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#1 Feb 07 2010 at 4:10 PM Rating: Good
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I just finished reading an article by Scott Jennings(MMORPG.com), "Legendary Failures of Legend". It's a two part series that has a lot of good points, and knowledgeable information on what actually goes into a MMO, and more importantly, "Scope", something that most of you may not be familiar with, but will be briefed on. I figured it would be a good read for us all due to the information it contains. Feel free to Discuss:

Part One:
http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/3961/Legendary-Failures-of-Legend-Part-One.html

Part Two:
http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/3982/Legendary-Failures-of-Legend-Part-Two.html


You'll probably like Part Two, more.

Edited, Feb 7th 2010 5:25pm by Skeptic
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#2 Feb 07 2010 at 4:21 PM Rating: Good
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#3 Feb 07 2010 at 4:25 PM Rating: Good
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Fixed, my paste doesn't work today.
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#4 Feb 07 2010 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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I was actually more interested with the Part 1 section, because having not played all those MMOs, I didn't know why they failed, but the Part 1 section gives good reasons for their failure.

I do think we have to give SE some credit with being able avoid drastically changing any of the core system in FFXI (which led to Star Wars: Galaxies demise), but were able to slowly change FFXI over the years to address issues while not ******* off the majority player base. (obviously certain changes will **** off specific people, but the player base as a whole is usually content or happy with the updates)

The Part 2 section seems more like common sense to me. You have to limit the scope of a project to finish it on time and in budget. I do like how it points out the extra significant difficulties in creating an MMO game as opposed to a non-MMO game. But these things should all be planned out and accounted for at the start of creating any MMO game.

Anyways, thanks for the post, with no FFXIV news it's at least something related to read about.

#5 Feb 07 2010 at 9:37 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't think those games in part 1 failed... They were all successful for their time. They lose customers after many many years have past, but what mmo doesn't?
#6 Feb 07 2010 at 9:47 PM Rating: Decent
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jpenguin wrote:
I don't think those games in part 1 failed... They were all successful for their time. They lose customers after many many years have past, but what mmo doesn't?


Age of Conan definitely epic failed.
#7 Feb 08 2010 at 9:31 AM Rating: Decent
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jpenguin wrote:
I don't think those games in part 1 failed... They were all successful for their time. They lose customers after many many years have past, but what mmo doesn't?


While I don't have first hand experience with the others I can say Hellgate London failed big time not long after it was released. The whole subscription system they had in place was retarded beyond belief. Thankfully I didn't sign up for the subs and I feel VERY sorry for the poor souls that payed the 150 bucks for a lifetime subscription. I now have a 50 dollar waste of money sitting on my desk, and the worst part is I actually liked the game for the most part, it was a fun diablo-like game.

The part about Star Wars Galaxies blows my mind. I never knew they completely overhauled the core game while they still had an active consumer base. That is completely ridiculous and I can see why the game sharply lost a lot of its subscribers.
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#8 Feb 08 2010 at 10:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Part 1 was good. Part 2 was fail in itself IMO. I wasn't looking for a design document and in no way did i want to know about scope creep and all these others things. I know why games fail... he was kinda stating the obvious on that second one, it was unneeded and pointless article.

but yeah ultra long spawns and ridiculously unfair things like ninja looting can and will take place if allowed, it can ruin a game. The simple fact many of the mmo's even had subscribers back in the day because they catered to an audience that had nothing. Now that games like WoW are out it is a lot harder for MMO's to make good games(the way people want it). It must be casual but have die hard elements, which imo wow only does the casual very very well. Also as much as everyone hates it WoW will be a benchmark for the next while to come, it shows how to do things right and a game will either be better or worse, in recent cases often worse.

A lot of games like Conan fail because it is incredibly linear, hardly being an MMO, crafting was atrocious, and voice acting didn't exist past the initial city. The game itself for the time i played felt very single player with an online element, not an mmo.

Ironically though i played a bunch of the games he talked about, whether beta or 2 weeks trials i have played them. It is fine till you hit the hardcore content that is... ahem... a little TOO hardcore for most regular, working and social folks.
#9 Feb 08 2010 at 11:03 AM Rating: Good
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Yah this is something worth looking at, thanks OP.
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#10 Feb 08 2010 at 12:00 PM Rating: Default
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Good read, at least the first part. Me and my mates usually discuss stuff like that over a pint (those of us who are gamers). We believe that games really got better and evolved from UO too WoW (lots of games in between some now bad but most of them were good at launch). When WoW came, and that one was really good (still is for me), we were just fantasizing how awesome every MMO that followed would be. But what a letdown so far!

The three things we believe WoW "revolutionized" was:

1) Solo-friendly gameplay
2) Done away with the D&D rules set with the turn based system and replaced with "instant" skills
3) Unique world which they can expand in every direction they want, no boundaries as Lotro, AoC etc. has

WoW really didn't invent the wheel (not with the classic game at least), it just took the above things from previous MMO's which people liked and put it in the one and same.

Every MMO now a day seems to try and invent the wheel instead of just looking to current successful games and just grab what works and expand on that, really how hard can it be? But so far all the hyped games have failed miserably.

I'm now waiting for FF XIV and SW:TOR and hoping for them both to succeed so we can get new games which will be the benchmark for future MMO's to come. Though I'm a bit skeptic towards SW:TOR cause I get the impression that it will be heavily instanced like Guild Wars is, which takes away a lot of the sandbox-theme I like.


Edited, Feb 8th 2010 1:43pm by WhiteWabbit
#11 Feb 08 2010 at 12:21 PM Rating: Good
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Fun read, which is perhaps a sad statement about how much people tend to enjoy fantastic failure.
Quote:
WoW really didn't invent the wheel (not with the classic game at least), it just took the above things from previous MMO's which people liked and put it in the one and same.

Largely true, but I think there is something even more important that the WoW team did for MMORPGS. They stopped trying to dictate what players should find fun, and started to respond to what players do find fun.

Up until that point, developers would ask themselves "Is this mechanic fun?" and even if the answer was no they would still implement it. Blizzard realized that was a horribly stupid idea.
#12 Feb 08 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for all the educated replies guys, I appreciate it. I'm glad a lot of people are learning from this article. Kind of makes you wonder what Square Enix is up there talking about in their large building in regards to Final Fantasy XIV.

"Hey team, more Crabs?"
"**** yea!"

Us: "Noooooooooooooooooo!"

Just goes to show you that one false move can ruin a whole MMO. Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?

Discuss!

Edited, Feb 8th 2010 1:51pm by Skeptic
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#13 Feb 08 2010 at 1:18 PM Rating: Good
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Skeptic wrote:
Thanks for all the educated replies guys, I appreciate it. I'm glad a lot of people are learning from this article. Kind of makes you wonder what Square Enix is up there talking about in their large building in regards to Final Fantasy XIV.

"Hey team, more Crabs?"
"**** yea!"

Us: "Noooooooooooooooooo!"

Just goes to show you that one false move can ruin a whole MMO. Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?

Discuss!


I just hope there will be a handful of time when the players will have to communicate with each other and not just to kill stuff.
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#14 Feb 08 2010 at 1:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?


i think they will "try" to meet all of them or at least most.

I still think FFXI had a lot right with it and just did some things poorly that ruined the whole thing like every other mmo does.

They are trying to build in solo play while still having the team play a viable option for faster leveling... which IMO is the main point where FFXI went wrong. Having partying a main staple is one thing, forcing it is another. The gameplay was just too slow, without active regen it was kind of hard to get around but i hated sitting there for 5 minutes waiting to fully heal and you didn't get any drops fighting things that were weak enough you could actually beat... they said they are fixing that too.

Seeing as they have said they are trying to learn from WoW i think they will really try hard. The last game had a ton of elements the core roleplaying mmo'ers like but it couldn't cater to ANY casual audience at all.

We will find out with the beta though how friendly it is. I personally think it will be a real test of how the game is panning out. If you cannot stand it at that point it probably won't get too much better though.
#15 Feb 08 2010 at 1:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
We will find out with the beta though how friendly it is. I personally think it will be a real test of how the game is panning out. If you cannot stand it at that point it probably won't get too much better though.


That is why it is VERY important to actually know your Role as a Beta tester for this game. If you're signing up just to play FFXIV before everyone else, then you are signing up for the wrong reasons. Every person chosen for Beta will play a major role in how the final version of FFXIV will come out. It's important to report EVERYTHING you find wrong with the server, battle system, anything!

Beta, to me, is one of the most important times to get the Fans' ideas heard, and implemented.
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#16 Feb 08 2010 at 2:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Good read, but where’s Age of Conan on the list?
I’d figure losing 90% of your user base (over 700,000 subscribers) in less then 3 months after launch would warrant an honorable mention at least.
Especially since AOC holds the record for the largest mass exit in MMO history, and would be a perfect example of what "not to do" for some of these future (large budget) MMOs on the horizon.
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#17 Feb 08 2010 at 2:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Good read, but where’s Age of Conan on the list?
I’d figure losing 90% of your user base (over 700,000 subscribers) in less then 3 months after launch would warrant an honorable mention at least.
Especially since AOC holds the record for the largest mass exit in MMO history, and would be a perfect example of what "not to do" for some of these future (large budget) MMOs on the horizon.



I'm pretty sure SE knows not to release an un-complete game, lol.
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#18 Feb 08 2010 at 10:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
"Hey team, more Crabs?"
"**** yea!"

Us: "Noooooooooooooooooo!"


We need the crabs, don't remove them >_<;

I'm wondering how Everyquest II and Vanguard are doing today? Anyone in those games? Vanguard was a huge hype for lots of my FFXI friends who were EQ vets...

Edited, Feb 8th 2010 11:29pm by jpenguin
#19 Feb 08 2010 at 11:13 PM Rating: Decent
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I've seen so much crazy !$@* go on in Everquest that I tend to not ask anymore. Why? Because I lived it.
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#20 Feb 09 2010 at 1:28 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
WoW Fails.


Yes, please.
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#21 Feb 09 2010 at 9:31 AM Rating: Decent
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MMOs break this. The MMO player isn't a one-shot consumer, but a long term customer. They have an investment in your game, in the form of the time and money that they sink into a year or longer of playing. The demands of MMO customers thus are an order of magnitude different from the guy who just picked up Dragon Age. Although interestingly, that's a bad example - games like Dragon Age, with community sites and DLC content, are part of a generation of games which approach MMO-level demands of service.

Failing to understand the service requirement of an MMO will mean some fairly obvious and avoidable mistakes - poor customer service being the most visible. MMOs require a long term investment in areas such as customer service teams and live team patch support that don't result in an immediate justifiable increase in the bottom line. But skimping on that investment does result in the bottom dropping out of that bottom line, and fast.

This also means that once the game launches, your players are your customers. Calling them customers is critically important. It implies that you are there to serve them, and not the other way around. You are not the god of your game world, you are a customer service professional, and if you want to keep those customers contributing to your paycheck, you had damned well better act like it.



Sundi should read this, heh.
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#22 Feb 09 2010 at 9:43 AM Rating: Good
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jpenguin wrote:
Quote:
"Hey team, more Crabs?"
"**** yea!"

Us: "Noooooooooooooooooo!"


We need the crabs, don't remove them >_<;

I'm wondering how Everyquest II and Vanguard are doing today? Anyone in those games? Vanguard was a huge hype for lots of my FFXI friends who were EQ vets...

Edited, Feb 8th 2010 11:29pm by jpenguin


I gave Vanguard a shot for about a month.

Frankly, the game seems like it probably should have had a chance to succeed. It has a beautiful, varied, and ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE world that isn't separated by zones (though you do get a big pop-in load of the enemies as you cross the "border" of a grid space). The diplomacy system makes NPC interaction actually engaging. The equipment is interesting, albeit a bit all over the place as far as bonuses go (it was a fairly common occurrence for me to find a decent sword from a boss, then suddenly find a sword that's twice as good from a lowbie rat two minutes later). The crafting, like the diplomacy system, makes what would otherwise be a tiring, repetitive system actually engaging and complex. The graphics were pretty comparable to FFXI's, I felt. Not state-of-the-art, but definitely acceptable.

It seemed like it had a lot going for it. But there were two major flaws that marred the game while I was playing:

1) The whole game seemed completely empty. COMPLETELY. You'd run into a small smattering of players in the major towns and starter areas, and the odd player or two in the field or other areas, but that was about it. It's definitely in part due to the sheer size of the world, which is a shame. I just always felt like I was on a server with a couple hundred people. Additionally, it felt like 90% of the server population was in one guild. Out of the 100-ish people in my guild, about 3 actually ever logged in. Many hadn't come on in months, according to our guild list. It just seemed like a game dying a slow, quiet death.

2) Corpse runs. Die in Vanguard, and you can expect a long, annoying trek back to find your tombstone, in order to recover both your equipment, and a portion of the experience that you lost back. And I died A LOT. I couldn't find people to quest with very often, so I spent most of my time playing the game solo, which isn't extremely enjoyable. This is especially bad because most of Vanguard seems geared towards group content; I just fudged my way through it solo, as one of the games more 'gimped' classes. It worked well enough, but I still found myself doing a lot of corpse runs. Sure they make the game more difficult, but it's a difficulty that feels very superfluous and artificial. Add in the strong possibility of getting killed by an enemy that you can't see, or that attacks you through a wall, or that transports through a set of floors to attack you, and you can make for some really frustrating situations.

It's a real shame. If that game were more populated, I think it'd have a ton going for it. I guess they were hurt badly by a buggy release (and probably also by a complete lack of marketing whatsoever). It just seems like it fell just short of panning out.
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#23 Feb 09 2010 at 11:07 AM Rating: Decent
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CommanderKing wrote:
Skeptic wrote:
Thanks for all the educated replies guys, I appreciate it. I'm glad a lot of people are learning from this article. Kind of makes you wonder what Square Enix is up there talking about in their large building in regards to Final Fantasy XIV.

"Hey team, more Crabs?"
"**** yea!"

Us: "Noooooooooooooooooo!"

Just goes to show you that one false move can ruin a whole MMO. Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?

Discuss!


I just hope there will be a handful of time when the players will have to communicate with each other and not just to kill stuff.


This is a very important thing as well IMO. I'm playing MW2 right now, and there's barely any interaction between anyone. Sure the matches are short, but there's no way to actually find anyone to team up with if you don't know them from outside the game. I usually end up playing with random people, which isn't as fun.


Also,
Quote:
I gave Vanguard a shot for about a month.

Frankly, the game seems like it probably should have had a chance to succeed. It has a beautiful, varied, and ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE world that isn't separated by zones (though you do get a big pop-in load of the enemies as you cross the "border" of a grid space). The diplomacy system makes NPC interaction actually engaging. The equipment is interesting, albeit a bit all over the place as far as bonuses go (it was a fairly common occurrence for me to find a decent sword from a boss, then suddenly find a sword that's twice as good from a lowbie rat two minutes later). The crafting, like the diplomacy system, makes what would otherwise be a tiring, repetitive system actually engaging and complex. The graphics were pretty comparable to FFXI's, I felt. Not state-of-the-art, but definitely acceptable.

It seemed like it had a lot going for it. But there were two major flaws that marred the game while I was playing:

1) The whole game seemed completely empty. COMPLETELY. You'd run into a small smattering of players in the major towns and starter areas, and the odd player or two in the field or other areas, but that was about it. It's definitely in part due to the sheer size of the world, which is a shame. I just always felt like I was on a server with a couple hundred people. Additionally, it felt like 90% of the server population was in one guild. Out of the 100-ish people in my guild, about 3 actually ever logged in. Many hadn't come on in months, according to our guild list. It just seemed like a game dying a slow, quiet death.

2) Corpse runs. Die in Vanguard, and you can expect a long, annoying trek back to find your tombstone, in order to recover both your equipment, and a portion of the experience that you lost back. And I died A LOT. I couldn't find people to quest with very often, so I spent most of my time playing the game solo, which isn't extremely enjoyable. This is especially bad because most of Vanguard seems geared towards group content; I just fudged my way through it solo, as one of the games more 'gimped' classes. It worked well enough, but I still found myself doing a lot of corpse runs. Sure they make the game more difficult, but it's a difficulty that feels very superfluous and artificial. Add in the strong possibility of getting killed by an enemy that you can't see, or that attacks you through a wall, or that transports through a set of floors to attack you, and you can make for some really frustrating situations.

It's a real shame. If that game were more populated, I think it'd have a ton going for it. I guess they were hurt badly by a buggy release (and probably also by a complete lack of marketing whatsoever). It just seems like it fell just short of panning out.


well said, I hope SE takes a note of this before they launch FFXIV.
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#24 Feb 09 2010 at 4:09 PM Rating: Decent
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I can see it now...WHMs giving Tele's to Corpses for 1k.
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#25 Feb 09 2010 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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Skeptic wrote:
Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?


We don't know enough about the game to make too many sweeping judgments just yet, but I think they're going to be perfectly fine in all technical/polish areas. I trust Square to be very professional about things.

The "Fun" part is the only thing I'm worried about. I don't know from interviews if it really sounds like a lot of things that were unpleasant about FFXI are going to be addressed; that is I don't know if the team is aware of a number of them.
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#26 Feb 09 2010 at 6:43 PM Rating: Good
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Skeptic wrote:
Here's a good conversation starter, after reading everything in the article regarding what should go into a good MMO, how many of these guidelines do you think FFXIV has already met or needs work on?


We don't know enough about the game to make too many sweeping judgments just yet, but I think they're going to be perfectly fine in all technical/polish areas. I trust Square to be very professional about things.

The "Fun" part is the only thing I'm worried about. I don't know from interviews if it really sounds like a lot of things that were unpleasant about FFXI are going to be addressed; that is I don't know if the team is aware of a number of them.


I was browsing around the official site yesterday...something that I don't do all that often, but with all the nay-saying and negative attitudes towards new ideas around here it was refreshing. Of course, there's no guarantee that the information found on the official site is going to make its way into the game...SE wouldn't be the first company to go a bit overboard wit the marketing embellishments to drive initial sales. But a quick read through the various different class descriptions and other game aspects suggests very strongly that they at least know enough about what a larger segment of the MMO gaming population wants to hype it up on the official site even if they don't actually incorporate it into the game.
#27 Feb 09 2010 at 7:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks Eske. I was in Vanguard during launch too and you reminded me a lot about it. I had lots of fun. And also lots of frustration; invisible enemies we couldn't hit back, falling through the ground unable to retrieve my stones and empty world...

I read around and found this thread. Everyone seems to agree that Vanguard is a solid game now.
http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=42565
#28 Feb 09 2010 at 10:08 PM Rating: Good
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jpenguin wrote:
Thanks Eske. I was in Vanguard during launch too and you reminded me a lot about it. I had lots of fun. And also lots of frustration; invisible enemies we couldn't hit back, falling through the ground unable to retrieve my stones and empty world...

I read around and found this thread. Everyone seems to agree that Vanguard is a solid game now.
http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=42565


I should add that my experience with the game isn't from launch. I gave it a go back in August because, like you, I had heard that the game had now begun to reach its full potential. The issues that I experienced are from a recent build of the game, so I suspect that they're pretty close to the current version.

It's not a bad game, by any stretch. And I suspect that many people would be able to enjoy the game's many strong points. I just happen to be a very socially-oriented MMORPG player. I need a good guild/ls, and I love to see crowded zones with a lot of chaos and shouting. That's just my thing, and last I checked Vanguard it was a big, beautiful, empty box.

...and corpse runs suck. It can't be said enough.
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