We recently ran a column on abrupt MMO sunsets, one of which was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, which SOE binned in 2014 shortly after buying it and pumping in extra resources into its operation. If reading that piece made you pine for those fjords, then you might be happy to note that there’s an emulator out there.
This reminder comes to us thanks to a Reddit post about the VGO Players website, which features a section with setup instructions, client files (if players happened to have deleted their original client), and even a series of custom UI links.
According to the group’s forums – yes, it has forums – work has progressed on the emulator for almost a decade, starting in 2013; an incomplete version opened for testing a few years back and accepts donations for funding the website and hosting. We do stress that the devs are open about this not being a fully live-state game, though patch updates in the Discord makes it clear it’s being actively developed, with over 100 concurrent players this past weekend.
The legal section also rather amusingly tries to cover its tracks, reasoning that this emulator isn’t piracy because players either bought the original client or the MMO was free-to-play for two years – a fairly stock rationale for rogue servers.
“We have made every effort to consult with SOE to get their permission to redistribute the client files, but our requests have gone unanswered,” it argues. “[W]e do not expect them to sanction this, we only hope they play ignorant and allow us to continue to assist the player community in acquiring the game client to experience one of the most breathtaking games ever developed.”
Given the company’s response to rogue servers for its other sunsetted games, we’re guessing that’s exactly what will happen.