There is a dungeon near Tomb of Lord Tsang which is called, and you’ll be surprised, Tomb of Lord Tsang. I discovered that recently. Check out some aerial pictures:
Just imagine how much fun it could be to fight your way up those stairs and ramps and into the dungeon proper. That’s one of the aspects I really enjoy about Vanguard, open-world, non-instanced dungeons that you randomly fly over from time to time. I discovered the place is a bit too tough for me at level 15 or 16, so I’ll wait until I’m at least 18 or 20 before assaulting those dudes.
I was slightly disappointed, but it turns out that on the other side of the hill, there’s a little outpost called House of Fallen Leaves:
This place looks like nothing. And it has a cheesy NPC. Guard Na Cho? Really?
But that’s where the suckage ends. The place itself is surrounded by hostile mobs, and the quest NPCs send you away to at least two more mob-filled places. This one:
Check it out from the inside, with weird glowy floaty bits:
And this other one, very close to the entrance of the quest hub:
The atmosphere is quite breathtaking at night. Yes, it’s only a bunch of casters standing around there, but if you (as a necro) manipulate them into fighting each other, it becomes a festival of counterspelling and brainless-minion-based death from behind. Like here:
See the grin on Niggurath’s face? Yeah, I’m happy too.
So I’ll be taking these guys apart, as they seem to be part of a quest line that leads to Tomb of Lord Tsang anyway, and I’m really looking forward to organizing a group for that dungeon. Wow. This is just one little corner of just one island of Kojan. Since you can “physically” walk to all of these places, you end up being really impressed by the size and diversity of Vanguard’s areas.
The things I wrote last month still hold true: The areas are designed in such a characteristic style that I can walk the way from House of Fallen Leaves to both of those outdoor killing zones in my mind. It’s not all sprinkled along one road or aligned in a star pattern around a central quest hub like in World of Warcraft, it’s not full of artificial walls that suddenly stop your progress like in Guild Wars 2 or EverQuest. The areas feel natural, the landmarks are plainly visible from afar, I never feel lost. And if there’s a path you see or a pass road over some mountain, you can walk there and use it, and you’ll end up roughly where you thought you would.
Hurray for good geography in MMORPGs. Hurray for interesting killing zones. The Kojani islands are some of the nicest I’ve seen in both these categories, and I’m not even level 20 yet.