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Comment /.'er who plays Vanguard (Score 1) 86

I played since beta, lasted until a little while after they merged some servers, took a break for about 9 months, then came back to it. It is much improved from the original launch. There is finally some high-end content that is rather enjoyable and complex -- not all encounters are pure "burn" fights and require instead a lot of strategy, timing and cooperation by 18 to 24 players. And as mentioned above, expanding the level cap by introducing AA's will make the grind much more worthwhile than killing an entire populations of high-end mobs.

Plus, as mentioned elsewhere, the new Isle of Dawn "tutorial" will level you up to the max of the first tier for all professions -- you can leave the nexbie area after completing the last combat quest or you can stick around until you are a level 10 adventurer, 10 diplomat, 10 crafter, and maxed out on tier 1 harvesting as well. The adventuring, crafting and diplo quests are all inter-related when it comes to the story line as well. When you finish the combat questline, you get an item that grows in power as you rise in levels -- existing players have to go to ridiculous lengths to get a similar item.

Plus, the Isle has some silly, fun features that you can't get on the mainland, like Slappy's whistle.

Sure, there are still problems. Bugs still related to ones from launch, bugs introduced with the new content. And there are the eventual nerfs of favorite character abilities, but the devs do pay attention to the player base, even if they can't fix an issue immediately.

If your main interest in an MMO is PvP, then this probably isn't the game for you. Originally, there were two types of PvP servers -- Free For All and Team PvP (similar to SWGs Imps and Rebels, but based on the race of your character). I loved the team-based PvP, but when Sony merged servers the one remaning PvP server went FFA. Plus, overpowered classes have a much more dramatic effect on game play in PvP than in PvE, IMO (too many TLAs, I know ;^). I wound up migrating my PvP toons over to a PvE server, got hooked up by a friend into a heavy raiding guild, and haven't looked back on my decision. The raids are far more challenging than PvP combat in this game ever was. But for those who want a taste of it, the devs introduced an FFA PvP arena on the PvE servers.

If you want to give it another look -- get the 14-day trial and give it a look. That way you won't have to spend money for a month if you decide you don't like it ... just don't get too attached to your characters unless you want to convert the trial into a full account -- no transfer of toons between accounts is available.

Comment Re:Can't agree 100%, but... (Score 1) 45

Tell me, are you crafting?

Yes, I have a lvl 50 Tailor and apprentices in all the other professions. And you got what I said completely backwards.

As it is now, crafter loot drops where lvl 50 adventurers can go, but the stuff is soulbound. That means they cannot share it with pure crafters or sell it on the exchange. In my experience, the gear goes to high level adventurers who are low-level crafters and they may never grind their crafters high enough to use the gear. It's a waste to make these things soulbound.

And btw, my lvl 50 Tailor is wearing gear he got solely from crafting work order rewards, with some crafting society jewelry. And I make most of my money from what I craft, not from adventuring.

Crafting is just like adventuring -- if you know your class and how to play it, you'll succeed.

Comment One of the playerbase (Score 1) 45

Nice that someone is interested.

I took about 9 months off the game because of all the bugs at launch and the lack of end-game content, but was pretty surprised and impressed when I came back about 4 months ago.

The game is still visually stunning -- one of the best looking MMOs I've played. It's also is one of the largest, in terms of game landmass. The multiple paths you can take -- anyone can be an adventurer, crafter, diplomat and harvester -- can offer a variety of different challenges depending on your play style. Most importantly, there have been a lot of bug fixes, exploits patched, and some great end-game content added with more to come (the point of this article). Grouping was always limited to 6 people, but for the high-level content your can form up to 24 people raids. Until recently, the most challenging raid content was limited to 18 people (3 groups, with 1 for support, swapping people in/out) but a new raid dungeon has opened with 24 man raid content.

As mentioned in a post above, there are limitations to the crafting and diplomacy branches. There still are lag (as any game) and chunking (switching between land zones) issues. As more powerful mobs get introduced, some character abilities (like levitation in APW) get nerfed to make the battles harder, but leaving players with those skills disgruntled. A lot of character class balance has been addressed, but there are still some over-powered and under-powered classes ... but not so much as there being a "class of the month" sort of issue. The PVP aspects of the game are dying off, but then this game was never really built for PVP. (A lot of people credit this from a change from having a few team-pvp servers to an only-FFA server, including me). A PVP arena has recently been introduced on the PVE servers for people who want a taste of that, with some of the staples of PVP (such as infamy gained or lost from kills) changed into a loot system that rewards players for gaining infamy, instead of the stat being fairly useless.

A lot has been said about the "low player base" because of server merges about a year ago, but except for the PVP server population seems to have risen or at least stabilized. Plus, with all its problems, the game is still enjoyable enough that when I see guildies leave for the game of the month (AOC, WAR, etc.) they eventually come back to Vanguard. It's survived the hype and the problems that almost killed off the game because it didn't live up to the hype, so now it's a fairly solid MMO with a loyal player base and continually improving content.

Comment Can't agree 100%, but... (Score 2, Informative) 45

In general, the poster has many valid points, but:

Crafting is not completely borked. Sure, it's fallen into niches or into status items (like having a galleon now), but there remain areas for which a crafter is essential. A few examples (and sadly, there are only a few) are guild halls and houses, particularly GHs for the guild buffs. Specialized gear, such as spell countering gear for casters, can pretty much only be crafted and is essential for critical raid battles ... try killing Kotasoth without being able to counter his heals. Focuses are critical, too -- my cleric has almost a full set of APW armor and it's caused my healing focus so much I'm checking into using a focus instead of a shield to get my healing focus back over the cap. All of these get into the fourth line of progression -- harvesting -- which has been widely overlooked these days because of dropped items. If you want your specialized gear, you have to do a lot of harvesting to get the rare and ultra-rare resources and dusts to make these, or have the plat to buy them off the exchange (if they are available). Some of the best APW gear is crafted gear as well, based on materials you need to harvest off of APW mobs.

We can be thankful at least that Sony hasn't completely screwed crafting like they did in Star Wars Galaxies -- once it was both essential and an artform that required a great deal of skill, now it's a joke.

I can't say much for diplomacy, other than using the resource, but again it's essential to the game. Adventurers, crafters and even diplos can all benefit from civic diplomacy buffs and we have a number of level 50 diplos in our guild to make sure the adventuring buffs are up before beginning any raid. Diplo buffs are another way of gaining some prestige -- at least enough to push you over the limit you need if you're relatively close. Again, also has information on locations and quests to help level you up.

These two definitely need attention, like making more raid gear drops targeted at these professions and making the items Bind On Equip, not Soulbound, but more importantly attention needs to be paid to the main ideas behind the classes. They've been ignored for too long.

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