I was reminded recently about two really neat features in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Brotherhoods and Caravans.
Brotherhoods, similar to the mentoring system I spoke about in my last entry, are all about allowing friends to remain close enough in levels to play together.Â A brotherhood is formed just like a group, but with with a catch — Any experience you earn is equally divided amongst all brotherhood members.Â This means you can play at different times from your buddy yet remain the same level.Â The only real catch is you may not get back equally what you put into the brotherhood’s exp pool.Â If you’re always playing and your bud logs in once a week, obviously he can’t contribute what you can, but he can still play with you!
Caravans are another tool to keep friends together.Â The group leader forms a caravan.Â If someone in the group logs out, when the logged out player logs in next they will be given the choice of appearing where they logged out or where the group leader’s bind point is located.Â This allows friends and guilds to move around the world together.Â It’s simple but effective.
I think these are great features.Â When I gave it some thought, the reason I came up with for why they aren’t copied in today’s market is simple: The worlds don’t require them.Â The worlds aren’t big enough, they aren’t dangerous enough, and any distance between friends is quickly negated by fast travel options for a caravan to make sense.Â Leveling is too quick, too painless, and not at all a journey.Â Catching up with someone in a game like WoW is easy vs. catching up to someone in a game like Vanguard which can be very daunting.Â We miss out on some neat ideas as games become more streamlined. Food for thought.