I haven’t really felt any draw towards Vanguard in the last few weeks. Yes, I like its systems and I can see that there’s a jewel hidden there somewhere. I like the open world and the hardcore feeling, but I don’t like having to spend spare time setting up events for groups.
Call it lazy if you like, but I feel it’s more like a change of perspective that comes with age. Tipa says it very well in her article on why she left EverQuest.
There is some amount of tedium and some amount of time-waste that you tolerate when you’re younger, but as people leave school and college and start having busier lives, all the meta-game organizing you have to do just in order to play a certain game becomes less and less attractive. You just don’t have the time for that anymore.
It feels much the same for me: Achieving things alone in Vanguard is possible but a lot more boring than in a group. If I knew any local people that play, it would be easy for me to organize a weekly group, always in the same time slot. But with the fickle nature of online acquaintances, this is so much harder, and I just give up, I don’t have the energy.
If there is one thing I’d add to Vanguard, it would be an LFG/LFM mechanism that works as well as the Dungeon Finder in World of Warcraft. There you can be from alone to grouped and running a dungeon in 15 seconds. I know this runs counter to the hardcore mentality and it also clashes with experiencing the overworld of a game, since you get teleported to the dungeon without having to walk there yourself. It’s also nigh-impossible with open dungeons like Vanguard has. But if it had that feature, I would surely still play regularly.
This blog will stay around, in case I ever uninstall all those “easy” games and crave the tough love only Vanguard can give. Until then, I thank all who have adventured with me, a big shout to Lux Arcana, and I may see you all some other place, some other time.
Here’s some pictures from yesterday’s attempt at Skawlra. Nothing terribly exciting, but it shows an area of these islands that looks quite different to the rest, so that’s fun.
I forgot to take pictures of underneath the rock. But as a bonus, here’s my bard alt Laniah, looking at a windmill at night:
Vanguard might not be up to some other games in terms of raw graphics, but it does have some pretty scenery if you have the eyes to see it.
We were only two people, plus one pet and at maximum two minions. So we couldn’t really deal with the inside of Skawlra Rock yesterday, we were only level 21. But we did scout out the place and we did destroy everything on the surface of the rock.
Next time: Going inside.
I have a lot of quests open for this area, so let’s rip apart those bird-people! The event is next Wednesday, May 29.
Anyone level 20 – 30 or willing to mentor down is welcome to join.
We start at around 21.30 CET, meet in Skawlra Rock, at the camp.
Skawlra Rock is way too tough to go it alone! And even the Skrilien Point quests involving Cyclopses and whatnot, this stuff is hard. I’d be lying if I said that I’m still as motivated as in the beginning, and I think the reason is that I’m much older now and have a lot less time than when I played EverQuest back in the 90s. So I can only tolerate so many restarts, and only so much organizational overhead to get gaming.
So the idea now is to keep regularly scheduling three options for the next few months:
- Tomb of Lord Tsang, or
- Skrilien Point, or
- Skawlra Rock
This will be happening on the last Wednesday of every month, starting 20:00 CET. I’ll be waiting near Skrilien Point. If no one shows up, I’ll just switch to some other game. Of course I’ll try to organize level 20ish groups with the guild as well, to increase the chances.
Let’s see how that goes!
Woohoo, I got my feign death (thanks to Breizou, who basically breezed me through the quest and is very sad in this picture):
Awesome. I think it’s also nice that one of these main skills for a necro comes from a quest. Yes, you might say it’s old-school, and that a character should be able to buy or train all their skills on their own. But remember Guild Wars? There, you had some elite skills out in the field that required human help to get. And you had to trudge to areas of the map that you would never ordinarily visit. The reward was an elite skill, something that you’d be able to use again and again and that would help you make your character more unique.
Doing this feign death quest felt somewhat the same. Of course I don’t have any illusions of individuality: Surely every necro in the game has this skill. But it cheers me up nevertheless.
Afterwards, I tried doing some level 20ish quests involving Skawlra Rock:
That place is way out there. You have to fly, swim or float over water for quite some time to reach this place, which is nice and gives it a slightly mystical aura. Too bad that once you get there, it’s full of lizard people that smash the brains out of your skull. I’ll have to return here with a group!
When I did the last few Hunter’s League quests, I had to go back to Neamsog Bunker near Qa Riverbank, and then follow the Qaliathari quest lines for people around level 20. I didn’t really want to do that, I planned to stay around Kojan, but oh well.
So today, I didn’t do much, just finished a quest around the quest hub there:
Ho hum. Not really much going on at the moment!