Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Preview

By Maarten Goldstein, Jan 25, 2007 2:21am PST

GameSpot has the latest Vanguard: Saga of Heroes preview, going hands-on with the game one more time before its launch next week.

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6 Threads | 8 Comments

  • Performance wise this game is a bit of a pig compared to other MMO's. You can compensate by fine tuning the vgclient.ini file. It can be annoying but it is at least possible to find a relative sweet spot for your system.

    The gameplay is enjoyable, the cities have plenty of NPC's but still feel dead to me. I would love to see an MMO implement 'independent' npc's that at the very least wake up, go to 'work' and then go home to sleep. Maybe one day they'll find a workable solution for that. As it's the norm there's nothing wrong with their static npc placement.

    Diplomacy is a great side skill, it is basically a costless mini-game within the MMO. It plays like a card battle game where you bring a custom deck to the table. The main Diplomacy story lines have some great lore and, even though you are doing the exact same thing, makes it feel not at all like a Fed-Ex quest in most cases. If you find some Diplomacy buddies you can decide to work together to influence a certain Diplomatic 'faction' in the city which can result in a city wide buff that affects all players in the city.

    All in all it's different enough and the gameplay is enjoyable enough that I'll be picking up the CE (I love the extra goodies in those things.)

  • I have to say that the game was running a whole lot better this last week. i really didn't think I'd see THAT big of an improvement. I went ahead and preordered the CE edition because I was so impressed with them as a dev team. I was already hooked into the lore and the gameplay anyways.

    I have a mid-range system: dual core 4200+, 1GB RAM and ATI 1600pro 512MB card. I get about 15-20 FPS outdoors and 30-40 indoors running on a 22" widescreen LCD. Very playable now compared to the single digit FPS I was getting at the start of the beta. Also, the game was very unstable with me crashing every 20min or so and at the end of beta I was playing and no crashes. Very impressive to make that kind of leap that fast.

    The big issues I have a problem with right now are the freezes for about 10 sec when crossing chunk boundaries and falling through the boats to drown, lol. Both are known issues and I'm sure they'll get on it like they have stability and performance.

  • Performance has gotten better and better. I have a 7800GTX OC with a 4000+ processor and the game runs pretty smooth (or it did before they closed the beta). I was able to run with most of the eye candy turned on at 1280x1024 and it did good. There are still some issues when you are indoors but that seemed to be getting better as well.

    The gameplay is fun. The diplomacy sphere is awesome and seems like a really innovative way to add a ton of story elements into the genre. I also really like how (at least in the starting areas) for most races there is something major happening. You aren't just running around killing things (well, really you are but there is more of a point to it). For example when you spawn up as a dark elf, you are part of an army and they are ransacking a village on the coast and you have to help. But then something unexpected happens... Same with Orcs. You start out as a slave on a ship and have to escape. It's better than just starting out in an area where nothing is going on and it really draws you in. If they can keep that feeling going throughout the game it's going to be really cool.

    The only problem I really had was that the interface was kind of sluggish. After the liquid gold sex that is Blizzard's super duper incredibly refined UI's anything less in an MMORPG feels stiff and awkward. But I'm sure they'll work it out. It's a good game and it's definitely got something going for it and it brings some new things to the MMORPG table. I'll give it a shot.