How Would You Rate

By Ralsu

style="font-style: italic;">September
11, 2007

I have a confession to make: we at Vanguard Ten Ton Hammer have
withheld our review of Vanguard
for as long as possible. First, we philosophically decided that it just
isn't prudent to review a massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG) soon
after release. Then there was the Sony Online Entertainment buyout. The
we wanted to wait for Game Update #2. Well, we can't make excuses
anymore. Vanguard
has been
around for nearly 8 months now. SOE has had the reins for just under 6
months. I think we can review the game now.

Here's the deal: I'm going to offer my personal review of style="font-style: italic;">Vanguard and then
solicit yours. We
will use some fairly standard criteria--graphics, sound, game play,
stability, raid content, and Player-vs.Player (PvP). We will rate on a
scale of 1-5 hammers, with 5 being best. My review, and any offered by
Dalmarus, Machail, and/or Shayalyn will could for 50% of the final
review I will post on September 18. Any reviews offered by the Vanguard
Ten Ton Hammer community between today and September 16 style="font-weight: bold;">that follows the guidelines
above will count for the other 50%.

And now for my review...

Graphics src=""> alt=""
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Vanguard is
a gorgeous game,
and you can see that even if your machine can't run it on the the
highest settings. I've been playing style="font-style: italic;">Vanguard
for almost a full year (dating back to Beta 3), and I still sometimes
top a ridge and feel my jaw drop in awe of a beautiful vista. If I have
any complaint with the graphics of Vanguard,
it's that a good half of the player base can't enjoy them. An absolute
resource hog, Vanguard's steep system requirements force most people to
play the game with many graphical bells and whistles disabled. And the
refusal to use zones or instances doesn't help, but that's a separate
issue. The oddly less-than-beautiful character models is the only thing
that stops me from awarding a 5 out of 5.

Sound src=""> alt=""
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sounds range from
sweeping soundtracks to squealing halflings. The problem is that none
of the music score sticks with me when I am done playing, and many of
the combat noises are annoying enough that I want to turn them way
down. Sure the music does what it is supposed to do; it haunts me with
sad melodies as I gaze across the wastes of the Qalian deserts, and it
increases tempo when I enter battle to add to the thumping of my heart.
Still, the lack of a memorable tune and the way female fighting sounds
effects seem like reactions to unsatisfying sex makes it more of a
deficit than a benefit. Other combat noises are...efficient, and little
else. Overall, the sound is just forgettable.

Game Play src=""> alt=""
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Vanguard plays like most other MMOGs. In that respect, it sports
intuitive controls and interfaces. Combat has a few novelties with
reactions and chains. The level curve for adventuring is smooth enough
to prevent players from being bogged down. When solo, crafting and
diplomacy offer wonderful distractions though they aren't as rewarding
as they probably should be at this point. Mobs don't provide nearly the
challenge I'd hoped for, and the dot system is horribly watered down.
Still, I always manage to have fun when I play. The key to that, I
think, is the variety Vanguard
offers. You can level through the usual grind or through quests.
There's plenty to explore and do. The game offers most of the things we
look for in MMOGs.

Stability src=""> alt=""
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Nearly 8 months out form launch, Vanguard
still suffers from stability issues--major ones, at that. People crash
to desktop all the time, and patches that perform miracles for a
handful of players ruin the gaming experience for others. That the game
boots up and runs keeps me from giving it a rating of 1. The frequent
issues noted by players with a variety of hardware configurations
pushes it very close.

Raid Content src=""> alt=""
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What raid content? For a level curve that allows players to reach the
cap in only a couple of weeks and a game that includes Rest XP as a
means to help casual players climb the mountain at a steady pace, style="font-style: italic;">Vanguard has almost
nothing to do
at the top. No epic quests, no class specialization, no equivalent of
Lady Vox. Not even epic gear, really. Hit level 50 and enjoy your
boredom. Sure, this will change in coming updates, but I'm not here to
review potential.

PvP src=""> alt=""
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has the bare minimum
PvP to advertise it. No team PvP any more. No capture the flag. No
tournaments. No leader boards. Moreover, PvP feels somewhat "tacked on"
and doesn't offer a balanced experience. Even admitting that I am not a
PvPer, there is no way I'd recommend style="font-style: italic;">Vanguard
as the PvP game for my friends who like it.

Overall (not an average) src=""> alt=""
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Vanguard is
just an average
game with a ton of features. Its instability holds it back and is the
difference between recommending it to friends or recommending a
different game for me. If SOE ever stabilizes the game and the base
line personal computer catches up to the requirements , I know a ton of
casual gamers who will love it. To capture the hard core crowd, SOE
will need to steadily infuse raid content at every possible update.
Until then, I play Vanguard
and enjoy it, but I have a hard time recommending it to friends without
having to make a lot of apologies.

The Bottom Line:

Graphics: 4/5

Sound: 3/5

Game Play: 4/5

Stability: 2/5

Raid Content: 1/5

PvP: 1/5

  • Read href="">Another View by Dalmarus.
  • Get Some Perspective by Machail.

Now it's your turn.
How would you
rate Vanguard?

cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2">
style="vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(160, 184, 216);">
style="text-align: center; background-color: rgb(160, 184, 216);"> style="font-weight: bold;">VOTE

How would you rate Vanguard?
Don't forget to rate all categories Ralsu did in your forum post!

  • 5/5! Best game eva!!
  • 4/5. The game has flaws, but I love it.
  • 3/5. Vanguard
    just so-so.
  • 2/5. I would not recommend this game to most others.
  • 1/5. This game sucks!
style="text-align: center; background-color: rgb(160, 184, 216);"> href="">VOTE

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016