If all the people who wish there was an MMO like MMOs used to be would stop wringing their hands and go play Vanguard, maybe it would get that expansion. Even without one, it remains very close to the best MMO there’s ever been.
Oh Vanguard, saga of more than heroes, negative example cited by many.
Here it is, the twin fifth anniversary of the launch of both Vanguard and Microsoft Vista. And what a pair they are, mirror images of, if not failure, then certainly a failure to meet expectations. Both sold moderately well, though in ways that did not help them in the long run.
Dell, for example, made money selling machines with Vista and then charging a fee to revert them back to Windows XP. And didn’t Vanguard sell something like 90,000 boxes right off the mark? [242,000 boxes sold according to Wikipedia. Thank you Bhagpuss.]
I know having played in the beta I was dubious when Sigil announced their launch date, which was both too early and square in the teeth of the first WoW expansion. And very soon after launch I was pondering how they were going to get out of their mess.
And after the launch… and after SOE took over the game… there was the long march back to sanity and, in some ways, away from the vision. Server merges. Graphic revamps. Bug fixes. Making the game playable took a while.
But here we are, five years later. The game is as “fixed” as it is ever going to be. It is available, stable, and five years down the road you likely have a machine that can run it.
So why isn’t Vanguard the focus of players looking for an old school experience? Why is something like EverQuest, which is coming up on its 13 year anniversary and which, in many ways, has abandoned many of the old school difficulties, still more popular?
My theory is that many of those seeking such an experience really have something specific in mind. I suspect that they do not, in fact, seek an old school experience, but rather long to experience their first game as it was when they played it initially. Basically, I think they want an old school experience in their old school, not in some new world.
And so Vanguard is not regarded as a viable option. Relatively few people have nostalgia for the game. I would be willing to bet that the EverQuest progression servers were more popular by themselves when they went live than Vanguard as a whole.
Why do you think, five years after launch, Vanguard isn’t the target of players claiming to seek an old school experience? The bad launch? The system requirements? Too small of a player base with nostalgia for the game?
Anyway, Bhagpuss has a post up celebrating the Vanguard fifth anniversary, which along with his comment quoted above made me think about what will become of the game.