Impressions on GU4

 

Servers came up yesterday two full hours before they were scheduled, which was a good thing. I’ve noticed that Vanguard typically seems to say they’ll be down for 4-6 hours but end up being up before the designated time. Always a plus in my eyes. I logged into game, and three of my characters faces were very noticeably different. The kojan half elf (Satia) is ok, she escaped mostly unharmed, as did the Kojan human (Arysh pictured above). However, Ishbel the dark elf, Ysandria the high elf, and poor Minxes, the Thestran Human, were not so lucky. Their eyes are too big, chins are far too long, and faces too narrow. Yes, it’s something I noticed. Will I quit the game over it? No of course not. I’m attached to my characters but I’ll make due. It’s not the end of the game like so many had prophesied. I eagerly logged in game to see if I could cover up those ugly heads with helmets.

Well, my characters are all lowbie still, they don’t wear the most unique of gear. Satia especially due to the fact that she wears cloth. Her helmet is huge and looks like the popes hat dyed a few different colours with a large blue stone in the middle. At least her face is ok though. Arysh can now gore people to death with her horn (pictured above) and Minxes can simply fall backwards and stab out an eye with the sharp spike on the back of her helmet. There’s an option to turn those off though, so again I’m not too concerned.

Half the guild logged in and ran towards flying mounts right away. From what I’ve heard there’s a few bugs at the start, when you agro some griffins the babies won’t drop their feathers, or something. I’m not big enough to test this out myself yet, needing quite a few more levels (the flying mount quests start at level 45). You get some pretty great gear upgrades from the quests though, and speaking of gear upgrades, wow. Green gear was given an overhaul and revamped, it can now compete with crafted gear. Which is exactly something I wanted to see. Vanguard crafted gear was 10x as good as pretty much anything out there for that level aside from APW gear. No longer is that the case. Is there still a market for crafted? Of course, always will be, but it won’t have the exact power that it used to hold before over adventurers. That’s fine by me speaking as a crafter, I hated the way I basically ‘controlled’ the game through my wares. I made lots of money very fast selling lowbie items because nothing quested could compare. Now you might argue that I deserved it, for the hours and hours I devoted into crafting. Doing quests, working faction, but that’s no more time then any adventurer puts into their character (except of course I level slower, since I don’t adventure nearly as much as I craft).

Dusts dropping from nodes. This is something that was a fantastic change- however it needs to be toned down. They drop far too frequently. Dusts will soon be worthless. I’d like them to at least still retain their value on the market. No, not the crazy 3-5p I’d seen on some crystals, but there’s got to be a smoother method of implementing this. I basically got a dust off of every harvest, and plenty of rare ones. They also added items to mobs that you can deconstruct into a rare resource or dust. I like this idea, but I fear it will just lower the price even more of crafted goods, with an influx. Depending on how many people adventure and get these to drop. In my day of playing yesterday, I saw at least 14 drop. I deconstructed into resources instead of dusts due to the huge amount of dusts that dropped.

I see the game is down right now (for a hotfix I assume) and I can’t check notes because the vanguardplayers is down for maintenance as well. I logged in with an extra 10fps, which was great. The new riftways (once you fix your version of infomap, drox, core, or whatever other custom UI you use) are amazing, the lowered costs on flying mounts also great. They nerfed the veteran reward potions from 2h to 1h, which was a shame, but on the plus side the timers are now out of game, fantastic.

Numerous bugs were fixed, too numerous for me to name and I’m pleased with all of that. It’s great, and over all I feel that this GU was a huge hit. People were excited. Now, remember I also don’t keep public channels on. Apparently not everyone shared in my opinions over the GU and they made this very apparent. Silius himself came into the craft channel again when I asked if the rifts worked based on your adventure level only (they’ll only unlock if you’re in a level range of the rift) or if it was all spheres. No one could answer for sure so he piped in and let me know it was for all spheres. I love the changes to the names of nodes. I dislike the large round circles they’ve placed over the heads of mobs for a con system. Mobs work by dots, two dots is solo, three is small group (though most can solo) four is small group five is full group, and six dots is a raid encounter. They look like horribly drawn eyes hovering over the mobs heads. I also dislike how the named in game ALL HAVE THEIR NAME SPELLED IN CAPITALS, SO YOU CAN’T MISS THEM. I think that was going overboard. Yes, it makes them visually easier to see (they’ve also increased the spawn rates on named, and ALL named drops are bind on pickup and can not be deconstructed any more) but did they have to take it that far? I play Vanguard for the challenge, if I can’t tell if a named is really a named or not, maybe I need to switch to Hello Kitty.

I still stand by the game though as a loyal customer. I think even more good things are planned for the future, and I know their subscriptions are up over the last five months, so they’ve got to be doing something right. We’ll see what today’s tweaks hold.

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5 Comments

  1. FIX THE FREAKING HITCHING!!!! I have a really high end system, and I STILL hitch in this game. I played in beta, original launch (should also be considered a beta), played for several months after that, just gave it another try, and STILL HITCHING LIKE HELL!!!!!!!!

  2. They nerfed Vanguard before it was even released. I went to a “Fanguard” down in San Diego about a year before release, and they were already trying to redefine their target users from the hardcore EQ1 players they initially targeted to what they called “core” players. Not hardcore, not softcore, just… core. There they said that you would definitely be able to solo to max level. So right then, they moved from the hardcore market to the one shared by LotRO, WoW and EQ2. Now they are in this market, they have to offer similar functionality.

    I like being able to solo in VG while I get my bearings and try to find a community where I can fit. Hopefully I won’t be so noobish when I find it, and then, once I’ve found a place, I will be able to find groups and go explore things with friends, etc, instead of just running around by myself. That’s the EQ2 model, and one I like quite a lot.

    I don’t think nameds need to be all in upper case and pop all the time either, but I DO like the increased travel options. I guess a lot of VG players just like looking off into distant vistas, but nowadays when I log into any game, I typically have a goal, like to explore a dungeon, finish a quest, meet up with friends, etc. Time spent running around noting that all the stuff I can see in the distance is stuff I can get to, isn’t that important to me, because I know if I try to get to any of those places, it will take a significant amount of time, the map will be of little help, and I’ll likely die from hostile beasts. Best if I have reason to go ahead of time.

    Vanguard (like WoW, EQ2 and LotRO) is a game, not a lifestyle (though I wonder about some WoW players). People want to always feel like they are progressing. ANYTHING SOE/Sigil can do to help this along, is a good thing for the game, and ultimately for the players.

  3. João Carlos

    “I play Vanguard for the challenge, if I can’t tell if a named is really a named or not, maybe I need to switch to Hello Kitty.”

    The official forums had a long and not friendly discussion about how the game is going easier each day. IMHO what make VG diferent is the challenge, but maybe the devs think diferently. And there are a lot of people saying that VG need be dumbed down, be an easier game, be like WoW, that what destroyed VG was the Vision ™ (IMHO it was the bad launch and lag and bugs), etc.

    I had a bad experience at SWG. I really fear a VG NDA.

    Well, that is what I think.

  4. I like the unicorn hat, and you have EYELIDS!

    /jealous

    These changes definitely have me looking forward to the next time I can play.

  5. The GU for me is great, as you say I need to update my Infomap but I did notice that the Riftway at the keep place (im bad with place names) wouldnt let me use it…. hmm

    My helmet looks awful, but I dunno it was just fun to get in and bash things. Personal opinion? I like the dots over the heads, yes they could have been drawn better hell the whole font used for VG is bad and basic but it helps me a ton since I hardly ever check con before charging in.

    Ill be putting my Xbox down to playa bit more methinks!

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