Aggro Me: Quylein vs. Aggro: Vanguard Debate
Quylein vs. Aggro: Vanguard Debate
Fellow blogger Quylein the Mage and I got into a little discussion on the Aggro Forums about the upcoming MMO Vanguard from Sigil Games. We decided to continue that debate via e-mail and post it for you on both our sites. I’m taking the anti-Vanguard position while Quylein is taking the pro-Vanguard stance. Quylein's comments are in italics so you can tell us apart.
I do not think Vanguard will be a commercial failure. The amount of fansites and forum threads about this upcoming MMO dwarf those of any other game. What I do question is whether this hype is merited. It's yet another fantasy MMO and the E3 reports from unbiased sources left me quite unimpressed as did the videos. I know that is not a fair measure of what the game will be, but I like to base my opinions on facts rather than some vague devotion to a person who left SOE at the perfect moment in time. And from what I can see, the classes are a snoozefest, the mobs are unimaginative, and the graphics are not at the level I expected. Basically, it looks like an updated first-generation MMO rather than the third-generation MMO Sigil claims it is.
I would have a hard time to disagree with you on the fansites and forums, most in general are very well put together. I believe that says a lot about Sigil in general, it's like they are here to provide a product from the little man to the little man (us). To me it makes a difference and it's been showing in everything, I also believe that it leads people to speculate and start to put expectations on the game. The game’s pictures to me more or less are unrefined as in most cases with alpha pictures. They are now hitting beta 0 but I like to call it alpha because it's not really open to a small general public that has no ties to the people making the game. I will try to be unbiased as I possibly can about Vanguard as a whole and as you may have read I don’t dig the graphics all too much either. Thought they will be tweaking graphics on into launch, much as they did with Everquest Live. This hype is attributed from Ex-EQlive people like me because we know what Brad and his team is capable of. EQ was tough and I like things to be tough, not a gimmy like EQ2 and others has become.
Groups vs. Solo
Solo play is a must in all these games but I believe people deep down really feel they love a great group better, though granted sometimes we would much rather solo then be in a bad group. The point here is that Sigil is gearing Vanguard to be a group centric game much like the Everquest line was. There will be possibilities to solo, though from what I understand it will not be easy or in abundance as you may see in today’s FAST FOOD MMO’s. As I've mentioned I don’t like easy and I think easy becomes a grind, which becomes boring, which leads me to quit. Which is the reason I believe WoW and EQ2 days are numbered, that is if they don’t get there act together when Vanguard hits the shelves.
I am not going to argue against a group-centric game because I personally would like to see a company try to focus solely on group play rather than trying to be everything to everybody. People who like to solo when they only have a few hours or can't find a group may feel differently. And they are a big portion of the market.
Sigil & Microsoft
As for Sigil being "the little man" let's not forget that they are in league with the complete opposite of the little man, Microsoft. I wonder how this relationship will affect the game. I'm sure Microsoft would like to have Vanguard out for the XBox 360 as soon as possible and I think that might have a negative effect on the game.
I believe that Brad has held his part of the bargain and is not gonna let Microsoft walk over the project. He is straight forward, and that there is no stone unturned and no cloud torn apart before it's in the game. Vanguard for the XBox 360 might be a winner for Microsoft but, official word is No-Go so the effect would only occur after the game is already released. In that case Vanguard is already a game designed for the computers so it's the question: how will it affect Xbox 360 owners? Though I don't think many care much because the followers for this are avid EQ1 Fanatics and most probably are computer owners. To answer the question plainly I think it's a blessing more then a curse Microsoft is helping foot the bill. The positive aspect is they know what beta is and how it works versus Sony when they took over EQ franchise what did they know? How to sell Boom-Boxes and CD's. Character Classes & Combat
Character Classes are a snoozefest? I know it's hard to understand what people can come up with nowadays but they did it between EQ1 and EQ2 and did it well. I believe Vanguard will do it better. Bloodmage to me seems like it's gonna keep you on your toe's at least to what's been hinted at. Suck the enemy health for you power so you can heal your tank. In combat with every action there is a counteraction. To me it seems as if they have well thought out combat. There will be no more Click auto attack hit CA... look at pretties Oooo mob dead, rinse repeat. There will be consequences as to what you kill too, which is really missing from EQ2 (factions). As far as the Mobs being unimaginative, it would be dependant on what context. If you are to say vs. other MMO's of today then I have one word. HOBGOBLIN (or is that two?). Not sure why but I just love the way it looks and can’t wait to nuke a few down. There are a few other Mobs I've seen pictures of that I enjoy such as the Gator type mob and a cave troll creature. These seem a bit different in the looks of the average "yard trash" I've been use to experiencing on.
I understand Vanguard is pushing the idea of reaction and counter-reaction in combat. As for a class which transfers health from the mob to another player, is that so different than the Dark Pillaging spell for the EQII Warlock which converts a mob's power into power replenishment over time for the caster's group? And I know Vanguard has these counter moves, where you turn the enemy's spells against them. But EQII has stifles which, when timely cast, can shut down an enemy's spells. It's not a huge difference.
The combat system for Vanguard is going to have similarities to the otherwise inflated MMO stream this is true. However relating the stifle to a counter fire to me is like relating a fighter’s block to a riposte, plus I’m guessing here; it would look cooler. As far as power replenishment goes, there will always be a way to get it back. How many ways can you make the water boil ? (Coal, wood, gas, electricity) What I'm trying to say here is you can make up ideas but the ones that are already tried and true why not use em? They did make EQlive and now they are on Vanguard. If you ask me it's EQ2 that has done nothing but cut and paste ideas from other people.
This debate covers many more Vanguard issues (travel, diplomacy, the Advanced Encounter System, tradeskill, harversting, and Sigil's stance on RMT) but since it is too long for a blog post I am posting the rest on the Aggro Forums. Please follow this link to check it out and feel free to join in the discussion yourself.