In the run up to the Free-to-Play conversion sometime later this year Vanguard has a loyalty program going on. It's exceptionally generous. Too good to miss in fact. So I didn't. With anyone.
The April rewards were good - a best-in-slot item that grows with your character, a title and a vanity pet - but the May rewards knock those into a cocked hat, whatever that is.
Getting most of the attention with many cries of "I'm on a Boat!" is the Brown Sloop. Vanguard has three sizes of ship - Sloop, Caravel and Galleon, each of which comes in three Continental styles and three colors.
Having my first sloop made on commission remains one of my most memorable MMO events. Back then I chose a Blue Kojani Sloop and I still think it's the best-looking option in its class, but after five years I still only have two ships to my name so I was hardly going to sniff at the Thestran style or the dull color. A free boat is a free boat and a Brown Thestran Sqaure-Rigged Sloop will do just fine, thanks!
You'd think giving away a ship, one of the benchmark status items of the game, would be enough, but you'd be wrong. Very wrong. This merry month of May every character can have, merely for the asking, a Giant Robot Suit of his or her very own!
Telon, like many fantasy worlds, is infested with gnomes. All gnomes (apart from Garden Gnomes) are lovers of technology but the gnomes of Mekalia take it to an extreme degree. It seems they have so much advanced military hardware lying around they can afford to hand it out to anyone who asks. Specifically, the Kamelott Overland Onslaught Life-Sustaining Exo-Skeleton. Not just an appearance item, this. It's a mount with a 50% run-speed boost. And it clanks. Shame they decommissioned the weapons systems but you can't have everything.
So, a ship and a "mount". That has to be enough, doesn't it? Nope. More to come.
Perhaps clanking around looking like something out of Panzer Pets isn't your idea of high fantasy. You'd rather stick to your good old horse (unfortunate image there - sorry about that). That's a very respectable position so here, have some barding. And some tack. Great look, great stats, great price - free.
Barding in Vanguard is horse-armor that stops you getting knocked off your mount as you barrel through packs of wolves or hordes of undead. Tack is the reigns that make your mount go faster. Both display on the mount. Well, they do if your mount is a horse. On a camel, not so much.
Ship, mount, barding, tack - that's carpenters and leatherworkers out of business. Who else can we ruin? Ah, how about the smiths. No not The Smiths. Armorsmiths and weaponsmiths. Every 44 hours throughout May each character 50 or above can have three free Kamelott Supply Crates. Inside each of these, potentially, is a high-grade, high-level piece of armor or, more rarely, a weapon. Plus a bunch of potions and other ancillary adventuring aids.
I'd managed to miss the whole Kamelott thing. I vaguely remember when Kamelott Inc began to spread their sinister commercial tentacles across Telon but by then I wasn't paying close attention. I'd forgotten they have a whole large island just off New Targonor. Both my level 50s went there for the first time yesterday, a simple matter of a click and a 90 silver fee at the Riftway. In their camp a dwarf (or possibly a gnome in a false beard) cheerfully sold me hammers to open the free crates at one gold a bash. I knew there had to be a catch!
One gold for a guaranteed Yellow item and a chance at an Orange is pretty darn near free, though. I'm not complaining. It would also be churlish to complain that although Graak the Soft-Hearted is happy to hand out free Kamelott crates to just about anyone, only level 50s can get to the vendor who sells the hammers to open them.
It's particularly frustrating since the items inside the crates are tradeable, but the hammers to open them are not. The Riftway insists you have to be Level 50 to ride and getting to the Kamelott camp by sea or overland was beyond me in the short time I was willing to give it. It may be possible, though. I will have to investigate further.
So that's the Vanguard May Veteran's Reward Package. Oh, and there's another title in there somewhere. They're doing one of these every month until the game goes F2P. Can't imagine what they'll be giving away by the end. Fingers crossed for a flying mount.