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The Elder Scrolls Online vs. WildStar

I’m fighting a big internal battle right now over these two games. I’m in the weird predicament of not really being ecstatic about either of them. They are two of the biggest releases of the year, and I am still 100% undecided if I am going to get either of them. I go from an adamant “no” to a “well maybe I could” several times a day.

I’m going to make a pros and cons list here and maybe you all can help me decide what I should do.

ESO-BoxartThe Elder Scrolls Online

Pros:

  • PvP is being heralded as DAoC 2.0
  • Tamriel has a rich lore
  • Lots of  skill customization
  • Combat is the right balance of active

Cons:

  • Ugly Animations
  • Not very Elder Scrolls at all
  • Questing sucks
  • Unsure of the end-game
  • Could be a 3 monther

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Wildstar-BoxartWildStar

Pros:

  • Lots of my friends are going to play
  • Fantastic housing
  • Lots of diverse content
  • World PvP isn’t bad

Cons:

  • Questing sucks
  • Endgame = Raid treadmill
  • Spaztactic Combat
  • 40-man content
  • 3 monther

Pre-order on Amazon or Green Man Gaming (Save 20%: PLOCVS-G2T5YX-DATY6M)

Both games are probably going to be 3 monthers.  I can most likely get 3 months out of both.  The reason I’d quit WildStar is I get to the end and not want to raid, and I would quit Elder Scrolls Online because I get bored of the PvP.  I could get ESO since WildStar comes out 2 months later, then get WildStar; in other words get both.

Neither company has impressed me.  The ESO devs are wishy washy and do things like launch a CE and pre-order with outrageous bonuses.  The three factions were only thrown in to try and make a DAoC type PvP at the expense of hurting the brand.  WildStar devs think 40-man raids for the 1% is a good end-game, and that bringing back what most people hated about WoW somehow constitutes forward thinking.  Neither has revolutionized or even innovated much at all.

Here’s where I’m honestly at right now… I think I’m leaning towards getting ESO since people claim the PvP is so amazing, and I’ll have a 2 month window in which to convince myself to get WildStar.  Thoughts?  Is that a sad state of affairs or what?

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Comments

  1. If it matters at all, I got to level 20 in ESO and level 30ish in WildStar during their respective betas. Played a lot of battlegrounds in WildStar and no PvP in ESO.

  2. It is sad because I really wanted to like both of them but in the end neither sound worth the effort. At least for me I have so many games lined up as it is already not counting kickstarted projects that I just don’t have time to invest in a MMO. Said though, I really wish they gave me a reason to want to invest that time.

  3. I’m in a very unfamiliar predicament. I have a huge lineup of games I want to play, and no time to play them all. I’m usually spending a lot of time pining for a new game to play.

  4. I’ve been one of your lurker readers for several years now and continue to follow you because I like the kind of sensible thinking you have about gaming. Does that mean I agre with you always? No. But I often do.

    So greetings!

    When I first started up in ESO’s beta weekends, I was underwhelmed. I found myself struggling to get into the game world, the dramatic moment of my character. Some of the game concepts weren’t immediate to me (class vs skills vs weapon sets). But I was bored so I stuck through a couple of beta weekends,.

    Now a couple weeks before launch, I’m definitely committed to ESO. What caught my attention? I found once getting out of the starting area that the game opened up for me. I game with a few friends, and we found ourselves pleasantly surprised by freedom of the game. I didn’t feel like I was on rails quest-wise unless I wanted to be. I was roaming around, exploring, taking quests from NPCs running out of the bush calling for help. So for me, i found the questing to be just fine. I also like the freedom of the skill system, the fact that crafting creates viable gear even at lower levels.

    Then I got a taste, just a sip of the pvp, ran a couple dungeons, ran a public dungeon. I felt like I had plenty of options. I was thrilled at what felt like a slower leveling pace as well. I don’t mind a game that takes a while to get to mx level.

    So for me, ESO should absolutely be a 3-monther, and I’m guessing a 6 mother or more if they can keep the content flowing and if the PVP ends up being as fun as I expect.

    WildStar? I couldn’t stomach it after an hour. For me the art style and storyline just don’t have any appeal. It’s just not a themepark I want to visit.

    And hey please keep writing! This middle-aged gamer is a fan of your work!

  5. Neither have really grabbed me, ESO beta was fun for a weekend, but after that I couldn’t get into it again. Never tried Wildstar, but from what I watched it didn’t tickle my fancy.

    ESO may be a purchase if I can’t last in Darkfall (currently giving it a go). PVP would be my main interest, but I just don’t see the point too it, maybe its more then running around capturing objectives every ten minutes?

  6. Curious George says:

    Have you asked yourself if there are any more > three-monther games out there? Is it the games or you? I’ve done that for myself and the answer is “No” and “It’s not the games but me”.

    At this stage in my life it seems that all games will be three-monthers. Some I do come back to every now and then but some I don’t. World of Warcraft, I think, was the last MMO that I stuck with for more than one year and the longest since then may have been 6 months but each one is less and less.

    I’ve come to accept that the best I can hope for in an MMO is to feel like I’ve gotten my moneys worth out of them and that perhaps I will return to play once again down the road. Take City of Heroes, for example, a game I loved and played a great deal only to move on to another when the love faded. Still I would return to it every once in a while. (Heh, come to think of it my desktop is littered with games still installed that I return to play every blue moon.)

    I’ll be buying ESO not because I think my interest will last more than three months or that the end-game content will be compelling or that the PvP will bring me back to those glorious DAoC days. I’ll buy it because beta showed me that I will get my moneys worth of enjoyment out of it but I know I won’t stay as long as I once did with others.

  7. Khardamon says:

    If you can afford it and they both have things that interest you, why not try them out? That said, I hear ya – I’m not that interested/excited for either of them.

    Honestly I haven’t heard great things about ESO, and I was never into the single player ES series, so I’m very comfortable skipping it. Wildstar just doesn’t speak to me at all.

    I’m basically waiting for Camelot Unchained, EQ Next, whatever Blizzard cooks up next, and Pantheon (if it ever gets made).

    Khard

  8. @Feljin: Thanks for commenting! Always a pleasure to meet a new reader. Your experience is one I have heard many times. I like it because it sounds genuine, and how I personally experience games. Sometimes I play a game and don’t fall in love with it for a few weeks. Others I love then realize I don’t. The one thing I can’t seem to figure out is how the game opens up. I’ve gone to ~level 20 and I still feel a bit like the game is guiding my progression.

    @Aletail: To my sincere disappointment I haven’t tried the PvP in ESO. I have this horrible image of GW2 meets WAR. I hope it’s not, and people tell me it’s not.

    @Curious George: It’s definitely the games. I’ve spent more time playing Assassin’s Creed than I have some MMOs. I’ve spent more time playing the original EverQuest after going back to it than I did FFXIV. I sincerely want a game that lasts longer — they just don’t make them.

    @Khardamon: Hey Khard :) Yeah I’m waiting on the same titles. One of the big draws for ESO is the setting I’ve grown to really love. It definitely helps smooth over some of the rough edges. WildStar’s setting feels too zany and purposely/overly bizarre and wacky.

  9. ESO is really not like WAR or GW2. I wanted to live WaR I tested it and tried as hard as I could but scenarios + 2 factions is shit.

    I hated the mega server idea, I still hate the leave no $$ behind preorder BS. But.. The game is fast in RVR it is much better then WAR, zone design is 10 times better then tunnel crap in war.

    Last thing stealth system is very clever and mega server will keep the game playable when pop invetably drops. It could be a good game.. I might wait a bit to buy but I will be playing it.

  10. Bartillo says:

    I have to disagree about your cons for wildstar. To me 40 man raids is a good thing! Bring back raising for the hardcore elite.

    also to me the combat is perfect.

  11. That’s fine. This is MY pros/cons list. I’d like you to come back in 2-3 months though and let me know how many 40 man raids you participate in. ;)

  12. For me I found myself getting more immersed in ESO, its not ‘as’ themepark as Wildstar, Wildstar I feel took themepark to a new level, its completely obvious you are playing a video game. I never felt a real connection to the world or my character. I don’t think Wildstar is a bad game by any means, I just wasn’t having fun with it and have 0 interest in the 40 man raiding scene. Some of the quests in ESO were fun and had some interesting story bits. There was one where I found a treasure chest, and it just gave me a description of locations that I had to find that would lead me to the actual treasure. This on top of the regular treasure maps which are just a picture of a location that you have to find within the game. Also felt that going off the beaten path and exploring could reward you more so than standard themepark MMO’s where its quest hub to quest hub to quest hub etc.

    But realistically if you are anything like me, you might say you have no interest in one or the other or plan on only getting one, but you will end up buying and playing both of them for awhile anyways.

    Also not sure if these are still good but I used one yesterday to get the imperial addition from GreenMan Gaming, I noticed you just had the amazon preorder for ESO but GMG for Wildstar so thought I would point it out if saving a few bucks helps the decision.

    $12 off Imperial: CE1WXQ-2PQZSH-UDJEQS
    $9 off Standard: S8JTAB-9MR960-R9PKJR

  13. Gankatron says:

    “Have you asked yourself if there are any more > three-monther games out there? Is it the games or you? I’ve done that for myself and the answer is “No” and “It’s not the games but me”.”

    I think it is difficult to separate out the two factors, but I think most of us will agree that the games have changed to a more “accessible” form, and as such it is hard to judge how much of our changed perceptions are intrinsic or extrinsic.

    If we are to factor out the “me” factor we will likely need to try the indie MMO’s that more closely resemble the games we used to love, which now would be classified as “niche” games.

  14. Samantha says:

    Hi ya Keen I would skip Wildstar hon…
    I plan on playing elder scrolls online reason I don’t want to play wildstar is the toon and childish graphics and how much it looks like its trying to be a better WoW.

    I feel Play WoW over wildstar cause what ever is special about Wildstar people like WoW will get jelous and add a better verion of it.

    Far as ESO Its my 4th game im looking forward to playing under Kingdom underfire 2 then world of darkness and then game of thrones seven kingdoms.

    I’m a Pvp i don’t like tiny instance que pvp i want big seige player own faction pvp but mixed with npc guards and such with player politics but not being forced to craft to pvp or forced to pve to pvp like wow or many other games.

    I liked wow but its very poor and limited pvp ruined any future plans to play it i felt its world of warcraft but yet should be called world of dungeon grind.

    I don’t like dungeon crawlers.

    My pros and cons for elder scrolls online and wildstar are:
    Elder scrolls online pros: All voiced over questing,No que based pvp just one big massive pvp siege zone mixed with politics and pve npcs, pvp that feels more rewarding yet dosn’t have pvp player own item drops that incourages ganking hate those types of mmorpgs.
    No pvp and pve gear all gear works for ether or no pvp only stats witch is huge plus for me.
    also its b2p/p2p i perfer it over F2p or B2p.
    Trying to make players feel immersed to the gameplay and lore or with there character.
    Dungeons are not about if you have a tank or healer but more on who well every one works togather on there own builds.
    The solo pve content over group pve content and big group pvp content over small and solo pvp love this.
    Character customization.

    wildstar Cons: Crafting is a most, no player housing marriage system dull and guild or clans Can’t build there own towns or keeps.

    Wildstar pros and cons:
    wildstar pros:player own player islands player can build there own islands how they want even own dungeons and such.
    Players can do a 40vs40 pvp battle instance call war plots that allow each side to build there own defence and keep thing that allow them to place raidboss they beat in them to help defend good for guild vs guild.

    Its b2P/P2P I perfer it over F2P and B2P.

    Cons:Pve is forced on pvpers to be better at pvp in warplots.
    Gameplay is too much like WoW. Gameplay is really childish and too corny.
    End game is a item grind witch means they will force u to keep grinding for next best set with out adding new content just season gear sets forcing you to get two types of sets if u want to do pvp or pve both.

    Too much like WoW in content and graphics…I Rather play wow that bin out longer with so much more content then a game thats new trying to top wow with limited content thats based on wow or inspired by wow.
    What ever wildstar dose right WoW will add and do Better if they feel Wildstars a threat.
    Also Wildstar looks more outdated with content and such and looks more it should be a co-op/ single player or children Tv show.
    Lack of immersion .
    Story and lore too silly and isnt serious enough for my taste

    That all said I’m defently playing Elder scrolls online over wildstar.

    Not saying wildstar’s bad but its not for me I loved oblivion and skyrim but im tired of single player elder scrolls game so elder scrolls online will be my last Elder scrolls game i play.

  15. Wufiavelli says:

    Someone did a comparison size with ESO and GW2> ESO is much bigger than gw2, so at least that problem is solved.

  16. If you can put up with the animations and the bugs of a not-so-polished launch, based on your preferences, I’d say to get ESO.

    Why? If realm PvP is going to be your main attraction to it, it’s best to catch while the iron is hot and the launch crowds are around and not too skilled with all its quirks and tactics. More people to fight, more people making mistakes, more excitement.

    If ESO turns out to be a 3 or 6 monther, then its PvP risks becoming something like WAR and more deserted as the crowds bleed off.

    Wildstar, on the other hand, appears to be copying a lot from WoW’s template, which means the themepark leveling experience is probably soloable and can be done at any time. Unless one really likes the hype and excitement of following the first batch and leveling together through launch, it may be just as pleasant to pick up the game later and just play the leveling game when the crowds have stopped overloading the quest areas. Especially if one has no plans to join the 20 and 40-man raid endgame.

    Or if you’re like me and have really no great excitement for either, I plan on waiting for both. Eventually, the box price will drop to $50, 40, or $30 and one can play it then, after more of the rough edges have been smoothed out by the early adopters beta-testing for you.

  17. Craig Krylda says:

    I think if an MMORPG company decides to make a world we can live in again, the 3 month fever will abate ;)

  18. intruder313 says:

    I lost all interest in TESO during the 2 betas I took part in.
    Wildstar I’ve never been that interested in because it has date, WoW-clone graphics and an annoying, zany style; but I was getting the impression that “this was going to be a big one” as I’ve been hearing about it constantly for years.

    So it’s a sad state of affairs when we can reasonably predict that two new MMORPGS will be “3 Monthers” before they even launch.

    I’m not disagreeing with you it’s just fairly depressing!

  19. I’d recommend you pass on both for the time being. Wait and see. With respect, you often don’t even play the MMOs you’re excited about for very long. Going for ones you’re not even that interested in is only setting yourself up for disappointment.

  20. You’ve answered your own question in your reply near the top of the thread, haven’t you? When you said ” I have a huge lineup of games I want to play, and no time to play them all.” If that’s true, why would you shell out another $60 or $120 dollars, plus an ongoing monthly subscription? Chances are you won’t have time to play ESO/WildStar either and it’ll be money down the drain.

    Ask yourself why you’re even thinking of getting one or both. Apparently it can’t be out of boredom, not if you have all those unplayed games and time pressures preventing you getting to them.

    Is it curiosity? Presumably not, since you betaed both, had a good look and didn’t particularly like what you saw.

    Is it fear of missing out on something your peer group is doing? That could be a reasonable motivation. MMOs only launch once (er, usually mumble mumble FFXIV mumble) and it’s often a lot of fun just because everyone’s in it together. Is it $60-worth of fun and is it fun you’ll have time to participate in, though?

    Is it journalistic diligence? Do you feel you ought to be there to report here? That would be admirable but you can’t be expected to cover everything – you’re not running a gaming news site, after all.

    In the end I would say it comes down to this: you clearly aren’t fired up to play either MMO but you also clearly aren’t yet comfortable passing on them at launch and, maybe, coming back to them sometime down the line (which is what I plan on doing). If you have the disposable income to make it a trivial purchase then I think you might as well buy each of them as it launches and play each as often or as little as you feel motivated to do. That way you’re covered if either turns out to have a really exciting launch where everyone has fun but you can drop either without compunction at the end of the free month (or before) if you find it’s not working for you. Basically, if you have the spare cash, why not?

    On the other hand, if the box price is more than you feel comfortable spending on a trivial whim I would skip them both. You obviously aren’t sufficiently interested in either game to buy it on merit.

  21. None of them:

    Pros
    -50 Euro
    -Play other games I do really enjoy

    Past weekend steam had Rockstar games with huge discount. I bought 5 games with 20 euro. Ok I know that we talk about MMO here and single player are irrelevant, but my point is why to “force” myself to chose one if I don’t enjoy either? While I did not tried Wildstar yet, I know is not my style… looney toons, Bugs Bunny and tom&Jerry with linear questing and raid treadmill. I do tried ESO and I think I wouldn’t played it even if they payed me to do it.
    I don’t underestimate the power of boredom, but I think that even if I don’t have anything to play I will still stay away from these 2.

  22. Forgot to say (and cannot edit :( ) that I totally agree with bhagpuss :)

  23. silvertemplar says:

    Well after a few ESO weekends and having played some Siege AvA , i must say between the worlds of Wildstar and ESO, ESO is the only one that i actually felt immersed in. As in, felt i can ROLEPLAY with some form of high fantasy realism. Wildstar feels gamey and quirky and hard to take seriously.

    So that counts for alot when it comes to longterm. A zany, gamey type of MMO tends to be fun for me in the short term, but i never really get immersed.

    I must add i don’t think the problem with Wildstar is the graphic/art style (the cartoony look), it’s more the world/lore that seems to be lacking. I got the impression it’s just all random quirky things thrown together, literally like a REAL themepark. This is something Blizzard had in their favor, World of Warcraft, as cartoony as the graphics are, actually does have a ton of serious immersive lore going there…i did not quite feel the WoW world consisted of randomly thrown together stuff (with the exception of Burning Crusade, which is exactly what i fear Wildstar might look like, going from a red tinted zone, to a blue tinted zone to a purple tinted zone, each with totally lore compromising theme changing).

    ESO, of course, so far the zones are not as exciting as say GW2, but at least i felt a connection to the world, similarly to what i felt with LOTRO .

    Either way, i am getting ESO, i will consider Wildstar nearer its launch, based on my experience in ESO. Wildstar seems to be the sort of MMO that you don’t need to play at launch :).

    Oh as for the AvA/RvR/Siege PvP in ESO. I played about two hours of it, and i did not notice anything particularly new with it, not sure what exactly everyone is raving about. I have played WAR and GW2 and i felt what i played in ESO was more a streamlined and maybe faster version of GW2s RvR (but still the same thing).

    The fact that i knew exactly what to do when i entered the first time, told me “i have done this before” . I had the same issues like Melee characters being useless, standing on walls pee-shooting at attackers, standing idle until siege weapons break down the doors, doing the “small group” thing never really seem to have impact when there is a zerg steamrolling around the map.

    I did not really notice the whole resource or deeper strategy you’d hope for in these sort of PvP . I just zerged with a group…so maybe there are more strategy in there, but unfortunately no one seemed to care .

  24. @Bhagpuss: Good questions.

    Curiosity? Yes, for what comes later in the games. I know the 1-30 pretty well in both (minus pvp in ESO which has me wildly curious).

    Fear of missing out? Yes. Very much yes. I missed out on FFXI, Shadowbane, AC, and AC2. I also missed out on staying with EQ2 longer. Can’t quite forgive myself for missing those.

    Journalistic Diligence? Not in the sense that I feel I -must- write about the games, but because I -like- to write about things. I like commenting on games, and if I don’t buy and play them I usually can’t comment.

    @Everyone: It’s odd, but I totally sense a huge sway in favor of ESO from the comments here. A few weeks ago most people, like me, wanted nothing to do with the game. Now most people are like, “I tried it and it turns out to not be as horrible as I thought.” Not glowing praise, but a start. Keep the thoughts coming! This is therapeutic. :P

  25. No point to this post. You will get both of them anyways because they are new MMOs and you like to join in with the hype. Am I right?

    Then the 10 complaining posts will follow.

  26. Based on the past couple years of MMO launches I think Dez has it about right

  27. Man, The single biggest reason I read your blog is because you seem to echo my sentiments and the sentiments of a lot of generalists.

    I am in the same boat. I am going back and forth on these games. My pro and con list is different, but feelings are almost the same.

  28. @Dez @Fidjit
    Harsh, they are constructive criticism posts more than complaining

  29. TheRedComet says:

    I can’t really compare the two games at all. Understand making a pros and cons list, but it’s hard to directly compare two games that are pretty different with what their going for and how their built up.

    I really enjoyed my few months in WildStar though – tested it all except for raids, made a ton of new MMO friends, and had a total blast, so I’ll be picking that up. I can see why some people will only be playing for a few months, but it pleases me in so many ways that I’ll be sticking with it for quite awhile – probably as long as I stuck with WoW for a few years. Looking forward to diving in again this weekend and playing more WPvP too. Last weekend was great fun when they finally enabled WPvP.

    ESO just couldn’t grab me at all in the few beta weekends I participated in. Maybe being able to skip the starter island would help, but my impression has already been made from my previous weekends. It just didn’t really feel like an Elder Scrolls game to me. The world seemed more static and empty than I was expecting. I didn’t get a chance to do any PvP, but PvP alone isn’t enough to pull me to a game. Between the wishy-washy way devs have talked about what they think of the subscription model, and the whole exclusive race and only being able to play any race you want in any faction if you preorder just doesn’t sit well with me at all either.

  30. I guess the point is Keen that you don’t really seem like a huge themepark MMO fan. Which is fine of course, but it leaves me wondering why you keep buying all the new themepark MMOs.

  31. I still can’t figure out why you post about how great vanilla WoW was, and what a super awesome raider you were on multiple characters, and then dismiss Wildstar specifically because it features the same endgame.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost definitely not playing Wildstar (or ESO). I just find it weird that your main activity in what was seemingly one of your favorite MMOs is now a con.

  32. @Fidjit

    This is exactly what I’m thinking. If you don’t even like half the MMO’s that gets release and already have complaints about them prior to release, why even bother to get them? You already have plenty of reasons not to get ESO and Wildstar. I’ve been following your site for many years, way before the Warhammer days and honestly it’s a repetitive cycle with you and MMOs. (I love Graev’s game reviews though and the only reason why I continue to check on the site)

    Hey Keen, surprise me and please not get ESO or Wildstar. Save yourself some money.

  33. I really don’t understand how you got to lvl 20 in ESO and still found it as linear as other themeparks. Maybe post exactly what you did? Was it just going from one quest to another, without skipping some or just trying to find other stuff to do? Did you do the public dungeons, instances, other random content spots?

    Lvl 1-8 its pretty linear, yes. After 9+, I found I could roam around a lot more and still make similar progress to chain-running quests.

  34. @Jenks Vanilla wow had great atmosphere and world full of lore. It wasn’t only the technicaly 40-man raid it was the lore behind the raids and the people you played with. Keen already said in his pros that what his friends playing is a major pro. Vanilla wow had an epic atmosphere, rich lore, dark places and the generation of players back then were almost all RP players.

    Wildstar is 100x more cartoony than vanilla wow, no serious lore, full of jokes and the generation of gamers now (the majority) are players who see MMOs as tetris… Just adding a number (40) on a group content does not make the game vanilla wow. It worked back then, cause the gamers had socializing skills..it will not work in the era of “LFG/I don’t give a fuck” mindset.

  35. TheRedComet says:

    WildStar has plenty of interesting and entertaining lore, plenty of stuff if you look past it’s cartoonish style. WoW wasn’t and isn’t always serious and void of silly comedy. There was also already a rather active RP community in beta, some of which are developing RP profile mods. Just because WIldStar has a different atmosphere, doesn’t mean it’s a bad atmosphere.

    As for the community of players itself lacking socializing skills and whatnot, that’s hardly WildStar’s fault. That’s just the way MMOs are these days. I haven’t played on in years that didn’t have the majority of the community having the “LFG/I don’t give a fuck mindset” – even EverQuest 2 for it’s great community has a huge number of obnoxious players that only care about the raiding and getting best loot/gear. ESO and WildStar will both be full of similar players, just like every MMO out there these days. There’s plenty of friendly, RPing and traditional MMO players in both WildStar and ESO, you just have to look a little deeper these days for it.

  36. Bartillo says:

    I’ve read a lot of wildstar lore and it’s pretty Indepth. It’s just that it’s an original ip so people don’t have a connection. With WoW everyone played Warcraft 3 at least and knew the lore from previous games

  37. John, I don’t buy that.

    “It worked back then because WoW was so good, no one can ever do it again!” just doesn’t fly as an argument.

    Cons: “cartoony, uninteresting lore.” I’ll buy that.
    Cons: “40 man raids” doesn’t fly if you loved vanilla WoW’s raiding, at least not with your explanation. If no game is allowed to have 40 man raids, then no game will ever have “epic” raids, as you say. In which case no game will ever be as good as WoW. That’s an idiotic circle of disappointment to create for yourself solely so you can keep carrying that torch for WoW.

  38. @Dez: Busted! You got me all figured out.

    @RedComet: I’m not comparing them to each other. I’m stating my pros and cons for each. Then I’m looking at which looks more appealing to me.

    @Fidjit: I’m a moth to a flame.

    @Jenks: Because when it was new it was great. It was an added value. Something in addition. Now raiding drives design decisions, end-game, and acts as a barrier to innovation. Early days of EQ and DaoC (epic number of people kkilling a boss) weren’t about the act of raiding.

    @SynCaine: ESO is not as linear as WildStar. I still feel guided around by quests in general. One particular thing I did think was nice about ESO was how the quest hubs don’t feel as connected to each other. When I ran out of quests i -DID- have to go wander off and find more. Once I found quests, though, it was the same old questing model. And yes, you CAN roam and get more content. I don’t deny that at all. The questing (the only real viable way to progress decently) is the part I dislike.

    @Bartillo: I’m saying I like ESO’s lore not that I dislike WildStar’s.

  39. I just said that the key for raiding back then was not just the challenge and the loot, was also the lore. We were gearing up and getting fire resistance to go and fight the Fire Lord. We were adventuring towards Illidan. Who we kill in Wildstar and why? I don’t say that no one can ever create vanilla wow again, I am just saying that vanilla wow 40-man raiding did work for various reasons that I can’t see in Wildstar. Also if Wildstar had 30-man raiding would you call it similar to vanilla wow? and if yes, in what aspect?

    Taking my Buggs Bunny character to go and fight Coyote with road runner on my side is not something that motivates me to do so. Now, imagine ESO as pve focused game with sandboxy elements and good combat and 40-man raiding as endgame instead of pvp…I would buy that in a wink of an eye. But still I think it would be harder to work nowdays but not impossible.

    PS. I have stopped playing wow somewhere in WotlK. I ve gone back 1-2 times with free days and scroll of resurrection stuff, but I am not in any way a blizzard fanboy. Still though I believe that Vanilla wow was the best MMO, mostly because of its seamless immersive virtual world(dungeons included) and its lore.

  40. TheRedComet says:

    Yeah I know you were just making pros/cons for each. I just see a lot of people all over the web trying to directly compare the two, when they are pretty different games by their nature.

    My biggest problem with ESO is largely the devs and the business model. I feel like they’re so untrustworthy and shady just by the very wishy-washy they’ve been talking in interviews lately.

  41. @TheRedComet: Agreed. Like I said in my post, I personally find both companies to be making decisions that are just weird to me.

    @John: True. Old raiding in WoW did have lore but I think WotLK did too. I was big into Arthas. It became formulaic, though.

  42. nukethesitefromorbit says:

    I watched some videos of Wildstar and saw nothing that appealed to me and can confidently say I will never play it. Just not my style.

    ESO though I may pull the trigger on since I enjoyed some aspects of the game. I do however think I will hold off on buying it for at least a month or so. Curious to see what the initial reception is and how the company reacts. Perhaps get lucky and see a price drop on the initial purchase. If it was a one time purchase with no sub then I would have already bought the game but $60 and $15 a month is just not working for me with this game.

  43. @John
    You’re not arguing me when you say it’s cartoony etc. We’re in agreement. You’re trying to peg me as saying Wildstar is just like vanilla WoW. I never said that. I think maybe you need to reread what I said. If English isn’t your primary language then maybe you are misunderstanding me. If you think 40 man raiding in wow was great, and you say you’d play ESO if it had 40 man raiding, then 40 man raiding shouldn’t be a con to you. Do you understand yet? I’m talking about 40 man raiding, in a vacuum, nothing else, no other features, lore, or art style. 40 man raiding.

    @Keen
    I’m not talking about EQ’s raiding which is a completely different beast (and I never raided in Daoc, only PVP, so I won’t comment on that). I’m only talking about WoW here. Why was 40 man raiding great in WoW, but listed as a con for Wildstar? Maybe my memory is off – am I mistakenly remembering you saying you had multiple characters in different raiding guilds simultaneously, and not seriously pvping? Is it just “time has passed?” You’d list 40 man raiding as a con if WoW was released today?

  44. One thing that might bear mentioning is that ESO has a cash shop as well.

    Back when it was announced Zenimax assured fans that it isn’t really a cash shop and they’d only sell upgrades to the collector’s edition and character services like name changes. They’ve gone back on that promise before the game even launched, now they’re selling at least a mount in there too.

    Doesn’t look good that they’re already expanding their cash shop plans before launch. Who knows where it’ll end up.

    http://www.gamebreaker.tv/games/elder-scrolls-online-mmorpg/elder-scrolls-online-to-offer-an-entry-level-mount-at-in-the-cash-shop-launch/

  45. @Jenk English is not my native language so maybe I do not 100% get you or maybe I cannot make you understand me. I am not against 40 man raiding in general, I am against 40 man raiding in wildstar. 40 man raiding is a pro in games with epic/Dark lore but is a con in games with fluff and commedy. It just does not pair well together. So yes, 40 man raiding it is a con for Wildstar, not a con in general. Wildstar could be more innovative and invent other systems/activities to keep people around.

    I mean, if you plan to make a hardcore 40-man raiding game, you don’t build Disneyland around it..you build the Highgate Cemetery. When I see Wildstar world, characters, trailers it creates a mood to me and that mood does not say to me that “wow, this game is great for raiding”m it says “this game is funny and must have funny quests and activities, interesting and different gameplay”. So hearing that this game focus is hardcore 40-man raiding is a letdown, a con.

    From the other hand, hearing about ESO and its lore and seeing the Dark theme around it and the immersive world, I say this game must have some Dark villains to fight at the end. In this scenarion, 40-man raiding is a pro.

    I hope you understand me now :).

  46. It seems pretty clear that your problem is with the setting/tone of the game.

  47. Indeed, but the features of a game are not separate from the settings/tone. A feature can fit extremely well in game 1 while be completely out of space in game 2. I like to eat pop corn in the cinema, but I don’t eat pop corn on the music club. But I like cinema for what it is and music club for what it is. The problem is to serve me pop corn on the club instead of whiskey and serve me whiskey in the cinema.

    @Keen I was big into Arthas too, but in that stage wow have already changed some immersive elements…it lost the preparation of the battle. gearing in fire resistance to fight ragnaros made lot of sense. it was very immersive. rolling into frost as a mage was also too. You felt that you were preparing for something. It was the preparation that I liked in vanilla raiding, not the mechanics…Wotlk was all about mechanics and little about immersion. Granted, the video with Arthas father when Arthas dies and the music on it was epic and Arthas death was wow death for me, but I did not felt so much immersion while heading towards fighting arthas.

  48. I know what you’re saying, and I don’t agree at all. In the grand scheme of things these are incredibly similar games. The idea that WoW was some kind of grimdark Gears of War MMO is hilarious.

  49. may wasn’t a dark MMO but it wasn’t a funny/looney toons either…

    “Father, is it over?”
    “At long last. No King rules forever, my son”
    “I see … only darkness before me”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC4Jgtyql1s

    The difference is pretty clear for me. Wow(Vanilla not now) may had some funny moments here and there, but at its core was a serious game. Wildstar is a Commedy.

  50. I agree that one game takes itself more seriously than the other (even if you’re going to post videos from an era we’re not discussing). There’s no way to convince me that is enough reason to feel 40 man raiding is fantastic in one and a detriment to the other, sorry.

    Murky says lighten up
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ltEfyqt0U

  51. I’m in the same boat with Bhagpuss – why pay full price now when I’m not excited about either game, I have other things I could be playing, and I can get a better game (because it’s patched and has more content and polish) cheaper (because none of these things hold their MSRP) by waiting?

  52. Launches typically have a lot more people playing. More people playing typically means, for me, that I can enjoy a game more the way it was (hopefully) meant to be played.

    I do think yours (and Bhagpuss’) point is valid. That’s why I’m in this predicament! :)

  53. Bartillo says:

    We all know you’ll buy both anyway Keen :p

  54. A wise man once said, “There is a difference between buying a game and truly playing.” Okay, I said that.

  55. Curious George says:

    Well after the API debacle with ZOS I decided to change my mind and not buy ESO. It wasn’t the change to the API itself but the knee jerk reaction to the community complaints and their ham-fisted approach to dealing with the fundamental problem.

    If they are willing to do this then they are willing to continue to make radical ill-thought out changes down the road. Maybe once they go F2P down the road and all of the nasty changes are well in the past I will look once again at the game.

    I had dismissed Wildstar in favor of ESO but now I have to give it some serious consideration.

  56. I’m not in favor of knee-jerk changes, but man I love the fact that they are removing an easily exploited API that allows for UI mods to display what your enemy is doing to you. Any mod that makes the playing field uneven between those who use and those who do not use it should be banned.

  57. Samantha says:

    Hi every one and Keen.

    Just read few post and some of what you said Keen….

    Any ways I notice alot of people in beta complained i personably didnt beta test it cause i new beta’s can give u wrong impression of a game.

    I Feel due to there limited gameplay and many bugs most beta testers are idiots and juge a game by its Beta and not consider its not the game but a test run and that beta is all about improving the game before launch to fix it.

    Many beta testers also have yet to acknowledge all the changes TESO has went through due to beta testers criticism to hole revemps of gameplay like the first person view mode.

    Any ways I Believe TESO will be the next best P2p mmorpg due to how hard and how bad the team making it want it to be diffrent and the next best game.

    From how the dev them self have responded to the beta testers and effort they have bin taking to improve there game that alone tells me it will be a amazing game to play.

    After all This is a Elder scrolls title game it may be by Zenimax but they own Bethesda and all rights from Bethesda they also are the ones Bethesda owes for making there company so populer due to how much Zenimaxed helped them with Morrowind and oblivion.

    People think Bethesda is why elder scrolls was so great…its not Zenimax is the reason it was…
    When bethesda was a independent company is was going bankrupt Zenimax bought them out help them make morrowind if morrowind wasnt successful bethesda wouldn’t have bin a well name of today.

    So again I believe TESO will be great maybe even better then the rest of the Elder scrolls franchise due to Zenimax being 100% control over it.

    After all Bethesda is done with Tamriel they are moving on to a new contenet also main reason bethesda said they will never be done with skyrim cause they may come back to it and release content for Tamriel more experance.

    I’m a huge elder scrolls fan and fan of the two companys yet i now only play mmorpgs and one at a time due to how much of a time sink they are i love the elder scrolls but i hated that instead of sticking with one game and added more expanions and content to it they want to make more and force player to start over in a prison and level with a new character i already made alot of new characters in oblivion so i was warn out in skyrim.

    Hense Elder scrolls online will be my last elder scrolls experance i hope its good.
    If not ill be really disapointed with Zenimax and Bethesda alike.

    Any whys just thout i share this =)

  58. @Samantha

    “After all This is a Elder scrolls title game”

    It has been proven already that strong IP is not enough to make a game successful (see swtor). I understand that you are a fan of TES games and that affect your opinion about the game. Do not forget that TES games success is not 100% on Bethesda but to the modding community as well.

    I am not sure if they can improve the character models, the animations/movement, the combat. My experience say that this thing are among the core aspect that is extremely difficult to change. Although I am not a programmer and if some regular modders can make TES characters seem beautiful and change their animations, then probably Zenimax can do that too.

    We are less than a month away from release and this is when the masses seen the game. I think that with less than a month left the game is not more on “beta” but on “Demo”. I will keep an eye on the game and later on if they change the things that bothers me I will jump in for sure. I just hope they were innovative enough to give modders a lot of freedom to even improve character appearance/animations. I talk about the visual and aesthetics, not to give damage meters and casting bars and make it wow.

  59. I personally will be skipping both of these games. I have a backlog of single player games I would rather catch up on. Plus, I am enjoying my time going back and playing some older mmo’s like EQ and EQ2.

    As for your question, Wildstars’ first pro “Lots of friends are playing” would be the clincher for me. Any MMO is a lot more fun when playing with friends especially when you are unsure about the game itself.

  60. Wow, 59 comments!

    Looks like the mmorpg community has moved from playing games to reading/writing about them…

    I will throw my hat into the ESO ring. I played multiple betas and really loved the world, the progression pace, and very excited to get back into rvr that has something at stake…a player emperor? Pretty cool.

    That said, I also have to agree with Topauz. I am back playing WoW because that’s where my friends/family is at and ultimately that’s why we play these games: for the social component.

  61. Gankatron says:

    “Wow, 59 comments!”

    Compare a game to WoW and the comments will follow, many carrying a presumed Jeff Albertson inflection.

  62. Samantha says:

    @John

    I don’t think so hon about Bethesda 100% susses relays on its modder’s….

    Xbox 360 top sellers was the elder scrolls online and they didnt have modders or that feature at all.
    I loved elder scrolls but only liked the graphic mods and the bug fixed mods and the ones that added smaller features like as a vampire blood viles or crafting arrows when it wasnt there or cute outfits.

    Over all i didnt like mods cause they to me took away from the lore of the game so i just never used many of them like the dungeon and story ones.

    I believe TESO will do things right you said u didnt like the animation or combat or character effect well they change that you no like at the begging of this month.

    They revamp all the npc and combat to be better and to not allow u to walk though npc or players wail u fight them or if u dont.

    They also said they a re doing the animations to the combat skills.

    Also Im so impressed with the devs for TESO and how fast they are working and fixing there game and changing hole things around based on feed back whats even more impressive is there willing to lisen and show they have delivered and fixed alot of issues and games not even out yet.

    I see TESO team seem to really care and want to make a really good experance i see them adding alot of fun features later on.

    After its not even out yet im looking forwarded to seeing where TESO gose with it both in single play story and lore and the big pvp battles.

    I believe TESO Will be next best p2p game Wildstar will go free to play tho or buy to play with a cash shop.

    Also alot of people say TESO is going back on there cash shop idea….They aren’t wow has a Cash shop every mmorpg dose but P2P diffrent is they only add mounts expansions subsciptions and some some times pets and such….rarely do they add features that reguler subsciption has to pay more to get that effect game play.

    Worst i can see TESO doing is adding exp boost or tranmod style outfits that can only be bought with money.

    They havent done this and i hope they dont i always spend alot on cute outfits i hate F2P games =P

  63. The only MMO I’ve played for more than a few months, since I stopped playing Everquest that is, was SW:G. The Theme Park model is great for a video game, but I honestly don’t think it works as an MMO. If I’m expected to keep paying for a game, I have to be invested in it more than a weekly event or two and there has to be more to look forward to than grinding bigger and bigger versions of the same old monsters to get minor gear improvements.

    That said, Wildstar and ESO seem to be the games that people I know are going to play. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s enough to make me buy a game anymore. I went into SWTOR with a large group, and we dissolved in less than 6 months (I was out in month 2). If a game is only a 3 monther, then it will be a 3 monther for most of your friends, too. Turns it into a bit of a chore to try and talk people into staying when you yourself see the writing on the wall, especially if you see it this early.

    Personally I’m hoping The Repopulation can serve my gaming needs this fall. It looks like it’ll be more than capable of providing a player driven world with actual investment. Things always go better when part of the world functions as a home for you and your friends, rather than just dealing with a series of quest hubs.

  64. I’m in a similar situation. Decided to just stick with Rift for now and decide on Wildstar in the meantime, keeping an eye on EverQuest Next and ArcheAge.

  65. Evocationer says:

    Well I have been following Wildstar closely and with great interest for awhile. Have been watching the livestreams and videos, but really wanted to get into the game to see if the hype really had any substance to it.

    So pre-order access came up this weekend just gone, and I got in to try it for myself.

    I can see why some people are finding the style too much. Wow it is over the top, but surprisingly I didn’t find it that much of a problem. Once I accepted I was living inside of a exaggerated brightly coloured alien world, the whole setting was actually quite beautiful. And so intricate! Everywhere I looked something was going on – animals, events, resource nodes running around or attacking you, soldier holdouts, public events, mini-bosses spawning and wandering around, people duelling. The creatures/aliens were really well drawn, very strange and bizarre – it reminds me of certain animated movies I have watched. A lot of them were quite comical – I chuckled quite a lot watching how things moved or behaved – some were adorable, some were creepy. What I will say is that no matter where I directed my attention, something caught my interest. Things were happening all over the place – you could literally just look around you and decide what you wanted to get involved in. While I hear people calling it a theme park, there are so many rides, so many quests – quite a few that are hidden until you encounter something or do something specific , so many achievements – I didn’t seem to be railroaded in any particular direction. I was at times almost overwhelmed by all the choices I had at any given moment – and I didn’t get past level 14!

    I found combat quite exciting and engaging. I often had to think about where I was fighting the mob, what was around me, and if I had experience with it previously what kind of attacks it would make so I could save my stuns and other interrupts. I could not zone out during combat at all, which was both good and bad (if you like relaxing during combats while you are stationary and locked to the target). However being a bit of an old fart and having been quite used to those old mmo combat styles, I have had to upgrade to a Naga Razor mmo mouse, which has made the combat much more fluid and easy for me to react. With that kind of mouse, the combat was not so ‘spaztactic’ at all.

    The questing was nothing new, but I also didn’t find it too grindy. There are so many, that playing through the same zone on different alts meant I didn’t have to go through the exact same content, and I kept discovering new things to do. One complaint I might make is with the challenges – great idea, but often occurring at the most inconvenient times. If there were a lot of other people around you simply could not complete them since there were not enough mobs and they didn’t spawn quickly enough. However, you could immediately restart the challenge and finish it (though only to get the ‘bronze’ level of achievement). The loot was varied and interesting though for completing them, and I was often torn between gear or housing items.

    Quests felt like they were appearing in response to my actions, in response to what was happening around me. In the end I suppose questing always has particular limitations, particular formulae, but I just felt I didn’t notice it so much in this game. I like that even though you are given a general direction for the quest objectives, once you got there you often had to figure out what to do. Sometimes, you had to figure out how to even get to the quest area – sometimes it meant solving a jumping puzzle, sometimes it meant finding a path which wasn’t obvious at first. I liked the way quests would be phoned in to you, and that you could update quests remotely. This meant I could continue adventuring deep into enemy territory without having to go back and forth – it kept the excitement up for me. I had quite a few moments when I thought ‘ that was fun’. There were also times when I thought ‘what was the point of that’ but the fun definitely was uppermost.

    I also found the quests and mobs challenging – as an Esper, I died a lot more than I thought I would. The game definitely encourages you to group up. That is a big plus for me.

    Except for the tutorial areas – not fun, maybe a little the first time. Hopefully they allow us to skip it once we have done it on our first character for that faction. Kind of boring really.

    I really enjoyed the feeling that I could explore – anywhere I went there was something to do. Lots of quest hubs. Lots of lore. I certainly got the feeling that there were a lot of plots and subplots going on. There was a lot of humour – some of it corny, some of it cute, but some of it actually made me laugh.

    I hit level 14 just as the weekend ended (literally half an hour before) so I managed to get my house and furnish it – now that will be a huge money and time sink for me. I loved it! Their is so much customization!

    I am really looking forward to continuing the betas, and finally starting the real game. I only played in the lower levels and there was so much going on, lots of options, and I didn’t unlock that much yet really. So I loved it, and I think I will stay in it for awhile, certainly more than 3 months.

  66. einhander says:

    After playing both beta`s I would choose Wildstar over ESO, Wildstar`s combat turned out to be fun for me, the cartoony graphics are fine by me. ESO on the other hand was bad, after level 14 I had a hard time logging in.
    I didn’t like how ugly my character was, no matter how much I used the worthless sliders.
    The combat was dull (imo)
    The lag spikes were insane.
    It just didn’t feel like elder scrolls.

    That said I’ll buy neither. Both seem to be pushing PvP and as we all know balancing PvP in an mmo is impossible. I refuse to play another game that nerfs PVE for PVP reasons.

  67. Evocationer says:

    I didn’t feel pushed into PVP in Wildstar, but I totally understand your concern. I hate how PVE gets constantly altered to suit PVP, especially as I do not enjoy or participate in it in any MMO I play. The Devs do seem very aware of the issues that came up in WOW generally, so I hope they will not make the same mistakes.

    Time will tell anyway.

  68. My dream of an elder scrolls multiplayer ever since playing oblivion was minecraft style client servers and PCs jumping into your game. Dueling, questing… I have very simple taste

  69. That’s exactly Dark Souls 2…

    I’m testing ESO at the moment and quite low level but I can see a few main issues:

    - combat is veeeeery simple and lacks diversity, resources go way too fast, some classes like sorcerer literally need 1 button to go through questing content. Trying to promote dodging and blocking is nice but when your stamina bar is depleted by 3/4th with one dodge roll you quickly learn to not use it and eat the hit otherwise you have no resources to attack

    - the fun part is building different specs but you need skill points to do so and with slow leveling you are stuck cycling the same 3 abilities for hours

    - character building encourages finding synergies to create imbalanced builds (frame cancelling vampires at the moment) that devs will continuously run after to try and fix

    - the world feels cramped and cluttered, there’s just too mcuh on screen

    I’m contemplating trying Wildstar but pvp videos i’ve seen suggest it’s a zerg-AOE-fest. I’m also more of a casual and will never have the time to experience raiding.

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