This is certainly an unusual combat theme; it’s almost sad and ominous in turns, but certainly not some sort of stirring action sequence. I think that’s what I like about it, that it gives the feeling of a hard journey, of a drawn-out struggle rather than a quick clash. Plus it’s just soaked in atmosphere!
“[With] Vanguard I was late to the party but I invested in this game to support it, it is one of my favorite MMO games, there isn’t anything that feels like it. This one really hurts to hear.”
“When Vanguard takes its final curtain call there will be no such second coming. If it was hard to say goodbye to a beta character just a few months old, knowing that, while he took his well-earned rest, for me the adventure was just beginning, how much more painful will it be to watch one of my favorite characters ever disappear into the good night? Along with all his friends and helpmates. Forever.”
“I think that the closure of Vanguard will be a loss for virtual worlds. For all its failures and problems it is a beautiful and ambitious game with love evident in every leaf and tree. It’s the only MMO that makes me feel like I am visiting a world rather than playing a game, every time I log in.”
“Because I do love Telon and the vision and the game. I love that this is the last great achievement of Keith Parkinson before his passing. I love that this game had the balls to do things that no other game after it has even dared to attempt.”
“As I sit here and think about everything I’ve done in game and browse through the thousands of screenshots I’ve taken I can’t help but get a bit teary eyed. I doubt any but those closest to me know just how much of myself I poured into this game and how much it has given back to me over the years, helping to keep me sane when the world around me was a disaster.”
Have we ever seen a studio announce the shutdown of four MMOs all at once? To my recollection, no, although sometimes these foreign studios do wipe out a bunch of tiny ones in one go.
But man… this is a huge event that SOE decided to cushion itself by (a) waiting until end of business on Friday to announce and (b) mix in some good (if not new) news with the All Access changes.
So we’re going to be saying goodbye to Vanguard, Clone Wars Adventures, Wizardry Online, and Free Realms come this March and July. CWA and Wizardry don’t surprise me, especially the latter, but the other two do. SOE poured in a lot of money and effort into a free-to-play Vanguard and to my knowledge Free Realms was doing just fine. I guess the beancounters either saw that these properties were losing money, not likely to gain much more money, or would be better off not dragging the studio down as it looked to soar with DCUO, PlanetSide 2, and the EverQuest titles.
So Dragon’s Prophet made the cut? Huh. I mean… really? Huh.
As many people have noted, this kind of puts an end to seeing SOE as the studio that champions and sustains MMOs that would have faltered elsewhere. Maybe it’s just done with that, having cast off EQOA, EQMac, Star Wars Galaxies, and (most likely) PlanetSide, not to mention sending Pirates of the Burning Sea away. It also lessens the value of the new All Access pass because fewer games.
It’s not the end of the world, of course. Of some worlds, but not the world. For most players, it won’t be a blip, as these aren’t the most populated and played games out there. Maybe pruning the SOE tree of dead weight is needed to create a stronger company in the end. But it’s still a little bit of a shock to see something like this hit all at once.
Guess it’s time to go update the Timeline page once again!
For their final podcast (of the year), the Battle Bards are singing the saga of heroes. If that’s too vague, we’ll just be up-front. It’s Vanguard. We’re talking Vanguard’s OST. It was a difficult soundtrack to review because it contained a paradox. What is that paradox? Listen, we’re not going to spoil everything here — just listen to the show!
Episode 18 show notes
- Introduction (including “Main Theme”)
- “Brightwood Dells”
- “Celestial Hills”
- “Steppes of the Sunset”
- “Grotto of the Sea Hags”
- “Kaon Mage School”
- “Bamboo Forest”
- Which one was our favorite?
- Outro (“Bamboo Forest Combat”)
Special thanks to Tesh for the Battle Bards logo!
“At the end, I spent about 3 hours in the game, and stopped playing only because I needed to go to sleep. Of that three hours, I’ve spent none with crafting, about half an hour with adventuring and the rest with diplomacy. Boy I forgot how much fun diplomacy is!”
“So here we have a game with the clear appearance of being unloved by its publisher, with a visibly minuscule player population, in a period when cancellation would have surprised absolutely no one and would seem to make sense on the face of it for a number of reasons. Yet Vanguard, despite all this, and despite the proclamations by naysayers that shutdown is right around the corner, gets a new lease on life this summer. Why? I can think of four possible reasons.”
My Bounty Hunter, Door, is deep into the thick of Dromund Kaas, which I consider to be the superior of the tier 2 planets (Coruscant is too busy and too much like Nar Shadda to be engaging). I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I might even like her more than my Agent. The Dark Side choices, while morally repugnant for the most part, often come with hilarious one-liners that make the genocide worthwhile. And as a Mercenary, I’m just blowing crap up from here to kingdom come and loving how un-subtle it all is. Sometimes you want complex mechanics, sometimes you just want to hit a couple buttons and watch things go “boom” and numbers go over 9000.”
She’s still trying to gain access to the Great Hunt, and I’m not quite sure if BioWare’s toeing the line of how long they can stretch out this application process without it becoming a running gag. I mean, I thought I was in it back on Hutta, but apparently that was like getting engaged to become engaged someday. I’ll tell you this, however: Even though the huntmaster is a giant Wookiee, I’m not above shoving a blaster up each of his nostrils if the next time I go there he says, “Oh, just ONE more thing you gotta do! PLANET SCAVENGER HUNT! WOOO!”
So in the meanwhile, she’s ripping up the planet left and right, and figuratively mooning every Imperial she can. Because, Imperials.
I’m pushing hard to finish up with Enedwaith’s epic storyline, and there’s some impatience there because I’ve already done it and know how it ends. Yet as with my SWTOR Bounty Hunter, I’m taking great pleasure in having a DPS-slinging tank at my disposal who doesn’t like to die, ever. Hitting a devastate on an AOE swing is pure joy, my friends, even more so when I can activate one of my finishers because of that. And my ghost archer, Gozer the Gozarian, is an invaluable assistant, especially when I want to go to ecto bars in downtown Galtrev.
I had to remind myself last night to “play in the now” instead of thinking about just how much content I had to get through before checking out Update 6’s new zone. I know I have plenty of time left before this fall’s expansion, so I’m expecting that April and May will be spent going through Isengard, with the summer devoted to the Great River and various side-projects (skirmishes and Virtues and the like).
Realm of the Mad God
After hearing some chatter on this over the past couple weeks, I gave Realm of the Mad God a try and found it… okay. On one hand, I like the retro pixel look and it’s easy enough to move and fight and level. Yet it’s also frustrating because you can only see a portion of the battlefield from top-down, and I wasn’t sure how you could group up with others and where to go. Maybe I should do a little more reading on the subject.
I’m not going to subscribe, but I was just way too curious about this game following the F2P announcement that I downloaded the trial and spent some time in the newbie zone. I probably only clocked an hour or so, but I have to say that the reports are true — it IS a very beautiful game with an excellent soundtrack, and I really would like to explore it in depth.
I rolled a Gnome Necromancer and am excited to start patching together her first undead abomination, but I guess that’s not coming for another couple of levels. Next time I log in, I’m going to go through the Diplomacy tutorial.
Guild Wars 2
Can I just say that after this past press beta weekend that I’m even more excited for this game than I was before, and leave it at that? I’ll leave it at that. /bouncing happily in my chair