Posted by: mrrx | December 20, 2007

Tailoring and Telon

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This dress doesn’t make me look fat does it ?

Chalchitlicue : Ding 24 tailor.    Chalchi is going to be the next alt to ding to 30 I hope, assuming I don’t run out of roots.     You’d think a tailor would mostly need hides, but it seems that she needs about a 60 / 40 split of roots versus hides.

Among the things she made was this dress and a few others for street clothes.    Given that she’s a conjuror after all, I like putting this into the appearance tab.    The coloring is nice given the others that I was able to create.    It’s close enough to “cloth armor” already.       Here I am, middle-aged man and playing dress up with my characters; how’d that happen?

Had her run a couple of writs and make most of the recipes in her book, before the whole thing got tiring and I had to log off.

Also took advantage of the Vanguard free play to try it out again.      I spent quite a few hours at it, starting a brand new monk Bushfire, and playing through the Kojan half-elf starting path.

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You start out on a beach invading a small island, and quite literally slaughtering defenseless villagers.     I wasn’t really prepared to be ….. completely evil.     This is a half elf here guys !     Nonetheless, I decided to go after the role with gusto and killed as many women and old men as I could.    For the Emperor’s Glory!

Then I get sent to kill a certain old monk holed up inside of a house.    He ports me to a whole different area where I start fresh again, as more of a good player.    Nice little intro.

My thoughts on returning to Vanguard.

  • The quests suck.    This is Warcraft all over again – one step quests with very little personality.     They get strung together in an attempt to inject more life into the whole thing, but it didn’t really work for me.   If you thought Kunark’s quests were bad you ought to try the noob quests here.
  • Combat is fun.    The dot con system works to tell you what to go after and what to ignore, and I enjoyed the fights.     Solo is very possible to do, although given the quest issues, I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy grinding out kills without some more motivation.
  • Diplomacy still shines as an enjoyable pastime.    In contrast to the quests, the diplo series things stick together very well, guiding you through the process of learning the card game.     I think I got a diplo card as an early mob drop too, which was cool.   Civic diplomacy (as I remember) is a fun thing to go through as well.
  • They’ve changed diplomacy to give you more strategy slots at an earlier time; my existing character Barkscratch found himself with something like ten slots, which he filled up with cards and easily completed a couple of parleys in Leth Nurae.    He didn’t play because….. I forget what he needs to do with diplomacy.      Don’t know if I need diplo levels, nor which skill level an NPC needs for me to skill up on them, or if faction is required.     Have to read up on this today.
  • Crafting is great.     Smart and well thought out, versus the confused EQ2 tradeskill paths.      You should be able to harvest everything yourself, but instead you only select two items to be able to harvest.     I think it will work out OK even so – work orders provide all needed raw materials, and that’s how you level up.
  • What everyone says is true : the big, expansive, not-zoned world feels huge and open and makes things very enjoyable.   One surprise I got was the Tanvu human models are nicely done.    I don’t think this changed since launch, but it was a far cry from Thestrans.
  • There’s the same inane chatter in the world channels as there is in EQ2.   Sigh.     Have to figure out how to move all that nonsense to another tab, and hope it actually works in contrast to EQ2.
  • VGPlayers, as opposed to EQ2Players, offers less info if you don’t subscribe to it.   No quest counts or server positions, or other rankings. By contrast, it apparently updates nightly !    Bushfire is on there.    Your screenshots automatically show up in there too
  • Christmas decorations and Reindeer mounts.    Me, it worked even less for me than in EQ2 but I guess they’re hugely popular.

Overall it was a great diversion, and was also nice because there are a mere three non-pvp servers (server merges were in August, apparently).    By luck this meant I was on the same one as Stargrace, which means we might hook up together at some point.

They’re trumpeting the many changes to Vanguard and asking us players to try again, but on that score I’m puzzled.    The only improvement I saw was to diplomacy.    That doesn’t mean they’re not there, but it does mean I’ve only scratched the surface of this big game.    Really, what might make sense for me is to continue playing in Telon.      I only quit because life got out of hand, not because I got sick of the game or a better one came along.

I might play Vanguard again.

The question being if I’m ready to switch to being less focused on a single game.    I doubt it, but I have interest in these other games.

Then comes the questions of payment and all that.     Three games (EQ2, VG, POTBS) becomes more economical to pay for Station Access, ie $30 versus $15×3 plus station profiles.    Swallow your pride there ?    Or stay with a single subscription, cancel it and play until they don’t let you log in, and subscribe to another one at that point ?

Billing still leaves something to be desired in the degree of control and customer service they provide, which strangely works in their favor in that it tempts you to Station Access.    Why hassle it ?    My big reason is the huge cost increases that SA has experienced.     I wouldn’t put it past them to start charging $45 instead of $30 in another six months, and given how long-term a player I am, that stuff matters.

One thing is obvious – it’s a great time to be playing MMO’s.

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Responses

  1. I know how you feel. For me, the temptation is there becuase of EQ2, Vanguard and SWG.

    I followed Vanguard development beginning before it even had a name. As soon as Brad & Co announced that they were working on a new project, I tracked down his and several other people’s e-mail addresses and swapped dozens of e-mails with them throwing out my self-important ideas and commenting on elements from EQ that I loved and elements that I wanted to see in a new game. I devoted so much time into following that game that I remain ever hopeful that it will eventually evolve into a game I will want to play.

    SWG is a different story. I played it at launch and have played it off and on since then. Oddly enough, for the amount of time I have invested in that game, I have never really enjoyed it completely. I love the space game, but beyond that, it really doesn’t have much to offer someone like me. What continually draws me back, weird as it might seem, is the incredible diversity and freedom involved with player housing and decorating. For the last few weeks, I have been desperately fighting a battle with myself to not reactivate my SWG accounts.

  2. I wil give the same advice I give at Stargrace blog:

    1- get the flying reinder, there are NPCs at some towns that give it free;
    2- use the reinder for go to all rift stones and active them.

    Rift stone is the teletransportation system. And near each rift stone there are NPCs that lend flying mounts (10 minutes use, 10 silver).

    so, rift stone + flying mount = you go to any place you want fast

    The guide for the Riftway system: http://www.vgnecro.com/article/The-Riftway-Network–the-who-and-how-of-it

    And yes, you certainly scratched the surface of the changes. “The only improvement I saw was to diplomacy. That doesn’t mean they’re not there, but it does mean I’ve only scratched the surface of this big game.”

    I can say it because diplomacy is the sphere where they made few changes, all the devs are working to create new adventuring content and improve the performance. However, they need make a lot more improvements and they are a few short of devs.

    Some changes I sugest you look into: rest xp; maps; brotherhood; LFG window; guild halls (bonus to guildmembers); class changes; riftway system; raid dungeons; revamp of some areas.

    They intend make the adventuring quest better, they knwo all the lore is at the diplomacy quests and they intend give the lore at the adventuring quests.

    I suppose they will not change the quests at the newbie areas because they will end the newbie areas. They will create the newbie island and the old newbie areas will be higher level dungeons. (IMHO, it is a bad move, diferent newbie areas for diferent races make this game more interesting)

  3. Was nice to see you in game of course MrrX, and I’m debating getting station access as well (and dropping one of my two EQ2 accounts, so in the end I’ll be paying the same amount either way) and keeping on with Vanguard. I always liked the game, I just disliked the bugs — which I have seen small improvements with. Is it enough to keep me there though? Well, since the “Free Trial” is ongoing until January 20th, I’ll see if I’m still playing and enjoying it in a months time.

    I do know they’re going to be revamping character / npc models which is something I’d really like to see. WHEN is another story though. From everything I’ve read thus far, they were pushing out something called AWP (APW?) but I have *no idea* what this stands for. And now that it’s out (maybe it’s a high end game raid dungeon? I’m not certain) they can start focusing on fixing other aspects of the game again.

  4. Ancient Port Warehouse ——->APW

    Very Big RAID Dungeon, level 48 up, where players get RED (legendary) level 50 items…

    … and too the reason everyone that is level 48 up at my guild is every night going hunt the KEY that open the dungeon.

    And there are TWO raid mobs (level 52 6 dots) wandering the continents.

    Someday that big vulcano at south of Qalia will open as raid dungeon.

    I forgot to say at my last post… they too implemented the weather system.


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