Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Vanguard beta in trouble?

Vanguard : Saga of Heroes has been in beta for a few months now. I've bitched about the game designs plenty of times. I even bashed on a Vanguard preview over at IGN. For some reason I received a very in depth comment (#5) to that IGN preview article. I have no way to confirm anything that was said by the anonymous commenter, but it's well written and insightful in a way that doesn't break any NDA. I have reposted the text below.
----Begin repost----

Anonymous said...

Ok Hearless, here's the scoop. No, I'm not going to break the NDA and go into specifics about what the game has, shouldn't have or needs.

But I will tell you what's primarily wrong with beta right now. You may find it's not what the typical critics would think.

These are from my own personal notes that I keep, yet refuse to post because of the assholes in that beta.

This is one excerpt:


The forums take peaks of highs and lows. You can literally sense people trying to like this game. People trying suspiciously hard to find something to write about on the forums that's positive. Unfortunately, these recounts are absent of any detail and hardly convince me that there is something more I haven't gotten to see that will change my perspective drastically.

I often wondered why that is. I have drawn the conclusion that people are afraid to speak constructively based on the firing squad that sits there refreshing the screen every minute to see who would dare speak when not spoken to.

They default to debating about MMOG's in general as a result. This indicates strongly that people do see a barren and shapeless world before them, even though they dare not admit it publically. I get the sense they are thrilled for an opportunity to mold this game into what they want it to be. Egos run rampant in this regard and several of the more vocal beta players are insistent upon getting their ideas burned into the blueprint. Especially when these people notice that the ink isn't even dry on that blueprint.

I dare say, the imagined wonderful Vanguard they testify about on the forums, is a contrived line of bullshit used as a means to suck up to developers in order to get their own ideas written into the design. If the design was there, they would just be testing. But considering it's not, this leaves an opportunity for the wannabe-game-designer, to gain a captive audience.

And captives we are. Many an unhappy tester has been silenced regularly by these fanatics who put any and every comment under their own jaded microscopes. Unfortunately this activity goes unchecked by any form of moderation. Subsequently, what you get is nothing but chastisement by the regular fanbois who seek to mold this game the way they see fit. Anyone pointing out the existing flaws, is summarily lynched, tarred and feathered, despite the validity of their concerns.

Even a developer was called on the carpet by beta players as recent as two weeks ago. The disrespect and rudeness of the regular, vocal dissenters of MMOG-today, ruthlessly bit into this poor guy like a pack of wolves. Just as the animals they are, at the first smell of blood, they all wanted a piece of him. The crime? The mere suggestion that corpse runs were not a fun factor and should be removed to a lesser penalty then what currently exists in Vanguard right now. What did Brad do? He basically apologized for his staff's outburst.

There is also a curious hatred for World of Warcraft, specifically. Curious, because much of what World of Warcraft has done was based on the original Everquest design and expounded from there. It's certainly ironic how these fanbois will rip apart anything WoW, yet praise, anything Everquest.

To the detriment of Vanguard, they will protest any implementation that even remotely resembles a mechanic within World of Warcraft. Good or bad, it doesn't matter. If it's something within WoW, they want it O-U-T. Likewise, if you are from WoW, they want YOU out, too. They've already succeeded in driving out many of those testers. They're long gone and I can't say I blame them.

I can't help, considering all that, but feel pity for Brad McQuaid. Here's a man who started out with a "vision" and held an open forum for years before beta, allowing others to share his space and ideas.

Yet something happened between then and now. Something worth pitying the man over. His leniency and viewpoints were thrown back in his face from disgruntled game-junkies from all over the virtual world spectrum. Vanguard is where many of the disgruntled and disbanded landed to bum a free meal. In the process, they are now trying to steal the keys to his house and his car and have already taken over his computer. The only thing left is to just hand over the code because they've already gotten into his game.

How can you not feel sorry for a man who now sits out on his own front steps, wondering if he should call the police or the psycho ward to rid them off of his property?

The game may very well be lifeless due to the fact that he doesn't know himself anymore, what it is he should do.

The void in his game speaks volumes towards the fact that he fears developing it the way it needs to be done.

Let's face it, this is a very capable man. He's demonstrated that with his history. A man who created Everquest, wrote the design for the lands, the characters, the events, etc. He's not stupid by any means. Yet his new world reflects a man who fears even adding the simplest mapping feature, for instance. A feature, so subetly done this past week, but was met with OUTRAGE by touted old-school gamers. How can a man function under that kind of idiotic pressure?

Vanguard's progress is evidence that he can't. His FAQ is constantly thrown in his face. An FAQ that was written years ago and probably has been totally reconsidered based on the fact that under 100 people are logging into his beta daily. It's not because the game doesn't have potential. It's more probably because normal people don't have time, nor energy, to put up with the nuts in that place and that's the truth!

Note to the clueless FAQ-touter: That page was taken down last week. Without fanfare or notice, it was quietly swept off the internet and replaced by the infamous "page not found" message. You have to get the impression that MAYBE this guy has finally realized SOMETHING?

While realization is the first step and is a good thing, he still has yet to rid himself of the crackpot company he has allowed in there.

My suggestion is to close beta entirely. Shut it down and use the excuse that time is now needed due to the change of publishers from Microsoft to Sony Online Entertainment. Say that hardware restructuring needs to be done and don't hold Vanguard to any reappearance date. Shut down the forums with a simple message that you will be back up after the transition is complete.

Dump all your beta testers to date and start fresh after you're back online and have something done to offer them.

Put in the ideas you have wanted to add and improve without having to get "permission" from your existing, suicidal fan-base.

Maybe then you can go back to enjoying what you do best - designing games.

----End repost----
Again I can't confirm any of this, but it makes you wonder whats going on over in the Sigil camp. Is the SOE partnership and the purchase away from Microsoft Game Studios a sign of bad times? I've doomcasted this game before and I'll do it again, but McQuaid better start coming through for his true community before it bites him in the ass... again.

Update: 5 Aug, 2009 - Edited post, removed conversation links, and applied label.


  1. Anonymous4:57 PM

    Holy Vanboi shit! Heartless reels in the exclusives! lol

    I gotta tell my blog friends. ;0)

  2. If only I had friends :(

  3. Anonymous8:08 PM

    Take heart, oh Heartless one. You made it to the most heartless of forums anyway. haha


    I still love reading you,


  4. Anonymous9:01 PM

    Hey Vanbois! When you get into beta, be sure to come back here and apologize because the number logging in is exactly as this guy reported.

    I'm in that beta. Why the hell would I lie? I wish like hell there were more. I wish like hell what he wrote wasn't true. I don't wanna group with those assholes. I dare anyone in that beta to say it's not true. It happens to be very true. In fact he was being KIND!


  5. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I actually believe the article. This person obviously followed this game and wanted it to succeed. He didn't just come out nowhere. This is too specific to be written off as a joke.

    He apparently trusts Heartless and posted here instead of one of a thousand different places he could have done it. It does not sound malicious. It sounds like someone was trying to send a wakeup call to Brad and didn't know how so trusted Heartless to do it for him. Just looking at the responses that claim this article is true coming out of the woodwork in only a few short hours of it being posted.

    Wow...just WOW!

    Where are the rest of this guy's notes?

  6. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Thanks for posting this, _Heartless. I'm disappointed, nay, not disappointed, but plain bummed ot hear this person's tale from the beta. it may just be better to develop these things in a vacuum without all the trolls getting into the designer's head.

  7. Anonymous9:40 PM

    just read Anyen's retort on FoH calling this guy a liar. Says he knows cuz he's in beta. Well so am I. Every word of that article is true. Anyen is the one that is lying. Shit, there are so many posts screaming at people and shoving that vision down everyone's throats, it's not even funny anymore.

    There's several guys that beat up on everyone if they feel the game isn't hard enough and they don't agreed with. /shrug Maybe Anyen is one of them.

    I don't see anyone there named Anyen so it's quite possible he's one of the fanatics trying to justify that shit by discrediting anything written over here.

  8. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Anyen, WTF is wrong with you? You gotta be friggin **BLIND** not to see the patronizing bullshit and witch hunt those vanbois are on, especially towards anyone who plays WOW!

    Get a clue, man! READ!

  9. I do hope to get this into Brad's hands somehow.

  10. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Well isn't that some shit Anyen calling this guy a liar. Got this when I asked my friend what's going on and I was told that piece is pretty much the truth. Friend seemed scared to post anything. Refused, in fact. But I did manage to weasle this out of him.

    This was pasted first from the dev that I guess was shot down by the beta player. The dev said, supposedly,

    Originally Posted by Nino
    For every ONE person that says CRs are needed and somehow hardk0re, there are ONE HUNDRED who completely disagree.

    Then I'm told the "worst guy in the place", who can't spell for crap, replied with this scathing threat. Uh, this is the beta player, by the way:

    Be very careful, the line your crossing Nino, out of the 100 hundred you talking about how many would you think you win over?

    IF/When you cross that line, if you believe that your going to compete against wow, your thinking wrong. They got more money, more Dev's, and they got the market, they got there fan based built.

    You might have the most talent Dev's on the market, but your small, now have a weak reputation, regardless if is true or fair, your label with soe now.
    Make the game too easy, then us so called hardcore (funny thing your the ones that always gives us, these labels, we only want a game that is truly challenging) are gone, and I am sure you lose some of the cores with it. Then you left with the rest of the cores and casuals, other games are around the corner, you may have a nice bursts of subs at first, but you wont keep it.
    Maybe your right, the genre pool has change so much, that there is no choice.
    But at end, i be making my choice, and wont be for a easy game.

    After saying all this, I am willing to test, and see your new ideas, with a open mind.

    I mean come on, here. That's definitely rude and disrespectful, just like the article says. This guy is basically threatening the dev.

    When shit like this goes on and it's apologized for, you gotta KNOW the beta jerk is gonna walk all over you!

    Brad, man, turn on the lights! You wanna lose the chance at a decent playerbase because this jerk wants to TELL you how to make a game? I can't believe this.

    Very disappointed. First order of business. Can that asshat, quick.

  11. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Looks like Anyen should just shut up before even the silent beta players start proving him the liar instead.

    And that's just ONE quote? I can just imagine why that article was written.

  12. Anonymous10:51 PM

    I can only imagine why.

    Maybe Heartless can get an interview with the guy? Not about the game itself but the stupid frigs Brad's been having to deal with.

    I bet that dev was holding back frying his character. lol

  13. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Looks like Anyen is now backpedalling. Breaking a sweat yet Anyen? haha

  14. Anonymous10:55 PM

    I can't post on FoH, it won't let you but Kaxmax replied to Anyen saying, "Lol, are you serious with this? That post was 100% accurate, the beta boards are a fucking cesspool."

  15. Anonymous11:02 PM

    I don't how he does it, but Brad always comes out smelling like a rose in the midst of a pile of shit happening around him. Gotta hand it to the guy. No one is going to blame him for this fuckup.

  16. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Another friend in beta confirming on AIM now that every bit of that article on Heartless's site is true.

    Apparently the posts were reported too, but the beta player is unaware of any action taken and the bully posters continued to beat up on testers.

    I'm told if you play WoW and admit it, you're ostracized.

  17. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Like HELL that beta jerk has an "open mind". Did you know he and his buddies went bonkers about a freakin DOT on the map? You know the DOT that shows YOU ARE HERE? Yeah, that dot. These guys went ballistic for 4 freakin pages!!! OVER A DOT!!

    yup, that's how bad it is in there.

  18. Anonymous11:51 PM

    Hate to tell that ignoramous, but hardcore has been replaced with funcore for years now, dumbass. It's called technology. 6 million people are stupid?

    Would I personally buy a WoW-type game with better graphics? You're damn right I would! I'd buy 2 in fact.

  19. Anonymous11:58 PM

    Heartless_ said...
    I do hope to get this into Brad's hands somehow.

    There's no doubt in my mind he's read it and on the phone with Oloh already.

  20. There is plenty of room in the market for a game with Vanguard's playstyle, but not on Vanguard's budget. This is how more in depth games like EVE Online survive... or non-standard MMOG's survive like Puzzle Pirates. Because they budget for their target audience.

    It would be great to get a Shadowbane 2 with the best graphics ever, but realistically there is no that large of a playerbase out there for that game and therefore you can't throw a 100 million at the game and hope for success.

    World of Warcraft just finally showed us there were more gamers NOT playing MMORPGs than there was playing them. Games that want a big budget will have to mirror parts of WoW... just as WoW mirrored Everquest and EQ mirrored Dikus prior. WoW was a big step forward for blockbuster titles.

    This doesn't mean the smaller titles are doomed, but they better stick to their guns and develop for their core audience. If that core audience is small then you better budget small.

  21. Anonymous12:53 AM

    Heartless has a point. I don't think Brad has the budget to make Vanguard hold all the bells and whistles of a WoW.

    But he created a world that is large enough to hold not only Warcraft's bells and whistles, but Everquest's ding-dongs and Dikus' twinkies.

    So the question is, if a budget wouldn't allow for that, why the hell did he make it so damn big? Do you realize how insanely huge this game is? We're talking FOUR continents!

    Aside from that, it does look like Brad went with his original targeted audience, only to find out, he had problems holding that audience's attention, even in a beta.

    Now did he have a problem because previous fans realized they weren't interested in that theme any longer? Did he have a problem because, anyone remotely likened to WoW-ish concepts was blacklisted and run out the door? Or does he just have a problem because some suggest it's an alpha and not a beta and nothing is done?

    Speaking of budgets, does he have a "lifeless and void world" because he ran out of money? That could be it too.

    But, here's my impression. Why would he be out there still hyping this game if he had budget problems? That's kind of dumb, so I doubt that's the case.

    Surely even he has admitted there were problem with numbers in the beta. Now it comes out those concerns are a reality, but the article blames his fans, not him.

    Could it possibly be this article holds some truth in the suggestion that Brad himself, has reconsidered what direction to follow but hasn't entirely made his mind up yet? Could that explain why your writer found the world empty and void of things of interest? I'm trying to paraphrase what was said and doing a bad job, I'm sure.

    That's what makes this article so interesting. Many people are probably hoping not. But I'm betting that even more people, are hoping he is having second thoughts.

    For Vanguard's sake, he may fare better in at least catering to the hobbyist crowd and denouncing this hardcore theme he's got going. It doesn't look like that niche market is what he thought it would be.

    Of course, these are just my opinions and questions, which mean nothing.

    I hate assuming anything, but sure would love to see Brad say something about all this instead, after he gets off the phone with Oloh who is probably telling him that due to the leaks, they are throwing them all out of beta. LOL!

  22. Anonymous1:12 AM

    Why the fuck isn't Glip in there clipping that numbnuts dick off that posted that shit to the dev?

    Nino showed much restraint. :0/

  23. For Vanguard's sake, he may fare better in at least catering to the hobbyist crowd and denouncing this hardcore theme he's got going. It doesn't look like that niche market is what he thought it would be.

    - He has denounced it as hardcore... it is "challenging". Wonder if he realized his concept of challenging is about as much fun as sending 40 people to Wal Mart to get a Tickle-Me Elmo doll. Fun for all of us watching on TV that is :)

  24. Anonymous8:51 AM

    There are a few factual inaccuracies in the OP's story, but they are mostly accurate. More important though is that it is literally full of mischaracterizations. You should understand, if you are not in beta, that this is an opinion piece. Sigil could easily remedy the underpopulation problem by inviting more people in. I think it's pretty evident that the random method that they used to get the current tester base was bad, and they have a few hundred core "testers" and a bunch of disgruntled "players." It has been stated that this is the 2nd of 5 or 6 rounds of testing, but the players are demanding a complete game and are leaking like a mofo. If you want to "play" Vanguard, wait a beta round or two to even try. Brad even posted recently that (paraphrasing) "you can't tell what this game is going to be like from it's current state."

    Also for clarification, the FAQ is not down, there are happy beta testers, and every single "official" gaming forum that is out there is a cesspool for no-lifers trying to be somebody.

    Now let's see if I get shouted down like you accuse the Fanbois of doing to dissenters on the other side of the coin.

  25. Anonymous9:31 AM

    What I think people on that crazy forum at Vanguard forget to realize, is that this guy posted an "excerpt" from his NOTES!

    It doesn't even read like he was planning it for anyone. It was reading more like a diary at first.

    The way it reads to me is here's a guy who was following that game and having fun doing that. Then in marched all these drama queens and braggarts. Note the way he associates the change with a take-over on Brad's residence. lol.. it's pricelessly funny in an odd sort of way.

    Then the part about envisioning Brad either calling the cops or the straight jackets as the only means to get rid of them (haha) indicates this guy is thinking, "Get me the fook outta here!"

    This wasn't a drama-seeking article as some of those posters claim. But their responses sure as hell beg for recognition!

    And if he were seeking attention, why come here and bury his thoughts down deep into a blog that only Heartless would probably have noticed? Most people do NOT post this type of revealing information in blogs that only hold FOUR responses and is weeks old for drama sake!

    It just really rattles my nerves when I read that board and see all the condescending attitudes against this article, dissecting it to pieces. It's probably exactly what he wanted to avoid!

    Some of those people have only proven that what was written is TRUE, not false!

    No, he came here, not there, because he wanted to share his thoughts where it would possibly do some good, not more harm.

    I'd lay odds he never expected this much attention. I'd even lay odds Heartless never thought it would either. That was before they reposted it on their boards and dissected it under the microscope this guy intentionally tried to AVOID!

    He could have easily registered a new nick and posted it there, but he didn't. Tells ya something.

    Nope, this is meant for Heartless to give to Brad and everyone else be damned, that's what it is. That's the way it reads and that's the way it should be treated.

    This article says hey, I'm a beta tester, I've followed your game and was enthused about it but I'm becoming overwhelmed and disheartened by the bullshit in there and you might be too considering the lack of content. Just wash those boards clean and do yourself a mighty favor because it's starting to stink!

    Some of those posters over there, not all mind you, should be slapped and I think that's the message here. This guy was trying to do the job he was picked to do. But I don't think he cares anymore. Rather, I think he's pretty disgusted.

    It shows that people are getting outraged at the unbelievable authority some think they hold, over a silly game.

    It's just SAD that he felt no other way to get this message across, was find someone disassociated with the project because they were the only sane ones he could find to speak through.

    And I think it's terrible that he probably fears being sued too considering the NDA. But taking into account the way they act over there, I don't blame him for being precautious as to what to expect.

    Oh well, I need coffee now :)


  26. Anonymous9:37 AM

    To the poster above me, I too, checked that FAQ. It was either moved or taken down, because the page was not there when I checked either. Obviously, that was his point. I'm curious as to why it was moved at all? Someone couldn't find it where it supposedly had been 'all those years'.

    I don't see your proof that this article has any misleading or misinformation.

    Back to coffee..


  27. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Ok, let me have coffee and read what FoH has to say. Looks like Itzena has reposted this into a separate thread.


    Where's Brad? lol

  28. Anonymous9:52 AM

    I really need to get off my bum and register. That was me in the above post.


  29. Anonymous10:17 AM

    "I don't see your proof that this article has any misleading or misinformation."

    First of all, I never said it was "misleading or misinformation." I said it was a mischaracterization, there is a big difference.

    Second, there isn't going to be any "proof," since unlike the person who published this, I respect my NDA enough not to post that kind of detail in a public forum. This will be my last post here, since I do want to continue to honor that commitment, but here you can see that the Vanguard forums are not the only place to get shouted down in a short time by someone with an agenda.


  30. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I love people who put words that mean the same thing under the microscope and then claim there's a big difference.

    Look, if you have something to say, say it! Don't sit there and claim you're in beta so you can't. If you really felt that way you wouldn't haven't posted at all.

    You detoured that article to bring out something about where the FAQ was moved? This is exactly what's wrong with you people. You couldn't find the meaning behind that article if it hit you upside the head like a lead brick. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would take away that it's the FAQ that was the bible in there and anyone who said otherwise, was beaten down like fools.

    But if you want to harp on it, the fact remains that I looked for it too, and it was not where one would think to find it, like the FAQ link perhaps?

    I think it's humorous you think people here have an agenda when all they are doing is commenting on the obvious. I'm not even registered on Vanguard, FYI. I read Heartless and gaming reviews. There's no agenda other than passing the time during coffee. Rather boring, huh? Sorry to disappoint. :(

    But continue on with your pompous attitude that you're in beta, therefore you know better then us all but can't kiss and tell.

    It may come as quite the shock, but I so do not envy you.


  31. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Second, there isn't going to be any "proof," since unlike the person who published this, I respect my NDA enough not to post that kind of detail in a public forum.

    You already did, so join the club, moron. If the opinion about mere beta testers in there is enough for you to warrant being an NDA breaker, then you're opinion about the writer is just as bad. Since according to you, you're not supposed to be even giving opinions about the testers either, which is basically the bulk of that article.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    -- Vertigo

  32. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Time for popcorn yet?

    VG boards are now crucifying the OP of that article for not adhering to the FAQ.

    Now I ask, where the FUCK did that guy ever write anything about disagreeing or agreeing with the FAQ?

    Some people just don't know how to fucking read.

    Glad I'm not part of that mess over there.

    They hate WoW? They have no clue how much they sound exactly like WoW boards. Any respectable subscriber of WoW knows you don't post there if you want to be taken seriously -- or keep your sanity.


  33. Anonymous11:05 AM

    "This is War! I have my plate mail on and my great sword in hand, and I will stand as best I can against the Hordes of Grey*. It wont be easy though, for they are many."

    Jacquelyn needs a fucking valium.

  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  35. This is a great note. It's not written by an illiterate, and it doesn't have any Beta specific issues to violate the NDA. Unless the overall morale of a Beta is also under censure. It's basically saying: "this beta *seems* to be under bad management because there has been persistent FUD about the title since announcement. And the process to aid in the Beta is being overwhelmed by inappropriate communications." That's it. There are no facts, just the mapping anecodte and the perception of management activities from their forum postings. Otherwise, it's just a weather report from another immature gaming forum. If anything, the person running the boards and the Beta should be blamed on the ranty/signal-noise ratio problem. But I agree with the OP: the tone of the Beta is set by Brad and his team. They have a responsibility to help themselves and their reasonable Beta testers by keeping people well informed (to avoid misunderstandings) and kicking out the psychos (whether pro or con). Thanks.

  36. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I think some people fail to realize that being a beta-tester can become more job-like then they imagined.

    You go in thinking you're testing a game, only to find out you're testing your patience and biting your tongue so you don't get fired, sued or ripped apart by your peers.

    When these events happen, and they do, people wind up putting in their notes what this article has shown. It's a way for them to vent their disapproval with the beta system and what they've encountered there.

    Betas do take their toll. Anyone who criticizes someone who has felt the bite is not being fair and I would disclude them from being any type of prospective beta tester. They've already shown they have no respect for the people they may be playing with and are willing to callously hang them out to dry. Just read the VG boards and it should suffice how ruthless they are. These are the people you would definitely not want in your beta. They are immature and care nothing about anyone's feelings but their own.

    I would say the beta would probably do best with guild/group friend invites and just start over, because as it stands right now, even /ooc is enough to turn off anyone from grouping with the maniacs. It's a chat session that makes you feel like you've landed in the world of fucktards.


  37. Anonymous12:12 PM


    I just went to the Vanguard home page and clicked on the FAQ link there and it took me to the FAQ.

    And to think you called that other guy a moron.

  38. Anonymous12:23 PM

    It wasn't there when I checked yesterday, either. So ask Sigil but she's not lying. It was not there. You don't think Sigil hasn't read this and made note about the FAQ missing page?

    It's also quite possible that when the OP of that article wrote it, it was nowhere to be found. Presumably why he imagined that perhaps Brad was reconsidering and aiming in a new direction.

    All quite innocent events, but do not warrant calling people liars over. There would be no reason for them to tell tall tales over a lousy link missing.

    When I checked myself, the page was definitely gone.


  39. Anonymous12:28 PM

    I'm the one who called him a moron. ;p

    -- Vertigo

  40. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Interesting how these blogs are gaining more and more popularity.

    It strikes me as a journalistic venue that is now obtaining feedback from reputable sources. Before you go faulting the source, read the article. This man or woman is no illiterate.

    The problem with blogs I have, is that you're all so scattered. I mean I wadded through 15 different bloggers just to see if this OP posted somewhere again. Couldn't find it either.

    Suggestion - Why don't you bloggers make a main website, add all your weekly doo-dads there so we can all find ONE place to signup and read.

    I HATE running around the web but I do enjoy a lot of the reviews.

    I also HATE immature fansites and you can't post on FoH anymore.

    So Heartless, man. Think about this. I really like the idea. I wouldn't even care if you had to put up some ads to pay for it.


  41. Anonymous1:04 PM

    - Who is your target audience?

    Our goal is to be as inclusionary as possible, but at the same time to not alienate existing, core MMOG gamers.

    First and foremost, we want to appeal to gamers who have enjoyed the games we've worked on in the past. Then we want to expand outward and appeal to other core gamers with new and extended gameplay they might have found missing in previous games. Lastly, we want to grow the MMOG gamespace by appealing to 'non-core' gamers, but, again, never at the expense of the playerbase who already identifies with our goals and our previous work.

    Unless this has been re-written, it seems to me Sigil covered all bases with that one.

    I can see the hardcorers interpreting it their way though.

  42. Anonymous1:15 PM

    How the hell can you say you intend to be as inclusory as possible but not at the expensive of your fanbois?

    No wonder they've got problems. Out of one side of his mouth, he's promising fun for all, out of the other, he's promising loyalty to the cause.

    The de facto standard demands compliance while the casual sits there wondering why the fuck they got invited at all.

  43. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Heh, now we get to the real reason for the confusion (above post).

    Aside from the confusion, everyone forgets to mention how the OP didn't see much of a game at all.

    Pity? Yes. Did he say he even perceived a game design though? Nope.

    He said that people recognized the ink wasn't even dry on the blueprint. Smells like work in progress to me, but hey, I didn't write it.

    The OP had respect for Brad's property but wasn't saying he recognized a quality game here. Far from it from where the glasses sit on my nose.

    He said Brad was capable. He didn't say Brad pulled off what he may be capable of.

    There's a lot of doubt in that article.

    Maybe Brad should start with clarifying what his target audience is. But maybe the OP is right. Maybe he doesn't even know and therefore doesn't want to box himself in.

    It would explain why much of the "3gen stuff" isn't there to test and the "sekret sauce" is still a secret, to everyone.


  44. Anonymous1:54 PM


    Jacquelyn on the VG boards is a prime example of a person who demands to see the vision her way.

    Truth is, that FAQ can be taken either way. Hardcore or casual. It's catering to everyone and saying, BUY ME!

    Her ending remarks just show her stupidity. She's be one of the first ones to throw people out the door with a "go play WoW" remark. Holier than thou imbeciles VG should just get rid of before they end up making themselves look equally stupid as she does.

  45. Anonymous2:05 PM

    I've seen this before. They keep telling people to go play WOW long enough and that's exactly what they'll wind up doing.

    Who the fuck needs that shit? Fuck it. Play the game yourself, bitch.

    Do they have any clue how psychotic they sound to the average reader? Scarey shit when they cling to an FAQ like the words from Sun-Yung-Moon.

  46. Anonymous2:18 PM

    HAHA, this is fucking hilarious -

    Originally Posted by Jacquelyn
    Many of them can be found RIGHT HERE http://www.silkyvenom.com/pages/faq.php, smart guy.

    The game described in that FAQ (made up of specific DEVELOPER QUOTES on just about every game issue under the Sun) is the game I am looking forward to playing.

    I know Vanguard will require tweaks while it is in Beta, and that some concepts are not fully fleshed out in that FAQ (and are thereby sekret sauce or in the realm of Beta-Only now under NDA), but the concepts that are, and the overarching Vision(tm) behind them, are sound.

    Go change someone elses game... =P

    And Xelloss responds,

    So why are the 'fans' on the beta boards flaming Sigil devs when the devs suggest changes, then?

    GOOD POINT! You win the parley! bwahahhahaha

  47. Anonymous2:26 PM

    wait.. wait.. she has a comeback. Ready.. steady.. aim..

    Originally Posted by Jacquelyn
    All I can say after reading the OP is, if true:

    To be perfectly honest, I won't fully believe any of these NDA breaking whiners/leaky whingers until I see what it is they are talking about with MY OWN EYES.

    So, in answer to your question, I don't necessarily know that there are "'fans' on the beta boards flaming Sigil devs"...

    .. and Strike three!

    She's out. Lost any chance of getting into beta now with that sneaky little maneuver to wiggle her way in. lol

  48. Anonymous2:30 PM

    I told you before, the girl needs valium. Her and about half that thread are typical of what's outlined in that article.


  49. Anonymous2:34 PM

    I don't know why anyone wastes their time trying to reason with them.

    Noble, but futile.


  50. Anonymous2:38 PM

    I know. You would think they would be embarrassed to be labelled as the groupies they are. But heck no! They're proud to be Vanbois.



  51. Emphereal it's called bloglines or blog search engins like Technorati or Google Blogs.

    All of these work wonders to search blogs for relative information.

    Also a good bit of bloggers post news to news.virginworlds.com.


  52. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Ok, it's my turn to jump on this computer. Everyone else isn't working and I haven't had lunch.

    All I have to say is........

    HEARTLESS, you've started a riot! ROFL



  53. Anonymous4:03 PM

    I bet you a ration and 2 waterskins that McQuaid won't be posting a reply until all the votes are in and the flames are almost out.

    That could take awhile, however. heh

    -- Vertigo

  54. Anonymous4:23 PM

    This one, posted by Jait on FoH's boards. What can I say? Superbly written! Explains the dilemma of what the OP might be experiencing and reaches in for the cause.

    Well done! With a good understanding and grasp of the particulars. Bravo!


    Vanguards beta is filled to the brim with fanbois. Any objective player pretty much bailed months ago.

    So, actually blaming the fans, for once, is right on. Who woulda thunk it?

    When all your left with is the sycophantic 'kool-aid' kids, the results are going to reflect that. Even worse, they're setting themselves up for a colossal failure by relying almost entirely on that part of the playerbase. (which by the by, will be the first to flee come release time). Then what are you left with? The game itself, judged on it's own merits.

    It's not rocket science.
    A) Make the game fun
    B) Move on to the things you want to personally see accomplished.

    Instead Brad has that reversed. He's almost like a guy saying: If I build it, they will come! Fuck it. I don't care if the game succeeds as long as it has "Teh Vision".

    There's too many options nowadays. Utnayan hit the nail on the head for once with that observation. Another thing that has not been pointed out, or said nearly enough, is that EQ *MISSED* much of it's demographic. Many people in their mid to late 20s and early 30s would have loved to play EQ. But it was far too time consuming for them. Much of the growth in MMOs have been the kids growing from console to PC yes. But another part of it was older players waiting for a more casual game to play. 10 million people did not pop out of the woodwork one day and say "We Love Blizzard."

    Blizzard simply met the challenge perfectly, and dominated by hitting every demographic they could and rejecting the belief that casual isn't fun or lasting. This was a mistake to many hard-core people. Yes, a mistake to the tune of roughly 120 million dollars a month in revenue. Vanguard biggest mistake seems to be catering to an even smaller demographic than EQ1 did, and that's bad news from a guy who claims the MMO market doesn't need anymore 30 million dollar failures. So damn true, and yet oddly ironic.

    The biggest thing I'm looking forward to now with Vanguard is the enormous amount of spin that is yet to come.

  55. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Utnayan missed the boat to Freeport when the OP of the original article cited the problems in the game itself.

    Utnayan would have people believe the OP didn't see anything wrong with Vanguard itself.

    The OP may have not been specific, but it's not rocket science to determine the bad vibes that were written. Words such as "void", "lifeless", "imagined wonderful Vanguard...is a contrived line of bullshit". These are words that reflect how much this OP enjoyed the show?

    Utnayan may have hit the nail on the head with Jait's point, but he missed it completely when he was faulting the original OP for solely blaming the beta boards for Vanguard's problems.

    He also did imply this was a setup by Sigil to deter any negativity placed upon them and put it on the shoulders of the beta players. Regardless if he retracted that spin in his followup remarks.

    The original OP posted an unbiased article, hands down. Maybe that's why they're all so upset.

    No one knows where to place the blame anymore?

    Mark Cantor

  56. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Found another for you over at another blog, Heartless.


    Rather technical, but interesting.


  57. Anonymous10:32 PM

    Here's a couple blurbs from my favorite Vanboi asshole, his name is Grax.

    In response to a thread about the in-game map having a "You Are Here" dot where some tester dared to go against the vanboi collective and say they liked the feature:

    "And so the beta testers stepped back for a moment and looked at their wond'rous creation. The carebears smiled, the achievers rejoiced, the casual players with amazing real lives hurrah'd, and all held hands and shouted: "Yay for WoWguard!"

    The true explorers and competent players looking for a game that might be worthy of their attention kept huddled in the corner, aware that they had suffered yet another defeat. A few more battles lost to the McDonalds-loving WoW-indoctrinated players, and the game would have to be abandoned to rot in its own filth."

    Same thread, this time he felt compelled to take a WoW player who was bold enough to post down a peg or three:

    "If I had more respect for the average person on this board I would guess that this is a troll...

    It will be interesting to see how much of Vanguard gets torn away by the newbie vultures. Unfortunately, many of us knew that newbies have been designing MMOGs for a while now, so we can't really say that Vanguard will end up being all that much of a lesson."

    Makes you wonder what his credentials are, no? Clearly he's not a newbie like the rest of us! Ahh, his next post makes it clear -- he read Bartle's article. Perhaps read isn't the right word, it seems more like his religion:

    "MMOGs are being designed by the collective bad taste of newbies. Richard Bartle's article on the subject is required reading for anyone who dislikes WoW (or some other recent MMOG) and is wondering why it is the way it is. The article gets mentioned a lot on boards like this one because it is so horrifyingly pertinent.

    There are two main types of players on display in this particular thread: those who welcome automation and those who don't. There are those who want the player to have to interact and adapt to the game world, and then there are those who want the game world to adapt to their individual preferences ("I don't play to trade! I don't play to figure out where I am in the game world!").

    In the end, a designer tries to make a game fun for some hypothetical playstyle, and tries to make it fun for as many playstyles as possible. However, one cannot accommodate every single playstyle, and sometimes there are clashes. What we see in this thread is that there are people on both sides of the issue. Someone at the top will have to decide: "Do I want a game that people with a bad playstyle will enjoy? I could cater to folks that only want to raid on some mobs and have the rest of the gameplay be completely linear and automated, Dungeon Siege style... or I could have a more open game where the player is forced to actually get involved in the game world, where he is not fed all the relevant information through an ezmodetube. Hmm, this choice is more difficult than that time I was given a magical ticket for a free meal and couldn't decide whether I wanted to eat garbage or something tasty."

    I am thoroughly amused at the number of posters I see every day on these boards who have never been educated in thought, cannot analyze an entire gameworld, have terrible terrible taste, and basically say: "Please make this game trash! I will not be satisfied until I taste garbage!"

    Remember kids, if you're not playing Grax's way, your playstyle is BAD.

    I can only hope that every single feature he hates is added to VG, so that he quits the game (and possibly life?) when he finally realizes that it "might not be the game" for him.

  58. Wow... that Grax needs to re-read most of what Bartle has ever said. I hate to see names like that dragged through the mud. What Bartle has said needs no interpretation from someone else... you simply quote it and let it stand on its own merit. Because Bartle writes a good defense and is unbiased. Unfortunately we can't say the same for poor Grax.

  59. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Grax's profile

    Check out the "Highest Character in an MMOG:" section. L51 Assling Dr00d, now that's impressive.

    On that note, I'll give poor Grax a rest. The scary part is there's about 10-15 others just like him, and many more who "me too" whatever they say.

  60. Anonymous11:14 PM

    You may want to check out Grax's website in his profile. It leads to a page where he claims to be Fizloki. So you've got two of the same personas in your beta then pretending to be one person?, if that is true.

    My source is a friend from AIM. It seems quite a few people noticed that. Probably due to the personality, no doubt.

    Let me look here. Ok, you've got a blog post, second down, that reads:

    "* For my view on the destruction of true exploration in WoW, consider http://freedomgreg.blogspot.com (search for "Fizloki")"

    But the website is supposedly from Grax, noted here: http://freedomgreg.blogspot.com/

    And your base is claiming you've got both a Grax and a Fizloki in your beta.


    Were you aware of this? Any truth here?

  61. Anonymous11:20 PM

    It's late, I wrote that wrong and can't edit it. You know what I mean. They're claiming there's TWO people under the names Grax and Fizloki in beta, yet this website belongs to Grax (aka Greg) and Grax (aka Greg) is telling people to check out his view on the destruction of the true exploration in WoW.

    Think I got that right now. :)

    Uh, that blog was written in June of 2005, before beta opened, so we got a guy with a definite agenda.

    Busted! hahhaha

  62. Anonymous11:35 PM

    Oh screw this, you totally botched that up! I'll do it myself! :)

    There are two people in beta. One person goes by the name of Grax. The other goes by the name of Fizloki.

    Grax has a profile with a website. If you go there, you'll notice it's a blog. On the blog, written by Grax is a directive to read his material concerning the destruction of true exploration in WoW. But in parentheses, he directs people to look for this article under his apparent PSEUDO name, Fizloki!

    Yes, it did make some of us wonder, in /tells within beta, just what the hell was going on. We figured out that these two testers are one in the same people, since you don't go around directing people to blogs you wrote under the name Fizloki unless you want them to assume you're also, Fizloki.

    We did note the date of the blog. We also noted the subject matter. We definitely assume he has an agenda. Just read what he writes. Wouldn't take a genius.

    There is also a Hikaru floating around.

    It would appear some of these people know each other and have debated these points well before beta opened for Vanguard.

    Thank you,

  63. Anonymous11:50 PM

    Heartless, tell her she doesn't know how to read a blog. I keep telling her that Freedom Greg is the blog! These two people write under it.

    They're right to be suspicious that these people knew each other and yes, it was before the date that beta opened. But that's it. That's where the similarities end.

    They can very well be two separate people.

    She doesn't know how to read a blog, trust me. Neither do her friends. ;)


  64. Anonymous11:55 PM

    I think you're both confused. lol

    -- Vertigo

    Point taken on the dates though.

  65. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Does it really matter? Let's not try to build more of a conspiracy theory then there already is.

    I'm sure some people in beta had doubts about a lot of things.

    At the end of the day, we don't have to be in beta to see enough information that points out something is wrong.

    I agree their best course of action would be to start beta over with a clean slate.

    Many, many betas do not keep the same group from one phase to the next. This is not uncommon practice.

    When the next phase comes up, you simply bring in new ones.

    But if Brad wants "vision-defenders", he should specifically ask for that on the next batch. I hardly think it was fair, judging by that FAQ, that he's making blanket invitations to try his game. The ONLY thing he makes specific is that it's for those who want a challenge. It makes no mention whatsoever about timesinks, corpse runs, auction houses, death penalties, ad nauseum.

    It was only after these people got in there, they realized what the score was.

    I filled out an application myself. I have no recollection of being asked about my gaming style preferences othen then hours per day I could spend and other logistical information.

    If I had walked in there and saw what I'm reading, I probably would have been shocked. I don't think it was fair at all.

    This was a mistake that should be learned from.

  66. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Yeah, you're right. I'm too tired and confused about blogs to understand anymore then I gathered based on the conversations we had in game. We heard things in chat and we became suspicious. Perhaps too suspicious as to the names.

    But I'm still standing by the dates because that's all messed up! The dates of those blogs are before beta started so here are some guys with a purpose to change things as he saw fit.

    That's all I'm saying.

    Heartless, you can delete the rest that's confusing if you would.


  67. Anonymous1:18 AM

    Ok, I need to say something here.

    Posted on that Grimwell.com site you referenced, Heartless.

    At this point, I'm thinking it's too early for me to judge Vanguard one way or the other. The features range from the innovative to the intimidating, but the real question is: how well were they implemented. All beta boards, it seems, are infected with fanboys who can be interpretted as trying to like the game. World of Warcraft was no exception. So, again, it's too early for me to draw many conclusions.

    But then, I'm somewhat off of grinds at the moment anywho. Well, that's not true, actually. It's not the grind, it's the lack of encountering new methods of play. Vanguard isn't entirely without potential to captivate me.
    Staff: Grimwell.com

    Infected with fanbois? Let me tell you something. I was IN World of Warcraft Beta. That game was a blast even in BETA! There was no one there "trying to like the game". Where the hell does this guy come up with this stuff?

    It's totally bogus information.

    My friends and I have literally hundreds of SS's showing just how much we were "trying" to like it.

    WoW beta was a party.
    Vanguard beta is a funeral.


  68. All you anon posters can click "Other" and enter a name so the conversation can be tracked easier. I usually don't delete comments, but I'm busy IRL and may get around to cleaning that confusion up.

  69. I read through that Grax guys blog. And if his attitude is indicitive of the general consensus of the "hard-core" player, then it's pretty clear what he's looking for.

    He's looking for a fully stacked pond full of "fresh fish", that he can lord his advanced knowledge over. He wants as much information as can possibly be hidden away from the average player, so that the person who literally lives in the game can go around with a bigger ego knowing that they're "better" than the average Joe.

    Things such as automatic mapping, threat level indicators and convienent travel between areas, turn this guy off, because it lowers the amount of power, and thus fame, that a person like himself would have in a MMORPG.

    That it increases the amount of fun the average person has, matters naught to him.

    This is the type of attitude that any MMORPG beta..natch..any beta period, should run away from, ASAP.

  70. Anonymous4:49 PM

    That pretty much sums up his motive, Karmakin.

    When you have a private forum prevalent with this type of mindset, it's only natural to see articles posted in the form of anonymous ventings.

    When it's presented to the public in this manner, you have to wonder what recourses with the company were exhausted and left unresolved.

    If that's the sequence, then the company brought this upon themselves. They should have seen it coming considering their experience in the field.

    This is indicative of a company who was totally unprepared in dealing with opportunists ready to test the levels of tolerance.

    Grax-types tasted the chance to influence the design. They saw opportunities to inflate their egos. And maybe, even the chance to get that much of a 1up, that financially exploiting it later wouldn't come as any big surprise.

    When the company fails to react, the average player becomes disheartened, the predator (which is what the Grax-types are) become more brazen and chaos results in the end.

    That's ultimately why you read articles pointing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the predators who instigated it. The average player perceives his fellow beta invitee as the bully.

    But the company should also take some blame here and own up to not reacting appropriately. Instead, what appears to have happened, was an all out war of PvP between player mindsets, on a beta forum.

    Sigil needed to act as referee of sorts. Yet presumably neglected to rein in the situation. As a result, you're left with the victims walking away with a very bad impression. That's going to affect them come box-sale time.

    The snowball effect has begun. Some cold, hard lessons need to be learned. The article gives Sigil fair warning and ample opportunity to rectify its bloopers.

    It's quite possible too, that losing three core designers and one major artist and a host of other problems, left Sigil unprepared to deal with this type of situation.

    With SOE now in the picture, the window of opportunity is broadened. Sigil would do best to bring in some fresh air.

    (The registration page was down when I wrote this.)

  71. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Originally Posted by Skars
    You clearly want to dumb this game down to WoW levels, please stop. If you knew anything you might realise this game isn't for you!

    The response to this was advice along the lines that maybe Skars could "figure a better way of saying it" and add "logic and reason" behind the statement.

    /wry grin

    Sure, let's solve this by asking posters to now veil their motives better and use logic and reason to justify future, self-important spins.

    Now on www.amazon.com: "How to Fuck With Developers of Game Companies and Intimidate Subscribers"

    Yup, that'll work.


  72. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Another example, same thread:

    Originally Posted by Jacquelyn
    All I can say after reading the OP is, if true:


    If I wanted to play WoW I would be doing so...
    If I wanted to zap all over the map I would play Guild Wars...
    If I wanted to avoid corpse runs I would play EQ2...

    When are these people going to learn!? The original game concept (as advertised by developers) is why we are here.

    Fell free to tweak armour appearances, but not core game concepts!

    Ask yourself what are the "essential" and "accidental" properties of Vanguard?

    A "more challenging game" is, I would argue, essential to what it is we are all waiting patiently for.

    The anonymous poster quoted by the OP sounds like a baby to me...

    Well of course the OP of the article sounds like a baby to you, Jacquelyn. You put him down as childish only in an effort to raise yourself up to some sort of mature level.

    When the truth is, you fear what he says because it exposes your motives and the damage it has added to a developer's reputation.

    Get it through your thick head. This is NOT your game. You have no more right to the game you wish to see than anyone else who may disagree with you.

    There is NO vision set in stone, especially during the stages of developement. Hell, even after a game has gone to market, changes and entire revamps can and do occur.

    There is nothing you can do about it, which is why you spout your elitist drivel. Because you think that by drowning out others and kicking your feet and crying over it, you will somehow get the I WIN button.

  73. Anonymous7:43 PM

    While this is all good food for thought and somewhat entertaining, I think you all should read this,

    WoW has had enormous success with 5 million subs. But that is not the game we are building. Halo2 sold $125m on its first day -- and yet, we are not making that game either.

    We are building a game that we want to play. We are building a game that we hope will attract people for a longer term commitment, a home if you will.

    If our intent was to build the broadest appeal game we could, we would not be building Vanguard. Our intent is to build the right game for our target audience; and yes, that means pushing the technology envelope.

    Will we do our best to ensure that the most people who *want* to play the game actually can? Sure. But I state with some degree of certainty, if you have an older computer that is not at least within a generation or two of moderately current technology (see above), you will not be able to play Vanguard without substantial compromises.
    Zack "Ozuri" Karlsson
    Director, Business Development
    Sigil Games Online

    That was dated back in January of this year.

    It more or less takes the high road and says they are making the game THEY want to play. They could care less what YOU want to play.

    If you wind up fitting their mold and like it, that's when you'll find yourself to be within their target audience. Otherwise, I see a company that's just fucking around pleasing themselves with technology and money to burn. It sounds like he could care less if you buy it or not.

    Just today I was browsing their boards and saw some member going off about how they should all work together to get their ideas out calmly...blah blah blah. It was Ozuri who responded with a "QFT". So that should tell you that he could care less what the "fans" think.

    God only knows why Brad hypes this thing when you have directors running around making statements like this.

    I don't even see why he needs a forum when the office will do.

    They state they could make a game that appeals to the masses. The fact of the matter is, they aren't.

    I have my doubts it's even going to take off to the shelf, but I hope they have a good time playing around in there.

    I have my games. I'm happy. Their fans are nuts. I would not be happy there.

  74. Anonymous7:46 PM

    There's the post if you want to read it yourselves.


  75. Anonymous8:05 PM

    I think that's a wikki lookup, Bust.

    Quoted for truth or, as some WoW'ers use, Quit Fuckin Talkin.

    Either way, I get the drift of his post.

    He may try to pose as the aloof, I don't give a shit what ya do, seller. But who is he kidding?

    They're hyping it to get it sold. What other CEO's do you see out there posting on every internet space imaginable?

    It's a nice try at reverse psychology, but I'm betting that QFT was more QUOTED FOR TRUTH, while he may have meant, STFU.

    Ah, the world of idioms and double-meanings.

    And I don't have time to don my gypsy hat and peer into my crystal ball. Which is about what you'd have to do to find where that bunch stands.

    They've already cuts massive amounts of sekret sauce out of that game already according to Sir Bruce.

  76. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Gotta wonder why Ozuri is sitting right there allowing that nutty Jacquelyn to keep ranting with zealous laughables.

    Boggles my mind.

    Ok, back to work with me. Amusing but the money is more important.

  77. Anonymous9:46 PM

    I see Glip reclaimed his pants, finally.

    As the number of edited posts in this thread would imply, there are quite a few people who will not be posting on these forums again for a few weeks.

    Disagreeing is fine guys, but it has to be done so civily. Its also worth noting that telling someone to go back to some other game is an attitude that we're not going to support and will in fact do everything in our power to stamp out.

    My apologies to everyone in this thread who was able to control themselves and remain civil.

    Nick Parkinson
    Community Rep
    Sigil Games Online
    "Where are my pants?"

    That deserves an attaboy!

  78. Anonymous10:23 PM

    One observation.

    The calmer, more rational members of both FoH and VSoH forums, appear to be original Everquest players.

    The crazy ones have a bone to pick with World of Warcraft, or even Sony Online Entertainment. Even that Grax fellow you mentioned, can be traced back to WoW.

    Note I did not include those that play/played World of Warcraft but those who played the game and now despise it. Also those that played EQ and hate SOE.

    Here's an example.

    One particular recent member, goes by the name of Tessera. The link in his signature reveals an interesting story about how he ventured to get a class change in WoW and was basically thrown off the forums. Now he materializes in Vanguard, still seething with anti-WoW bitterness.

    That's one champion for Vanguard that Sigil would not need in their defense.

    In fact any of the bitter and disgruntled should probably be flagged, especially as they work towards Beta 3.

    I think there's still time yet. They may pull out of this with even more respect to gain if those who left in dismay feel they are now vindicated.

  79. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Heartless wrote (noticed this added to your front page): UPDATE III: When in doubt start attacking Heartless' credbility. Because we all know I wrote this for self promotion :P

    I don't believe this because unless Heartless is in Beta, there's no way he would know about any of those events that were written about. Those events were even confirmed by other Beta people, right in the blog comments here.

    Secondly, I've read Heartless write-ups before and the two styles of writing are completely different.

    That essay doesn't come across as someone that is used to writing game critiques. It sounds like it's his first attempt, even though it reads competent enough literally. You can understand what he's trying to convey and it's eloquent, but it's hardly someone who has been doing critiques for years.

    As for the credibility part, I assume this only has to do with previous doubtful write-ups that Heartless had regarding Vanguard.

    I wouldn't put any stock in someone else's baseless accusations, Heartless.

  80. Anonymous10:56 AM

    To Vertigo:

    QFT, whatever, it did send the message to me that Brad's team thinks as rigidly as Brad does. With the exception of Nino, maybe.

    When Brad goes on about targeting the "core" gamer, what the hell is he even saying? He's targeting off the shelf buyers? See the problem with gamer-slang? Everyone has their take on it.

    So shit-can all that kool l33t-speak and let's get down to brass tacks.

    According to Brad, he's got 60% grouping, 20% solo and 20% raid content. He boasts advanced LFG tools to assist that 60% crowd, but then says you can meet up......by fucking CARAVAN. ???

    The combat system is supposedly "action-oriented", whatever the hell that means too. You know why it's so vague? If you read MMORPG.com, it's because Sir Bruce would say it's not even close to being done and hardly demo'd to the public at all. Although to hear Brad tell it, that's untrue. I've yet to see a video of beta-player combat. Until then, Brad's talking nothing but a good line of shit.

    The diplomacy "sphere" is supposed to have some type of political connection, which is really just another phraseology for FACTION. You're grinding out faction playing beat-the-clock with a conversation. Whenever it does finally work, if ever, I doubt I'd find it interesting. Maybe a novelty at first but after the first day, I'd be punching the NPC out and having nightmares over the redundant animations and sounds. Think unpolished EQ2 animations with sound overlays.

    You've got a beta with less then 100 logging in daily and the testament makes sense. Because if you had more, you invite more opportunity for bad leaks. Best to buy some time, say you have beta in progress and then invite more people when you're sure it may pull you in something more then bad reviews.

  81. Anonymous11:25 AM

    QFT! lol - I kid.

    Yeah, I'm a port man myself. Not sure that caravan idea is gonna fly. It probably won't for the casual player. They're used to the standard quick gateways. But knowing this game has nothing to do with the casual, bear that in mind. ;0) 20% solo will equal 20% casual oriented, probably less when the subs come in.

    Combat, diplomacy, travel. None of this stuff is being shown in-depth or probably even completed in the beta version. I'd be safe in stating that's the truth and if someone disagrees, prove me wrong.

    It's a hype. It always was a hype. It's becoming a disillusionment in beta because it's just not even close to done.

    No one has seen anything to leak. Better yet, the E3 videos reveal more then what beta probably has to gossip about.

    My feeling is, Vanguard is being given far too much attention for something akin to an NPC with a gray ? over its head.

    Gotta run, catch ya later, bud.

  82. Anonymous1:20 PM

    Just to clear up the caravan travel puzzlement, here is a quote from McQuaid giving some peek at what to expect. Note that even beta players haven't even seen this feature yet.

    It does sound like slow travel at first glance and certainly nothing like an instant port, but yeah, speculation, because no one knows.

    "I would simply again point to Vanguard's Caravan system (offline travel) in addition to the easy access to fast travel via vehicles. Like I said, in beta the issue of travel times hasn't been much of an issue at all (outside of the problem where we needed for technical reasons to open up the majority of Thestra while we've only invited a relatively small number of people into beta thus far, creating a situation where the world that is accessible is too large relative to the number of people participating in the beta, causing under-population and lack of critical mass to be an issue). Of course, with beta 3 coming soon, and with one of it's major goals to fill up the gameworld with people, the issue of lack of critical mass will soon go away.

    And the Caravan system isn't even turned on in beta yet (it will be there by beta 3, if not before).

    Signed by Aradune a/k/a Brad McQuaid.

  83. Anonymous1:34 PM

    And just to clear up how this game will stand in terms of timesink:

    Originally Posted by DarthMuhh
    Grrrr!! I want death penalty tha will make my eyes bleed. I want long travel times. I want corpse retrieval to suck. Gah, please dont water Vanguard down, or hell, have a server with hard core rule sets. Challenge desired, not a cake walk.

    McQuaid reassures the poster with,

    Don't worry, nobody is watering the game down. What I outlined has been our plan from the start. Remember -- challenge does not have to equal tedium. We can make a challenging and rewarding game (both short and long term) but at the same time remove needless tedium. They don't have to go hand in hand.
    Brad McQuaid
    CEO, Sigil Games Online, Inc.
    Exec. Producer, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

    With that, I've heard exactly what I wanted to know. I will not have TIME for Vanguard's timesinks.

    That's not to say someone else may love it. Obviously this DarthMuhh will. I just don't have the time. It looks like this game is going to require tons of it.

    My life would suffer if I got into something like this. I've experienced it before in Everquest. I quit that game because it was causing personal conflicts and I had to choose.

    Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't even tempt myself again.

  84. Anonymous4:34 PM

    That crowd in there is crazy. They get everything they deserve. I feel bad for the devs but I don't feel sorry for Brad or his entourage of fans. He's never put them in their place and now they're out of control.

    They blame WoW, they blame SOE, they blame the OP of this article. They blame EVERYONE but themselves.

    These are the absolute worst denizens of the MMORPG world. Be forewarned because it's worse then WoW forums.

    Most of those people should be institutionalized. And the ones that are sane, won't be if they stay.

    They're nuts, plain and simple.

  85. Anonymous4:37 PM

    One Glip couldn't clean up that cesspool if wanted to.

  86. Anonymous5:32 PM

    This was posted by Progenitor and I thought it was funny how he knew the flames would be incoming even before he hit the send button:

    Grats to all the freeloading fanbois. You just lost the internets.

    If this place is in the state this guy's forum post depicts, then Brad, Shut down the forums.

    Seriously, your health and the health of your team is much more important than the trolls on here. Time would be better spent letting the designer-wannabes write emails, to which you can set an autoreply saying 'thanks' rather than having your own development team savaged on the forums.

    I'd clear out all the beta players too and start a fresh line, disallowing the most agressivly vocal players back.

    I work as a designer on another rather large mmorpg project and if you read this, do try to take note: We can all see what youre trying to do with the 'open forum' method for the game but really, kids shouldnt have the control of the design of a game as they don't have the maturity to actually create a balanced world.

    ...and to all the fanbois ready to throw knives at me for scorning you, remember, pretty much every other mmorpg community right now thinks you lot are asshats for what youre pushing the developers to do all out of your own selfishness. Think of that while you furiously reply.

    I didn't even read the replies, but then again, I don't have to. You know already they're going to rip him apart. Savages know no better.

  87. Anonymous3:07 AM

    After reading slashdot and a few others, I'm sickened by the judgemental jackasses who claim the OP and other Beta testers who spoke here aren't worthy of their attention.

    You know what? It wasn't for YOU asshole! If you weren't so fucking nosey, you wouldn't have read it. But just like every rubber-necking driver that has to slow down at an accident for a glimpse to see some blood, you couldn't contain yourselves, could you? And just like them, you drive away with your pompous opinions after you've taken a good look. You even can't wait to write your own spin on it.

    Had that article never been written, no one would probably had the nerve to speak. Vanguard members would have decayed further then what was happening already.

    It woke Sigil up. Already they are starting to step up the enforcement of rules. And that will save their game.

    Go ahead and deny the thousands of posts written that came out from everywhere to admit some of this was true, if not all.

    Then turn around and fault every Beta poster who came forth to agree claiming they broke a NDA.

    NDA's don't have anything to do with writing about Beta morale. Even if not in Beta, look at your own forums and see what others see of you. Clean that up first before you wallow in your own stench while pointing fingers at everyone else. Get it straight and get off your high horses.

    What drastic decisions did you ever make for the greater good? Probably none.

    Here's my name. Look me up and ban me. Ostracize all you want. I could care less.

  88. Anonymous8:12 AM

    Things have really gotten out of hand. I wish I could contradict all the comments here but I can't. I want Vanguard to succeed so much, I want another game that I can fall in love with, but at this rate, it's never going to happen.

    It seems the developers have defined the position of beta tester as uncredited associate game designer. They constantly and repeatedly post on the forums that they "ignore bad feedback". Saying that a specific mechanic "isn't fun and needs to be looked at" isn't good enough. They want a 10 page essay on what you would do to make it better, complete with citations and full documentation. No beta test I've been in thus far has asked this much from testers. It's ridiculous.

    So you do what you're told and write excellent feedback detailing what's not working for you, what doesn't feel right, and how you would change it. You get blasted on sight for having an opinion that differs with the vanbois. It's pathetic, and worse, the dev team tolerates it. The beta forums aren't moderated. At all. Ever.

    And at the core of all of this, is those deemed worthy enough to become affiliate sites. These people encompass the most kiss-ass of the sycophants. They act like the cock of the walk on the beta forums because Sigil goes out of their way to kiss their ass. They get trips to San Diego, personal meetings with Brad and crew. They all seem to have each others heads up their asses. If I had to put my finger on the single biggest flaw of the dev crew so far, it was the affiliate program. More often than not it's these asses that are berating people and getting away with it, and if it's not them, it's one of their associated cronies from their forums.

    So, to summarize this rambling and to firmly point the finger at whose to blame, look no farther that Sigil itself. It's easy to say that the fanboy testers are ruining the game, but the fact that they allow this behaviour by looking the other way when they run the forums, places blame solely in their own laps.


    SUMMARY: Sigil is to blame for Vanguard's slow death, they don't moderate their own beta board.

  89. Anonymous12:18 PM

    This is not the first time I've read complaints concerning the impact of fansites becoming an overbearing presence on the normal player-base.

    In this case, it's a phenomenon because there is no game in existence yet with Vanguard.

    DAOC, AC1, EQ2, to name a few, all had problems with fans perceiving that special treatment was being given to affiliate site individuals posting on the main company's boards.

    The discourse usually enters when the individual is given a status perk from the game company and then abuses it by looking down their noses at the average player; or putting themselves on a par with the best players.

    Gamers, by nature, are a competitive sort, and thereby don't appreciate anything not earned.

    In EQ2, it was particularly noticeable when one of their fan-writers associated himself with an affiliate site. It's interesting that after a time, even the mere mention of this person's name, infused mass hate comments on an Aggro Me blog. The entire blog was completely derailed of its subject matter in favor of tearing down the 'elevated plateau' they perceived this person to be standing on. The comments painted him as an inexperienced blowhorn with an unearned, modded forum title. Once he was mentioned, there was no end to the scorn.

    In the end, the status symbols being handed out are either merited or they're not. The above example is indicative of that. Gamers are ruthless against petty, undeserving egos in their game.

    If there's one thing I've learned watching subscribers in various MMOG's over the years, it's that a company stands more to lose in the way of faction with their customers, if the site endorsing their product becomes arrogant with their customers.

    The company governing the product, would do well to hold their affiliates to a higher standard and address any subscriber complaints.

    In Sigi's defense, it would appear they have begun addressing issues concerning various trouble spots. I applaud them for that effort. Perhaps you will see some improvements in this area as well.

    I would say give them a little more time if the game still interests you.

    Your point is duly noted however, and hopefully they will take a look at this issue, too. But know that affiliate site problems affects all gaming companies at some level.

  90. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Regarding those lousy NDA-breakers who everyone should discredit........

    I think people should take notice that it was Anyen who first called this OP of the article a liar. It was only after this event, that other shocked beta players felt the need to tell the real truth.

    It should also be noted that Anyen is in V:SoH beta and has spouted off enough about the game. But since it's all good feedback he's giving and it's being conducted on the FoH boards, there's no penalty of getting thrown out of beta, because Aradune Mithara enjoys using that board to advertise his game.

    Nice double-standard that people set.

    You all suck!

  91. Anonymous3:27 PM

    "Things have really gotten out of hand. I wish I could contradict all the comments here but I can't. I want Vanguard to succeed so much, I want another game that I can fall in love with, but at this rate, it's never going to happen."

    You're right. The stuff about them cleaning up the place sounds good but I reported posts too that shotdown people and they didn't do shit about it. They're only cleaning up the crap that really stands out.

    People are reporting it. I tried. They do nothing in most cases. Then you feel ignored and handle it yourself. Only that's when you get glipped. Dammit Glip, if you did it when I asked ya, you wouldn't be reading this complaint and I might still be there.

    He doesn't care because it's not him they're attacking. And I mean they'll attack you over the STUPIDEST stuff!

    At least on WoW I can report it and contest it if they do nothing. They always wind up getting rid of it, even if it takes a couple times in some cases.

    My WoW signature now reads.

    "I said HI on the Vanguard forums and it was a 50 DKP minus flamefest of moredots!"

  92. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Warhammer looks like it will be a lot better then this game.

  93. Anonymous9:40 PM

    Heres some more NDA breakage to sink your teeth into



    Mass ganked by mobs at level 7, and a full bar of xp debt to work off to show for it? hahaha thats not hardcore, its blatant stupidity!

  94. Anonymous1:27 AM

    It cracks me up how forums like Fires of Heaven and Silky Venom talk all day about NDA breakers and how you can't believe anything they say, but they were the first to repost that article, on THEIR boards!

    Silky Venom is one of their affiliate sites, too.

    It's just too hypocritical! If they didn't want to make an issue of it, why repost it? Don't tell me they didn't want a piece of the action because I don't believe it. If they hadn't done that it wouldn't have received half of the attention, I'm sure. If they're going to complain about NDA breakers, Silky Venom is just as bad as they are.

    That article has to be the least of Sigil's problem anyway. It cries about leaving a beta because the people there sucked? What a joke! There's no game info in that article. Wow, we know they talked about maps and corpse runs. DUHHH! Every game does. What do we know they decided about it? Zippo.

    But, FoH has been posting screenshots and letting their posters leak info for months. None of it, good. And Sigil staff still posts there. Yet no one takes notice of that hypocrisy, much less any of the other hypocrites I mentioned and more.

  95. Anonymous1:36 AM

    LOL, I just read those links. Can you say enforcing group enforcement at level 7? I can. :)

    They can think what they want. It's their game, but I know those days are over. I've played too many. WoW is a precedent because now that people know they don't HAVE to live for a game, they're not going to.

    Oh, thought I would also mention. I read somewhere else, not sure where, that Brad hasn't even played WoW. So those links don't surprise me.

  96. Anonymous2:09 AM

    Here it is, Dillgaar, a Silky Venom staff person writes:

    What do you guys think about a beta tester (seemingly) posting about the current beta community and how they see things progressing/digressing?

    I don't think anything of it except that it's unfortunate that Sigil let it get to that point. Do you have any proof this OP didn't try to tell them before it got to this point? Posters here say they tried and were ignored. What about that?

    We didn't even get that much from the OP. He just mentioned there was a lack of moderation, which your posters and everyone else seems to have agreed on! So are they NDA breakers too? They agree VG forums are a mess. Did they break an NDA? Other than that I don't see where your posters are calling foul. They're JUST AS BAD!

    Your posters seem to take the attitude that this article reflects an ungrateful snob who should be sued, shunned by your "community" and hung out to dry.

    Then what about you for reposting it? What about them for continuing to harp on it, interjecting their conclusions of it all? Wasn't that adding fuel to the fire? Do you realize how many people don't even bother with blogs but prefer forums?

    Blogs are just someone's thoughts, nothing else. This was someone's thoughts added to Heartless's thoughts. YOU guys are the ones who presented it to VG's fans. I seriously doubt it would have gotten any attention if you, FoH and others didn't go out of your way to help spread it around.

    This may seem harsh, but you guys post things for attention sake, then you get the attention you sought, then you encourage your members to talk about how they feel against or for the OP of the article.

    When you get down from your high perch, let us know, we'll discuss it. Because you're not helping Sigil with this ongoing nonsense.

    Wrong or right, I don't read the original article as having bashed Sigil. It was your members who did that. Rayne did a pretty good job of bashing them. I don't see where the OP here did that.

    If you need a refresher, here ya go, http://www.silkyvenom.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3907&page=2

  97. Anonymous2:35 AM

    Valid point, Raven. I'd be surprised if the OP was even in beta any longer. One doesn't suggest to throw everyone out of beta if he or she was wanting to stick around. He's apparently long gone. He hasn't resurfaced since.

    I skimmed through those posts and what I walk away with are people trying to use the article as a means to let them in beta instead. Funny stuff but so transparent.

    They don't seem to address the problem. They seem to enjoy placing blame. Exactly what the article talks about which is blatant, bad attitudes that no one got a grip over.

    Everyone knows this type of problem happens in all betas, but it's probably one of the first times someone had the nerve to bring it up, in article format. I think it was a good thing. Any gaming company would benefit to address these signs in the future. Like the other poster said, "Who woulda thunk it?"

    Most intelligent people understand that it's not Sigil that it only happens to. Neither would they blame Sigil for having it happen to them. I feel a bit of pity for them myself, as I would any company that had to put up with this type of immaturity. And that's what it is - total immaturity!

  98. Anonymous3:58 AM

    Speaking of NDA-breakers, there's a post put up on the official VG boards encouraging those in beta to talk about how they test. http://www.vanguardsoh.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55068

    The OP confirms that when he says "I posed a question to those that are currently participating, or are wanting to beta test."

    LOL! Then they start answering with stuff like "I'm in beta and.."

    Breaking the NDA, one day at a time. ahahhahaha!

  99. Anonymous6:03 AM

    That was yesterday's news where they hated the NDA-breakers. Today, the new breed of NDA-breakers, are posting screenshots for all (http://www.fohguild.org/forums/retard-rickshaw/22693-vanguard-ss.html) and being slapped on the back for it in congratulations by posters on the official Vanguard forums! (http://www.vanguardsoh.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55082)

    Newsflash: A person in Vanguard's beta, who goes by the name of "Slide", posted various pictures of V:SOH gameplay to, allegedly, thwart the negativity and rumors surrounding the game.

    After posting numerous pictures on the FoH forum boards, he turned himself into a GM (Game Master) at Sigil.

    Afterward, they celebrated on the official Vanguard boards, where Slide was acknowledged for his good deeds by fellow VG enthusiasts.

    Slide continues to follow his story of "betrayal" at the above sites, including Silky Venom, a Vanguard Affiliate (although that thread has been recently removed).

    Since he continues to post upon the official site's boards, it's obvious his account has not been suspended, although he was admittedly, removed from beta.

    Such a valiant act to some, such a disappointment for others.

    Disappointment being, because this looks like a bad attempt at Everquest 2 and Poser-like character modelling.

    Slide, thank you for saving us the expense in purchasing this game! We owe you! Enjoy your time in the sun! :)

  100. Anonymous7:08 AM

    ewwwwww....that looks like crap! I know it's beta but, what's up with that Rastafarian hair on that chick?

    He needs a textures expert in my opinion.

    So those are medium quality settings far as I read? I guess it's not too bad, but it's not as good as EQ 2 or even GW. I guess I expected this new technology or something. I guess that's weather?

    On one of the pics was an interface shot. Some blank boxes to the right suggest an EQ 2 reaction-type thing going on. Playing the interface, again. Where's the something different?

    Something different sounds like weather, travel and placement of housing. In addition to some good 'ol EQ 1 punishments for not knowing what the hell you were doing.

    I hope this is going to include a good book...errr...manual. lol

    I think those pics are the most damaging leaks yet. He didn't do them any favors. It was too early to release that.

    I felt sorry for them with this article here because of asshats but I didn't doubt their competence. Now I think I'll be looking elsewhere.

    I think it was stupid of this Slide person to leak something so vital.

  101. Anonymous7:33 AM

    So much attention over a game with so little going for it!

  102. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Y'all knew this was going to be Everquest Revisted, why are you so much in shock? I'm not.

  103. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Hey raven, why don't you pull your head outta Brad's ass and catch a breath. And maybe a clue while you're at it? I "bashed" Sigil? The hell I did, and you know it. And no, i'm not fishing for a "beta slot". I'd rather play the finished game when it releases.

    How was my bitching about Nick suspending me for no good god damned reason bashing Sigil btw?

    Perhaps you should try reading between the OP's lines. His "direct point" wasn't that the game is a mess. But his message was pretty clear. The games a mess according to a rather fair portion of the tester base, and anyone trying to tell devs that, is being squashed into silence by a few masochistic morons for saying so.

    Take off those rose colored glasses. You might just be able to see what the rest of the genre is looking at.

  104. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Thank you for confirming the intention in my post, Rayne.

    First you went on eluding to a conspiracy theory that the OP's article came at a time when SOE/Sigil merged and "someone" was pushing it too hard for it to be coincidence. I believe I paraphrased that correctly. Feel free to deny though.

    Then, after being so critical of the OP of the article here, you fail to see any fault with those reposting it where it gained the most notoriety. (which is the point of my article in case you didn't gather)

    Finally, after your ban off the OVF (as you call them), you put Sigil directly in your crosshairs and make this remark:

    "To which I never did get a response. The fact that they can't keep thier internal communications together, is in no way my fault. On one hand, a Sigil rep "commending" me for "keeping it real"? On the other, another Sigil rep hastily waving his "suspension rod", using 2 week to 8 month old posts as justification? You might want to consider that the team you admire so much, really doesn't have thier crap together, and thier beta isn't the only department its broken in. Because when every department starts pushing some these veterans the wrong way, its going to alienate the wrong people from thier camp."


    In essence, do you realize you've just agreed with the OP of the article? Yet you're finding some type of underlying reason why he may have written it. Are we seeing the point now?

    In a way I feel sorry for you because you, among probably hundreds of fans, cling to what a game designer has been posting about, all over the .net, for years. So who is up whose ass here (as you put it)? Yes, I mean to be blunt because you're not being rational in that analyses.

    To the general public it DOES seem like Silky Venom, Fires of Heaven and the official Vanguard forums, et al., reposted an article when they could have just ignored it, giving it NO credence or importance. They chose to repost it but no one sees any connection between doing that and harming Sigil's reputation, the same reputation that some fault the OP of this article for having done.

    (My personal opinion is that the repost is indicative of their own DOUBTS, so they thought they'd share them with YOU.)

    In your own words, you're not exactly happy about the treatment you received, yet you think this article is some sort of conspiracy because someone else is irritated besides you. Does this honestly make any sense to you?

    I have my rose-colored glasses off. I see things objectively because I'm not close to your situation. Yet you feel compelled to say that fault lies with me when the evidence says otherwise. Which is just another excuse to keep the flames of this sordid affair alive and well.

    I feel sorry for you because no one should be writing you notes keeping you sucked in this way. It's manipulation at it's finest. In this manner, you can speak "the vision" and he doesn't have to put himself out there. What for? You're the willing patsy.

    In addition, they have the freedom to change it in the future because in the end, it's not about loyalty, it's about sales.

    You can hate me for what I wrote, and that choice is certainly yours, or you can read it for impartial content and see what others see who aren't roasting in the flames.

  105. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Because when every department starts pushing some these veterans the wrong way, its going to alienate the wrong people from thier camp. - Rayne

    So you're saying that if they ALL start pushing you (the veteran of Everquest) the wrong way, Sigil is going to fall apart?

    Do you really believe they place that much importance on you?

  106. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Raven, I'd point out that the OP of the article and this Rayne only have one thing in common: A fault with the management and current tone of the fans.

    The OP finds fault with no moderation while Rayne finds fault with the moderation.

    The OP finds fault with a crowd that has no tolerance for diverse gaming backgrounds.

    Rayne feels something owed to him/her for being the "veteran" and is now feeling betrayed.

    As for the banning, it's a matter of not what you say, but how you say it. Even I can see that his tone is pretty hot-headed.

  107. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Reading FoH today and had a thought;

    Utnayan knows the game history, I'll give him that. But he's too stupid to realize that these fans are just parroting what Brad has said for years.

    So when Utnayan preaches "fault Brad, don't fault the beta testers", he's contradicting himself. The beta testers the OP is faulting are nothing more then parrots of Brad McQuaid.

    The OP may pity McQuaid, but the OP doesn't say he sees a quality game. I said that before.

  108. Anonymous6:40 PM

    First Ted, I put stock for the last 4+ years in the fact that me, and hundreds of thousands of others fit Brad's "core gamer" description like a hand in a glove. I don't set myself above anyone. 'nuff said on that subject.

    raven, I didn't "elude" to any such "conspiracy". Look at Nino's comment quoted from the beta forums. Do you have even the slightest clue who the guy is? If you did, you'd know hes as much a "hardcore" gamer as ANY other gamer on the block.

    Theres NO conspiracy. There only a horrendous friggin' mess, that has myself, and hundreds of thousands of other "core gamers" second guessing this game, AND the validity of the past 4 years we've been following it.

    Let me know how you react to it the next time you wait 4+ years for something, only to find out that some band of masochistic retards are standing in the way of the deliverance of what was described.

    I'm not the "willing patsy" you describe. If I were, i'd be like all the sheep and say nothing. So yeah, this nightmare NEEDS to haunt Sigil right up until release. So they build the game they CLAIM they've been building all along.

    I "suspected" that the pertinent issues might have been bogus because of the Sigil/SOE deal. Thats a pretty far stretch from claiming a "conspiracy theory". I've since seen numerous other leaks confirming EVERYTHING the OP said. Pardon me for being "cautious".

    You accused me of "hammering Sigil", because I had a problem with Nick suspending me from the OVF without a legitimate reason. When in fact, I didn't hammer Sigil at all. No one from Sigil, other than Nick, was even mentioned on my part, until Miggy tried to pin me down as "deserving" of the suspension Nick gave me, without having a fucking clue as to what the rest of the story might be. Thats when I made Nick's email to me public.

    Nice how you skirted completely around that in your latest retort here. I'm sure you'll do it again. So I won't waste my time again.

  109. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Yes, Rayne I know who Nino is. He was in the guild Fires of Heaven and later went to work for Sigil as their music composer/organizer. He has a history with gaming, especially with the original Everquest.

    I write unbiased reviews on some days, but I use this black handle when I like to just kick back and talk to people personally, and not the blue which may be known, because I believe it helps my job.

    So if you think I'm really that uneducated with the history of these games, that would be incorrect. I'm not totally informed, but I'm not totally clueless either. That's why I enjoy the discussions. I don't feel I have nothing to learn.

    Ok, so, back to Nino. He's hardcore by gaming definition, but as we see, that's subjective, because, in the example here, he's in conflict with other so-called hardcore positions that make softcore out his ideas.

    It's interesting you mention Nino, because he did strike me as someone who could think for himself. Something you're starting to do yourself. (Glad to see we agree on negating the conspiracy theory, for one.)

    You say you've hung in there 4+ years. Doing what may I ask?

    I called you a patsy because here you are telling us that a developer sent you messages encouraging you to "keep it real" and words to that effect. Then because you do that, or believe that you are doing the cause, you are banned and deemed a rule breaker.

    That suggests that the direction of the game has changed, or at least a change is being contemplated. If nothing else, the tone of the boards is under fire and they are trying to downplay the bad press.

    What does that mean for you? Does that mean you're no longer needed to "keep it real"?

    Beta has obviously taught them enough to understand that they are not going to pull in the numbers if they maintain uninteresting philosophies.

    Of course this is all my opinion based on reading a wide array of posts, opinion and e-mails. From that, it would seem that yes, change is in the air.

    Change is what I think is the new direction. The question remains however, what is that direction?

    I'm wondering whether even they know. Is there a Plan B? And if so, how do the loyalists feel about THAT?

    Perhaps these are the pitfalls of generating a following before one creates a game.

  110. Anonymous9:38 PM

    By the by, am I the only one who noticed the anon comment above? In particular, this part:

    "Saying that a specific mechanic "isn't fun and needs to be looked at" isn't good enough. They want a 10 page essay on what you would do to make it better, complete with citations and full documentation. No beta test I've been in thus far has asked this much from testers. It's ridiculous."

    This is why I question what Plan B is all about. Is this to keep the testers busy while they figure out what to do themselves? Or something else? What is the definitive course of action going to be or is it now up in the air?

  111. Anonymous11:50 PM

    Why do I get the sense that the person who wrote Rayne was Nino? I may be wrong, but the hardcore talk he identifies with says volumes to me.

    Hypothetically, that would put an entirely different spin on things.

    Hey Heartless, I logged into Whisperwind to say hi and you weren't on. Do you even play anymore? ;p

  112. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Ok raven. One more time.

    To answer your question first, for the past 4 years i've been following Vanguards development, and largely finding what Brad was describing as pretty appealing to my playstyle. I followed the old Sigil forums long before the official VG site and forums were even created.

    Now, in your opinion, my tone on the OVF was serving some "perceived" purpose for Sigil, and i'm now a patsy? And you say "I" suspect a "conspiracy"? Holy shit, talk about confused.

    Yeah, they don't need me anymore, because they're moving on with "plan b". WTF? LOL

    But I guess they still need all these pricks though, right?:


    Notice how nicely they practically castrate SirBruce, just for giving his "opinion" on Vanguards projections.

    As for Nino, the point was, if he thinks the shit is too hardcore even for his liking, its fuckin' broke. LOL

  113. Anonymous7:38 AM

    Yes Rayne, you are a patsy if you're speaking for someone who is afraid or CAN'T speak for himself.

    Conspiracy is a completely different term I don't use without proof.

    The Sir Bruce vs. Aradune Mithara exchange was poor taste in my opinion, especially in front of a public audience that is posting absurdly in between it.

    Regarding Nino, if he did conclude it was broke, people would be justifiably concerned. He comes from a guild that has found more broken content then any other.

    You will never know that from Nino though, since a company NDA would prevent him from ever speaking about it.

  114. Renee I play, but I was AFK all weekend :P I am the middle of a move to my new house so I am just getting back online.

  115. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Ah, ok. Well good luck on the new house then!

    Here's a funny I found over at n3rfed's,

    Sigil Games Online adds beta testers in large batches every few weeks.....(boring stuff, then)

    Still here? Good. The last press release leads into what I really wanted to bring to Show and Tell today.

    That's where it starts to get hilarious. Some good shots we all saw from the FoH boards too. Here's the link if you want to read it.


  116. Anonymous3:06 PM

    raven, scroll up and look at Nino's quoted comment. Made in the midst of a heated discussion on Vanguard's beta forum. A comment that has since been confirmed by 2 other sources since it was made. I think its pretty obvious what he thinks. Because I realise this doesn't make me a patsy. It makes me "aware". Do you really need a map to arrive at the obvious? I think you're smarter than that. There was no "leak". It was a full on flood. Right onto Brads doorstep.

    The issue with SirBruce proves only one thing to me:

    Myself, and a bunch of other senior members, were suspended for no reason other than recovery of face, from the shitstorm that began on the beta forums. The proof was in the pudding. And the emails between myself and Nick. The last of which still goes unanswered.

    It was nothing more than a show. "hey look, we think you're right, and we're even suspending an assload of senior members. Even though we've been edging some of them on the whole time".

    Did you happen to read the threads in which Jon Smedley posted after the SOE deal? Why weren't posters allowed to castrate him when he showed up? Especially when most of them feel like he personally assraped them, along with thier mothers? Yet they can flame up a firestorm at SirBruce, and its ok? WTF? I'd say thats about as hypocritical as it gets.

  117. Anonymous6:11 PM

    A patsy just means you said more so staff didn't have to, that's all. You were encouraged to do that by receiving messages that said "keep it real". So you did. Then you got the ridicule. That's the definition of patsy.

    All this says to me is that a dev agreed with your line of thinking.

    Then why the hell is Brad keeping Luisagos and his gang in there if you were banned for less of a hardcore attitude? I don't get it.

    Unless, this is the way Sigil wants the game to go down. Which is their choice. But I'm not buying it if it's going to be Luisagos, Grax, Fizloki, Speaker's way. I don't like their attitudes even if I did agree with their stupid logic. Anyone from beta knows that article was written because of their superior attitudes and stuckup replies. If Sigil needs someone to blame the "scandal" of that article, they need look no further then those names.

    Why ban Rayne? Maybe because you didn't have a pack of friends around you like they do, buddy. Higher risk of fallout and all, yanno?

  118. Anonymous7:14 PM

    I think the funniest shit is paying for a magazine that has a code to play this beta.

    I can just hear it now. "Gimme back my money you f@$##@$ POS@#$@ moth3r@#$@@ sonofa@#$@@!"

  119. Anonymous7:41 PM

    Busta, they'll simply say "you bought the mag for a "CHANCE" to get into the closed beta" LOL

    entropy, thats EXACTLY my point. A handful of self-proclaimed "hardcore" masochists fucking up the works for EVERYONE. And Sigil TOTALLY oblivious to the fact that thier game will suffer for it.

    Brad throws around the term "core gamer" like hes handing candy to kiddies. A term which could be used to describe 85% of the mmog genre. Whats he going to say when his sweeping term fails to deliver for what could very well turn into a HUGE portion of Vanguard's fanbase?

    So because he let a half-dozen asswipes determine how his game is designed, half a metric fucking ton of his games fans will pay the price? Damn, Nino works for him, and hes even ignoring THAT fact. He needs to re-evaluate his priorities, and fast. Cater to the half-witted morons bolstering your ego? Or deliver the game you promised to all these people?

    If it ain't the latter, hes gonna be crucified quicker than Christ. And in a much more GLORIOUS fashion.

  120. Anonymous9:33 PM

    That, and the fact that the old crowd is skeptical right now. Many aren't even around anymore so Brad has very little bridges to burn. The current FoH forums aren't gonna bow to him. Utnayen pokes at him ad nauseam. It's too tough a crowd. It's called dis-association time.

    I doubt you'll see him even post there again before release. It hasn't benefitted him lately. Look at the link in here Renee put up from N3rfed's. I remember that post too, but I love the guy's spin on it. Brad brings up collection SS's and please send them to Brad direct. Bruuce whines in with, "im too lazy to use email but you can use this one if you want to show off the char select screen" and then throws up the worst friggin shot in the game, showing ONE warrior in Brennan's Stead. LMAO! I have this mental picture of Brad just shitting in his pants right there. haha

    Nah, he can't keep those guys. They're out of control. LOL. Neric is next to go, you watch. heh

    You just don't come up with that CGM beta-slot idea either. That was done to bring in the new, naive blood. Blood that's not used to harcore either. They were probably in diapers when EQ1 was released. Those are the people that are going to be introduced to Beta 3. I have a feeling that Beta 3 will not be hardcore, but Luisagos (the guy who was mouthing off to Nino) and friends won't be there to bitch. He'll be giving them the boot, too. Making room for the new boys. Quietly.

    Bear in mind, that's the least of his problems right now. He's lost 3 major designers in the past year plus a major artist died. He had minimal staff numbers for the longest time compared to the other MMO's. Warhammer had like 60+ off the bat. And he's only got 6 months to go. I don't see it happening.

    I wouldn't waste anymore time on loyalty if I were you because really, all this hype is just NOT worth what's there. If it was, MS would have never let it go and SOE wouldn't be putting it in the B rated package deal.

    And, there WOULD be more then 100 people logging in, because i haven't even seen that many.

  121. Anonymous9:38 PM

    I re-thought this out after reviewing that CGM deal. It dawned on me that he is looking for new blood that will accept what he throws at them. But he's not stupid. Any new blood isn't going to be prepared for "hardcore" and would probably run screaming like a little girl in a Sunday dress.

    Sorry ladies. :)

  122. Anonymous9:54 PM

    I agree completely. If some serious changes aren't made BEFORE the next batch of testers is brought in, and THAT group doesn't find the "fun" he promising, as i've said before, this round of beatings will be nothing compared to the full-on holy shitstorm he'll be dealing with from a much larger group of pissed off Vanguard fans.

    Incidently, anyone who thinks "winter of this year" means December 2006 to Sigil, is only fooling themselves. I've been saying March of 2007 since they made that announcement. If the game is in as bad shape as you and others are eluding to, i'd say even THAT is mere wishful thinking.

  123. Anonymous9:59 PM

    I don't how to say this, so I'll just blurt out the truth instead of running around the bush like I did in the last post.

    The discussion over hardcore or softcore, it's just stupid. Because the only thing that's in there to discuss was the CR. And while they were castrating Nino about that, Nino gets them good. He told them all how he knew they were using the in-game sysop commands to cheat and call their corpse. THAT'S how hardcore Luisagos is. Uh huh. Bitch about keeping CR's in but go ahead and cheat to get your own. Nino got him.

    The only thing after that was the GPS map DOT. That's it! There was NOTHING else besides a crappy quest journal. That's all that told me anything about how hard it would be. That and the fact you spend a ton of time running around. It's dead. There's no real content. Feels like alpha with better graphics. There is no way of telling how this game will turn out by looking at it today. NONE. No could disclose shit about it if they wanted to.

    When I read posts stating, "I'm really liking this game. I HATED [insert ANY major popular MMO here, except EQ]" I flip the bird at the monitor and say, "You're full of shit, ya liar."

    I'll tell you the truth. I don't even GET his combat system! Why? Because it doesn't even work yet.

  124. Anonymous10:18 PM

    LOL..... priceless.

    I knew the problems were big, but I didn't think they were THAT big haha

    I'm not sure if you saw Hachima's post on the FoH board, but he says the mob perception system is a clusterfuck. He described level 7 spiderlings ganking you en masse' from up to 30 meters away. Then a near impossible corpse retrieval, leaving him with a full level of xp debt to work off.

    If what he claims is valid, and Sigil doesn't fix it before beta 3 starts, Brads worst nightmare will arrive relatively soon. Dedicated groups of players may not notice it at first, because they'll likely defeat the encounter in force without much of an issue. But i'd bet my last buck, that "hoardes" of solo, or even duo, players will have definite issues with it.

    Brad may wish to think otherwise, but there will surely be plenty of that type of player invited to the next beta round. And if they don't find "plentiful" content to occupy themselves in, they're sure to become VERY vocal about it. NDA or no NDA.

    This isn't 1999, or even 2004, when a much larger portion of the genre concerned itself with the repercussions or breaking one. Most would be young people, who he'd get nothing from even if Sigil did decide to go after them.

    I just don't see this having a happy ending. Not unless Brad makes some serious changes to both his beta, and his manner of "managing expectations". But what the hell, i'll wish him luck anyway.

  125. Anonymous10:31 PM

    That's just it, Rayne. There's no serious changes to make because you need SOMETHING to change first.

    You can't get into the player housing. You're not even allowed on the island. I haven't seen the boats. Some idiot said someone had made a boat already and at the same time, a dev clicked send and said they weren't in the game yet. So he's a liar.

    The parley thing will drive you up the wall. If I hear hmm... ahhhh.. huuummm... uhhuh.. hmmmm.. ahhhh.. huuummm... uhuh, ONE more time, I'm gonna blow my friggin brains out!

    Then you logout to the forums and you make a post honestly asking, WTF is this shit? And SURE enough, some nerdy dork whose voice hasn't even changed yet, will jump you two seconds later and say, "I'm liking this parley. It's so unique!" Flip the monitor the bird again, kick the frigging computer and the neighbor's dog just because and I'm out.

  126. Anonymous10:42 PM

    It's true about the mobs. The caves are mess. You go in and you can't see the mobs but you can see them screaming for help with the little I'm "STUCK!" over their heads. You wonder why there's like a 100 tombstones all over the place. Then you pull one and 50 come out of NOWHERE and you've just added your corpse to the pile in about 2 seconds flat.

    /shrug.. If anything, it'll scare the crap out of you.

  127. Anonymous10:46 PM


    So many folks thought the stuff shown at E3 was available to testers at the time.

    Its amazing what you can do with a little smoke and some mirrors.

  128. Anonymous11:01 PM

    I don't know why Vanguard was even at E3. I don't know how long it takes to finish a game of this magnitude but it's barely done.

    I'm not saying he may not come off with something ok two or three years from now. He very well might.

    But he's asking for it by pushing the envelope this soon.

    He asked for it when he didn't have a thing done and brought in testers. All the testers did after seeing a world waiting to be designed was debate how they were going to design it. When CR's were getting tiring and people brought that up post after post, the fights started. One side called them carebears and the other side called them vanbois. That article is QFT, except the writer doesn't know Brad.

    He's also asking for it by continuing to hype it.

    If I were him, I would just STFU, get the hell off the blowhorn and get down to work. Here's a thought. What the hell has he been doing all these years? Show me a game!

  129. Anonymous11:20 PM

    heh..... thats an excellent question. I asked myself the same thing when I first started hearing about the problems.

    What worries me the most I guess, is that even when thier own staff acknowledges a problem, nothing seems to get done about it.

    I'm sure you remember when Marius was on Sigil's staff. I know Marius through the game he formerly managed, Anarchy Online. He was the founder and leader of my org for a good many years. His ideas about gameplay, even back then, were simply very down to earth, solid ideas that you could really picture working well in a game.

    When I suspected he left Sigil, I was slightly disappointed, and asked Brad on the forums if he was still with them. His answer was a very blunt "No, I think he went back to Norway". Now, I have my own suspicions as to why this occurred, and I have a very strong feeling it had something to do with Age of Conan, although I can't confirm anything yet.

    This whole thing is fast becoming a nightmare for Brad. Hopefully, he figures it out before its too late. Any clue as to when beta 3 is actually scheduled to begin?

  130. Anonymous11:24 PM

    I knew it!!! LOL! This is the funniest shit I've read so far.

    You forgot one thing. He's doing the same thing he did back in EQ. Getting money before he puts out the product.

    That idea has Smedley written all over it and that's why you can't crucify him on the boards but it's ok to punch out Bruce Sterling.

  131. Anonymous11:33 PM

    haha, yeah, its a classic double standard. I get suspended for far less, while the fucks standing in Brad's corner against Bruce get praised. Buncha fuckin' hypocrits.

  132. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Well they're in Beta 2.5 now and claim they've been adding batches of people since April.

    Last night it was still under 100 logged in so I don't know. I would have thought much more would be in before now.

    I don't think they're going to announce Beta 3 until they reach some kind of population goal.

    They did say that Beta 3 was going to be a huge update.

  133. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Thats cool. I think my chances for beta are pretty much out the window at this point anyway :P

    Not that it really matters. I prefer to wait for retail, as beta sort of spoils the "newness" of games for me. I've been in quite a few, and when they hit the shelves, I didn't find myself in the hurry to locate and install on launch day.

    That said, I think i'll be waiting a loooooong time after Vanguard launches before I have another look, so I can see some serious post mortem.... err.... post launch reviews LOL

  134. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Don't take it personal, it's just the way Brad is. He can be arrogant as all hell. And it always depends on what mood he's in today. He showed no quarter in EQ. No mercy at all.

    Then when he started this project with Vanguard, he became more approachable and people just lunged at the opportunity they were getting to talk to Brad McQuaid, yanno? They all but forgot what they hated about him. Now it's all coming back to them. heh

    I mean 3 MAJOR designers gone? You would have loved to have been a fly on that wall when the shit hit it, I'm sure. Something isn't right with that. You just don't up and split when you left SOE to create Vanguard in the first place. That's my thinking.

    Anyway, consider the ban a favor. How long is it anyway? You seriously don't need that shit. How much more time are people going to waste? When it comes out, I'll look it up. I won't buy it. I look again in another year and see how it's doing, but other then that, I wouldn't devote time to hyping it like the people at Silky Venom, Safehouse, TTH. That's got to chew up an unbelievable amount of time.

  135. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Two weeks, ending on the 9th. I haven't decided yet if i'll go back or not. If anything, i'll most likely just wade around reading bits of pertinent info. Perhaps post in response to some of the more "realistic" folks.

    But what I won't do, is stand up and defend Brad or his game. He fucked that shit up when his cronie decided to use me as an example. Nick could have easily checked my PM's to see I wasn't bullshitting. In fact, i'd bet he did. I wouldn't be surprised to find them "missing" when I can check for them.

    And if that shit happens, or they get cute and I get a perma ban in the meantime, i'll stir up a hornets nest of epic fuckin' proportions. And I think that not only Brad, but a great many Vanguard fans would be pretty fuckin' shocked to learn who it was sending me those PM's ;)

    But as I said on Silkyvenom, I don't want to start a holy shitstorm for the guy. So if they don't fuck with me, I won't fuck with them. I'll sit back and watch the fireworks.

  136. Anonymous12:29 AM

    I wouldn't even give them the satisfaction of posting again. I'm not banned (I should be by now though, ha!) and I can't even read that shit anymore. The bullshit for sale in there is so thick, you couldn't slice through it with a dwarven axe.

    That in itself is the real danger that's going to bury that game. The hype is so bad, that people are expecting a blockbuster success of unseen proportions.

    Even by the slim chance they miraculously get something done by 2007, it'll never meet the expectations put in the minds of those raving lunatics.

    Oh sure, they'll pretend they love it for maybe a month or two. Then they'll just disappear from guilds and game buddies because they'll be too embarrassed remembering how they fought for the CAUSE!

  137. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Heartless, get on Fav on WW server when you see this please. thanks

  138. Anonymous2:59 AM

    Rayne, you could probably sneak into beta under that family and friends invite. But why would you want to? lol

    Come play WoW until Warhammer goes beta! You guys are so depressed from all this. You need to get some fun in!

  139. Anonymous3:05 AM

    Heart, I'm gonna donate you a website if you get anymore popular! lol

    Check out guildportal.com. You can design RSS feeds, NEWS, blogs, forums, links. Pretty cool and easy setup too.

    Then you should link all the other blogs together from your buddies and it would be pretty cool imo.

  140. Anonymous6:13 AM

    I don't check anymore VG forums, I'm disgusted by them.

    I can just tell you that about 100+ players I know (a whole huge guild) lost interest completely in the game, basically the reply was "I'll wait few months after launch and read some reviews, but it's likely not going to be my new game..."

    I keep reading posts on FoH about VG, looking at screenshots, reading leaks and comments like the OP one and sorry, but there is nothing appealing in VG, nothing at all right now.

    Months ago I blamed the WoW community, but it's not worse than the VG community right now, in fact it's probably better.

    It's incredible how things turned for the worse, I couldn't imagine a fuckup of this proportion when they announced their first beta phase.

    Oh well, there are plenty of games around, I wasn't going to give my first born to McQuaid anyway.

    Utnayan may be obnoxious and irritating, but damn, I think he hits the nail on the head... now if only he could stop posting that much... he'd get a lot more credibility.

    --- Miele (formerly an inky cleric)

    P.S.: out of curiosity, Rayne, are you the Rayne from the old EQclerics forums? I used to be an avid reader/sometimes poster there.

  141. Anonymous7:24 AM


    nope, wasn't me. Any other board, and you likely be right though. I used to frequent that board quite a bit, and distinctly remember having to mispell my usual handle because someone already used it.


    as noted earlier, in my past experience with betas, they're really not my bag anyway. So its no big deal really. I have to admit though, if I did happen to somehow get an invite, i'd likely check it out for sheer curiousity's sake. LOL

    I've been following AoC for a while now, and in light of recent Vanguard developments (or lack thereof?), i'm showing much more interest in that game.

    If Brad and his team can somehow get back on track, and produce something that somewhat resembles what hes been pitching to Vanguard fans, perhaps maybe i'll check it out when I see some reviewers showing it some praise. But as far as i'm concerned right now, AoC has definitely moved to the top of my "to try at launch" list.

    On that note, what Sigil needs right now, is to patch up as much as they can, add more content to sustain the number they're going to invite next, and make sure everything people saw at E3 is available to them asap. Because whether Brad realises it or not, they're expecting to see fully functional housing, boats, and the full fledged crafting system.

    I can tell you right now, that based solely on the tone of the official forums, many have seriously high hopes. And if Brad and his team don't deliver, lord help him, because this is going to get much uglier.


    as I said, although I may hang around and "observe", I definitely WON'T be as vocal as I have been in the past. But at this point, with all the time I have invested (predating the official Vanguard forums), i'm at least going to hang around to see which way the storm turns :)

  142. Anyone wishing to speak with me the best bet is e-mail at the present time.


    I can't really play any games atm and doubt I will be for the near future as I get my new house ready to live in.

    Thanks for all the interest so far.

  143. Anonymous2:23 PM

    And of course all the retarded retorts about how every NDA breaker is a liar, and can't be believed:


  144. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Yeah well, a company can hide behind an NDA as much as they like. It won't change the fact that more was revealed by Brad and his staff then anyone else. The contradiction comes in when the testers can't find a smidgen of the shit Brad said was going to be there. Fantasy world, indeed.

    Critics can accuse all they want. The fact is there's nothing to reveal. And if talking about being a little disappointed after all this hype, sends me to a dark corner with a dunce cap on, so be it. It won't change the truth that there's nothing to violate except my expectations.

    What about ME being told there would be all this cool stuff to test? What about ME going out and spending $3k on a new system that could handle it? What about MY time invested? What about expecting a little respect on forums you said was MANDATORY for me particpate in?

    I'm just supposed to swallow my disappointments and put up with the lies and Luisagos' of the world because I was bestowed with the privilege of being there? Fuck that!

    If I'm responsible for my end of the deal, then some god damned responsibility better be due me too. Like the game running on the specs YOU said it would work on for starters. It didn't. The PSU blew up after the first week and fried my CPU. Thanks! My 1yr-old computer just out of warranty goes in the shit can.

    Don't dick me around with promises and then gag me with an accept button to insult my intelligence. Go ahead and deal with my wife who loves to say "I told you so!" and would love a piece of you while I try to recover all her shit off the old HD. Did I mention this is her frigging JOB?

    Rayne, that thread is water off a duck compared to the shit I gotta hear from the wife. The problem is she's right and I can't come up with a good counter-argument. :(

    Here's a tip: Change your agreement because the pertinent clauses tell me it's with Microsoft, who terminated already.

    P.S. - NP, Heartless. Sorry to bug you on the blog. You sound busy. Thanks for the gmail.

  145. Not busy, but not settled enough to game. Got a week to get the house ready for carpet :P

  146. Anonymous4:04 PM

    That certainly is fucked man. Sorry to hear your comp got fried. If its any consolation, my wife would hand me my own fingers if I fucked up her machine using it for gaming.

    But I gotta ask, because my curiousity is getting the better of me:

    do you think the deal with SOE will have any effect on changes made from this point forward? I mean gameplay issues and the like? Or do you think SOE is simply looking at the hype its receiving, and hoping for the best?

    A lot of people have speculated that SOE's involvement is much more involved than Brad is eluding to. Many have left the Vanguard camp over it. And to be honest, i'm getting a little suspicious myself.

    If ever Brad had a chance to turn this around, they would certainly provide him an easy way out. Pooling resources with SOE could likely get the game into a presentable position pretty quick, as well as making them a scapegoat for later if the game does tank. Because you know ALL those pinheads that left will come back and blame SOE.

    Which incidently, brings us full circle to where this all began concerning me LOL

  147. Anonymous4:23 PM

    Man, Entropy. Sorry to hear that. I can understand why you're pissed as hell right now.

    I lost 2 hard drives on EQ2 so I know where you're coming from. My tech buddy was convinced the game was caching like crazy causing the platters to spin continuously. Yet I was following the hardware requirements Sony set. These companies need to double the RAM requirements they're putting out there because without it, there's no stable architechture for the game to run under and you get an overworked swap file as a result.

    The PSU needs to be mentioned more. Yet you never see it in the game box requirements. These days the typical PSU that comes with the system won't support the PCI Express Bus and graphics cards they build the systems with. They are prone to overheat the unit.

    It's a fact any shortcoming with one of those components will reduce the lifespan of your computer, if not blow it up completely.

    A beta is 10x the stress. For that reason alone, I won't touch them. But I guess you know that by now so I won't add to your grief.

  148. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Yeah I know, Busta. I just never thought a system 1yr old couldn't take it. It was above the minimum requirements. I did not overclock despite the gurus in there who did.

    It was doing fine until the lockups kept happening. So many system resets due to being beta, yanno? At one point it sent a glitch in somewhere. When I turned it back on after the last lockup, I could smell right away that something was cooked.

    I'm sure I am an idiot for continuing to try to load it after so many lockups. My electrician friend told as much when he looked at it. My complaint is telling me that this is what I need minimum to run it and I can't. Not even the Vantec PSU saved it.

    So Rayne, the fucktard idiots posting over at FoH don't have a clue. They aren't electricians and haven't a notion in hell about voltage, lockups and zings that can blow up ANY system out there given the right screwup. The fact is, on a brand new high end system with an Enermax PSU (one of the BEST you can buy) installed, guess what? The game STILL locked up with software errors in the system logs and clicking noises from the interior. You're damn straight I turned it off after seeing that again.

    Furthermore, it was a known fact that NVidia card users were having the most problems and the game was admittedly not fully optimized to their specs when I spoke to the GM. I can prove that much. I did research it. Radeon users were not complaining half as much.

    Somewhere along the line, this problem was addressed and there's no where near as many lockups a couple months later than there were in the initial beta. That's a fact. But when it happened to ME, the game was NOT optomized to support the system specs they told me it would, period!

    I dare anyone to prove me wrong because my electrician has a whole 'nother professional opinion. I think I'll take his word over some butthead who posts on a message board.

    The non-optomized software with the NVidia specs caused system lockups. The repeated resets cooked the PSU due to overheated conditions. Capice?

    But since that's all been addressed, tell them to go knock themselves out applying to beta. I could care less.

  149. Anonymous5:57 PM

    I hear ya man. If nothing else, what happened to you, certainly has me considering having my own comp looked into for ANY new game I plan on playing. Vanguard is definitely off to the "far horizon" for a while. Because its looking more and more every day, like something I won't likely enjoy.

    I really don't appreciate being deceived for all this time. And i'm sure a great many other followers will likely jump the train if too much more negative beta info comes out. Which is what i'm expecting really. Especially if they don't do much before beta 3 begins.

    I don't see how they can without SOE's help. Which would create a whole new shitstorm for Sigil. We shall see.

  150. Anonymous6:10 PM

    PC instability problems CAN be traced back to the PSU. In fact these are the most overlooked areas. Gaming graphics cards today NEED smooth, unfluctuating high power and lots of it to keep it and the CPU running without overheating. Software running a non-optomized card will lock a system up. System lock-ups will generate unwanted heat from the stress. It's all relevant.

    Your system was trying to warn you by locking up, Entropy. It shut down and should have. Here's the problem. You kept trying thinking it was ok, you met the threshold requirements. Not ok. Heed the warning.

    My guess is the PSU kicked the bucket from too many resets too soon, causing a surge to kick it in the nuts.

    Lesson learned, although the hard way. Never believe what the requirements tell you. Double whatever is on the box or digital recommendations. Heed any warnings your computer is trying to tell you about bad software.

    In this case though, it really sounds like something fubar with the software, froze the computer forcing a hard reboot continuously.

    If in the future you ever have to unplug a computer from the outlet or the power supply itself, always remember to do the 1-10 count before you plug it back in and unplug from the outlet, not the PSU itself. The juice may not have drained fully and you plugging back in too soon = SURGE!

  151. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Rayne, the problems he's talking about have already been seen in EQ2. So anyone saying Entropy is full of shit, needs to take a look at SOE's tech boards. It's all there.

    This does not surprise me. EQ2 was notorious for system freezes in the beginning and continues to have problems with NVidia cards.

    Yet when you load EQ2, what comes out of your speakers during the introduction? NVidia! That's what you'll hear. That's what they'll recommend.

    I think it's a joke to read others blaming an end-user for following the software's recommendations. I'm going to laugh when the b.net kiddies are expected to configure some of this crap! LOL

  152. Anonymous6:35 PM

    I'm reading over there now and Soygen doesn't get the point. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with Entropy's PSU wattage. A Vantec (assuming 350 watt) should have easily covered it. That's not what happened here. At least the way Entropy describes it.

    The system FROZE, people! Repeatedly!!! That requires a hard boot and if you disconnect the PSU and connect it too soon, you can SURGE it. Do that 10-15x repeatedly and you're looking a potential disaster!

    What he's pissed about is the stuff that froze his system to begin with after following the system recommendations. Geez, even I can understand that.

  153. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Vertigo here ;0)

    WTG FoH on muddling up a point on how to blow up a Power Supply. hahahaha

    If the damn software didn't lock up so many times, maybe he wouldn't have blown up the PSU. Ya think? Nah, that's too simple a reason.

    I'll take a stab at it and say it's quite possible people in early beta couldn't run it and gave up.

    Entropy, sorry to say this dude, but this is what you get for being a diehard tester.

    Sigil won't give a shit. The vanbois will ridicule you for being stupid. And you're stuck with a 3k bill and wife that ain't happy. I think you've suffered enough.

  154. Anonymous7:11 PM

    I did unplug it from the PSU, not the wall. The outlet is behind the wall unit and is harder to access. I couldn't reset it from the button on the case. It was locked good.

    It was happening over and over. I'd get in the game after recovering and maybe 5 min later, boom, it locked again.

    I don't remember how long I waited on some occassions to plug it back in, it happened so much. I am aware of waiting to insure power drainage. But when you're so frustrated and pissed, who the hell knows. I didn't time it. I know it was going on for a good part of an afternoon.

    I said I'm an idiot for not stopping. I should have just given up. I was determined that it was going to work on the next shot.

    Yeah I'm ass. So is Sigil for not optomizing that card with their software before telling me it would work. I didn't realize that it was the card vs. the software until after I got the new system and was locked up again. This time with an even NEWER NVidia card! The GM then admitted they're having optomization problems with NVidia. If I knew that, I would have went with Radeon on the $3k new unit!

    One thing is for sure, as Busta pointed out, this sure won't be the first game that ran like crap under the recommended specifications!

  155. Anonymous8:14 PM

    I understand completely, Entropy. I'm not trying to give you a hard time. ;0)

    Computer components suffer the worst stress on boot up and power down cycles than any other time of their operation. Hard drives especially. Most failures occur right at the moment you turned it off or tried to turn it back on for that reason. Which seems to have happened to you. It could have been a surge. It could have just died right after throwing an irratic spike into your mobo. But you were pushing the limits of whatever it could take. Bust is right. The warning signs were in the lock outs.

    These new-gen games are prone to system freezes for too many reasons to list, but in general, because they push the edge of technologies.

    Take Blizzard for example. They're not a graphically great game, but because they went the keep-it-simple-stupid route, they don't have to worry about these problems. They also get more of a subscriber base because most people don't have the cutting edge technology.

    If it makes you feel any better, I agree that gaming companies need to take more responsibilty towards their customers by being more specific about computer requirements, and not just leave it at graphics cards and memory.

    They should also make sure the shit works to the BEST of their knowledge before they expect you to test it for them.

    The sad truth is, they rely on the word of the competing hardware companies and leave it at that with little to no testing themselves.

    The customer gets burned. The customer gets pissed. The jerkoffs sit there laughing until it happens to them....and it will. ;0)

  156. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Don't read their crap, Entropy. I read it for you. It demonstrates FoH posters don't know how to READ.

    Who the fuck claimed, "The fact is, people bitching about needing a monster system to play the game are full of shit."

    I see NOTHING here where Entropy says he needed a monster machine to play Vanguard, dipshit. In fact, he says he experienced lock ups even AFTER getting the new box.

    What a dumbass! People can't even fucking read that this mishap occurred after a ton of resets and the PSU gave up the ghost in the process.

    Fucking, stupid ass people!

    I'm going to have a beer. Later guys. Cya in game.

  157. Anonymous10:33 PM

    I don't know much about hardware, but I think it's all part of the marketing strategy. The companies WON'T tell you so when you find out yourself, you'll go out and buy their new stuff.

    It's a sick, sick world.

    Entropy, I do hope you uninstalled that. Or maybe your wife beat you to it. lol Vanguard is definitely not for you! hehe j/k Me either! Mine is TWO years old!

    I'm really sorry to hear about your computer, honest. :(

  158. Anonymous11:02 PM

    I never find much pleasure in someone else's misfortune. It truly is a travesty that his wifes comp was ruined. Regardless of how anyone views the situation.

    In any event, I hope more folks come forward and spill the beta beans. Because it definitely doesn't appear that Brad is building the game hes actually pitching to all these people. And more consistant information to substantiate that might light a fire under his ass to make changes before its too late.

  159. Anonymous4:25 AM

    PSUs are the cornerstones of new PCs and new video card suck power in a gigantic way.
    Yesterday I opened a P3 600mhz and it was running with a 150W PSU, had only one small fan on the CPU and I thought "the good old days".

    Now my PC has 1 fan on CPU, 2 on the case, 1 on the mobo and 1 on the video card. I have an Enermax 550W with 22a on the PCIe cables, which ensure a good stability.

    I run almost permanently the Asus Probe and the video card temp check (included in the latest Forceware) and monitor them quite often.

    I'm sorry about your bad experience, but if I can dare to suggest one thing: monitor your voltages and temperatures all the time, it may suck up a little bit of system resources, but it's better to lose 5 FPS than to lose a new PC.

    There are many more advices about preventing electrical surges, I'm sure your friend can enlighten you better than I could on the topic.

    Everytime I build a system for a friend now, I force them to spend more on the PSU, by getting a very good one, rather than saving on it to get a better video card.

    Good luck anyway on getting your data back (at least).

  160. Anonymous4:33 AM

    So that you know, power consumption on my box are:

    - 150W (peaks 180W) for the NVidia 7900 GT
    - About 200-250W for the mobo and the HDD (pretty standard here)
    - Add optical drive, USB peripherals, etc. and you get to a total of 400W with peaks of 450W.

    Anything else you add will suck more power, a friend of mine had to use a 620W to sustain his system, with 2x7900 GTX cards in SLI and the whole PC overclocked (crazy, I know).

  161. Anonymous6:44 AM

    I have the Enermax on the new unit I just bought. Not sure on the model as the box in the garage, but I'm sure it was the latest. Glad I made a good choice there at least. I still have to update the forceware for the card so I'll look for that Asus probe, thanks.

    The old HD is ok. I just fried the PSU and CPU when this happened. I had a backup from a month ago, but my wife needed the recent stuff too, so I had to redo the backup on my buddy's computer. Just a pain all around. I get impatient with that stuff. I should have just hired you. hah

    But thanks for the advice, guys. Appreciate it.

    Rayne, to answer that question about the SOE deal. I can only speculate that there's a good chance more is going on. I don't think it has to do with SOE doing customer support that people are REALLY upset about. I think his fans are just shocked period, that he went back after all that hubub. Hell, I didn't even think he and Smed were friends. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

    The history as I know it is that Brad left, obviously feeling his oats that he could make a better game. I mean why else do you leave and take quite a few GOOD staffers with you and a following of fans to boot? That much is known.

    He probably had to eat some crow going back. But he knows most of the people there. Most of his older staff does too. They all worked there. It's a foot back in the door. One big happy, happy family again.

    That's my take on it.

  162. Anonymous10:17 AM

    For what I read, Brad stated he's always considered Smedley one of his best friends, so my guess is that he didn't leave in a bad way and doors were always open for him.

    What I find quite ironic is that SoE managed at last to improve EQ2 a lot compared to the initial launch, who was already quite enjoyable, while Sigil is apparently struggling to have players in beta and that's not a good sign, let alone the whole MS departure.

    In all honesty, at the risk of sounding Utnayan-esque, I think this game smells badly and it would be much better to delay the launch and improve everything rather than trying to finish it on subscription money.

    I gave 4 months of money to EQ2, then I resuscribed recently and it's a whole different game, basically it's now what I expected from day 1.

    I won't do the same mistake again.

  163. Anonymous4:51 PM

    If Smed could save my ass from near financial disaster, I'd probably kiss his ass in Macy's window, too. McQuaid's outburst in defense of Smedley only further increased my speculation that M$ dumped Vanguard, not the other way around.

    Regarding beta, I noticed one thing Utnayen didn't pick up on. The recent pictures posted on FoH from beta look totally different from the ones just submitted on the fansites. I'm not talking graphics quality either. The interface is totally different. It looks to me as if McQuaid and his friends are not playing on the same server the beta people are put on. Neither are they playing the same beta version. I'm just curious as to why that may be.

    At the very least, anyone believing that getting into beta means playing with Aradune, better think again.

  164. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Found this over at BetaWatcher while I was looking to see how many MMO's were in closed Beta right now.


    The comment by "bug" is rather interesting. I wonder what his source is?

    currently in "Beta2.5" with about 4k testers, early April it was stated within two weeks 10k more were going to be invited (in fact about 2k invites went out last weekend Apr8,9) and expecting the remaining 8k invites (MicroSoft is doing the beta screening/invites) by Apr 17 for the beta3 major phase of testing. A 4.8GB beta3 client will be avail for d/l through Fileplanet to those with invites. They are looking for people with high-end PC systems for this "longest" beta3 phase. Beta2 went four months. Expect retail before end of 2006.

    --bug 4/12/2006 2:14:00 AM

    4,000 testers. hehehe

  165. Anonymous10:16 PM

    So if Beta 2 lasted 4 months and Beta 3 is going to be the longest phase and it's June 1st, that means Beta 3 will last at least 6 or more months, right? (I'm being conservative) Bringing it right up to the end of the year where release is expected.

    If the content isn't in by Beta 3, Utnayan's fingers will bleed from typing so hard. hehe

  166. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Frankly, I'm getting sick of the attitude that everyone has to hang on every word McQuaid writes. They interpret it like it's a science, shove it down the throats of every gamer to cross their paths and then wonder why everyone hates them.

    I've heard of groupies before, but this is the biggest bunch of morons on the net.

    This is about the only sensible piece I've read, with the comments too. It's realistic and doesn't demand people bow down to the almighty MMOG gods looking for an ego-boost and some followers.

  167. Anonymous10:33 AM

    I quit the beta this first week because besides that I don't know what I'm doing, they started asking us to write up quests and give ideas about stuff I know nothing about.

    How the hell do I answer, Give the vertical interdependencies for community building mechanics or activities, list 5, explain your answer. this is inside the box. EHHHH??

    I failed that test quick. lol

    When they said beta TEST they weren't kidding! :0

  168. Anonymous2:53 PM

    OMG! They asked for quest writeups and ideas? From beta testers? Tell me you're joking man. Never have I heard of such a thing before.

  169. Anonymous4:42 PM

    No. I'm not joking. This was my first beta so I didn't know what to expect.

    There was a bunch of outlines in the form of questions and they were pretty specific about the data they wanted.

    ONe was quests but it was about thinking up your own quest idea, not the ones that are in the game. One was that thing I wrote and I don't know what a vertical interdependency is, lol. One was how many creatures you should fight before resting in levels 1-5 and should you have to understand reactions at that level. Another one you had to give ideas for titles and a bunch of other junk. Oh and one where you had to think up a reason why you'd go to the boring "edges of the world". Make up a good reason why people would have to travel there. I guess some were easy but some were over my head.

    There are a lot of them to choose from but it wasn't like they asked you how many DID you kill before you had to rest. It was how many do you THINK you should have to kill before resting and why.

    Lots of people in there look pretty good at it, but I'm not that smart. Like I said, I failed. lol So if you're gonna go in beta, you should be aware they're gonna ask you that stuff or you're gonna look like the design dummy I am. lol

    Don't wanna break the NDA or anything because I don't have money for a lawsuit so I'm not saying anything about the game. lol but since you still want to get in beta, you should know you're gonna need to be smarter then I am.

    They will ask you to take part in a lot of questions that require you to think like a designer. I'm not a designer so I can't help in this beta.

    I can test stuff after it's done but I can't think up how to write the game from scratch. That stuff is over my head. IF you scroll way up, there's another person who said they couldn't do a 10 page essay either. I think that person means the stuff about the developer questions. I'm just saying I'm not qualified for that either, so don't feel bad.

    So fair warning to you before you go. Good luck.

    The questions did kind of keep people from bashing each other, so I guess that was a great idea if that's the motive behind this. You're not allowed to reply to someone else's ideas in the designers post and they were warned about that, so it did bring order to chaos in there.

    I guess maybe they got fed up with reading the arguements so they said, fine, you want to be designers, answer this. lol

    Or maybe it's just so borked they have to go back to square one again and ask you for help. I have no clue what to make of it, sorry.

  170. Anonymous6:05 PM

    LOL..... this whole thing is turning into a soap opera. "As the Vanguard world turns" :P

    But seriously DD, those of us who aren't wearing blinders here on the "outside", certainly appreciate those who are gutsy enough to warn us of the issues plaguing this "beta". Its always disconcerning to lay out a substantial amount of cash for something, only to learn that its not what you bargained for.

    Brad constantly touts that hes "managing expectations". And perhaps he may even be trying. However, his delivery is "less than direct". And I think when this game finally launches, hes going to wish it was.

  171. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Bustamove, McQuaid has the hardcore philosophy. That's why he's on his own server, with Oloh, his devs and ex-FoH guild members. My buddy told me that much.

    He was an honorary member of FoH so what does that tell ya? He's got the hardcore attitude working and thinks he's in the league with the best of the best. I wonder if he could take down his own bosses without the help of Foh though? I don't think he could. That's why they're in there with him.

    He forgets another thing, too. While he says he would have hired Furor had he known he was looking for a job (after Furor was hired by Blizzard), it was Furor who ripped into his game more then Utnayan is doing today.

    I think it's ironic that Utnayan is the bad guy to the current roundtable at Foh, because the board gained its popularity from hardcore addicts who could smell a design flaw and lie out of nowhere.

    Can they honestly forget it was Furor, who led the exile out of Soe, demanding finished content and truth, not lies?

    I truly believe McQuaid wants this game made HARDCORE! He's vague about it because he's not sure that's what the masses want anymore. He'll probably just lie about it again. Why should we trust him anyway? If he lied to Furor, he'll lie to anybody.

    I agree that Miscrosoft saw right through it too and said, ADIOS!

  172. Anonymous7:06 PM

    Confirmation please. Because news like will require it. Hell, that'd be the biggest news yet. But unless it can be proven, no one will believe it.

  173. Anonymous7:10 PM

    hahahaha... somebody just shut down the FoH thread after the news that beta testers were being asked to help design the game. Perhaps its related, perhaps not. You be the judge LOL

  174. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Now that's data mining at it's best! LOL!!

    I want to be a fly on the courtroom wall when Oloh crossexamines guys like this.

    Oloh: You did know it was against the NDA when you uttered the words "vertical inter-dependency". Did you not, DD?

    DD: I don't even know what the fuck that is!

    Oloh: You had to know people would be discouraged from applying for the Beta program if they KNEW we'd be asking them for the answers? Isn't that true, DD?

    DD: I didn't know it was going to be a TEST we got graded on, NO!

    Oloh: You were AWARE that this would impede the sales of Vanguard come release, admit it, DD!


    Judge: Case dismissed!

  175. Anonymous7:28 PM

    I don't see why this here should have bothered FoH. I read more leaks about a BAD game there then anywhere else on the internet.

    There's no law against conducting a Beta and asking for input. There's no law against saying you're not qualified for that particular Beta, either.

    It's not common. It doesn't instill faith in the product, true. Maybe the thread was just getting beyond repair, off topic and revealing too much with no one stepping in.

    When your LAWYER posts there, and doesn't tell people who are posting SCREENSHOTS to cease and desist, you more of less have given them the green light. That's exactly why they continued, too.

    Don't forget, Utnayan was weasling more and more information out of them today then any other.

    Then DD posts something he thinks is going to help you decide about Beta and you reposted it there. The timing on that probably made matters worse.

    Sigil just probably had enough. Not that I can say I blame them. I got enough belly laughs watching this fiasco unfold.

  176. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I just looked again and in my opinion, it's the people who signed their names and blatantly posted those pics and gave the detailed information about POI's, who should be worried.

    No matter the good faith intent, that's far too much information to be giving about a game you said you wouldn't reveal.

    The sketchy stuff, the opinions, who was fighting over what and the ragging on McQuaid is all moot. It's the other stuff that's going to warrant Sigil having a fit over.

  177. Anonymous7:43 PM

    LOL.... I hear ya. Notice how the vanbois clammed right up after it was pasted there.

    "this game is gonna be great! it'll be everything we've ever wanted in a game!"

    questionaire info leaked.

    "oops" ....hahaha

  178. Anonymous7:58 PM

    I wouldn't call that a leak though. I would think that whatever DD said, Sigil would have NO PROBLEM in telling their prospective Beta testers.

    If they're going to get pissed at that, I'd like to know why. Why isn't a tester allowed to know what is expected of him beforehand?

    Now posting the screenshots, and describing in detail, names of POI's and what was found there, that's a different story.

    Everyone knows a Beta has bugs so no one is going to care if someone confirmed that.

    Go check for the rickshawed screenshots, because those were the most revealing about this game, and then you may have your answer.

  179. Anonymous8:26 PM

    It's about time they locked that thread over there, don't you think?

  180. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Well, they've been overhyping this game since day one. And to have the fanbase find out that they "could" be garnering content ideas from the testers, would look pretty bad.

    This goes back to what I said a while ago. That beta should have been loaded, right from the beginning, with ONLY members that Brad was sure "fully understood" his design theory.

    I mean, look at the official forums. Its loaded with blatant speculation, and herrendous misconception by the majority of its community. I saw this beginning to get most out of hand about a year ago. And I said as much.

    It was then that Brad should have clarified, without all the technical hubbub, what kind of game he was building. But instead, he let them speculate, and form thier own views of what the game was. When the majority of 50,000+ members begin to speculate wildly, you better get that shit in check. And fast. BEFORE they begin believing you're making something completely different.

    His "managing expectations" isn't working out very well, because hes already let it get too far out of hand.

  181. Anonymous8:41 PM

    Well bitzy, if it woke Brad up to the problems in his beta, his game, and its community, then yes. That thread well served its purpose. But I have a feeling you won't be seeing the last of threads like that anytime soon.

    If he doesn't properly prepare the next round of testers, that thread will seem like a wet dream in comparison to the holy shitstorm nightmare that'll come next. Gamers don't like being deceived. Whether its in the finished product, or during its beta testing phases.

    I hope this serves as a lesson to him.

  182. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Rayne, I don't think any of this would have ever happened if McQuaid didn't exaggerate, embellish and promise things that were not seen in that beta.

    He's been soliciting this game for quite SOME time now and everyone and their sister-in-laws have heard the news. He needs to learn to not call people to the dinner table while he starts stuffing the raw turkey!

  183. Anonymous8:57 PM

    If the article here is to be believed, I see no reason why the testers left were not overjoyed at the prospect to have their input recognized.

  184. Anonymous9:02 PM

    I agree completely bitzy.

    Instead of claiming/eluding to these things already being in, he could have just as easily been honest, and simply stated they were doing thier best to make them work, and would try to get them in before release. He either did just the opposite, or just plain kept his mouth shut, when he should have been practicing what hes been preaching. "Managing expectations".

    At least that way, the games forums wouldn't be loaded with wild speculation and misconception, and no one would be claiming things are missing.

  185. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I, too, think that thread lived long enough. 75 pages. It gets to the point where there's nothing left to say anymore.

    I don't think Design did them in. It's not that uncommon for developers to allow tester input from a select crowd they believe could handle it and wanted to do it.

    After reading the last couple of pages just now, I would bank on Utnayan coercing specifics about the game and the posting of numerous in-game screen shots that pulled the plug on that topic.

    Since I don't see the pictures being hosted any longer, although I could have missed it, if that's true, that's probably the reason.

  186. Anonymous9:28 PM

    Yeah, it did get way off topic toward the end. The screens were really not much of a big deal though. If anything, they showed that the game, even this early in beta, IS "playable" with tolerable framerates. I viewed that NDA break as actually being "a plus" for Sigil.

    If I were Brad, I would have used them to my benefit, by spinning them in my favor. "see, it IS playable on average gear".

    Other than here, and a few other "not so well known places", the thread Itzena started was the only "well known" outlet for frustrated testers to speak thier piece. Perhaps in the hopes that Brad might actually listen to some reason.

    But if Utnayan is right, and Brads ego is leading design, nothing will change. And Brad will push forward with a new round of beta testers, who also won't find all this "fun stuff" hes been shoveling down thier throats. Any bets on what'll happen next? LOL

  187. Anonymous10:09 PM

    It's hard to say what will happen next in this industry. Anyday a new source is found for a review or a blog, making it "news".

    With E3 over, I doubt reviewers will scrutinize Vanguard as much as they did. At least, not until release. There are bigger fish to fry. Vanguard is just one of many.

    It's hard to say what Fires of Heaven boards will do. I was never quite sure if they were aiming to be a review site or a roundtable of closed spitfire. It's doesn't welcome public opinion. You can register, but never get authorization to post. So many reviewers give up on sites like that.

    The ONLY reason Fires of Heaven was able to garner the interest it did, was because they reposted an article from here. I'm sure they obtained many "clicks" for their advertisers. Good on them if that was the point.

    In my opinion, not allowing feedback from people on this side while swiping the source from it, caused much confusion and mayhem. No one cares what just a handful of people think in the end.

    I hope it does not happen again honestly. FOH was not a very positive representation of the gaming genre as a whole, even though some valid points had been made regarding this issue and others. Bluntly, it was a lot of pissing in the wind as I see it.

    If there is any lesson to be learned, I hope gaming companies become more responsible and do not hype their wares until due time. As seen in this case, the negative press is not worth rebutting.

  188. Anonymous10:50 PM

    In all fairness Chris, there are many reviews that swipe stuff from FoH as well.

    If what you mean is that it's disappointing because you can't respond to the people there direct, then I'll agree.

    But why would you want to if it's just "pissing in the wind"?

    On the other hand, I would have liked to have seen if it was true that all these people were trying to say something, but had to e-mail Utnayan instead. A closed forum wouldn't allow for that and things can get much more discombobulated under those circumstances - both pro and con.

    Fansites aren't the answer either because those are for dedicated fans.

  189. Anonymous11:53 PM

    I lol'd at the courtroom drama by Vertigo.


    Poor kid. lol

  190. Anonymous8:04 AM

    LOL..... the "SOE hate" thread on the official forums is up over 3800 posts now.

    The "lets bash SirBruce" thread is up over 600.

    Outstanding! LOL

  191. Anonymous1:10 PM

    That's not what I'm saying, Renee. I'm saying that if people from here are going to repost quotes to a private roundtable that's viewed by the public, that person should have the right to explain himself where it is reposted. At the very least, get the person's permission before you go copying and pasting it to places that are semi-private.

    I'm glad they closed the topic because the responses would have only been from a select few responders and therefore, torn apart and biased. That's not good journalism. At all!

    SOG may have made some mistakes thus far, but from what I can see, they've cleaned up the boards quite a bit. They're allowing beta testers a chance to give their input. They are spending millions of dollars on a game that's not yet finished.

    That leak, which I don't believe is a bonafide leak, only proved that SOG was trying their best to give complainers their chance for input in the most constructive way possible. I applaud the dev for bringing decorum to a beta that was in need of it. It was one of the smarter moves SOG has done to date and very clever. Perhaps people SHOULD know they're going to be given the chance of personal input. It may encourage talent yet untapped to apply. That can only be a good thing for all involved.

    I wish them a good game. I see the positive strides they are making now. They do deserve credit for that much.

  192. Anonymous2:11 PM

    While I agree with much of what you said chris, I can't agree that the decision to accept input from testers as anything more than a ploy to quell the concerns of testers.

    Allegations like Brads ego determining the content design. And entire sets of hyped features missing. Brad and friends playing on a separate beta server, possibly with a different client altogether. Members of his own development team in disagreement with parts of his design.

    Theres nothing to lead an outsider, or even an actual tester for that matter, to believe that anything submitted won't simply fall upon the deaf ears and blind eyes of an egotistical developer.

    The fact is, Brad is blatantly against anything "WoW'ish". His ignorance of the issues that allowed his beta to become the clusterfuck that it did, and his continued silence on the matter, may as well be a testament to that. A large part of his tester base feel his game isn't fun enough to warrant even logging in to test.

    The man is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he utilises the suggestions of his testers, and the "hardcore" crowd sees it as "dumbing down" the game, they'll rain a holy shitstorm down around his world like none other. If he does nothing, and the next round of testers experiences what the previous round experienced, he'll be crucified by those people.

    I'd venture a guess, that seeing this will be the largest beta phase to date, that if Vanguard doesn't appeal to a majority audience, hes going to get utterly clobbered by a pretty big chunk of vocal testers.

    Eventually hes going to have to come clean about whats happened, and what hes doing to fix it. His forums are abuzz with wild speculations and blatant misconceptions about what this game is going to be like.

    At this point, he'd best serve his game, its developers, its publisher, AND most importantly its fans, by considering that maybe his design theory is flawed, and that perhaps he needs to rethink at least some parts of it. And he needs to do it before its too late.

  193. Anonymous3:44 PM

    So basically you're saying that McQuaid was damned if he did nothing and damned if he did something?

    If his ego was truly that large, he would have opted for nothing and done it his own way. That's a rational observation.

    I don't know what people want here. A complaint was made that his testers were out of control. His public boards reflected that also of his fans. Anyone could see the tone needed to be reigned in. He's done that.

    Next on the agenda was a conflict allegedly regarding content. He's now given those involved a chance to constructively add their input. What more could people want?

    Then we move onto beta rumors. The fact is, Betas run in phases. Content is added in after the larger work of perfecting the environment on various hardware is achieved. Once you reach the goal of one phase, you then proceed with the next. That's how it usually works.

    Obviously, Entropy experienced a mishap during that phase and that's unfortunate. He's understandably upset but it does appear to be an isolated incident that even he himself, takes partial responsibility for.

    It's quite possible that McQuaid is testing Beta 3 on his own server. That would explain the difference in screen shots. It wouldn't seem out of the ordinary to do that either. Of course he's going to have access to content the regular beta people don't. I think that only suggests MORE work has been completed thus far, not the reverse.

    All things considered, I think people should just calm down and wait for Beta 3 and let things develope from there.

    The complaints ARE being addressed from everything I'm reading.

    As far as the wild speculations on the forums, that's all they are; speculations from people who don't know.

    I see a man who is paying dearly here for hyping a game well before it's time has come. That's what I see. But when does it end? How long does the beating continue?

    Truly, this is the first time I've ever encountered a gaming community who demands to know upfront the level of complexity engineered into game mechanics. Name me one game that you know of where you were made aware of this information beforehand.

  194. Anonymous4:58 PM

    Thats not what i'm saying at all. And I think you realise that. What i'm saying, is he should have been more forthcoming about his concepts right from the beginning. Instead of hiding behind all this "sekret sauce" hogwash.

    But instead, he was very vague. Especially with phrases like "core gamer", and his practice of "managing expectations".

    He uses the core gamer phrase as if to describe some sort of "internal division" among players of the mmog genre that hes trying to appeal to, while in the same breath, using examples that could easily be utilised to describe about 90% of the entire genre.

    Thats the worst example of "managing expectations" i've ever heard of. Its no wonder his beta turned into such a mess. His testerbase cannibalized itself on the basis of "hardcore vs. carebear" because he failed to properly prepare potential testers for what type of game they were going to experience.

    Only his team knows what type of gamers were invited. But at least one of them for certain, realises that the genre has changed since the days of early EQ. In his "core gamer" description, he touts his desire to appeal to:

    "The people who play a few hours a night, maybe raid on a weekend. That's our target audience, the gamer that early EQ and other muds and games targetted."

    But what he fails to realise, is that he said one thing, and according to at least a few of his now defunct testers, is delivering something else entirely.

    The truth is, at least in my opinion, is that hes done nothing "innovative" at all. The diplomacy sphere reads to me as nothing more than some type of "advanced faction" type system. The crafting system is described as a bit "more" tedious than EQ2s.

    Seriously, rogues stealing glass shards, to make vials for +3 damage potions? And thats before you even get into the poison itself. God only knows how much tedium that'll entail. Even the earliest and most dedicated of EQ followers would likely find this "far more" tedious than EQ EVER was.

    He preaches "fun and challenging without all the tedium", and then implements stuff like this? No wonder his beta imploded the way it did. Most gamers, especially those who "like to play a few hours a night, and perhaps raid on the weekend", don't want to feel as if its taking them lightyears to advance. They want to log out of the game with at least "some" sense of accomplishment.

    And if Vanguard can't deliver that, anyone who plays it isn't likely to last very long.

    I'm not sure how you see that hes "reigned in" anything. The forum fanbase is STILL speculating, and misconceiving statements about the games features. The garnering of ideas from testers doesn't show much at all. Other than hes either run out of ideas, or hes trying to pander to the recent vocal concerns of testers who simply got tired of having thier opinions stamped into silence, until he can come to terms with it.

    You see someone who's had enough. I see someone who needs to be kept under scrutinous watch if he can't come to terms with who his target audience is.

    Open up your FAQ. Answer the questions of the fanbase that is depending on you to build the game you describe. Deliver "detail", not vague information that fans then blow wildly out of proportion. Get a handle on what your fans "expect", and if they're mistaken, tell them so. And explain why. Don't let them speculate for years, then find something completely different once they get invited into your beta. Or worse yet, spend thier money on your finished product.

  195. Anonymous6:11 PM

    This whole damn post shouldn't have been reposted as a blog.

    The blog should not have been advertised EVERYWHERE!

    Newer blogs should never have been created out of this one.

    Had some of you thought of that, this entire nightmare could have been avoided.

    LET IT END ALREADY! Enough is enough!

  196. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Still think its time to "let it end"? You may want to rethink that after reading this:


    It seems that design dummy's statement was quite the bombshell after all.

  197. Anonymous3:51 PM

    So far, the only one who thinks it's a bombshell is Utnayan. The other comments either don't care or don't see the big deal in allowing player ideas. I don't see the big deal either. /shrug We all knew the game wasn't done yet.

    The players were fighting over it. What better way to keep them focused and who knows maybe one of the loud-mouths might actually come up with something novel.

    Now I know why my teacher would hand out 500 word essays to kids who acted up in class. /grins

    Go Sigil Dev! You rock! Make it 5,000 words! lol

    Give ME a shot at this too! LOVE this idea! Give me a stab at it!! Pick me for beta!! :)) - Jason

  198. Anonymous5:32 PM

    You are not telling us anything new here, Rayne.

    It was presumed well before you that fans were expecting far too much and based on that, would probably be disappointed with ANY end result.

    ANY game, with that much player hope, was bound for ridicule. An army of developers could not have possibly covered every detail of the wish-list I saw pouring into that forum.

    So again, I point to the OP of this article here and agree, it's the fans' fault for not managing their OWN expectations. Maybe now they will instead of trying to 'take over his code' as was perceived by one individual.

    As for your complaint regarding target audience, I again point to my last comment and ask you where, in the history of gaming, a prospective player was hand-held through the dynamics of complexity before purchase?

    You're asking for a rating from the wrong person; alluding to an expanded ESRB of sorts. While the existing rating table does take into account the language tone, violence scale and visuals a game will have, this game so far is RP (Rating Pending). Based on that, a final review of independent critics can be a general indicator for determining game complexity, but certainly not always. However, a designer is not required to reveal, in minute detail, how complex, or lack thereof, his game will be. You want this too I suppose?

    Then remember, what is complex for some, is a cake-walk for others in this industry. Therefore, I doubt you're going to get a gaming company to box themselves into a corner with modern definitions of antiquated and multi-interpretated terms.

    To avoid that criticism, perhaps McQuaid should omit using terminology born in previous genres. I would considering nothing seems acceptable to the discerning and diversive tastes of this crowd.

    You know, it boils down to some people refuse to give this guy a break at all, no matter what he does to make them happy.

    If he refuses input, they call him stubborn, old school-ish and predict it will fail. If he allows input, they say he doesn't know what he's doing so he needs their omnipotent help. WTH???

  199. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Like Furor, I think Utnayan would do well channeling his energies into a positive game design future. He needs an orchestrated outlet!

    If history is any indication, it's proof you can take a disgruntled gamer and turn him into a productive member of the gaming industry.

    Even a well-renowned computer hacker, although his name escapes me at the moment, was able to convert to the good side and ran with a best-selling book as a result.

    Very nice articles you just wrote btw, Chris. Very unbiased, objective and articulate! Very convincing too I might add.

  200. Anonymous7:02 PM

    But thats the problem Chris. He just "wouldn't" come out and admit "hey, I fucked up... I let you guys expect shit that was pretty far-fetched and outrageous, when I should have straightened you out on it over a year ago, BEFORE I brought you into beta".

    And he STILL won't. His answer was to give the self-proclaimed "hardcore" an "official" thread in which to demean the "layman" gamers by making them look stupid?

    The person who sent Utnayan that email is a prime fuckin' example! What should have been a "feedback" thread for "less than technical" testers to provide detail where they feel necessary, gets turned into a friggin' quiz on "technical mmorpg design 101"? The official forums are still a clusterfuck of misinformation and speculation.

    Take this thread for example:


    These people are expecting diplomats to be able to "group together and level". I'm not saying its impossible, because I don't know. But its a perfect example of what i'm talking about. That thread is two and a half days old, without confirmation EITHER way. If nothing "official" is said on the matter, how do you think these people will feel if they get into the game, and it doesn't work as they expected?

    But Brad thought nothing of posting in this thread just today:


    ...and others since the diplomacy thread was posted. Thats what i'm talking about man. He'll take time to try and spin off the beta problems, but he won't take the time to quell the speculation and misconception that led to some of the problems in the first place.


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