Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Vanguard will be an Everquest rehash...

Reading up on an article over at Gamergod.com it seems that Vanguard is going to be another treadmill game. From the article I have grave reason for concern...

Jeff Butler mentioned at the demo that downtime will be making somewhat of a comeback as it's an important factor in socialization and community building. Players will have mental and physical stamina that they will need to replenish, but it will be reasonable for lower level characters.

-Holy shit! How socialization comes out of having my character sit on their proverbial ass is well well beyond me. I'm guessing these developers have no idea that players actually want to PLAY the game when they are logged in. Sitting, resting, or "replenishing" is not FUN. Remove fun and you remove me. Socialization and community come out of two things. Putting players together and having community driven goals. Both of which require as little downtime as possible.

Without details I don't want to go too overboard here, but unless they have taverns that push real beers out of my CD drive...

Another breakthrough feature is called demeanor. Each player will have to evaluate the demeanor of each NPC they come in contact with and apply their diplomacy skill to get the desired result. Vincent also stated that each class will be able to utilize different strategies for getting the same results. A rogue may choose to steal something from an NPC to complete a quest. A warrior may choose to use diplomacy to achieve the same ends. Also, the "hail" command will be back and each NPC will have something to say depending on your diplomacy level and their demeanor towards you.

-Breakthrough? Hardly. Retarded? Possibly. Most gamers I know ignore 99% of the quest text and NPC text that is dribbled their way. It is the reason games like DAoC and WoW have quest journals that abbreviate the goals on a given quest or task. Sometimes more detail is nice... most of the time it is not. Once again it comes back to the fact that gamers like to play the game... not read NPC text and hope they are persuading a NON-PLAYER CHARACTER to respond to them.

As the crafter progresses, he will eventually outgrow the village and need to move on to a more advanced town to learn more skills. This will have the effect of opening up his workshop slot to junior crafters. A crafter can pass on the location to a fellow guild member or friend. Each village will have a finite amount of crafting slots available. Also, many advanced crafting recipes will only be found in dungeons.

-Oh... so.... the players with no life who are logged in 24/7 get to control the crafting market? Great plan! Well guess this is good considering this game is shaping up to be powergamers'R'us.

Another inspired feature is that players can learn more exotic combat and spell skills using a skill called tactic recognition. Players can do this finding and fighting various mobs. Skills can also be learned just by grouping with other players. For example, a Thestrian warrior could learn a skill uniquely Qalian combat move just by grouping with Qalian warrior.

-Ah yes. Instead of trainers... or hell just giving us a skill tree to click on we will be scouring "spoiler" websites looking for the location of the fuzzy fuzbugger to get the fuzzy fuzzbugger attack. I'm doubting this will reward explorer types... considering that there will most likely be a line when they get there anyways.

It was important to Brad that Vanguard brings back a sense of accomplishment to players by providing a world where players can succeed by employing skill and tactics. He echoed what other Sigil staff had told me by stressing that Vanguard was about letting players make their own stories with more of an emphasis on open ended, non-linear game play.
-If it was "important" to bring back a sense of accomplishment they may want to stay far away from treadmills as possible... and clearly so far that is not the case. The old cliche of "You only won because you have no life." is ringing in my ears... and it is quite loud. If they think accomplishment = time spent... they are sadly mistaken.

True Heartless Insight... the THI effect.


  1. Anonymous7:07 AM

    As usual, a fucking dumb as hell review

  2. Ahhh the joys of anonymous posting. Again it was a review of a preview event write-up.

  3. Anonymous10:11 AM

    That was a waste of a minute of my time.

    Do yourself a favor, there is already a game for you and its called WoW.

    No treadmills, no downtime, no difficulty, right up your alley.

  4. Obviously you don't know who I am... I have played WoW... 60 Shaman on Azgalor named Tanglefoot. Come over and say hi sometime.

    You are going to be placed in the "I have no life" category because it is obvious you believe time spent should = achievment instead of skill.

    Every single thing I hear about Vanguard spells TREADMILL. Downtime required! Grouping required! Significant time in each and every area killing the same thing over and over and over!

    You tell me where the difficulty or downtime = FUN or enjoyable.

  5. And a side note on WoW.

    I enjoyed my time leveling 1-60 and it is the most fun I have ever had in an MMO outside of my first year in Ultima Online.

    In fact I have played WoW for the smallest time out of all my MMO's and I have more ENJOYABLE experiences in WoW than any other game.

    Simple fact is that WoW is fun to level 1-60. In the end WoW still screwed it up with the 3l33t1st end game at level 60.

  6. And another thing about WoW.

    My accomplishments were MY accomplishments. I didn't leech off groups all my characters life because every class in WoW is able to solo.

    Not only that but I didn't have to stand in line anywhere to get to content that I wanted. If I got a group together to go to a dungeon... we got to go and do the dungeon.

    Vanguard will have grouping and leveling that is directly equal to the amount of time you play... no skill will be involved.

    The fastest way to gain exp will be found and the hardcore powergamers will abuse it to no end... at which time it will be "fixed" and then leave any casual gamers in the dust.

    Face it... achieving anything in Vanguard will be more about sticking it out rather than having any sort of skill.

  7. Anonymous3:13 PM

    Ignore these tards, you made some good points

  8. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I thought it was pretty funny actually. Good job.

  9. Anonymous4:37 PM

    heartless I just love how you seem to think WoW is somehow different from being a time invested = archivement. Lets face it, leveling to 60 is about as easy at it can get, you pick a class, start on the easy to follow quests, kill mob after mob, complete quest, move to next area, repeat until pure grinding gets quicker and then you just kill mob after mob.

    The fun in downtime is that you're actually given some time to interact with the people in your group. In the new fast-paced MMORPGs there's almost no time for this since most time is spent hitting a million different ability hotkeys or running to the next mob. I think whether Vanguard will be good or not depends on how grouping is designed and what options are given to solo players. Assuming that a group will always benefit from another playing joining (as opposed to the new player just leeching xp) I think it will be great. Soloing should be made viable, though it should still be noticably slower than grouping.

  10. I socialize more in WoW groups than I do in DAoC groups. Two totally different experiences... because in WoW we aren't flat out bored.

    I am in the game the entire time in WoW. And since the game has instances specifically for my group... forming the group results in a much better community. Most of the 5 man dungeons can be done with a variety of groups. Other games require the "trinity" or "perfect" group to be succesful.

    Between pulls in DAoC I just surf the net Alt-Tabbed out of the game. If that is the developers idea of socialization... they got it dead on -_O

    I only ground out two levels in WoW... both on easy to access monsters. Other than that I quested. It took me 12 days played to reach 60. DAoC takes me under 7 days /played to hit max level if I play a necro or have a PBAOE leveling group... otherwise it will be 15 or so days /played.

    In WoW you can take your time... because you know you are making progress. Vanguard is basically shaping up to be like this...
    ...if you don't have the perfect group you are wasting your time.

    What I am saying is that Vanguard is shaping up not to be about skill at all... and will be a powergamer circle jerk at best.

  11. Multiple times he says "Bring Back the fun..."

    Back from where? EQ1 that stuff was not fun. There's plenty of ways to have socialization in a mmo with out sitting on your ass waiting for your health/mana to regen.

    Either way it just shows that they are only rehashing ideas, nothing new in Vanguard.

  12. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Some of Vanguard's concepts are intriguing, others silly. I like being able to learn skills from mobs and fellow party members. There is some depth there, where nationalities have fighting styles and specific equipment that needs to be learned. This isn't much different from Hunters having to train certain pets to get certain abilities in WoW.

    I can't agree with players being shopkeepers in villages. This allows players too much control over the market.

    I like having the option to approach NPCs differently, using diplomacy, intimidation, or outright theft to accomplish a goal or open up new quest lines. I think this is something WoW lacked - every character in the game approached every quest and NPC in the same exact manner. Rogues could not make off with the goods they were trusted to carry to Barry Humbunger. Warriors could not loom over a snotty little goblin and get him to lower his prices a little. Etc, etc. Having more options here adds.. gasp.. more RPG to this MMORPG!

  13. Playes will find the path of leasy resistance. It won't take long before this fancy NPC dialogue bullshit... because thats what it is... is turned into nothing more than a side note on a "Features" list for the game.

    The best and easiest way that gives you the best reward will be found and duplicated over and over. I don't and I would think true roleplayers do not want to "play pretend" with an NPC.

  14. Anonymous10:38 PM

    This guys is such a moron its not even funny. totally clueless...

  15. Anonymous5:29 PM

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  16. Anonymous5:30 PM

    you are indeed lame. Please get laid and leave the computer?

  17. Anonymous12:03 AM

    ** It took me 12 days played to reach 60**

    Now thats an acomplishment...

    Agreed, a waste of time with this read.

  18. Anonymous6:22 PM

    hy even bother shitting all over Vanguard? It's obviously not the game for you. It's made for a certain niche of players which, thankfully for us, you don't fall into. Stick to WoW (Yeah, another WoW comment because that's obviously what you want), you obviously want rewards with minimal effort, which won't happen in VG. Skill doesn't equate to Time played. Skill comes into play in MMO only in how you handle situations and create tactics. If you want a purely skill related game, I think your in the wrong genre.

    These games are about progression, and progression happens over time. Hopefully it takes more than 9 months to get to the end.

    Sorry if people want an immersive game that takes longer to get to the end game than 8 or 9 months, like WoW. Soloing will be possible in VG(Moreso than EQ), and Raid content is going to be in the minority, but what is wrong with grouping?

    Whats the point of playing an Massive Multiplayer online game if you're just going to play by yourself?

    Not all downtime is equal, and I had some fun memories in EQ during down time and I had some boring as fuck memories.

    I don't know who you are, nor do I care. I was Gelce in Everquest,70th Shaman, of the guild Harmonium.

    I'm happy to know I won't be seeing you in VG.

  19. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Seems to me from reading these replies, that some people are getting very upset that a few aren't taking their hardcore dream very seriously.

    Go back to the VG forums where you'll feel better then and in good company. There, you can daydream all you want about being the biggest and the bad-est, for the mere effort of sitting your ass down at a computer longer then the guy who didn't think it was worth it and went to school or work instead.

    There, you can tell him he didn't cut the mustard, but here, you're not happy because someone with a reality check is always going to remind you that accomplishment in a game is not a measure of how long you endured the grind or suffered through the "punishment" of corpse runs.

    That is what you guys called it. Punishment. Where punishment, to you fanbois, was the greatest thing to do to people so you could ridicule them with "noob" comments over their game related failures. For sure you're the types who rejected their guild applications and imposed ridiculous mandatory dkp requirements.

    I can surely understand why you'd be opposed to rational thinking commentary that doesn't put up with your crap anymore.

  20. Anonymous10:27 PM

    Can any of you developers of the Verant ilk think of something to engage your audiences in other then timesinks?

    You would think by now that with all your touted expertise, ONE of you would have come up with something interesting besides meditation, corpse retrieval and that boring looking thing you call diplomacy! Now you expect your players to sit there and press buttons just to talk to NPC's? You gotta be joking, right?

    I won't be playing this game. If there's a target audience for it I'm going to be really surprised. Many some who were banned from other games and the secluded who never tried anything other then EQ Live, but those who have been out in the MMO world, are less likely to put up with that.

    I don't time anymore for this kind of game. It sounds like an effort in patience, not excitement.


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