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The Isle of Dawn

July 28th, 2008 - By

The Isle of Dawn has been live on the Test Server for a couple weeks
now, and when it goes live, get ready for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes to
be flooded with more new players than we'll know what to do with. In
reality, that probably won't be the case, but I think you can guess
what I'm getting at. Just the simple fact that Vanguard will finally
have a downloadable trial for players wishing to try the game out will
make a huge difference to our overall population numbers. Of that, I
have little doubt.

The number one complaint I hear from players wishing to try their hand
at gaining glory and riches in the land of Telon is that there isn't a
trial for them to test out. With the Isle of Dawn, that request will
finally be fulfilled. The Isle of Dawn has a lot of things going for
it, and for the most part, I think it's going to be a huge success.
There have been an absolute smorgasbord of seemingly minor adjustments
made to the way players are introduced to various aspects of the game
and their character's abilities, but there are also a few things I
worry about with the Isle's arrival.

hspace="10" vspace="5">For a moment, let's forget
about how smooth the Isle has been running. While we're at it, let's
also ignore the fact that you actually start out in a pretty cool suit
of armor on the Isle compared to the way we currently show up in our
traditional starting areas wearing nothing more than our hobo
hand-me-downs. I'll tell you what. Since we're on a roll forgetting or
ignoring things, let's add just one more - the cool artwork for some of
the more interesting mobs and areas of the Isle. Alright... have all of
that out of your head? Good.

With all those things above being ignored, the thing that really
impresses me on the Isle of Dawn is how the development team has made
so many amazing changes to the way players are introduced to various
game play mechanics without actually changing the feel of anything. I'm
not 100% sure that statement can possibly make any sense unless you've
taken some time to test out the Isle yourself, but I stand by it. By
making some very subtle changes to the general text of your normal
starting quests, adding a few phrases in parenthesis, and having more
information in the various tutorial-style pop-ups, I'm willing to bet a
brand new player will be able to get into the game with far more ease
than most currently do. That, and that alone, is to me the greatest
accomplishment by the development team in this endeavor - all of which
was completed without "dumbing down" anything in the new player

Now despite all my praise for the new player experience on the Isle of
Dawn, this doesn't mean I don't have any concerns of my own. My one big
worry revolves around Vanguard's greatest strength for me. The sheer
openness and opportunity for true exploration is Vanguard's biggest
selling point for me. There's no doubt that I have less time to play
than a majority of the player base, but after 18 months, there are
still areas I have yet to go to. What does worry me with the Isle of
Dawn though, is that while playing through, I felt I was being pushed
along a particular path more so than we currently have with our
starting areas now. It's still farm more open than most games I can
think of, but it didn't give me that sense of massive scope that Telon
embodies. How do you give new players a more structured beginning
without losing that sense of scope though? That's a question I don't
have an answer to, so for now, I'm qualifying this concern as "minor"
at best.

What do you think? Leave a comment href="">here!

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of
the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016