Isle of Dawn - An
August 28th, 2008 - By
The road for Vanguard:
Saga of Heroes
has gone from the equivalent of
naked cliff diving, to playing in a man-made tidal pool. It may still
be bumpy at times, but it continues to thrill and entertain at the same
time. As such, the time has finally come to provide the public with a
free trial in the form of the upcoming Isle of Dawn.
New characters for those with full accounts will have the option of
starting on the Isle of Dawn or in their current home city. Once you
choose, there's no way to undo your choice. Not only does the Isle
experience do an excellent job of introducing players to a number of
game mechanics found throughout the game, it also sends them on their
way with an impressive set of armor, all of which was customized for
each individual class. You can check out some of these sets and more in
When you first appear on the Isle of Dawn, you're already decked out in
an impressive looking set of armor, but as you'll soon discover, looks
everything. The initial quests are designed to get you familiar with
basic combat and gathering techniques. In this aspect, the development
team has made huge strides in conveying all the information you need
bogging you down with confusing bits and pieces. The beginning
experience on the island is straightforward and concise. Within a
matter of 15 minutes, you'll be sent off deeper into a swamp area to
locate the source of its growing corruption. This is where things
really start to kick off.
The Isle Awaits!
The quest seems simple enough, and in reality, it really is. Simple
does not equate to boring though, and you'll find this same theme
spread throughout the Isle, giving you a true taste of the adventuring
possibilities to be found within Telon. I won't give you any spoilers
here in regards to the altar you're playing with, but I'd advise you to
finish whatever else you want to do in the area first to save yourself
While you're in the process of fixing the altar and helping the old
hermit in his hut, you may come across a cookie that appears to be
droppable from any mob on the Isle. If you happen to have the cookie in
hand while you're near the hermit, keep an eye out for a sweet looking
fairy called The Tenby. Talk to her, and you'll find out that Cookie
Monster's obsession with cookies doesn't come close to touching
the deep psychosis of this little flying nut case. Give her the cookie
and enjoy the show!
After returning to the initial village, you'll be sent off to find a
scout who needs your help. He'll initially have you rescue some
villagers just up the road, gather some evidence, and later on, shut
down the summoning portals you've discovered. This is another great
example of learning about multiple game mechanics within Vanguard while
having a lot of fun in the process. So much fun in fact, that a
majority of players will never realize the lessons their slowly being
taught throughout their experience on the Isle.
Next, it's time for your first dungeon delving experience. It's not
huge, but there are plenty of quests to complete and a few NPC's to
interact with. On top of this, there are monsters galore, so feel free
to unleash the beast and lay down some serious slaughter within these
rocky walls. While you're in there, you'll be able to assist a spirit
in some more revenge and gather some nice pieces of loot in the
process. All in all, this dungeon feels just about right. Not too big,
not too small, and well within your ability to keep things under
control, but without being boring.
After all this excitement, you'll be about half way through completing
the Isle and perhaps even a bit further. There are a number of other
quests to complete, involving loads of slaughter, interaction, and
surprise. From killing an ancient guardian's aspect to having to later
beg that same guardian for forgiveness because you need his assistance.
You'll stop a summoning, deal with some corrupted stone
spirits, and even fly over the
land on a Pegasus as you prepare to enter the Temple of the
All told, this is a fantastic way for new players to be introduced to
Vanguard and learn a lot of the skills they'll need to not ony survive,
but thrive in their days ahead.
Not only is a great introduction for new players, it's also a lot of
fun for the old players as well. It's a new set of adventures that will
start your new character off in some decent armor without spending any
money to twink them out otherwise. By completing the full quest line,
you'll also get a great looking cloak (perhaps the best looking cloaks
in the game?), and a necklace that grows in power with you. The
development team has done a great job in creating a new and exciting
area where new and old players alike can enjoy their beginning levels.
It's a good time to be a Vanguard player!
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