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Vanguard - Saga of Heroes Previewed

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the play-to-crush dept.


Labyrrinth writes "The media blitz for the upcoming release of the new MMOG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has begun with 2 independent previews at IGN and Gamespot . From the article at Gamespot 'In days of old when knights were bold, elves with pointy sticks would totally beat up on a bunch of skeletons. You may have seen online games that take place in high-fantasy worlds, but recently, these games have become much more lenient on players, so that exploring, fighting, and even falling in battle has relatively minor consequences. Not since EverQuest of 1999 (a game that was infamously punishing back then and was clearly one of the main reasons why newer games got easier) has a new massively multiplayer game tried to offer a well-thought-out, but purposely steep, challenge.'" Normally I don't think previews are noteworthy, but Vanguard has been practically a black hole of information since development began.

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damn (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726697)

I was hoping it'd be either a remake or sequel to the old school Vanguard (the side-scrolling shooter where you could shoot in 4 directions).

Re:damn (1)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726897)

Wow, I haven't thought abotu that game in years.

Re:damn (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727432)

It may yet have a Rainbow Zone.

blah (3, Insightful)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726705)

Well, those previews killed all interest I had in the game whatsoever. Sounds like a re-hash of the same old junk, just with a new engine and the same old "Poser-built" artistry. Blech.

Misconception caused by clumsily written previews (1)

jamjamjam (954897) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731137)

I think the reason it reads like a re-hash is that the previewers kept writing in things that were in old EQ like they were new ideas. I don't know why, maybe they never played EQ.

The *new things* Vanguard is doing are truly ground breaking. The combat system is exciting and new, crafting will be far more varied, valued and protected from mudflation, and there's an entirely new sphere called Diplomacy, which will operate something like a first person MMO RTS - you will influence and even control NPC's.

Then there's the new game mechanics. Music tracks, more than 30 hours of them, each one changing according to the time of day, combat or no combat, party health etc. Dynamic music you wont want to turn off. The zoneless world - anything you can see, you can walk/ride or sail to. The *hugeness* of the world. *Nineteen* character classes expected to make release, all unique but able to perform their primary functions on equal terms and in different ways.

As for the artistry, check out the official screenshots [] . I don't know what you mean by 'poser-built', but I'm sure they give a far more detailed impression.

All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726809)

Let me get this straight- long travel times, corpse runs, heavy death penalties, money and xp grinds. I'm supposed to want to play this?

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (2, Funny)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726838)

There happens to be a big group of masochistic players that enjoy griefing, corpse runs and time sinks :). Good for them, I woudn't touch this game with a 10 feet pole.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14727666)

How is grinding for faction or honor not the same damn thing?

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14729577)

Actually, that's worst

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727445)

"long travel times, corpse runs, heavy death penalties, money and xp grinds"

I know!?!

There is a game called Darkfall which (hopefully) will be more challenging not because of the 4 annoyances mentioned above, but because it will require skill and teamwork.
(And when you die, people can loot you).

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727761)

--- Waiting and hoping darkfall will be what shadowbane was supposed to be.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727855)

You know, I don't see why Shadowbane couldn't still be fixed:

1) Fix all the bugs
2) Re-design the user interface
3) Update the graphics to today's standards.
4) Release Shadowbane 2
5) Run some "hardcore" servers with full loot

Is that so hard?

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727915)

Given the fact that I tried the 15 day trial a few weeks ago, and found some of the same bugs from release- yes.

Beyond that, there were some fundamental problems in game design- nothing to do other than PvP (I love PvP, but some other content is needed) and a broken siege system to start. Way too much stress on guild leaders as well- I've never seen a game chew through guild leaders like SB did.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (2, Informative)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727882)

Let me get this straight- long travel times,

Short travel times = no locality. Does it matter where you are if you can be on the other side of the world in 10 minutes? This also concentrates the market furthur into the big trade hubs since it is so easy to get to them. I actually prefer the long travel times, so long as the game is set up in a way which supports it (don't force people to the ends of the earth every 5 minutes). Makes the world feel bigger.

corpse runs, heavy death penalties

Some people find this play dynamic much more interesting, especially if there is PVP involved. For instance, I'm currently heavy into EVE Online. In that game, when you get blown up, you lose the ship and anything it was equipped with or carrying (which is mitigated partially by insurance). This is quite interesting, especially considering that 2/3rds of the map is lawless PVP space. The entire game revolves around risk and risk management. Feel like making a ton of money in PVP space doing trade runs? Well, you better not die with a cargo hold full of a billion isk worth of Protein Delicacies unless you have the money to cover it. I have felt more fear and adrenaline playing that game than in any other MMO.

money and xp grinds

Welcome to every MMO EVER. The treadmill is always there, but only feels like one when you are not having fun. I ground from about 52 to 60 on my NE rogue at the 4th cauldron in WPL over the course of a week and barely even felt it because I loved the combat and hairyness of the spawn so much.

I'm supposed to want to play this?

Yes, if you were/are an EQ player. There are quite a few of those out there.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728329)

The heavy death penalty only flew with EQ because there was no other game available at the time that offered a similar experience without the pain.
Once other games came out without the severe penalties that corpse runs imposed, SoE was forced to change their tune.

There are players that enjoy suffering, on the theory that it makes their "acheivements" feel more important.

The vast majority of the MMO market, however, prefers to ENJOY their playtime.

I will never again play a game that makes me not want to take risks after about an hour before I plan to log out, because a mistake could mean I either stay up an hour or two later and retrieve my corpse, or let it evaporate and cripple my character by destroying (possibly irreplacable) items.

I especially would never play a game where another PLAYER could put me in that position without my consent.

I would be astonished if this game attracts a following much lrger than Shadowbane. Yes there is a niche market. It's a vocal one. It's just not as big as Brad seems to think.

SoE didn't remove the worst parts of "the Vision" from EQL on a whim. They did so because once competition entered the market, to do otherwise was to watch 95% of their player base migrate to other games overnight.

Given a choice, most players will NOT chose the most painful option.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728586)

I will never again play a game that makes me not want to take risks after about an hour before I plan to log out, because a mistake could mean I either stay up an hour or two later and retrieve my corpse, or let it evaporate and cripple my character by destroying (possibly irreplacable) items.

EQ's corpse run system is particularly irritating. This does not mean that all risk is bad; it means that EQ's corpse run system is badly designed.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#14733238)

> EQ's corpse run system is particularly irritating. This does
> not mean that all risk is bad; it means that EQ's corpse run system is badly designed.

The worst part was that the corpse evaporated after a week, even with all your stuff on it, whether you logged on or not. I have no idea if that's still the case as I haven't played in several years, but damn was that annoying.

Worse, a corpse without anything on it decayed in like half an hour, so if you died going to get your corpse, you had to make a beeline for the new corpse and beg like the wind to get a resurrection for the other half of the massive death penalty: xp loss.

I think they could have solved a lot of this problem by letting the corpses exist indefinitely (5 corpses would cover 99.9% of the non-goofball scenarios), but only with the user logged on. Hell, 100 corpses would be fine as storage space is cheap, it'd only be a problem if stacked up in one area slowing the drawing, and even that can be dealt with.

But companies had to learn the hard way. You'll note EQ has long since also done away with the "magic book in your face meditation" feature. Nothing like having a lovely 3D world and making 2/3 of the population have to spend 2/3 of their time NOT seeing the 3D world. Nah, this game survived in spite of its best efforts, not because of them.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 7 years ago | (#14729925)

because a mistake could mean I either stay up an hour or two later and retrieve my corpse, or let it evaporate and cripple my character by destroying (possibly irreplacable) items.

I especially would never play a game where another PLAYER could put me in that position without my consent.

From TFA: Unlike EQ, you will be able to carry multiple sets of gear in your horse's saddlebags (different horses can hold more stuff or move faster than their counterparts) and your body won't decay as long as it has at least one item on it. So you won't have to head into the dungeon virtually naked.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730777)

Except all your good gear is *on* your character, to fight with. So yes, you need to go on the corpse run, its not optional.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Schitzoflink (949390) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731631)

Am I the only person who likes to get good gear? If I loose my good gear then it's crappy yeah, but now I have something else to do...get good gear again. My problem with MMO's today is that the players want to be coddled and complain if anything bad happens, it's like they want to play a game where you can only win and it's all lolly pops and butterflys.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739699)

Don't expect to get that problem resolved, unless you play niche games for your mindset only. People don't like to LOSE what they have earned. Succesful publishers have learned this.

There is a market for games that have rulesets like you want. Those games will NEVER be dominant or top of their field. Players like you are a minority. I don't mean that as an insult. You like what you like, and I hope you can always find a game that will provide it. Just understand that the vast majority of paying players do not share your views, and never will.

The "butterflies" etc comments were unnecessary. Just because someone doesn't share your preferences in gameplay doesn't mean they're deserving of derisive remarks.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732830)

GP's complaint was that he *had* to stay up an extra hour because otherwise his corpse (and gear) would decay.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739709)

And if it was my BEST gear that evaporated, I might as well quit. Having my character crippled is not a situation I want to PAY to play through.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#14733090)

> Short travel times = no locality. Does it matter where you are if
> you can be on the other side of the world in 10 minutes? This also
> concentrates the market furthur into the big trade hubs since it is
> so easy to get to them. I actually prefer the long travel times, so
> long as the game is set up in a way which supports it (don't force
> people to the ends of the earth every 5 minutes). Makes the world feel bigger.

City of Heroes has a nice balance of this -- you get good, fairly high-speed travel powers (we won't even get into the coolness that they're the only major MMORPG I've played, and that's 7 and counting, that has real 3D movement, and not just "spirit of bird" or whatever, i.e. you run along the ground, translated 6 feet up in the air. Oh how magnificent! I've forgotten what that EQ spell was called, enough blessed time has passed since 3 years in that hole.)

Granted, they have trains to shorten zone travel, as well as "Pocket D", so you're never more than 2.5 zones away from where you wanna go, unless it's deep inside Firebase Zulu. Any game that wanted to make more travel should make the amount you carry be much, much greater so you don't have the constant urge to travel to sell your stuff. Very important if this is 5 zones or more away, even at high speed CoH travel speeds.

And you get your travel powers at an early level -- 14 -- not level 40 or something idiotic. And every class gets it. And it's cheap, not eight hundred billion pieces of gold to buy a broken down mule that moves at 1.5x your run speed.

The real solution is the impossible one -- make the game a very hard game insofar as it takes skill to solve a problem. Thus the people with the best stuff are the best players at figuring stuff out. Unfortunately that'll never happen since you can't really come up with custom problems for each player, and web sites'll quickly fill up with solutions (or meta-solutions, should a low level of generic random problem be possible.)

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728014)

I'm supposed to want to play this?

Well, it doesn't look like aimed for Guild Wars fans (game synopsis [] ) for sure. ;-) Sounds like a sort of anti-GW.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Revenge013 (679793) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730553)

I was particularly frightened by the "...make level 50 playing 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for four months..." part.

1300+ hours?! Thanks, but no thanks, I already have a full time job that pays *me*.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Schitzoflink (949390) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731587) could spread that out...

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

wax66 (736535) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732633)

*slowly raises hand*

I know, I'm a freak. And I don't play more than maybe 10 hours a week due to my other interests like fixing up my Jeep, rock climbing, and of course my wife and kids.

However, EVERY STINKING MMOG has been SO dumbed down that I feel like I'm a monkey banging on a keyboard and watching the game play for me. I feel like I'm in Progress Quest.

PLEASE give me the long travel times, the lack of point-to-point transportation, the heavy death penalties, etc. In fact, when I die at or near the level cap... I want to UNDING at least a full level!

I may be sick, I may be a niche market, but I LOVE the challenge. It's also why I tend to solo more often than group, because I almost feel like I'm cheating when I group, since there are other people around to cover my mistakes.

I'm so glad that someone has the cajones to produce a game that is doing the opposite of what the money(or monkey)-makers are doing.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14732779)

Except that Corpse Runs, high death penalty, etc don't mean that the game is challenging and just mean that you spend more time actually playing the game, and actually lessen the challenge because most people won't try new things for fear of dying. Thats not challenging at all. If you want a challenging game, find a game that actually takes skill to do an encounter, not just memorizing your role in a raid, or in a group and sticking to it.


Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#14733367)

Well, this is why no game recently has thrilled me. WoW seems utterly banal. It looks good, and taking a ride on a griffen is awesome, but there's really nothing there except the grind. Lots of missions are nice. Different missions (are you listening, MxO?) But it just seems lacking something. I feel too much like I'm weilding a wiffle ball bat.

City of Heroes was almost DOA for me except for the scrapper class, a fighter class with awesome damage output AND relatively non-squishy. The only class in the only MMORPG where I felt a bit like I was playing a FPS. And even CoH killed that off with their "ED" hyper-mega-nerf. Every power you had, damage output, healing rate, "mana-equivalent" regeneration rate, defensive abilities, were all made about 0.6 of what they were. And .6 x .6 x .6 x .6 of what you were isn't a very good thing to be at the end of the day. (And I'm one who stuck out the EQ necromancer nerfs all the way along. Dagger speedup nerf. Pet -4 levels now nerf. Level cap on soul drain nerf. DOT-while-running nerf. It takes a lot of ball-kicking to get me to quit.)

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#14734756)

You seem to have confused tedium with challenge.

Long travel times, level loss, death penalites, xp penalites- these are tedium. It does not take skill to reach cap even with these, it just takes time. A trained monkey will still eventually hit 60. Have the tank taunt, the healer heal, the nuker nuke. Rinse and repeat until capped.

Real skill requires either your reflexes or your brain to matter at all times when playing. Where correct use of your and your groupmates skills is needed, or you'll die. It doesn't matter if the penalty for death is going back to level 1 or if there's no penalty and you respawn in 30 seconds- the challenge is beating the puzzle/monsters, because you need to think and react on your feet to do so.

I'd be all for an MMO where real challenge existed. But Vanguard isn't going the challenge route, its going the increased tedium route.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

PeekabooCaribou (544905) | more than 7 years ago | (#14733713)

Part of the rationale behind long travel times is to make your travel meaningful. Picture World of Warcraft: you're grinding in Silithus, and you get a message from a guildie who wants to run Strat. These two areas are about as far apart as you can get in the game. You hearthstone back to Ironforge, immediately traversing an ocean and half a continent. You fly for ten minutes to cross the other half continent. Ten seconds to hearth and ten minutes to fly and you're at the complete opposite corner of the world. WoW is a game where distance means nothing. Vanguard is trying to break away from that in some regards, giving a modicum of importance to the decisions you make.

Re:All the annoyances of Everquest, but more so (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#14734804)

And I personally find that one of the best parts of WoW- that if I want to join one of my friends on the other side of the world, I can almost instantly. Thats the key point of MMOs after all- playing with your friends.

Hooray! (1)

Godai (104143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726872)

I knew Louis Savain [] was wrong: time travel is possible!

At last, those who claim World of Warcraft & it's brethren are "too easy" or "too fun" have a way to recapture those heady Everquest I days, where games were work & fun was a dirty word!

Update of a side-scrolling shooter? (1)

chinton (151403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726885)

That seems like a pretty big stretch to go from side-scrolling shooter to an MMOG...

Oh, wait... Nevermind.

If only most MMOGames had an offline mode... (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14726914)

Is there anyone else *really* NOT into MMOG or is it just me? I mean, online-gaming is too competitive and case of MassiveMOGs, a lot of hard working. My days of hardcore 6h/day top-scores gaming are over, now I'm more of a relax and play kinda a guy and I feel more and more negletec and alone in this Xbox Live, MMOGs world.

Re:If only most MMOGames had an offline mode... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727514)

You're not alone. I did the EverQuest thing for about 4-6 months back in 2000 and then gave it up. MMOGs are like a second job. To get anywhere you have to find groups. That means building relationships with other players and a reputation in addition to getting equipment to make you competitive with other potential players.

The main problem is that if you don't keep up levelling at the same pace as your friends, you fall behind and have to start all over on building up relationships and reputation with a new wave of players, hoping that they play at your pace. Since most people that I met in EQ played a lot, I fell behind several times. Eventually, I gave up on the game when classwork started to pile up.

I don't even have time to play all the offline RPGs I have, so MMOGs aren't very attractive to me. Plus, there's a whole lot of irritating people out there that I'd just rather not deal with (much like FPS & RTS games).

Re:If only most MMOGames had an offline mode... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727629)

Yuo should try the Elder Scrolls [] games (Morrowind and, soon, Oblivion). All the size and scale of a MMORPG world, but completely offline.


Holy Shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14726983)

Holy shit folks, a Zonk story about a video game that isn't plastered all over the front page? Has the world gone sane?

Yayyyyyy!!!!!! (2, Funny)

Shaman (1148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727018)

Yet another run-around-and-kill-stuff "RPG" minus the role-playing!

The world will never be the same.

Difficult != Bad (2, Informative)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727130)

If done properly Vanguard might steal away WoW's long term thunder. Simply put, MMOs are designed for the hardcore. Theres no exception about it. If its too 'casual' geared, hardcore gamers will simply blow through the content too quickly (hitting level 60 in two weeks in WoW anyone?) Any new 'casual' content will simply be scoffed off by players who don't want to start a new character to get 'the full experience' or will be blown through by people who are loaded up with enough uber-gear that then can solo most of it. (Wheres the new mid-level content in WoW?)

The only problem with current 'hardcore' geared MMOs is the fact that most developers design their systems with the 'ship now, add content later' mentality. This leads to gamers blowing through the early levels so quickly, developers are forced to focus on end-game content and ignore 'mid-game' content. A MMO that can be challenging yet not end-game focused (organizing and planning a 40-man raid is simply frustrating and time consuming) would be an excellent for gamers. Face it, as much as people talk about WoW as 'the best MMO evar!', they generally end their statements with 'I just wish there was more mid-game content.'

Re:Difficult != Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14727192)

Well said. I'm an MMO enthusiast, and i'm definitely looking forward to Vanguard's challenging gameplay. On top of that you have features such as player housing that always win the big bucks when it comes to subscription retention. Throw in an awesome character customization system and great graphics to draw in the punters and Vanguard could be the next big thing, and stay that way for a while.

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

sdhankin (213671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727312)

I disagree. WoW's 5 million users aren't all hardcore. Sure, the hardcore players blow through casual games quickly, then get bored. But WoW's success runs counter to your premise. If MMO's were designed for the hardcore, WoW would have died long ago.

For me, the appeal of harder, harsher MMO's is that I'm much less likely to be playing with impatient teenagers. WoW is custom made for them, and from the talk you hear, they make up the majority.

I'll put up with a more difficult game any day, if the player community is more mature (and I don't mean age, despite what I said above - teenage immaturity occurs in all age groups.)

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727470)

If MMO's were designed for the hardcore, WoW would have died long ago.

Except WoW is little over a year old. AC2, which shut down recently, was little over three years old. (AC2 is just the most recent example, other MMOs have gone longer and still shutdown) Give WoW a few more years then we can talk about 'WoW isn't dying' again. Arguably, WoW is simply riding the 'launch hype' that accompanies any major game. If WoW keeps around 5 million users after its second year (or grows even larger), then yes WoW is a video game historical success. If it drops by more than a million (just a 20% turnover rate, not that high in MMOs), then all the naysayers will have been proven right.

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727896)

How do you figure the naysayers will have been proven right? Even if WoW drops a million subscribers it will have around 4 million subscribers, enough to be considered a wild success by pretty much everyone.

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14729150)

Because MMOs that -lose- subscribers is considered to be a failure since it means theres no long term staying power. Once players reach X point, players quit causing subscribers to fall. How you reach X point varies (players get tired/frustrated/bored/etc) but a 'successful' MMO either A) makes X point very hard to reach (see: Everquest or Ultima Online) or B) simply replaces players as fast as they are lost (see: Eve Online or FFXI).

And thats not counting the upcoming competition. The new FFXI expansion, the SWG overhaul, the Guild Wars expansion, (those three are debatable) Auto Assault, Tabula Raza, D&D: Online, RF Online, SUN and Vanguard Saga of Heroes. (All brand new games and are unquestionably direct competition.) The MMORPG market is going to get very, very crowded within the next few years. WoW is still a newcomer considering the fact that MMOs such as Ultima Online and Meridian 59 are still running after nearly 10 years.

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 7 years ago | (#14734957)

Using that logic nearly every MMO ever made is a failure. The only ones I can think of where they may currently be at their highest subscriber base ever are games like Eve Online, and the only reason for that is because they have always had fairly low subscriber bases but are slowly gaining ground.

Of course eventually they are going to have a declining subscriber base. That's sort of an inevitability. Does that mean that when it finally happens they will be a failure?

Re:Difficult != Bad (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728625)

I don't mind difficult games. What I mind is what people will do to advance...everything from hiring someone to level their character, to purchasing in-game money on the net, to out-and-out cheating. If it were all a level playing field, and everyone had no choice BUT to play by the rules, I think it would be a lot more enjoyable.

Market Saturation (2, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727290)

While the game looks interesting, I can't help but think that this doesn't really look like "progress" in the MMO genre. Sure, we have what these developers think is an "ideal" MMORPG, but it looks like it's not much different from what already exists.

I remember reading something by the guy who does the MMOG charts and him saying how the market for this type of game is somewhat saturated already. Sure, WoW has five million players now, but a lot of its "hardcore" crowd was cannibalized from EQ and other MMOs. I wish more companies would try and create truly *new* experiences in the massive genre, like what's going on in Korea. And yes, I do know that there are upcoming (and current) games that are "different".

Re:Market Saturation (2, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727436)

A few steps forward, a few steps back.

The 'radial' content model and large world is good.
The corpse runs and XP debt are bad.
The player housing and horse/saddlebags/flying mounts are good.
The lack of point-to-point transportation is bad.
The spell/counterspell/aspect-based attacks is good.
The level-based paradigm is bad (well, not bad, but yet another MMORG that's unable to break free from the old Chainmaelle wargaming system, circa 1977).
The player-owned properties, including inns and stores, is good.

It's like there's a set of sliders for current MMORGs, and in order to advance one set of features you need to pull back on another.

Re:Market Saturation (2, Funny)

phlinn (819946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727821)

The frogurt is also cursed.

Re:Market Saturation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14731585)

(blank stare)

Re:Market Saturation (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727564)

You haven't actually read through what Vanguard is supposed to be in much detail [] , then, have you.

It seems cookie cutter at first, but as I was reading through the developers responses to the questions posed, it seems like they wanted to do what has been done before, but *correctly* and with game longevity in mind.

(And by longevity I don't mean six hour long raids, though they may exist, the devs have stated that they want their game to be primarily group focused. Not so lonely that you're soloing, not so big that you're just a faceless guy in a 40 man crowd)

Re:Market Saturation (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727872)

Doesn't every single developer interview say that? How many interviews say "We're hoping to repeat all the mistakes of the past, along with a few new ones!"

Re:Market Saturation (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14729182)

Do they then continue to explain how they're approaching past problems, and continue to go into detail as to how they'll fix them?

Re:Market Saturation (1)

ChimaeraX (630595) | more than 7 years ago | (#14729797)

Except these devs are the keepers of The Vision(tm). These are the developers who basically blew this whole genre wide open. When Brad and Co. left SOE, EQ1 went downhill. Some may say it was their millitance about The Vision(tm) that made all the other games learn what not to do, but I really think most of them miss the point. It is not that corpse runs and death penalties and basically needing a group to do anything were bad design ideas; it was the soft effects of those things that made EQ pre-SoL so great. When they started whittling away The Vision(tm), the game lost something. The world was smaller despite being much bigger in actual area. The challenge became less meaningful.

I left EQ soon after and have tried nearly every MMO to come out since, and none of them had what EQ had. Death meant something, and that made your victories all that much more sweet. When my guild first beat Trakanon, or Yelinak, there was entire guild of people who felt as good as humanly possible. The accomplishment meant something because you really had to come together as a single unit and defeat a very tough challenge. No other game since gets it. For the accomplishments to mean something, it has to be a real challenge, overcoming real obstacles. End-game WoW just isnt the same. Nothing they have released will ever compare to The Vision's(tm) end-game unless defeating it actually means something. No death penalty? Death means nothing, and doesnt get the appropriate fear response required to make over-coming it meaningful. Dying in WoW = yawn. Dying in EQ was "FUCK! GDI! SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK!!1!one!" but, the first time you beat that dragon or god, you felt like you just accomplished that for real. It meant something.

Death penalties while a pita, make the game more fun in the long run. No, I think Aradune and Sigil get it better than any other MMO devs out there. They should, they basically created what we know as the MMORPG today. If they can bring back what EQ was like at release, RoK, and SoV, then end-game WoW will die quickly. All the guilds who would be dedicated enough to tackle the tougher challenges will be gone... playing Vanguard. Casual gamers may keep the numbers high, but if half the content is unbeatable because all your hardcore gamers are gone... lets just say their longetivity will be impacted for sure.

Re:Market Saturation (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731823)

I wonder whether death penalty would be less complained about if death meant losing all super rare items and nothing else. That way harsh death penalties only apply to those players who wish to be exceptionally powerful (through ultra rare gear) and they have to fight hard to maintain their superiority. That'd also help to keep the number of players with super gear in check...

Re:Market Saturation (2)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727960)

No, what we're seeing is potential market slowdown, not a saturation. It's true that WoW did cannibalize from other games in order to get their figures, but prior to WoW launching most people estimated the number of U.S. online gamers to be less than a million. Now WoW has boasted over 1 million subscribers and the other games are still humming along for the most part, including my own game Meridian 59 [] . But, WoW still grew the market overall in North America.

As for Vanguard, they've always said they were trying to capture the "hardcore" players from old EQ's time. The developers want to make the game again, taking into consideration all the things they learned from doing it the first time around. There are some people that truly enjoy that sort of challenge, and if you can make enough money it makes sense to service that particular niche. It's a question of if they can make enough money from the people that will be interested.

And, some of the "bad" ideas do have some merit. The best times in a game are when you are first playing the game and seeing everything "for the first time". I've been making online games professionally for over 8 years now, and have been a game player for as long as I can remember; but even someone as jaded as I am got sucked into WoW and enjoyed just wandering around. Now, of course, I don't get that same sense of wonder while wandering around. But, if there were longer travel times, as Vanguard is proposing, then there might still be parts of the game I had not seen yet. I might still be interested in exploring new areas to see the sights instead of canceling my account a while ago.

I wish more companies would try and create truly *new* experiences in the massive genre, like what's going on in Korea.

The problem is that the market doesn't reward the companies that do this. Just look at how people are reacting to this article. Yes, admittedly, the team is looking to recapture the feel of a previous way of doing things, but the message here is still, "This isn't how my favorite game does everything, so it must suck!" People aren't willing to try (and pay for) "new experiences" so developers get a bit skittish about trying to develop them. If you take a look at some of the games in Korea, you'll see that there are a lot of really unusual games. For a while the largest games in Asia had 2D isometric art like the Diablo games. Frankly, most U.S. players would ignore those games based on the screenshots alone.

As soon as the market shows they're interested and willing to pay for "new experiences", you will likely see more of them. But, as long as any game that isn't cutting-edge graphics wise is completely ignored, you'll see developers take the "safe" path and focus on graphical presentation. It takes a lot of money to make a competitive online game, and it makes no sense to risk $50 million or more on a "new experience" that people are most likely ignore or criticize when the Slashdot article comes out.

Some thoughts from an experienced online developer,

Re:Market Saturation (1)

bronstahd (556720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728510)

It's a fallacy to state that WoW has 5 million players. WoW has 5 million subscriptions - at least half of which are involved in the various facets of the secondary market. It's also important to note that Blizzard's last press release regarding subscription totals came shortly after a downloadable two-week trial was made available and it's likely that a significant number of trial accounts that never gave Blizzard a time were included in the total. I'd also guess that many of the users they picked up through regional releases in the same time frame no longer play either. I would guess their 6 months of silence on the subject at least suggest that their total active subscriptions have at least stalled and probably have begun to drop. In short, 5 million is an incredibly inflated number. There is plenty of room for the industry to grow.

Don't have enough time (1)

neuromancer2701 (875843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727296)

I never played EQ(didn't have the money) but I am playing WoW and I just would not time for this(I split WoW time with my wife as it is). If I am going to play a new MMO I think this would be interesting, going away from the medieval genre Tabula Rasa [] I checked out Eve Online but it was too involved. But maybe by the time Tabula Rasa comes out I will be WoW to Death.

Marriage and MMORGs don't mix (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727953)

Marriage and MMORGs don't mix. The fact that EQ comes across as too expensive isn't a good sign either - women tend to eschew fellows lacking $*K/year in free cash flows. Just did Valentine's Day go for you?

Re:Marriage and MMORGs don't mix (1)

neuromancer2701 (875843) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731644)

Absolutely wonderful, a nice homemade meal(chicken cordon bleu, green beans and fresh bread). EQ has been out for quite a while I was referring to not having money before I was married(i.e. could not afford a broadband connection.) Right now my wife plays WoW more than I do, She is 55 and I am 43. I married a great woman she loves video games(and sports for that matter) and has start playing RPGs(Kingdom Hearts and Dark Cloud, now WoW). The only problem is that I am lower than her but I can deal.
Learn more about the JerdKing [] and family. hahahaha

Thanks for your concern though, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day as well.

How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1, Informative)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727310)

After playing WoW, how many MMO fans are going to want their game to be harder? One of the greatest things about WoW is the relative ease of the game. You DIDN'T have to do corpse runs, there wasn't any notion of experience loss or debt, and there were many ways for instant travel around the world. I look back to my days playing the original EQ and while it was fun, much of it was because it was new. It's not something I'd want to play again, since I'd miss a lot of the things that WoW had. I'm not saying every MMO now has to be a blatant rip-off of WoW now, but I do wish that some features become more standard.

Also, some of the gameplay mechanics that Vanguard is keeping from EQ (like corpse runs, harsher death penalties, lack of instances), contributed to a lot of problems in EQ and it'll probably be the same for Vanguard. Here a few examples:

1) Equipment remaining on corpse after death (ie. corpse runs) - Just not fun when you lose all your items in the middle of a dungeon, and no one is around to help you anymore. There are many people that give up in this case.

2) Death penalty (experience debt, and the above corpse issue) - Everyone played like a chicken in EQ, afraid to tackle major challenges, being ultra-paranoid about pulls, etc. I know many groups just huddled around the entrances to many zones, so that they could have an easy escape if something went bad, because NO ONE wanted to die. In WoW, dying is still inconvenient, but it's no where near as punishing. I've tackled on many challenges, knowing that there was a good chance that I would die, but taking the risk was fine. It's very hard to do that in an MMO with a much larger death penalty.

3) Lack of instant travel options - I understand that it's more realistic when the world is large and actually takes time to traverse. But it's not fun when your friends or guild members are in another part of the world, and it's going to take you hours to join them. Being able to travel the world and explore lots of places with relative ease is a GOOD thing. Having mounts being more accessible in Vanguard (and flying mounts too!) is definately a good step, but you're still missing out on more instant travel mechanisms (like the many teleport spells in WoW, as well as your heartstone).

That said, I do like some of the new features in Vanguard, specifically that of housing. Okay, it's not new, since UO had it, but it sounds like they're doing a better job of limiting the problems that game had (houses everywhere!). I'd also like to hear more about the crafting system, since that's supposed to be a lot more involved than something like WoW.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727608)

The problem with this is that making content too easy means the longevity of the game is decreased. Your game can't survive on newbies forever.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727687)

Hmm, WoW doesn't seem to have that problem. Then again, the game is so enjoyable that most folks don't mind creating a plethora of "alts" (trying out a different character race or class). Then there's also a separate treadmill grind of sorts when you hit the level cap ... for example, raiding to get elite gear, reputation grinding, PvP honor grinding, etc. Those aren't that interesting to me personally, but I'll be one of those who just create multiple alts instead.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727715)

Hmm, WoW doesn't seem to have that problem. Then again, the game is so enjoyable

Says you. WoW was my first MMORPG and I was bored stupid at level 35 because of the lack of interaction with other players. Vanguard looks like it will be a breath of fresh air and a step back in the right direction.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727946)

Says you. WoW was my first MMORPG and I was bored stupid at level 35 because of the lack of interaction with other players. Vanguard looks like it will be a breath of fresh air and a step back in the right direction.

WoW is certainly not my first MMORPG. If you think Vanguard is a step back in the right direction, go play it and let us know afterwards what you think. :)

As for player interaction, a lot of it has to come the player him/herself. WoW is very solo-able, so yeah, there can and will be a lot of people that play the game essentially in single-player mode. Other MMOs, though, all but require group interaction. I haven't decided yet which is better. On one hand, being able to solo through most content is nice when I don't want to spend an hour getting a party together just to do anything. On the other hand, that leads towards a lot of dumb players when they finally DO get into a group. Groups in EQ tended to be a lot more mature and "know their game" a lot better than the typical WoW group.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730905)

Go give EQ2 a try, they have a downloadable free access.
I was originally in WoW then switch to EQ2 and found it alot better. Soloing is extermly possible and there are also alot of quests that require groups.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14729186)

Well gee, Everquest was a challenge. There were consequences if you failed. I don't see the problems you pointed out as actual problems. I left everquest as they made it easier and miss how it used to be.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730997)

There will always be those who prefer the challenge that came with Everquest, that I won't deny. But I'd say the overwhelming popularity of WoW over previous MMOs goes to show that the vast majority of players like the easier path.

MMOs are already one huge treadmill grind. Why make it even longer? I'm of the opinion that games should be fun to play. Make it too frustrating, and I'll find something else to spend my time on. I realize that not everyone shares my playstyle, nor does everyone share yours though.

Re:How many MMO fans want their game to be harder? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730925)

Not to sure about the actual flying mounts, as being so high off the ground that you can bypass areas. One of the recent interviews mentioned that to travel to areas would require a boat, player made or wait for the scheduled one. If you could actually fly then that would not be required.
They also talked about how much of an adventure it will be for everyone as they will long travels between spots, if you could fly and bypass all that how much of an adventure would it be?

A Long Time EQ Player (3, Informative)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727351)

For those of you WoWer's who never went through the Everquest days let me give you some situations where a "harder" game may have consequences:

Imagine having to spend 10+ hours of grinding to get level 29.

Imagine doing a 5+ endgame raid where you finally get the boss and you lose the roll on the loot. And so you leave your computer having lost almost a complete level of experience with wipes and not much to show for it. (And you though get groups together was hard)
Now imagine trying to keep a guild together or just general group tension down when wiping with any party can cost you the exp equivalent of 3-4 hours of mob grinding. Plus a ton of extra time and money in regents from having to summon all your corpses from under the feet of "Baron VonAssbeater".
I had alot of fun with EQ and a pretty successful guild. But I was also a teenager and this was the best that was available at the time. There is No Way in Hell I would put up with that stuff now.

Re:A Long Time EQ Player (1)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727751)

> Imagine having to spend 10+ hours of grinding to get level 29.

And he means from level 28.5, not from level 1 there boys and girls.

Re:A Long Time EQ Player (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 7 years ago | (#14729978)

I hate to be negative, but you obviously haven't played "old EQ" lately. You have to WORK at it to lose a level, especially with the super-easy CR methods available today, and widespread 96% rezes via a Clicky Stick (Cleric Epic 1.0. . .which these days, can generally be single-grouped).

Yes, I still play EQ. Have played it, on and off for 8 years: my first toon was created back when it was still 989 Studios, 3 weeks after EQ shipped. I have a 70 toon in Time now, and am working GoD flags. . .still fun, but it's also the social aspect that, IMHO, makes the game.

Most of the current players are in various portions of the high-end game, anywhere from working on Elemental status to fighting in Anguish and Darkspire, the two ultra-high-end zones. "Newbies" are pretty much non-existent, 99% of the low-level toons in game are alts or mules. . .

Maybe we ought to try to get Brad McQuaid to take questions or do an interview, and mayhaps we might get a decent picture. After all, for years, EQ was a decent chunk of the Geek Experience. . . .

Re:A Long Time EQ Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14731852)

The game is coming up on it's 7th anniversary, not 8th.

ps. I'm glad you're enjoying beating 3.5 year old content.

Re:A Long Time EQ Player (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732781)

He's talking about the old days Vanguard is aiming for, not what Everquest is today. So not having played it lately has no bearing on this.

10 diseases I'd rather get than play this game... (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727443)

Give it up losers. You're not going to beat WoW, EvE, and Guild Wars by introducing an annoying, tedious grind-fest. Besides, SOE already tried that with Star Wars Galaxies.


Re:10 diseases I'd rather get than play this game. (1)

Xabora (758413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727754)

Its already been stated they are not trying to compete with WoW. Read before you start randomly bashing something. []

Re:10 diseases I'd rather get than play this game. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732393)

And YOU should have a close look at their website [] . Calling WoW a "second generation" MMORPG and having the arrogance to call themselves a "third generation" MMORPG that is improving on WoW's shortcomings (implying that WoW is some sort of "old and inflated" aging dinosaur, no less) sounds like a pretty serious challenge to *me*.


Vanguard justifiably called Third Generation (1)

jamjamjam (954897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14739589)

WoW *IS* second generation by anyone's definition that I've read.

Vanguard is doing a whole series of things which no second generation MMO are doing, and there are more differences between Vanguard and WoW than there were between WoW and EQ, so really, they are justified in calling it third generation. (one example: they're adding a whole new 'sphere' of gameplay, additional to Adventuring and Crafting, called Diplomacy.)

See my other posts for list of new things they're doing, or check out their website, as you yourself suggest :)


Simply Amazing (1)

Traldan (861900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727492)

This game is going to be amazing. It's going to be difficult but full of excitement and features that make it into an incredible game. The Diplomacy Sphere sounds especially promising.

Seamless world, great graphics, interesting classes, challenging interactive combat, 3 fully fleshed 'spheres' that are at once independent and interdependent - what's not to like?

Making Corpse Runs is not a Feature! (0, Flamebait)

Stroman Rebar (567206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727688)

Any new MMOG that intentionally includes the worst features of the earlier generation is courting disaster. In fact, I think this is a classic example of not understanding your audience. I believe that there is a small percentage of players who truly crave the hardcore experience, and want death to have a penalty that really "means something". I don't count myself among them. Even when I had 20-30 hours a week to spend on EQ (which I haven't had in a long while), I hated corpse runs and the stiff penalty that death caused. If I think back to how many times I died due to lag or the engine going buggy, and translate that into hours wasted... it just pisses me off. Why would your "average gamer", i.e. the non-super-hardcore or non-masochists, at least, subject themselves to this when superior products are available?

If it were my investment dollars being squandered in this fashion, I would seriously pursue getting the jackasses who think that CRs are a feature fired and installing some project leads that are more in touch with the gaming public.

Re:Making Corpse Runs is not a Feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14727846)

The audience for Vanguard are disenfranchised people who stopped playing Everquest because SoE ran the game into the ground. There are TONS of these people, eagerly frothing at the mouth waiting for something 'just like the old days, except without a lot of the hastles'. And also people who are sick of soloing their MMORPG's because their group mates are too damn stupid to know how to play their class because they never got good habits beaten into them by harsh death penalties. Like me.

This isn't a game aimed at causal gamers. Microsoft was well aware of that when Sigil pitched the game to them. (hint: Sigil's CEO is Brad McQuaid, the guy who created the first Everquest. I think Microsoft checked his resume.) If you dont like the game, fine, go play World of Solocraft. But there are some of us who would prefer to pay $15 a month for more than just a reatarded fanbase and well-intentioned but broken gameplay mechanics.

Re:Making Corpse Runs is not a Feature! (1)

Stroman Rebar (567206) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732612)

I guess my whole point is that I don't think there are enough people to support a MMOG that is 'just like the old days, except without a lot of the hassles'. I will agree with you that the stiff penalties for death in EQ encouraged (read: forced) people to know what the hell they were doing. And playing with smacktards who don't understand how to play their class is frustrating. But if you are going to bring a MMOG to the table these days and make it financially successful, it MUST have something to differentiate it from the other "standard" fantasy MMOGs out there. I just don't see CRs and stiff death penalties as the way to do that. I guess I will just have to wait and see. If these "TONS of these people, eagerly frothing at the mouth" show up and make the thing work, more power to them. But my money says it ain't gonna happen.

Another look. (2, Insightful)

Xabora (758413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14727873)

Has anyone thought about this. Vanguard is aiming at a diffrent group of MMO gamers. Heck look at EVE, they broke 100k accounts recently and average around 23 - 25k people on their server at one time. [] - 100k accounts front page news. They are not aiming to overtake the entire MMO market... just what some people have been wanting for awhile. A MMO thats not too easy but offers a real challenge.

EQ vs. WoW (3, Insightful)

william_w_bush (817571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728041)

Most people here seem to be missing the point.

EQ/Vanguard are not for people who enjoy playing mmorpgs, like they enjoy playing other games, or for people who play them like glorified IM clients. These games are for the people who actually enjoy the challenge, enjoy the fact that it might take hours to get a reward, and instead of hating the process, count it as an effort towards building a character they see value in.

This is like saying MGS 2 was too hard because you couldn't play it like Tetris or Solitaire, they are totally different types of games. In WoW, the actual work done by the player is minimal, with low risk, and even unskilled/casual players (which is a huge, HUGE market) can compete evenly with the hardcore players. They are actually different games, and the problem until now has been trying to expand the market with new unskilled players, while still keeping the hardcore tier-1 dragon-slayers with server-uniques which are critical to the game, like the old FoH and LoS guilds were to EQ, setting an inspiring ideal for the rest of the players to follow, part hero-worship, part social-hierarchy.

My point is they are different audiences completely. Trying to put them in the same game is difficult without either pissing off the casual players, or letting the hardcore players reach the "End". WoW tried, and got an assload of casual players, but most of the hardcore players I know have left, doing cameos whenever a new dragon comes out, and otherwise actually getting on with their lives. The only hardcore players in WoW now are the compulsive "Ok now I want armor X and horse Y so I look cooler" until the next patch comes out with new armor X and horse Y.

Basically, I miss EQ :(

Final Point (0, Flamebait)

william_w_bush (817571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728178)

Rules make games. Bitching about rules that go against you when you play a game is like buying a car then bitching to everyone how you have to buy gas for it to work. People who complain that games are too hard, shouldn't play them, they aren't all meant to be chinese checkers or yahtzee.

EQ was too hard? Then you plain sucked at it. Accept it, go home, pull out one of the millions of 3D FPS's, and use a god cheat. Or better yet, pay a prostitute to tell you how large your dick is, because things in life have value equal to the effort put into them, which is why gold costs more than shit, and why they don't give nobel prizes to people who sit around drinking beer.

If it wasn't a fun game, why did/do so many people play it as much as they did?

Just tired of people expecting everything to be mindlessly easy. Life is meant to be a challenge, that's why so many people die from it.

Re:EQ vs. WoW (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730222)

I think Vanguard could theoretically be successful at a niche level -- a hardcore game, by hardcore gamers, for hardcore gamers. Look at any of the PR or the FAQ questions for this game: in response to any concerns about difficulty, Brad McQuaid says "Cry more n00b". Casuals need not apply. This means if I so much as navigate to their website my head might well explode, and I know the process of entering in my credit card information on signup would be much too hardcore for me to handle. But maybe there are some people nostalgiac for the old, painful days of EQ (spend a summer of 4 hour days, get to level... 12! Unless you died too much!). Then again, Shadowbane was basically "Remember old school UO? We want to do that, except without all that pesky bit about having ineffectual restrictions against killing people. Play2Crush!", and we see how that niche appeal worked out...

The problem is that somebody with delusions of grandeur sees his niche game as beating out WoW. Thats where the madness sets in. You can make a *lot of money* in niche IP. You don't have to write the Da Vinci Code to be a successful author -- my little sister hopes to eventually earn a nice paycheck writing books about cynical modern adolescent girls and their coming-of-age stories. They Might Be Giants certainly don't go hungry for not being $RECENT_BOY_BAND. But if my little sister said she expected to do Da Vinci numbers with those books, I would say she was crazy, and if somebody said "TMBG's next record is going multi-platinum!", I'd say they were crazy. "Our game will be a painful experience to make your successes bigger, AND we're going to be the market leader" is crazy-talk.

Re:EQ vs. WoW (1)

Tork (68319) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730353)

> Basically, I miss EQ :(

Me, too. =(

Going back to the dark ages (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14728374)

While there are quite a few gamers out there that long for the sheer daunting task that the orignal EQ was, I am not going to be one of them. I won't be alone, either.

I really don't mind a challenging game. I enjoy playing games like Half-Life/HL2 without using god mode, for the sheer challenge of succeeding. But MMOs tend to take up a lot more time, and you are dependent on others for the most part. You can't just save and walk away because the kid is throwing up, or the cat is climbing the curtains. You are stuck there, or you have a bad reputation.

I burnt many an entire evening or weekend on EQ. Ignoring the wife to the point she was ready to bitchslap me. Eating in a frenzied rush so I didn't miss anything. In a nutshell, acting like a total goober/asshole. But, I always pulled my head out of my ass and made it up to the wife.

I know several guys that lost a good wife to MMOs. Some to EQ, one to UO, and another to AC. Their wives called themselves EQ-widows, and it was like living with an alcoholic. The guys would literally blow their top if they were interrupted, even when it was for something important for RL. Years later, when they decided to grow up, they were always ashamed of how they acted. It's hard enough to find a wife that will let you play MMOs fairly often. Throwing one away because you HAVE to spend so much time in the game is just assinine.

EQ2 has enough hardships built into it that it wasn't a very lucrative game for most folks. There's a reason its subscription numbers are a joke compared to WoW. After a little over 2 months in the game, I was asking myself "why am I playing this? This game makes things harder than it needs to be to do anything." So, I quit.

Scoff all you want at the casual gamer, but there are a ton of parents out there, kids that care about getting decent grades, and folks with other commitments that simply love being able to play for an hour or two here or there. They enjoy not having to spend another 2 hours in game because one person died deep in the dungeon, and now a rescue mission is needed. They have well rounded lives, with the MMO just being a fun part of it.

Heck, the only real mistake WoW made was having 40-man raids needed for some content. Put it back to 20, and it would have been really perfect. 40 was just too much for most guilds and/or groups of friends to handle.

I am certainly not going back to the dark ages of MMOs. Corpse runs are for masochists.

Re:Going back to the dark ages (1)

birder (61402) | more than 7 years ago | (#14731758)

As someone who played EQ for 5 years, I know what you're saying. When I started cancelling dates or brushing my gf off until another day, I knew this was a problem. There was a lot of social pressure in game that causes people, including myself, to make commitments they really have no need to keep. While I have no regrets playing as much as a did, I am certainly glad I have moved away from EQ. I played EQ2 and WoW for a month each and I can finally say I'm done with MMO's. They are simply too time consuming for the way I would want to play them. After being on the leading edge of EQ and trying to back off, I know I can never just play "casually".

Visually...blah (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14729677)

Visually, this game has nothing to distinguish itself from a multidude of similar titles. Where is the style? All the characters are the same body with a unique head sewn on top, with no chance for visual distinction. I don't care for WoW's really low-poly approach, but when you see a screenshot from their game, at least you know what game it came from.

As far as gameplay...ugh. Sounds like it's back to the grindstone. No thanks.

Re:Visually...blah (1)

jamjamjam (954897) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730844)

Actually the character generation system is one of the most detailed, if not the most detailed [] , ever written. Character visuals are extremely customisable. The graphics are excellent, check out the offical screenshots [] . If they look bland to you, it's because they're realistic and more immersive, not cartoony :P

Furthermore, the gameplay is looking far more varied than anything else. New, more complicated AI. *Entirely* new and interesting combat system. Sailing on player-made ships to new continents! Interesting travel instead of travel removed as a mechanic.

Crafting protected from massive mudflation by:
* Localised economies, caused by the lack of instant-travel
* Crafters skilling up, often in groups, on 'workorders' for NPC cities. No more market flooded with 900,000 banded-wristguards :)
* More careful itemisation

Entirely new sphere of play called Diplomacy... seems to border on an MMO RTS!

Take a deeper look [] guys, there is so much more to Vanguard than these little previews.

Horrible Previews (1)

boboslave (880613) | more than 7 years ago | (#14729886)

If you do one thing after reading these previews, i beg you to at least go to [] and read the FAQ and Wiki to find out what the game is actually about. You cannot preview Vanguard in 2 pages and give it justice. There is more to this game than what these "previews" explain, and the things that people are complaining about are there for a reason. You might not agree with the reason, but there generally is one and these previews don't go into that much at all.

This game won't be for everyone, and that's fine. World of Warcraft has 5 Million players, and guess what. It aint for everyone. If you look at Vanguard and can't see that it in many ways it is advancing the genre then you haven't looked hard enough.

* Advanced Encounter System with Encounter Routes.
* A more random spawn system.
* 3 sphere's of gameplay. Adventure, Crafting, Diplomacy.
* Cities and Towns as content rather than nice scenery while you pawn off your loot.
* Meaningful travel. It may take longer, but you aren't doing it often. Look if travel took ages in WoW it would suck, due mainly cause you were going from point A to point B repeatedly (i.e. Ironforge to Dungeon/Zone then back). In Vanguard, when you go somewhere you stay there. Travelling somewhere else in the world is a gameplay decision as big as deciding who/what you want to kill, with adventure encounters designed to make travel interesting.
* Job system to help alleviate perfect group whilst still making classes unique and fun. Unlike EQ II.
* tons more innovative stuff.

I may sound like i'm selling the game here, but i have no idea if these featueres will be fun to me or not, i don't know if they'll pull it off. I'm willing to give them a shot though, and not just pass them off as oldskool EQ crap. Read about the game and you'll see that there is more to it than that, and it's your loss if you don't.

Re:Horrible Previews (1)

ureshii_akuma (745410) | more than 7 years ago | (#14732483)

Your post got me thinking down a path that I hadn't considered: it would be nice to see Vanguard:SoH succeed with many of its innovations. Not because I plan on playing it, but rather because well thought out, popular innovations will then be adopted by other future MMORPGs, MMORPGs that appeal to time-limited gamers.

I already know Vanguard is not for me - it has a lot of nice sounding features, but is wrapped in a, for lack of a better word, hardcore-package. As a time-limited gamer, I really can't justify paying for a game that doesn't let me sit down for 30 - 60 minutes and accomplish something meaningful (just grinding xp is not meaningful). I also can't justify paying for a game where I can't see a significant portion of content because I don't have 2 - 8 consecutive hours to play, or a raid size group to play with. Certainly there are people who have that, and for them Vanguard may be great, but for us time-limited gamers, well I think we may still benefit from any well implemmented, new features Vanguard brings to the genre.

Lots of whining, oh wait, it's /. (2, Insightful)

Lonin (876821) | more than 7 years ago | (#14730237)

I love these comments calling people masochists for wanting more challenging gameplay. What about the olympic athletes? Are they masochists for dedicating their lives to a sport, often times taking up far more time/money than any MMO, and for some sports (curling anyone?) which have less worldwide appeal than online gaming does? I'm not trying to equate playing an MMO to an Olympic event, but come on, this lame argument holds no water. Believe it or not, some people actually do enjoy playing difficult, time consuming games. If you aren't one of them, fine, but don't bash the game for choosing a market or the players for doing what they enjoy. You should be glad that Vanguard is advertising itself for what it is, a game that is aimed at those who enjoyed the old experience of EQ or whose who aren't happy with today's current crop of easy MMORPG's. Most other developers don't even give the courtesy of talking truely about their game. Instead they try and make it seem like it will fit all players of all types, which is virtually impossible. In the end, they make lots of money from people who dropped $50 on a game that they find out really doesn't fit their play style. Personally, I'm looking forward to playing this game. I''m just glad to see that truthful advertising is cutting the "fat" players now instead of having to put up with them when the game goes live.

Preview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14731447)

Sorry, there was a preview here?

All I saw was that pair of boobs on the front page. I had to stop looking then as I'm in work!

Commendably un-PC or just plain gratuitous?

My comments (1)

heartless_ (923947) | more than 7 years ago | (#14734573)

Heartless Gamer Comments.

Lets start with the stand out comment of the article; "The actual game mechanics should be familiar to anyone who's dabbled in MMOs in the past few years."

- Holy fizzle... Vanguard really is Everquest 2.0 (not to be mistaken with Everquest 2 from SOE). Read that quote again. Translated to human speak the previewers impression was "This is Everquest with better graphics."

Something about housing that caught my eye; "Once you start racking up a lot of dough, you'll eventually have the resources to build your own house and you can create a list of specific people who are allowed to enter it. Housing is not instanced, but the world has tons of open space for staking your claim."

- OK I'm going to calm down a little bit because they are the first MMO really since UO to attempt this in the fantasy setting. This does have potential.

Next on the chopping block is this beauty of a quote; "(Right now, the plan is to have a level cap of 50 at launch. With the current content balance, one beta tester took over four months, playing twelve hours a day, seven days a week, to reach that point.)"

This of course is followed up by this dandy; "That's primarily why McQuaid has a 30" Dell LCD powered by a Radeon X1900 XTX -- because they like to play."

- We already knew this game was made for the hardcore and I'm over that fact. What really hits hard is Brad's PC setup. Way to keep it real Brad. For bloomin' sakes... you would think they may play this game on a system THAT MORE THAN 10% OF THE GAMERS OUT THERE CAN PLAY IT ON. Just my opinion of course.

There is another preview up at Gamespot which I'll digest later, but for now I am pissed off so no need to bite off more than I can chew.
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