Through New Eyes

Yesterday I managed to convince a friend to give Vanguard a try. The station access pass is $30/m and gives you extra EQ2 character slots as well as access to all of the other SOE titles, so it wasn’t that difficult. I’ve gone on and on about Vanguard in the past to anyone who would listen, so he was eager to try it and see what I was talking about. He created a Dreadknight, which is Vanguards equivalent to a shadowknight, and I created a druid, which in Vanguard is a nuker. I did also have a very small heal, druids get points called phenomenon points and these are spent when you cast a few select spells (like the heals, or a nuke). You can save up 20 of these points at a time (or at least I could at my low level) and you gain them back by defeating mobs.

When I first created the druid it was a LOT of fun. They have some very high damage spells, some snares and roots. In Vanguard you can move while you cast, at a slower pace then normal. This makes kiting (with a speed buff) exceptionally fun and easy, bringing back fond memories of EQ1.

Experiencing the game through the eyes of someone who has never played before was great. I’ve convinced a few friends over time to give Vanguard a try, and even if they don’t stick with it long term they’ve all enjoyed their visits to the world of Telon. The bugs have been greatly reduced, and it runs far better then it ever has. On the Isle of Dawn with 40+ people in the zone I experienced 0 graphic or technical issues aside from getting stuck between a pile of rocks, and lets face it that was probably my own fault for trying to wiggle in there.

As the druid leveled up it became apparent to me that while these casters did have amazing firepower they are also exceptionally squishy, and unless I had room to move around killing could become a huge problem. There is one portion of the island that is caves, and I needed help with that, another portion is an indoor temple, again I would require help. The encounters were made very easy with the help of the dreadknight, who took the time to level up crafting and diplomacy too.

The newcomer to Vanguard absolutely LOVED harvesting in the game, and I can’t blame him. It’s very nice to whip out an actual axe and hack away at a tree to watch it groan and eventually topple once you’ve cut through it, plus harvesting can be a group or solo activity, with greater resources being the result of a group effort. He was intrigued by the entire crafting process and its complexity, which is something I’ve always really enjoyed. Vanguard may not be the game it was promised to be at launch, but it’s developed and progressed beautifully on its own terms.

Next? Getting off of the Isle of Dawn, when crafting, diplomacy, and adventuring are all at level 10. Then it’s time to mentor with my higher level characters and complete some content that I haven’t been to in a very long time. I’m looking forward to exploring some lower level dungeons, the game is refreshing, and I like that.

Wednesday! I hope everyone has a fantastic day no matter what game you find yourself in.

2 Responses to Through New Eyes

  1. I heard VG was in pretty good shape now. I tried it last year again but I couldn’t get past the terrible animations – the landscapes look amazing but the characters look terrible :(

  2. Magson says:

    I saw your screenie and immediately went “Druid on IoD!” — My druid’s level 7 on the IoD, and I totally agree that while “outside” I can burn things down nice and fast, but get me “inside” and an add or 2 and I’m dead. . . . .

    I looted a nice vest somewhere though, so I don’t look all green like you do anymore ;-)

    A minor quibble with what you said about Phenomenon points — they regenerate over time, not from hitting mobs. IIRC, you get back your full allotment every 36 minutes. Or I could be remembering the Paladin’s virtue points and totally wrong about the druid’s phenomena. It’s been a while since I’ve played VG, after all. Someday I’ll get back to it again, but right now I’m splitting my time between EQ2, EVE, and DDO.

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