In a strange reversal of fortune, I am trying Wildstar out. This is particularly strange when you consider Pitrelli just reversed himself and decided to give Elder Scrolls Online a go and drop Wildstar. Now I need to explain; I did not pick it up again of my own free will. I have a friend who is begging me to play it. He got further than I did and seems to love it and he really wants me to play with him. Me, being the great friend I am, decided to give it another go. What follows is an updated impression.
First of all, many of my problems in my earlier impression post still stand. Though I have gotten used to the telegraphs and have even come to understand what they are trying to do, it still makes the game to damn bright at times. There is entirely too much flashing going off on the screen constantly. I really do not recommend this game if you are prone to seizures because there is no doubt this game will give you one.
Not only that but the background environment is entirely too busy, especially the tutorial zone. Every square inch is covered with whirling doodads, laser scanners, surveillance droids complete with flash bulbs and a myriad of other things. I am reminded of when George Lucas discovered CGI and reissued the Star Wars movies. He wasn’t content to just update Jabba the Hutt, he also had to throw new CGI into every single frame. There is really no need for this. The tutorial is so jammed packed with stuff that its distracting. There is simply no need for so much stuff jam packed into everywhere.
I decided to make a Chua Spellslinger named Gizzbro this time. I will say the Chua are one of the greatest races in any game. They are basically cute Gremlins that are insanely smart at making weapons. I really like everything about them, which is good because I don’t like most of the other races. I really dislike the human walking animations, the mechari aren’t appealing and the beast race has some strange animations as well. But, the Chua make up for it.
Combat-wise Wildstar is solid. Perhaps better than I thought initially. The combat is fast and frantic and there is a pretty good skill curve involved here. I can certainly see arena and rated battlegrounds being a big thing here. I am still not sure the telegraphs add or detract from the skill needed to play it but its fun regardless.
The questing fare is bog standard. The tutorial is horrible but, then again, almost all MMO tutorials are. One thing that really gets me about the Wildstar tutorial is that, despite being overlong, it misses some of the basics you would need to know to play the game. I didn’t see a single mention of how the Interrupt Armor works and I wouldn’t even know it existed had I not watched a bunch of videos on the game beforehand. That is some pretty important info and its completely ignored.
That brings me to another point, and this is by no means Wildstar specific, but I think MMO tutorials would be better served teaching the differences of their game and not just rehashing over the basics that we already know. How about instead of showing everyone that you move with WASD (which 98% of us already know), they instead teach us what each stat means? I mean in Wildstar you have stats like Grit and Moxie, Finesse and Insight. You get a piece of equipment and you have no idea what stats do what without staring at your character pane. We all know the basic movement keys and how hotkeys work, tell us something we don’t know!
But, I digress. Back to Wildstar.
So, questing is pretty standard here and its idiot-proofed like just about every modern MMO. Carbine is certainly not breaking the mold here. If you can slog through WoW quests, you can slog through these as well. The sense of humor is evident throughout and somewhat saves the quests from complete tedium but its basically the same thing we have seen in WoW and Rift and SW:ToR.
The question then becomes, is the quest grind worth the payoff? I am not certain at this point. I can certainly see a place here for hardcore raiders and even PvP’ers. I have read that the raids are hard. Like really hard and are certain to bring back some Vanilla WoW nostalgia and that is not a bad thing. The combat system will make for some interesting Arenas and battlegrounds as well. So PvP’ers have something to look forward too.
But what will make those folks abandon WoW or Rift and jump on board Wildstar? The quirky sense of humor helps quite a bit but I am not sure its enough. I think the one thing that will make Wildstar worth switching to is the combat system. It adds a layer of difficulty to the standard PvP and PvE that might entice some people over. If you are tired of WoW-style combat but still enjoy raids and competitive PvP, this may be a good way to go.
Before Wildstar, I always thought Rift did the best job of taking WoW and improving upon it. Rift had a better character system, great raids and decent PvP. They later added housing and a bunch of other features that WoW did not have. I think Wildstar is the same way. They took everything WoW has (raids, rated battlegrounds and arenas) and added some of their own content. Its basically WoW 2.0.
I have to give it to Carbine because Wildstar might launch with more content than any other MMO. Rift had a ton (and quickly added more) but Wildstar surpasses it in the sheer amount of content at launch. There looks to be plenty to do in Wildstar. The only question, is there enough new stuff here to make people switch over and give it a try.
I still have not decided if I am going to do so. I am still playing Elder Scrolls Online and I like it quite a bit. Wildstar does have some really good battlegrounds and its certainly fun enough to fire up once and awhile but I can’t decide if its worth a purchase.
I am going to finish this up with a video I made in Walatiki Temple. I was playing Gizzbro, my level 10 Chua Spellslinger. This is one of my first battlegrounds, so I was not sure what I was doing. I am trying to go healer and it seems to be working okay. At one point in the video I have 2-3 players attacking me but they were unable to kill me. It was a pretty fun session.