A Return to Telon

Last night Mrs. Ardwulf and I cleared Shadowfang Keep with our level 35 Druids, with no other help. I’df wondered if we weren’t a bit to low to do this, but it turned out to be no problem, although the trash mobs obviously did not go as quickly as if we’d done it with a level 60-80 character. But I was able to run around and collect five to eight of them at a time, then wipe them all out with AOE, with Mrs. Ardwulf healing. None of the bosses was any great challenge, although Archmage Arubal, the final boss, did give us a neat moment when he blinked and reappeared elsewhere in the room. It’s a well-done little dungeon for which there are unforunately no Alliance quests, so I see it as perhaps the Horde equivalent of Deadmines.

But the biggest deal of the night was something else: I played Vanguard again, really played for the first time in many months. I started a new character on the Isle of Dawn (which I have still never fully completed,) and got him to level 5. This in itself was no so important, even though I noted a few new things, like the fact that Vanguard now has Appearance slots for gear, much in the same way as EQ2. Performance is about the same as when I left, which is of course much-improved over where it was even well after launch, but then, I’m using the same hardware setup as last time.

The nicest thing was that I felt the Vanguard magic again. I turned the settings all up to maximum and just looked for a while. I watched the clouds roll by and the grass sway in the wind, and heard the bodies of enemies wither under my magical assault. It was a terrific experience, and I can’t wait to play some more.

Obviously, my time is limited right now to the point that I won’t be playing much of anything except on the weekends, and next semester (when I will have classes on both Saturday and Sunday,) things will be even tighter. But still, I am determined not to give up MMOs entirely, and right now the primary focus is and will continue to be WoW. But when Mrs. Ardwulf gets bored with playing, (and she’s like me in that respect,) I might just restart my StationPass account.

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4 responses to “A Return to Telon

  1. and heard the bodies of enemies wither under my magical assault

    At least you heard something. Looks like Vanguard will choke on Windows 7, as I had no sound, and the performance was dismal…especially for my system which can eat Age of Conan DX10.

    This game, though having a cool atmosphere is really on it’s last legs. The community was horrible when I asked some questions, the world is empty, and just does not cut it with it’s multitude of kill 10x quests which was that whole new starter isle thing…so sad.

    Good luck if you stick it out. This was my final try at it I am afraid. I cannot handle a game that does not make progress.

    Cheers mate

  2. I thought last time was your final try. 🙂

    I differ with the notion that Vanguard has not made progress – it’s made tremendous and obvious progress. What hasn’t changed much, however, has been the basic structure of the gameplay, which was always pretty good as far as I was concerned. Where you see empty space, for example, I see plains and mountains that are a pleasure to travel through, and room for the world to feel organic, unlike, say, WAR (and WoW to a lesser extent,) where the whole place is laid out in a very linear fashion such that it’s all CONTENT and no world. I appreciate that this can feel frustrating to those wanting intense gameplay or who want to pack as much as possible into limited gaming time, but for me, it’s a feature and not a problem, although admittedly you have to balance that big world with a playable population, which has been an issue in the past.

    The Isle content isn’t appreciably different from content in the rest of Vanguard in terms of play style. It’s a bit more polished and self-contained, is all. The game’s always included its share of kill and collect quests, but it, like the isle, also adds plenty of novel quests as well. The chain on the isle where reactivating the old runic tablet involves searching the bodies of hobgoblins consumed by magic, is one such; the URT questline on Thestra (15-22ish) is another.

    My experience with the in-game Vanguard community has been pretty positive. Last night I saw questions being asked and politely answered. Maybe it’s a server thing. I won’t say Vanguard has the strongest and most mature community I’ve ever seen in an MMO (that’d probably be LotRO,) but it’s been highly decent to me, and very, very far from the worst (which would be Guild Wars, which as far as I’m concerned has a marginally bigger retard population than even the worst WoW servers.)

    Also, in fairness, Windows 7 isn’t yet finished, let alone released, so the jury’s still out. As a point of reference, I never had any Vista-related issues with it (unlike, say, City of Heroes.) You’d think the devs would put some effort into making it work on the latest OS.

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