Game Review – WildStar: Puts the Massive in MMO

Wildstar

 

WildStar, a game from NCSOFT (the same NCSOFT that a couple of years ago released Guild Wars 2), is a title that catches your eye with its ‘Jak and Daxter’ art style. You think by sight alone it’s a soft, humor-based, game with some light action RPG elements, but people that’s only the tip. This game is an awesomely packed onion with layers upon layers of content, challenges, customizable creativity, and yes even character cruelty. There’s more than meets the eye here people, in fact I dare say that even gamers who don’t like the standard MMO game might be interested in what this game offers.

 

 

So as per the MMO usual players will have their choice between ‘The Exiles’ (Chaotic good) and ‘The Dominion’ (Lawful evil) in which they are fighting over the mysterious planet of Nexus which holds more dangers than both groups realize. Each group has their own races to choose from. Classes and ‘Paths’ (Jobs outside of your class) are all available to both factions (although there are Class restrictions to some non-human races). After an obligatory tutorial on either the Destiny or the Gambler’s Ruin (depending on your faction) you’ll land on the planet and the real game begins. Combat is very action & skill oriented, using ‘telegraphs’ players (and enemies) can line-up their attacks to their opponents and light them up – auto attacks don’t exist in WildStar. The Paths will keep you very busy as well because they give players a wide variety of tasks to accomplish for their faction, yourself, and sometimes other players. Challenges also exist in WildStar and they can be active by killing something or interacting with an object. All this, and the usual questing, crafting, PVPing you can want.

And that, my friends, is the main strength of the game: number of things to do. Most MMOs, even the best ones, are very straight forward and somewhat predictable. WildStar excels at ‘choosing your own adventure’ and even rewards you for going off the beaten path. Sure things start off with fetch quests and grinding but the deeper you get into Nexus the more epic your adventure becomes. Secret events, alternate paths, hidden treasures, non-quest related elite enemies, challenges of skills, way, way, more are available outside main story. In fact this game is so fully loaded that it would take me several more pages highlighting in great detail how this game breaks the mold – and it’s all good. So anything that’s bad with WildStar? Sadly yes.

 

 

For one; people with AMD Radeon graphic cards, like myself, are subjected to less than stellar frame rates (put the graphic on low to get some playing done). Also the game doesn’t like to save configuration options when you change them, so every time you log out you’ll have to redo those setting over & over again. These problem are annoying but NCSOFT patches things constantly (gold farmers and spam is almost a thing of the past thanks to past patches) so I’ll give them the benefit of a doubt. The biggest miss of the game, non-bug related, is the player’s part in the WildStar story. The Old Republic’s storytelling is amazing, because it makes players seem like the most important character in the game. No matter the class, the storyline for that class puts you front & center in the Star Wars universe as the next force (mind the pun) to reckon with – and doing that in a game of thousands is impress. WildStar doesn’t have that; it has every else going for it, but I can’t help but feel like I’m just some NPC’s gofer.

 

 

Ranking

TPoP-Pass-sign

 

WildStar doesn’t disappoint, it was everything it advertised and then some. Seriously I didn’t even talk about the five man VR missions with multiple endings, players housing with insane amount of customization, costumes for your characters (with dyeing options), crafting that actually takes some skill (or luck) to craft the good stuff, sharing elite quest kills without being group together, PVP that actually pretty balanced and doesn’t make the warrior a walking p0wn target, and the even more still. If only the graphic cards and options hiccups weren’t here the game would be perfect software wise. As for the story and our place in it, well, WildStar is more about the journey than the destination and trust me there are a lot of journeys on the planet Nexus. Speaking of which – if you’ll excuse me I’m going to set my personal record of licking a toad, break gravity, and try to lick more toads in the tall tree house of bunnies.

 

 

 

Game Prview – Wildstar Warplots

 

I know, I know I said I wouldn’t show or talk about Wildstar anymore til the game launch, but after I found out about this I couldn’t help myself: Warplots. I won’t say anything else just follow the link and watch the videos and I’ll allow the awesomeness to effect you in that way.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.3 – Wildstar Release Date

 

Well people we wrap this three week journy of awesomeness with the annoncent we’ve been waiting for (or at least I’ve been waiting for): pre-order and Release Date! Yay! Sadly it is not soon enough for me but my 7th generation consoles will make the  time go that much faster (by the by Titanfall and Second Son Reviews coming soon). Now I’ve showed all the important bits, in my opinion, to get you all ready for Wildstar but they more to show and see just hit them up at their website or youtube page to get even more informed. Til then people see you on Nexus!

 

 

 

Bonus!

 

PVP! You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.3 – Adventures

 

The end, it’s sad I know but sooner or later you reach the end – of a game story. It’s especially sad in MMOs where you reached the highest level, have gear spec’ed to the max and you’re basically unstoppable only to have nothing challenging to fight end game. Well the Wildstar devs heard your cries and came up with something that even the most angriest of video game nerds might like: Adventures. Basically Adventures are a cross between the Matrix and Smash TV, a group enters into a virtual reality where they challenge the some-what unstable AI to a series of simulations ranging from alternate timelines to crazy no-way scenarios. If the group is successful then great rewards and bragging right would be theirs, but if they failed then everyone would die a very real death… I don’t imagine people taking the VR adventures in the Wildstar more than once, but hey for us this is a very perfect way to separate the gamers from the lamers – and people I’m no lamer. All that’s left to say is Adventure Time!!!!1! Sorry couldn’t help myself…

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.3 – Paths

 

You remember people last week how I was talking about how engineering was job and not a class in most MMOs? Well feel that I need to clarify what I meant by ‘job’. See in MMOs players don’t just fight evil (or good depending on you faction) but they can also choose a job to learn. The benafit from a job is that, depending on the job mind you, players can get customized, speciallized, and/or unqiue item, weapons, and gear. Jobs usually involves alot of gathering ‘resoruces’ and learning new ‘recipes’ from vendors and the like. The job system in itself is not bad but it involves alot of busy work (some of which is not fun); even swtor, who had the most streamlined job system in my opinion, still had those familiar pitfall of jobs. Now I said all of that to say that Wildstar is atempting to change the job system; they don’t even all it ‘jobs’ they call them ‘Paths’. There’s only four (Settler, Scientist, Explorer, and Soldier) but with each path you can do so much and they aren’t limited to class or race either. From what I’ve seen people I’m very excited and impressed, I want to try them all. Get in the know and watch these vids.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.3 – Ability Mechanics

 

Sure the colorfulness of the game is neat, the races are unique, and classes are super chic; but a game isn’t a game if under the hood ain’t right. Fortunately Wildstar has that covered as well, small thing they done to make combat and movement as dynamic as possible. Now they have a few videos on the subject, but in the interest of our week schedule I’ll only show the most important one (in my opinion) because it deals with something players will be doing a lot of: using abilities.

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.3 – The Stalker

 

It’s not over yet people (although this is the last week, I promise); Wildstar keeps rolling on with content. First the last of the classes and then some detail stuff, and finally a little surprise at the end of the week (chances are Wildstar fans already know though, but still). Anyway, the Stalker, basically your stealth class; that has gadgets, nanotech, combat stealth, and the ability to tank… Ok so it’s not your basic stealth class, watch the vids to learn more – as well as the thrilling conclusion of Team Frost v. Team Moore.

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.2 – The Engineer

 

Now people, I’ll be honest with you I love the Engineer job set in MMOs. Now they’re not always called ‘Engineers’ in MMO’s, sometimes they’re called ‘Cybertech’, other times it’s called ‘Crafting’. Whatever the name it’s a job path that allows players to make cool stuff that explodes, shoots, or does something neat. However in some cases MMOs will make the Engineer job into it’s own class – with various degrees of success (honestly the best engineer class in my experience was the TF2 Engie). Wildstar’s take on the Engineer, I think, will be the one that will do the ‘class’ right. For one it has an all-purpose cannon that zap, burn, bomb, or shoot down enemies. Another thing is that this class has heavy armor (probably the first time for the class actually) so it can DPS or Tank. And of course players can rock bots which can off-tank, heal, DPS, and crowd control. So yeah Engineer is a one man army and yes, chances are I’ll be pick this class once the game comes out.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.2 – The Medic

 

Just to be clear, not the medic from Team Fortress 2 (although that would’ve been awesome) but a futuristic sciencey version of a medic in Wildstar. Now sooner or later players always try a healer class once, and why not? It feels awesome to be the most important class in the group, that life and death begins and ends with me, and after a tough battle one person will always say ‘Nice heals!’ However most healer classes don’t have anything else outside of group activities and usually get slaughtered in PvP or bored in solo adventures. Wildstar’s medic will change all of that, not only does it multitask their abilities with the use ‘stations’ and ‘probes’ but they look awesome doing it. Also similar to the Spellslinger, they don’t just stand still but they move all over the field to best their skills. Finally – they can bring the pain DPS style to the enemies; hey you never took the Hippocratic oath. Now some might prefer the classic healer archetype, but don’t fear the unknown people, give this updated version a try you might like it.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: Wildstar Week Pt.2 – The Spellslinger

 

Magic + Guns = class type? Apparently so since the next class in Wildstar is the Spellslinger, which is a lightening fast DPS masta. Armed with dual mag pistols, sigils, and the ability to teleport between dimensions this class is perfect for players who don’t like to take damage but sure love to give it. Also they can heal like crazy so in the event of them actually getting hurt (or their allies) they can break out the ol’ healing shots and get back into the fight. Finally, heavy armor might save your life, but the slingers gear looks several times cooler than any other class. Having magical six shooters, pain inducing sigils, healing, and short range porting alone makes it an inventive, awesome class – looking cool doing is just icing on the cake.