I thought I'd throw out some tips for returning to Vanguard Saga of Heroes. I'm not experienced enough to write up a guide, like I have with EQ and EQ2, for returning players (my EQ2 guide really needs an update) but I can offer some advice to those wanting to take a gander before it goes F2P and hopefully this will still hold up when the conversion hits. Yeah, I seem to enjoy doing guides and helping others get started in my favorite MMO games. I'm going to need to add a guide section on the sidebar soon, heh.
Where do I start?
Currently there is the option to BUY VG, but if you access the trial and then sub you don't have to buy the game. I've done this with two accounts thus far. Plus, it is going free to play. This might entice a few to go ahead and check things out. Now if you're looking for CE, you might want to check Amazon or Ebay.
There are now two servers. EU and US, pick one accordingly to where you live. VG is not part of the Prosiebnsat.1 deal. Bhagpuss also pointed out that most players play on Tealon, as it is far more populated, no matter where they live. The EU server seems the unofficial test server, something to keep in mind.
Where to start out? You currently have the option to start on the isle (tutorial- you gain a nice introduction to the game) there is a nice reward from doing diplomacy quests (which currently is being handed as a veteran reward to subscribers -you can find the herald on the top of the stairs outside of New Targanor or other places listed here). The isle is fun but it can be daunting for a few levels if you don't have any healing abilities or a group. Or you can choose the isle or any of these starting areas listed here. Really it comes down to preferences, the Isle of Dawn has better rewards but you'll soon replace them as you level. I prefer the racial cities, some of them are really gorgeous, all are very charming. If you're on a trial you only have the option of the Isle.
There are tanks, healers, dps, and support classes, but really most classes can solo and they all have their own strong points. Pick what appeals to you! I'd say anything besides a warrior and rogue is a good choice if you want to solo, iffy on a monk but they do get feign death. Those three IMO would be best played with a duo. Check out the class list here. There is a huge selection of classes and races. Some classes are more brutal when starting out, they take a bit of time to get the hang of or just gain abilities that make the class shine, such as the necromancer and shaman. Check out the forums, ask questions, people are mostly happy to help answer. Most questions have been asked on the forums so check the search function. Most of them seem to even out around ten, stick with it!
Getting A Feel For Things...
Vanguard is not EverQuest it is sandboxy but it does have a themepark feel to it, questing with a quest tracker, points do show up on the map. It's a harder game than WoW but easier than EQ. I always said Vanguard should have been EQ2, but that's just me. I enjoy EQ2 but VG had much more of the feel that the original Everquest had, much closer.
Another nice thing is you can hop around and check out different places to level. Beside every Rift Stone, we'll get to those in a moment, is a Rift Keeper, they offer quests that will basically show you other areas to go quest. I love this feature, you can travel all over the world when you need a change of scenery without wondering where you should go.
Riftstones are found in cities and towns, you'll use these to travel across the massive world. Cost is cheap and it's instant. There are mounts and boats, there are rent-able mounts in towns and cities, these last a short duration. There is a recall ability to go home (recall, recall house, recall guild), which you will want to bind somewhere using a bind stone. I like Veksal's Exchange, it seems a pretty popular hub too.
Ding Level TEN!
Once you hit level ten go get a mount! There is a great guide about all mounts here. Then you'll need to pick a faction, the guide I linked also gives information on this and there is a link here where you can see the mount choices for each faction, You don't have to pick your starting city faction, you can choose any you like. Your basic mounts can be found at each starting city also.
You'll want to choose a faction asap so you are able to gain coins for your city, these are used as currency! So don't wait too long and forget about it. I try to do this right after I grab my first basic mount. With your first mount you'll want to grab horseshoes, barding and tack. These can help with speed and stability, they are also found near the mount vendor.
Scratching under the surface...
Vanguard also offers diplomacy and crafting skills. You can build houses or ships, craft gear. You can harvest with your friends and guild members, as a team. It's really got a lot of depth if you are looking for more than your basic professions. Sometimes information can be hard to find for this game, a real interesting post on crafting and the basics can be found here, a must read for starters! Also the wiki has a fantastic bunch of guides and lots of information.
Some other bits of information worth mentioning: Vanguard does have an auction/broker system. There is also an appearance tab. Leave the music on- This game has a fantastic soundtrack! Hit the esc button to stop casting, and you can cast and walk at the same time (moving won't cancel a spell it only slows you to a walk). There is a mentor system and a brotherhood, so you can help your friends or have them help you even if you've gotten a gap in levels and experience.
All of those collectible items you keep looting... What are they?! You can use them here. Vanguard has housing, these houses have to be built and are not instanced but in neighborhoods. There are ships you can sail, personal ships. Death... Best to read this guide, scroll down to DYING at the bottom, gives a lot of good information. There is also a mail system, auction items and money will go to it. /claim check it out, you might have something waiting on you. Buying spells and abilities? It's cheap, you'll need to head to town and find your trainer. Bugs, yes there are plenty of small ones, lets hope our new dev team gets crackin' on squashing these!
What are you waiting on?!
That's about it, just some starting tips that help a bit, when I
Lots of resource links HERE!
And more here from the official site!
Official Vanguard Saga of Heroes site.
Best place to download (trial which upgrades with launcher).
Telonica The Vanguard Wiki- Great source of information!
ZAM has a bit of information still.
Silky Venom has a ton of information that is still valid, not sure how current things are but it's a great resource still. Many Google searches still lead me there.
Vanguard Forever- A project Ardwulf has been working on, lots of great links on FB and G+ too.
If all else fails GOOGLE ftw~ Yeah, I just linked google, time for me to go...
Hunters League Quest Guide- These offer very nice armor and a weapon for the level 20 range.
VG Walkthroughs- Click the Walkthrough section on the top bar to select a level range. A great list of quests and guides! This page also offers maps and other useful links.
Found this great post offering a guide for where to go while leveling, great for those looking for more direction.
Dungeon/Quest List- With avg. levels in each to get an idea where you might want to travel as you level. This list also offers some great quests you won't want to miss out on as you level.
Ten Ton Armor Project- Guides for quested armor.
The Telon Project- Tons of Information here about Vanguard
URT Armor quest series- A long chain that rewards great armor for the teens and low twenties, solo quests (small group quest at end).
Vanguard Dungeons- Compiled list of dungeons by level and location, very handy.