2012 Predictions

I will now get the highest score of any MMO pundit making predictions. Ready? “It will not go live in 2012.” Whatever we’re talking about, I’m predicting that it will slip into 2013, or later, or just never ship. The game, the expansion, whatever: not in 2012. I’m going to lose a few points, since something will ship in 2012, but I don’t see how anyone can beat my accuracy rate here.

: Zubon

Engi Census

Playing the Steam free game of the weekend, I have come to wonder: how many games have an Engineer that builds a turret; how many games have an Engineer that does not build a turret; and how many games have a non-Engineer that builds a turret. (I think I will avoid counting Warhammer Online’s Magus and units/classes that “summon” rather than “build.” I’m unclear whether the Raven builds, summons, or do we count “deploy”?) Was there some first game that set the standard that Engineer = build a sentry gun? It feels like engineers and self-directed turrets have become a standard game item, but perhaps exploring some examples will reverse this. I keep finding near-hits, where perhaps they consciously avoided calling the turret-builder an Engineer in recent games. I wonder if non-builder Engineers are also intentional aversions? Inventory below the break, please contribute in the comments.

Edit: let’s see what happens if we add in enemies that do the same, some of which may mirror heroes. Continue reading Engi Census

Happy 2nd Birthday Vanguard: SOH

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced that the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be released to retail outlets across North America and Europe on January 30, 2007, for the suggested retail price of US$49.99. A limited edition is also available for a suggested retail price of US$89.99.

Currently in beta, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes features vibrant environments reminiscent of oil paintings, a robust character customization tool and three distinct spheres of advancement in a seamless world without zoning or instancing. The immersive fantasy world is comprised of three massive, uniquely-themed continents for players to discover new creatures, new items and unlimited adventure. Players have complete freedom to roam the world whether flying dragons to islands in the sky or riding swift steeds to exotic lands.

“We are excited about delivering an MMO with immersive gameplay features that bring new depth and fun to the genre,” said Brad McQuaid, CEO, Sigil Games Online. “Vanguard gives players the chance to live in a breathtaking world and try new things such as our diplomacy system and our unique approach to crafting. We’re proud to be delivering this level of great gameplay for years to come.”

“SOE is pleased to be working with Sigil to bring the eagerly anticipated Vanguard to fruition,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment, “Vanguard not only broadens our product portfolio in the online space, but will also be a welcomed addition to our already value packed all-in-one Station Access subscription line-up.”

Still alive.

Update: Good re-review and a free trial.

– Ethic

Teclisen drops a nuke about Sigil’s behind the scenes…

Hoo boy. You have to see it to believe it.

Wow, I can feel the radiation from here, and I’m pretty deep in the sewers hunting more damned rats. Ok, I have to tell you up front that I’m not sure if this guy really is an ex-vanguard designer or what, so take the post for what it’s worth and with a grain of salt or two.

Among other things, he rips into McQuaid, Smedly, and Gilbertson.

//whistle//

I thought *I* was bitter about some things in this industry!

Launch Recovery

Reading some words about Vanguard, I wondered how many of us form an impression of a game/company at launch and rarely look back. Is there any conceivable chain of events that would lead to my paying for Horizons? I am surprised that I gave Asheron’s Call 2 a shot.

The games can be entirely different a couple of years later, with few or none of the original developers or producers still on the project. They may have fixed all the old bugs and put in great new content, but I just see World War II Online… wait, let’s try a longer one with lots of swearing: World War II Online. A failed game launch is like a failed shuttle launch: all I see is a fiery explosion, and I don’t want to be the next passenger after you have duct-taped it together.

: Zubon

I hear WWII Online is doing better these days.

Brad McQuaid Responds

I recently linked to an interview with an ex-Sigil employee and it is only fair to link to the follow up interview with Brad McQuaid posted over at F13.

Here is a brief highlight:

Brad McQuaid: I’m really sorry it went down that way. The way that it did. I can promise you that I and everybody in upper management did everything they possibly could to avoid this happening. Sigil was everything to us. It was our dream. Starting our own company. Providing a great working environment. You know, we worked months and months – as great as SOE is, and it was great working with them as a partner – as some people said “Brad, why did you sell out to..” We didn’t. We had hoped that Vanguard would be more of a success. It turned out we all worked very hard. Did the best we could. I thank everyone for pouring their hearts and souls into the game. I think it’s a great game. I think it has huge potential. When I’ve talked and made posts about the future of Vanguard and talked about Vanguard next year – I do believe that it was planned and architected to be an amazing game. We hoped to do it as our own company. It didn’t work out that way. I’m sorry.

Read the whole thing here.

– Ethic

Vanguard Launch Date

January 30, 2007

VANGUARD: SAGA OF HEROES MAKES THE JOURNEY INTO RETAIL STORES ON JANUARY 30, 2007

San Diego, CA – January 11, 2007 – Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online today announced that the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be released to retail outlets across North America and Europe on January 30, 2007, for the suggested retail price of US$49.99. A limited edition is also available for a suggested retail price of US$89.99.

Currently in beta, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes features vibrant environments reminiscent of oil paintings, a robust character customization tool and three distinct spheres of advancement in a seamless world without zoning or instancing. The immersive fantasy world is comprised of three massive, uniquely-themed continents for players to discover new creatures, new items and unlimited adventure. Players have complete freedom to roam the world whether flying dragons to islands in the sky or riding swift steeds to exotic lands.

– Ethic