I was finally able to really log in to Wildstar and see a bit about what had changed. Yay! The good/bad news is that it’s mostly quality of life stuff.
The downside is the sheer expansion of consumables related to the item store. I need to do more looking at that aspect. Filling up a rested experience bar with a potion is a weird thing, but it’s just a time saver really. I never found the leveling portion to be boring but I’m guessing I’m in the minority on that.
Stats have been renamed but function nearly the same as before. Runes have been overhauled and while the interface is slightly different and the balance between them better, it’s not like the entire system was redone. Crafting at the top level has changed a lot. The activity of crafting is the same but the recipes are all different.
And that was the largest change for me. My Esper had a decent amount of crafter gear equipped as I had not raided or run any dungeons in a long while. I logged on to a full mailbox and an nearly naked character. Since the items no longer exist, I was provided a crafting token to make a new one. This part was neat. Items have a sliding bar between DPS and support mode. Instead of a random set of stats to select while crafting, you can now manually select what stats show up. What this means is that there is a whole lot less RNG involved, which is a great quality of life improvement. Crafting top tier items was crazy expensive, and replaced in short order, making crafting more or less useless outside of runes.
Combat is the same as before, though the power curve seems to have shifted a bit. Maybe it’s that the gear has more power now… I’m not quite sure. I ran a shiphand mission (called expedition now) and it was much easier than the previous runs. I need to try some 5+ bosses to really get a verdict though, as those were usually tight affairs to solo on the Esper.
My housing plot seems to have exploded in size, near 4x what it was. That is going to take quite a few hours to decorate. I really liked the previous size, as the limitation meant that you had to be creative. At this size, I’m a little perplexed why they didn’t make it account bound instead of per character. I know I can teleport between them – which I do – but it’s still awkward.
Skill unlocks seem to be gone, which is awesome. That was always an annoying part of the game that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Our guild bank was littered with skills that no one needed because they dropped 100x more than the ones that did. AMP/ skill point unlocks are still there, as a goal for the elder gem (EG) folk. This of it as an AA system really, that only truly takes effect at max level. There are a few spots to unlock these points, so it’s not like you’re forced to do it one way. Maybe the drops on this have been fixed, I’ll have to check.
There’s no new content per se, so if you’re looking for more dungeons or adventures you’ll have to wait. My guess would be not too long mind you, given that the people playing are not terribly likely to be new players as much as returning players. They have 5 drops of content to get through, which is good for sure, but it would be hard to argue that the staff working on the F2P swap had anything to do with the content group (art, design, combat design). Fingers crossed on that one.
Next up will be an adventure run, maybe a vet dungeon too. I think I’ll level another alt too (I have an Engineer at max already) to see if the power/skill curve while leveling has been fixed. I was kinda hoping that NCSoft would have put in a dungeon system like FF14 but I guess that’s for another post.