Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 27, 2014
Hating Wildstar challenges a bit less

During the beta and first week of Wildstar I absolutely hated challenges: The way the game suddenly shouted at me and forced me to change my plans. The way they turned a leisurely activity into a rush. The way they were designed to make me hate other players, who caused me to fail the challenge (and get shouted at again). And finally the way how the challenge offered me a choice of rewards, only to then give me one of the things I didn't want. I still believe most of this is just bad game design, but I'm starting to get used to challenges and hate them a bit less.

The first thing I found out which helps a lot is that there is no penalty for just cancelling a challenge. Then when that challenge is more convenient (no other players around, or need to kill the same mobs for a quest) I can just restart the challenge from a tab in the quest log. The second good thing is that even if I succeed a challenge and don't get the reward I wanted, I can restart the challenge after half an hour. Which I do sometimes, because some challenges offer much better gear rewards than quests of the same level.

While I prefer to make gold by crafting and trading on the AH, I also need to remark that challenges aren't a bad way to make gold. Once you outlevel a challenge somewhat it gets very fast to complete. And some of the rewards, especially decor, sell for good money. I've seen websites describe gold farming routes involving series of challenges on a circular path that takes just enough time to reset the half-hour counter.

So even if they can be somewhat annoying, I have learned to not completely ignore challenges. Some of them can actually be fun, usually those that don't involve killing regular mobs.

I turned off challenges in the beta but like you I've come around. One big gold source is the bags of scavenged stuff. Challenges are the only place to get some of the Amps, and some of them sell for hundreds of gold. The scavenged items are usually the highest chance of winning, and quite often include Amps.
Another thing I've noticed is that where you can start a challenge isn't always the best place to start a challenge. I finished a kill challenge (at bronze) and the mobs were hard to come by. Halfway through my next quest I saw a huge number of those same mobs over the next hill. After the timer expired, Gold was a snap.

Same thing happened with a pick up items on the ground. The pickings were so slim, I quickly cancelled it. But once I had to enter this large structure the items were EVERYWHERE. Picking where to start, made a gold finish very easy.
That really sounds like damning with faint praise, Tobold. I can really feel your enthusiasm!
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