Lead Designer Salim "Silius" Grant has has made a lengthy post outlining the future of Vanguard, and it honestly looks a bit rough. "We are trying to pull back on some of the more ambitious features due to resource limitations," Grant said. He followed that statement by confirming that Alternate Advancement, the Halls of Shattered Souls, Stiirhaad Mountains, Pankor Zhi and Nexus have been "shelved indefinitely."
Grant said that the team will be focusing on bug fixes and more frequent content releases, and also noted that a server merge is being considered. Players don't appear happy with the news, and the post has already received 24 pages of generally unfavorable responses.
You can read Grant's full letter after the jump. What do you think the future holds for Vanguard?
Hello once again everyone. As mentioned in my previous post here is a high level of what we are looking at releasing over the next year. We are trying to pull back on some of the more ambitious features due to resource limitations. All projects in the company have very busy schedules and are all doing the best we can with resources as we continue to support our games.
The Vanguard team has always tried to do more with what we have and it has not always panned out. This unfortunately has resulted in a long gap between releases of content and when finally released that content has had its problems. After reviewing this we have come up with a more focused plan of attack.
One obvious area of focus is bug fixing. We have once again scheduled focused bug fixing time to go along with our standard background bug bashing. We have also taken areas of interest and broken them down into smaller implementation pieces that are much easier to manage from the development and QA side.
Doing this will hopefully accomplish the following goals:
• More frequent content releases
• More time spent on focused testing rather than testing many things at once allowing some bugs slip through
• Focused content that starts and ends a chunk of storytelling
• Reinvigorating the community as new stuff is released more frequently showing that this old game still has some tricks.
Because of this reevaluation of how we utilize our resources there is the dreaded shelving of some of our more ambitious features. In an effort to be as transparent as possible I want to let it be known that the following features/content have been shelved indefinitely for now.
• Alternate Advancement
• Halls of Shattered Souls
• Stiirhaad Mountains
• Pankor Zhi
We are not happy that we have to put these things aside for now but as a team we must focus and as 2010 unfolds see if we can once again discuss how we would like to see the above mentioned items implemented.
With that out of the way let me discuss what we will be working on. Firstly some of you may have noticed that some of the items on the player wish list have been worked on. A few months back we took that list, identified things that would be possible with our current resources and then prioritized it. The logistics of some of them are a bit complicated but know that we are looking at getting many things ranging from housing related additions to UI tweaks implemented.
One big thing we are looking into currently and trying to execute early next year is a server merge. We recognize that the community is spread out and Telon is gigantic so bring many of you closer together makes sense from both sides of the coin. This is not a definite option as we have some technical issues that did not exist when we merged servers last time and as such we need to work out the details there.
As mentioned above bug bashing is still a priority for the year. While we want to continue to release new content we understand that new breeds more issues and these issues just compound the fact that some old issues still exist. This is part of the reason why we are toning down our releases. This gives us more time to tackle bugs while giving some content for everyone and breathing life into some areas of Telon that could really use it.
Lastly we are looking at releasing a chunk of content each month. These content drops will be chapters of a larger story told in various parts. Pantheon was supposed to play out this way, unfortunately Pantheon was not split up enough and we have since learned from the mistakes made there.
The upcoming content is small group - group focused with potential for some raid targets linked to it. The locations for this content will be areas that are under utilized or deserving of some form of revamp. As many of you have said Vanguard has some areas that have little to no content in them and need to be evaluated. The following list is a high level plan for the content next year. Please note there are no solid dates yet as we are still evaluating some things.
1. Server Merge (this would not include Halgar)
Note the server merge is only being considered at this time. This is not a definite by any stretch of the imagination. We have to weigh the requirement sot execute this and what it means for anything else we may have to work on in regards to Vanguard. I wanted to put this here so you knew we were looking into this and it would not come as a surprise if announced.
3. Shadow Hilsbury
4. Magi Hold – Chapters 1 - 3
5. Focused Bug Fixing pass part 1
6. Diplomacy Saga next 2 releases
7. Focused Bug Fixing pass part 2
8. Old Targonor – Chapters 1 - 5
The continued class evaluations are still being looked at as we have run into some problems and are trying to look into the best course of action. Once we have figured this out we will finish the rest.
I want to once again thank all of you for the support you have given this team. As Vanguard gets closer to another birthday I am happy that all of you have been here to see the game grow. Here’s to Vanguard, and to all of you may your holiday be merry and your new year bright.