My Views on Wildstar
These are my views on Wildstar, the new MMO game that is currently in open beta (8-18 May 2014). You can find out more about Wildstar here.
This blog post does exactly what it says on the tin.
I have been playing Wildstar since the start of open beta, and I am giving my own personal views on it. I’ve also been gaming since well before the internet became a thing, so I’ve seen a lot of games over the years!
This post will not tell you why you should choose Wildstar over World of Warcraft, or the opposite. It will simply tell you a bit more about the game, and how I see it.
You are more than welcome to leave your own views on Wildstar in the comments below.
So let’s jump right in shall we?
My Views on Wildstar : Login Screen
On Open Beta launch day – there was no direct confirmation at what time the server doors would open for the EU, so I had the load screen open for some time. My first impressions were good ones. In fact I was fairly enthralled by the whole thing. The detail of the graphic is fantastic with the whole image rotating slightly as well as a bright orange planet (and a rather bashed up looking moon) orbiting the planet Nexus.
Immediately we learn from this that this a story with it’s foundations based in Space. I love the music as well, it has a hint of old school Star Trek for me (the Piquard era).
My Views on Wildstar : Character Creation Screen
The character selection screen actually reminded me a bit of a movie from the 80’s called Weird Science, where a bunch of high school geeks created their dream girl on a computer, at which point she came to life.
Before you’ve created your fist character, there is an odd looking goat (sheep?) character there. Carbine…what IS that thing? Take it away!
I’m going to hazard a guess and say most people will opt for Cassian on the Dominion (red) side, and Aurin on the Exile (Blue) side at first glance. At least those were my two first picks!
Take a look at all the available races!
My Views on Wildstar : Facial Customisation
The level of customisation is a huge plus for this game, from eye size and colour right down to chin length and nose width.
Lots of customisation options here.
My only qualm relates to body shape. There are so many options for facial features, but just a set of standard (bizarrely proportioned) body types? Come on, they could easily have given us more control over upper body vs lower body proportions, but chose not to.
Girls, be warned, this is clearly a game designed by guys, and for guys…be prepared to face up to the fact that every single female character has sizeable assets of the chest variety, and a severe case of Kardashian-ass.
Moving on to actual game play!
My first thoughts were that the character movement is way too pronounced.
Urgh! So bouncy!
It isn’t entirely unpleasant, but it took some getting used to.
My first character was a female Cassian (Dominion) Esper (caster DPS). I thought perhaps a new choice of race would change the movement type, but the bounciness of the Aurin (Exiles) was even more pronounced and disconcerting, but then they are the bunny people, so…
Let’s look at some Cassian Esper combat in the Dominion Starting zone. Your character goes into various ‘holodecks’ to learn how to effectively deal with the races they will encounter once they are actually on the planet.
This is recorded in one of those areas.
Note the enemy targeting and cast time display on the floor. This makes it much easier to know when to move, although in this video I just used a shield to overcome several inbound assaults.
My one big complaint here, is that it takes WAY too long for your character to do a 180 and turn to face attackers, seriously. This really annoyed me. I hope they can do something about it before release…
The sprint function built into all classes by pressing the shift key? WIN!
Seriously, WoW needs this.
I am not content with just ‘roll/dash/sprint/blink’ anymore. WANT.
Blizzard, you listening bro?
This is a MUCH-NEEDED-FEATURE especially at lower levels when mounts are not yet in play.
Double Jump? Love it. While I prefer the variety of the jumps provided by the different races in WoW – I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jumping and somersaulting all over Nexus like some kind of hyperactive space gymnast.
Quests that appear and can be completed under your mouseclick. Another WIN. No need to click ‘complete’ on a panel ALL THE WAY UP THERE ON THE LEFT. It might only save you a fraction of a second, but it’s a nice feature.
Vacuumed Loot! Pressing ‘V’ after something drops loot will make all the loot whizz right into your bag, er I mean Inventory.
Speaking of Inventory, there are also no bag ‘slots’ as such, and when you loot a bag with more ‘space’ that space gets added to your Inventory as a whole – so you view it as one big area.
I like this feature a lot. I already use ElvUI to make my WoW bags/bank appear as one big one, but equipping and unequipping bags to slots is, a bit tiresome when you have an altered UI. I am looking forward to the bag changes in Warlords of Draenor, so I’ll probably give the standard interface another go when it pre-patches.
Another plus – is how when you right click a quest in your log – an arrow showing the direction in which you need to go to complete the quest is clearly shown on your character. Nice!
While there are addons in WoW that allow this – it seems much smoother in Wildstar.
Although I will also add that this bugged out several times and it doesn’t make allowances for things like having to turn corners.
*Gets frustrated by having to find quest items through blank walls*
The mini map is marginally helpful in this area – and particularly in the starting zone where the path is highlighted.
A few thoughts on the starting zones:
All characters from the same faction, have the same starting zone. I felt robbed when I realised this.
I was expecting a vastly different experience for each one.
In fact the starting zone for both factions are both quite similar, except for a slightly altered look and storyline.
Still feeling a bit disappointed by this. One of my best WoW experiences was creating my second character (after a month of playing the first one) and having this epiphany that each race had their own back story and starting zone! Suddenly the game was exponentially bigger!
After starting my second Wildstar character I was so disappointed that I couldn’t wait to get out of the starting zone and begin exploring Nexus.
…aaaand we’re finally out of the starting zone!
My Views on Wildstar : Finally we head to Nexus!
This video shows the two different factions and how they exit their respective starting zones, and head to the planet Nexus. One of the things I haven’t mentioned yet – is that they both give you an alternative landing spot, which is a rather nice feature.
My Views on Wildstar : Maps
I love the maps. Absolutely love them. The hexagonal blocks that are revealed as you explore – coupled with the full colour topographical nature of it? Love it.
My Views on Wildstar : Planet-side starting zones
While I may have the most objections to this race on the surface with it’s incurable bounciness and the this whole ‘bunny’ thing, I have to say that I am rather enjoying this zone, and class (Spellslinger) the most.
Those electrified pistol things are just insanely cool.
Generally I’ve always preferred ‘prettier’ areas in a game, I have always hated going from Eversong Woods in WoW, to Ghostlands, it just feels like punishment. So this particular zone is quite delightful.
At one point I was concerned that something was wrong with my graphics card, as the whole screen was shaking, but it was just a herd of, well, actually I have no idea what they’re called, stampeding past.
My Views on Wildstar : Summary
1. Is it something that is going to totally dominate the MMO marketplace?
In my opinion, no, not at first. A lot still remains to be improved on, but it definitely has the grounding of a great fun game, whether or not it has longevity remains to be seen.
I’m sure that the launch will go well, and they will garner many subscribers especially during this downtime before we have a release date for Warlords of Draenor, but when that release date is announced, I believe that more people will head back to Azeroth than ever before.
2. About the story
I was not as immersed in the story as I am in WoW. With Warcraft, there’s history.
I played Warcraft Orcs and Humans when it came out back in the 90’s. This story has been with me for a long time. Wildstar lacks that ‘epic-ness’ that has grown around Warcraft.
When Patch 5.4 The Siege of Orgrimmar was announced and I saw the video where Garrosh contaminated the Vale, I was emotionally affected, angry even.
I wanted revenge.
It occupied my thoughts until patch day and beyond. With Wildstar, because it’s so new, I just don’t have the same feeling of involvement.
3. Is this a game I need to buy?
Right now, I’m not going to. While I’ll always regret not being there for the launch and early days of World of Warcraft, I’m just not compelled enough to invest the time and money in ensuring I can say, “I was there.”
Will I buy it in the future? Possibly.
Right now, I’m happy in World of Warcraft, in an active raiding guild, with people that I speak to practically every day on voice comms, it’s just to early for Wildstar to be any kind of competition for that.
4. Is this a game that YOU need to buy?
That depends entirely on what you want from a game.
It certainly looks attractive to a whole new generation of MMO players who are afraid of the steep learning curve of World of Warcraft and 7 million strong army of players who dominate the game.
So whether or not you buy it, is entirely up to you!
If you are going to buy it – then I recommend THIS guide to get you leveling quickly, so that you can access the amazing end-game content as fast as possible. End game is where it’s at!