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Voyages of Vanguard #33
Mon, 3 Mar 2008 06:09:00 GMT [download/play]

This week Troy takes Beau's Immersion factor to the next step and has Ratook and Pidge, his two main characters in Vanguard read letters to each other.  WARNING:  Ratook and Pidge are not nice fellas and can be a bit vulgar or sexual at times.  Following the letters, Beau talks about all the good things of Vanguard, from his house, to saving for a boat, to what his characters have been doing.

Show Notes
Ratook's letter to Pidge
Pidge's Letter to Ratook
Beau Turkey's Commentary on Vanguard

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Episode 33 Discussion Thread

'This is awesome!' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-03-03 18:21:23 CST
Troy, I LOVED the voices! Me and the wife listened and were so glad to hear that they were done SO well! More of this stuff man!

'Another pointless Title for Brent's "grrrrrrrr" count' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-04 09:33:27 CST
Great voices, very well done Troy! That was fun! BUT -- perhaps splitting hairs here -- is performing in-character voice-overs "immersion" or is it simply good ol' fashioned "role playing?" The latter gets my vote.

Beau needs to give me a Money Making 101 class, apparently, because I've yet to stumble upon the secret. My Dread Knight is 29 now with 3 gold to his name. Usually lucky just getting by affording repairs and such; hopes of a boat or any fancy gear from the exchange are dwindling away...

Delicious irony when those forum posters whine away that removal of all those facial structures no one can see makes us all "less unique" then they turn around in a different thread asking which class to play and which build to use. Gee, seems to me playing an over-populated class using the same over-used build makes you... "less unique" no? Not to mention the obvious: what's "fun" to you may be dreadful to me, and vice-versa. I love how, in forums alone, we whine and cry that we want more options, but once we're given even a few options, so many players turn out to be lemmings.

I doubt I'll ever understand the mentality of the "what's the best class to rush to level cap with" guys. Seriously, allow a neuron or two to fire in that grey gelatinous mass in your skull. There's a whopping ONE raid in the entire game. Why rush to that only to be bored? Oh yeah, so they can add their voice to the "I'm bored, add more content NOW, this game sucks, blah blah" threads... It's one thing in EQ2 or WoW where, especially WoW, raiding is the point of the game and there is plenty of raid content, but that doesn't exist in VG.

'Yay!' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-04 09:34:09 CST
Thanks Brent! I can comment once more! =D

'Good points Tal!' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-03-04 10:01:45 CST
Making money? Easy to me, but I do it in a pretty specific way. Also, it isn't the funnest way, unless you are alright with taking leveling really slow, although sometimes this can be a great way to level.
In example, I take my ranger (lvl 22) to this strand, I'm forgetting what it's called. It's a purdy lil strip with tons of turtles, snuffling round and mating and all that turtly stuff. They are lvl 26 2 dots, and lvl 25's. I shoot em, kill em before they reach me, and skin em while they are still warm! :( If I spend an afternoon talking to passersby, buffin people, and between EVERYTHING I do I forage, then at the end of a play session I can easily have some rares, a possible ultra rare (happened TWICE the other night) and lots of stack of arrows.
I woke up to over 20 gold the other day, all from three hours of playing. And because I was killing mobs a good deal over my level, my skinning is (I believe ) over 300 now, and I am close to leveling.
That's what I do. And to think that soon I am going to have a contest in game to give away 50 gold. hehe Wait for details.

'A Sad Day in MMO history' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-03-04 18:59:48 CST
Today marks a very sad day in the world or RPGs, which I include MMOs to be a part of. Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons passed away. He was 69 years old and was playing the game as late as last month, before illness took him from us.

In 1974 he co-wrote Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson, and started a genre that would eventually evolve into modern day MMOs.

I met the man, one time, at a Gencon more than 10 years ago. I saw him walking around the show floor just looking at booths and chatting with all the players and spectators. I walked up to him and thanked him for making the game and changing the very fiber of my life.

Long Live The King!!!


'CLASSIC episode!' by Jonathan
Submitted on 2008-03-05 21:04:35 CST
This episode was fantastic! The voices were great! I love the whole "immersion" idea...I know too often I find myself playing an MMO just as a game, and feel like I've lost some of that ability to truly roleplay my character. I look back at games like EQ or M59 quite often (no suprise there, right? when I used to really try to play my character as an extension of myself. You've inspired me to try again. :)

Troy, I too share your sadness at the passing of Gary Gygax. I remember my early days of playing D&D with my friends. Staying up until 4am with a ton of junkfood and a character sheet from really was a magical time back then... It's truly amazing how Gygax's idea has truly been the spark that ignited a great deal of the gaming industry. LONG LIVE THE KING!

'I'm so sad' by Gohar
Submitted on 2008-03-06 03:22:11 CST
Gary Gygax and Roleplaying Adventures, it's like Elvis and Rock'n Roll.

The Gold Box Series, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and almost all MMORPG's share the ingenuity of Gary. I bet he had taken some d24 with him, nobody knows what will come.

'cool show' by Milodacat
Submitted on 2008-03-07 22:49:37 CST
hey guys, just wanted to pop in and offer some kudos to a job well done. I always enjoy the VoV podcasts.

I really liked the voices in your letters between characters. Excellent job!

Also, just wanted to offer up a quick comment about the facial customizations. I read and post on the boards a bit too. It's actually refreshing to get here or in game and get reminded that there are actually people playing and enjoying the game. The heavy cynicism there can be misleading and a bit depressing sometimes.

For me, I'll trudge through these changes and grumble, but I'm going to wait until they actually complete the full set of avatar apparance changes before making up my mind. I'm still seeing people complaining about them, but they seem to have all missed this post by Silus (Or, they just dont believe him) :)

I dont know, that was a decent enough explanation for me.

Sounds to me like they just did this to increase performance and get helmets in faster, because they're going to be moving to completely different models soon anyways. I think the smart thing is to wait until we see what those look like before going on an insane rant ;)

Well, keep up the great work and I look forward to the next podcast.

'Hey!' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-09 23:34:33 CST
I just listened again and paid attention that you quit RnH? Hmph! Barely got to know you! /frown

Wondering... you say you play solo mostly in MMO games, yet why would being in a guild prohibit that? I take great efforts to find awesome guilds in every MMO, but I could count on one hand the number of times EVER I've grouped with "the guild" for any reason. Most recently was last night for the DDO 2nd Anniversary live event, my guild got together in a raid to tackle the devils invading the marketplace. I've been in a group with one person from RnH ever.

On the other hand, the "guild chat" channel wouldn't necessarily contribute to the "immersion project" but it can be disabled/ignored when you're in Immersion Mode without leaving.

'Oh comment box, how I love thee...' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-03-10 15:40:41 CST
Yeh I quit RnH, to be honest, they were an awesome group, very nice. But here's how it went down: (since I have had a few people ask me)
I joined, and hardly anyone was ever on. GRANTED, they always have said they are concentrated at night, and I play during the day.
And then it didn't seem like there was ever anything for lower level players to do with them. I want to make clear that I do not hold anyone guilty for wanting to go play with their level characters, and to raid and stuff. But once in a while it'd be cool to have a meeting or a low-level dungeon run (with alts) or something.
I am active in my wifes guild, Epic Dolls. She does a podcast and as a pretty good sized audience, so we have a good amount of members now. I plan event at least twice a month like a fishing meeting, and we just had a newbie race (lvl 1 taurens). I would love a guild that only planned raids for higher levels. I wanna socialize a bit.
I was part of the largest guild on Antonia Bayle in EQ2 as well, and the entire time the only thing I did was go to a party planned by one of the members, not by any of the guild staff. The rest of the time the only thing planned was raids for 55 plus.
Again, I want to be clear that I have nothing wrong with high level events. In MY humble Raki opinion there is no point in being part of a guild that does not try to have fun with everyone, even if it's just social gatherings.
I do not want to come across like I am criticizing RnH, they are a great bunch of people. I just didn't want to be in a guild that I never saw (my fault!) and that never had events.
So, I have been doing an experiment that I will talk about next time..I have been trying to join a guild..but hardly anyone responds to tells.
Yes, the immersion project has opened to me a bit..I can use tells a bit..and some chat..I'll explain more.
And Talyn, we can STILL know each other! :)

'Props to my peeps!' by Jaye
Submitted on 2008-03-10 20:07:29 CST
I completely understand what you're saying Beau, but I just want to throw out a little defense of my guildies.

I don't actively play Vanguard now, and I have turned over day to day leadership of the guild to others, but I still am in close contact, and I know that they have set up guild groups and done "fun" guild events recently. You can see the stuff that both the EQ2 and Vanguard chapters of the guild have done over at I know that the Vanguard chapter had a guild meeting in the guild hall not too long ago, followed by a "find the grumpy dwarf" event for a boat prize. They also had several threads posted about setting up guild groups over in the members forum, so you might have had more luck if you had posted something over there.

Again, though, I do understand where you're coming from, and it just sounds like we should chalk it up to mismatched playtimes. No harm, no foul!

'I like filling this in with drivvle.' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-03-10 20:29:09 CST
Yeh, Jaye, I feel actually really bad saying that because text can be taken so many ways. They were all really cool people, and I did hear that there were many more on at normal after-work hours.
But yeh, I think it was totally mis-matched playing times. And of course, I understand. I can't help it that not every player does like I do: chat and goof off more than play! :)

'Another reason to have "mentoring"' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-03-10 21:49:50 CST
I have to agree with Beau on this one. I was just so excited to join RnH and do things with Jaye and all her pals. The problem was they were 40+ and I was 20th level. It became apparent very quickly that Pidglet and Ratook would not have the fun that was my reason to transfer my characters to the Xeth server.

I don't play RnH or Jaye, but really the developers of Vanguard for not having some form of mentoring in the game. There is no excuse for them not to have some kind of system where characters of all levels can journey together.

I am still in the guild, but I have never been in a group with anyone from there nor have I ever done anything with them. And, I am with Beau that I want to play the game and not chase naked dwarves around or play "hide and seek" or other goofy games (more power to those that do -- its just not my play style).


'Correction' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-03-10 21:52:33 CST
Second paragraph should be "I dont *blame* RnH or Jaye..."


'Blame Levels! And Title Boxes!' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-11 00:17:21 CST
Mentor, schmentor... these levels-based games need to go the way of the dodo bird...

I'm hoping VG and LOTRO are my final forays into "levels" and the limitations imposed by them. That said, doing an instance in LOTRO the other night with a much-higher level character in our group made it very obvious how, while some whine about the xp for mob kills being crap, the additional penalty for grouping with someone vastly higher than your character is nearly negligible. The "real" xp comes from turning the quest in, so you can group with anyone you want.

I'm in the same boat as Beau with the hours I play, due to my job as a pilot. I'm typically in-game during weekday mornings, possibly afternoons, when most players and guild-mates are sleeping or working.

Needless to say, I've come to treat the guild chat as just a "special friends chat channel" while for adventuring I've become pretty much fearless of PUG's otherwise I'd never see anything! :)

'Death to Levels' by Shalimar616
Submitted on 2008-03-11 07:05:51 CST

Talyn is right on with these horrible restrictive levels. For years there have been RPGs with no levels, or at least levels that did not mean anything. When will there be a MMO based on skill or knowledge of the game. Levels = Restrictions.

I look forward to a time when a gamer can walk into a store buy a copy of the game, log in, and play with some respectable ability next to someone who has owned it for 2 years. That being said, the experienced gamer may have much better gear, better skills, knowledge of the game, reputation within the world (good and bad), and online friends that in the end may better him than the newbie.


'Fun immersion' by scytale2
Submitted on 2008-03-11 08:36:54 CST
Fantastic, Troy - who says you need to play the game to make a VG podcast! I haven't laughed so much for ages!

Nice posts Talyn (all of them).

Listening to Beau now...

'Someone bring me my coffee already! /morning_rampage' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-11 10:17:44 CST
Thanks, scytale2!

Speaking of no-levels, I keep meaning to ask Beau if he's heard of Earthrise yet but it took awhile for me to pay attention long enough to see that little envelope icon on GAX =D So I'll just ask here HA!

Anyway, it'll be a 100% sandbox, player-controlled everything, all items are crafted, etc. and no levels, it's 100% skills-based so you can create the character you want. From what I've read it seems to be taking the best of EVE, the best of old-school SWG, and a little Ryzom thrown in for good measure, throwing them in the blender and calling Emeril to *BAM* kick it up a notch.

'Earthrise? (asks the subject bar?)' by Beauturkey
Submitted on 2008-03-11 23:57:42 CST
Haven't heard of it. Weeeellll, maybe I have. It flicks my brain a bit. I'll go look it up.
Eve, SWG, and a lil Ryzom? Niiiccceee.

'Levels?' by BurntSushi
Submitted on 2008-03-26 17:56:39 CST
I don't think that levels are necessarily a bad thing, but not allowing people to scale down to join others is.

I would love to level down to someone in Vanguard and help out, especially when I have absolutely nothing going on.

I have seen groups begging for people for Riftseekers and I was like, "Crap.... Sorry I am too high of a level and you would get no xp. Good luck in your search."

As for RnH, well I am having the same luck as Beau. Just nobody on most times that I play. I did group a couple nights ago for CIS and had a blast. I love how friendly the guild is, but the play times aren't matching up.

Anyone on the Xeth server send a /tell to Koryn.... right now I am level 22 Ranger.

Beau you should tell them to let me into your guild in VG. I play mostly days on the weekend and some nights on the weekdays.

'Does this title make my butt look fat?' by Talyn
Submitted on 2008-03-27 15:28:20 CST
I'm actually on break from VG, mostly back over in LOTRO now that our guild drama is resolved and we're all very active and having a blast again.

I do still have my subscription active, but we'll see... I love the world, I love the classes, but I'll admit I just don't know where this is going to end up. Some of the changes they're proposing I'm in favor of, some I can't help but wonder if VG is going to get an NGE treatment. Does it have a life ahead of it, or is what we have pretty much the extent of it?

Mainly I'm aggravated at not fixing the most basic and in-your-face obvious bugs such as the targeting issues. I play a tank, I'm usually surrounded by groups of mobs, so targeting is a huge priority for me but having all these clickable yet non-lootable corpses blocking my path to being able to accurately and quickly target the live mobs is a huge problem. I'm having too much fun in other games to put up with that right now. Sure, I could just level up my ranger and not worry about tanking and targeting but that's not the point.

And no, levels do indeed suck. Period.