Daily Archives: October 19, 2006

Vanguard RSS Feed Annoyance

In my ongoing RSS feed search, I did discover that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes does have a feed.  It is not, however, hooked up to their news page.  It is hooked up to their FAQ page.  Not exactly what I wanted, but I thought perhaps the FAQ page updates might be interesting, so I subscribed.

But now I have a problem.

I use a stand alone application called Feed Reader to pick up my RSS feeds.  I like it because it is simple, it is free, it includes no ads, it polls sites periodically in the background and puts up a discreet indicator to let me know there are updates available, and it archives old entries.  So, unlike some of the web based feed options, I can see all the entries back for months as opposed to just what is in the XML file at any given moment.

This archiving ability is a key feature for me.  I like to see a couple months worth of news or entires for a given site as opposed to what happens to be available today.  I also use it as an alternate backup archive for this site.

The problem is, Sigil, in their Vanguard FAQ, has chosen to include information on the number of times an item has been read as part of their data.  This is just enough to convince Feed Reader that it is a new entry, so every time it updates the feed from their site, I see the same five FAQ articles as “new.”  Plus, since they are “new” according to Feed Reader, it keeps the old ones as well. 

So, in the feed archive for Vanguard, I see nine entries for “What about replayability, do I revert or start a new character?” each identical and unchanged since May 22, 2006, except for the number of views listed at the end of the title. (1625 views last time around.)  I also have nine entries for the other four articles in their XML file. (All from May 22 as well… hasn’t anybody asked any more questions frequently enough to make the list?)

Such is life in the modern age I guess.  I will unsubscribe from the feed, feeling fully informed about replayability in Vanguard by now, and look elsewhere for my updates on the game.  I have been thwarted by desire not to do everything in a web browser and my need to archive data from the web, lest it disappear overnight. (Like all those gamergod.com articles mentioned in the comments of the previous post.)