Ardwulf reached level 30 this evening, a major milestone. For the record, I’ve put in 135 hours played. But then, I like slow progression, am okay with taking my time and appreciate games that encourage me to do so. Vanguard is one such. I did pick up his ability upgrades and added a piece or two of new gear from the Broker, although I didn’t have enough cash left over for the mount upgrade. Which is only an extra +10% land speed anyway, so it’ll keep for another level or so.
I am taking a break from the unicorn line for the moment until I have the leisure time to get a small group together for the next stage. Meanwhile, having decided to focus on a single character with the possible exception of crafting I have (re)taken up Diplomacy. Ardwulf managed, somehow, to reach level 6 as a Diplomat without having done the Halgarad starter diplomat line; I’m not sure how, but I seem to recall some quests being bugged way, way back. In any event they appear to be bugged no longer, and I finished that bit and got to the part where I am shipped off to either Vault of Heroes or Veskal’s Exchange. I left off at the latter, as the next stage of the particular chain I’m on is a timed quest that sends me to Three Rivers, and I didn’t want to start it at this godforsaken hour. I’m also short on Noble Presence for one quest I have, so I need to rustle up a point of that somewhere.
Subscription renewal time is coming up as well, next week. I’m already renewed and if things keep going as they are, with me having a great time playing Vanguard again, I intend to stay for at least the next few months, assuming we don’t get a big surprise and Guild Wars 2 launches in May or something, a prospect I deem very unlikely. There is, of course, the Guild Wars 2 Beta next weekend, and I fully intend to participate in that, but for the time being Vanguard is my game. It has its warts, but Vanguard offers things that comparable MMOs simply don’t. And I may even get to build that boat one day; I plan to pick up crafting again some time this week as opportunity allows.
What I would like to see happen in for Guild Wars 2 to launch in, say, June, and Vanguard to launch Free to Play around August. Or the opposite would be fine by me, really. I have no information to that effect, of course, but that’s what fits with my personal schedule and plans; I intend to play Guild Wars 2 more or less exclusively for a month or two, then split my time between the two games once Vanguard goes f2p. BUt I’m good with however it turns out.
This is going to be a big MMO summer in any event. I predict TERA will have limited longevity in the western marketplace but it’ll make some kind of splash at launch. I’m also pessimistic about how well The Secret World will do; I even opted out of signing up for the beta given that you have to jump through hoops on Facebook to do so. I am not particularly interested in either game. But this year will see both the biggest release of a new MMO in some time (I think GW2 will outsell SWTOR) and the one game that I wanted to see go freemium and that I think most deserves another chance is doing so as well.