Tobold's Blog
Sunday, June 01, 2014
Wildstar Journal - Day 2

I started day 2 of Wildstar doing challenges, as I am an early riser, and the challenges were better with less people around. I was usually just trying to get the satchel of salvaged goods, as sometimes it contains AMPs. But on second though I should have taken the decoration items where available, as those sell for good money to vendors.

Then I joined up with two guild mates to do the shiphand mission Steady Traveller, during which I dinged 13. You can solo that one later, but if you go in at level 12 with a group, the two guaranteed items you get are really good. After that I did a bunch of quests, until I dinged 14. Then I went to Illium to get my house. I took the rocket house I got from the pre order, and got a mineral plot and a garden as well. I had found some decoration during my adventures, including a "discarded bra", which makes my house feel like a bachelor pad. :)

Not that my draken is likely to attract any females in the outfit he is wearing. I found a witch doctor's mask a headpiece, and looting the boom box today gave me pink dye. So while I was in Illium I visited the stylist, put on my pre order costume pieces, and dyed them pink. Not pretty, but probably rather unique.

Then I quested some more, until I had all the quests in Deradune done, and was level 15. The map has a helpful slide-out list on the left side which tells you how many quests or other things you are still missing in a zone. As I haven't done a lot of explorer stuff yet, I'm at 84% of the zone done. Worryingly I am also being told that I have done 24% of the world. 24% of the world in two days? It doesn't look as if there is a lot of content. Then I crashed to desktop with a memory leak.

Getting back in wasn't easy, I was stuck in a queue. The queue still says in red that guest accounts have lower priority, and on the forums the opinions are divided about whether that means my account is wrongly flagged as a guest account and has longer queue times. I know that at the start of the game my account must have been flagged as guest, as I wasn't allowed to chat. I can chat now, but now sure if the login issue has been fixed or not. Anyway, the queue timer at first said over 2 hours, but in the end it took only half an hour to get back in.

Next I did an adventure with my guild. And I hated it. Not because of my guild, because they were nice even when things failed. But the design of adventures is A) very hardcore, and B) full of glaringly obvious design flaws. In adventures you can choose which path to go (by majority vote), and we made the mistake of just choosing options at random. First design flaw: The different options are not just different, they have hugely different difficulty levels. And due to the hardcore design and us having chosen a hard option, we got stuck on a boss we couldn't beat, even after several attempts. For that boss we would have needed Teamspeak to coordinate interrupts, which we haven't set up yet. Fortunately the instance server crashed and everybody in that adventure was ejected, so we had to start over anyway. This time we choose all the "newbie" options, and beat the adventure. The second big design flaw, in two parts, is the way dying is handled in this adventure: In one cases you could just rez yourself right next to the fight, and continue endlessly. And in several instances the fastest way to advance was to get killed by trash mobs, as you would respawn behind the trash and right next to the next boss fight.

I don't think I will do much dungeoneering in Wildstar if the adventures and dungeons are like this. In my opinion all options in a level 15 adventure should be doable by a guild group in the kind of gear you are likely to wear at level 15. Having only one beatable option negates the effect of having options at all. And if even the lowest level adventure is hardcore like that, I'm not interested in the long run. I was never the twitchiest player, and now I'm even slower than I was a decade ago in WoW. I like the Wildstar combat system for soloing, because it is much harder than WoW and thus more interesting. But dungeons were already hard enough in WoW, and with the need to constantly move and dodge through a myriad of "telegraphs". And I object to needing a third-party software, Teamspeak, to be able to do content in a game. For me needing Teamspeak is a sure sign that the game is too fast for other forms of communication, and that makes the game too fast for me.

After beating the adventure I returned to Deradune and started doing explorer missions. That didn't help my warrior level, but gained me explorer levels. And I think the slower I take Wildstar, the longer I will enjoy it before hitting that hardcore wall which will make me quit.

Worryingly I am also being told that I have done 24% of the world. 24% of the world in two days?

No playing WS, I may say completely stupid. But isn't the 24% the % completion of your "region" instead of the world?
I think you have 3 level in WS: zone, region and world.
I suppose having harder options means getting better rewards, but anything that needs teamspeak (or any 3rd party program) is basically poor design in my book.
Wow, I long for the days when dungeons actually required thought and challenge. Frankly I'd love to face a dungeon I couldn't beat without teamspeak. I don't consider it a design flaw that group content requires group coordination . For those not interested in the group content that's the intent of the quest system.
Shame those paths didn't lead to no real difference between the paths at all because...?

And shame that hard was, like, not something you could just get on the first go ever, because...?

I guess wildstar may have focused on the challenge seeking demographic - and maybe will lose people who have no primary interest in challenge.
If you thought the -Adventure- was bad, I don't want to know what you might make of Stormtalon's Lair. :)

didn't you advocate for user-selectable difficulty? Now that you have it, you complain that you can't do the (possibly) hardest difficulty without putting in some effort?

What gives?
How does that qualify for user-selectable difficulty if you aren't told which option is which difficulty level? I'b be okay if the three options were labeled easy, medium, and hard.
Well, if you'd said your concern is that difficulty levels are not clearly labeled I wouldn't have a comment (not playing myself so I don't have an opinion myself).

Instead you said that adventure design is very hardcore and that it is unacceptable that you couldn't beat an encounter without Teamspeak.

I have to disagree on the Teamspeak part -- some people who do have one would appreciate the available difficulty level.

I do agree that it should be clear when you're choosing harder/easier options though.
I wonder whats up with DDOS and queues.. I have been playing since yesterday and I haven't experienced any of that. Logins were always instant and the game runs well for me.
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The adventure was hard but we finished it in a reasonable time, it was fun.

But now I've spent 2 hours in Stormtalon. The first group wiped on the first trash mob a few times. My second group went better. We managed to down one boss. Managed to get a few attempts at the second boss at which point some people had to leave.

I expected these dungeons to be puggable by reasonable players, which we were. But no, it shred us to pieces.

It's not worth it. Two hours of wiping for half a level, no loot and a big repair bill. I'm way better of questing for two hours.

They're probably a lot of fun if you play and coordinate with some friends. And without doubt people will breeze through them in a month or two, dragging along the noobs.
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