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Author Topic: I See What You Did There. A Vanguard Review.  (Read 105587 times)
Miasma
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Stopgap Measure


Reply #35 on: January 29, 2007, 08:15:15 AM

There are a couple of starting areas that have a fleeting amount of "wow, cool" at the very beginning.  When you start an orc or goblin you spawn on top of a boat as a freed slave with a large battle raging below you as you try to run to your side's camp.  Then the whole starter line of quests revolves around the invasion you are in the middle of as you fight and spy your way to defending your territory.  There is a diplomatic quest where you have to relieve the local garrison's commander so that they stay and fight (although there is nothing awesome like actually being able to order the entire army to attack the invaders).

The imperials start off by massacring a city full of innocent people and stealing their goods, then (spoiler) you attack the final monk and he gives you a chance at redemption by stripping you of your weapons and sending you to a peaceful fishing village.  The whole thing seemed liked it was a flashback to when you were evil.

The area with the cats is weird.

I understand the hate ambivalence and why you wouldn't bother playing it though, Vanguard not only fails in being revolutionary but is actually a giant leap backwards into the past.  I really don't play MMOs so much for the game as for being part of a little virtual community, the game only need be tolerable but I have to like the other people in it.
Falconeer
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Reply #36 on: January 29, 2007, 08:35:21 AM

So what about the thestran human starting questline that let you lead the brownie revolution?
Or the Kojan one, where you have to repent.
That's great stuff. But it doesn't matter anymore. Vanguard sucks.

shiznitz
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Reply #37 on: January 29, 2007, 09:14:58 AM

I agree with schild. There is zero value-add in any new MMO review UNLESS the game adds something that no one has seen before. There is no point writing a VG review which at its core will read like "they did this like WoW and that like circa 2000 EQ and that like circa 2004 EQ."

That said, it is my opinion that if you have a PC with 2G of RAM and a NVIDIA 6600 era or better video card, rolling up a character in every racial city and playing that character to level 6 or 7 MIGHT be worth the $49.99 first month entry fee just for the scenic variety involved. Forget the game is an MMO and just consider it "constant newbie character creation syndrome nirvana" for a few weeks.

The only thing remotely new in VG is the diplomacy mini-game and I can review that for you now: by itself, it isn't fun in any way shape or form. As a system for changing the world in real time, we need 6 months to find out. My bet is that it will just be one more part of the grind to gain access to encounters that give access to loot.

Disclosure: I have a level 7 dog druid in VG.

I have never played WoW.
Nebu
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Reply #38 on: January 29, 2007, 10:05:56 AM

I agree with schild. There is zero value-add in any new MMO review UNLESS the game adds something that no one has seen before. There is no point writing a VG review which at its core will read like "they did this like WoW and that like circa 2000 EQ and that like circa 2004 EQ."

I agree completely.  Writing an article that states "they did this like WoW and that like circa 2000 EQ and that like circa 2004 EQ." is pointless.  Food, movie, art, and music critics have to review the same things hundreds of times yet the best of them still find a way to do even the mundane with style and class. 

I'm just asking people to consider what their goals are.  Is this a niche site where people gather to chat and joke that they "didn't even know there was a front page"?  I think that the people here have significantly more to offer to the gaming community at large than inside jokes in the clubhouse.  So much energy gets expended on alienation that many opportunities to educate are squandered.  I say this knowing that I'm guilty of it myself.     
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 10:13:04 AM by Nebu »

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Engels
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Reply #39 on: January 29, 2007, 10:16:25 AM

Seems to me that Schild comes at MMOs as one would come to a single player game, and that right there is a problem. Diku MMOs and Vanguard in particular do not strive to blow the player away with opening cinematic sequences or spectacular game play within the first 40 minutes. Perhaps they should, but they just don't. There's a tacit understanding that teh shiney won't come till much much later.

That said, there is absolutely no excuse for the threadbare newbie experience in Vanguard. There's no presented lore, no sense of who or what you are in any real sense, just a series of necessary 'find a trainer' quests without any purposeful introduction to the world Sigil has created.

EQ1 at launch did 12 times better than Vanguard in this regard. After a few hours of play, you got a sense of what your race was, how your class fit in, etc. In Vanguard, its nearly as if they've left this out with a cynical presumtion that the vanbois out there simply want to be uberleet and smack raid mobs, but I think they forget that those people are playing WoW now, and aren't going to leave it for Vanguard.


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Reply #40 on: January 29, 2007, 10:44:45 AM

No, I don't come into MMOGs expecting it to act like a single player game. But I do expect to have the developers show me they at least want me in their world.
Nebu
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Reply #41 on: January 29, 2007, 10:56:20 AM

No, I don't come into MMOGs expecting it to act like a single player game. But I do expect to have the developers show me they at least want me in their world.

I see Vanguard treating the newbie very much like ATitD did.  They drop you in the middle of it and let you figure things out for yourself.  Now I have to wonder if they did this on purpose or it was the end result of a serious lack of planning.  In the case of Vanguard, I'm guessing the latter... but games where the player isn't told what to do or how they fit in appeal to some people.  In essence they get to make it up as they go along.  It's that whole sandbox world vs. game thing and I know how you feel about those topics.     

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
stray
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Reply #42 on: January 29, 2007, 11:06:38 AM

Why can't a crappy game just be a crappy game, a good one a good one? Everything's so over-complicated and excusable with MMO's. Just because something is persistent doesn't mean the criteria for good gameplay change.
Nebu
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Reply #43 on: January 29, 2007, 11:15:41 AM

Why can't a crappy game just be a crappy game, a good one a good one? Everything's so over-complicated and excusable with MMO's. Just because something is persistent doesn't mean the criteria for good gameplay change.

Rhetorical question.  You know the answer.  1) The concept of fun is not the same for everyone.  2) Popular need not equal good.

Why just focus on MMO's?  It's true in every form.  Shitty art, shitty music, shitty food, shitty console games, shitty cars... the list is endless.  Just because you or I think something is good doesn't make it universally good.  It's all opinion.   Of course, some cases lean more obviously one way than the other. 

     

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #44 on: January 29, 2007, 11:19:11 AM

Nebu, ATiTD put you in a closed environment with specific goals and even provided some character progression on that island. it was very EQ2 and a very good way to introduce people to the game. Vanguard just says "What? You expected something exciting? This world is as boring as yours." I think that should be one of the requirements for reasonably well-budgeted MMOGs. Is the world more exciting to live in than our current world? If not, hey, you fucked up.
stray
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Reply #45 on: January 29, 2007, 11:28:12 AM

Why can't a crappy game just be a crappy game, a good one a good one? Everything's so over-complicated and excusable with MMO's. Just because something is persistent doesn't mean the criteria for good gameplay change.

Rhetorical question.  You know the answer.  1) The concept of fun is not the same for everyone.  2) Popular need not equal good.

I really don't know the answer. I could find some gripes even you've pointed out about single player games (say, some particular Fight Night mechanic you didn't like, for one) that you and many others would probably praise in an mmo (hell, Fight Night would be downright revolutionary in mmo land).

These games are pretty crappy through and through, but there's always something about them that makes some people hold on and keep on talking about them....Looking for something positive....Something that makes everything else worth forgiving.

"But...But....Diplomacy!"

"But...But...Sandboxing!"

No.
Nebu
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Reply #46 on: January 29, 2007, 11:28:25 AM

Nebu, ATiTD put you in a closed environment with specific goals and even provided some character progression on that island. it was very EQ2 and a very good way to introduce people to the game. Vanguard just says "What? You expected something exciting? This world is as boring as yours." I think that should be one of the requirements for reasonably well-budgeted MMOGs. Is the world more exciting to live in than our current world? If not, hey, you fucked up.

This is exactly what I'm talking about Schild.  Saying these types of things in a review would do far more to get your point to the gaming community.  You have a soapbox available at your disposal... is it wrong for me to be disappointed when you don't take advantage of it?  There's enough evidence that people are listening.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Nebu
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Reply #47 on: January 29, 2007, 11:34:06 AM

I really don't know the answer. I could find some gripes even you've pointed out about single player games (say, some particular Fight Night mechanic you didn't like, for one) that you and many others would probably praise in an mmo (hell, Fight Night would be downright revolutionary in mmo land).

These games are pretty crappy through and through, but there's always something about them that makes some people hold on and keep on talking about them....Looking for something positive....Something that makes everything else worth forgiving.

"But...But....Diplomacy!"

"But...But...Sandboxing!"

No.

All I'm saying is that sometimes you know exactly why you like something and sometimes you don't.  I can't really verbalize why I like Coke more than Pepsi or vanilla ice cream more than chocolate.  I think it's the same with games.  How does anyone go about defending their tastes... I'm not sure there's really any objective way to do so. 

I also think that everyone is falling to understand my point here. I don't think Vanguard is anything new or special.  I just think that someone with the writing gifts of Schild or Haemish could educate the gaming world by articulating how they perceive what I'd term a very overhyped game. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
pxib
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Reply #48 on: January 29, 2007, 12:16:17 PM

Is the world more exciting to live in than our current world? If not, hey, you fucked up.

This is exactly what I'm talking about...  Saying these types of things in a review would do far more to get your point to the gaming community.

...but he's said it before. Hundreds of people on this site and elsewhere have said it before. They have been saying it dozens of different ways for almost as long as the genre has existed. When a game breaks new ground and tries to address the mistakes of games past, that attempt (even in failure) can be profitably critiqued. When a game blatantly ignores the common sense signposts with which reviewers and theorists have littered the landscape, another simple restatement of those tired observations isn't going to change anybody's mind.

If Sigil needs to hear "the game must be fun to play" at this point in MMOG evolution, they're beyond help.

All I'm saying is that sometimes you know exactly why you like something and sometimes you don't (...) How does anyone go about defending their tastes... I'm not sure there's really any objective way to do so.

Then obviously you shouldn't be writing reviews.

Quote from: Ibid.
I don't think Vanguard is anything new or special.  I just think that someone with the writing gifts of Schild or Haemish could educate the gaming world by articulating how they perceive what I'd term a very overhyped game.

Vanguard offers nothing new or special, but I still want teh funny. Dance, fat boy, dance!

What makes you think "a very overhyped game" isn't all that needs to be said?

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Reply #49 on: January 29, 2007, 12:24:56 PM

I think that's the point, yea, there's 2 camps. One doesn't want to expend breath on crap anymore. Sometimes, on special occassions, I will. For an MMOG though? It at least has to try something new to be treated as something new. Vanguard may have something new somewhere. But I'm not willing to waste 30 hours of my life getting to it. And that's what's at the core here - companies need to be bold in the face of WoW and where the genre has gone. Don't hide that boldness in something that ISN'T fun OR a game. Maybe there's something there that's worthy of it's own article, but a review isn't it.
Nebu
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Reply #50 on: January 29, 2007, 12:29:17 PM

If Sigil needs to hear "the game must be fun to play" at this point in MMOG evolution, they're beyond help.

A review isn't necessarily about Sigil.  It's also about educating the public. If you want to help the consumer stop being a part of the problem, you have to show them the light. 

Then obviously you shouldn't be writing reviews.

Let's not make this about me, mmmkay?

What makes you think "a very overhyped game" isn't all that needs to be said?

Because I've played the game for a reasonable amount of time.  The game, despite its MANY problems does have a few merits.  Even bad mistakes can occasionally produce fertile ground for new lessons. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
stray
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Reply #51 on: January 29, 2007, 12:32:48 PM

Is the world more exciting to live in than our current world? If not, hey, you fucked up.

This is exactly what I'm talking about...  Saying these types of things in a review would do far more to get your point to the gaming community.

...but he's said it before. Hundreds of people on this site and elsewhere have said it before. They have been saying it dozens of different ways for almost as long as the genre has existed. When a game breaks new ground and tries to address the mistakes of games past, that attempt (even in failure) can be profitably critiqued. When a game blatantly ignores the common sense signposts with which reviewers and theorists have littered the landscape, another simple restatement of those tired observations isn't going to change anybody's mind.

If Sigil needs to hear "the game must be fun to play" at this point in MMOG evolution, they're beyond help.

All I'm saying is that sometimes you know exactly why you like something and sometimes you don't (...) How does anyone go about defending their tastes... I'm not sure there's really any objective way to do so.

Then obviously you shouldn't be writing reviews.

Quote from: Ibid.
I don't think Vanguard is anything new or special.  I just think that someone with the writing gifts of Schild or Haemish could educate the gaming world by articulating how they perceive what I'd term a very overhyped game.

Vanguard offers nothing new or special, but I still want teh funny. Dance, fat boy, dance!

What makes you think "a very overhyped game" isn't all that needs to be said?

Exactly.

We must move on beyond Diku Bitching 101. It's like we're stuck in a loop. We're all better than that.

If there's any defense as to why I'm being so pissy lately, it's because of that very reason. I'm up to my ears in WoW/Vanguard/SWG whining. I've gotten to the point where the mere slight of a bump of an MMO gripe/brainstorming thread gets me antsy. Especially when I know that the people doing it actually have other interests (if there's anything to write and rant about, it's those things).
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Reply #52 on: January 29, 2007, 12:37:22 PM

No, I don't come into MMOGs expecting it to act like a single player game. But I do expect to have the developers show me they at least want me in their world.

I see Vanguard treating the newbie very much like ATitD did.  They drop you in the middle of it and let you figure things out for yourself. [...] ... but games where the player isn't told what to do or how they fit in appeal to some people. 

I am one of those who likes this. I don't want to be babysat and there's nothing more intriguing for me than entering a "virtual world" having to learn it by doing or by sharing with other players. Guess it's me... and a few other dumbsters.

So I think they made it like this on purpose, BUT (is it huge enough?) there's no excuse for the lame lame lame character creation screen with tiny and almost hidden races info box and the utter lack of a proper introduction to the lore (not to the world or the mechanics).

Nebu
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Reply #53 on: January 29, 2007, 12:39:31 PM

I think that's the point, yea, there's 2 camps. One doesn't want to expend breath on crap anymore. Sometimes, on special occassions, I will. For an MMOG though? It at least has to try something new to be treated as something new. Vanguard may have something new somewhere. But I'm not willing to waste 30 hours of my life getting to it. And that's what's at the core here - companies need to be bold in the face of WoW and where the genre has gone. Don't hide that boldness in something that ISN'T fun OR a game. Maybe there's something there that's worthy of it's own article, but a review isn't it.

Like I said above Schild, it's your soapbox.  I'm allowed to want what I want and you're allowed to tell me I'm batshit insane for wanting it.  I just think that you have a lot to offer the mmog community despite your disdain for it.  I was disappointed that you didn't make your point harder... especially at a time when people will be doing Google searches for Vanguard reviews.  I think seeing an honest account (like that in the posts above) might get a few of them to reconsider... which seems like a perfect way to make your point to the industry, even if it only has a small effect.  

The path of apathy seldom has the power of the path of action.  Robert Frost and all that jazz.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Nebu
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Reply #54 on: January 29, 2007, 12:48:34 PM

Exactly.

We must move on beyond Diku Bitching 101. It's like we're stuck in a loop. We're all better than that.

I feel like I'm talking to a wall.  I'm not advocating Diku bitching 101.  I'm saying that WoW has opened up the mmog market to MILLIONS OF NEW PEOPLE.  These people could benefit from the experiences of people like Schild, especially as far as a games like Vanguard is concerned.  A well articulated review could a) save those people from becoming a part of the problem and b) generate new traffic to this site.  I don't necessarily see how either of those would be a bad thing for Schild. 

I'm talking about a missed opportunity here, that's all.  I'll shut up now.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 12:52:49 PM by Nebu »

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
stray
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Reply #55 on: January 29, 2007, 01:10:51 PM

No, don't shut up.

I'll correct myself: Fair enough point.
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Reply #56 on: January 29, 2007, 01:32:11 PM

Nebu, I think I'm gonna do an article that includes parts of Vanguard. But it's going to be more of a catchall open letter to the industry. I think you're right. The shit they're trying to pull can't keep going on. And yea, if I didn't do it, I'd be doing the industry and myself a disservice. Look for it later this week.
Sairon
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Reply #57 on: January 29, 2007, 01:34:32 PM

I agree with Nebu in fact, on pretty much all of his points. While a photoshoped picture and a cool title might make you chuckle I for one would in fact be intrested in a review of some sort. There's obviously some of the more or less jaded people here who's in fact giving this shit a fair shot, so there's obviously something in there. I can understand that Schild doesn't want to suffer and spend enough time in this in order to give it a fair review, but perhaps someone else wants to? Or perhaps something collaborative?
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Reply #58 on: January 29, 2007, 01:35:20 PM

No, I don't come into MMOGs expecting it to act like a single player game. But I do expect to have the developers show me they at least want me in their world.

This is an important point. Web developers are constantly concerned about keeping people on the site and grabbing people's attention in the first X number of seconds. The same should be true of MMOGs. Perhaps minutes or hours are more the measure because I'm not sure what the average time is to addict a person to your game, but the important part is selling the player on the game from the start. Once the player is sold, the rest is easy. Need an example? WoW gves high production value at the start to get the player hooked.

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Reply #59 on: January 29, 2007, 01:41:50 PM

A good post release MMO review really needs around a week's worth of playtime (calendar, not /played). 

No, it really, really doesn't. I used to think so, but now I follow the rule I blogged about, the 30-minute MMOG. If the gameplay is not in anyway engaging or NEW after 30-minutes of play time, especially when talking about a DIKU, there is no amount of playtime that will ever change what you think in that first 30 minutes. And if the good stuff takes more than 30 minutes to get to, the devs are just being grind-hungry dicks who want me to subscribe for months before I'm given any of the goodie.

Schild's review only lacked an Everquest reference but Camelot will do as well.


pxib
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Reply #60 on: January 29, 2007, 01:46:40 PM

Yes, it would be an easy way to pick up some eyeballs. I skipped right over this point:
I agree completely.  Writing an article that states "they did this like WoW and that like circa 2000 EQ and that like circa 2004 EQ." is pointless.  Food, movie, art, and music critics have to review the same things hundreds of times yet the best of them still find a way to do even the mundane with style and class. 

I'm just asking people to consider what their goals are.  Is this a niche site where people gather to chat and joke that they "didn't even know there was a front page"?  I think that the people here have significantly more to offer to the gaming community at large than inside jokes in the clubhouse.  So much energy gets expended on alienation that many opportunities to educate are squandered.  I say this knowing that I'm guilty of it myself.
because it brought to mind how pointless such efforts at education feel.

Vanguard is boring to review because it offers so little that hasn't been argued to death before. Games which experiment in innovative ways, even when they fail, add to the conversation. If, by some miracle, WAR turns out to be a less successful game than Vanguard, it will still be worth reviewing in a way Saga of Heroes never shall. It will provide new examples of and inspire new conversation about PvP based advancement, adaptive quest environments, and its other quirky twists on unconventional gameplay.

DDO is absolute tripe, but it added new data points in old arguments about the uses of instanced mission-based content, twitch-heavy gameplay, and the leveling power curve. Vanguard's innovative Diplomacy system might be equally worth comment when it's completely implemented, even if that implementation fails to make it fun.

Reviews of that sort of stuff almost write themselves. New traffic will come to the site and they'll have something the old guard wants to talk about on their minds. Win/Win.

That said, I'm not sure WoW players have a particularly dire need to be educated. They'll realize what's wrong with the games they're playing as quickly as we did. Developers need to be educated... but most of them have been around as long as the bitter veterans here and they continue to make the same mistakes. Maybe it deserves a sticky in the Game Design/Development forum:  "READ THIS FIRST! A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF COMMON WAYS DEVELOPERS SCREW THEMSELVES", but I don't think that would add much more than a link to the stuff Raph wrote back in 2000 while he helped produce crap like SWG.

Somebody needs to figure out how to bridge the gap between what they ought to know by now and "the shit they're trying to pull"... between what's worth playing and what gets published.

if at last you do succeed, never try again
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Reply #61 on: January 29, 2007, 02:22:18 PM

As I see it...

There are three problems with what you are saying Nebu:
  A)  Vanguard was the result of inbreeding.  Whatís worse is itís a preemie.  You really want to start counting fingers and toes? Itís amazing itís got fingers and toes! You want to yell at the parents about their choices now? you heartless bastard!
  B) Youíre not yelling at Schild anymore, youíre yelling at the wall Schild used to yell at. The only difference between you and Schild is he knows no one is listening.
  C) Don't warn them.  Pray that thousands of people play vanguard. Let them learn the hard way how shitty the mmorpg genre is. Let them play clone after clone until they fall before the onslaught. We are the army of the undead.  We survive by resurrecting the fallen.  One day we will be strong enough to rout the old guard, but we are not strong enough yet.


There are three problems with what you are saying Schild:
  A) You donít like sandboxes.  Stop pretending you do.  That said this isnít a sand box, itís lazy programming from unimaginative pricks.
  B) Stop being glib. I no longer have the opportunity to say this to your face anymore, but seriously, stop expecting jokes to make points for you. (Even if this was a particularly inspired one) If you have something to say, say it, if you just donít have the time or energy, defer to someone who does.
  C) You have a front page, FUCKING USE IT!!!!!!!  You may only have a soap box but itís a nice sturdy one, where lots of people can hear you. Stop posting NIS/Atlas press clippings and start posting articles.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 02:27:23 PM by koboshi »

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Reply #62 on: January 29, 2007, 02:31:19 PM

All I'm going to say is that while I agree with Nebu wholeheartedly, I believe that (and I'm fairly sure everyone will agree with me on this point) asking someone, particularly Schild, to do a full review of something like Vanguard...

It's asking a lot. Perhaps too much. As we all know, Schild isn't really being paid for any of this, and he has lots of other games to play that are actually fun. Asking him to do a full review of Vanguard is a huge sacrifice. This is a different situation than the people at the "more professional" (for lack of a more precise description) outlets such as Gamespy or IGN, where the reviewing editor is being paid to deal with something such as Vanguard.

Personally, the scathing reviews are why I ended up here in the first place, and I'm not the only one who might like to see Vanguard give the same treatment and raked over the coals...but I know I'm not going to sacrifice myself to get it done. In that case, it's not really fair for me, personally, to ask or expect anyone else to do it for me. I'm no masochist, and I also don't enjoy making other people hurt themselves with bad games.

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Reply #63 on: January 29, 2007, 03:14:32 PM

Why can't a crappy game just be a crappy game, a good one a good one? Everything's so over-complicated and excusable with MMO's. Just because something is persistent doesn't mean the criteria for good gameplay change.

Rhetorical question.  You know the answer.  1) The concept of fun is not the same for everyone.  2) Popular need not equal good.

I really don't know the answer. I could find some gripes even you've pointed out about single player games (say, some particular Fight Night mechanic you didn't like, for one) that you and many others would probably praise in an mmo (hell, Fight Night would be downright revolutionary in mmo land).

These games are pretty crappy through and through, but there's always something about them that makes some people hold on and keep on talking about them....Looking for something positive....Something that makes everything else worth forgiving.

"But...But....Diplomacy!"

"But...But...Sandboxing!"

No.

That something positive is pretty obvious if you spend 10 seconds thinking before you hit reply.  MMOG's clearly offer certain things that no other game can or ever will.  For whatever psychological reason many people seem to be unwilling to go back to single player games or even multiplayer lobby&gameroom games (ala fps and rts) once they've stepped foot on a virtual landscape populated by other player-characters.  Somehow the concept of virtual worlds and the unique community and gameplay aspects that such worlds entail makes them worth holding onto and talking about for some people.  Now I'm all for analyzing why that is.

OTOH pointing out the fact that the fighting in Soul Caliber III kicks the shit out of the fighting in WoW...

Just stop posting that type of crap, it has NEVER added anything to any thread.  EVER.  If you dont like MMO's fuck off and stop reading threads about them.  If all you have to add are some captain obvious statements but insist on reading them, dont hit reply.

*added after finishing  thread*
Stray it seems that you backpeddled from your stance and explained you are mostly just sick of VG threads.  I have to say though last I checked the MMOG threads are all in the MMOG section.  Perhaps just stop going there till there is a new game that actually seems new released?  You were still being a dumbass, but perhaps the post was overly harsh.  I'm just sick of that type of comment in the same way you are sick of MMOG threads...
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 03:22:01 PM by Hoax »

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stray
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Reply #64 on: January 29, 2007, 03:29:15 PM

It's obviously not obvious. Nebu couldn't pinpoint anything for himself. I'm sure there are others.

And yes, I can see the draw of community and persistency. It's what kept me going longer than it should have. That eventually had to give though.

And Soul Caliber is entirely relevant (or _insert non mmo game here_). If only to point out how much MMO's can not ride on community and world forever. They need to be good games too. And guess what? They don't need to reinvent the wheel to do it. They can copy those thousands of other games out there. They're so deprived in this area that they could take ideas from a 20 year old platformer, and mmo players would consider it Robot Jesus.

Besides all that, neglecting community and world, mmo strong suits if anything, has become a trend now. The things that make these things unique are traded in for a more party and instanced oriented experience. With the same crappy gameplay to boot.

[EDIT] Oh yeah, the only reason I mentioned Fight Night is because Nebu and I were talking about some of it's flaws the other day in IRC. I brought it up here because I was wondering whether he'd point out the flaws of typical diku combat....Or forgive it because of other game features.

Eh, long story, I guess. Needless to say, it had nothing to do with "OMG Fight Night roxxors WoW!!" (but it does).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 03:40:54 PM by Stray »
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Reply #65 on: January 29, 2007, 04:02:58 PM

Okay, look, stop abusing the idea of a 'sandbox'. Vanguard is not a sandbox.

In an undirected sandbox, you're free to choose what to do without having to worry about whether or not you're doing the "right" thing. You can switch directions on a dime and you HAVE to make your own fun. You're given some basic tools and the rest is up to you.

Not to bring song lyrics into it, but in a sandbox you can go your own way. That's the essence of it. ATITD, very sandbox. EVE, somewhat sandbox. Pre-NGE SWG, somewhat sandbox. Old UO, sandbox. Flipping over: SimWhatever - they're sandboxes. What Will Wright terms "software toys". The key here is systemic game design as opposed to guided, experiential design.

In Vanguard, WoW and their ilk, you have a heavily directed experience. Now, just because it's directed doesn't mean it's guided (in that you're strongly told what to do). From what I've understood from Falc, Vanguard, unlike WoW, is a very unguided experience. You're dropped in and expected to pretty much assign your own meaning to the grind, and figure out how to grind - but make no mistake about it, you're grinding levels.
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Reply #66 on: January 29, 2007, 04:24:21 PM

I'd just like to point out that this thread is the perfect example of how people can have differing opinions here, but argue them out in a level headed manner, and manage to concede points on both sides.

It's not all that funny to read, but it is constructive.

Oh, and my general opinion on the matter, is that while I think a site like F13 would be well served to put out a review on Vanguard, I would not ask that it be written by someone that obviously has no urge to play the game. I'd much prefer a review from someone who had hopes for the game, and then had their dreams crushed.

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Reply #67 on: January 29, 2007, 05:00:49 PM

I don't think there's really been a diaspora/community site with a good front page.  By good I mean regularly updated with useful content.  Most of the value has always been in the forums, where you can get more than enough useful info about a game.  Does that make it suck for the uninitiated and the people new to the community or the average googler?  Sure.  Is there a way around it?  Not really.  I guess if someone wanted to do reviews based on compiling opinions from the forums, that'd be interesting.  It would also be time-consuming and tedious for the person doing it.  Maybe that person would be someone who enjoys doing it.  When a front page lacks people who write for the pleasure of writing, it shows and the writing seems forced. 

So yeah, frontpages have always been overrated for community sites.  The real value is in the forums.  Trying to aggregate that value and opinion onto the front page would be a tedious and thankless task.  That's why so many people blog, IMO.

I traded in my fun blog for several legal blogs. Or, "blawgs," as the cutesy attorney blawgosphere likes to call 'em.
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Reply #68 on: January 29, 2007, 10:26:33 PM

Oddly, the worse Vanguard's reviews, the more tempted I am to try it.

The current comments (here) remind me of the 1950's movie, "Plan nine from outer space", rented on VHS in the 80's, and billed as the worst movie ever. That's the only reason you'd rent it, and it was pretty bad. But it was also a low-budget film.
ahoythematey
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Reply #69 on: January 30, 2007, 03:36:18 AM

That has a slightly twisted sense of logic to it.  Unbelievably shitty MMO's almost uniformally get good to great reviews.

Of course, things may have changed.
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