View Full Version : Sigil Employees are Fired

05-15-07, 12:18 AM
It's a sad day for me, as I really like Brad, and LOVED his original "VISION" for Vanguard...But it seems he did botch up VG pretty bad...Read for yourselves...Oh..and to those who say that this might be FUD, Nino (customer relations guy) posted on FOH that he will let them know his status tomorrow...Thats a good indication it is true...I just hope Sony can do something with this game...It has alot of potential...


The axe finally fell. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. And while many of you may try to spin this to make SOE look bad, apparently this wasn't really their doing. You see, SOE doesn't own Sigil. It doesn't own Sigil now and they won't own them tomorrow. But they do own Vanguard. What fate awaits that game? I don't know. Don't particularly care either.

But I do know that at approximately 4:30PM today, Sigil employees were told to meet outside. At which point they were terminated. On the spot. By whom? Doesn't seem to have been Brad McQuaid, if it was, nobody is talking. But that doesn't seem like something he'd do. But I suppose the executioner is irrelevant since most folks secretly want it to be SOE and it wasn't. As it stands, people were told to come back tomorrow to do their paperwork and some may get hired by SOE.

I contacted SOE since I'm not in the business of burning bridges or spinning news and they had this to say:

"...an announcement is forthcoming tomorrow."

05-15-07, 02:20 AM
vanguard was meant to fail from the start...
I feel sorry for the people that bought the game.

05-15-07, 07:58 AM
Its not a bad game, it just doesn't have that extra "umph". All Vanguard is, is a mix of alot of different games. Nothing about Vanguard is really new or unique to make it stand out above the rest. It just kind sits in the middle of many. If a person wants to casually play, they will still play WoW. If they want to hardcore play, they will still play EQ.

My guild on Woefeather is the number 2 guild on the ENTIRE server. I have over 200 members. Guess how many are active? About 15% of that. I have zero problem with people quitting the guild. Most people who are in the guild, like it and enjoy the time we spend(however little it may be). My problem lies where people quit the GAME ENTIRELY. ALL other guilds have this problem too. I spend hours and days and weeks putting together a solid guild, only to have people quitting the game.

You wouldn't believe how much time I wasted purely making the guild good, now everyone is gone. I can't say that I blame them much though, I'm probably going to cancel my account soon as well. :o

05-15-07, 08:44 AM
Good. Now maybe people will actually try to make something new in the genre and not repeat the same crap or copy from existing games.

05-15-07, 09:21 AM
Problem was that Vanguards tried way too much and got to big but never excelled in any one area. The graphics were good but not great, gameplay was decent but shallow. Heck even the world was huge and sometimes detailed but empty in other parts.

I think SOE should take the game and rebuild it completly... make it a true follow up to EQ rather then what EQ2 was.

05-15-07, 09:43 AM
I agree somewhat Magus. I do believe they should try to find more innovation to be successful though.

05-15-07, 10:07 AM
One of the MAJOR problems with Vanguard is the world is just simply too big for the low amount of players. Do a /who all 30 (or ANY level) and you only see 10 - 20 people on at ANY given time for that level. I'm not talking a /who 30 where it just checks your zone, I'm talking the ENTIRE WORLD there are only that amount of people on. They could combine EVERY server and they "might" be able to fill the world a little bit better.

To those who have not ever played Vanguard, the world is absolutely humongous. Many times larger than WoW. However, it should be HALF the size of WoW due to how few players are on it.

05-15-07, 03:54 PM
Yeah, I actually cancelled my account today...I just don't want to invest time in an MMORPG to then have it ****ed up by SOE like SWG. I really enjoyed SWG for the first year or so after its launch.

Then they started making too many changes...and before long the game was nothing like the version that was released on launch day.

You do know that LucasArts made the decisions on that game right? SOE was just the developer behind it but Lucas is mainly to blame. I have no real hate for SOE other then the ****ing stupid ingame item selling but I really liked EQ2 prior to that... Hell Planetside is awsome and I even go back and play every now and then...

05-15-07, 04:02 PM
I'm going to keep my account for a while...I want to see what SOE can do...They did a good job on EQ2 from what I hear...I think it's a good move for the game, however I still feel bad about the Sigil Employees...

05-15-07, 05:32 PM
SOE basically doesn't want to see their investment go poof. Sigil cannot keep the game running and if it was left as is the servers would not last long, SOE is absorbing them to keep it all going. I hope they can fix the game in the process though, they have alot of work to do.

05-15-07, 07:33 PM
Just an FYI...There are new "OFFICIAL" forums now...

05-16-07, 02:51 AM
Wow...I didn't expect this...Nino (a loved member of the VG team spoke out today on the firings...(FOH...I am to lazy to give you the link)..I expected people to talk...but not quite as frankly as this...He infers that it was Brad that killed the game...Wich (even though I was a Vanboy or a Bradite) I can understand and possibly agree with...I've met Brad (as has Magus)...He came accross as very passionate about the game, as did his employees...He seemed to be the "messiah" of MMORPG's...His employees worshiped him as if he was one (wich, to be completely honest, won me over)...Things are coming to light that he wasn't even in the office after the SOE publishing agreement (RUMOR..but being somewhat solidified by the type of post that Nino did)...He might be a nice guy, but I guess he's not a business man....What do you guys think (Magus, I'm especially interested in your view)?

There is much I would love to unload about right now, but seeing as I am feeling pretty emotional while trying to respect the wishes of remaining Vanguard management, I will refrain.

I knew this was coming months ago, as did most others, so I made arrangements prior to the whole unfolding of events today. Sony was kind enough to invite me and a few others to form a small team and to start prototyping a 'new' project. While we've done some 'secret' preliminary work, we begin in earnest tomorrow after we officially sign on with SOE. Don't bother asking about details, because you won't get any.

I became increasingly disenfranchised with the situation since the forced premature launch, which then culminated several weeks back when I decided I could not, in good conscience, continue serving the Sigil management staff in my over-extended capacity and stepped down. I would have walked away completely if this recent opportunity had not presented itself when it did.

I did the best I could with the time and resources I had at my disposal, but in the end it simply wasn't enough to bring the game up to the standards we all had hoped for in the time we had remaining. I apologize for any disappointments players have experienced. During the final year, I was pulling 80-100 hour weeks, and I was not at all alone in the building. I wish things could have been different.

While I was fortunate to stay employed, there were near 50 people today who were not, and it was painful watching the procession of stunned coworkers packing their belongings into little cardboard boxes with blank looks on their faces. I've never had to endure something like this, and I hope to never have to do it again. I know it is easy to point fingers at 'why' things ended up this way, but the vast, vast majority of the folks losing their jobs today had very little control on how events unfolded and many were skilled and creative people who simply wanted to make a great game.

The Vanguard team, obviously now much smaller, will go back to improving and fixing the game tomorrow. Myself and four others will be moving to a new location and beginning anew. The others will begin the process of trying to find a new place to work.

I promised not to be publically scornful, but I will say this: I hope those truly responsible for the deep rooted failings of the company lay in bed tonight and relive the events that transpired today in their heads, over and over. For not ONE of you is without your job come tomorrow morning.

05-16-07, 03:15 PM
Yeah Dave Gilbert has been running the show the last 6-8 months it seems.

Brad, they say, was home playing Hero-Clix.

05-16-07, 03:24 PM
Brad, they say, was home playing Hero-Clix.


05-16-07, 05:08 PM

Seriously...Part of an interview with an Ex-Sigil Employee...For the full interview..Click the link...
f13.net: When it came down to actually making game content, how much freedom did designers have?

Ex-Sigil: Quite a bit. The content itself was done almost entirely on their own. The designers on Vanguard did amazing things with the horrific tools and systems in place.

f13.net: What tools were used to make the game?

Ex-Sigil: In-house stuff for the design side... but there was no scripting language for example, even though nearly everyone wanted one except for the people who decided if we got one or not.

f13.net: Because it would cost money to make these tools?

Ex-Sigil: No... because the people in charge just didn't want one

f13.net: How much do you think the lack of reasonable tools hurt the project?

Ex-Sigil: Immeasurably. You can't expect people to create interesting content, and then not give them the means to do it.

f13.net: Do you remember when the game was first shown publically? Surely it was while Microsoft was involved.

Ex-Sigil: I'm pretty sure the first time the game was seen in public, if I recall, was E3 2005. People were shown very small pieces (I was told a dungeon was shown over and over and over). Apparently, those pieces were specifically chosen to not show the glaring flaws. Now.. honestly, everyone does that. Nobody is going to parade around their problems. But the fact is, those problems were shoved under the carpet and ignored instead of being fixed before development moved forward.

f13.net: Was this a forced appearance?

Ex-Sigil: Yes.

f13.net: By Microsoft or Brad?

Ex-Sigil: Both I'd imagine... and that trend continued though for another year. What people don't understand, is the game that went out the door was literally created in the last 15 months. Design worked 12-18 hour days for 9+ months. Coding and Art worked insane hours as well, all trying to actually get something playable out the door.

f13.net: How deep did SOE's hands get into it? What was the progression like?

Ex-Sigil: They were hands-off all the way up til today

f13.net: ... are you serious?

Ex-Sigil: SOE lent a few devs to us in the final days, but it was nothing like people think. I think design had 3 people, art 2, and programming 1 from SOE. They let us use their testing dept too somewhat. We felt somewhat reborn I guess, but with a sense of reservation. When the merger happened SOE embraced us, and spent a LOT of money on us right away. It felt really good.

f13.net: Do you know why they were willing to do that? Surely they saw the lack of... product within the project at that time.

Ex-Sigil: I don't know that they did really. They got the same show that MS did to some degree. I'll say this about Brad.. he's one hell of a salesman. He's VERY passionate about his projects, even so much as to be blinded from seeing reality.

f13.net: SOE knew Brad's game though. Smedley has been around through McQuaid Part 1 & 2 now.

Ex-Sigil: I know.. and I can't explain that part.

f13.net: Surely people around the office knew part of the history. What was the rumor mill like at this time?

Ex-Sigil: Some people were confused. Why would SOE buy a game that's a direct competitor to EQ2? There was always talk, but people who were working on the game continued to put their souls into it in hopes that we could somehow get it all together in the end.

f13.net: Without a scripting language or proper tools, it sounds like some of the people actually on the project were pretty amazing.

Ex-Sigil: The level of creativity to make things work where there were no methods to do so was incredible.

f13.net: What happened in the short time between E3 2006 and Beta?

Ex-Sigil: The dev staff knew the game wasn't ready. Brad set the beta start I think and was completely clueless as to the actual state of the game... not listening to anyone telling him it wasn't ready

f13.net: How hands off was he by this time?

Ex-Sigil: He was playing a lot right through about Beta 2 but then he vanished.

f13.net: As in, just outright disappeared?

Ex-Sigil: Yep.

f13.net: Why? He was still posting on forums during this time...

Ex-Sigil: Well, he showed up to make mandates about game systems and design decisions.

f13.net: Was he there to see that stuff get implemented?

Ex-Sigil: The management knows I'm sure, but I don't have a clue. I just know he disappeared.

f13.net: What was the mood in the office by this time?

Ex-Sigil: People were still trying to stay upbeat, but certain people continually shooting down other's ideas started to take its toll. At least 2 people quit the team due to the heavy handed inflexible people on the class design team. When something isn't fun, except for the people who designed it, and others try to help, they'd get shot down... eventually people stop trying to help.

f13.net: How was QA treated through the course of development?

Ex-Sigil: QA?

f13.net: QA.

Ex-Sigil: QA was one person up until about November... ONE.

f13.net: What.

Ex-Sigil: 100% serious.

f13.net: What? How? This is an MMOG.

Ex-Sigil: Vanguard had one internal tester for probably 95% of the design cycle.

f13.net: Doesn't the complete and utter failure, in hindsight, seem like a self-fulfilled prophecy though with only one QA member?

Ex-Sigil: The reasons for failure are too numerous to list, but can all be summed up by a lack of management. Brad, for all his faults at least made decisions. So did Jeff. Right or wrong, they took a shot. The people in charge now were so afraid to make the wrong decision that they made no decision at all.

05-16-07, 06:33 PM
I hope SOE can save the project, it looks like the team wanted to make a great game but management just set it to die...

05-21-07, 04:02 PM
What the hell was he thinking spending $30 mil to make a hardcore MMO???? No way he'd make his money back doing that. He'd need to have a dumbed down MMO, easier than WoW for him to recoup and profit.

05-21-07, 08:02 PM
i'm cancelling my account but im keeping vanguard's cd's right at my desk, im gonna give it another try in a few months

06-03-07, 10:27 AM
I've lost any respect I ever had for the man. If I have prior knowledge he is involved with a title in the future, I won't be buying it.

Now I plan on waiting six months after a MMORPG is released before considering buying it. I'll make an exception if every reviewer on the net and 90% of beta testers say it is polished, and ready to go.

06-03-07, 12:01 PM
i'm cancelling my account but im keeping vanguard's cd's right at my desk, im gonna give it another try in a few months
same. I already canceled my account as well.