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The World of Telon
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (VSoH) is set in the world known as Telon. This world consists of three main continents - Thestra, Kojan, and Qalia. You begin the game however, on a small island known as the Isle of Dawn. There is also another continent rumored to be in development - an icy realm called Lothenland - but this has yet to materialize in the game. Across these three continents you will find a multitude of different races (which we will go over in-depth later), interesting cultures reminiscent of those found in Europe, Africa, or Asia, and a plethora of unique wildlife. The players are allowed to pick from fifteen character classes, another characteristic of the game that distinguishes it from other MMORPGs. We will take a detailed look at these character classes later as well.
Travel between these continents consists of mounts, flying mounts, ships, and even rifts or teleporters. Players are allowed to build one house for all the characters they create to share, use for storing inventory, and transfer loot between themselves. Permissions can even be assigned to other players, so that they can come into your house and open whatever doors you allow them access to.
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Spheres Of Play
Another significant change in how VSoH approaches the MMORPG genre is the introduction of "Spheres Of Play". What this means is that the player character deals with the gameworld in three different ways - Adventuring, Crafting, and Diplomacy. These are the three significant ways that a player character can advance and interact with the gameworld. The player character attains levels in each of these spheres, which maxes out at 50. The level they attain in each of these spheres affects what they can do, how NPCs interact with them, and what the gaming experience will consist of. But what do these Spheres really consist of? The Spheres work out to be as follows:
Adventuring - At its most basic, adventuring means doing quests, dungeons, killing mobs, etc. This is of course the most basic function one can perform in a MMORPG, so its not really much different here. As in other games of the same nature, the best rewards are received for group play as opposed to soloing.
Crafting - While this sounds like "making things", VSoH has taken this concept to a whole new level. Much like other games, there are recipes and ingredients. But that is where the similarity begins to diverge from the norm. In order to create something from a recipe, you must perform certain actions in a certain order. Each action costs "action points", and each recipe costs so many action points to fulfill. During the creation process, things can go awry and it is up to the crafter to choose to adjust the process or not. The implications of that choice can be negative, but this is not always the case. While it sounds complicated, the implementation within the game is very interesting and unique. Its interesting to note that crafting also makes use of three styles - one for each continent. A sword made for one continent will look stylistically different than one for another continent, as well as having different attributes. Creations can even include housing or boats, and interesting change from the usual. Finally, crafters get to choose a specialization at level 11. This specialization can be changed later, but its not recommended so you should take care before choosing.
Diplomacy - VSoH is innovative here, in that it is the first game to introduce a collectible card-type game within the MMORPG. Certainly World Of Warcraft for example, has collectible cards outside the game. But VSoH instead uses this concept as manner in which Diplomacy is played out. The player begins an "encounter" with someone in whats called a parlay. Each party has cards to use, such as Loud Criticism or Soft Admonition, for example. Each card has a point value, and the object is to utilize the points on your cards to influence your opponent. The game ends when the opponent's dailogue points are at zero.
In part three of this series, we'll take a look at the vast array of races available to the player, what the implications are for choosing each, and what bonuses or negatives come with those choices.
This series of articles will examine the game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and help you decide just what the game has to offer that may help it to rise above the rest in the MMORPG world.