Tobold's Blog
Monday, June 16, 2014
 
Wildstar Journal - End

No, I'm not going to stop playing Wildstar already. But the journal is over, after me having taken some decisions regarding this game. I consider the solo game of Wildstar to be one of the best currently available, and in its challenge level more fun to me than World of Warcraft. Crafting and the auction house are also very well done. Housing is "nice to have", albeit not something I'm going to spend hours on. On the other hand I consider that the combat system which works so well in solo mode breaks down in multi-player. And yes, I also tested PvP. With multiple players fighting multiple opponents, mob or player, there are simply too many telegraphs and things going on too quickly to allow for a decent degree of tactical control. Combine that with the decision of Carbine to make dungeons and raids inaccessible for the majority of players, and I just can't see myself doing much, if any, multi-player content.

On the negative side that means that reaching the level cap in Wildstar for me will be equivalent to a game over screen. And due to the low number of zones in the game, I'm not going to play a large number of different characters; currently I play 2, and the maximum I could imagine if I decide to play an Exile alt would be 3. And chances aren't good for me to play Exile, unless I would be allowed to send mail from Dominion to Exile, as I find having to start the economic game over from zero to be too annoying.

On the positive side, having decided to opt out of the multi-player part of Wildstar means I am under absolutely no pressure to be at a certain level in a certain time. At first my instincts kicked in, where I was thinking that if I pay a monthly subscription, I need to play a significant number of hours per month to make it worth paying. I had already considered unsubscribing from Wildstar after the first month, just because I will be away on holiday for three weeks in July, and Wildstar doesn't play well on a laptop. But now I think I will just keep that subscription active, and maybe play a bit of Wildstar during the holidays in activities that aren't affected too badly by low framerates, for example crafting and trading. It isn't as if I couldn't afford to pay for a Wildstar subscription for the up to 6 months it will take me to "finish" the game if I don't hurry.

I find that my enjoyment of Wildstar increases if I don't pursue traditional goals like fast leveling. This weekend I spent an afternoon farming all the weaponsmithing tier 1 recipes in the two level 6-14 starting zones. Such activities fulfill the basic formula for fun in a MMORPG: I set myself a goal, I pursue that goal over a limited amount of time, and I'm happy to achieve the goal at the end of the day. I don't consider MMORPGs to be competitive games, even if lots of people try to artificially introduce competitive elements like "server firsts" into it. If you don't exclude activities which give a sub-optimal amount of rewards per hour, there is a lot of things to do in Wildstar. And I intend to enjoy Wildstar until inevitably I run out of content.

Comments:
But why is keeping a journal predicated on levelling rate?
 
I would not immediately jump to the conclusion that Level Cap means game over. The Wildstar development team believes that the majority of its players will play solo and have little interest in Raids and Dungeons.

"And solo players are tragically underserved in most MMOs – something like 65% of players tend to play largely solo (Massively Single-player, as it were). So we can use that same tech to give them frequent updates of new solo story content for the cap frequently – advancing our world story and giving you more to do than daily quests or reputation grinds." - Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney

http://www.wildstar-online.com/uk/news/wildstar_wednesday_february_state_of_the_game.php/
 
That is what the Developers say...

What exactly will they offer those solo players? How much, how often, what quality?

Remember there is an extremely vocal, toxic and entitled hardcore community that chew through their expensive content at a terrifying rate of knots and will drown out all other opinions on the forums and demand that the majority of development resources are siphoned off and directed towards their content at the expense of others.

Let's see this in action.
 
@Honors Code

That does sound promising, but I am as hesitant as Woody. There is often a massive gap between what developers say or promise, and what gets delivered.

Particularly when it comes to casual content, Wildstar is far from the first to make such promises. The end result usually reflects hardcore players thinking hardcore thoughts about what it must be like for those pathetic, unskilled casuals.
 
If they had wanted to provide more content for the underserved solo players, then why do they have such a small number of zones and quests compared to WoW at release?

But why is keeping a journal predicated on levelling rate?

I'd say writing a journal supposes that your readers share your goals. If you go off the main stream path, that isn't a given any more.
 
So, you're not interested in the rate of levelling - but everyone else must be? Maybe others are happy to level at their own pace too.
 
but everyone else must be?

No, but everyone else chose their own victory condition, which now doesn't necessarily coincide with mine.
 
@Woody, @Samus, etc al.

I'm familiar with Devs not always living up to what they say. I've seen that multiple times in WoW, SWTOR, FFXIV, etc.

Here's what we know: Carbine is teasing the first content patch (slated for the end of June, or early July).

The teaser page states that on June 18th we will get a new WildStar flick related to the update, followed by what seems to be information regarding two brand new zones on June 24th: "Blighthaven" and "Northern Wastes".

I'm assuming here, but I'd think those zones will have some solo content.

Following this on June 26th, we'll receive information on other new additions coming in this patch, including:

A new costume
New dyes
New emotes
A new Hoverboard
A new mount
Additional housing items

Lastly, wrapping it all up on June 30th will be a DevSpeak video before patch day hits. While we don't yet know exactly when the patch is set to go live, I'm sure more will be revealed soon, so keep an eye out!

Carbine has stated elsewhere that the first two content patches are essentially already done and patches 3 and 4 are already being worked on.
 
@Tobold

They went with a small number of HUGE zones. If you try to zone clear in Wildstar you will find yourself over level almost constantly. I think the idea (though never articulated by the Devs) is that you do some quest hubs on your intial character and you leave some quests for the next character through the zone.

I also think that with the emphasis on new zones in the first patch, perhaps their thinking is that most players spend a small amount of time reaching cap, and they are concentrating on creating more solo content AT CAP.
 
@HC: I saw JG say that in a video (PAX a couple years ago?) and it was one of the things that got me very excited about WS. Regardless of what the content actually is, the launch PR certainly did not seem to emphasize that. Especially in box+sub games, it is the potential customer's perception that is more important than the actual game. Most everything I read about it is a niche game for the "want hard, attuned, large" niche of the "want to raid and not in WoW" niche. Which does not strike me as a lot of people or something of interest to me.
 
@Hagu

Certainly understand where you are coming from.

I did want to correct one data point.

The quote I used in my comment came from an article posted on the Official Wildstar site, written by Jeremy "Gaffer" Gaffney on February 06, 2013.
 
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