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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wildstar Beta Early Look

So I've been playing Wildstar for the past day now. If you're crying out, "That's not enough time to play the game and experience everything to the fullest!" then I'd like to say A) this is more of a look on the stuff I've played so far, B) every single one of my reviews are based on just a few hours at most of playing it because I believe if I go for more than an hour, I must like the game or want to traverse it more and C) when it comes to an MMO, B's approach makes sense in the short term.

The game is still in its beta stages and from playing it, I can see why. A few art assets are missing from tutorials for a minor problem and for a major problem is a few times where I wish the game would have crashed instead of what it did. Literally, just a few seconds ago I was playing it and a bug happened to me where my XP bar (both of them) was completely gone and some of the NPCs were at different height levels (ie. one was in the ground while another was floating in the sky). But hey, its a beta. And its not the worst beta I've ever played nor the most buggy. Just saying, the game still does need work, but its playable and these kind of bugs are bearable. The beta lasts until Sunday and the only reason I was able to get my hands on a beta key was to preorder the game. Admittedly, I took the dumb route and preordered the most expensive version at about 70 bucks if I remember correctly (which really just includes some cosmetic stuff).

The game is... actually fun. I've been hearing some people that you shouldn't listen to anyone who hasn't played up until level 40 and that's just insane. With an MMO, I don't want to justify my actions for playing this game well into the twilight hours of the game or even when I hit the elder game content and the level cap. No, the game should be judged on the first ten to twenty levels. If you don't like it within that time, try to work around it or stop playing. Its ridiculous to think that the best of the game is days ahead of me. And I can honestly say ya its pretty fun. All the classes feel unique and are available at this stage of the game. My personal favorite is the Spellslinger and I'll talk about that in a minute via the telegraphs. The story is a bit bewildering considering the bugs in the game are in some of the cut scenes. Minor bugs, sure, but its enough to make me skip over those points in favor of the combat.

Combat is actually pretty decent. Its not your standard click this enemy MMO, but rather a bit of skill is needed. The game sports a telegraph system which basically means that enemies will telegraph their attacks via cones, bubbles and other shapes that lie on the ground, giving you ample time to run or push all the damage you can into the enemy to stop them. You also have a dodge mechanic... which I'm not too fond of. You can dodge twice before you have to wait for it to recharge. This makes sense considering there's PvP, but in terms of everything else, it needs some fine tuning. Sure, it works, but it never feels like it works. If that doesn't make sense to you, neither does it to me. Suffice it to say, when I dodge, sometimes I get hit and other times I don't. Maybe that's just my fault but I can't get past that feeling to be honest. The reason my favorite class is the Spellslinger is because it works so well with this system. My moves are very sniper-ish. My telegraphs go pretty long and not very wide. This works because I can select my targets. Early on in the game there will be enemies who don't want to attack you right next to those who want to and my class easily allows me to pick and choose. The Stalker would be my second favorite for its stealth ability and massive damage. Makes combat more calculated than fun but still fun which I like.

Quests are a bit of a mess. Some quests want you to go through a large area to find stuff or kill enemies... it doesn't properly display this. Some quests need you to go to certain areas to get something... sometimes it sends you in the wrong area. When you pick up a quest, the quest giver will still have the same exclamation point above their head, making you think you still have quests to pick up in an area. I'm just saying a simple art asset change would keep the exclamation point for quests you still need to pick up, and something else for quests you're currently on. That's my major gripe. The mini map also doesn't seem to work for this either. There's been about two different quest markers on it since I've been playing instead of being a bit more of everything. Sounds weird when I say it, but trust me if you play this you'll know what I'm talking about. The large map doesn't seem to facilitate this well either. You'll have random numbers for quests and they'll be on the map. Its a bit confusing at first, but you get the hang of it after a while.

Honestly there's not much else to talk about. The game is fun and definitely worth a look when you have the chance. After this beta preorder weekend, there's only one other coming up from May 2nd going till May 4th, so if you want to play the game by then, that's probably your best time till the game releases in June. Honestly I'm looking forward to this game in the final product. It looks great and plays well.

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