Editorial alert! Editorial Alert! Bring out the pitchforks!
With Wasteland 2 out the door shortly, followed by Civ:BE a month after, I’ve come to the conclusion that Wildstar time is taking a backseat. I like the game, certainly. There’s just nothing left for me to do that I think is worth investing my time in. Sort of.
Good news to start. The stuff that works, works really well. The LAS and action combat is amazing. I’ve only have this level of fun in Neverwinter but Wildstar takes it to a new level. Picking and choosing skills between battles, applying strategy to it all, paying attention to what’s on screen. All that works. It’s a major skill gap for a lot of people but it’s great once you get the hang of it.
Raids. Now this is taken from the subset of raiders who are actually raiding and the videos produced. I’ve raided in most MMOs that have the option. From EQ’s zerg-fest, to Vanilla’s healer rotation and Rift’s sparkle-fest. There’s the right level of challenge and skill needed to beat Wildstar raids and the general consensus from raiders is that it’s worth the effort to get there.
Housing. Outside of EQ2, and maybe some UO, I don’t think I’ve seen a better housing system. And it’s getting better next patch. This is really a super tool.
Class balance and stats. Bluntly, the system as it stands today needs some re-work. At max level there are only a few useful skills, per role. Esper DPS are using a healing skill for some reason, that’s a problem. Stats are undergoing an overhaul right now, where melee and ranged attackers are getting normalized. This isn’t as bad as SWTOR’s haste issue (where it was something you actively removed from gear) but the core stats is miles more important than anything else today. There needs to be more softcaps and cross values from skills. It sort of reminds me of the Diablo3 v.1, stack primary, issue.
Crafting. Crafting has a great theory in the system. There’s some randomness, which can be mitigated with a few things but the crafted gear today is better than raiding gear. And that’s the level 49 gear, not 50. There’s a ton of potential and the plans from Carbine on rebalancing drops makes sense. At the least, it needs a use for low level items, otherwise it’s just a grind to max level with vendored results.
Attunement. It currently prevents access to the best part of the game and the general cause of people leaving over time.
Stuff to do at 50. Right now it’s just dailies. Shiphands don’t scale to 50. Housing instances don’t scale to 50. Dungeons have no purpose other than attunement. Adventures have no purpose other than attunement. It’s like a giant funnel rather than an open field. Dailies that take 30 days to max out…
The rewards at 50. There aren’t any really. See the crafting point above. From 50 until you complete a raid and get a drop, there’s no real incentive. Housing is the same at 40 as it is at 50. Crafting can be maxed out at 30.
There’s a ton of potential here. The story is solid. The combat mechanics are super solid. The housing is solid. The math needs some rework. The “what the hell do I do at 50?” issue needs some massive investigation and likely a re-shifting in priorities. The updates we get from Carbine indicate that’s underway. Though turning a ship of this size takes time… time I’ll be using playing some other games in the pipe.