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Major Vanguard update detailed

New starting area, characters, raids.

In a producer's letter on the official website, the makers of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes have revealed details of a major update to the Sony Online Entertainment fantasy MMO, due in the next couple of months.

According to the letter, the update will go live "very shortly after" SOE's Fan Faire convention, which takes place in Las Vegas on August 14th-17th.

It will consist of new starting area the Isle of Dawn, the second phase of revamps to the player character models, and the sixth regular game update to the game.

Game Update Six will introduce new high-level group and raid content, a new "overland" raid, class updates and adjustments to combat balance, performance optimisation and bug fixing. The second phase of the character revamp adds more customisation features and generally improves the look of all player characters.

Of most interest to new and lapsed Vanguard players will probably be the Isle of Dawn. Created as a free trial area, existing players will also be able to choose to start new characters here, and play through ten levels of content. The developers say that the questing on offer should "raise the bar significantly" in terms of quality, as well as offering a smoother, more guided transition into the wider world.

It all sounds quite promising. We hear increasingly positive things about Vanguard after its troubled launch last year, and will be revisiting it ourselves soon.