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Reader Comments (34)

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:21AM Snorii said

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Same here - I've always been interested in Vanguard's system, but never tried it out.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:22AM greatscate said

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I've been saying it for a long time... If SoE would have just kept up on the updates in this game, it would be the most complete game on the market. Sure, it was branded with the label of being a "bad launch", but that is the beauty of Online MMOs - They can be updated and fixed!

Diplomacy was a great idea, and tbh utilized awesomely in Vanguard. One of the most inventive and innovative additions to MMOs in a LONG time! It's a damn shame people never really got into Vanguard to test it out. Of course it deserves another shot in a game that actually sees developer attention!

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People who think Bioware are reinventing the wheel with SWTOR are going to be severely disappointed. A MMO which emphasizes single-player story lines (created by developers alone) is really going to limit players interaction even further, rather than encouraging global/server story lines and interaction... which will eventually turn MMOs even further into online single-player RPGs.

Posted: May 12th 2011 9:08AM driler234 said

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@greatscate

I think your comments about BioWare would be pretty accurate if the class stories were the only things that were voiced. Fortunately they aren't. If anything, the single player story (unique to each class w/ no shared quests between the classes) provides a structured frame of reference of what's going on as you make it through the game. What's cool about it is that YOU are making the decisions that create that frame of reference; there are consequences to actions you make. I concede that those consequences are pre-defined by the developers/writers, but it will still be a brand new, unexpected experience for the player. The amount of flexibility in progression this will provide is actually pretty impressive, and really has not been done on this scale before. This is not to discount the ability for players to create their own experiences, but I would argue that most players don't do that and just want to have a good time playing. Additionally, I think it would be hard to expect player-created content that will be as consistently good as what BioWare is capable of producing.

If you take a listen/read on the play-through experiences from people at the fansite summits and other events you'll notice frequently that players are saying the multiplayer dialogue is extremely fun and adds a new element to grouping. So not only are you making a choice in how your group's experience continues, you're discussing it w/ your group members, arguing about it, laughing when something funny is said during dialogue. That level of engagement in the questing experience doesn't exist right now in the MMO space.

Additionally, the multiplayer dialogue system is not just for laughs, and being in a group doesn't just make it easier to get exp and loot. SWTOR is awarding social points to people who participate in group content in the game. These points can be used to purchase different items and attire, thereby providing a more tangible incentive for people to group up with one another than you might see in other MMOs.

Added to all of this the fact that there actually IS a global story that all of the classes are following as they progress. These world quest-lines are going to have group content as well and they will increasingly factor into your experience as you move away from the starter zones and closer to the end-game levels. As a result, there will be a pretty engaging experience that will help encourage grouping as you play.

I don't think BioWare is reinventing the wheel with SWTOR, but what they are doing with story, VO, and multiplayer dialogue quite simply hasn't been done before. It's shaping up to be an experience you can do on your own and still have fun, or group up in your travels and have an even better time while getting tangible and intangible rewards for being teamed up. I think that's pretty awesome.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 1:34PM greatscate said

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@driler234

If this is truly the case, then great! But color me pessimistic. To me, SWTOR hype has the same stink RIFT had building up to its release. "Rifts are going to be crazy innovative! OMG! I can't wait!!!" While they are innovative and enjoyable, the long term appeal just isn't there. I just see a lot of Star Wars hype here, and little anticipation about the actual game. I may be wrong, but who knows until the game is finally released?

Also, while I don't doubt Bioware puts out quality products time and time again, I just can just see their first dance in the MMO market being more or less "Mass Effect with other players running around." By this I mean that it will by and large be a single player game, that you can choose to group in (if you wanted). Problem is, given these types of MMOs, gamers tend to choose solo over all else. I know humans are social beings, I just don't know is "gamers" fall into that category. Over the years, simplified gaming mechanics have bred a MMO community build upon singular achievements rather than large scale cooperation. It's sad, but just the simple reality of games nowadays.

I guess I'm just too old school in my belief that grouping should be forced upon players (to an extent). After all, MMOs were founded upon the principles of grouping and the co-dependency of its players... not solo mechanics that CAN be utilized in groups if wanted.

All in all - I tend to view SWTOR hype as nothing more than Star Wars hype... the IP is what is going to sell this game. Not game mechanics.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 8:25AM VagabondX said

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As a matter of fact this system is not as complex as you would think. Diplomacy won't change nor the dialog nor the effect of the dialog. It is basically just a way to add a minigame to a conversation, and if you can play the game well, you will see the whole conversation, otherwise you won't.
That said, it is really enjoyable, and the stories that you can reveal are well written and they add a lot of depth to the lore behind the game. It is definitely something that would worth preserving.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:25AM Petter M said

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The diplomacy system in VG rocks. Great way of telling stories. It did have some issues in the "epic" diplomacy lines, which all ended in the same place and with the same quests (so you had to do the ending four times to get all the diplo gear), but I guess that could have been something they would have addressed at some point if there were actually any development money in Vanguard.

I usually don't want games I enjoy to go F2P, but I guess in VG's case it might actually be a good idea to at least bring in some people. Or turn it freemium somehow.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:31AM DeadDreamer said

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Awesome system. I could do it for hours. Basically it's like a mini-game with cards.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:33AM driler234 said

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@(Unverified)

This.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:51AM jeremys said

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There's actually been speculation in the past about Runes of Magic utilizing it's massive amount of collectible cards in a mini-game fashion.

Something on the scale of suddenly incorporating it into RoM's quests seems a bit out-of-reach to me, but I'd still love to see a collectible card game feature created in some fashion. Personally, I'd use Vanguard's card game as the base-model.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:51AM jeremys said

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@jeremys Don't look, Bree.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 8:54AM notinterested said

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@jeremys Something like this in a F2P would not be fun because you know the good cards will cost you a ton of $$$.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 9:32AM jeremys said

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@notinterested There are currently hundreds of cards in Runes of Magic that all add permanent bonuses to player-attributes by collecting them, and none of them are for sale.

I'd be okay with some form of cash-shop integration. Runes of Magic does a decent job with it. The pet system is a deep, involved system allowing collecting and merging all from just what's in-game(as an example). Basically items to speed up pet production and other time intensive endeavors around pet-collecting and raising.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 8:57AM Marekh said

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Absolutely!

Loved doing diplomacy while playing Vanguard. One of the most brilliant ways to implement lore in a game I think.

And by the way, I can't stop thinking that Vanguard is actually the only game that took all the best of the old school, introduced some great innovations, and mixed it all with a great accessibility and fluidity, which is the main selling point of the so-called second generation.

It may have sucked at the beginning, but that was mainly due to developer's issues.

This IS a great game, just read most of the comments of people actually playing it.

Posted: May 12th 2011 8:57AM Kifix said

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Everything in Vanguard desserves another shot ;-)
But i don't think i would enjoy it if it was only a useless "minigame". We are probably going to see more minigames in the future. It was planned in Stargate and there are some in TOR. I don't think it's interesting unless it's really useful, and linked to other elements of the game. If it's only there to occupy you for 5 mins, then you might as well open your browser or play on your phone. But if it gives you acces to housing, or it unlocks some guild rights / quests, or it give you some power over NPC guard of a village... then it should be a really good addition to the game and the immersion into the world.

Posted: May 12th 2011 9:01AM notinterested said

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I know so many loved the diplomacy system i just never got it every time i tried it just bored me to tears. Not that the rest of vanguard was much better.

Great ideas, great potential ruined by poor leadership.

Flip flopping between casual and hardcore was IMO the worst part. Many people coming from EQ looking for something more serious where very happy with beta and early VG (Except bugs of course) then they changed their minds.

One of the biggest features of the game was the player boats which they made useless and player housing which was never attainable enough to be worth it to most. I understand making the housing a bit difficult to obtain but then they made the homesteads way out in the middle of nowhere.

LoTRO and EQ2 got player housing right but vanguard pretty much screwed it up at every turn.

Posted: May 12th 2011 9:19AM arborhawk said

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I played Vanguard at launch and had no major issues with the game.
It looked great. The one broken part that I ran into was diplomacy. I played for a bit and was getting into it but then something was bugged. My main problem with Vanguard is I never cared about the world. Perhaps the fact that I met no one in the game, was the problem. It was my first truly solo experience.

Posted: May 12th 2011 9:26AM Stormwaltz said

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Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'm of the opinion that interacting with NPCs should involve... you know... roleplaying, or something.

I didn't like the conversation minigame in Oblivion, and I didn't like the one in Vanguard. Not every aspect of a game is improved by shoving an abstracted minigame into it.

Posted: May 12th 2011 11:51AM cowboyhugbees said

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@Stormwaltz Here, here. Although I can sympathize with developers about the amount of work it would take, I think "conversation" should revolve around actual dialog trees. Save the minigames for gambling or something.
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Posted: May 12th 2011 9:26AM Lethality said

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I think diplomacy deserves a much larger role in MMORPGs, as true avenues to content (not just rewards). However, I disliked Vanguard's "deck" system. Too gamey.

Posted: May 12th 2011 9:29AM (Unverified) said

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I loved Vanguard and would love to see something happen with it and its features. I'd still play it if I could justify the sub fee for a game that gets no updates and has a tiny community, but I really can't. :-/ I was there at launch and though an MMO can maybe recover from that as someone said, the community for that MMO has a much harder time doing so. I never played SWG so it was the VG launch and aftermath and put a sour taste for SOE in my mouth.

On diplomacy specifically, I never got that deep into this feature when I did play VG. It is a kind of mini-game, but it has effects on the world too by giving buffs while in cities and whatnot. I went back to play the trial not too long ago and had a great time leveling Diplo up to 10 through that. I'm sure another game could adjust it and do it well. The only problem I had with it I guess is that it was so single-player oriented (at least in the lower levels, not sure how it was higher up). I don't play MMOs to play alone (one reason I'm rather leery of SWTOR despite my love of Bioware).

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