Monday, 5 May 2014

I tried Wildstar and I don't know.

As my friends left ESO, they began talking about what to try next. Wildstar came up more in conversation, a game I've known about but haven't held much interest in. I got into this weekend's beta and finally gave it a go.

It's going to be somewhat difficult to talk about in that my mixed feelings are not love/hate. Rather a meh/eh relationship where nothing disappointed or impressed me. People spoke about ESO being 'painfully average' and perhaps this is what they meant by it.

Mind you, I only got to level 8. In open beta I may get farther but 8 is as far as I've got so far, and my opinions on the game are limited as such. I played an Exile Human Stalker and a Dominion Chua Esper.

Art: Love it.  That's really about it, some don't like it, I do.

Controls:....floaty. Animations have no weight to them. I appreciate them leaning your character while turning, but as someone who rebinds his keys to strafe and turns with his mouse, the camera freaks out.

Combat: Not bad, tab targeting with all moves based on templates. All about movement but no collision detection... My gripe however, is not just limited to this game, but many as of late. It seems the whole genre is at war against the idea of auto-attack. Every build in Wildstar depends on a 'spam' move outside of cool downs. Isn't that what auto-attack was originally supposed to address back in the day? I don't enjoy spamming my 1 key outside my other abilities. I'd rather just have an auto attack and use abilities as needed. Or do what ESO/Smite did and make basic attacks a manual operation from mouse clicks. Or create a system that does not rely on spam moves. City of Heroes had 2-3 second cooldowns on the most basic of powers and a long global cool down. With this and no DPS meters it was more important as to what powers you used as opposed to true rotations. I may be off topic now, long story short, I'm tired of spamming things, bring back auto-attack.

Writing: I've said the low levels is usually the worst for writing, that is true here. I almost already don't care if it improves later. This game knows not the word subtlety. Did you know it's a space western? Don't worry, if you didn't know, the Exile areas will let you know. And then remind you every single time a character opens their mouth in case you forgot. Because it's a space western, and that's the most important fact of the whole narrative, that it's a space western. The gist of what I'm saying, is that the game will tell you it's a space western. Three times I logged out for a break because I couldn't handle having it shoved any further down my throat, and I LIKE space westerns. Dominion side was better about tone, but at the same time had to shove down my throat the fact that 'we do morally questionable things' at all times. I like the feel of being part of an empire, but 'hey, mind scan citizens for impure thoughts, if they have any we'll donate them to science' is literally the first thing they ask you to do. Then the 'loving' emperor goes on about how he thinks they can be saved. Then your second task, is to commit lethal science to them. It doesn't help that every single character I ran into is a 2D character meant to fill a bit. Writing is NOT this games strength, on the whole it hurts me.

Paths: I think they miss the point of exploration. In old WoW, the zone Azshara was a favorite of mine. I found some cool stuff there, neat waterfalls and the like. It was special because I didn't have a beacon going 'THERE IS A COOL THING OVER HERE'. In these games I am an explorer, but the explorer path is obviously not for me.

Music: Love it, simple, music on both sides was nice.

I still need to try the pvp, if anything I would stay for that. But again the idea of the treadmill content system worries me. I don't see a future for myself in Wildstar, I see a month spent seeing the sights, while blocking my ears to avoid having the writing ruin those sights for me.

So Wildstar is not the next thing for me, I've started looking into ArcheAge a bit more. I still know incredibly little but apparently it turns into a sandbox. I like the class system on paper, the housing and crime systems on paper. $150 is a bit steep for me to get alpha access, perhaps I'll get a beta package later, I don't know.

That is perhaps the point of the post. What's the future of my MMO gaming? I don't know.


1 comment:

  1. I completely agree on auto-attack. I fail entirely to see how my game experience is improved by having to hammer the keyboard or hold down the mouse button just to get the same effect (only less efficiently). There are things that just should be automated and a basic attack function is one of them.

    I didn't think the writing was that bad. It's computer-game bad, naturally, but it's not bad computer-game bad. I only played Dominion though and only to level 6. The "though crime" sequence of quests is a bit of a "really? I mean, REALLY?" moment, especially in a tutorial, but I've gotten so hardened to these things from fifteen years of MMO gaming that I just shrugged it off. It was sufficiently ill-judged that I noticed it, though.

    I suspect that WildStar would become quite tiresome quite quickly but I don't expect to find that out from personal experience. The odd visit now and again in beta or when they put up the inevitable free trials or go F2P should satisfy any mild curiosity I have.