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Thread: Why did Vanguard fail?

  1. #1
    Rift Disciple Sengh's Avatar
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    Default Why did Vanguard fail?

    I'm curious. I've been looking at a lot of videos (gameplay, reviews etc) for the last two hours or so and to be honest it looks
    like a pretty solid game with tons of good stuff. So I'm wondering why is the Vanguard ship sinking so fast? Please feel free
    to enlighten me, especially if you were one of the players who were there from the start. Thx!

  2. #2
    Ascendant Alyvian's Avatar
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    sony doesnt care, thats about it
    that adn a horrid launch, but the sony doesnt care about vanguard is what has killed/is killing it.

  3. #3
    Rift Disciple Cranks's Avatar
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    2 people work on the game in there lunch hour.

    lol at least that's how it seems.

  4. #4
    Rift Master charlionfire's Avatar
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    You should read Brad McQuaid's own post mortem about it.

    Basically, from what I understand, the game required too much PC power for the market at the time. It also had technical glitches with the seamless world and was not optimized.

    On top of that, the world was so huge that players lost the feel of playing an MMO.

    There were more problems, but well read for yourselves :P

  5. #5
    Shield of Telara Osho's Avatar
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    One of the answers could be Sigil's fragile project management from the beginning on for such a huge game.
    I guess at the end it was an bargain buy for Soe due the connection to the Sigil management. I don't think they paid much for the game.

    I think we won't see such a potential and complex game like Vanguard was in the near future.

  6. #6
    Rift Disciple Sengh's Avatar
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    I think Vanguard would had been a much bigger success had they released say this year or last year.

  7. #7
    Plane Touched Torgrim's Avatar
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    Vanguard is really an awesome game now, tobad alot of people hold a grudge for ages.

  8. #8
    Shield of Telara Caracarn's Avatar
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    I was a vanguarder from the very first hour, and unfortunately the answer is not simple.

    The most lethal of all causes was Brad McQuaids complete failure as a manager. I will not question his ability as a dev, he showed his dev power while working for SOE. But being CEO of a company is something completely different. After the break with Microsoft (yes, Microsoft was in the boat before SOE came in) the financial side of Sigil was seriously questionable. Money ran out end of 2006 and Sigil had to launch an unfinished game end of January 2007. In the very end Brad McQuaid didn't even have the guts to tell his employees that Sigil had failed and sack them himself.

    See: http://www.f13.net/index.php?itemid=561 if you wan't any proof

    Second point was management failure at around beta 3 in 2006. Even us beta testers noticed that there was noone really in command of the game as a whole any more. Odds and ends were taken care of, and many devs worked insane hours, but the entire picture was lost.

    SOE bought up Sigil to avoid the complete loss of the Sigil cooperation. Most of the Sigil devs were laid off at the time, and programming of Vanguard was a complete mess. SOE never was interested in saving the game, just in getting as much of their money back as possible. I am NOT a SOE fan, but being a CFO in RL myself, I really can't blame them for this one.

    There would be many more details, but imho Vanguard was doomed right from the point where Sigil bought the right back from Microsoft and overdid their financial capabilities by far. It is a really sad story, because Vanguard will always be known as the best game ever nobody played and as the game that never reached its really outstanding potential.
    Last edited by Caracarn; 08-22-2010 at 06:20 AM.
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  9. #9
    Plane Touched Albieos's Avatar
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    First off, to much development time (and money) spent on art and story assets before the engine was even baseline functional.

    The engine they choose was not meant for MMOs at all and had to be hacked up in many ways to make it function, not to mention adding the "seamless" world portions. Unreal now has evolved to become an exceptional MMO engine in no short part to the lessons learned from Vanguard.

    Due to the above the game launched and could barely be ran on the most high end of machines. Crashes, characters stuck, mobs fighting each other, falling through the world and many other "fun" extras cost a lot of players very very quickly.

    Then about two weeks after release of a game slated for a lvl 50 cap, players ran out of content at lvl 30ish. Mobs where not in game, when they were they had no loot or anything other than basic AI. (no abilities etc..)

    Our group was still wearing lvl 20-30 gear when we hit 50, because nothing else dropped in game. (more players left)

    Almost six months later the level 50 content started going in, it was found to be buggy as **** as well. It to lasted a couple weeks with no new content in site. (more players left)

    Again six months later.. the first raid zone released. Everything in it was beat in about one month of very casual raiding. The content was way to easy and died normally in 2-3 pulls, except for being buggy. (I was part of the world first kill of the dragon). (and more players left)

    Another six months and new content hit, specifically griffon mounts. This time in an attempt to keep players on the content they made every drop extremely rare and the whole thing was a grind fest from ****. (and most any players left.. well they left..)

    Its comes down to extreme mismanagement all the way through from "vision" to today.
    Last edited by Albieos; 08-22-2010 at 06:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Ascendant Slyde's Avatar
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    If Vanguard was released as it is now, with plenty of advertising, and was owned by Blizzard instead of SOE, it would probably become the #2 game on the market after WoW in a very short time.

    If it was built on an engine newer than Unreal 2.5 (?) it might even overtake WoW.

    Vanguard is a very good game that SOE holds down so it won't outshine their 'golden child' EQII.

    It boils down to a company owning two competing products, one developed in-house with a brand name franchise, and the other purchased from a competitor (Brad McQuaid ) who has a 'history' with the CEO (John Smedly).
    Last edited by Slyde; 08-22-2010 at 08:50 AM.
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    If the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was made by today's MMO designers, the first 8 hours would be condensed into 30 minutes, and the last hour would be stretched out over 8.5 hours. It would be all about 'The Ending' and not about 'The Journey'.

  11. #11
    Ascendant Tachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caracarn View Post
    I was a vanguarder from the very first hour, and unfortunately the answer is not simple.

    The most lethal of all causes was Brad McQuaids complete failure as a manager. I will not question his ability as a dev, he showed his dev power while working for SOE. But being CEO of a company is something completely different. After the break with Microsoft (yes, Microsoft was in the boat before SOE came in) the financial side of Sigil was seriously questionable. Money ran out end of 2006 and Sigil had to launch an unfinished game end of January 2007. In the very end Brad McQuaid didn't even have the guts to tell his employees that Sigil had failed and sack them himself.

    See: http://www.f13.net/index.php?itemid=561 if you wan't any proof

    Second point was management failure at around beta 3 in 2006. Even us beta testers noticed that there was noone really in command of the game as a whole any more. Odds and ends were taken care of, and many devs worked insane hours, but the entire picture was lost.

    It doesn't help a game at all if the CEO has an affair with the wife of one of his most senior devs, Bill Fisher in this case. I have no proof for this, of course, but at the end of 2006 there were strong rumour about this, also voiced on several game site (FOH by a dev named Nino, for example). Even if they were only rumours, their existence says a lot about the morale of the Sigil team at the time.

    SOE bought up Sigil to avoid the complete loss of the Sigil cooperation. Most of the Sigil devs were laid off at the time, and programming of Vanguard was a complete mess. SOE never was interested in saving the game, just in getting as much of their money back as possible. I am NOT a SOE fan, but being a CFO in RL myself, I really can't blame them for this one.

    There would be many more details, but imho Vanguard was doomed right from the point where Sigil bought the right back from Microsoft and overdid their financial capabilities by far. It is a really sad story, because Vanguard will always be known as the best game ever nobody played and as the game that never reached its really outstanding potential.

    This. Excellent outline of the fall of Sigil and Vanguard. Anytime you're called into the parking lot to get your pinkslip you know something stinks to all ****.

    I felt bad for the devs under Brad and for the community but like Caracarn said the game was doomed from the start. People like to hate Sony and that's fine, but this wasn't their doing.

    The trend for MMOs is if you have a bad launch you're likely to never recover. Vanguard just couldn't shake what Brad allowed and caused to happen.

  12. #12
    Soulwalker SilentOblivion's Avatar
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    So, whats the community like now?
    Is it a reasonable size, or just completely deserted?

    I'd like to give the trial a-go, but is there really any point?

  13. #13
    Shadowlander
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    Default what killed it

    I was a beta tester for that game...It had lot and lots of bugs.. Even though it seem the developers were listening to the testers they release the game too early..So when it came out it had more bugs then when eq1 first launched...People want to play the new games but sometimes the developer feel they have to rush an unfinished product...

    Another way to think

    I went to a restaurant once..It was advertised to have good looking food...I saw the plates on other tables that looked good...When I bite into a roll it was mold...I will never go to that restaurant again...it same way the gamers for some people if when you first get in and it is buggie then they will go somewhere else...

  14. #14
    Ascendant Anasazi's Avatar
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    To put it simply, SOE happens!

  15. #15
    Soulwalker Nighttide's Avatar
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    Not much else I can add, but I too was a [late] beta tester and an early player. I thought the game had a lot of promise as far as its world was concerned (seamless, huge, lots of cool stuff to look at). The music was cool. I liked diplomacy and the way combat felt a bit different from other MMOs. But it all felt broken, and glitchy, and the system requirements were off. There's a lot of stuff I didn't like about it that, at this point, I probably just don't remember.

    I tried playing it again some time after launch, but like all SOE MMOs, I always felt like I was playing a game that was ultimately going nowhere, and that's no fun. It's hard to feel excited or interested about something when even its developer/publisher doesn't care about it.

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