Vanguard and I

I feel the itch. Now that free-to-play has been announced for the game, it looks like a couple of former players are already returning, in hoping the community will grow quickly. There’s been some activity among the bloggers regarding Vanguard, too: Ardwulf’s Lair has a couple of articles and Bhagpuss @ Inventory Full has some honorable mentions as well.

I have to say, I’d like to return, too. A few days ago, I signed up for another Vanguard trial. This screen shot is the result of 2 hours of playing a bard. Vanguard is one of the MMO’s I regularly go back to, when other games turn sour on me. I just love some of the games mechanisms: You’ll eventually have to decide if you want to skill up one weapon over the other: long- or short sword, piercer or a mace. At some point you won’t have enough skill points to keep them all maxed. My bard can “compose” his own songs. In combat there are skill combos and situational abilities I need to act on.

I am usually not much of a trade skill kind of guy, but I often do the basics and come back to it every now and then. The trade skill sphere has some interesting concepts. Your trade skill level is independent from your adventuring level. You can only advance through work orders, which will not produce any usable goods. You can make usable items, but they won’t advance your skills. You have your won set of trade skill gear and tools. The same is true for harvesting.

The game has a third sphere, diplomacy. To make it short, I’ve never been using it much, but it does have its own rewards.

The world of Telon is huge. Three massive continents offer enough room for content, cities, dungeons and places to just go Ooooh and Aaaah. You can have flying mounts and you can build your own ship to travel oceans and rivers.

Vanguard is certainly old school (now without corpse runs), but you will respawn elsewhere and have to run back, if you want to continue working on your current goal. Mobs will respawn on your way, if you don’t hurry or if you were in way to deep into a dangerous area. Grouping is often recommended.

There’s more to the game, like nice race and class selections or meaningful NPC factions. But I’ll leave that for another time, to be discovered as I get further into the game.



© Disclaimer: Vanguard


  1. I’ve been taking a look at it and found it an interesting concept – does it really play well, or is it a mediocre delivery of an essentially good idea? When it comes to MMOs, I tend to trust the bigger, well-established companies, like Blizzard. Whatever their goal is, whether you agree with them or not, it is never poorly designed, and it is consistent. What about Vanguard? I’m genuinely interested.

    Oh, and perhaps you can answer this, if you know: is there a solid roleplaying community in the game?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Oh yes, it plays well. The game’s ideas are well implemented. That was never the problem. To me the main cause for its low subscription numbers was a botched beta and game rollout, combined with some old school hardcore rules like corpse runs. Low subscription numbers mean low budget for content updates and bug fixes. The game fosters group play, but it needs player with the right mindset. The entire story might actually count as evidence for Syl’s post about Arenanet’s Blizzard Angst

      Vanguard was created by the original author of Everquest Brad McQuaid and some say it is the true Everquest II. Its operated by Sony, and has been kept alive for a long time. Sony must view it as salvageable. In business, the friendship between McQuaid and SOE president John Smedley alone doesn’t justify keeping it around. And to me, SOE is certainly a trustworthy company having run Everquest for 13 years now.

      Regarding roleplaying, I had a quick look at the Vanguard forum’s Roleplay Tavern. It doesn’t look good right now. But it’s my impression that this huge world lends itself so much more to roleplay than any other MMO. Take it with a grain of salt, though. I am not a roleplayer.

      As for more Vanguard information, consider checking out Ardwulf’s Lair through my blogroll, he’s so much more into it.

      And one final thing, download the 2-week trial, it gives you already a good impression. Diplomacy, adventuring and crafting are available there up to around level 12. At that level the game concepts are fully visible and not just easymode for low levels anymore. Besides, there’s no easymode anyway.

  2. Glad to see you having fun in Vanguard. I am delighted to be back after most of a year away. I’m having a great time having rediscovered my main, rediscovering Telon and seeing new sights, still, that I’d never seen before. I thought I’d been all over the plains of central Thestra but I find something new pretty much every day.

    Vanguard is hardcore by today’s standards, but by those of the time it was released, not so much. Even the corpse runs that so much is made of (and rumor has it they are going away before f2p launches,) really only moderately penalize you if you elect to have your corpse summoned to you rather than going to get it (If you recover it yourself the XP hit amounts to about 3 mobs worth of XP at the level I’m at.)

    Really, it’s kind of comparable in terms of how hardcore it is to where WoW was back in the Vanilla days. Except everything is open-world, you’re never in an instance, and there is real danger of running across something in the world that’s beyond your ability to handle. Even sometimes in the 1-10 zones. I love this – it gives the world an organic feel, like it’s a real place rather than a track programmed to minimize player frustration. And it’s gorgeous.

    • It’s a slow day for Sony players, I guess 🙂
      I tend to not touch my old characters when I return to a game and rather make new ones. This way I can relearn my class. And I am still torn between Bard, Ranger and Monk as class. I’ve been a bard since EQ times, but I struggle with the low damage coming from the bard. Ranger and Monk are alternatives to that, but I am looking for a dps class using 2 handed weapons. Don’t know how viable that is, yet.

      As for hardcore, WOW wasn’t even close. A non-instanced world gets you so far ahead already on the hardcore scale. A ghost corpse run like WOW doesn’t compare to a run through a respawned dungeon, either.


  1. This Week in Vanguard (Apr 16-22, 2012) | Vanguard Forever - [...] Feliz at MMO Compendium has signed up for a Vanguard trial and is playing a Bard on the Isle…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.