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Author Topic: Vanguard going F2P  (Read 1533 times)
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Razgon
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« on: March 21, 2012, 08:20:57 PM »

Wow- this is crazy, but here it is - offical announcement.

Seems like SOE is actually determined to make the game interesting to new players!

Quote
We've got some exciting changes in store for Vanguard!
Since many, if not all of you reading this letter are the most die-hard of Vanguard players, let me start off by saying thank you for your unwavering support of the game!  Let's talk about the great things we have planned over the next few months...
Vanguard going Free-to-Play

At  SOE, giving players choices is the theme of how we're moving forward as  a company. We see free-to-play (or as we refer to it, Free to Play. Your Way.) as a big part of our future and we like the flexibility it offers players. Therefore, I'm happy to announce Vanguard  will be the next in line of our AAA games to make this transition.   Since we've literally just begun on the work, I'm not ready to go into  much detail.  However, I will say that you can expect something similar  to EverQuest®, EverQuest® II and DC UniverseTM Online when we roll-out our free-to-play offering this summer.  Once we have more information to share, you'll be the first to know.
Getting the band back together...

Now  for the part I'm most excited about, let's talk about the great team of  developers we've assembled.  To begin (and I realize I'm stating the  obvious) we've had a dry spell of game updates over the past few  months.  That said, I'm happy to announce the drought will be coming to  an end this week, with our first scheduled update since last December.   We plan to roll out game updates MUCH more frequently than years past,  which will include general improvements, new content and more.
A few weeks ago, we began ramping up the Vanguard development team with some familiar faces.  Our criteria was simple; we wanted the most Vanguard-knowledgeable,  passionate developers.  While we plan to continue growing the team over  the next few months, I wanted to briefly introduce a few of our team  leads, including Salim "Silius" Grant (Creative Director), Todd "Hobart"  Schmidt (Technical Director) and me, Andy Sites (Director of  Development).  Fortunately, I am the only noob to the world of Vanguard, although having been part of the original EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free Realms, and Clone Wars Adventures teams, I've spent most of my career working on MMOs.
Over  the next several weeks, we plan to roll-out individual "spotlight"  pieces for each team member, to give you an opportunity to get to know  each of them.  In addition, you can expect to see more frequent game  updates, as well as more detailed information regarding the upcoming  free-to-play aspects of Vanguard.
Talk to you soon and we'll see you online!
Andy Sites
Director of Development
VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES FREE TO PLAY ANNOUNCEMENT FAQ
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Arkon
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 09:27:39 PM »

If it wasn't for the technical issues, I would likely still be playing Vanguard...I loved the game world and sense of exploration.  The game had a lot of unique classes.
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 11:17:17 PM »

Put another mark onto the 'this game is still running?' chalkboard from me. biggrin

That said, I have lots of fond memories from Vanguard. It's too bad it bombed so hard.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 05:27:37 PM »

Yeah, with some population I'd still be playing too.  Huge world and classes that were actually different (a bard that actually got to compose songs...who would think it).
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 11:19:38 PM »

Lots of good things about that game but every time I hit a "seam" in the seamless world it stopped me dead in my tracks.  Game killer for me.
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Razgon
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 05:51:40 AM »

Takes about 2-3 seconds to load the next area now - thats all.
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 01:24:03 PM »

VERY excited about this.  Incredibly fun game in a lot of ways!
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 05:50:32 PM »

One of my favorite, (if not favorite), PvE MMOs.  After the SOE snafu last year, I resubbed for a couple of months.  It's a really great, deep game with excellent systems, and epic quest lines that put most modern MMOs to shame.  There are still active guilds to help with leveling and elite quests (fairly important).  Some guilds still raid, too, if that's your thing.  It takes some getting used to if you've never played it before, but it's worth a shot, imho.
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 06:06:58 PM »

I miss having big huge open worlds in my MMO.  Every other big MMO, the maps feel like maps and not a big huge world to explore.

Also VG had some really fun classes.  Loved the Disciple and the Psionicist.

I might try it again when it's F2P but I have a feeling the graphics probably don't hold up too well.
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 08:16:53 PM »

IMHO, Vanguard's graphics still hold up pretty well. At least from when I last played (a year or two back).

Also, it seems that it's filled with relatively undocumented /commands that modify things using the Unreal 3 engine that powers it. Just poking at their boards to see how popular the game still was, I found a command that completely removes the world fog (assuming your rig can handle it). You obviously won't see any players/mobs past a certain distance, but you can see huge chunks of the landmass all over.
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Razgon
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 09:06:10 PM »

Setfog was used by pretty much everyone when I played it. Hell, if you google it, these boards will come up second detailing it :-D

Graphics looks damn impressive at some spots. The really bad part is, that the game is still choppy at times, especially right after teleporting to a new area.

Here's to hoping the codebase can be cleaned up a bit with the F2P allocated resources.
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morlac
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 12:40:40 PM »

I will be all over this provided the FTP isn't completely borked.  As mentioned, the classes and huge game world are the best in the biz imo.  If you miss exploring in your MMo's then you have to give this a go.  Diplomacy and crafting are also well done and unlike other MMO's as well.
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 02:01:03 AM »

F2P hits next Tuesday.

Quote
Some of the more notable changes include:

    New Website: Our official website has received a major facelift and has a new URL - http://www.vanguardthegame.com.

    Vanguard Marketplace: The Vanguard Marketplace offers several categories to browse - Services, Mounts and Pets, Appearance and Equipment, and Housing.

    Starting Areas Revamp: New characters will now start one of the following starting areas: Cliffs of Ghelgad, Tanvu, Three Rivers Village, Tursh Village, or the Isle of Dawn.

    Removed Class Restrictions: We removed the class restrictions for all races. You can now create that special combination of character that you dreamed about making!
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Razgon
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 07:53:12 AM »

I've recently resubbed, after the fact that there actually is a dev team on the game now and its already much improved. I'm a bit weary of the things they do with starting zones (Cutting down from 11 to 4) but I understand the reasoning.

They've also made every class available for every race now, which is both good and bad I guess (Dark Elf Paladins?).

Also, while they havent updated the F2P matrix yet, they've loosened the restrictions quite a lot recently, making it quite advantagous to play as a free player. Also, players who used to sub will be able to keep playing with their old characters regardless of class restrictions, and also retain the 12 character slots.

The only negative thing is the limit on how good your equipment can be - You cannont equip stuff abouve "Uncommon" as a F2P player (Which is blue, I think)
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 05:28:24 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on August 06, 2012, 07:53:12 AM

The only negative thing is the limit on how good your equipment can be - You cannont equip stuff abouve "Uncommon" as a F2P player (Which is blue, I think)

I thought uncommon was green or whatever.

All I know is that this is by far the most restrictive bit of EQ2's F2P thing. Makes it so you absolutely must sub no questions asked. Turns 'F2P' into an extended trial.
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2012, 06:14:20 PM »

Based upon how few recent posts are in this thread, I'm assuming very few GT'ers are still playing this. I only started playing a few weeks ago, but I'm liking it enough to consider subing to it - love the diplomacy mini game. Well...true to SOE's word the game is getting some attention and they've just released some new content named the City of Brass



Here's SOE's blurb on it:
Quote
The sands hold many secrets…

Ancient legends tell of a thief who stumbled upon a magic lamp which held a mighty djinn. The thief struck a bargain with the fearsome genie for wealth and power enough to win the Mordebi throne. Yet when it came time to repay the debt, the newly crowned king broke his pact and betrayed the djinn.
Enraged, the djinn master, Zull Razkur, unleashed a terrible vengeance, calling forth efreeti from the Plane of Fire to lay waste to the mortal kingdom.

Hopelessly overpowered, the human armies fell before the relentless fury of the djinn master. As the last vestige of the king's forces fought to save what remained of their scorched homeland, the Mordebi cried out to the gods to aid them.

Hearing the mortals' plea, Valus the Lawgiver looked upon the destruction wrought by the djinn's army and deemed the rage of Zull unjust. The goddess intervened, banishing the efreeti back to the Plane of Fire and imprisoning Zull Razkur once more within the enchanted lamp.

His victory stolen, the djinn master's hatred burned brighter than ever before. He willed his efreeti to build the great city Jhor Razkur--the City of Brass. Here the efreeti would make preparations to one day return to the mortal realm and take revenge upon the descendants of the one who betrayed their master.

The sands grew still as the ages passed…

Finally, after two millennia, Zull Razkur saw his chance. Distracted by incursions into the Pantheon of the Ancients, Valus' hold weakened. The efreeti pierced the planar veil, capturing mortals and enslaving them within the walls of Jhor Razkur. Those few who have escaped tell tales of a city born of fire…and a growing efreeti army that, if left unchecked, could lay waste to all of Telon.

Unfortunately, being only lvl 8 I'm still on the starting island -surprisingly still enjoying it- so I haven't ventured to this new location yet.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 08:05:24 AM »

And now it truly is free to play as the producer explains in this link

Quote
Speaking of larger tasks in the background, we have been working on something that has come up multiple times in threads on the forums. That is, how do we make it even easier for people to come back to Vanguard to see all the changes that we’ve been making? Well, after a lot of discussion and debate, we’ve decided to do something pretty awesome. We have decided to expand and improve on the free- to-play offering for Vanguard. That means everyone can play any race, any class, to any level for free. You can also own a house, create guilds, and do a bunch of other things. Why did we decide to do this? Because we all believe that once you start playing the game without restrictions, you’ll want to keep playing and will find our Membership option to be an even greater value!

Every race and every character to max level is pretty damn good. I'd been reading in threads on various forums for a while how the management of Vanguard was putting their foot down with SOE. The issue has apparently been their unwillingness to let their game go the way of EQ II which has been an epic failure with its approach to F2P. Looks like they've won that battle. I've got to say I've been really impressed with the folks they have running the show for this game. I can't remember a MMO where the staff are so present and vocal in forums.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 08:07:15 AM by kronovan » Logged
Razgon
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 08:13:11 AM »

It's a great game, and yeah, the new team is pretty damn awesome! If nothing else, you can actually try out the game a LOT for free now.
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 02:11:15 PM »

So does anyone know what restrictions there are now?  As in, what is there to spend money on?
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Razgon
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 02:23:08 PM »

Quote from: Covenant on January 22, 2013, 02:11:15 PM

So does anyone know what restrictions there are now?  As in, what is there to spend money on?

Item unlockers - Around lvl 20 the blue gear begins to get restricted and you can purchase 5 unlockers for a small amount. There's a few other restrictions but basically, its pretty good as a F2P.

Otherwise - take a look here! http://www.vanguardthegame.com/free.vm
 
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kronovan
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 04:29:19 PM »

I'm really enjoying this game and I've been playing F2P, although I did use some SOE credits left over from EQII to unlock the Dark Elf and Druid class. I've just cracked lvl 20 with one of my toons, so I really haven't felt too restricted for either. My only real problem with the game is the lag, which is particularly bad on my system at times. From what I've read the degree of lag seems to vary from system to system - some get lots and some get next to zero. The great news is that the dev team have a plan to tackle the lag. Apparently the game was developed with the Unreal 3 engine which has craptastic networking code for large populations. What the dev team has in the works is to replace it with the newer networking code that was developed for Planetside 2 and few other SOE games. That's supposed to happen in the 1st half of this year.
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 06:06:11 PM »

As I mentioned in my last post, the devs are working on implementing the PlanetSide 2 networking code into this MMO. There's been confirmation now on the forums that they're very close to posting the update to the test servers. I'm personally very surprised that they're this close already, as the managers only mentioned they were planning to do this a few months ago. I'm sure the test builds will be buggy as hell considering the scope of this, but it still makes a summer release of the updated VG engine a possibility.  slywink thumbsup
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 08:47:22 PM »

I really like the game and love some of the classes but the current engine really bothers me...networking and graphics wise.  I'd be back in a minute if it was updated but graphics wide I know will never happen.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 08:53:26 PM by ericb » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 03:40:44 PM »

IMO the graphics are good for a MMO that released in 2007, but the game is still 6 years old and it shows. As it stands, I can't run the graphics on full with my ancient gaming rig, so it doesn't bother me too much. My son who has the uber gaming rig in the house on the other hand, didn't care for them at all. It's engine was built on Unreal 3, so there's apparently quite a few tweaks that can be made to it to enhance the graphics.

I agree about there likely never being a major graphic update. The game's management team is more concerned about putting out all that content that the game never got, mostly due to a very poor launch.
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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 05:30:28 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on March 28, 2013, 03:40:44 PM

It's engine was built on Unreal 3, so there's apparently quite a few tweaks that can be made to it to enhance the graphics.

Exactly. It's pretty much the only MMO that has /commands to do things like DRASTICALLY increase the draw distance (you can't see mobs any farther in the distance, but you can see all the terrain without any 'fog' blocking the view), among other things.
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2013, 05:57:17 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on March 28, 2013, 03:40:44 PM

IMO the graphics are good for a MMO that released in 2007, but the game is still 6 years old and it shows. As it stands, I can't run the graphics on full with my ancient gaming rig, so it doesn't bother me too much. My son who has the uber gaming rig in the house on the other hand, didn't care for them at all. It's engine was built on Unreal 3, so there's apparently quite a few tweaks that can be made to it to enhance the graphics.

I agree about there likely never being a major graphic update. The game's management team is more concerned about putting out all that content that the game never got, mostly due to a very poor launch.

Well, LOTRO and DDO has both recieved 3 graphical updates (They run on the same engine) so far, so who can tell. If there is money in it, it may happen.
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2013, 03:14:39 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on March 31, 2013, 05:57:17 PM

Well, LOTRO and DDO has both recieved 3 graphical updates (They run on the same engine) so far, so who can tell. If there is money in it, it may happen.

DDO runs on an enhanced version of the Acheron Call 2 engine and LOTRO uses the Turbine G engine. Both of those engines were designed to support graphic updates, so I'm not surprised they've been updated in the 5+ years they've been running. That said, I played DDO day 1 and then after the reboot and I didn't notice much of a difference - even when using the new, top graphic level. More importantly though, both those engines were designed with optimized network code and the dev teams used a lot of what was learned form AC1.
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« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2013, 05:23:08 PM »

The Dev team has put the updated network code on the Test Server ahead of schedule - went up last Thursday. I haven't had a chance to test it myself, but some players are reporting improvements. Of course as expected a few game features were broken in the process, but the developers seem to be getting them fixed quickly. Can't remember the last time I ever heard of a MMO dev team delivering code updates ahead of schedule, but I'm sure a few have managed it.  slywink
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2013, 02:58:51 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on March 28, 2013, 03:40:44 PM

IMO the graphics are good for a MMO that released in 2007, but the game is still 6 years old and it shows. As it stands, I can't run the graphics on full with my ancient gaming rig, so it doesn't bother me too much. My son who has the uber gaming rig in the house on the other hand, didn't care for them at all. It's engine was built on Unreal 3, so there's apparently quite a few tweaks that can be made to it to enhance the graphics.

I agree about there likely never being a major graphic update. The game's management team is more concerned about putting out all that content that the game never got, mostly due to a very poor launch.

I remember being pretty amazed at the draw distance.  I installed it and cranked it up for kicks and giggles just because and yea....it does show it's age a bit.  Still, it tried some cool stuff (the 'combat' diplomacy was always fun!) and in a vanilla world of MMOs that's pretty cool in my book. 
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