WildStar Launch Feedback Confirms It’s Not the Game for Me

So I’ve been keeping an eye on the WildStar launch, especially blogger reactions to the game. Seems like aside from the DDOS attacks (sucky move by whomever), it’s been fairly smooth. I heard plenty of happy things about the game, especially if you enjoy the housing and such. I wish those players tons of fun, and hope it’s all they want it to be.

But then I hear things that only strengthen my resolve to stay away from the game. I had an itchy feeling during beta that WildStar didn’t appeal to me. It seemed too flashy, a bit too quirky, a game that was trying too hard to set itself apart… which aren’t bad things in moderation. Something about it as a total package just didn’t mesh with my gaming personality.

Maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe there’s something to my beta assessment.

I’m reading bloggers who are playing right now to get a sense of the feedback. It’s a hot topic, and even Tumblr has a strong WildStar community rolling (much the same as the GW2 community was back at release). It’s good to hear different thoughts on what’s fun and not so fun. Much of it confirms my early impressions.

Bright battles are bright!

About Grouping: 

The questing content is difficult — not impossible to solo, but difficult — enough to make grouping up attractive.

Even tradeskills have a high level of interdependence, which means it will be a lot easier to craft if you have friends who can help out with parts.

Source: Herding Cats

I see how this can be a positive for those who enjoy the oldskool need-to-group MMO mentality. I’ve never been one of those people. I get this group anxiety, which prevents me from tackling most content that is forced grouping (something I’m learning to overcome in FFXIV). If I’m not playing with friends, I’ll solo content in games about 98% of the time.

Games like GW2 that allow casual grouping/not grouping to complete events are wonderful for someone like me. I enjoy helping people and working with people, I just get really nervous in a group of strangers. Groups with friends are okay, so if I were to play WildStar, sounds like I’d need friends to enjoy it.

About Adventures and Dungeons: 

The result was that I still don’t like the “hardcore” Wildstar adventures and dungeons. They are simply too fast and twitchy for me to be enjoyable. There is even less tactical thinking involved than in a WoW dungeon. For example as dps warrior I had very little control over who I was hitting when the enemies were bunched together, and no way to check aggro.

…Ranged dps have a huge advantage of having a much easier time avoiding the area attacks of the enemies, as melee it was nearly impossible to fight a group of enemies without getting hit as there were telegraphs everywhere. So in the end the whole thing played like a long firework of flashing lights and button mashing with very little feeling of having control over the situation.

I like the Wildstar combat in the solo version, because it is less trivial than the WoW equivalent. But I find it scales up badly to 5 players fighting half a dozen mobs. And the absence of a “normal” dungeon mode for more casual players annoys me, I don’t want to play heroic all the time.

Source: Tobold’s Blog

This was something I sensed the moment I understood how battle worked. Even solo play in WildStar was a bit too flashy with too many projections on the ground for me. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like when you get into a group with that kind of play.

Where do you even… do anything in this mess?

I’m also seeing a sad trend where ranged DPS is king. I think it’s the nature of these action battle systems. It sucks because I love melee DPS. I feel it even in FFXIV where Dragoons are looked down upon and Bard has become my favorite DPS class for ease of use.

More about Dungeons:

I’m not sure I’m going to like dungeons and group play in WildStar. It’s hard to tell from just one Adventure, but there are so many colorful flashing things happening on the screen that it’s damn near impossible to see what’s going on. It’s like GW2 on steroids. I’m hoping that the more you play, the more you’ll be able to key on specific visuals and filter out the useless noise (and/or that some Addon will come out that makes it better). And also I’m hoping there are some settings to tone down other players’ effects. (This is something that FFXIV got exactly right, incidentally.)

Source: Endgame Viable 

Sounds like more folks agree with the color, flash and overwhelmed feeling. What seemed pretty crazy solo must be mindmelting in dungeons. Sounds like a combination (twitchy gameplay + overwhelming graphics + grouping) that would be everything I’d dislike.

About Game Style:

Simply put, this game is just not ideal for the casual player. Doesn’t matter if you want to attach the term casual to a player who doesn’t have the requisite skill or interest or time.

If you suck at moving from plainly obvious telegraphed markings on the ground, you will die.

If you suck at timing your key presses, you will not be able to take advantage of certain bonuses.

If you can’t invest the necessary time to grind out the cash or develop your character, you won’t be very effective.

Source: World of Matticus 

I’ll wrap this up by restating that this doesn’t mean WildStar is a bad game. It’s just sounding less and less like the game for me. Which I pretty much already knew. Thanks to bloggers for giving the honest reports!