The curious case of Wildstar

OK, first of all- i’m not going to write anything regarding choice of guilds or games on this blog again, ever. It seems whenever i publish something along the lines of “i’ll stop looking for guilds” or “i’ll play only one game” or “i’ll play one hundred games” something happens that’ll make me reconsider. And then i’ll feel bad and think i couldn’t possibly blog about a change of affairs again. But since this is my internet-space here and it’s either being honest or shutting up, i choose the former.

For reasons i don’t want to elaborate on, it seems like one of my long-time online friends and me are going to start a guild/community of our own. It’s something i would have never thought would happen to me again, largely because of a lack of time and other commitments, but to be honest, i really looked around and couldn’t find a german community that is close to what i have in mind.

There are international communities that come very, very close, like Belghast’s FC in Final Fantasy XIV (where you’ll still find me when playing FF14) and i’d really recommend looking into The Arcane Light (for The Secret World and Skyforge, i guess) and/or the Remnants of Hope (for SWTOR, GW2 and Wildstar). Both of them are quite organised in terms of policies, though, which is my preference when it comes to guild/communities, but if you prefer a more casual approach to guilds, my advice would be to look into one of the new Massively Overpowered guilds, active in Marvel Heroes, SWTOR and Everquest 2, if i remember correctly. For my friends, though, joining an international community is not an option.

Now, we’re still in the planning phase and might still call it off, but it doesn’t seem likely. The funny thing is that we needed a game, as well, and didn’t know which one to pick- the best candidates were GW2, SWTOR and Wildstar. I’ll make it short, for our very first regular game, we chose Wildstar. This will be the game in which we’ll start looking for other players.

I think Wildstar is an excellent choice, because there are many elements you could tackle in a group- regarding PvE, but also social activities, especially with the coming neighbourhoods. Housing, Crafting, PvE and setting deviate from the norm- i don’t have the insight yet if these systems are implemented in a good way or not, but at least they’re there. And lastly, Wildstar is going free-to-play soon(tm) and there will be an influx of players returning or beginning with the game, providing us with a pool of potential guildmates.

And then, i started playing.

Nooria Mersault is born

Changes

My biggest concern with the game last year wasn’t the subscription- it was that i found the game to be utterly stressful- mob spawn rates were almost as fast as in Vanguard-on-life-support, the action combat made combat an active thing, which is great, gameplay-wise, but in addition the game kept shouting at me. Challenge here, challenge there. LEVEL UP. And so on. Also, Elder Scrolls Online also launched in that same timeframe, so Wildstar had to compete with that. At that time, i preferred Elder Scrolls Online.

There are a few subtle changes in Wildstar that improved the game experience much in my opinion. Namely: using a mount at level 3 and the redesign of the “Challenge” UI. It doesn’t scream as much, anymore. And maybe i’m wrong, but i’ve got the feeling the time you have to finish a Challenge has been increased- these Challenges stressed me out, big time, last year- this time, i can do most of them easily.

Similarities

Wildstar is often compared to World of Warcraft- with the art style and the raiding, “hardcore” mentality and their obvious attempt to give “The Burning Crusade”-players a new home, i can see how this came to be. In my opinion, right now, and i’ve read something like that implied by Bhagpuss, as well, the comparison i’d make is Everquest 2, though.

There are many systems i really like in EQ2, and while Wildstar doesn’t do things exactly like EQ2, there’s a counterpart for almost everything.

Things i love about EQ2 are: open world bosses, an alternative and viable way to level from one to max in a group, open world dungeons, the crafting, housing and some “fluff” features like the shinies.

It's also quite beautiful
It’s also quite beautiful

While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more modern MMORPG with the same type and scope in these systems, i think two games come relatively close: Rift and Wildstar. Sure, if you go through that list, almost every item will get a “yes, but” for Wildstar, but still, they’re there. There are open-world bosses and achievements tied to killing them, there are ways to level as a group- at least starting with the first shiphand at level 6 and the 5-level-distance of dungeons coming with free-to-play. They’re instanced, though. The crafting system is different, but i think it provides value (i’m an architect, by the way). There’s the path system and the wardrobe for fluff and then there’s a great housing system. There’s mount- and pet collecting and who knows what i still don’t know about.

Fun

The most important part is that i’m having quite a bit of fun in the game. It still is quite stressful; i’m level 12 now and have almost 20 active quests in my questlog- in my opinion, that’s too much, it’s distracting because you’ll log in and have to find out what you wanted to do next. Wildstar, more than other games in this genre, requires me to actively “take it slow”- if you let the pace of the game carry you along it will be exhausting.

That’s why i actively set time aside for exploration, gathering, crafting and soon housing and the auction house / commodity exchange, as well. As long as i’m able to pace the game down, i’ll be quite happy- and i’m really looking forward to free-to-play.

What i won’t do, though, is calling Wildstar my one-and-only MMORPG. I’ve got some goals to achieve in many, many other MMOs, as well. As i said in my last post: i’m done restricting myself and will simply do what feels right…and fun.

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6 thoughts on “The curious case of Wildstar

  1. Found myyself having a lot more fun this time around then at launch. Guess I am not stressing as much as I did then. Just wondering around, exploring, doing my path, trying to do all quests so I get reputation so I ca buy some housing things. But I try to make sure I switch around what I do, very often, so I don’t get stuck doing one thing, like questing.

    I do some quests, then I change it up with some gathering, or some exploring. Go to my house and whatever. Only level 20 but having a blast right now 😀

    1. So it’s not just me! 😀 I noticed quite a few people returning to Wildstar in anticipation of the coming free-to-play-transition.

      I agree, it’s very important to pace yourself in that game. Obviously, Wildstar is far, far away from a sandbox design, but it’s a really good idea to actively make your own choices on what you want to do in a session…just following the flow of the game is a quick way to (game) burnout, even with Carbine making some effort to relax the pace a bit.

      Also: great, a new blog (discovery). Looking forward to reading yours.

      Edit: Oh wait, no, i know you! You moved in my absence, right?

      1. Yeah, last time I played I got stuck in that quest quest quest path, and by the time I hit level 20 I was done. Important to switch it up in this game. The combat is so active that you need breaks from it, else you get tired from that as well.
        And thank you 😀 Added you back, will be fun to follow your progress in Wildstar and see the guild start!

  2. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head of what was perhaps the biggest anchor around the necks of many from enjoying the game. The pressure’s off. People are allowed to enjoy the game without feeling like they’re being yelled at by a drill instructor or that all that waits for them at the end is elitist raid nonsense.

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