I am an optimist and like many other optimists, I prefer some good news rather then no good news. Needless to say when I heard SOE was lifting some of the Free-to-Play restrictions imposed on players in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes I nodded my head in quiet approval. According to SOE, the plan is to make both the F2P and monthly subscription avenue more attractive for new and old players alike.

Those choosing the F2P path will now find no class or race restrictions. In any other MMORPG this may not have been that big of a deal, but when you add up the 19 different races available along with 15 unique classes you’ve suddenly got quite a lot of extra customization options. Free players can also own a house now along with the ability to create guilds, something that was previously restricted to subscribers only. Speaking of subscribers, Vanguard subscribers will also now benefit from an added 50 percent boost to XP; a 20% discount on several fees; and an additional house which also receives a discount on upkeep.

Sadly F2P players are still gimped on the gear side of things, with Vanguard continuing to restrict access to rare and higher items. You can find the full producer’s note with all the details here.

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. this game had potential as f2p… but an old game with old graphics, mechanics and grind can’t survive with so many restrictions

    yes, this can be a good title, but when you have a game like DCUO, Tera, Neverwinter coming with less restrictions (the 2 last ones with no restrictions), this game can’t compete

    if they want to survive, they will have to do better than that… also, is that hard to put some mounts. costumes and xp boost or something in a cash shop?

  2. It looks like the original Everquest, which came out in ’99. So for a game to have such outdated graphics in 2013, the game play had better be really good. I considered playing it, but what’s the point if they restrict item use to common & uncommon? You’re going to suck compared to subs and they won’t want to group with you. I don’t blame them.

    • The loot restriction isn’t that bad. I don’t see if very often.

      Gameplay > graphics. If you judge a MMO based on graphics, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Besides, the graphics aren’t bad. (especially for being 5 years old) Its a great game that has deep pve and a non-instanced world. The game is gigantic. The diplomacy is a very unique feature.

      On the other hand, it’s old school MMO style isn’t for everyone. Most current players want their loot now and they demand to be levell 60 in 2 days. VG doesn’t hold your hand like many current MMOs.

      You won’t find that in Vanguard. You will find an outstanding community though.

      before you yell “Fanboy”, I do play a lot of MMO’s.


  3. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t play a two-handed fighter (aka Dread Knight) when I first installed Vanguard. Ended up being the Disciple and got bored pretty quickly.

    This has been remedied and I am now playing again.

  4. It’s a good game. It’s a mixture of old school open world with some newer features. The game is absolutely huge too.

    It’s got one of the best communities too.

  5. when will they learn?

    These last two years have been free-to-try for a lot of games.
    if you want a playerbase to build up on a failing game – remove all restrictions! have a cash shop with cosmetic items or xp-like boosts.

    restricting in game items… chat. etc.. its just frustrating.

  6. quickly said
    Those choosing the F2P path will now find no class or race restrictions=Smart move i see only plus from this
    Free players can also own a house now along with the ability to create guilds=Also a plus although i wouldnt mind being restricted on guilds personally not sure what owning a house benefits u cause never played this
    Vanguard subscribers will also now benefit from an added 50 percent boost to XP; a 20% discount on several fees; and an additional house which also receives a discount on upkeep.=Totally disagree with this 50% is WAY too high in my opinion
    Sadly F2P players are still gimped on the gear side of things, with Vanguard continuing to restrict access to rare and higher item=This is the one and only part where it made me say “i am not joining this game”

  7. All i get is that SOE is trying to get money on another game that no one really wants. these F2P models that still need subscriptions urk me royally. Adding an XP boost just makes this a Pay to Win game even more, with free players don’t get access to higher tier items. I’m staying away from SOE games as much as i can, i’d suggest everyone else do the same.

  8. Vanguard is an awesome game. Graphics far from rule in a game. Wurm Online has the best gameplay of nearly any game avialable imo, atm, regardless of it’s stiff combat and lighter graphics (although they are plenty good enough to support the outstanding gameplay). But this payment model for Vanguard is superior, and I shall likely head back to Vanguard for a time, as the skill cap writing on the wall in my Wurm gameplay draws near. Pity about the items, but house building is a huge step in the right direction, not to mention being able to play all the classes. I have to say SOE is definitely stepping up it’s game, heeding players and trends, and giving me reason to think highly of them again, and keep tabs on their games. A sincere “Da Bomb” to SOE for this move! ;~)

  9. haven’t bothered to watch the first look as I’d rather listen to ftp cast 53 / playing war thunder, it’s just too late for ftp to have a decent affect for their playing population nor any real profit they seek to gain. These games are getting old with dated graphics…..the only chance they would have with switching from pay to free is they had game breaking mechanics but all I see is old trash trying to make a penny (if it was that good, I’d have heard from reading about mmo games and stuff…) otherwise there is way more decent ftp games out / incoming already.

  10. So on their website they say
    “Why did we decide to do this? Because we all believe that once you start playing the game without restrictions, you’ll want to keep playing and will find our Membership option to be an even greater value!”

    But then they keep items restricted to “Rare and higher items will have limited availability for Free members.”
    That’s not “without restrictions”. They’re contradicting themselves. Besides, restricting items? Really? Classes I can understand, certain areas I can understand… but items?

    • Marlblanke. For every argument you give me why is it bad to limit items I will give you two arguments for why it is bad to limit classes and/or certain areas. I’m not saying it’s better or worse to limit one or the other, i’m saying that it is really only a matter of habit.

      With that said, i played this game in a week-or-so trial period back in the day when WoW was considered a king (and not a funny old geezer at whom the kids like to point and laugh because he dresses funny) and i remember thinking that the game was actually awesome. I got why WoW was popular but i couldn’t figure out why Vanguard wasn’t. It had all the stuff that WoW had and even improved on a lot of the points. At the time the only reason why it wasn’t successful was the lack luster marketing scheme, i really can’t think of a different reason, it was a great game.

      But that was then, now it is just as old as it is unnecessary. I feel like all it is doing now is twitching like a fish on dry land, the money spent on it would probably be better spent on a sequel or a reboot… or you know, feeding the hungry and stuff.

      At least it didn’t develop a panda fetish in it’s old age.

      • A matter of habit? Perhaps. All restrictions have their downsides, but restricting the usage of items seems like the harshest out of the bunch.

        You can work around class restrictions as long as you have, at least, one free class for every archetype (tank, dps, support, etc). It’s not an optimal choice, but you’ll be able to pull your weight in parties.

        Restricting areas is not something I’m too fond off, because it cuts access to different XP nodes (keeps boredom away), items and challenges. But as long as you’ve got other options, you’ll live.

        But items.. not allowing free players to use rare and above items will level the field immensely in favor of paying players. Personal skill can’t make up for such drastic differences in gear in those games. I can’t imagine a tank doing well with subpar gear, for example. (I usually play tanks, so that one hits a bit too close to home)

        But perhaps it all comes down to habit as you say. I’m used to seeing class restrictions in other f2p titles. “Premium” areas too. Items… not so much. And when I do, my first instinct is to go “You greedy *******!”
        In a fight between a guy decked in Epics and a guy running on normal items, it’s not hard to see who wins, regardless of class.


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