WildStar Beta Impressions and Final Thoughts

WildStar

These are some final thoughts and impressions from this past weekend’s WildStar beta event. Overall the test was mostly stable. This was the first weekend test event since pre-orders for WildStar became available. One of the “perks” of purchasing a pre-order is access to weekend beta events, so this was the first such event where Carbine was not in direct control of the player population and the potential stress on the WildStar servers. That said, there were no major issues in terms of server stability during the time played. Latency also did not appear to be an issue, although more often than not when these problems do occur, it is due to something related to the player’s connection on Internet traffic in general. The game itself is not always the culprit.

One item Carbine may have to address is the ease of completing quests in the low level areas of WildStar. This is an issue that almost every massively multiplayer online (MMO) game faces. When a game first launches, there is an overabundance of players “clustered” in the low level areas. This is simply due to the fact that everyone is starting at the same place. These eases over time as players advance at different paces and the population begins to spread out over a broader range of levels and zones. But at the beginning, the game faces a bit of a “traffic jam,” and WildStar is no exception to this.

There were some quests and objectives in both the Exile and Dominion starting areas that were difficult to complete due to the large number of players in the area. Required items were difficult to find, and monsters were scarce. WildStar does attempt to alleviate this problem somewhat with the way it tracks quest progress and assigns credit. The game does not use the traditional “tagging” mechanic present in most MMO’s. Any player who damages a monster needed for a quest receives credit upon that monster’s death, allowing them to advance the quest regardless of who took the “first shot.” However this system is of little help when there are simply no monsters to kill in the first place, and this is the precise problem that was encountered in a few situations. Players were standing around waiting for monsters to appear. This “spawn rate” will have to be examined before the game launches. This is one final impression from this weekend’s WildStar beta test.

A comment must also be made about the changing nature of testing in general. Beta testing used to be primarily what the name implies, testing. However in recent years this has not proven to be case. Instead these tests seem to serve two other primary purposes, with testing an almost distant third consideration. More often than not, beta testing for MMO’s today is more about marketing and publicity. Testing access is given as a perk to those who invest in the game, either by purchasing it early, or purchasing a more expensive version of the game with a greater number of perks. Beta testing is also used to generate publicity for the game. Players are encouraged to share their experiences, or members of the gaming media are granted access. The actual refinement of the game itself becomes less of an issue.

At the end of the weekend the question must be asked, is WildStar worth purchasing? At this point it is difficult to give a definitive answer. The game is undoubtedly fun and entertaining. If a player is not currently committed to an MMO that requires an ongoing investment of time and money, then it is easy to recommend WildStar as the game to fill that void. For players who are already committed to a similar game however, it is difficult to recommend WildStar. There is not enough difference between this game and similar MMO’s such that if a player is already playing one of them (i.e. World of Warcraft, RIFT, Star Wars: The Old Republic, etc.) that they would feel the need to invest in WildStar as well. Time may prove differently, but based on impressions from this weekend’s beta test, that is how it appears now.

This was a final look at WildStar based on impressions from this past beta test.

Commentary Review by Christopher V. Spencer
On Twitter @CVSpencer79

Sources:

WildStar Official Website

9 Responses to "WildStar Beta Impressions and Final Thoughts"

  1. Bobo   May 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I SMELL LIKE POOP AND AUTISM

    Reply
  2. klepp0906   April 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    wow. was about to reply when your lovely site overtook my comment with an awesome popup ad and continued on to redirect me back after waiting a ridiculous amount of time. Problem was – it redirected me back with my several paragraph comment completely erased.

    Awesome!

    GG website – GG wildstar. Disappointingly ill be stuck in ffxiv ALL the way until pantheon it seems. (ffxiv is an amazing game – just not what i want out of an mmorpg. theyve already begun the wowification)

    fwiw in short – i agree w/ the OP. If you have no other commitment, wildstar is fun. If you do – i dont expect them to pull many players from their current GoC.

    Reply
  3. Titus Balsac   April 4, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Some people here posting claim to have years of MMO experience but half of them say things that does not make sense like the one who says Rift has no housing heh.

    Reply
  4. Sean Rivers   April 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I had a very enjoyable time playing the game. I am a long time player of WOW and I have played just about every other MMO. I really like this game because, like Warcraft, it does not take itself too seriously. Too many games are cool (SWTOR) or innovative (Rift or Secret World), but most forget they need to be fun. My weekend was fun and that is my primary gauge to recommending a game.

    I really love the battle system, not needing to target is really cool, avoiding damage is also cool.

    The only thing I did not like was the Instant Challenges, they kind of come out of the blue and derail my zen-like questing ritual. I end up ignoring them almost every time. If I am really concentrating, they can even make me jump. They could use refinement.

    It was only one weekend but it was a good one. I am looking forward to more from this game as it matures.

    Reply
  5. Aurora   March 31, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I absolutely agree that it’s about marketing. I like to play all kinds of MMOs but I don’t like paying $40 or $60 for something I’ll lose access to if I hate it after two weeks. I always sign up for betas of the one I’m interested in. If I’m on the fence about a game and I don’t get beta access to try it out, I don’t buy that game or I’ll wait for a friend weekend. If you give me access and I enjoy it, then I’ll probably preorder and often spring for the CE, too.

    Reply
  6. Jesse   March 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    This is a poor review… I am just trying to figure out how ” There is not enough difference between this game and similar MMO’s” ….. Wow, SWTOR and rift dont have things like housing, warplots, adventures and so on. As an experienced MMO player if u rolled WoW, rift and swtor into a ball you get wildstar. YES WoW is the “MMO to beat” but tell me how wildstar in general isnt a better game that offers more and has up to date graphics????????

    Reply
    • haczu   May 9, 2014 at 1:24 am

      you have no idea what Rift is nowadays do you? Its a game way better than when it was p2p… also it has the best Cash shop model out of any F2P games Ive seen so far…Also… warplots? it has similar large scale pvp… housing? has a very complex housing system… Pretty much everything I say in Wildstar I’ve already seen in Rift so pls dont misslead ppl bcoz of your ignorance…

      Reply
  7. SkoobieSnacks   March 31, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    So I’m a bit confused. Is this beta impression of Wildstar based on the first few levels of questing only? How do we judge an MMO based on the first few levels of questing? Roll a gnome in wow and you will never believe after the first five levels of pre-school rubbish questing that this game has MILLIONS of rabid fans. Play the first 10 levels of SWTOR and you will think it is the coolest MMO ever – only to be very sorely disappointed 20 or so levels later. With respect, it’s very hard to take anything away from these “final thoughts”.

    Reply
  8. GeorgieBandito   March 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

    My thoughts on Wildstar, telegraphed skilled based combat which makes PvP, Dungeons, and Adventures more exciting then the basic tab target and select skill.

    Dungeons, Adventures, Raids – 40 man raiding, 20 man raiding, exciting dungeons that are challenging, and fun. Time will tell if they will be toned down which I hope not, as I feel the game offers a wide range of end game.

    PvP, Warplots, Arenas – PvP at the moment is a zurge at times, yet using dodging, and escape telegraphs I have taken on a large zurge with smaller groups, and easily overtaken that group. Takes more skill and more strategy will show up once more play, ranked will be interesting, though we will have to wait and see with warplots.

    The game doesn’t show a favoritism yet towards PvP or PvE, and I like the Rival system.

    Towns, and Map – Have to say that my biggest gripe is finding a skill trainer in every area. This is why being a settler pays off as I could summon one. Probably will make each toon a settler.

    Paths – So far to me settler has the bonus with PvE and making the grind less treacherous, as summoning a vendor, and skill trainer is amazing. Yet the jumping puzzles are great fun, while the warrior path got to be rather mindless at the end of Beta, and I have to try scientist more as I like the idea of binding anywhere.

    The ui is getting a rework for next beta, and in my opinion this game looks to be a decent void that has been missing in my MMO life. I will be leaving Swtor and TSW behind for Wildstar.

    Yet this is only my opinion

    Reply

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