Being so late to the game, I was told that one of the benefits I get is that I don’t have to see the original newbie zones anymore. That’s good, right? Of course you get the option to start the old-school way every time your create a character, but apparently SOE created the Isle of Dawn area specifically to make it easier to get into the game.
Look, it’s a map!
You start your life near those marshlands in the center tile, but look, there’s a beach in the north! Hopefully a quest will take me there. So far, I’ve been through the marshlands, to some peninsulas within, I met a guy near a fisher’s cabin and I killed hobgoblins with a random person I met:
The marshes were wrapped in fog that limited visibility very, very much. This felt like EQ to me: I remember running around Lesser Faydark, visibility two meters, getting lost over and over and over again, and dying a lot. This has so far not happened in Vanguard: Every time I overpulled I managed to sneak out of the situation somehow via frantic use of DD spells and Drain Life, a HP drain spell that transfers HP from the enemy to the necromancer.
Also, my pet is cool. Look at that, he’s styled all Marylin Manson circa 1997-like. Abominations are cool.
Cute touch: Every time you leave or enter an area, there’s a bit of lore text printed to the chat window. Such as “You leave the foggy Foo Bar Marshlands behind and continue on your journey”. It serves no purpose (other than being a cryptic way to tell you that you’ve been transferred from one server to another?) but it feels like something out of a MUD. Which is charming.