Conspiracy Flavor of
28st, 2008 - By Dalmarus
Like most people that enjoy being part of an online community, I think
it's safe to say I have a semi love/hate relationship with various
forums around the Internet. They are a great place to go in the hopes
of not only reading about the trials and tribulations of your fellow
gamers, but to also share some of your own.
This is where the love/hate part of this relationship rears its ugly
head sometimes. There are some absolutely wonderful nuggets of pure
information and entertaining anecdotes out there, but to get to them, I
find myself spending an inordinate amount of time having to trudge
through what can sometimes be a vicious wasteland. I know I'm not alone
in my observations, as I see this feeling voiced throughout the spider
web we call the Internet.
So what does all this have to do with the price of tea in China?
Patience, young Grasshopper... all will be revealed in due time.
One particular (for lack of a better phrase) conspiracy theory that
manages to continually rise from the dead is the ongoing battle on
population numbers for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and its eventual fate.
One group cries that Vanguard doesn't have more than 4000 current
subscribers and is currently in the agonies of its death throes. Others
scream that the numbers are well above 25,000 or more. The battle wages
back and forth, with each group trying to convince the other that they
Rather than try to sway anyone's opinion one way or another, I have
another suggestion. Even though it may be considered radical in today's
environment, take another few minutes to just hear me out.
First and foremost, we all know that whether we ever want to admit it
or not, SOE is a business that has a responsibility to make a profit
for not only itself, but also its stock shareholders. Although Vanguard
means a lot to many people on a personal level, at the end of the day
it's a tool to be used by SOE as a means to an end.
make good bait...
While I doubt anyone is going to argue with the above information, it's
important to set that out in the open first before we delve farther
into my idea. Now that we agree that Vanguard has to make a profit (or
prove that it can in the foreseeable future), we should also be able to
agree that if it doesn't show signs of making one, it may go the way of
The Matrix Online and become a game with bare skeleton crew. At that
point, updates will become very scarce and largely focus on bug fixes
first and foremost. Where added content in the future may become
something we only talk of when reminiscing about the good old days.
Bear with me; we're almost to the big reveal. Before I spill it though,
let me state for the record that I do not, in any way, shape, or form,
believe that this is going to be Vanguard's fate. I just had to get it
out there as the premise for my coming question.
So keeping all of the above ideas in mind, here's my big question that
I want the community to ask themselves when they read this - Are you
having fun with the game as it is right now?
Take a few seconds (or minutes) to really think about your answer.
Don't worry; you don't have to share it with us if you choose not to.
It can be your little secret.
For myself, the answer is an absolute yes. I have a lot of fun whenever
I have time to get on and play. I find it enjoyable as it is right now.
It's for this reason, and this reason only, that outside of the
realities of a business having to garner continued consumer support, I
really do not care what the population numbers are.
Does that mean I don't care about the game? Nothing could be further
from the truth. I love this game and want to see it succeed.
What it does mean though is that I don't care if there are 1000 or 3000
people on at any given time. Can I find a group most of the time I log
in? Yes. Do I enjoy exploring, hunting, and talking with people in the
various chat channels? Yes. Do I enjoy crafting or diplomacy if I'm not
in the mood to go hunting? Yes - well, minus some minor hair pulling as
I still try to get a good grip of the crafting mechanics, haha.
Do you see the point I'm trying to make here? If you enjoy the game as
it is right now, then enjoy it and look forward to the coming changes
or added content. If you're worried about population numbers, how about
convincing your friends to give the game a try rather than spouting a
stream of doom and gloom?
I play the game because I enjoy it. How about you?
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