screenshots.

Source: Gamona.de

Vanguard: Josh Deeb Interview @ Online Welten

by Dhruin, 01:23
Online Welten has an (English and German) <a href="http://www.vanguardsoh.com/screenshots.php" target="_blank">interview</a> with Sigil artist, Josh Deeb:<blockquote><em><b>Walk us through how a piece of game art is created, from concept to finished art.</b><br><br>After something has been approved for creation, our talented concept artists will come up with some awesome concept art that gives a good sense of the colors, textures, and overall look that the particular piece of art should have. Once that concept has been approved by those in charge, it will be handed off to one of us to build in Maya. This process involves a lot of feedback and critique, and things can change slightly or drastically from the original concept sometimes. Once that is done, and all the shaders have been applied and everything has been approved, ita "!s time to talk to the design department and see what they have planned for the area. That way we know where we need to place it so that it will flow with the gameplay plans for that area.</em></blockquote>

Vanguard: June Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 01:20
Sigil has released three new screens for Vanguard at the official site.

Friday - June 02, 2006

Vanguard: Jeff Damron Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 08:31
Jeff Damron, an Associate Artist with Sigil, talks with Ten Ton Hammer about his role on the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes team.<blockquote><em><b>TTH</b>: First off, Ia "!d like to thank you for taking the time to let the community get to know you and your work a little better. Ia "!d like to start with a bit about your artistic background. As someone who has always had an art or craft project in the works since I was little, was art always a factor in your life?<br><br><b>Damron</b>: I should be the one to thank you and the community for being so curious about the people behind what we are creating.<br><br>To answer your first question, I had actually never really thought about this. Unknowingly, I would say yes. Art was something that I never put ahead of anything else in my life until I got to college. Growing up, I was interested in a lot of different things, but none of them had more priority over another. Art was something I dabbled in from time to time, and it was usually me just trying to imitate other art like The Punisher comics, DragonLance art, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or other comics.</em></blockquote><a href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=284" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Vanguard: Christian Akesson Interview @ Silky Venom

by Inauro, 08:28
Silky Venom talks with Christian Akesson, Senior Artist on Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes MMO.<blockquote><em><b>Silky Venom</b>: How did you become an artist?<br><br><b>Christian Akesson</b>: Mainly by doing, generating a project idea, research, concepting and executing. Back in 1994 while studying general education classes in college, I chipped in for a computer with my roommate, Martin Karlsson (technical lead here at Sigil), and we bought Strata Studio Pro, a very basic 3D program. We would take turns and sit down and do our own projects. Most of the renderings and a Sarta ? results were quite atrocious, but it was a great learning experience. </em></blockquote><a href="http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?p=34441#post34441" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Silky Venom

Monday - May 29, 2006

Vanguard: Preview @ Hooked on Games

by Inauro, 01:24
Hooked on Games previews Sigil's upcoming Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Vanguard is going to introduce some new ideas and techniques that most MMOs have been getting wrong or missing the whole time. Let's start at the beginning though, character creation. Vanguard will have the most advanced character creation engine since Star Wars Galaxies. With an unheard of nineteen races to choose from and and near limitless combinations of just about every aspect of your character, it is safe to say that character uniqueness is assured. Traditional races are to be expected in vanguard. Humans (several breeds), dwarves, orcs, the entire family tree of elves, Gnomes and Halflings all make an appearance. They are also introducing a handful of exotic races such as the Vulmane (wolf people), the Kurashasa (cat people), Raki (fox people) and half giants. Even the Goblins are playable!
More...

Source: Hooked on Games

Information about

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Developer: Sigil

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unlimited
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2007-01-30
· Publisher: SOE