Commonly Asserted Myths about Vanguard and its Free to Play Debunked
Commonly Asserted Myths about Vanguard Debunked
I've been spending a lot of time reading the comments on this discussion board about Vanguard, and there seem to be a lot of assertions being made about the game... many of which aren't true. While I find it totally acceptable not to actually like the game, what I find to be increasingly unsettling is the amount of "facts" being thrown around. Having played the game on and off since launch, and after having helped beta test the free to play launch, I’m hoping to post something that puts some of the more common myths to rest.
1.) Vanguard is "Pay to Win"
Pay to Win, according to a wonderful Googled definition and my own personal understanding after over a decade in the MMO space, implies that there are items being sold in a Marketplace store that are...
A.) Easy to obtain if you have the money to do so.
B.) Outmatch items that can be obtained by players in the gaming world with a little effort.
In PVP, as an example, this would mean that a player could purchase a suit of armor on the marketplace that outpaces and outmatches armor that someone could obtain from either a crafter, or by running through the game's content.
This is terribly untrue.
There is armor for sale in the marketplace, however its stats are only comparable to armor that you can get in the game with a little effort. In fact, speaking in terms of stats, the armor that you can get from quest-lines like the Hunter's League is actually better than that which you can buy from the marketplace.
As an example, I pulled up the level 20 Tank Shoulders from the Marketplace. Required level 21, with 149 Armor Class and 75 Hit Points with two stat buffs aside. The level 17 armor reward from the Hunter's League, however, offers 145 Armor Class and 74 Hit Points with three stat buffs aside. For its level, the Hunter's League Shoulders are far better.
As one levels up, also, the stats only become more and more favored toward adventuring content. While someone might be able to get an easy "in" toward an introductory suit of armor from the marketplace, it is far from better than what one can earn in the game.
2.) Vanguard can only be played until level 20 on its Free to Play.
This is only half true. Vanguard's Free to Play model has many of the near 20 races and 15 classes offered for free, some of which are actually the more unique classes to the game, like the Disciple. There are some restrictions put in place on some of the diverse races, like the ever popular dark elf and the Vulmane, as well as classes like the Shaman and Druid, though these classes are not required to perform well in a group. Every free class can and will be useful in a party.
If you are playing a free race and class, you can play the entire game's content for free up to level 55. There are no content expansions or quest packs to buy.
The "Premium" races and classes, however, can still be played from levels 1-20 for free without having to make a payment at all. This means that you can try out a race and class combo before you make a purchase to see if you like it. Keep in mind that the level cap is only 50 in Vanguard... meaning that this allows you to play your race/class combo through more than a third of the game's levels before you commit to buying.
If, at that point, you choose to make the purchase, the grand total of cost for a single race is less than $3. A class is less than $7. You can, in effect, get a race class combo of your choice, after you've had a good long time playing it, for less than two thirds the cost of a subscription.
Free Races Include: Thestran, Halfling, Kojani, Half-Elf, Qaliathari, and Mordebi.
The Races that you must Pay to Unlock (at $2.70 a race): Dark Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, High Elf, Kurashasa, Lesser Giant, Orc, Raki, Varanjar, Varanthari, Vulmane, Wood Elf.
Both the Varanjar and the Varanthari are continental specific versions of Barbarians.
Free Classes Include: Warrior, Rogue, Monk , Cleric, Disciple, Sorcerer and Necromancer.
The Classes that you must Pay to Unlock (at $6.75 a class): Psionicist, Bard, Bloodmage, Dread Knight, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Shaman.
Once you pay to unlock a class or race, you may roll as many iterations of that class or race as you want.
3.) Vanguard has undergone zero changes since its launch until now. SOE just launched it to make some easy money.
Since its release, Vanguard has made great strides in performance and crashing issues. On the same machine that I ran it at launch, I average more than ten to fifteen frames per second higher, and never get a graphical crash. Hitching has been reduced, and UI Lag currently is much less an issue than it was before.
Also since its launch, there has been a decent amount of content added aside from the bug fixes. The Raid Zone Ancient Port Warehouse, many overland contested raid mobs, the Magi Hold, and the Palace of the Ancients just to name a few. The level cap has also been increased to 55.
With the launch of Free to Play, Vanguard also restructured many of its leveling areas to offer more options to the mid-level player base. Where there used to be an overwhelming amount of content for players between levels 10-20 with diminishing content at the high 20's and early 30's, several areas had been re-tiered to give more options to players at the mid-range of levels.
These are just a few, but if these are the things that are holding you back from giving it a try? Then I’d strongly encourage that you load up the launchpad, install the game, and play. You will be able to play any race and any class that you'd like up to level 20, giving you a good opportunity to figure out whether or whether not you like it.