Over the years PC RPGs slowly rolled forward, every once in a while getting little improvements.
Starting from Diablo with online play and an awesome game engine, then came along games like Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with an engine design anf game world that blew our minds. Next came MMORPGs (Massive/Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, UltimaOnline, and my recent favorite Ashron’s Call: each dumping us into a massive world where players can all play side by side (or head to head as the case may be). Now we get to play a game that rolls the aspects of single player only games (like Morrowind and Oblivion), in with the good things from MMOs, I present to you Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Right as you login you are hit it the face with a character creation screen like most MMOs. Better then average graphics, a surprising number of race and class choices, but overall nothing too extraordinary. Then you press the ‘Next’ button…
Here you are slammed in the face by a character model customization screen as in-depth as Oblivion. Unfortunately from there you are dumped into your stereotypical level 1 starting realm. But which race and class did you choose?
The races of Vanguard are split into three realms, each its own land mass. On each realm there is one race that are human. Man, what’s up with those humans? They’re everywhere, like a plague… I’m not going to spoil everything, mostly because things could change from beta to final, so there are 4 other races. One that is Agility based, one Strength based, one Constitution, or Vitality, based, and one Caster based. Overall things are off-balanced in favor of physical classes, classes whose primary abilities are physical as opposed to magical. Fortunately the class choices make up for that.
The classes are broken up into these categories: Offensive Melee, Defensive Melee, Offensive Caster, and Defensive Caster. The offensive melee classes sacrifice heavy armor and higher health for the sake of doing more damage faster, like a rogue or ranger. Defensive melee classes have more health, wear heavy armor, and do more one hit damage then their offensive counterparts but those hits come notably farther apart. Also Paladins, a melee ‘D’ class has spells. Trust me when I say Paladin is an awesome class but they are always the most complicated to deal with (and it shows here because it has the most bugs).
Next we have Offensive casters, these classes are designed as one- hit baddies or damage-over-time specialists. There is a little bit added here and there but that is what it boils down to. Finally we have the defensive casters, primarily these guys are healers and guys designed to keep the party alive, or they improve the party through buffs, spells that are cast on friendly characters to improve some aspect of the character. There is a lot of customization here and I don’t want to tell you all of it. I want you to go preorder it and get the beta.
So all of you go get your hands on the beta client, and try it out. From what I have seen this is going to be the number one MMORPG of 2007, as far as game play goes.