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.