WildStar and ESO

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wildstar-deluxe-editionBefore I go into some WildStar discourse I want to update you all on where Graev and I are at with The Elder Scrolls Online.

We officially cancelled our ESO accounts 20 minutes before the subscription was due.  We debated back and forth the merits of playing a game that we really weren’t feeling a huge urge to log in to.  ESO always felt like a single-player experience for us, yet failed to live up to the single-player experiences of Morrowind, Oblivion, or Skyrim.  Playing simply became too repetitive.  The Thieves guild, Dark Brotherhood, and justice system should have been in at launch.  There should never have been classes at all and instead been skill-based.  There should have been multiple paths to level up your character instead of letting one person do essentially everything yet creating a linear world.   Neither of us feel ESO is a bad game, it just wasn’t worth the money to continue when our desire to log in was… well, zero.  Coming in at 60 hours each, we got our box price and then some.

I’m biting the bullet and picking up WildStar.  This should come as no surprise to the world: Keen buy’s every MMO.   Graev is still on the fence and wants to wait and see if I stick with it.  I commend him for his ability to abstain.

I picked up WildStar on Green Man Gaming and got 20% off using the code: FUSWJT-B1DU64-JBV8UY

The Keen and  Graev Community will be rolling in on a yet to be named server.  If you’re looking for a laid-back and close-knit community feel then check us out.   We’re not the group to join if you want to dominate 40-man raids.  If you want a group of people you can quickly call your best friends and continue to do so for 7+ years later then look no further.

I’m going to roll up a warrior.  I’m still debating what race I want to play.  I’m really disappointed by not being able to play as the Chua.  Why do classes have to be race restricted?  That’s such an annoying system.  After dabbling in all of the classes over the past year, the Warrior just feels the best.  I’ll most likely have an Esper or Spellslinger alt.

My approach to WildStar is going to be moderately casual.  If we end up raiding it’ll be with our community combined with several other guilds in a similar position.  If that means we never see 40-man content oh well.  I don’t care — at all.  If we can do the 20-man stuff that might be neat, at least until it becomes repetitive.

Playing in this open beta has shown me that Carbine has made decent progress.  Animations are better, sounds are night and day what they used to be, and I’m starting to feel in the mood for something a little zany.  They timed their release really, really well.

I’ll have more thoughts for your as I play WildStar.  For now just know that I’ll be diving in head first as always.  I didn’t communicate enough of my ESO experiences, but I do plan to play WildStar and write regular adventure log updates as well as my usual critiques. If nothing else, I think getting my money’s worth out of the box price alone will be doable.

  • I cancelled my ESO sub as well. Decent game, but by level 25 I felt like I’d done everything 100 times. The content was good, there was lots of it, it was just all too samey for me to continue.

    Still interested in Wildstar, still baffled that the game isn’t better optimized. It’s one of the most talked about problems over on the forums. To make matters even worse, devs responded by saying that not only is the game essentially CPU bound… it’s mainly using a *single core* of your CPU. Fixes are “being worked on” but no ETA.

    The whole situation is ridiculous to me. Optimization is a critically important process, how they could be so behind so close to launch is unforgivable.

  • Really no interest in Wildstar. Saw enough in beta to know it was yet another genre destroying game. As theme park as it gets, and a carbon copy of an 11 year old mmo at that.

    I’m still enjoying ESO. Cyrodiil is the closest thing we’ve seen to Daoc rvr. How did you really give the ava in eso and honest shot!?

  • Sorry phone acted stupid on that last sentence it wasn’t supposed to start with how and have an exclamation point before the question make Lol.

  • I also just cancelled my ESO sub. I liked it, but there was just something missing for me. I just didn’t get engaged enough to want to log in very much. It was hard to put my finger on. Seems like I am hearing this said by more than a few people.

    I have been in the Wildstar beta for the last few weekends, and I have been really enjoying it. Totally different experience to ESO – worlds apart! Generally speaking I haven’t had any problems on my PC with it, but FPS does seem to fluctuate pretty wildly at times.

  • By the way, I have heard that race restrictions have to do with the animations being unfinished for certain race/class combinations rather than a design decision.

  • Still playing ESO even though it has slowed down. I haven’t entered RVR forever but I am still hopeful that it would be fun at some point. Kind of working on some trade skills and seeing if I can twink my alts up with grinding which can be pretty fun. Wildstar…so far had zero desire to play…I am sure it would be fun for a little bit but if there isn’t even a chance that I will play it long term then why bother…I cant even sucker myself into believing that this may be great!

  • Keen, you gotta stop pretending!

    Your loyalty to mmorpg’s is admirable but your commentary/opinion on game design (been awhile since one of those posts) is why I personally come by every day to see what’s new.

    The love/hate roller coaster ride you’ve been on with the big time commitment games has gotten to be a little much.

    (By the way, unsubbed and then subbed again to ESO late last night. The group oriented endgame is simply too promising for me to give up on.)

  • “By the way, unsubbed and then subbed again to ESO late last night. The group oriented endgame is simply too promising for me to give up on.”

    Sounds like someone else is also riding the “love/hate roller coaster ride ” 😉

  • I’m a little disappointed in this decision Kean! I have at times also not felt the urge to log in but I’m back into it again, I’m lvl 45 now and close to being RvR ready . The crafting is what kept me coming back actually, I have de constructed every item I get and have kept all the crafts at my level purely through this,(spending points in the de construct skill that returns more Materials for each item has worked out great)

    The eternal search for sky shards, lore books(lvl 8 mages guild ability equilibrium is gonna sort out all my mana problems for healing spec). It’s great having enough skill points to be pure healer and pure dps for leveling AND still left over to pursue the crafting and enchanting.

    Anyway, the way you have layed out your plan for wildstar with the K&G community leads me to think this is more of a community orientated decision, I never saw a post laying out guild plans like this for ESO?

  • @Gankatron: This might be true, but I work in a tent selling oranges…I don’t have a well respected gaming blog 🙂

  • Hi, is there anything particular in Wildstar that’s not in ESO that made you pick it up?

  • I unsubbed a while back and was worried I’d left too soon – that if I just persevered a little longer it would all click. I feel slightly vindicated that I’m now reading about so many people doing the same having never reached that point…

    As for Wildstar, the beta was a big meh for me. I found it another case of too many unmemorable quests and the combat seemed an awkward cross between hotkeys and twitch without doing either very well.

    Oddly, as different as Wildstar and ESO are, it’s similar things which put me off both.

  • I gave up on TESO during my 2nd Beta. I walked away from Wildstar after 1 hour of a beta – it came across as a very dull, cowboy-themed WoW-clone.

    The cowboy motif was very grating indeed, but if that’s something you like you might not be as repelled by this game 🙂

  • Is it the cost of subs the reason (13 + 13 euro /15+15 dollar) or the time investment (3+3 hours per week) that made you unsub from ESO? (/sarcasm)

    Anyway, I have tried Wildstar also and the questing is the most boring quests I had in my MMO life..I can dare say that they are more boring than Tera. I have also tried the paths and were all just the same lame quest version. Combat was ok, better than ESO but still not comparable to wow, tera, GW2, Aion and FFXIV.

    Also I don’t understand people on forums (not you keen) that talk about Vanilla wow because of 40-man raids… the size of raiding does not make a game vanilla wow.

  • I’m currently playing ESO and agree it feels very much a single player game. I am already losing the will to log in and have only been playing around 2 weeks. It’s a very strange game.

  • @Idunaz: No, I didn’t give ESO’s PvP an honest shot past the 4 hours I put in. I just wasn’t hooked. Nothing grabbed me and made me feel like I was doing much more than zerging keeps. Your mileage may vary, but I wasn’t given a reason to care. I saw no real character progression or community or realm mechanics tied to it.

    @Evocation: Animations being the reason for race restrictions appears to be a common explanation. I don’t know how much I believe it, or if believing it would make it any less ridiculous, but I hope it’s changed in the future and I’m offered a free race change!

    @Jim: Sorry if the game design commentary has been lacking. I haven’t had much to say lately, and the lack of innovation in the industry hasn’t fueled my creativity or desire to invent anything. After writing for 7 years it’s hard to keep pushing out new game design commentary every day. There will be lulls where I simply have to sit back and talk about the games I’m playing.

    @KennyG: Two things: (1) Friends, and (2) Stability. I wrote about stability in the past, but basically I feel like ESO as a game has no true identity. It’s a themepark but it’s not, it’s a MMO but it’s not, it’s a group content game but it’s not. I felt like I was always torn between world while playing ESO, and that killed my drive to play.

    @Thuun: The combat is veeeeeery awkward at times. It has come a very, very long way since the closed beta I played in a year ago, though. 80% of the quests are still forgettable. Don’t play for the questing.

    @Intruder313: From what I’ve seen in the 1-30 gameplay the world in WildStar is beautiful. I love the art direction. The theme and it being a wow-clone can be annoying, though.

    @John: It was the lack of desire to play. If I don’t want to log in to a game, I’ll quibble over any price. I can always re-sub if I choose to come back. The questing in WildStar does leave just about everything to be desired — it’s pretty crummy.

  • The main factor that WS is a WoW clone has left me with such rose colored glasses I can’t give it a true shot. The fact I can recognize this probably says a lot more about my personal gaming state then WS itself. Something which seems to be an ongoing theme for many people here.

    Trying to get past lvl 10 was impossible for me. The quests were blah. Nothing epic or exciting. At least in other “tutorials” things seemed large scale. The GW2 starts were a decent example. I just cannot stomach any quest tread mills, which has basically ruined most MMO’s for me atm.

    On top of it all, the WS devs are actively marketing to ex-WoW players, promising a return to the good old days. Those days were great, but when you look back and try to determine why they were great it was because it was fresh and unique at that time. Compare WoW to EQ or other mainstream MMOs at launch and it was very different, border line groundbreaking. There is nothing fresh and unique about WS except a new IP.

    I’m sure WS will be fun if played in a community, but from a pure game play perspective I know it would be a 3-monther, at best, for me.

  • @JJ Robinson: WildStar will be a 3 monther. There’s really no doubt about it. Perhaps it’s a sad state of affairs that I consider that a decent thing now? Maybe it says more about me than the games, but ESO was a 1 monther. I’m actually sitting here thinking, “if I can get 3 months out of WildStar that’s not half bad…”

    Kinda sad, I suppose.

  • I am looking forward to hearing from the people that dropped their ESO sub and are jumping into Wildstar. Especially when I see that most of them did not even reach Vet levels or really play in PvP.

    I want to know why you guys think, on the face of it, that Wildstar’s linear progression quest-driven content will be any less bleh for you?

    Not to be rude, but is it just “Oh newshiny!” syndrome?

  • @Rawblin: In all fairness, and I’ll speak for myself, I don’t think WildStar’s linear progression quest-driven content will be any less ‘bleh’ than ESO’s linear progression quest-driven content.

    I’m hoping that what surrounds the ‘bleh’ will be at least decent enough to keep me playing for 3 months. A big one for me is the housing and the group content that appears to be woven more into the game than ESO’s. ESO tacked on dungeons — they were meaningless while level. WildStar’s adventure zones seem at least more polished.

    In the end, both are quest-centric designs and flawed. ‘Ooh newshiny!’ will play a big part in WildStar just as it did in ESO.

    I don’t play 10 hours a day anymore. I play PC games 3-5 hours a day. If I can do 3-5 hours a day (5-8 on weekends) then I’ll potentially put in 25-36 hours a week in WildStar if it provides enough enjoyment for me to want to log in. ESO was only drawing me in for 5-6 hours a week as I began to get bored.

  • I have been playing off and on for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t been grabbing me in a huge way. Sometimes it feels like there is too much going on onscreen. Up till now I had decided not to buy WIldstar. Then you posted the code and I am thinking 20% maybe worth it. Next thing you know game is bought and I guess I am playing Wildstar. For a month anyway. 😉

  • As someone who played the ESO beta for over 5 minutes but not longer than 10, I can say that the mass unsubbing described in these comments is absolutely no surprise. The two or three week period where everyone was riding high on the game felt like the twilight zone.

  • @Keen That is exactly what I was looking for, thank you. I was not trying to be rude or belittle anyone for playing Wildstar instead of ESO or anything like that. I was just genuinely interested in what made people decide on one linear quest drive over another.

    For me, personally, I can’t stand PvE in a big way, in any game really. It just never interested me at all. I want to interact with other people, but not even just interact, I’d rather fight them than a script. But if I was FORCED to choose a particular TYPE of PvE that I would HAVE to play to get things done… it would always be grinding mobs wherever I wanted, instead of being led by the nose from one pointless quest to the next.

    So yea, I don’t care for the PvE in either game really. But I do know for certain ESO has me when it comes to PvP. You will have to let me know how the guild castle siege thingy goes for Wildstar.

  • I didn’t resub to ESO either. I think the game did a lot of things really well but ultimately there wasn’t enough variety in the activities available. They didn’t have enough “rides” to keep it going through the slow leveling.

    I still think there is a gem of a game in there, they need more time to add more to do other then the questing. End of the day it was worth the purchase and I got over 50-60 hours out of it. I would buy it again.

    WIldstar, I was dead set against getting it. I tried the beta and the first 8 or so levels were re-enforcing my resolve to skip the first major MMO release in 10 years. Then it sort of clicked. I went out and bought the deluxe edition.

    I doubt I’ll be playing it in two months but it’s a theme park game through and through with enough rides to keep me interested until 50 at least. I know I’ll get my 56 dollars out of it. In this day and age that’s all I can ask of any game.

  • I am subscribed to ESO and barring them doing something dumb like adding instanced PvP I will be subbed for foreseable future.

    ESO and CU are the last hope for DAOC fans. Cyrodil is not perfect but it is better then any faction PvP since DAOC. RvR/pvp games are what you make them. You can zerg keeps, or you can defend them and farm the zerg. You can level by questing in Cyro and kill people trying to do the same(its a blast even so its slower then pure pve quest grind). You can intersect reinforcements coming to the zerg. You can camp shard spots to kill those trying to collect etc. Community takes time to develop some campaigns have beginning of it. It will probably take a second campaign(after 90days) when they will severely increase campaign transfers.

    WS.. it looks like such a steaming pile of WoW clone shit they would need to pay me double of my hourly work rate for me to play that.

  • The biggest difference between ESO and WS for me is ESO seemed like it did everything possible to prevent me playing with my friends with phasing etc. The fact that WS is a 3 monther is a no brainer, but already in the past 3 days my group of friends have played together more in WS goofing around with battlegrounds and adventures than we did the entire month we played ESO.

  • I’ve been in the beta for Wildstar a while now, the game does have some problems, dull questing etc. But overall I enjoyed it, I’ll be picking this one up.

    I was a level 9 stalker getting my butt kicked by some rock monsters, I was getting frustrated, I wish I had stealth I was thinking. So I popped open my skill tree to see what I could change around in hopes of finding that new op skill.
    That’s when I saw I’ve had stealth since level 1……. I felt like such a noob and I Ioved it!

  • My guild lost interest in TESO. Regardless TESO had come a long way from the early betas and there were points to love about the game. The landscapes and the armour graphics in particular excited me. The rest of TESO is fairly flat. I was disappointed to see each zone was the same “shades of grey/brown” as the previous.

    I did enjoy the PvP. Some big battles were breathtaking and confusing. Even so I was never really sure what my goals were in the big PvP battles.

    A big problem I had and still have with TESO is the combat system. There simply isn’t any joy in engaging in combat. No weapon even seems to have any real impact. It is a real shame as the graphics for the armor and arms seemed to imply visceral combat. This is a big miss for the game and I hope the developers will one day re-write the whole combat system and completely throw out their old system.

    So as of last week I have now cancelled TESO before the free month expired. I will be playing Wildstar. The combat in Wildstar is the polar opposite of that in TESO even though I am loath to compare these two very different MMO’s.

  • Weirdly, I’ve recently stopped playing ESO for the same reasons. It’s not exactly a bad game, there’s just nothing in it to keep pulling me back. Yeah it feels like a single player game that your friends occasionally “drop in” on but doesn’t even come close to Oblivion or Skyrim. It’s good to see I’m not alone.

    I’m looking forward to Wildstar. Thanks very much for the discount codes! I’m looking forward to playing this on May 31st and the game looks to be everything Elder Scrolls Online should’ve been.

    See you in game!