So Vanguard – Saga of Heroes has gone Free to Play; I decided it was about time I tried it out. The screenshots and videos look awesome. I’d heard a lot of good things abut this game since it was in initial beta, and have been hoping to try it for some time.
See? Looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? After waiting so long to jump in and give this game a try, I took the plunge.
So far, I’m far from impressed.
The graphics and gameplay, in general, are rather similar to EQ2 and every other MMORPG of the time, so pretty dated by today’s standards. The formula is a common one; go to quest givers for quests to complete, go to class trainers to improve skills, get new equipment from mobs and vendors, rinse, repeat. The combat is mildly fun, but identical to EQ2, LotRO, and many others that use the standard MMO combat scheme. Nothing hugely innovating there.
One thing that supposedly separated it from other MMOs of the time and was supposed to be a huge gameplay innovation was the “conversation” system, which is actually a mini-CCG. Some people love it, and I can kind of see why they might; I thought I would, too, based on the simple tutorial. But guess what – it actually sucks. It adds a layer of confusion and difficulty that just seems excessive to the game, and out of place. It does not blend with the rest of the mechanics at all. You only get 5 “cards” or statements to use as your “deck” in a conversation scenario, so it’ a matter of repeated trial and error to find the 5 that will work for your given situation. It annoyed the crap out of me.
The conversation mini-game is everywhere. After killing a small handful of zombies as my first experience in the world, I went to the first town, learned new combat skills, then was stuck running these conversation quests and got sick of it quickly. I need more combat than that. If I wanted to play a strategy game, I’d play a strategy game; I play MMORPGs for a different kind of challenge, and this card game thing just turned me right off. I was expecting the game to be more an extra and laced here & there to spice up the game world, not a mainstay replacement for combat. Seriously; it was less than 5 minutes of combat then over an hour of this stupid mini-game. I’ve been given 7 quests at the start and they’re all about this mini-game. NONE are combat or crafting oriented at all. And I’m only level 2.
I don’t think I’m going to keep playing.