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!


  1. Over the weekend I started avoiding WildStar because it’s just too much work to play it. 🙂 It seems to require an intensity that I can’t keep up for very long any more.

    1. Yeah, that’s sorta the feeling I got from it, too, just from the beta. I think their version of an action battle system appeals to some folks, but not me, and not in a group environment. I just get lost in all that too easily.

  2. Yeah, if you like to solo content and dip in and out of dungeons without panic – it’s perhaps not the best game for you. I’ve found a great group of people to play with so I’m enjoying it immensely but can imagine it being a pain without that.

    1. Hope that you keep enjoying it, to be honest! Just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean other people can’t have fun in it.

      These games are always evolving, and rarely are the same given a year or two down the line. I’ll keep my eye on it and see how it changes — maybe sometime in the future, I’ll give it another shot. 🙂

  3. I can definitely sympathize with some of your comments. The game does have a bit of a learning curve, and it’s a little less casual-friendly than GW2. That said, I almost gave up on it several times, but now it’s starting to click and I’m very much enjoying it. It has loads of personality, the combat is fun, and I love the path missions which adds another dimension to the game. Further, the player housing is the best I’ve ever seen in a game. Also, the story is very compelling without being too complex and convoluted for its own good, and Wildstar’s story integrates much better with the game than the GW2 story (which at times seems tacked on after the fact and almost irrelevant).

    I think the main thing with Wildstar is to try to stay a level or two above your current quests. If you do that, then soloing isn’t that hard. The worst I would say about it is that the planet Nexus will definitely punish you if you’re having an ‘off’ night, and there is a difficulty spike after finishing the starter map (around level 10).

    I used to think that GW2 took the theme park mmo about as far as it could go, but now I think Wildstar has that distinction. I can see myself keeping my subscription for at least 3-4 months. I think it’s the game that SWTOR should have been.

    Anyway, there are free week trials circulating on the web (got mine from Crave Online), and I would recommend you nabbing one and giving it a try.

    1. Hey there John! Thanks so much for your thoughts and feedback! I didn’t know there were free trials circulating out there. Appreciate that info!

      I might try it again sometime, but at this point, no one I know really plays WildStar. I’m still dedicating my subscription money to Final Fantasy XIV — I’m only going to run one sub game at a time. Plus ArcheAge has my attention next week, so I’ve got more game than I know what to do with right now!

      That’s not to say never with WildStar. But at this point, it’s not something on my radar. I’ll give the game some time to mature a little, then maybe see how it goes some time down the road.

      1. Cool. You know it’s my hope with Wildstar that since it’s a scifi mmo, hopefully they will add flyable spaceships at some point. As it stands now they have spaceship missions that are kind of nice, though they play out more like mini dungeons.

        BTW, funny you should mention ArchAge. I tend to agree with what more than a few mmo industry critics have said about how the age of the theme park mmo is drawing to a close, and it’s time for mmo’s to make the transition to sandboxes (like ArchAge). In the past AAA companies have been rather skittish about sandbox mmo’s, but hopefully with games like ArchAge and Elite Dangerous that is now changing.

        In any event I may have to try ArchAge soon since it costs nothing to try.

        ty for your very kind reply, btw. 😀

    2. PS….A word about Wildstar’s subscription model. I have a natural antipathy towards any sort of internet auto-rebilling, but the more mmo’s I play, the more I think the subscription model works best. I mean, by contrast there are annoying paywalls all over SWTOR, so if you don’t subscribe you’re basically a second class citizen. In GW2 you can trade cash store gems for gold and buy your way to end-game gear. And don’t get my started on how badly Cryptic/Perfect World has been increasingly monetizing Star Trek Online. Of course the big exception is the dreadfully boring Elder Scrolls Online with it’s cash store on top of the subscription.

      1. I’m inclined to agree with your feelings on the sub model. For a while, I thought I’d never play another subbed game. I was antsy about trying FFXIV because of it, but now, I feel like there’s a sense of content freedom (strangely enough) I get there compared to cash-shop games.

        Content and features are not (shouldn’t be) gated behind a payshop wall in a sub game. So I feel as if I’m always equal in getting the same fluff and cool stuff as everyone else. It’s a big difference from games like GW2, which seems to be slapping all of it’s cool stuff in the gem store to make a buck. It’s kinda refreshing to know that I’ll never have to pay extra for that cool mini pet, outfit or mount. It’s just there (maybe in a quest, but there).

  4. As something of a status report/followup to my earlier comments on Wildstar, I’m in to my sixth week of the game and I’m sorry to say that the jury is still very much out with me. In fact it’s been a while since I’ve had such conflicting and ambiguous feelings about a game. I mean, there’s a lot to like about WS. The heavily telegraphed combat system is excellent, the game’s visuals and art style are beautiful, the crafting, player housing, and player mounts are among the best I’ve seen in an mmo, the game has a ton of personality, the story/lore are actually pretty good if you pay attention, and you can tell from the attention to detail that WS was a labor of love on the part of the Carbine developers.

    Having said that, it troubles me then that in the past two weeks I’ve more often than not been going back to GW2 instead of WS. I really want to love WS, but thus far it has failed to really grab and engage me and make me want to spend countless hours with it the way I have with other mmo’s like GW2 and STO. Not sure what’s up with that? Maybe a personal preference or mood thing, or maybe that it’s not the most casual-friendly mmo out there? All of the above? I don’t know.

    Anyway, my first subscription month is about to kick in, and I think what I’m going to do is cancel my sub as soon as the transaction clears, then when my sub lapses early next month make a decision if I want to continue. I don’t know, but I’m hoping that WS will really start grabbing and engaging me this month like I really want it to. We’ll see.

    1. I noticed that the team is having a rocky time lately, but it seems like they’re really trying to do the best they can by the players. Do you think the megaserver will be a help to the situation?

      Could be that it’s just time for a break? Possibly come back later when there’s content that excites you in WS again. I tend to cycle through MMOs myself, picking them up on and off, especially if they are F2P or B2P. That’s the nice thing about GW2 and games like it.

      At first I felt bad for doing that – I was a gamer during the time when you dedicated yourself to one MMO and one alone. I think those times are changing. Life’s too short not to be playing something that keeps you captivated, IMHO.

      1. Well-said for sure Aywren. You know, despite the good things I said earlier about the subscription model, the big glaring problem with it is that it’s hard to justify a recurring subscription if you aren’t playing the game at least 3-4 times a week imo.

        FYI, this person on Metacritic summed up almost exactly how I currently feel about WS: “Beautiful game, fun combat, average quests, grindfest endgame. All in all not worth paying a subscription for. That being said is it a bad game? No absolutely not. The game makes me want to love it. But that charm only caries it so far, just nothing about the game hooks me and makes me say “I want to play this over well…pretty much anything else in my library”. And that’s the problem, I cannot justify paying a sub for that.”

        But yeah, you are correct in that I’m probably making a bigger deal out of it than it is. I mean, if I let my Wildstar subscription lapse early next month, I can always easily reinstate it later when I’m more in the mood to play it. I’m a firm believer in that I think mood is the most important thing when deciding what you want to play. Sometimes a game is very good, but you just aren’t in the mood to play it. For example, I’ve currently been watching Star Trek: Enterprise from Netflix, and it’s getting me in the mood to return to Star Trek Online when they release their latest expansion in about two weeks.

  5. PS…..In answer to your question, yes, the megaservers will definitely help. I’m currently on the Evindra RP server, and although I wouldn’t call it a ghost town, it could be better. I also wonder if part of the problem could be that when people are not questing, their hanging out in their private instanced homes?

    And yeah, I agree completely with what you implied about FTP/BTP games like GW2. Despite the obvious flaws in that business model (especially the predatory cash shops), I can leave games like GW2 and STO for months on end with absolutely no feelings of guilt.

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