Tenfold Hate

Eating My Words
December 4, 2007, 3:02 pm
Filed under: EVE Online, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

It was a busy weekend. My new comp was delivered, I got it up and running, spent Sunday afternoon installing a couple games, and blew a good part of my evening behind the keyboard. I threw down an unhealthy chunk of change on this new rig, including the purchase of a 512M NVIDIA 8800 GT graphics card–NVIDIA’s “affordable” answer to their DX10 compatible cards. This baby runs like a dream.

I’m having a ball as a born again newbie in Vanguard. Adventuring is basically what we’ve come to expect from fantasy MMOs. Very fun, but nothing that strays too far outside the norm. I must say, the classes are very fun and diverge a bit from the standard fantasy fare. I created a gnome bloodmage and have not yet begun to uncover a fraction of all the cool things this very unique and fun-to-play class is capable of. From my initial experiences playing one, they seem like some Frankenstein coupling of a necromancer or warlock with a cleric or priest.

From the minute chunk of Qalia I’ve seen so far, the world is just beautiful. You really have to walk around and look at the amazing vistas and broad horizons yourself to really get a sense of the “open world” feel that the Vanguard team really nailed. Screenshots just don’t do the game justice. Gone are the flat, washed out, bland browns that darkened my screen last January when the game was released, but I’m not sure if this is due to optimization or my new video card. I’d imagine it’s a little of both. I can’t wait to level a bit, make some friends, and group.

The canine and feline player character avatars are still awful looking, but outside of that you can see where the team has made some significant strides over the past year. I have gotten sucked into diplomacy–after a year of bitching how translating the concept of diplomacy into a “stupid” card game is a cop out. It’s addictive, it’s fun, and it serves as a great way to delve into the drama, double dealings, and intrigue of Telon society firsthand.

Let’s see if this game can suck me in for the long haul. I’m gonna hold off on any real impressions of Vanguard until I can clock in a few more weeks of play. There are unicorns in the game, so I promise not to like it too much.

And here is where I eat my words. I downloaded the 14-day trial of EVE Online. I have always talked a lot of smack about this game. Not because I have anything against EVE. On paper, I’ve always considered EVE to be one of the few against-the-grain, outside-the-box MMO’s on the market. The chip on my shoulder has always been towards sci-fi MMOs. Or so I thought.

All I’ve done so far is create my character and run through the instructional demo provided at the intro. Man, was I impressed. EVE has the best character creation I’ve ever experienced as far as giving the player a social, political, and economic context by which to enter the game world. Controls seemed easy enough to pick up, even though I seem to suck at them.

I forgot what that learning curve was like when you pick up a new game and are unfamiliar with all of its intricacies. I could very well be punch drunk from so many months of not playing anything. So I’m gonna keep my mouth shut about these two until I have some significant play time under my belt. All I have to say is, it’s good to be back!