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Author:  Sydius [ Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Vanguard

My opinions of VG have changed a lot since I played beta. Now that I actually care about my character, a whole new world has opened up to me.

I am a Kojani half-elf druid, artificer, and diplomat.

Some of the quests were broken the first couple days. One is still semi-broken. You could finish all of them, but you had to use cheap work-arounds sometimes. They've mostly fixed them in the following days as people complained (many of the quests were not in beta, I believe).

The graphics also glitch on me sometimes. Fortunately, there are in-game commands for flushing the video memory, etc. so it doesn't require a restart. Still, not enough polish.

Overall, I would say they released 6 months too early. Like most MMOs. On the plus side, they are patch-freaks, and there is a list of 30+ items they fix/tweak/add every day (almost always to the server, so no huge client patches yet).

On to the actual game-play...

The adventuring quests are very involving. Yes, they are the standard "kill X number of Y" or "find Z, probably by killing W" just like in any other MMO. The difference, though, is in the dialog and the plot lines... they are VERY well-written. To the point that my girlfriend actually tells me to wait while she reads them. I've never seen her read ANYTHING in any other game.

There are few singular quests. Almost all quests are a part of a longer quest line that could be 30+ quests long. I appreciate this, as it definitely gives you a much stronger feeling of importance. Having them broken up into many smaller quests also makes it easy to find a stopping point, which is important to me and my limited schedule.

Crafting is about how I explained it was like in beta... nothing new since release here. Oh, you can invent/discover new items, and the first person to discover an item or item type gets credit for it. I saw the guy who made the very first piece of armor, and he got credit for discovering "armor"... heh. It's kinda' nifty. If you go to the Vanguard web site, you can look up the stats on any item you want, and it will list the person who discovered it.

Diplomacy, though, is by far the biggest shift for me. I really got into it this time... and... I'm simply speechless about it. It's amazing. Sure, the mini-game is fun and challenging, but that's not what I'm talking about... The story-line of the diplomacy quests are some of the best-written dialog I have ever experienced. The stories build up over a long series of quests and climax in unbelievably cool ways. Nobody asks for or gives away information about them; it's like a really awesome movie you want all of your friends to see... and you don't want to spoil it for them.

I started life as a humble clerk for the Empire, doing basic tasks for lawyer-like Juritors, and now I'm "Sydius, Juritor of Silk Wisdom" (yes, it actually displays all that above my head), and I'm fighting a war in the minds of the populace. All those NPCs you see wandering around town that seem to have no purpose at all except to fill in dead space suddenly become alive as you unravel the mysteries of the local lore and delve into the intricacies of political life. You begin memorizing every NPC's name, face, back story, location, etc. and it almost feels like they are real sometimes. Towns really are the "dungeons" of the diplomat!

Particularly skillful diplomats can convince the local governing body to do things their way, too, and the whole town will get certain buffs from time to time as a group of diplomats gang up on the equivalent of a diplomat "boss", rewarding everybody in the area.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Vanguard a 9. I would give it a 10 if only it had been delayed another 6 months before release to work out the last few bugs.

Author:  Sydius [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:32 am ]
Post subject: 

The more I play, the more I like. If there is one thing Vanguard lacks, it is a good newbie impression. You get in the game and feel completely lost, confused, cold, dark, and alone. Ten levels later, and you're having a blast.

The experience gain rate is fairly slow. It seems okay, though, for some weird reason. Probably because I get distracted doing other things so often.

Grinding doesn't work in this game. If you're grinding, you're not being efficient. Quests give much more experience.

All in all, awesome game if you like complexity and challenge. I'm definitely sticking with it. Even though it is bug-central right now.

Author:  Xuri [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sydius wrote:
Overall, I would say they released 6 months too early. Like most MMOs. On the plus side, they are patch-freaks, and there is a list of 30+ items they fix/tweak/add every day (almost always to the server, so no huge client patches yet).

Is it really a good thing that they have a list of 30+ things they fix EACH day? That could either mean that they've got a gazillion bugs to fix, or that they're creating new bugs as they fix the older ones. :/

Author:  Sydius [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

The patches have slowed down to every couple days, but when they do patch the servers, it is always a list of ~60 items.

So yeah, it means the game has a lot of bugs. To me, though, the game is more than fun enough for me to pay to play even if they stopped fixing them. The fact that they ARE fixing them so quickly makes me like them more.

They do introduce new bugs from time to time, like yesterday when they restarted the servers. A syncing problem caused your character to look completely different every time you logged into the game. That is a pretty big bug since it obviously effected everybody.

I had a quest last night that was to summon a giant yeti for me to kill. Well, it summoned two, one of which was an "invalid target" so I could do nothing but die. Then it came after me when I re-spawned nearby and tried to get my things/experience back.

My girlfriend sometimes gets stuck inside of the bind points -- special ruins you can "bind" to that let you recall back to them once every hour.

Quite often, the guild chat goes offline, and it tells me I am not in my own guild. Same with groups.

So yeah, there are bugs. If you look hard enough, I'm sure you could find a lot of bugs.

It is not unplayable, though, and I will even go further to say that it is worth paying to play as it is right now with no further bug fixing. The gameplay/features/lore/etc. more than make up for the bugs in my mind.

Then again, I was so damned happy with myself playing Ultima Online during the first month after release, too. You know, back when moving three tiles a minute meant you weren't having much lag, you could dupe gold, and fireballs could kill anything? I am also the kind of person who would prefer that early stage of UO over something more refined but shallow.

Indeed, Vanguard is much more comparable to the early Ultima Online than it is to, say, World of Warcraft. The lore/complexity/interaction wins out over simple monster-munchin fun.

Vanguard is not like the original Ultima Online, though -- at least in one aspect. Ultima Online was a social experiment that was ultimately undermined. Vanguard is just a game.

Author:  Sydius [ Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

I researched some basic stats from their web site. Roughly 320,000 characters on all servers, averaging to somewhere between 25,000-30,000 per server. Dark Elf is, by a large margin, the most popular race (more than several other races combined), and Ranger is the most popular class (along with Necromancer and Sorcerer). There are almost more artificers than there are blacksmiths and outfitters combined. About a quarter of all players do some amount of crafting. Nobody has reached level 50 yet, and the majority of players are between levels 5 and 10 (not counting level 1 throw-away characters). Less than a thousand characters (game-wide) are of a sufficient level to craft the most basic ship (I have yet to see one myself). There are, roughly, 80 GMs, developers, etc. in-game who gave themselves level 50 (they are tagged as GM or are in the Sigil guild).

No less than 40,000 accounts. No more than 320,000. I estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 +/- 50,000, which puts it just above Ultima Online in subscriptions right now. Definitely not a "WoW-killer"... It doesn't feel empty, though (far fewer servers, for one thing).

Author:  Coldfire [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:46 am ]
Post subject: 

Ive been playing on Targonor as a Half Elf Ranger, and tonight just played around with Diplomacy and Crafting.

Its taking me some time to get used to the crafting, and it gave me a hell of a headache tonight.

*click step* yay
*click step* yay
*click step* yay
Complication *click*

Target item isnt in your backpack// somethin like that

Crap i gotta start all over....lol i had it happen so many times.

and is there any way at all to make the process faster, or is everyone else painfully clicking through it to?

Im not complaining, wel i guess i am but i like how you can modify in steps to make your stuff different from everyone elses, and i think once the bugs are taken care of, and the devs dont nerf this game to hell.....then this could be a WoW killer.

i have no idea where to get a mount, i hope its not like WoW where u ahve to be a certain level to get a mount.

This is the first MMORPG that i lag in and still play...mostly its my processor holding me back im playing a quarter above minimum lol according to http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/referrer/srtest

But yeah i like it so far, a lot but im still learning

Author:  Sydius [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:33 am ]
Post subject: 

I play on Florendyl as a half-elf Druid.

You have to be level 10 to ride a mount, I believe. Well, you have to be level 10 to get the mount quest. You can just buy one, but it costs 10 silver, and I think you might have to be level 10 anyway. That's level 10 in either adventuring or crafting.

When you get to level 10, if you have 40 skill in diplomacy, there is an easy quest to get a free horse (that isn't very good, but free!). If you follow the Tanvu diplomacy quest lines, they will feed you to the horse quest automatically -- you don't have to go looking for it.

If you want to just buy one, go to the wood elf town, which is about 20-30 minute run from Tanvu (I can't even begin to spell it... CB for short... Ca'el Brael or something, but I know I spelled it wrong). Or, better, just go down to the Tanvu docks, and you will find a "Master of the Rift" who will teleport you to the docks for free (I think because, if you get on the ship that comes by every so often, there is a chance it will drop you along the way :-P)... The horse dealer is very close to the docks on the CB side (maybe 200 meters?) just go North from where it drops you off, until you find a road, and you will see an NPC with a horse. He sells horses.

As far as crafting... if there is a short cut, I don't know it.

Look at whatever it requires that you have to complete a work order -- it will put them "on the table" automatically. If you ever see less than 25 of that item, stop then, and go and buy like 100 more. That's my tactic to avoid running out. Also, work orders give much more experience than just crafting your own stuff (and pay okay, too).

Author:  Coldfire [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

Is it better to craft difficult things or moderate

I was thinking moderate, but idk

and mount is out of the question for me right now as im only getting 3 monet's (3 copper) per work order.

does the money you get back get higher if the quality is better?

Im a lvl 4 Outfitter and i tried making good quality but i run out of actions, so i just go through it and dont change some things, sometimes i'll let the complication reside itself.

Author:  Sydius [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Crafting is much harder at low-level because of those complications. Eventually, you will be able to deal with them as they come up much more easily. I bought one of every tool I use, including the repair/rigging kits, and two tool belts. You can switch tool belts mid-crafting if you need to (it costs points, though).

It is generally ALWAYS very hard to make a grade-A item of your own level (which is moderate work orders, I believe). If you do manage it, you either planned very well (something I never do because it takes too long for a work order considering the payoff) or got lucky. I usually aim for C-grade or B-grade if I am feeling lucky on moderate. On difficult, I try to get to C-grade but won't push it if I think I might run out of points. D-grade is certainly better than nothing at all!

As for the rewards, yes, you generally get more for better quality items. You will also have a higher chance of scoring something valuable or useful (I've gotten some really good crafting gear as rewards before). The money also goes up as you level.

Once you can make a 10-slot bag, make a couple, and sell them on the market (there are market NPCs just inside town). I hear they sell for a lot of money. I made a level 4 ring that was basically trash and sold it on the market for the price of a horse! The demand is huge and not many crafters are concentrating on money yet.

Author:  Coldfire [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

whats the default resolution for vanguard :oops:

I was doing some finetuning in settings and i cant remember what the default is, now im on 1024X768 and hate it.......not enough screen area to drag stuff.

Author:  Sydius [ Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:36 am ]
Post subject: 

Well, then, increase the resolution by one increment until you find something you like. :-P I'm not sure, but I think you can adjust the UI scale, too.

Author:  Sydius [ Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Here's an example of crafting in Vanguard:


Author:  Coldfire [ Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:13 am ]
Post subject: 

seen it already :)

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