Troy from Voyages of Vanguard had me on his show again (thanks Troy!), and the topic of this episode was 5 cool things that we have seen in Vanguard. I figured I’d summarize them here as well, and also add screenshots, because trying to describe the amazing sights doesn’t compare to actually seeing them. So here are my top 5 cool things about Vanguard (in no particular order).
1. The epic feel of the world. If you are someone who has friends that you play with regularly, Vanguard will have you feeling like you’re doing big stuff right from the earliest levels. The questlines that you will come across have some neat twists and turns, with spectacular dungeons and creative encounters. From places like the Fallen Lyceum (check entries here and here), to the Pantheon of the Ancients, to Rakshasa Citadel, you are reminded of how large the world is.
Troy made an excellent point along these lines, saying that Vanguard has a vertical depth that is unmatched in current MMOs. Games like EQ and EQ2 have the “zone wall,” quality, and WoW’s seamless world still has that feeling that you are boxed in by natural terrain and sky. Here are a few screenshots of places in Telon where you get a sense of the immense height in the game:
First view that a Qalitharian or Mordebi sees upon entering the world. The Cliffs of Ghelgad overlooking Khal.
Mount Stiirhad. I literally had to fly straight up to clear this volcano.
2. Flying mounts. If you are playing Vanguard and are trying to convince friends to give it a shot, give them 20 silver and take them to a flying mount vendor. There is nothing like suddenly realizing that you are off the ground and able to go anywhere you want in the game. I can’t wait for the flying mount quests to go live, and I am happy to see that they are revamping Ksavari Gulch, including a quest that has players doing fly-over raids using a wyvern mount. It’s great to have players be able to sample these flying mounts in their early levels.
3. Diplomacy. I just wrote a big piece on diplomacy recently, so I won’t repeat myself. But again, this is a feature in Vanguard that is unique to MMOs, and they’ve done a nice job of giving it a real purpose in the game.
4. This game is perfect for those who have a penchant for exploration. If you have the patience to really poke around the world, you will come across some subtle mysteries that, if you can figure them out, lead to fun encounters and some nice rewards. The darkspark event in Tar Janashir and the Cartheon conga line are two examples of this. You won’t get a huge icon over an NPCs head, or a giant quest box popping onto your screen. And you will start to think twice about odd looking things around you, because chances are that your instinct is correct, and there is more than meets the eye.
5. I like how I look! I’ve played EQ, EQ2, and WoW, and for the first time, I actually feel like a ranger. My gear matches (no rainbow EQ dye!), and has an attention to detail that is unlike the other games I’ve played. Right now I have armor that looks subdued, camouflaged, and ornamental. I look rangerly, important, and unique. What’s nice is that you can tell the difference between the lower level and higher level players, but everyone still looks good overall.
On top of that, when I’m in town, I can sport one of many sets of diplomacy outfits. When I’m harvesting, I sport my harvesting clothes (granted, the newbie harvesting clothes resemble a Rocky Balboa-style sweatsuit, but it’s not *that* bad). And when I’m crafting (which I never am), I don my leather apron and mitts as I work near the forge. It’s a small thing to some, but if you are trying to find an MMO that is immersive, this is an important factor.
This is just a quick highlight of some of the podcast discussion. There’s a lot more we talked about though, and you can find it over at Virginworlds. So check it out!