I’ve been in the WildStar beta since June of 2013. Graev and I both received access early back when there were almost no other people playing on the server. We’ve seen the game come a long way, and I feel like I can personally give a very accurate overview of what someone can expect to get out of WildStar.
WildStar is a Themepark
There can be no doubt and no surprise that WildStar is 100% true to the themepark model. Leveling is done by going from quest hub to quest hub. It’s go here, pick up this, click 10 of those, kill that, come back, get a levels, slot your skills, go kill 10 of those, etc. End-game is vertical raid treadmilling. If you love themeparks, you will LOVE WildStar. This is the themepark fanatics dream come true.
‘Active Combat’ is annoying
First, it’s not original. The telegraphing has been done in Smite, League of Legends, Age of Conan, a bit in GW2, TERA, TSW, and even ESO. I hate mashing my keys constantly like I’m playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. That’s not what I want. This makes me love the old school original EverQuest combat. I’ll take white damage over mashing any day. WildStar’s “skill”-based combat is still
highly completely stat and gear dependent; you won’t be out-playing someone if their gear is better than yours.
WildStar isn’t more difficult than Vanilla WoW
I don’t know where this started, but I keep hearing people say WildStar is more difficult than vanilla WoW. Simply untrue. I mow through mobs and level in WildStar like there’s nothing in my way. The leveling process in WildStar is so scripted and holds your hand so well that they practically hand you levels for quest rewards. It’s meant to be that way. They want you to feel like you are hyped up on sugar when you play. As accessible as WoW was back in 2004, WildStar is the accessible version of Vanilla WoW. Seriously… they show you the red circles on the floor you have to avoid.
20 and 40 man themepark raids won’t last
The 20-man raid is required for the 40-man (A and B team drama, anyone?). The 20-man takes 3-5 hours once you get the fights down. The 40-man will take 4-6 hours. I’m not going to name any of my friends, but there are a few of you who I know can’t play for 45 minutes without your wives giving you absolute GRIEF over being on the computer, and you are telling me you are ‘excited’ for this raid content. I want to shake you right now. Does anyone think bringing back attunement is a good idea? It was neat, rewarding at times when you finally finished, but ultimately irrational and annoying to gate story behind inaccessibility.
I see this as a huge ploy to market WildStar to the imaginary “hardcore” crowd. Give it a little while for things to settle, and their first 10-man raids will be announced. It’s going to happen. Raid finder is going to happen. They will never leave raiding inaccessible. There’s a reason Blizzard left the 40-man hardcore raid model behind: < 1.0% of the population was able to access them! They are logistical nightmares full of drama, loot distribution woes, prone to server population issues, cutthroat, and the antithesis of the modern themepark model.
Battlegrounds are cluster….s
Telegraph ALL THE THINGS! AoE pew pew ‘splosions ranged face melting zap zap dead. Repeat. I hate battlegrounds in every game, and I can firmly say WoW’s are better. I never got to test the Warplots. I’m pretty sure no one has… right? They look really cool. Out of all the features in WildStar I think I’m most interested in Warplots.
Dungeons. There are a couple.
I think there are five dungeons with one being a level 50 dungeon and the rest having ‘go back and play them when you are 50″ modes. Someone fact-check me please. They’re going to be pretty good. I think the one I tried was level 17ish? It’s been a while. Overall, I bet they’ll take about 40 minutes and are like WoW dungeons with complex mechanics.
WildStar is a 3 Monther
WildStar is probably worth the box price and the first month. You easily reach the max level in your first month, run the dungeons, get some gear and probably start on the first raid before getting bored and feeling like you would rather sit and do nothing while waiting for the next best thing to release.
Being a 3 Monther doesn’t make WildStar a bad game. Quite the contrary. Owning that fact can make a game very, very good. WildStar has a LOT of content in that 3 month window, and if you are manage to find 40 people and 6 hours a night to raid then WildStar is going to be a great distraction until the next WoW expansion comes out.
It’s hard for me to get excited for WildStar knowing that I have it all figured out. I see the pattern all too clear. But like I said in the beginning — and this is the best praise I can give – If you love themeparks, and you are just tired of WoW, you will LOVE WildStar.