Weekly Newsletter 09_01_08: Can Player Versus Player Survive?

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Can Player Versus Player Survive?

September 1st, 2008 - By Dalmarus

While the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes team is going full steam in an attempt to get the upcoming trial, Isle of Dawn, ready for public consumption, the game continues to garner the attraction of gamers everywhere. Every day I log in, I see more players in various areas, and the regional chat channels are always in use, with 90% of the content within them actually being game related - amazing! Sadly, while the new players continue to stream into the game, batches of older players are becoming more vocal with some of their complaints, feeling there are some important pieces of their beloved game that are being ignored.

You've all heard me give the argument of this game being a business, having a limited amount of resources, and more in the past, so I'll be kind and skip over those tried and true reasons of the past. The development team is focusing virtually every resource and ounce of time they have toward the development of the Isle of Dawn trial. I can't stress how important I think this project is for improving the population of the game in general.

Off to Battle!

Off to Battle!

Recently, a number of players on the Sartok server have been voicing their concern that the PvP (Player versus Player) server is on it's last trickle of life support and if some drastic attention isn't paid to it in the immediate future, it's finally going to die a tragic death. With the open beta of Warhammer Online starting in one week, with the release of the game coming shortly after that, they fear the PvP days of Vanguard are in serious danger. They feel the balancing of the classes has been completely ignored in regards to PvP and that the current class revamps continually change and dictate which class is the king of the mountain, with that status changing from patch to patch.

I've never made any secret about the fact that I'm not a PvP player. When it comes to MMOG's (Massively Multiplayer Online Games), I never have been. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good round of Unreal Tournament, Halo, or Rainbow Six mayhem with my friends just like the next person. First Person Shooter (FPS) games are where I've always felt PvP play should remain since long before MMOG's came into existence (in a graphical sense at least), when a little game called DOOM shocked the world. That being said, however, in one way I do feel for the PvP players in Vanguard. They've taken the time and effort to make Sartok their home, spending countless hours developing loyalties and allegiances on that server.

While I sympathize with those on Sartok, I don't believe things will change for them any time in the future, and for this, I think the blame lies in two places. Firstly, and this is 100% completely my (and only my) opinion, PvP never should have been advertised for Vanguard in the first place. When the game released, it gave every indication imaginable that PvP was tacked on at the very last minute. You'll notice in my review of the game almost a year ago, I said the very same thing. I thought it then, and I still feel it's the truth. Unless the time and resources were going to be directed to the development and balancing of the PvP game within Vanguard, it simply never should have been added.

Dark Elf Pet

Who Says Dark Elf Pets Are Tiny?

The other part of this argument ties into the first. Vanguard is a PvE-centric (Player versus Environment) game. I could be completely wrong, but from what I've seen, it was always intended to be such and that's not likely to change. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. The majority (by a seemingly major percentage) of the games' denizens reside on the three available PvE servers: Halgar, Seradon, and Xeth. As such, the majority of the Vanguard teams' efforts should be dedicated to the fixing and continued development of content for the PvE servers to better serve the community.

This doesn't mean I don't feel sorry for Vanguard's PvP players, because as I took some time to think about it after this week's discussions, I actually do. Even though it's not my play style, it was an option available for the players that chose to do so. They went down the path of PvP enjoyment because they wanted to and it was an aspect of the product promised to them from the makers of the game. They're not the only ones that would be extremely agitated (to say the least) if the roles were reversed and the PvE side of the game had been getting a small percentage of the pie.

Needless to say, I certainly don't have a solution though. Just because I skipped over all the reasons everyone has heard before on why things are the way they are in the game (reality of a business, limited resources, etc), doesn't make any of it less true, no matter how much it may suck for individual players. I think the best we can do at this point is spend some time testing on the Isle of Dawn, get it to a live state soon, and hope it helps gather the subscription numbers we all know Vanguard should have. At that point, and that point only, I think the PvP in Vanguard may stand a chance to live up to its potential.

What do you think? Leave a comment here!

Have you missed any of Dalmarus' Vanguard Chronicles? Check out The Archives to get caught up!

Disclaimer: 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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