Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

  • In her daily column, Lady Sirse starts the week with a look at how the dust is settling in the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes community. This virtual dust was created when Sigil Games Online announced late Friday afternoon that they will be leaving Micrsoft Games Studio and making a deal with Sony Online Entertainment.

    Across the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes community there has been much debate, discussion, flaming and general gnashing of teeth as folks come to terms with the press release that was issued late Friday afternoon. It heralded the coming break of relations with Microsoft Game Studios in favor of a new working relationship with Sony Online Entertainment.

    Read the full article here.

    Mon, May 08, 2006
  • Microsoft drops Vanguard like it's hot

    Hoo boy. The folks at SOE and Sigil waited till TenTonHammer was travelling to E3 in sunny California to let this one loose. Stand back!

    - Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment In Talks To Co-Publish Sigil’s Ground-Breaking New Game -

    May 5, 2006 – Carlsbad & San Diego, CA – Sigil Games Online and Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced that Sigil is working with Microsoft Game Studios on an arrangement to acquire the rights to its highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. These efforts have resulted in a tentative agreement for Vanguard to be co-published by both Sigil Games Online and SOE. All three companies will be showing the game at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as they work closely together for a successful transition. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is scheduled to launch this winter.

    I promised myself I wasn't going to play up the antagonism between the Vanguard fan base and SOE. The jaded types over at the Vanguard forums are doing plenty of that, and the devs are doing a great job diplomatically responding. Much of the anger is centered around SOE's buyout of Verant's "EverQuest" and how the perceived downhill effect the change of hands had on the game.

    Here's the best post I could find on the argument:

    Originally Posted by Irenicus
    Any reassurance is moot.

    SOE takes care of customer support. They are publishing the game. Sigil might have launch covered, but do you think SOE will not change the input after the launch. Sigil is the small potatoe, SOE is the massive coporation (and an atrocious one at that), who do you think is really going to decide on the expansion content, updates, etc. Microsoft jumped ship as the backer. SOE is now backing this operation. We all were assured that at some point this year Vanguard would come out, after all, it has MS money. Now, who knows?

    No - you're completely wrong. SOE owns distribution, marketing, data center operations, and *technical* support (ie - when you have trouble installing the client, or a scratched disk from the retail box).

    Sigil owns everything related to development, in-game customer service, live teams, and on-going content development.

    And the relationship is setup, both organizationally and financially, to reinforce those roles.
    Jon Grande
    VP, Biz and Legal Affairs
    Sigil Games Online

    If true, it's something of a win-win. No doubt SOE has spare support assets, and Sigil gets to stay true to its vision (which could be a good or bad thing... as soon as they lift the NDA, I'll letcha know!). But why would SOE want a game that's a direct competitor with their other titles like the still-kicking EverQuest and EverQuest 2? Competitive intelligence, perhaps? They could set up EverQuest 2 as a dyed-in-wool WoW clone and capture the hardcore niche with Vanguard. Diversification is good for the genre.

    Sigil and SOE are at loggerheads on other concept-level. Vanguard has a stigma against goldsellers so strong it's almost diagnosable under the DSM-IV. EverQuest 2's "Station Exchange" experiments with the secondary market daily. There are more... call them "divergent philosophies" at hand here, but to me, the biggest question is this:

    Why did Microsoft let go of the IP in the first place?

    Boomjack can tell you something of how the punctilious pinheads at Microsoft feel about deadlines, and apparently the Vanguard crew wasn't going to meet the original June 2006 deadline, no way, no how. When this became an issue, according to Sigil, they bought back their rights to Vanguard from Microsoft and entered into a co-publishing deal with SOE. It's a pat answer, and I kind of doubt Microsoft would let go of a winnah before launch for so simple a reason (they held on to Asheron's Call through launch and an expansion before handing the reins over to Turbine when the game was arguably past its prime).

    In the all-important eyes of the fans, this a shocking move. Of all the game companies to partner with, SOE is the least like Sigil, from all appearances. Surely there was a better way to let this particular cat out of the bag. It's all about the first impression, and given how we all love to chat this stuff up (and how forum communities love to play the martyr) the damage to Vanguard may already be done. And some games never recover from word-of-pottymouth (just ask Funcom and Anarchy Online).

    Anyway, check out the official press release by clicking |HERE|.

    Sat, May 06, 2006
  • With all the controversy about Beta; when is the next phase, how do I get in, why am I not in yet, will there be an open beta, etc etc, it's nice to see someone take a light hearted look at being a beta tester.

    Medeor looks at what it takes to beta test and how well he fits, or doesn't ,into that profile.

    Of course, Real Life patience is the trait that goes against all the codes in my instant gratification gene pool. When I see something that I like, I want it NOW. Can you tell I am an only child? Therapy aside, I think I'm doing better. My master-of-the-obvious friends always let me know that the almighty key to being patient is still in development, we'll just have to wait for it.

    You can find this insightful article here on our Vanguard Community Site.

    Fri, May 05, 2006
  • New Vanguard DeskpaperA diplomat, an adventuer and a crafter walk into a this isn't some lame joke, today's artwork shows all three spheres available in Vanguard.Niborea decided to try some different filters and styles with this weeks piece at Vanguard - TenTonHammer. Hope you enjoy "Tri-Spheres" at Vanguard - TenTonHammer.

    Thu, May 04, 2006
  • The Ins and Outs of Role-PlayingDo you role -play? Do you know how? NO!? This Vanguard - TenTonHammer series is for you and those who would like to enhance thier role-playing experience.AnomalousSilence will be bringing you a different aspect of role-playing each Wed. during the month of May.He starts his series off today with the proper enviroment in an MMO begining. Probably the most important part, your character's home.

    I highly suggest using this method, along with another, different way of measuring the character of the RP community: experience the server itself. If role-play is null in the newbie zones, it’s time to go elsewhere. While role-playing could be very minimal in these newbie areas, there needs to be at least some measure of it. And, of course, the server is a solid choice if there is a significant amount of role-playing in the newbie zones.

    Read on to find out how to find the best place to begin your role-playing in this first article of the roleplayer how-to series, at Vanguard - TenTonHammer.

    Wed, May 03, 2006
  • A Sense of StylePlay Style that is. Today is the first Tuesday of the month and Mercurie, at the Vanguard - TenTonHammer community site, has started it off with his "Take" on the topic of "Harcore vs casual, how do YOU play and do you feel the game will accomodate your playstyle".

    In the case of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, it seems to me that the game is being developed in such a way as to accommodate hardcore, casual, and intermittent gamers. The game is meant to be multi-layered, so that players won’t necessarily be limited to hack and slash.

    We all have different play styles and I don't think there is any right or wrong way to play. I myself generally spend more time in game than your typical "core" gamer but yet the way I approach the game is much more casual than my hours. Find out what Mercurie's playstyle is in his Tuesday's Take, and hop on over to the forums and give us your take.

    Tue, May 02, 2006
  • A Look at the Big CheeseToday all across the network you'll notice a focus on the men and women behind the games. While there are many men and women behind Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Vanguard - TenTonHammer's focus today is on one person in particular. He's someone nearly everyone in the gaming world recognizes. Whether it's by the trademark beard, his contribution to the birth of a highly successful MMO, or his familar avatar outfitted in green chainmail. We're talking about Brad McQuaid of course, and AnomalousSilence did some digging to find out all he could about the man behind the birth of Everquest and his current project; Vanguard, Saga of Heroes.

    Read more about Brad " Aradune" McQuaid in Behind the Avatar, at Vanguard - TenTonHammer.

    Mon, May 01, 2006
  • There's No “Me” or “I” in MMORPG (But There Is An OMG…)

    Having taking some time off Medeor, a writer on our Vanguard @ TenTonHammer site, is back and had time to look at what Multi Massive Online games meant to him and how he plays.Does it mean always having to interact with the community? Or is there more to it than just that?

    When I was handed the idea to write about my definition of massively multiplayer, I really sat back and thought about how I interact and how I avoid interacting with others in games. Here's the deal though, does Massively Multiplayer mean I always have to hang with multi-players? Should I be able to solo, should we be able to get into a discreet instance of the world, should I be able to hole up in my office or room and not have to interact with anyone? (Oh wait, that's what I call life.)

    Medeor shares with us his thoughts at Vanguard - TenTonHammer after reflecting on this assignment.

    Mon, May 01, 2006
  • A Vanguard Double Feature

    Merriandra updates her popular Vanguard-themed fanfiction series "Rain and Roses" with episode IV (and it's sure not to disappoint like that other Episode IV).

    Her eyes opened, unfocused, looking at the past, not the present. The next would be the hardest, the actual telling. Now it was just a disconnected narrative, as if she were still in the army and giving a report on the day’s work. He noticed that her speech didn’t slip into the patterns of her home. No, instead her words were without accent or dialect.

    Help yourself to more Merriandra "Rain and Roses" goodness at Vanguard - TenTonHammer.

    And, don't miss the latest artwork from Niborea:

    As he scouted ahead he caught a glimpse of something out of place. Proceeding causiously, the ranger bend down to investigate further. He would need to tell the others he had found the rare herb they'd been serching days for. He didn't mind, they paid him well for his time and expert tracking skills. He'd let the others handle things from here, for he knew that even though it looked harmless, it could mean instant death if the leaves touched the skin.

    Check out "Ranger in the Woods" from DDO - TenTonHammer's resident artist, Niborea!

    Fri, Apr 28, 2006
  • Not your average gamer?

    What is the average gamer? Is it the stereotypical teenage boy? Years ago this would have been the case but today it's hard to say who the typical gamer is.

    The gaming community has developed immensely over the past 10 years. It is becoming less taboo to admit that you enjoy gaming as a pastime. No longer do those men and yes women feel like they are in the minority if they don't fit the days gone by profile of the teenage gamer.

    AnomalousSilence set out to find those "non-average" gamers and has brought us an interview with four very diverse individuals.

    These interviews include an older gamer, a female gamer, a college and working gamer, and a military gamer. I hope you enjoy learning about these individuals as much as I did!

    Read the interview in its entirety at Vanguard - TenTonHammer

    Wed, Apr 26, 2006
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