Tits or GTFO: Let’s Talk Wildstar (Beta Weekends 19th and 20th, 25th – 27th)

First off, if you’re not a MMORPG fan, I can’t say anything to change your mind, except hoverboards and rocket houses. If you thought, “Wait, didn’t I already see something like this when I played Second Life?” I want you to know you’re not alone. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I expect that in 2014 I should have a hoverboard, and it looks like Wildstar is going to deliver on that promise.

Set on the planet Nexus, Wildstar (set for release June 3rd) is, for lack of a better term, a space opera. It has the feel of Firefly or Trigun, which I absolutely love. The two factions are the Alliance and the Ho-wait. (Sorry. Wrong MMORPG leaking in.) Like most games you have two different flags you can wave. In Wildstar you can rep either the Dominion, which is an intergalactic empire that has claimed the planet in the name of recovering lost technology from its previous inhabitants, and the Exiles, from whom you cannot take the sky. Okay, okay, too much Firefly. I get it. Seriously, the Exiles are outlaws, refugees and other misfits who have been driven from their home planets by the Dominion.

The beta I participated in on the 19th and 20th had a lot of bugs. There were so many that the beta was extended until Monday to help players become more experienced with the game. Here’s what I like though: instead of recent beta’s I’ve played in, like The Elder Scrolls, Carbine and NCSoft didn’t blame anyone for the issue. They simply said “Welp, stress test. Let us fix it, and we’ll give you an extra day to play.” I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a customer focused company in the gaming industry.

The problem that was most popularly discussed among players was the massive drop in frame rates throughout that weekend. The minimum requirements posted by Carbine: a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT is what you should be rocking in order to properly experience the game.

My rig has a video card a couple steps above those requirements. However, even on ultra low settings, I couldn’t get my FPS rate to go above ten. Needless to say, this was super disappointing. According to Can You Run It, I should be having no issues. Let’s hope this gets fixed between now and the release date.

I did what every girl does when faced with the task of playing a game in beta to make sure that she’s getting the right Father’s Day gift for her geekmate: I kicked the fiance off of his computer and rocked out some levels.

The character creation options are a lot of fun. I spent about forty minutes playing dress up with my new dolly and ended up playing a Granok from the Exile faction. These guys were banished by the Dominion after losing a war to them and, according to the website, they have “come to Nexus to kick ass and drink beer.” Right up my alley.

granok

Player movement is typical WASD style, and as you acquire abilities, they are linked to a hot key system. The starting levels are engrossing and suck you right into the universe. Not gonna lie, it felt a lot like playing World of Warcraft back in the day. The lore is rich, and the beta accomplished what it should have–it made me go into my bedroom to roll pennies for my rocket house. Rocket house!

This past weekend, April 25th through the 27th was another huge weekend. Supposedly, everyone who has played in beta prior received an invitation. Level caps were increased to 25 in order to give everyone a chance to play with as many features as they wanted. For this beta, I rolled up a cute little monkey-lizard on the Dominion side.

wildstar1 (1)

Word on the street was that my frame rate issue should have been fixed, and I did see improvement. Once I got out of the starting area and into the world, I was mostly lag-free. The questing areas are really nice. The main hubs for each faction are large and disorienting. Wildstar compensates for this by offering a quest that ends up being a tour of the area to acclimate you to the area and highlight the location of important functions, such as mailboxes, vendors, and banks.

A plus that Wildstar has included in their quest system is that you don’t have to run back to a quest-giver every single step on a chain. Turn-ins can be done via your datachron, a communicator that sits on your HUD. Skill path quests are also given through the datachron, eliminating the need to go speak with a trainer for leveling.

A few friends and I formed a guild to check out the party system, and it is awesome. If you happen to outlevel another friend, you can set your character into “mentor” mode, which means you’ll still get XP but your friends won’t be nerfed because you’re helping them. I struggled with the chat channels and sending tells to different people but that’s just because I have no patience for it. Why have a Vent server if you’re just going to be typing? Ugh, so analog.

PvP was a lot of fun, as were the dungeons. The environment of Wildstar and Nexus lends to having an amazing setting to get lost in. The stats for your character seem to be based on theory crafting, which should make even the most jaded MMORPG players excited to play.

Wildstar has done something that a MMORPG hasn’t done for me in a long time. I am genuinely excited to play this game. While there are a lot of similarities between other MMORPG’s, the developers have taken what people dread about the genre and improved it. The community seemed really helpful when people had questions and that’s something I haven’t seen in a long time.  I feel like I did when awaiting vanilla World of Warcraft, or waiting for Everquest and even Elder Scrolls Online to come out (although we won’t talk about what a disappointment that was). I’ll definitely be buying Wildstar, and I see myself getting my subscription fee’s worth out of it each month.

Here’s the pre-order trailer for those of you that want to actually see something before you buy. Silly people.

Al Miller
Resident nerd, glitter goth, and reluctant adult, Al has been writing about the things that make her heart sing for over a decade. She also handles the social media management for The Flounce. Need to have some questions answered or maybe discuss some PR for your upcoming indie game or geek culture project? Want to see if you're soulmates and discuss pizza toppings? Questions about pitching or contributing? email at allison@theflounce.com No dick pics, please.
http://theflounce.com
  • The Pale Mare

    I spent this weekend playing ESO after hearing it talked up by my friends. Like you, I was disappointed in the beta. I will say it is slightly more fun than the beta, but there are no name plates over characters which makes it confusing as fuck.

    I wish I had signed up for this beta! I saw they had a huge booth at PaxEast, but I never stopped in (huge costume pauldrons made the main floor a real drag).

    Thanks for the write up :)