Well even though I guess everyone has heard the news about the impending closure of Vanguard by now, I’ll link to the official statement, the FAQ about SOE all-access and the Reddit AMAA (Smedley) thread anyway. Even though I never made Vanguard my MMO ‘home’, I am truly saddened by this news. Although I’ve never got very far within the game, I have been playing on and off since around 2009 as there is just *something* about the game that keeps pulling me back. The world itself is beautifully designed, the game feels dangerous and challenging (at least compared to other MMOs I’ve played) and the classes and races varied and interesting. I also loved that diplomacy and crafting were distinct and separate spheres (and fun minigames too). I am going to really miss this world.
For anyone who is interested, the game is free to play, so download and take a look before it disappears forever. I would strongly suggest not starting in the Isle of Dawn but instead follow this guide to find your racial starting area (after character creation, choose Home Town, don’t pick up quests but instead follow the directions in the guide). The racial starting areas were a fantastic way to start your adventure and it’s a real shame they were simplified to the Isle of Dawn or 1 of 3 starter towns.
I did have a very OCD approach to levelling (including crafting and diplomacy) but now that I know I only have until the end of July, my plan is now to just explore and screenshot. The screenshots will be posted here under the tag ‘telon sunset’. My plan was to just create a personal archive of some of the beautiful designs, however Bhagpuss has written an interesting article which perhaps throws my screenshot plan into a different light. He writes about the ephemeral nature of digital material (particularly in light of the closure of Vanguard) and the responsibility of preserving online worlds as part of our cultural history. Although he states that the ultimate responsibility lies with the owners of the material, players can also contribute by publishing screenshots / video. It’s a really interesting thought so do go and read the whole article.