harlzen (harlzen) wrote,

Vanguard.... not.

I'm currently playing Vanguard, the little MMORPG that couldn't. Well, playing is actually a little bit generous. Instead after the regular patch through the middle of every WA evening I still had enough time to fit in four opportunities for the game to crash. A little freeze and then you're back at the desk top. The game isn't even capable enough to detect an error, it just falls over without a sound. This is actually a new opportunity, the game was initially stable (but so sluggish) and each patch has introduced ever more instabilities as the developers hack around in a desperate attempt to streamline the beast. What a mess.

The joke is that this game took 5 years of development and consumed 30 million US dollars yet it's still a mess. An engine that doesn't work, immense amounts of empty scenery that seems haphazardly and randomly constructed and so little content that the only universal thing is the emptiness. I can see someone enjoyed making the cities, they're huge, which means they're not realistic and combined with the lack of content means they're not fun. The only challenge is finding your way out of them and never visiting again. The dungeons are much the same, endless huge caves full of a handful of mob models. Each element in the game is carefully tuned to grind you to the edge of tedium. The end game... well, it's just not there yet. The developers are desperately trying to keep people busy while they work out what the plan is, but with the low numbers they'll run out of money and time before they achieve anything novel.

So why am I playing? because my friends in Melbourne are, and a MMORPG is a good way to keep in contact with em. I just wish they'd picked some other virtual world to occupy.

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