Monday, May 18

Vanguard fun

Let me start with apologizing for not having any pictures in my post. It seems I have lost the art of screenshotting. But after Geek's blast of beauty I think I can be a bit gray. Especially since it is Monday.

It is already over two months again that I have returned to Telon, the world of Vanguard. In that time I have managed to mostly ignore my old characters and in stead walk the world with my new toon, Taqe Kiyuni. She is a warrior, weaponsmith and diplomat. The new content they created for the first 10 levels on the Isle of Dawn makes it very hard not to enjoy all three disciplines. So I got all three of them to the starting island limit of 10. And then it was off to the big bad world.

Since I enjoyed the diplomacy part the least I have put that on hold, and concentrated on adventuring and crafting. The adventuring I do together with Lani. Taking on the quests that Vanguard passed our way as a duo is great fun. Since we are two of the three holy trinity parts we can manage about anything. It was actually only after three weeks of play I realized I was a warrior. All along I thought I was a dread knight. The fact I had not even realized that gives some indication how much I am into my fighting options and skills.

Due to Lani's weird working schedule and my weird vacationing there are lots of times we are not together. And that's when I ran off to the East Angoer Bunker to craft and craft and craft. I love this part of Vanguard. The simple joys of figuring out the most efficient way of making my items and the serene quietness of the gnome's waterfront bunker made me progress to a level 20 crafter within a week or two.

Our adventuring quests had taken us to Qalia as well, and we worked our way through almost all the quests around the Qa Riverbank. Especially the journey deep inside the hive was a lot of fun. Eventually we worked our way all the way to the Zarabadi's Landing where we got a flying mount on loan. Our time together seems to be limited to only once or twice a week, so there is not too much progress, but we are having fun, and that is what counts afterall.

So back to crafting again. Once I made it to level 21 I could start learning my tier3 specialization. This involved some running around to find all the right master crafters. And since each continent has their own masters I had to criss-cross a lot of places on my loyal horse. I gave me the feeling I am doing a lot more exploring as crafter than as adventurer. As adventurer you only have to make a few steps from a riftstone (teleport point) and there is 5 levels worth of quests waiting for you. As crafter I had to take my horse to far away locations like Mekalia, Leth Nurea, Cai'al Brael.

After I completed my tier3 on Kojan (my home continent) and Qalia (where I crafted a lot at the gnome bunker) I had to go to Thestra for the first time. Since I had not build up any faction points yet most crafting masters ignored me. One way to get the faction is to do more workorders, but I was impatient and wanted those recipes fast. So I decided to see if there were some special crafting quests around Thestra I could do. As it turned out there are plenty. Every city I visited had some work for me. Some are simple give-me-some-items quests. Which involves having to talk to other crafters to get the items. But most involve exploring all kind of places and running around a lot. The kind of stuff I love.

One quest line in particular was wicked fun. I think it got introduced not too long ago. At least it was all new to me. There is a group called the banishers that try to fight the Order of Mythos. That order is the main cause of all otherworldly evil that is plaguing Telon. And I got to change to fight them. The fight did not involve any sword swinging, but crafting different kind of devices and traps and what not, and visit all the corners of New Targonor and Ahgram. I had so much fun I even got up an hour earlier in the morning a few times (jetlag might have something to do with that too) to run around a bit before going to work. And it even made me bring my old characters to live to help out with some leather and tailoring work.

But to all good things comes an end. I finished the entire banisher quest line, and I am now an official banisher. As usual after finishing a great story I felt a bit lost afterwards. I felt I should stop crafting for a bit and finish up a few adventuring quests we had outgrown or had not handed in yet. So my not so mighty warrior self went back to Qa Riverbank to slaughter some goats. I got to the right spot, and managed to kill one. Whoopido! It didn't got me the hide I was after. Of course I got attacked by the herder that was not happy with me and although he was a few levels below me, I still got hurt quite a bit. And I realized I didn't really had much fun. So I logged off.

So that got me thinking. What do I really want?

I don't really feel like jumping into the next game to slaughter those goats there. The reason I like Vanguard so much is because I really enjoy the crafting sphere. And so I got back to something I brought up a few years back on the Vanguard gameamp forums as well. Could there be an MMO that has no fighting at all? Vanguard is coming a long way in it. But ultimately I am crafting to supply goods for the adventurers. So maybe crafting on its own is not enough to sustain a character/game. I will probably get bored with it too eventually if I have no real goals to chase.

Another problem is that it is becoming more and more a single player game to me. Crafting is a solo activity, and due to the fact I am playing on an already low population US server there is really hardly any interaction at all. Even if I would get serious with my warrior. But this get me into the lost art of socializing which I wanted to turn into other post.

So I'll stop rambling now. After reading it back it is not much of post at all. Really just rambliing. Sorry for making you read through it all. I'll do pictures next time. Maybe.


  1. I will still make a Aussie adventures post as well. Still sorting out my pictures and uploading for the family and such too.

  2. You call that rambling? Pfff :-)

    I recognize the feelings you have with playing VG solo. Before you went Down Under I greatly enjoyed rediscovering how to play Coilla's Rogue class. But once I got a handle on that, I started to look around and see the emptiness of the wolrd. And Seradon's the more populous server at that.

    With the changes to harvesting that sphere has been effectively euthanised, which is a shame. I really enjoyed the prospecting game. Finding good nodes, dodging the Red and Purple mobs to get to them, sometimes engage them or run away screaming. VG's crafting, while splendid, has too many flaws for me. Too dreary. Figuring out the most efficient way of making an item is one way. But that takes between 3 to 5 tries. You'll be grinding 100 to 500 workorders per continental master. ANd that's for Tier 2, there's 3 more with exponentially increasing faction requirements.

    There are several MMO's where you don't have to fight. A Tale of the Dessert, Free REalms, the now defunct Sims online. Not too many more though. Both Eve and SWG (used to) have non combat oriented gameplay options, but it's ussually still in there in some way.
    Combat's just the easiest, most common path for challenges to overcome and all that.

  3. Of course for a big part it is just how we experience the game as it is. So it doesn't make too much sense to argue this with you, but I can't resist.

    The harvesting is not really killed off. When I looked at the market it appears that regular goods still sell at reasonable prices. At least it had cost me quite a bit to buy the iron I needed to do my tier3 crafting quests. I have clearly been slacking on harvesting too. The only thing that has been serious tanked is the rare goods market. That is now all coming from adventuring, and it seems to be cheaper than regular goods on the market. Mostly because there is not much need for it in the first place.

    Eventually crafting will turn into a grind. (Probably) more so than adventuring, but it is not as bad as you make it sound. I am tier3 crafter in all three continents and I have already enough faction build up to be tier4 on all continents as well. And to me I have the feeling I have done more grinding in adventuring than crafting so far.

    But in the end this whole comments make not much sense. We should just enjoy what we enjoy. For now it is definitely Vanguard for me. The only problem I foresee is that I will start feeling too lonely.

  4. Ok, I missrepresented my point on Harvesting.
    For some reason I gave the impression that I Harvest for the money?

    What got killed was the gameplay elements to Harvesting. Right now you can hop on a Riftstone to the appropriate adventuring zone and go to the field nearest to it and click three macro's, maybe two, for an hour or so.

    There's no more finding a little used harvesting zone in an out of the way zone and harvest it till you get a rare or even ultrarare resource node. Now every node of your tier has a 10% chance of dropping rare loot and a 2% chance of dropping ultrarare.

    The whole explorer element has been taken out of it. The contested element as well. Not to mention it's easier to get rare/ultrarare resources by deconstructing dropped loot.
    Your iron is expensive because hardly anyone will bother with Harvesting anymore and the few that do expect hefty recompense.

    Harvesting had me travel all around the world, Diplomacy the same but more the towns than the wilds. Adventuing sphere was almost something that used to get in my way, in a good way. Now it's all but replaced Harvesting.

    Let's be honest, crafting has you at a workbench with ill-matched animations miming the wrong actions 90% of the time. While it's still the best crafting gameplay out there, it's a waste of a good gfx engine. Crafting's core mechanics could be played on a Tamagochi, probably with less RSI involved that way. It's just too static for me gfx wise.

    Kudo's on reaching Level 30 on crafting! Or does tier 3 start at 20?

  5. After your first comment I should have already kept quiet. But I'll do that now.