I don’t know much about Vanguard. I know they got a few good ideas to make the game more realistic and have different types of play other than just combat, like diplomacy. But I’ve heard so many good things about it that I decided to give it a shot. After a day and a half of downloading I finally got it installed and went in.
First of all, I’d like to say that the variety of races is fairly impressive. There are a bunch of them. That being said, none of them are overly impressive. They have the extremely generic human (in 3 varieties), elf (in three varieities, not unlike what you can find in EQ), half-elf, orc (no half-orc?), dwarf, gnome, halfling, etc. that you come to expect in the fantasy genre because apparantly only Tolkien had the ability to create races out of the blue. Then you have some more interesting choices like Goblin I think is kind of a nice change of pace, and a creature that is common yet rarely used as a player race. But then they get into their original which are completely lame, this can be seen best in Dog Boy. The game truly resembles a freak show at a fair, and to be honest, I think that those things aren’t popular for a reason.
Classes as well are uninspired. There is nothing new here. Although I think it is interesting that they split between skill-based for tradeskills and class-based for combat and then went on to say in their FAQ that the reason they went class based for combat was to not confuse new players. As if having *2* different systems is less confusing!
The game itself is unplayable for me so this is about where my mini-review ends. When I first started playing the ping time was 1000-1500, and since then it has gone down to below 200, so it is now respectable there. However, the FPS has been at a constant 8 since I first installed, and it hasn’t gotten the least bit better. I do have a fairly old system, but it isn’t that ancient, maybe 2 to 3 years old. It just can’t handle this game. I can play EQ2 fine, and from the screenshots Vanguard really doesn’t look much better than screenshots for EQ2. It is to the point that I don’t really know why the reqs are so high. Some say it is because it is a seemless world, but that just shows to me that they are developers who don’t know how to deal with a game’s movement from one area to the next, because it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
I’d also like to mention that the UI of the game is aweful. They ripped the UI straight from WoW, down to the retarded chat scroll. I don’t understand this because LotR does nearly the same thing (but a little different) and to be honest WoW’s UI was aweful. Why in the world would anyone copy this? Just because WoW has a million subscriber’s (I don’t buy the 8 million at all), doesn’t mean that every feature of WoW is good… because it’s not. In fact most features of WoW are bad, they did have some good features but UI certainly wasn’t one of them. Copycat syndrome with bad features is not something that should be done!