Vanguard night 3

Granik and I are, somehow, still playing Vanguard. We were fairly close to ditching it with the stupid Ra’Jin roof jumping till we stumbled on some ways to game it and having put a good 3-4 hours into attempting to do it properly we just wanted it over.

The trick with frame rate seems to be to select the “Best Performance” item from the drop down, exit the game completely, log back in, select “Highest Quality”, disable Hardware Occlusion (which doesn’t work right, after a while everything starts to flicker in/out) and HDR (which doesn’t work right), then relog again. Give it upto a minute after you enter the game to finish loading stuff up and normalize its memory usage.

If you have a quad core, bring up task manager and after the launchpad starts the game and the splash-window is up, set affinity to just 2 CPUs and you get much better performance.

Lastly, you may need to turn normal mapping down to 0%. It runs fine with 100% normal mapping for me until it doesn’t, and once it doesn’t… relogging, rebooting, nothing will give me good FPS till I remove normal mapping.

The game itself…

Linearity is definitely a problem. Seems to be rare you go back to an NPC other than to turn in a quest. So many of the Kojan quests are “Hi -> Do -> Done -> Go To”.

And the Lao’Jin quest line simply ends abruptly. We reached this guy called Pao Min, we did his quests and not even so much as a good bye or thank you. We tried to explore a little further but the distances becoming involved are off-putting. We’re a good 10-15 minutes from our home town now, and the mobs are grey/green so its just an auto-run with terrain dodging – it may be cool for some folks, but for me just a little tedious.

We spent 2 hours exploring this “Mages Tower”, which would have been really cool if (a) anything interesting had dropped, (b) we had quests for it, (c) the conclusion was just some level 35 mobs we couldn’t interact with.

It’s definitely not a soloers game. But since we have a group fixture, so far Granik and I are enjoying it. Made level 15, managed to do a couple of interesting “small group” things, and I finally found settings that – for the last session anyway – didn’t stutter or chug.

We got our heads around a number of fundamental bugs, such as why we kept losing loot items. We didn’t figure out why it gave Granik a pair of heavy armor legs I could really have used, when he can only wear plate, and it was bind on acquire so we were both kinda miffed at it.

Even so, with a decent frame rate and a handle on some of the bugs that can otherwise be soul eating, its not a bad little game.

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