2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not the Vanguard it used to be,
This review is from: Vanguard Saga of Heroes - PC (DVD-ROM)Vanguard SOH had a lot of hype and expectation when it launched. From what I hear, the launch was pretty rough and a lot of people were very dissapointed. The old reviews reflect that.
But the VG that exists today is NOT the same game you played last year!! Sony has been working very hard on fixing things and adding stuff. They just offered a free month to previous account holders, and everyone who came back to try it out remarked on just how improved the game is overall.
If you've never tried VG, this is not your ordinary MMO. Yes, there's plenty of adventuring in a giantic, almost seamless world. 3 huge continents to explore, dungeons galore dot the maps, 16 starting races and 19 starting classes. Graphics are gorgeous and Sony is constantly bringing in improvements (like expanding on the available character creation models).
You can adventure as you would in any MMO, running around exploring, doing quests and killing things. But you can also build your own house on a plot of land of your choice, go sailing the ocean in your own boat, or delve into the spheres of crafting and diplomacy.
VG's comabt is a slight expansion on typical MMO fare. Most moves are cool-down based, but you have the addition of several layers of stances (determing more damage vs. better defense, for example), and specials that are only activated at special times (like in response to a successful dodge). There are also effects that can be triggered by a special (like stunned) that can be utilized by another class's special (if the special is linked to a 'stunned' vulnerability, it gains bonuses). Level cap is currently 50, but there is also end-game raiding available.
But if you're tired of just 'running around killing stuff' (since that's all most MMO's are), there's still so much more to do in VG. When you need a break from the adventuring grind, try out crafting or diplomacy. Unlike most other MMO's, VG crafting requires actual skill and thought, and there's consequence for goofing. All items require basic materials, some utilities (like solvent or glue) and can be enhanced with special dusts to give it bonuses. Various steps in the process can have choices of how to proceed (like choice A giving lots of completion progress, but no quality upgrade; or choice B which gives a little completion and a little quality upgrade; or choice C which gives a lot of quality upgrade, but no completion progress). You have a set number of points you can spend to complete your crafted item, and each step costs points. Run out of points and you're done, even if your item isn't. You just wasted all your materials. Run out of important materials (like a solvent) or have missing equipment and you're done, materials wasted. But crafted items are also quite decent for players in VG (unlike other MMO's where crafting is next to useless) and some things can ONLY be gotten from crafters.
Diplomacy is the third sphere in VG. It is the realm of social persuasion, where you engage in 'parley's with various NPC's to obtain gear, get permission to build a guild hall (only diplomats can get the guild hall plot) or even provide city-wide buffs. Buffs last for 1 hr usually and can be for adventurers (e.g. +to all stats), crafters (+to a crafting skil) and diplomats (add cards to your deck). Diplomacy is played out like an online card game, except that UNlike Legends of Norrath or the other MMO's, VG diplomacy is FREE! Yes, I said FREE! No buying cards online and paying even MORE money to play this game. It's included in the VG game itself.
The best part of all this is that it's YOUR choice how to play. You can level each of the three spheres (adventuring, crafting, diplomacy) completely independant of any of the others. No more required levelling just so you crafters can get that next recipie! If you don't want to go and kill things, you don't have to. Just keep working on your crafting and leave the killing to everyone else. Diplomats also can completely avoid adventuring if they want. But with so many starting classes and races, I'm sure you'll find some class to try the adventuring sphere with too. It's just really nice to have a CHOICE for a change.
And that's really what VG is about: having a choice of how you want to play.
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Initial post: Aug 30, 2008 9:10:05 AM PDT
Great review! I just started playing the game a few months ago and I LOVE IT! It is by far the best MMO on the market, IMO. I hope the people who are on the fence about this game read your review, as I think it is enough to convince them to at least give it a try. Also, with the next game update (GU6), they will be releasing a demo of the game.
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