The Caravan Interview
Travel with Sigil's Vince Napoli
There's been a lot of
speculation about modes of travel in Vanguard. We know that travel will
play an important role in the game, and that instant travel will be
extremely limited. We also know that Vanguard will have a unique
caravan system. There's been a good deal of speculation about how the
system will work, so we cornered Sigil to get the official word on
caravans. Game designer Vince Napoli answered our questions.
Ten Ton Hammer]:
Caravans seem to be one of the more mysterious and least understood
travel features in Vanguard. We know that caravans will allow groups of
players to remain together even when some of those players are offline.
Can you explain the basics of how the caravan system is intended to
The caravan system is rather simple. Through a tiny element in our UI,
group leaders will be able to form a caravan by inviting their members
to join them much like they do to form a group.
Once you have accepted an invitation to join a caravan, you are free to
log your character out at any location you desire.
When you return to the game, you will be presented with two options:
[VTTH]: Tell us more about
offline players--are they vulnerable to attack when the online members
of their caravan are attacked? Could an offline player log in to find
that he's a corpse?
- Log in exactly where you logged out previously, or
- Log in at your caravan leader's bind point.
will depend on the concentration of Indians and Cowboys in any given
region. If your caravan leader runs into a large band of Indians, and
is low on ammunition and salt steaks, you may risk losing both food,
and some of your ox. Travel is not to be taken lightly.
In all seriousness, you cannot die while offline. In the case of a
caravan not reaching its destination or the leader dying, you have the
option of returning to where you logged out in addition to your caravan
[VTTH]: Brad McQuaid
said, "...the caravan system will help greatly in keeping group/guild
members together." Does this mean that a large number of characters can
belong to a caravan, or at least more characters than would make up a
Currently, caravans can hold a maximum of 6 players, which is the size
of a full group.
[VTTH]: We know that caravans
will likely have a level restriction, meaning that the players banded
together in a caravan will need to be within a certain level range of
one another. What other restrictions will be placed on caravans to
We are testing out a few restrictions based on the feedback from our
initial implementation in beta. A level limit is likely by release, as
is some type of restriction on where your caravan may be "docked." We
are also toying with "unlocking" areas before you may caravan to them.
[VTTH]: To quote
Brad McQuaid: "At first...we thought it would be cool if the Caravan
Leader, when he is on the move, was depicted as such-- perhaps a
covered wagon; honestly not sure yet. [We're] focused on getting
[caravans] in and tweaking the mechanics right now; visuals later." Has
anything new been decided about visuals? Will we see wagons racing
across the burning deserts of Qalia?
We have decided to focus more of our art time on individual mounts.
This includes more fantasy-inspired ground mounts, as well as flying
and aquatic mounts. This means that by release we are not likely to
have a visual representation of caravans, but we have not discarded the
[VTTH]: Since offline travelers
with a caravan will log in with the option to join the game at the spot
where they logged out, or to travel to the most recent outpost chosen
by their caravan leader, what if a caravan leader forgets to bind at an
outpost before logging off? What happens to offline caravan members?
will always have the option to return to your caravan leaders bind
point. If a caravan leader does not accept a new bind point before
logging off, your option will default to wherever his prior spot was.
Note: This particular mechanic is still being tweaked and tested; it is
subject to change.
Thoughts? Comments? Travel
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