Friday, January 12, 2007

A new MMO: Vanguard

V a n g u a r d - Saga Of Heroes

I've been playing the beta for the upcoming MMO Vanguard, Saga of Heroes. It's claim to fame is that it's being created by several people who were behind the original Everquest, and is billiing itself as an MMO that will emphasize grouping. They want Vanguard to have a sense of challenge (without being too frustrating, of course...), and are looking to slow things down a bit from the rollercoaster pace of MMOs like WoW and EQ2 (as it is now).

In addition to the standard adventuring and crafting as ways to advance, it will add 'diplomacy' as an all new track to advance along. This involves a mini-card-game of sorts that is quite fun. I've only done the first couple diplomacy-related quests, but am enjoying it so far. It does look to be a good change of pace and significantly different from adventuring or crafting.

The graphics are a mixed bag, with some awkward models and textures here and there, but also some gorgeous landscapes and city design. From what other beta players have told me, the world is absolutely enormous too. I've only explored a couple small areas so far, so can't directly vouch for that, but a large world is a big plus for people like me who love exploring.

Overall I think Vanguard looks very promising, and I'll be getting a copy when it's released on January 30th.

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An odd omission

From a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News regarding end-of-year console sales, I found this interesting excerpt:

Among the newer consoles, Nintendo continued to fend off archrival Sony. U.S. retailers sold 604,200 Wiis, compared with just 490,700 PlayStation 3s. And the Wii could have done better, except that it was in short supply, noted Frazier. | 01/11/2007 | Video game sales soar in December

What the article neglects to mention is that the PS3 was in short supply too, but for some reason they only mention the Wii as being in short supply. The fact is that both consoles sold every unit they made available, so the only reason the Wii outsold the PS3 was due to supply.

I wonder why the article's author neglected that fact? The article was supposed to be a brief analysis of console sales, but it would have been very easy to also mention the PS3 was under shortage too. Why not? Did he not know? Did he not think it was relevant?

In any case, I do think the Wii will continue to outsell the PS3 in the short term because of the large difference in price point, and the fact that the Wii appeals to non-gamers. I think longer term (as in a few years) the PS3 will catch up as more people get HDTVs, but for now the Wii will most likely "win the battle". It is odd though, to see media bias towards the Wii. This is not the only article that seems to leave out salient points.