SOE announced today that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will officially be going free-to-play on August 14th. Here are three reasons why I plan on giving it another shot:
1) The classes were always interesting:
From the health-stealing based healer, the Blood Mage, to the very customizeable Bard support class, Vanguard has some interesting variety. Given that I never made it out of the free trial several years ago, I think there is a strong case that my remembering the classes at all speaks well for their uniqueness. Many of the other classes are fairly stock fantasy, but they all cover a much wider variety of class and background types than most current MMOs.
2) I skipped it in the first place:
While I was certainly excited to see a truer sequel to Everquest I than what Everquest II ended up being, I never got around to really giving Vanguard its fair shot. I was probably busy with WoW at the time of its launch, and if not, I was just starting my second semester of college. Even after trying the free trial, I managed to not give this game the fair shake it probably deserves. I am often the old guy that complains about how easy the newbs have it (with today’s MMOs), so, given Vanguard’s attempt at being an old school MMO, it is about time to put up or shut up.
3) At least some guarantee that someone else will be playing when I get there:
Whether you like F2P or not, it at least guarantees some renewed interest and typical more development for older MMOs just scraping by. I can attest to it working since DCUO’s relaunch caused me to waste another month and another ten dollars on a fairly weak game. I have gone back to Everquest II several times just because F2P gives me that option. The most exciting thing for me when it comes to trying Vanguard now, after so long, is that there will definitely be other’s there sharing in the experience. Nothing makes a MMO feel more dead than a newbie zone with no newbies in it.
Bonus) You can own a boat:
1: Ultima Online has boats you can own. 2: Ultima Online was awesome (partially because of the boats). 3: Vanguard has boats you can own. Therefore, Vanguard should be awesome.
Okay, okay. Before my Philosopher professors should me for such an obviously flawed argument, I admit the many fallacies I just stated. However, boat ownership, in a MMO, will always improve the game. And that is a law of nature.