Information Launch Pads

by Medeor

Beta 3 is underway at Vanguard:
Saga of Heroes which brings more and more people into the world of
Telon. What awaits these new travelers? A whole lot of unknown, that’s
for certain. Some of us are spoiled, we've been playing other games
long enough to know where to go and what to do, but what about dropping
into a brand new game? Where do I go, what do I do? Where can I go to
get information about where to go and what to do? Should a game even
provide that information?

Those of us who have been playing other games for a while know where to
go in-game, and if we don’t, then we know where to go to get the
information outside of the game – of course! I’m not
that much of a cheerleader (shhhhh…but don’t tell the top brass that)
but the TTH community sites are loaded with game information.

Perhaps you’re somewhat like me and find it fun to discover an
important tidbit, which in turn makes you proud to turn around and pass
that information on to others--a virtual tour guide, if you will. At
what point does using a tour guide turn into an unfair advantage, and
maybe even break the end-user license agreement (EULA)? Along those
lines, the following is not an actual in-game chat, but it is parsed
from my many moons playing:

[General Chat] Hey, where can I find (insert --gear, mob, location, or
NPC-- here)?

Response from General Chat could be any of the following:

  1. READ THE QUEST NOOB (expletives removed to keep this family
  2. Well my good man, first you need to (insert well thought out
    directions and insight here).
  3. Want to buy sum gold? Go to my site for cheapest pirces!
  4. Check the online database at (insert shameless plug
    and the href="">WoW
    database here).

Which of the above violates the EULA, the gamer code, or your personal
standards? My hard-fought belief is that the game developers are
creating a platform from which we are all to start. Where we take that
game is up to us, and how we pass that information on to others is up
to us as well.

The first time someone made a wheel, I'm sure it took a while, and now
it takes much less time (I'm guessing, since I have lots of wheels and
have never made one myself). A case in point is the EverQuest
progression servers. The guilds are progressing much faster than the
developers had initially anticipated. This is due to the aggregation of
information, and how anyone starting that game today has a much better
set of tools to tackle the challenges of the game.

Is that against the rules? Nope. Is placing “Progression Quest
Information” on a website where people can remember where the quest
givers are located against the rules? I don't believe so. Is buying
plat from a website so you can skip the whole money gathering issue
against the rules? Yep, it violates a whole bunch of rules including
the EULA and could get you perma-banned. Let's be serious though, you
are probably not going to be found out if you buy gold online. The GMs
have more important things on their mind (like catching the gold
farmers). The reality is though, if you show up to the prom in your
brand new Escalade with spinners, everyone knows that your daddy bought
you that car, you didn't earn it...especially when you back into the
parking meter.

Medeor you ask, what could I hope for in a game portal that would
provide me with the insight and back story of the game I so dearly
enjoy? Just like in real life I should have access to information that
tells me where someone (i.e. An NPC) is located (usually), where the
best place is to shop (or get gear drops) and how to buy a dern map.

pet peeve inserted here: haven't we gotten over the whole fogged up map
thing? Why oh why do we still have to pretend to “find” new places on a
map? Let's pretend that the people know the land or can buy that
information. Worst case: if the game is supposed to generate community
then let the first settlers of the areas map the place and then give
them the ability to share that knowledge so I don't have to guess.
Egads this drives me crazy. There is always that first time I have to
traipse across a continent just so I can wipe the dust off the map and
actually see where I am going. And the real joy occurs when I start a
new character and get to do it all over again. Don't get me started on
this one.

Moving right along, I have to say my wish list includes any database
that I can cling onto that takes some of the non-progression time sinks
out of games. I differ from Shayalyn on this topic – she generally
feels that tougher is better. I feel that harder fought is better but
that I should be able to find a quest giver without hailing each person
in a five mile radius. [Editor's
Note: I'm growing more comfortable with the idea of cheesy yellow
exclamation points.  - Shay
] I like the difficulty to lie
in the combat and skill aspects of the game, not how well I can play
the Memory Game. My time is limited and valuable, the less time I spend
hailing NPCs means more time raining hail on some boss mob.

I also enjoy playing the Holiday Catalog game where I shop virtually
for some gift I might get in the future. I believe online databases are
not the wave of the future, they are the wave of the style="font-style: italic;">now, and in the future offline
information portals will continue to creep further and further into our
games as UI mods and overlays. I'm already using a voice chat program
in addition to the game program; what’s next? Once these ideas really
begin to blossom in earnest, the blurred line between nice amenity and
unfair advantage will be discussed and argued on many a forum.

We are in for an exciting ride and we get to watch a brand new game
unfold. The real beauty is that we'll think we have parts figured out
only to find that the developers have changed up the encounter. One
aspect of the perpetual world that I enjoy is the fact that it really
does change. Abilities, NPCs, and mobs can all get nerfed or made more
uber, not like the single player games where you know on the first
level that the sniper always comes from the balcony. We here at
Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer will be with you every step of the way sharing
information and preparing you as best we can. Let us know what you want
in the way of an information hub for your favorite game.

sort of information would you like to see Ten Ton Hammer provide after
Vanguard launches?

Tell us about it in our style="font-style: italic;"
href="">forum style="font-style: italic;">!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.