The 30 Minute Vanguard Impression

I got on this morning, made a character, and roamed around for about half an hour before I had to get on the road to work. 

I am not sure what I can add to what has already been said since the NDA was lifted.  My first impressions are echoes of oft repeated comments.

Yes, it kills my video card.  My 256MB ATI x800XL can barely clunk along at the highest performance setting.  Blizzard can breath easy on that front.  The competitors who will challenge World of Warcraft will have recommended hardware settings that include built-in Intel 3D graphics chips.

Yes, the user interface looks like it was lifted directly from WoW, with the decorations changed to protect the guilty.  I suppose you cannot fault Sigil on the “7 million fans cannot be wrong” front, but if they wanted to make the game more accessible to people coming from WoW, this was probably not the place to start.

Yes, it did look nice, but not in proportion to the amount of graphic processing required.  Even when I had the graphics set to “Balanced” and was enjoying the world updating at oil painting speeds, there was no “Oh cool! Loot at that!” moment.  Maybe I should have rolled something other than a dwarf.  In WoW, dwarves have the most bland of starting areas, so maybe that is true here as well.

Which brings me to the only real surprise.  My dwarf is ugly.

Not ugly in any grotesque sense. 

Not surprisingly ugly. 

Not shockingly ugly. 

Not Warhammer dwarf ugly. 

I could roll with hideous ugly.  No, this is much more banal. 

My dwarf is ugly, but in an entirely indifferent way. 

Life appears to have just passed him by when it came to looks. 

People see him and wonder if he is, perhaps, just a bit slow on the uptake.

He is “Slingblade” ugly.  Only shorter and with a big beard.

He started ugly in the character creator and just got uglier by turns as I tried to work with him.

Here he is:

Dwarf Like fight much!

I am not sure I can get excited about playing a character that is this “short bus” ugly.  I keep thinking somebody is going to hand me a sword with a green rubber coated handle, a rounded tip, and a blunt edge so I won’t hurt myself.

(Pixelated speech balloon created here. I felt it fit in with the graphic detail setting of the moment.)

6 thoughts on “The 30 Minute Vanguard Impression

  1. Razakius

    I was surprised by how ugly the pcs were as well so I laughed when you mentioned this. Another game coming out this year has a similar problem of ugly PCs, I don’t get why this is the latest rage.

    I also don’t get why everyone is lifting the WoW UI. It isn’t good, it’s not good at all. I was especially horrified in Vanguard that they kept the chat scroll which may be about the worst chat scroll I have seen in my 15 years of internet experience, game or not. Why would they do this? To me the best thing about WoW’s interface is that you can skin it, which honestly isn’t the hugest of deals as most MMOs these days have that feature included! Why not copy a good interface like Anarchy Online which to date was still the best UI in an MMO. I think CoH had a decent, though much clunkier today, UI… still far better than WoW.

    What is wrong with the universe.


  2. Deniticus

    Man, that’s ZZ-Top ugly. You really should put a disclaimer at the top of this to put down any beverages before reading. I nearly spit my coffee on to my monitor and that was before I saw the screen shot.

    The MMOGosphere has nearly convinced me not to download this beast, but my masochistic side yearns to find out just how bad it can be.

    Looking forward to hearing more news from the front.


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    And you haven’t had the whole effect until you have seen this dwarf running along and jumping. I listened to VirginWorlds #47 on the way to work this morning (a 10-car pile up let me make it through the whole episode), so to borrow from Brent, the jumping just seals the deal on the whole “short a chromosome” thing.

    You know how we jump over every rise in the terrain? This looks so bad that it will kill the habit in no time.


  4. Ohgr

    The only thing I could say about VG:SoH as far as a description (i was in closed beta a few months back) would be this: it has the graphical stylings of EverQuest, the ever-functional UI of World of Warcraft and the clunky playstyle and massive resource requirements of Star Wars Galaxies.

    I have the Sony All Access Pass as well. Would I buy it? No way. I blew $20 on MxO under the same assumption; if I don’t like it, I’m only out the purchase price. I won’t knowingly get burned again.

    Another great post, man… keep it up!


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