Newbie Island? Sounds like FUN
I’ve always been a fan of Vanguard – even though there are lots of people who are not, who have had horrible experiences with the game. I tend to play it for a bit and then take a break and then play it again for a bit, remembering why I love it. It’s not quite enough to draw me away from EQ2, but it’s certainly got aspects to it that I enjoy a great deal. When the release of GU6 implemented the ‘newbie island’ where all characters had the option (or not) of starting out, I decided to head back to the game and see what it was all about.
I decided to ask if Kanad (who also plays Eq1 Nostalgia as Kanad, and EQ2 Nostalgia as Kasul) wanted to test out his station access and give Vanguard a try. Now, Kanad has never played Vanguard before. He’s only got blog posts to go by so I wasn’t sure what he was expecting as far as the game goes. He’ll have to write about that himself. He played EQ1 quite heavily, and just got into EQ2 for the first time in April (and got his crafter epic yesterday, congratulations!) anyhow, he didn’t have a lot of game stuff to go on already.
So he made a barbarian type shaman, and I decided to try out a druid (which is a mage like nuker who uses the forces of the environment to smite their foes) and we had a LOT of fun losing ourselves in Telon for a few hours. I actually lost track of time.
I don’t consider myself a newb to the game. I’ve got a level 41 adventurer (close to 42!) and she’s also a 45 crafter. Only level 10 as far as diplomacy goes, but I know how it works and I’ve got enough gear to move the levers and put up crafter buffs of my choosing. I do use a mod for maps, because it shows the harvest node areas on them. We ran around killing hobgoblins and saving villagers, closing down portals and adventuring through caves. We didn’t run into a single problem – though we’ve only played up to level 6 so far. Everything ran smooth and compared to starting out in the regular cities – WOW do you ever get some nice gear!
There were over 100 people in the one chunk running around, channels were popular, and areas were packed. Thankfully quick respawns take care of any major issues with over camping. It was great to see and I can only hope that at least some of those players will continue on through the levels and make Vanguard their new home. A few times throughout the night I’d hear a shout or a chunk message that exclaimed “how had I not heard about this awesome game before”. Of course now it’s a LOT more stable then when I played at release.
Kanad had no issue using the default map once he figured out that clicking on the empty circles in the description of the quest would like up on the map where to walk to for quest objectives. He did comment that the spell refresh feels slightly different then EQ2, but other then that, no real incidents.
I had not delved into the diplomacy aspect of the newbie island yet, nor the crafting. Maybe I’ll get a chance to today though – I wanted to check out the story lines. Since the diplomacy line should be brand new I’m interested to see what it is. I noticed that the chunk had buffs up, so it’s nice that you can move the city levers even there.
For now, the zone gets a thumbs up from me. We’ll see how the last four levels go in the newb experience. I tend to think that this game is almost more like EQ1 in the respect that if you just simply pick it up and expect how to play right off the bat, you’re going to grow frustrated. But if you team up with someone else who has played, and have them show you the way, you can grow to enjoy it a lot more. Not exactly newb friendly (either game). That is one of the major winning points in Vanguard though for those who do play constantly, the complexity of it. More ramblings later!