Monday, March 18, 2013

Horsing Around: Vanguard

A couple of things of note happened in Vanguard this week: Brad McQuaid left and Lomshir got a revamp

I've not been playing Vanguard regularly (or at all) since Brad came back but if the forums are to be believed Everquest's gain is not Vanguard's loss. Apparently Brad was channeling Bart Simpson during his return. He didn't do anything, no-one saw him do anything and no-one can prove he did anything. I await his impact on Everquest with barely contained excitement.

Who would win in a fight between a lion and a horse?
The Lomshir revamp did happen. It must have. It's in the patch notes. Lomshir is one of my favorite areas of Vanguard, although "Bhagpuss's favorite areas of Vanguard" would be a very long list. Apparently the area (I keep calling it an "area" because one of the things Brad did back in the days when he was doing stuff you noticed was to tell everyone  Vanguard was a seamless, zoneless world. Just ignore the freezing of your screen as you cross that invisible border. That's a chunk, not a zone. It's entirely different. Look, no loading screen!)

I won that bet...
Ahem. As I was saying, apparently the area has been adjusted to suit levels 10-20. It also got its own dedicated station on the Riftway, which takes you to what used to be the Varanthari starter area. I never played a Varanthari, what with them being one of Telon's many human variants and there being so many more interesting options. About all I knew about them was that they were the horse people. 

They still are, but now the entry-level quests at the place you used to wake up as a freshly-created Varanthari (an option that no longer exists) start at level 10. My level 18 raki sorceror one-shotted his way through most of them. It was heaven! 

He shook some trees for shiny red apples to feed to the horses and the trees disappeared. Then grew back! Realism? Don't talk to me about realism!  He killed and skinned some lions (There are a lot of lions. Something in the ecology of Telon is deeply warped. I blame the Kurashasa). The local horse-lords seemed pleased so they sent him to the capital.

City? Are you absolutely sure about that?
Lomshir (City) is a place I did recognize. I couldn't see anything new about the quests there. They did seem a lot easier than last time I did them, but then last time I did them was five years ago and I was level 12. Even in the stasis that is, or rather was, Vanguard five years and six levels makes a difference. 

By this time I'd been there a couple of hours and I'd had a wonderful time. Honestly, if all the other MMOs I play closed down tomorrow I could go back to Vanguard and be happy. It's entirely clear to me why it's survived so long with so little attention. It's a true work of art. The only downside was I hadn't found any of the new quest chains nor any of the new overland bosses. 

I'll take the brown one
It's fantastic to see SOE giving this amount of attention to Vanguard after all these troubled years. Revamping secondary starter areas, no less. As I was scanning the forums (which look so much better - they've also been revamped) looking for clues on exactly where to find the new content, I ran across this poignant comment from one of the devs who'd done the work to make it happen:

"Any feedback on the content itself so far? A lot of work was put into modifying those chunks"

He got one replyI sometimes wonder how Vanguard devs get out of bed in the morning.

If I can find the new content I'll be happy to report what I think of it. In the meantime, please take it as read that it's appreciated. In principle if not in practice. 


  1. Look on the official forums -- McQuaid was the one who did the Lomshir/Lomshir Plains revamp.

    1. Interesting. It was in the thread about it on the forums that I read the very comments about Brad's invisibility in the first place. I did only read one thread though - I was looking for some hints about what might have changed.

      I'll have to go and have a closer look. Although whatever it was he did he's gone to do it for EQ now.


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