Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mr Raki Builds His Dream House : Vanguard

Some time ago, when Telon suffered the seismic shift of the latest round of server merges, my house fell down. I'd already rebuilt it once when our original server, Hilsbury, was merged and it was a big job, what with one thing and another. Yet another server merge was on the cards, with the last remaining European server rumored to be joining us any time, so I decided to wait and see how that wind was blowing before I got the hammer and nails out again.

In the event that merge never happened but I still never got round to putting my house back up. For a long time I kept my plot reserved but eventually I began to worry that, since I wasn't playing often enough to keep my coffers topped up, the slow drip-drain of 25 silver a week in upkeep would erode my limited savings to nothing, so I let the plot go too.

Now, with a definite end date in sight, that's no longer an issue, so a couple of days ago I rifted over to the Oasis settlement around Tar Janishar, climbed onto my virulent turquoise store-bought Griffon and flew down to my old neighborhood, Abella Cove to see if I could get the old place back.

Given this is an MMO that no-one plays, the shoreline looked remarkably built-up. I flew down and landed as near as I could remember to my old plot. There it was, still available! I snagged it fast and went to see if any new amenities had been added while I'd been gone. No such luck.

Abella has a fine crafting area in a large tent at the back of the dunes complete with vendors and taskmasters but it has never enjoyed the services of an escrow merchant. The nearest I know is some way south, past the ruined city of Venik Ragnew, near a dock that always seems to have a large sailing ship tied up at the quay.

By the time I'd flown all the way down there, negotiated the return of my building materials, along with some furnishings, from the Escrow merchant (the list of the things he was holding for me ran to twenty-nine pages) night had fallen and the moon was up.

After a number of false starts, as I tried and failed to remember just exactly what kind of house I used to have, finally I managed to get all my bricks in a line. A few blows of the mallet and down went the foundations, up went the frame. I'd taken so long working out what went where that by the time I'd finished the sun had risen across the bay.

I worked on, wanting to get the house finished before the burning Qalian sun rose directly overhead. The work went fast. It seemed like no time at all before my beautiful house was back to its former glory, just as though it had never been gone.

After rebuilding an entire two-story house complete with cupola in just a few hours I felt I deserved something to eat and maybe a lie down. If only I had a table. Or a bed. No rest for this fox. After the building comes the decorating.

It didn't take too long. I'd only brought the essentials: my rugs and pillows, my flower baskets and flowers, my tables and chairs, my books and my bed. And my bread and cheese, of course. Soon had everything back where it came from. Approximately.

I'd brought my chests, all six of them, but I left the contents, mostly hundreds of powders and dusts and skins and ores back with the Escrow merchant. I'll move them another day. For now I felt I'd done enough. I deserved a good, long rest on my comfortable bed, surrounded my books.

So there I am, back home in Abella Cove. The rent's paid til the end of the world. I'm not going anywhere. Ever again.


  1. Vanguard really does it via light/cycle and weather effects, doesn't it? :) I always like your screenshots and checking your last few posts on Vanguard, which in all fairness isn't the prettiest game today, they look breathtaking because of the color of the sky, the light effects, the weather. one of the many overlooked, underestimated features of immersive world building in many MMOs, just like sound effects. beautiful.

    1. When Vanguard first released I thought it was by far the most visually gorgeous virtual world I'd ever seen. As time went on and I came back to it on and off over the years I've started to see more of the flaws and shortcomings but it remains astonishingly beautiful. Moreover, it feels, looks and sounds more like an actual world than almost any other MMO and that definitely hasn't diminished with age.

  2. Looks beautiful! I love the books ask over.

    I had a house and my things poofed while in escrow, then a GM told me that things didn't stay there. Which I know isn't the case, so that burned me for having a house on my last return.

    1. All Over* phone is annoying for making comments, lol

    2. I wish you could actually read the books like you can in EQ2.

  3. That's a nice looking place, not just the house either. It's a little odd that SOE chose this as one of the games to "sunset" though. Just not enough players to warrant a server?

    1. Vanguard just never recovered from the terrible start it got. You can judge the interest by the fact that it sold almost a quarter of a million boxes at launch. Unfortunately far too many of those would-be players couldn't get it to run well or in some cases at all and those that could mostly refused to put up with the large numbers of bugs. Within a few months there were probably less than a fifth of those players left and in a few years maybe less than a fiftieth.

      The game has run as smoothly as any other MMO for years now (and a lot more smoothly than the still-buggy GW2, that's for sure) but give a dog a bad name...

  4. Hmm... before the end of the world, maybe I'll be able to visit your house. Sadly, I don't have any characters high enough level, so it might end up being a suicide mission.

    Then again, I'm not sure that makes a difference at this point...


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