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Voyages of Vanguard #30
Thu, 10 Jan 2008 02:49:00 GMT [download/play]



Troy and Karen return with a new show, for the new year!  both talk about the latest news in Vanguard, with each talking about holiday festivities and quests. Troy laments about striking the words "polish" and "optimization" from lexicon for the coming year. 

Karen gives a great shout-out to Lumio!  Both hosts talk about how much they really enjoy seeing Lumio spreading great Vanguardian fun.

Troy and Karen then talk about what they have been doing over the holiday season. Both talk excitedly about playing Vanguard and Everquest 2.  During one of the many tangents, the duo talk about the problems of losing a guild hall and what the developers could do to prevent this.

Troy and Karen battle over the idea of armor tinting, each with their own ideas behind the perfect visualization of characters.  Karen loves the armor art in Vanguard, while Troy really would love to see armor tinting.

What should the developers do in this new year?  Troy and Karen talk about what they believe should be done to Vanguard for 2008.

Closing out the show, Troy rants about banner ads on the Sony sites; and Beau Turkey returns with his Vanguard Newbie Show, talking about the latest Producer's Letter.

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Episode 30 Discussion Thread

'Woo hoo!' by James
Submitted on 2008-01-10 01:43:43 CST
What a nice surprise to hear Troy AND Karen back in the saddle with the first VoV of the New Year!


'Virginworlds lives on Zencast' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-01-10 07:00:58 CST
Hey Everyone,

For Christmas I got myself a Zen V mp3 player: a combination mp3 player, voice recorder, video player, and FM radio. I was very close to buying an Itouch, but that is a completely different tangent.

Anyway, the product comes with a program called Zencast, which looks vaguely like Itunes. With excitement I found Virginworlds listed on its site and quickly added it to my feed. However, I did not find Voyages of Vanguard nor EQual Perspectives. Tonight I am going back to see if there is an area where I can request podcasts.

Virginworlds lives on Zencast!

Troy



'Few quests in journal' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-01-10 09:41:13 CST
This is a very interesting psychological issue, which WoW invented. The view is that people are more likely to do quests when they can focus on a few. People can only keep a few in their head at a time, so it actually encourages them to play and enhances their achievement, when they can completely clear out their quest log. When they have 100+ slots in their journal, people have less of an impression that they are "getting through" quests.

You have to counter this with the irritation factor of having to delete quests, but you have your swings and you have your roundabouts...

Nice to have a VoV podcast again in 2008...



'Quest driven bleh.' by Nosferum
Submitted on 2008-01-10 10:23:45 CST
---Player self-control: tinting is actually quite a task. I don't recall the details now, but I remember reading an essay on the difficulty of player-controlled tinting in games and the challenge was substancial. Aside from that, at what point are you willing to cede self-control over your coloration for fear of a pink warrior? Any old UO player will recount stories of PKs in pink dresses and floppy hats. **shrug**

---I really appreciate the fact that this podcast is continuing, but I worry that the focus on Vanguard will continue to wane. Moreover, your ability to maintain familiarity with the changes in the game will only decrease.

---As an aside, I actually loathe quest-driven content. WoW has perfected this, and it creates an experience where I don't explore. There's no incentive to just explore. Instead, the incentive system in that game drives players to go straight to the nearest village in a zone, pick up a stack of quests, look at the goals, and only go precisely where they need to go, do precisely what they need to do, turn in the quest and move on. They don't really "devour" the content; they sample. Hell, from the moment you make your character, you're facing an NPC with an exclamation point. I recall, instead, the sandbox style, and how Asheron's Call fed content to players. You'd wander around doing whatever you wanted, largely because content was laid out so those desires would just become manifest within you. From any given location in the game, you'd see, in the distance, something that would catch your eye. You'd go look, and feel like you discovered something. I'd go to work and tell my boss that I found a new area, and he'd tell me he found a new favorite hunting spot.



'Great show!' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-10 11:56:21 CST
I can totally see your point, Scytale..about only allowing a few quests in your jornal at once. I could see it helping players maintain interest.
On the other hand, it depends on the player. for some reason, I don't really enjoy questing nearly as much as say, my wife. All she does is quest. I like to put on some music, and explore and just see what I can do. It's not the fastest way to level, but again that depends on the player if that is important or not.
I agree with Nos when he talks about exploring. In fact, one of the first thing I like to do in a new MMO is explore, to see how far I can reach before I just get murdered over and over. Thats kind of a test for me: how far can I go, just looking around? I love finding beautiful lil scenic areas. Sometimes I'll find some of the prettiest area in game and wonder why more players don't notice. Not their thing, which is cool.
So, I still would like a HUGE notebook to carry tons of quests in. I mean, I find myself going back and doing out of level (grey for lack of a better term) quests just to go through the story without getting killed a million times.
Beau



'Quests' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-01-10 16:51:18 CST
Without quests, or in a quest-less "sandbox" aren't you really just grinding and spinning your wheels to prevent boredom, and in doing so, only hastening the inevitable boredom?

Everyone gets on this "WoW is linear, I want a sandbox" soapbox. WoW gives great experience for playing whack-a-mole with zero quests. WoW does not prevent you from exploring, *you* prevent that. On the other end of the scale we have LOTRO where the majority of xp comes from turning in a quest while killing a mob earns only tiny amounts of xp, yet exploration is rewarded very much in LOTRO, far moreso than in WoW.

Old SWG was a sandbox and while I loved and miss the freedom to mold my character the way I wanted, there was very little direction and I usually found myself quite bored.

I've heard Troy mention a few times he doesn't particularly like quests. Without them, what exactly do you do to get xp other than grind mobs? That being the case, isn't the whack-a-mole mentality perhaps more conducive to the Asian F2P style of games where that's pretty much all there is to do anyway while exploring their game world?



'Gring versus quests.' by Nosferum
Submitted on 2008-01-10 18:43:36 CST
---What is the functional difference between killing ten rats and killing ten rats for a quest? The idea behind a sandbox style game is that if you don't enjoy killing a certain type of mob, you go elsewhere. The incentive may be the ease of the content, the rewards, or whatever else. In a quest-driven system, there's really only the one deciding factor. You won't weigh alternatives. As noted in the original post, Asheron's Call set it up such that you'd always see something of interest in the distance. In a sandbox game, instead of getting the majority of your equipment from quests, they dropped from mobs (perhaps a rare special mob).

---I know several people, personally, who have played or still play WoW. They don't tell stories about their play. I've played it off and on for several months, and I have no stories. One of the reasons is that just about every single WoW player ever has done precisely the same quests and seen the same content. No one discovered anything, and they don't feel as though they made decisions. With a quest-driven system, it's the developers who make the decisions.

---I'd argue that SW:G did "sandbox" incorrectly (I hated SW:G largely because of the bland randomness). Within three days of playing the game, I was convinced the developers thought they could get away with a completely random world with no landmarks and virtually no areas with somewhat predictable spawns. You could run for an hour in a direction and see the same hills and trees; it was forgettable. Think about UO: if I wanted to kill an Orc, I knew I could go to Cove. Conversely, I might run across one in the wild. There's a healthy balance of random spawn AND location-specific spawns that can be achieved. This is very important: I'm not arguing that WoW prevents exploration. I say it promotes a lack of exploration (same result, different method). It's not about what the game prevents, but what it promotes. Clearly, it promotes players going to the nearest village, clicking on NPCs to get quests to do only the content they need to swim through the levels. For the most part, no one walks around and sees something interesting and decides they like what they see.



'cool' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-10 23:37:48 CST
This is funny, my next segment I recorded days ago and sent to Troy for the EQ2 podcast talks exactly about this. Almost the same examples too hehe
You'll hear it.
I'm not anti-quest at all, in fact I love quests. But do I do them all the time? Not really. I am the type of player that does most everything, but nothing all the time. That's why I have a lvl 64 in WoW (and have for eons) while my wife is working on her third 70 and my brother has his 7th! I "putter around" mostly, but I always have a good time.
I think to me, quests are like drinking. I love a good beer and a nice buzz, but I don't do it all the time. hehe
This is the exact reason I love the station access so much. All the games, plus two more coming soon, for one cheap price. I will sometimes log into each game on the list for 30-an hour each night, just having some fun. That's about what my attention span can handle. Does that mean each game is bad? No way...the games are better than ever. But, the older I get, the more I like to see as much as I can.
This is so wierd, I talk bout all this on that segment. lol
Beau



'Wow!' by Lumio
Submitted on 2008-01-11 00:49:30 CST
Wow I am SO honored guys. Thanks for the kind words, I needed that (after an unsuccessful CES)

Loved the show, you guys are always right on. Its like we think the same.



'Variety' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-01-11 07:35:11 CST
The government is always saying that you should have "choice" and it is strange perhaps, but it is true. What is also strange, at least to me, that some people actually don't like variety. I know a number of players, who have one character in WoW four three years now and just enjoy honing it. They won't even switch to another server to try Horde. In some ways these people are nightmares to deal with, as you need to continually add progressive content, as they won't start a second character.

Others enjoy the journey more and once they've achieved 70, start all over again. Whilst others again enjoy the creative elements of the game and will try every single character class and every single crafting, having characters on Horde and Alliance servers until they are bored with the whole system, because it's not varied enough.

I have found that Vanguard is rather good at catering for the last person. In fact I have deleted many characters to make room for new ones to try out, although I don't feel that there is enough crafting types to satisfy the range. I also feel that you ought to gain something for finding that hidden creek or secret room, with exploration experience, LOTRO's most significant advance to the genre...

To be honest there are two types of quests - fun ones, which are hard to programme, and boring ones, which aren't. Many will remember the "keep the chicken safe" quest in WoW or the one where you brew a potion which turns someone into a hideous monster. Strangely even the fun ones don't appeal to some people...



'Steady Casual Vanguard Group' by Malaxor
Submitted on 2008-01-21 15:39:11 CST
Listening to Troy got me thinking. Maybe it would be fun to get a group of 3 - 6 or so players together and create alts that could be leveled together. The group would be similar to Brent's Wow group that plays once or twice a week during predefined hours. The brotherhood system would keep everyone at the same level, so it'd be ok to miss a night on occasion. The game has alot of cool group content and this would be a cool way to experience it. What do people think? Are people already doing this with their guildmates?


'Brotherhood Grouping' by Belepheriel
Submitted on 2008-01-21 17:04:06 CST
I already do this. I have my main grouped into one Brotherhood with my friends. I also have my alt in another Brotherhood with my friends alts. We are within 3 levels of each other and currently working on the URT quests together. It's a lot of fun!


'VoV Guild!' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-22 23:20:05 CST
I'm all down for it..I have several characters, mainly on the Xeth servers. Rikoo is one, uhm...crap I'm forgetting the others.



'Playtimes?' by Malaxor
Submitted on 2008-01-23 21:59:51 CST
What time do you normally play BT?


'Different imes, diff charactrers..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-24 10:17:38 CST
So I got 4 mains that I'm messing with right now.
Beaugh, my fav. He's in a guild I found.
Grup, a goblin...great character..guilded.
Rikoo ....slowly becoming my favorite...a fox guy..in Revelry and Honor.
Siliea ..she's a random character tI made to get a reindeer mount, but she's cool. She's unguilded and would be fun to play with. All are 10 and below. I've been using up one's rest, (or gaining a level) then switching to another, using that one's rest and so on. To be honest, I'm REALLY enjoying the game a ton now. haha, I am in love with the nighttime and how dark it gets!
All on the Xeth server. I have room for plenty more characters, so let me know.



'Do you normally play from 9pm - 12pm EST?' by Malaxor
Submitted on 2008-01-24 20:18:27 CST
BT would you be willing to commit to a group that plays from 9pm - 12pm or so EST?


'heck yeh' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-24 23:15:28 CST
YEh man I can do that...let me see if I can get my wife off the good pc haha
If I don't see ya, just add me or my alts..I'll be in sometime.
Beau



'Ok check it out..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-01-24 23:37:53 CST
I was thinking it'd be cool to start an all Goblin group and maybe a small guild (its so easy yto start one) and call it Goblin Army or something like that. Go around biting knees and stuff.
I'll be in game in game late (till like 2am central) and tomorrow during the day.)
Yes, painting is slow right now haha
Beau



'Not much playtime recently' by Malaxor
Submitted on 2008-01-28 22:07:02 CST
Sorry I haven't caught you online yet, I've been busy the last few days. I'll try and catch you this week sometime.


'RnH' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-02-06 20:30:07 CST
Oh I came over specifically to ask if Beauturkey was in RnH or not but if I read that comment correctly, you are? RnH should be the official VoV guild lol!



'Yep I am..' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-02-07 21:26:57 CST
I'm in RnH...although the times of the day I am on (usually during the day central time) makes for a pretty inactive guild, being that they are all at work hehe
I listed my characters up there....add me and holler.
Rikoo Rakoo is my main.
I will be rolling on the PvP server to try it out, to be ganked hehe.
Anyway, look me up.
Beau



'Saw Ya' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-02-09 15:39:32 CST
But didn't say anything. Actually I wasn't 100% sure it was you at the time but since you put up your name, yep!

I actually have the same problem -- I nearly always have off during the week and play during the morning and early afternoon when the population (both guild and server) is pretty rough. Which led to being parked *4 weeks* to finally get a group to do the HL Weapon quest :( I think I ranted about that at least 2 or 3 times on my blog lol!

Troy even stopped in this week -- I hope he returns to the game he's podcasting about... *cough*

I told him to tell Karen that her original family in VG are starting to feel like the red-headed step-children =D Yes, we miss you Jaye! Curse that evil EQ2 for stealing you away...



'Don't Anger The Troy!!' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-02-09 16:54:29 CST
I hear you Talyn; do not anger the Troy. Woots!! Yes, I am making more time for Vanguard and have actually ventured back in the world now and then.

With the help of Beau, I will hopefully be putting out a show very soon. I have just a few more touches to make on episode 31.

I still am a Vanguardian!

Troy



'/cast Anger' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-02-09 22:25:00 CST
haha!

Actually, Troy, I'm still waiting for a reply to my email from like... a month ago or so?

/cast SimmaDownNow