The 4 funnelled starting zones in Vanguard are fine really, I don’t mind them. I am still trying out the various classes though and have now seen quite a lot of them. Also I see the dreaded “revamp” word being used regarding the original racial starting areas. Why? I don’t care if it’s boring and there is no room for personal glory in just fixing the bugs, evening out the quest flow and letting things be – not liking just fixing things, well that’s some dev’s personal problem. I’m just a player here, dev aspirations are not my concern, and I don’t like streamlined pablum, new for the sake of new.
Exploration is of time as well as area, you know. The deathknell of WoW-and-my long-standing relationship rang out exactly when they stripped out old content and replaced it with a thin, on-rails boring overfast trivial experience, which you only wanted to play once and never again and which outlevelled the zone. No more pleasant times with Thottbott tracking down obscure items or strange npcs or places I came across. I didn’t much care if things were broken here and there either. It was discovery, pure and simple, and exploration, and it was good. If things don’t work so well in old places and you don’t feel inclined to fix them, just put “Here Be Bugs” on the map and let people still be able to see what past devs made. Layers of time provide richness.
We can make far snazzier pyramids nowadays, but people still go to Egypt.
So starting on a rainy moonlit Qalian evening… (get comfy, snuggle down, I will tell a tale….)
So far my ventures into this world had been pleasant but bland, only the classes and their sheer dazzling depth had gripped me – but one must not judge a whole game world by the very startiest starty places and thankfully this dark elf was ready to go to the secondpartystarty starty place in Khal, as soon as the sun rose. Scorpions on leashes eh, she mused, well…. ok. Being trained by rats, no… rat people. Giggle! Anyway, soon time to find the path down the cliff and see what lay ahead. This did:
I was not to know it right then, but that was to be the start of a marathon gaming session, the like of which I have not been tempted into since my very early days of instance soloing on World of Warcraft, before I got involved in guilds and raids and all the other things they push down your throat – and hence had no time for such delights.
Usually I do ignore the lore in games, I confess it. I find it badly constructed which soon annoys me. Whole chunks don’t fit together and the layers don’t relate. Things get undue importance then trail to nothing. But the lore here is slowly seeping in. Down the hill I had more doings with the ratpeople, the Ksaravi, and my doings weren’t as clear-cut as I expected. The quest flow in this area is nice, with little side trails that provide some interesting diversions from the main trail to the starter dungeon… One thing led to another as the secondpartystarty starty area of Khal unfolded it’s tale. I duly entered the Ksaravi Hollow cave.
I am something of a dungeon bunny, I like to solo them, I like to explore them, and I thought I was in one of the usual kind, which would have been good enough for me. But it was nicer than that really, not like any dungeon I’ve been in before. For one thing, eventually I fought my way to this:
(I had to come back later and take the screenshot on another alt)
By this time, it was past my bedtime in the game called Real but fortunately I was not due anywhere early next day … I mean what self-respecting dungeon bunny could resist???
Hehe – no more screenshots of the ratpalace – go see for yourself! It’s quite fun in there. I was there until near morning and got to the end boss, which I apparently killed. But I doid, and didn’t know :).
And that settled that! Vanguard is an amazing game. It really is and I intend to carry on playing it.
Next though, the vexed business of “retooling starter zones”. I haven’t the time to race to see these areas before they destroy them in the name of progress and I have already missed one…. Mekalia? I think it’s called. How dismaying. How…. errr … oh well. Anyway my dark elf finished the dungeon properly the next day and! Off to find the Dark Elf starting zone isn’t it.