It's been another interesting week in Vanguard, to say the least. Remember that thing I said last week about crafting and diplomacy being deep? I can now say with absolute certainty that they are so double-rainbow intensely deep that I've spent the last several days primarily working on those two skills as opposed to moving on to the next village. Indeed, attempting to finish all the quests in Sun Village has sent me back to Tentrees Farmstead (the first starter town) to pick up even more crafting and diplomacy work! Will I ever escape, or will I be sucked into an ever-swirling loop of crafting, diplomacy, harvesting, or whatever odd side-skill lurks just ahead, ready to whomp me over the head and make off with my magical cookies? Well, this week you'll get to decide, as I put the future of my fuzzy little Raki to a vote!

But first, join me after the break as I recap the last week's adventure in Telon.

Magic people! Voodoo people!
The people of the Isle of Dawn certainly are in trouble. While I'd heard about the hobgoblins lurking about as early as the first opening quests in Tentrees Farmstead, it would appear that the gobbies are not working purely for their own ends. Indeed, the oddly painted and rather buff hobgoblins appear to be working for a demonic entity named Zalaz, who is intent on taking the Isle of Dawn for himself. Zalaz is using portals to bring fire imps through, even bringing the very earth itself to life in the form of rock elementals to fight for his cause. Considering most of the people in this area are peaceful farmers and crafters, it lands on anyone adventuring in the Isle to aid in the fight. However, the odd part is that you seem to do far less fighting than one might expect, and a good percentage of what little you do appears to be group-oriented, or grind-until-over-level if you're intent on soloing. The rest of the quests center on crafting, harvesting and diplomacy -- and there are a lot of those.

Thankfully, being a fairly social sort, I managed to group with a handful of players in order to take care of hobgoblins, fire imps, and stone elementals. We shut down portals and cleared various areas, but as in just about any MMO, the respawns were pretty hot and heavy. No sooner had we cleared a few mobs than they were pounding on us again, so we wound up either fighting our way out or (later) simply choosing to pull an enormous number of mobs, dying, then spawning near the resurrection pillar. Hey, there's no real death penalty until level 11, so it was painless. Might as well take the shortcut since you'll be reburied in mobs very rapidly. (That said, if you are opting to do this, let me give you this advice: tell your healer first. I had a few interesting moments of melee target switching and spam healing before I was told to let them kill us. Oops.)

With that said, not every death I hit upon this week was player-caused, as anyone watching the livestream on Monday can attest. For some reason I hit the most incredible lag on Monday -- a lag so powerful and onerous that no amount of rebooting the router, making sure ports were open, or any such form of Internet demon-slaying would work. It continued for the duration of the stream, creating several "run up, hit a button, wait for a bit, attack once, wait some more, die, run back" moments. Now as to why I hit insane amounts of lag on a Monday around noon, I've no idea, but considering the numbers of people talking in local about it, I know it was not purely me experiencing this interesting new twist on combat.

Thankfully, I still had gobs and gobs of non-combat crafting and diplomacy quests to do, which aren't really affected by lag. As such, I'm getting pretty handy at making several different things, and I've actually started to win a few more diplomatic parleys than before. Practice makes perfect, as they say! The other thing I've noticed about crafting, diplomatic, and harvesting quests is that they seem to breed like rabbits. No sooner do you complete one than someone else has heard that you're getting pretty good at crafting, and wouldn't you like to help him make supplies for the fight? Thankfully, the rewards are nice if you intend on pursuing any of these disciplines, but it does take quite a surprising amount of time for a new player's area. That's the tradeoff for having very involved systems, though.

However, due to the sheer number of various different quests and side quests available, this week I wanted to put my path to a vote. That way, I can write next week's post on what you, the Choose My Adventure readers, are most interested about in Vanguard. And so, in the words of Monty Python, let's get on with it! This poll will close on Friday, October 1st at 11:59 p.m. EDT, so get those votes in quickly!
CMA: What shall I focus on for next week?
Adventuring129 (62.3%)
Crafting23 (11.1%)
Harvesting4 (1.9%)
Diplomacy50 (24.2%)
Something else entirely (Leave your suggestion in the comments)1 (0.5%)

Also, this week I'll be changing up play times to give some other people a chance to catch up and play along if they'd like. As such, I'll be playing Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EDT (livestreaming from 8-9 a.m. EDT), and again on Sunday night from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EDT (livestreaming from 8-9 p.m. EDT). I'll also be on at other random times, so be sure to friend "Apseth" if you're on the Telon server, and feel free to say hello to my little Raki disciple!
Join Krystalle as she makes her way through strange lands on a Choose My Adventure directed entirely by you, the Massively readers! If you'd like to play along, you can add Krystalle in-game or on Raptr, Xfire, or Twitter. Once the two months are up, we'll put the adventure to a vote -- and you'll choose what Krystalle plays next.

This article was originally published on Massively.