Updated Fri, Jan 02, 2009 by Dalmarus
March 31st, 2008 - By Dalmarus
I think it's fairly reasonable to assume that most, if not all, people have an obsession of some sort or another in their lives. If they don't currently have one, then they've at least had one at some point in the past. My current obsession with Trickster's Haven is nearly complete.
Now that the map is finished, I can continue posting quest guides. I'm happy with the previous guides, but the ones now coming are of far greater interest. Unlocking the secrets of the Summoning Circle, solving the riddle to gain entrance to the Room of Dreams, and the battle with Nayib Al'Kalee, are all items of interest for the upcoming Trickster's guides.
I know there are quite a few players out there that have completed the battle with Nayib Al'Kalee and are stuck at the "Beyond the Painting" quest due to a lack of a group. Whether you're a member of the Ten Ton Hammer guild or not, if you're interested in getting a run together for this, feel free to drop by our forums and post a message with a date and time. Rumor has it that beyond the painting lays a Cyclops palace and I for one want to pry the secrets of that palace from its cold dead hands.
Now for a tiny bit of controversy - the new riftway system.
I know there are quite a few people that are pretty upset with the new system, feeling it makes the game even easier than the first of the system's implementation. With the first system, players had to at least physically get to any particular riftway before being able to attune themselves to it for future use. Even though the riftways could then be used, the player in question would at least understand the layout of the land since they had to travel it by foot (or hoof) first.
I can understand the concern that the new system was going to be too much like a system within Everquest (the books within the Plane of Knowledge). I can attest to the fact that in EQ (after the Planes of Power expansion) there were a number of first time players (some real life friends of mine) that even at level 45 had no concept of how the land was laid out. They literally had no idea about how many continents there were, what zones connected to each, etc. In my eyes, it not only took away a lot of the game's enjoyment for them, but it also annoyed the heck out of other players when they had to continually ask how to get to "Zone X" if there wasn't a PoK book with that specific name.
I think the situation in Vanguard is different though. With a map of the lands displayed within the game, it's relatively easy for everyone to see how things are spread out, and what is located near what. The addition of certain riftways being unlocked at various level ranges also makes a large difference.
While some may think this makes the game too easy, I think it simply makes people's time more enjoyable. Rather than having to wait 20 minutes for that group to gather before hitting a dungeon, now you’re waiting an average of less than 5 minutes. Waiting for people to gather for 20 minutes is not fun. Getting right into the action is fun.
Even through all this, I'll admit that I myself was also a little nervous about the new system being implemented before I saw it in action. What can I say? We're all human.
Amazingly though, not only do I think the new change has made the game more accessible to new players (especially friends that get the game at the same time but want to start different races on different continents), I think it also had an unexpected side effect for current players. What might that be, you ask? Exploration, and as many people know, exploration is the name of the game for players like me.
Since the introduction of the new riftway system, I've started a couple of new alts, and have been having a blast just randomly choosing a riftway within my level range, for no other reason than to see what's there. Even if it's in an area that I've been to before while running by with another character, there are more quests than I can count that I never did in these areas because they were too far below my level range. Just this past Thursday, I brought my necromancer into a new area I had never explored, simply because the riftway system let me know it was in my level and had a blast.
For those that want to keep the game "hardcore" there are plenty of methods you can choose to adopt in this pursuit, one of which includes the boycotting of all riftways. Feel free to do so and more power to you for making that choice. If we want Vanguard to not only survive, but to thrive and get the resources we all think it deserves though, we need more players (translation: subscriptions) and it's as simple as that. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to make the game world itself more accessible to new players.
As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit nervous of this change myself. As I've taken more time to think about it though, I have to say that the developers have once again proved that they have a pretty good idea of what they're doing. More proof for the majority of us to have a little faith and give things a chance.