Time To Tie It All
April 14th, 2008 - By
Before I get into any of my normal chatter, I'd like to thank everyone
that sent in private messages, emails, and forum posts for my search of
a new name for the Weekly Newsletter. I also appreciate the individuals
that stated they thought the name was fine as it was. In general, I'd
have to agree, but there have been the occasional postings that may not
have had much for actual news in them, thus the decision to change the
name. It gives us (and by us, I mean me) a little more freedom. Not
that it ever stopped me before, but this way, it looks good on paper.
Get it? Good on paper? Newspaper? Ugh... yeah, that was weak, even for
In any case, congratulations are in order for Ximena. There were a
number of great suggestions, but in the end, I decided her submission
of Dalmarus' Vanguard Chronicles was the best choice. Not only does the
name flow well, but it's also the most accurate representation of my
With our new name, the masses will be desperate to read their weekly
edition, propelling the word of Vanguard to new players around the
world. With this simple act of changing the name of the newsletter, I
foresee that we will single-handedly propel Vanguard to the top of that
Online Gaming Mountain.
In all fairness, that may be a slight exaggeration, but when the game
does climb to its rightful place among the AAA titles, you can be sure
that I'll be pointing everyone back to this first edition of Dalmarus'
Vanguard Chronicles and say, "I told you so."
Enough chatter though, let’s get down to the real topic of
this week - Lore.
For a number of players, myself included, lore may not be the only
thing keeping us playing, but in my opinion, it's one of the biggest
reasons players that have left will return to the game. Over the last
few weeks, there seems to be a pattern that has been emerging in the
weekly polls I've been running. Players want a sense of solid lore in
the game. In this
past Friday's poll
, I gave an example of what I
meant, but let me expand on it here.
By now, most everyone knows that I started playing Everquest with the
release of the first expansion, Rise of Kunark. For me, it was a way to
get back the feeling of my old Dungeons and Dragons weekly play nights.
Over the years, other expansions came and went, but through it all,
there was one underlying foundation that held everything together - the
lore of the game.
The lore of Everquest was rich and deep and made a significant
difference in the way the game played. Each race had its own
distinctive culture. Each city had its own unique flavor. All of this
was tied together with a deep storyline and threaded throughout
innumerable quests. On top of everything though, the gods also played a
large part in the world. Anyone that started a wood elf warrior, made
it a follower of Ralos Zek, and then tried to run past a dwarven guard
in Butcherblock knows exactly how quickly you learned he was an evil
One of my favorite examples of the gods having a direct impact in the
game happened years ago. There was a battle brewing for about a month
or so between the goddess Firiona Vae and the god Cazic Thule. There
a number of changes to various zones throughout the lands, all as a
portent to the battle to come. Eventually, the battle happened in a
live event, but what sticks with me to this day is how the anger of the
gods affected the lands.
For various reasons (most of them involving grinding or massive amounts
of player downtime), I left Everquest more than a few times. Probably
somewhere along the count of 8 times or so over the years. It's been so
long though that the number may be even higher. In any case, there was
one thing that kept dragging me back to the game and that was the lore.
When I was away from the game, I would still think about the various
stories and wonder what was going in the world.
While the comparison may be extreme, I think of the games I play like a
movie in terms of how important the storyline is. You could have the
biggest budget, the greatest effects, and the greatest actors in your
chosen project. If the storyline (to include background scenes,
dialogue, etc) doesn't exist though, the movie will crash and burn for
You can tell there is a sense of lore in Vanguard. The problem isn't
the complete lack of lore, but rather in its implementation and lack of
finish. There are a number of reasons for this and they've been
explained many times before. That doesn't mean we can't wish though.
At one point in time, it was announced that a person had been assigned
to fix and expand the lore that was currently available at the time.
Unfortunately, that person’s assignment was cancelled as the
team decided there were more important things that had to have a higher
priority in the game. I can't blame them for that decision because I
agree with it. There were (and still are) a number of things that must
be fixed in the game before I can hope to see the lore of Telon
I've got to admit that I look more forward to that day than most people
would even guess.
What do you think?
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