So I have ventured back into the land of Telon – the locale for Vanguard: Sage of Heroes. My sandbox has been here all along, right under my nose. Telon does not hold your hand, can only loosely be said to have “quest hubs” and generally teaches you early on that even roads are not safe: a lesson not taught by MMO’s since early in the life of WoW.
First things first: Vanguard has aged well. The silver lining to releasing a game that most computers couldn’t even run way back in 2007 is that the game still looks phenomenal today.
So we’re not talking about a game where you have to squint and ignore the decidedly low calibre background to have some fun. And second of all, the world is still tremendously large. The scope of the zones is massive, particularly when you consider the three continents and the zones of pure OCEAN between them all. If you want to go get lost in a fantasy world – I’m not sure what better place to do it in right now than Telon.
To further open the sandbox, Vanguard dropped all the racial and class restrictions. So go ahead and help yourself to a Dark Elf Paladin or a High Elf Necromancer or even a Goblin Ranger – you deserve it. And you can elect to start either on the beginner island (Isle of Dawn) or in your racial home town – unlike some other Sony MMO’s you may have heard of. And if you do elect for the starter island, when you are done – take a boat ride to any of the three continents – your choice! – to continue your adventure.
Of course there are some downsides. There is an actualy death penalty, and not just a few durability points on your equipment. You will lose some xp. Recover your tombstone (and with it any non-soulbound equipment) and you will recover a very large chunk of it. I’ve been just irritated enough with it not to go blindly running into anything, but not so irritated that I have rage quit over it.
So far, its been a magical return. Vanguard was certainly a lumbering beast of a bad game back in the day, but you know what? Sometimes reindeer really do know how to fly.