Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 19, 2014
Will you play Wildstar?

So the Wildstar open beta is over, and nothing happening any more until the headstart in two weeks. Time to make a decision, especially if you tried the game in the open beta: Are you going to play Wildstar on release?

Even though Wildstar intrigues me, I will not be playing it, as the MMO scene has become too formulaic and the thrill of something new fading way too fast.
No, and not just because I don't have time for an MMO nowadays. I just didn't enjoy the gameplay, and the setting or the story didn't inspire me to power through it.
Not at launch. Probably never until/unless it goes B2P/F2P although I'd pencil it in as a possible for if I ever run out of other MMOs. After all, I even got around to trying WoW eventually, five years late, and that turned out to be a decent three-monther.

WildStar has plenty of good points but it's just not as interesting to me as the MMOs I'm already playing.
I tried Stalker for a bit and didn't enjoy gameplay (either you almost oneshot things, slowly whittle groups, or die in seconds); recovery skill was painful to use with double activation required to be useful.

Tried esper and while that was somewhat better it wasn't great either with "turreting" of most skills.

Dodging telegraphs is absolutely not as fluid as it was in GW2, and some patterns are way too punishing for melee.

Art direction is distinct, but not appealing to me.

Storylines... okay, but not great.

So... pass for me.
No, I played it for several beta weekends, and I got bored by the time I got to level 20. For two days in a row I basically wasn't having much fun and logged out to play something else instead. It's not just one thing, just an overall lack of interesting decisions to make. The combat is decent, but it's the same thing over & over, and becomes very repetitive. There just isn't enough to sink your teeth into outside that, IMHO. The character development system is extremely limited. The loot is uninteresting. The quests are mostly routine. The lore never really grabbed me. I found exploration frequently annoying due to the inconsistent way they handle climbing and falling. Coupled with bugginess and a general lack of polish, it became dull or frustrating once too often. I am not a PvP'er nor a raider, so there is no long-term carrot beyond the lackluster PvE. I was also frustrated playing an engineer because the bots draw too much extra aggro and periodically get lost/stuck. But I didn't care enough to try another class at that point. I actually tried Blackguards (on Tobold's recommendation!), got hooked on that for the past 2 weeks, and thus never had any interest in playing more during the open beta. If this were an FtP, I might give have given it another spin with another class at launch, but purchase + subscription, not a chance.
No. Not interested enough it what they are offering to buy a box, pay a subscription, and go through all the issues that inevitably accompany a launch.

I don't have anything bad to say about the game, it just isn't going to supplant anything else I am playing right now.
Yep. Love it.

The only real question for me is: medic or spellslinger?
Definitely. I played a warrior to 20 and enjoyed it quite a bit. So many World/Region/Zone quests, tasks and missions.

The different kind of stories weren't deep, but they hung together well, and at times made me feel like I was helping the NPCs I was talking to.

I like the crafting system. Although expensive at low level I like how you can make useful stuff. Maybe not the 100% best use of my time, but it was fun to play with.

Looking forward to decorating my house, customizing my mount, creating a garden, and other ways to waste my time.
I played the beta, and while I recognize that Wildstar is a pretty good game, there are two big reasons why I won't be playing it.

First, I am done with WoW clones. It saddens me that the genre has stagnated for so long that the definition has almost become Fantasy MMORPG = WoW clone. I know calling Wildstar a WoW clone is going to bring about a lot of argument, but honestly, you all just sound like Porsche 911 fans who are certain that "the new Porsche 911 GTR is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAR from the Porsche 911 GTS," followed by a list of the subtle differences I clearly must have overlooked. Just because car companies aren't making anything but Porsche 911's right now doesn't mean we have to pretend they are diverse.

The other reason is more subtle. Something I think a lot of people miss about WoW is the diversity of zones that all "feel" very different. Ashenvale is very different from the Barrens, which is very different from Winterspring, which is very different from Stranglethorn, which is very different from the Plaguelands, and on and on. I could name at least a dozen more zones completely different from those, and that's just from Vanilla WoW on release.

This is something that I think is more crucial to avoiding the feeling of repetitiveness than I think most people realize. With Wildstar, as with virtually every WoW clone, every zone "feels" the same. I won't say they look the same, but they feel the same. The Northern Wilds doesn't feel different, it just feels like the same thing with snow on it. There is some variety, but not nearly enough to prevent the repetitive feeling, especially considering how many thousands of hours I have already spent playing these exact kinds of games.
No. I played one session of the open beta and literally could not muster the enthusiasm to log in again for the rest of the week.

I had the same reaction to Elder Scrolls Online. I think I might actually be done with MMORPGs. All my fun right now is Diablo 3, Hearthstone and Hex.
I played a few days. Low-level Engineer kept the action combat from being that bad. I was tempted. Then I read some PR and watched some gaming shows and they kept emphasizing the how the game gets more challenging after 30, long raids, hard raids, large raids, 2005 is not over till we say it is over, etc. Listening to people promote Wildstar was enough to re-convince me to not play. I expect to sub just before the F2P conversion if there are decent rewards.
I enjoyed playing the Wildstar beta, and I thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. It was interesting, and the variations on the normal gameplay were noteworthy. The combat felt distinctly more like a platform game, and that was refreshing.

But no, I'm not going to pay a monthly fee for this. After getting a few levels on two characters, I'm already feeling the familiar tedium of the MMO grind setting in. I just let my WoW account lapse for the first time in years, I am still maintaining a SWToR account, but I just don't want to commit more time to this genre at the moment.
Didn't get to try the Beta (their site wasn't so clear on how to get a key)so... without free hands-on experience, nope.
Not on launch. Played the beta and it couldn't convince me to put up with launch period bullshit.

Maybe after 3-6 months.
After the inevitable launch period shenanigans, but before everyone starts complaining that the sky is falling and there's nothing to do at endgame (bwuahahahaha what am I thinking - people will locust-swarm devour the content inside a fucking WEEK and be complaining about lack of content), and before the devs/publisher start panicking and making preliminary F2P/B2P moves.
I had asked you earlier how you long you were going to play. Since then I have evolved my "tin foil hat" theory

Conjecture: Wildstar's a large component of the financial plan is selling essentially B2P game with Nostalgia. When Warehouses of Draenor launches, there will still be people who will want to play large, hard raids and don't want to WoD or will double sub. But there won't be that many. However, the nostalgia of the good old days is there with many. If Wildstar can get a couple of million to spend 60-75-90 then that pays for the game. So promoting large raids that won't be viable long-term can still be a good thing if it generates enough nostalgia to move some boxes.

Unfortunately, the devs probably believe what they are saying.

P.S., I hope you have time to post some impressions of the game as you progress/play.
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I played for a few beta weekends and the starter experience just didn't grab me. Add into that the unwanted religious themes they had in the Dominion starter zones... *sigh*
I tried the game because of all the article you wrote Tobold :)

Played 4 classes on each of the 4 different path to levels 12, 9, 6, 6.

Overall, well executed, good game (though there was some bugs). I like the visuals, the universe is well put and funny, combat is pretty good though I would have a hard time saying it's really better than GW2.

I can see how raising a char to max level and doing the various path missions can be an enjoyable experience but beyond that, I don't see anything that would make Wildstar any different from other themeparks in the market. There are a few good ideas but nothing groundbreaking.

I guess I can't find much appeal in themeparks anymore at this point. The experience on rail ends up being like a single player game or a movie. Enjoyable but not a "MMO world" experience. Sandbox-type games are maybe more a fit to my current state of mind.
I don't need to be a hero that saves the planet but I like when players can build something together and change the world.

So the conclusion is that I won't buy the game or play it. More or less the same core reason I am not playing ESO.

I won't. My reasons why not are detailed here:
Nope. It's the same old song and dance and not really interesting.
Definitely going to play. I loved so much about this game. Lots of people I know are going to play as well, especially my old guildies from WoW have have mostly stopped playing there now and are looking for something both familiar and new, and WS fits the bill nicely.

I have really enjoyed the beta, and what was really nice to see was how responsive the Devs have been to feedback from the players. I saw the game change noticeably throughout my beta-play and mostly for the better. It's a very polished game, with a gigantic amount of things to do.

I don't understand people refusing to pay to play - I pay to go the gym, I pay to use public transport, I pay to have a connection to the internet - I don't feel like Carbine should be spending all that money to give me a free product ... as long as it is a quality one. And I believe it is.

I don't plan to, but if my wife and her migrant clan jump onboard I'll probably at least try it. IF. They all seem to be really leary of Wildstar for some reason so it better get some serious praise after release to have a shot.
Nope. I am not hardcore enough to pay all that cash for the privilege of devoting half of my life to Wildstar, raid guild drama and all.

If it goes B2P/F2P, I might come in for a couple months to play the leveling game as a second-class non-raiding citizen, and I would be held if they championed viable solo and/or small group instances equitable to 40-man raids.

But given how *hardc8re* they want to be, I doubt that will ever happen.

Hope their hardcore audience totally supports them through thick and thin, even after locusting through all content!
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I played a warrior and a medic up to 7 or 8 to get a feel for them. Opening zones are well crafted along with music and combat mechanic. What really looked fun to me are some of the youtube vids on Killing Experiment X-89. Reminded me a little of the Baron Geddon fight in the Molten Core but with a twist. The thing that did annoy me the most was the camera settings and lack of control over it. I looked up the addons that might fix that but was lazy to do that for a beta.I am going to give Wildstar a run. I found its beta more to my liking that ESO in terms of modernness.I may give it a month or two on the market so I don't have to deal with the early crowd.
I didn't play the beta. I read about it mostly on this blog. I won't play it as it seems too gamey / flashy / childish / action-oriented to me.

Wildstar's "style" does not appeal to me.
I don't. I tried the open beta and played a mefic to level 10. It was not bad. The combat system is decent (but not as good as in my current MMO, GW2). But I did not like the quest system that much. Also the graphics... I get what they tried to achieve but that kind of cartoony graphic is not my cup of tea. I like the skill system, it seems to be quite interesting. On my average laptop the game ran quite badly, while GW2 runs well.

All in all for me it is a decent game with some interesting points. If it goes free to play I may try it out. But it is not worth a box price AND a subscription fee for me.
Nice and intriguing but not worth the initial cost + monthlt fee, sorry. That's how I felt after playing the beta.
No. The game severely lacks originality.
If I have time.

Wolfenstein and Watchdogs will offer more game play bang per hour than any MMO.
I am currently not playing an MMO, and I havent for a while. Except Planetside2, which is more of an FPS than a traditional MMORPG.
The Wildstar and ESO releases have made me intersted in getting back into an MMO again, at least from a casual point of view.

Out of the choice of Wildstar and ESO, I would probably choose ESO to play. This is based on several youtube videos, reviews, as well as your own commentary of the games Tobold.
Even though you chose Wildstar, I can see from your comments of the two that ESO would be a much better fit for me. That is fine, we obviously have completely opposite tastes in MMOs.
What I do appreciate though, is your fair and balanced reporting of the two. You did not completely pan ESO, just suggested why you yourself prefer Wildstar.

Anyway. The choice is now down to Wildstar, ESO, and GW2. I never played GW2 and have been considering it along with the new two.
I have to say at the moment there is nothing in the new MMOs that makes me want to pay a sub, rather than play GW2. Indeed, even if they didnt chanrge a sub, I think GW2 is still a strong contender out of the three for my "new" MMO.

So my final answer is going to be neither. Although the hype of the two new releases has got me intesrested in playing an MMO again - I am electing GW2 as my new MMO.
It's a "no" for me.

Apart from being a bit too flashy/cartoony, I find the graphics really well done and the animations really nice. I agree with Samus, but even if the zones are less "defined", I still liked them.

The questing is nothing new, honestly the texts are so short and the font so small that I stopped bothering about them and just followed the point on the map. I did a few challenges, if I ever play the game I'll never do them again as the "roll for loot" thing is just aggravating. Show me what I get, not what I DON'T get. I already know loot is random and rolled, don't make me waste time waiting for it to happen. I found myself at the spot of some public event, but I never understood what was going on or what I was supposed to do.

I also have a serious problem with the combat: too few keys to press and combinations to make. I understand that they don't want the WoW tab-target DPS cycle approach, but then if they go for action combat I want much more feeling of "action" than that. As I posted somewhere else: Neverwinter feels like I'm smashing bones, Wildstar feels like "blip, damage numbers, blip, damage numbers". Way too little feedback for something wanting to be action-oriented.

I didn't reach crafting, so can't comment there (actually, I reached the crafting trainers, but they were all inactive with no explanation).

I played eng/settler, BTW, low-level only (just below 10, I think). The settler path idea of providing zone-wide buffs is nice (reminds me of some PvP areas in WoW), but being a settler did not provide any new gameplay, which was always "collect stuff, deliver at drop point".
Absolutely! WS is a great game, fun, silly and a good example of an mmo done right. I honestly don't understand what most of the commenters here are looking for. They picked apart ESO, pick apart WS accusing it of being what it mmo! But none of you offer an alternative. What are you all looking for? This game is well polished, fun and seems to cater to the mmo crowd on every level. I think it will be very successful. If you aren't going to play, please describe what you would play? I'm genuinely curious...
I will be playing but mainly due to getting the deluxe version for regular version pricing.

I keep trying to like Wildstar but it so far is not grabbing me. Played a couple of beta weekends plus open beta and managed to get to level 10 but no further. I am hoping as many have said that the game opens up past level 10 and I will find it more enjoyable. Looking forward to the crafting and housing as I did not get to experience them yet.

Overall I am hoping to get at least the free month out of Wildstar if not a couple of extra months. Thinking maybe since I am not totally enthralled with it that it may surprise me. Rather than loving it before release then getting disappointed.
Of course I'm going to play! I leveled a Chua Medic to level 30 and a Granok Engineer to level 20. Loved both sides. Loved the social aspects. Recruited a half-dozen people from work, some of them had never played an MMORPG before.

And I'm really happy that the $15/mo is keeping out the children. What a toxic environment F2P creates.
I swore of NCsoft when they shut down Tabula Rasa.

I need to trust that a mmorpg will be around in 5 years before I will commit to it.

I've preordered and our guild is set up and ready to go for launch.

I really enjoyed my time in open beta. I played almost all the classes, and paths.

The game seems incredibly deep and already has a ton of features. I also like that the first content patch is done and will be released one month after launch. I have no idea if they can keep up that cadence or not.

The combat is what really sold me on the game. Maybe there are other MMOs with this kind of action combat, but Wildstar was my first taste. It has made it hard to go back to the tab target world of SWTOR or Wow for me.

Apparently, Wildstar is setup to be a niche game and they are okay with that. They know who they are and are going to stick with that (at least initially).
@ Paul

"I honestly don't understand what most of the commenters here are looking for. They picked apart ESO, pick apart WS accusing it of being what it mmo!"

I disagree. A "mmo" was never intended to be limited to a series of quests and activities on rail like in WS. This is just one type of MMO among many possibilities. Like many others similar games, I even question the "M" of Massive here since the game is mostly a solo game unless you like PVP or raids.
What people have been mostly complaining about is the lack of differentiation and originality in the concept. I think people agree WS is executing pretty well in its "WOW-clone" genre.
"WOW-clone" is just one way to make a MMO, not = to MMO
I redact my earlier statement as I have, in a typical fickle MMOer move cancelled TESO for now until they can fix their lag issue and used some credit and coupons to preorder Wildstar. I have decided to overlook the space gophers and cartoon graphics on the grounds that somewhere deep down the muddy brown world of TESO sort of made me snap.
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