Vanguard: Saga of Heroes gone through some tough times. Original developer Sigil was absorbed by SOE to keep the game afloat. Now we turn our attention to the game itself in this new interview.
WarCry: With the latest patch for Vanguard now available, will we be able to expected regular patching to Vanguard to resume once again?
Vanguard Dev Team: Once Game Update 2 is pushed to Live, it is our every intent to make sure we have regular consistent game updates.
WarCry: Sigil had been planning a number of additions to the game for the future, such as with expansions, such as mounted combat, ship-to-ship combat, new classes, and "RTS-Style city building". Are these still planned for the future?
Vanguard Dev Team: They are still on the big list of exciting things we want to integrate into Vanguard. However, the main focus for the upcoming months will be spent on performance, optimizations, bug fixes and polish. Once we have resolved those issues to our satisfaction, and more importantly our customers, we will tackle the huge list of features. That includes expanding our core gameplay mechanics as well as adding new ones where it makes sense.
WarCry: Vanguard suffered from gold dupes in the past. Is anything going to be done about the current state of the economies of the servers in the aftermath of those dupes?
Vanguard Dev Team: Dupes have certainly been a problem, and something we have been actively fighting as well as we can. Our main goal has been to identify and remove the dupes as quickly as possible. Once the server merges are complete, and we let the economies settle, we will evaluate things and work on getting some creative money sinks on the table and in the pipeline for implementation.
WarCry: Along with the gold dupes, gold sellers have been using in-game tells to spam players with messages about their sites. Can you tell us what is being done about them?
Vanguard Dev Team: Currently we have been banning them as the players report them. Longer term, one of the other SOE teams has written some great code to prevent gold spammers from spamming. Once that piece of code has been tested and approved, we will be using some version of it in Vanguard.
WarCry: What can you tell us of the upcoming server merges? Many players have been curious how this will be handled, how houses will be dealt with, and what it will mean for the servers under different rulesets.
Vanguard Dev Team: The team is working very hard on getting all the necessary code completed and tested to be as painless as possible for the player. As soon as Game Update 2 is Live, the server merges should be following close behind. As for houses, all the resources used in the construction of your house will be returned to you so that you may rebuild the house on the new server once you have purchased a new plot. As far as rulesets, nothing is changing there other than PVP Team is going away and there will only be PVP FFA.
WarCry: Will more roleplaying elements be placed into the game? Such as more clothing styles, sit-able chairs, etc...
Vanguard Dev Team: It's not our current focus right now, but we hope to "sneak" in some more clothes and hair in when we can.
WarCry: What do you personally believe to be the greatest obstacle before Vanguard, and how do you feel it will be overcome?
Vanguard Dev Team: I would say our biggest disappointment was that we feel we let our customers down. We weren't able to ship Vanguard in the state we would have liked to, and currently we are working very hard to earn our customers faith back by addressing the issues that concern them the most - performance and overall polish, to name a couple. Game Update 2 is a step in that direction. Performance is improved and thousands of bugs have been fixed, as well as better UI for the LFG and Quest window. We are also actively posting in the forums more as well as soliciting feedback in an effort to improve Vanguard.
WarCry: How do you feel about the UI of Vanguard? Can we expect any changes to the UI to make it easier to use in the game (such as searching the exchange brokers) or more friendly to the modding community?
Vanguard Dev Team: It's functional at a base level but not always as intuitive as we would like it to be. Game Update 2 contains some UI changes that the team is very proud of that go a long way in improving that. The LFG UI has been completely changed. It's much easier to use now in addition to containing multiple ways to search for a common adventurer. In addition to the normal searches like classes and level range, players can also search by quest and dungeons now. The Quest UI also has some significant changes to it to make it easier to read and use. And my personal pet peeve has been fixed, tracking quests is now persistent. Yeah! The rest of the UI will be seeing similar changes as well over time.
WarCry: What is the current and future focus of Vanguard's playstyle and target audience? Solo, group, raid? Casual, 'core', hardcore? Has this changed at all from its initial conception to the present day?
Vanguard Dev Team: Currently we have been focusing pretty heavily on polish. We have areas in the game that are great for solo, group and casual players, as well as hardcore, but we'd like it to be more consistent. If there is one thing I've learned about Vanguard players, it's that we have some diehard dictated fans and we don't want to let those players down. We will be taking a hard look at how our players play Vanguard before we set down any future focus of Vanguard.
WarCry: With the upcoming raid content in a few months, what is the scale of the raids planned for Vanguard? How many players would be involved in the raids, and what sort of time commitment would be involved?
Vanguard Dev Team: Our first raid dungeon, the Ancient Port Warehouse (APW) is designed around 12 man raids. We are actively evaluating the possibility of larger raid sizes as we continue to optimize, and the community will be given a preview of this as well as soon as we have it finalized. One item is the commitment for raiding ranges from being able to fight a boss within 15 minutes of logging in, to roughly an hour. The fights themselves generally last no longer than 10 minutes, with many being much shorter. Within APW, many of these bosses are contested, but some of them are spawnable as well and available for anyone to kill if they have the required drops found within the dungeon.