Wild Star Beta Report: Thumbs Up!

The Open Beta continues through tomorrow.  I do not think I’ll get much play time in so here are my thoughts:

Playing this morning I wished I had more time to play.  More time with my character and the world.  I’d like to get just a bit farther, see a bit more.

The game is so very smooth, “polished” as they say.  For a game I paid no attention to before this open beta opportunity, I really like it and am likely to play at launch.

As I’ve been thinking about what I like, the exploration is a lot of fun.  I do like the Explorer Path. It reminds me of the old Tomb Raider games where you’d get into a new section of the tomb and you could see where you needed to go, but dang, how on earth were you going to get there?

I like the combat, though I’m not a fan of those red fans of stun/knockdown the enemy drop on the ground in front of you.  Neverwinter is the other that does that, right?  What I’m doing is hitting them as fast as I can with my own shots then as they lay down the red stuff I use my ability which slams/stuns them and moves me out of range behind them.  It works nicely with single targets and has some utility with multiple.  When in doubt, JUMP.

Looking at Zone chat this morning things were pretty mellow.  I’m seeing people asking how things work, asking advice on builds, armor and skills.   This bodes very well.

Often it seems people are in the chats slamming the game, comparing it to other games, just being nothing but critical as Trolls do like to do.

Saying goodbye to my girl for now, I’ll bring her back in June 🙂    Happy testing!

WildStar a peek at the Dominion

I really didn’t have a chance to play this weekend.  I like my Aurin so much and would really just like to play her until she reaches one of those invisible walls where it becomes harder, less pleasant to advance.  Every character has them, which is one reason for having multiple characters, areas, quests and play styles available to you.

You don’t want to kill the character off, but you need a break.

I thought I should at least try a Dominion character.  They definitely are The Bad Guys as far as I can see.   The Mechari seemed most pleasing so I created a pretty cool looking character.

I don’t suppose you can see very well the cool pokey things protruding from the sides of her head like Pippi Longstocking antennae. 

Her earliest tasks included sort of torturing some citizens who weren’t thinking correctly. Bad guy City.

The Fearless Robot Leader spoke in a breathy voice that was more icky than menacing.

There was low, Jazzy music playing.  I hate Jazz.

These things added up pretty quickly to a character I didn’t wish to play.

With so little time left in Open Beta  I think I need to get my Pink Pony Tailed Aurin  as far along as I can so I get a real feel for the game.

I’d like to see as much as the game has to offer, and I’m curious about housing, character development and whether there really is open world pvp, which would be a game breaker to say the least.

Before the open beta I did not look at anything about the game at all, I only saw the trailers which looked frenetic and unappealing.

I’m not finding the game to be frenetic at all.  The “cartoon” style which may be putting some people off doesn’t feel that way in game.  I have had no graphic or audio issues though I could see in Zone Chat many people were having them.

The only other bizarro thing I would comment on is that apparently you only get more bag space a slot at a time and by leveling.  You can’t give your low level character reasonable bags to adventure with, they won’t be able to equip them.  In a subscription game that is beyond unacceptable, especially if you work on crafting.

Sunday Comic: Mother’s Day

Today’s Comic Created with Toondoo  http://www.toondoo.com/

If you don’t know what to give mom for Mother’s Day, just sit down with her and play cards or a board game.  Play your old favorites.

Let your mom create a toon in your favorite game and set her loose in the world for a bit.  I guarantee she’ll like the character creation tools in most MMOs with all the style choices.

There is no better gift than time spent with you and time relaxing and playing.

Wildstar: Level Up

I finally got to level 5 which I would have expected to hit much sooner.  I killed a boatload of things on the spacecraft and did a lot of quests and came out of there at level 3! Yoikes!

Down on the planet it is all very forest like and the game reminds me now of Guild Wars 2, the Sylvari and Asura areas.  I’m hoping to make my way out of the nature-y ecological theme of this forest into a more city scape feels-like-science-fiction-again area.

I’m enjoying filling in the map and getting progress points towards exploration.  There are also Explorer path quests which are challenging my brain.

There was an odd little timed Event where you were supposed to jump up and get six butterflies.  Not a fan.  Except, I had a lottery chance to win two bag slots!  Not two bags, nooo but two additional slots in my existing bag!  This boggles my mind.

Watching zone chat the beta testers seem young.  Open beta is a different animal but I can’t think of anything where I got that impression before.

Someone also said you can’t get a hearthstone type thing to easily return to your home base till level 8 or 9.  What would be the purpose of that?  Maybe I’m that far off from seeing a city agh.

Combat is easy peasy.  I can easily kill something a level above me, unlike in Everquest 2.

My character can jump, really jump and there are places in the environment to test her skills.  Really cool.

WildStar: Way Cool So Far

I’m still in the tutorial but I like the game so much so far.  It hits everything that I wanted. 

I love the science fiction environment.  It opens on a ship that is so cool. 

I chose an Aurin Spellsinger with an Explorer Path.  Then, intrepid Explorer that I am I had trouble finding the “bottom” floor for a quest.  I did look down below but it was all red and looked like a drop into space at a glance.  There are alot of mobs on the deck and they respawn fast so you can’t stand around thinking hmmm.

I do like that they had quests right away for my “Path”.

I love the Rockin’ Rowsdowner Space Bar.  The Relic Room, where I’m currently looking to defuse a bomb is right out of an Indiana Jones game.   It has been a long time since I looked around at an in game environment and said “this is really cool”.

The music in a game really affects my liking it or not, the music here is just lively from the very beginning.

I’m completely smitten so far.

What An MMO Should Be…

As I still wait for Wildstar to download…zzzz I’m thinking what am I looking for in an MMO that would make or break my being interested in playing beyond a beta?  What I’m looking for has changed over time quite a bit.  Here’s a rough sketch:

Class Choices

Varied abilities, the more the merrier.  Let me try all of them.  Games with four classes or less are too boring.

I don’t mind a trainer who you pay for new skills.  I don’t mind if they just pop up.

Character Creation and Beginner Areas

Hair styles with variation, long, short, length, color.

Wide variation of skin tone.

Facial choices though not necessarily with sliders which can quickly alter your cutie into a mutant.

Height, Weight choices.  Tiny races I like to make as tiny as possible.  I don’t want to be stuck weight wise with a rear that looks like a shield wall.

Let me have a first name and a last name.

If you have “good” guys and “bad” guys, go for it, don’t try to pretend the bad guys just look a bit creepier.  Give them a reason for being bad.  Set it up right away so there is a choice between sides in an ongoing world conflict.

Have a brief intro to the world and lore whether it be a cutscene or a tutorial area.  Make it possible to skip the dang thing after the first time you go through.  Don’t trap people in areas like the Worgen or Pandaren starter areas forever, let them get out there and play as soon as possible.

Playing the Game

Have plenty of travel options.   I’m all for discovery of travel points before you can go there after the first visit, but make travel point to point be quick after that.  No meandering ten minute ride over/through the landscape.

World Size   Yes size really does matter.  The bigger the world, the more to explore, the better.   Make areas as different in look and feel and tone as possible.

Introduce crafting early on.  Allow there to be a market for newbie crafters who can make things other newbies can really use.   Don’t require 80 pieces of wool to make a single pair of pants, ye gods.  Let there be customization options.  Let us name our products, have a maker’s mark as they used to say on items so we know who made them.  Allow dyes and other coloring options, allow experimentation so that depending on materials used you can make a good or very excellent version of your item.

Stop with the stoopid bag limits of 6 item bags good grief.

If you have Dungeons let there be a really good dungeon finder, so people know how long they may need to wait.

Encourage group content with public events and world events. Do not have a solo quest chain end in a group only quest.  Grrr!   Give us reasons to group, such as better xp while in a group. 

Alternate ways to advance    Make it so you can quest, gather, do daily quests, group adventures, dungeons, exploration and anything else that may help you tick tick tick that xp meter upwards without feeling like you’re in quicksand.

Squash the bugs!

My worst beta was Star Trek Online where there was much to like about the game but the bugs and whole systems that did not work as they went live were just an embarrassment. 

The Gold Standard for betas was Lord of the Rings Online which went live with even typos squashed.   I compare everything new to them.  I get the impression that they are no longer so sharp about things from what I read, but they went live in super mode.  Best development staff and community support staff ever going in.

GamePeeps: WoW Insider’s Sarah Pine

I’ve always found the people behind the games to be as interesting as the games themselves.  I had the brilliant idea of running a semi-regular feature called GamePeeps (too clever, I know!).

For my first GamePeep  I’ll just feature Sarah Pine, World of Warcraft player and blogger for WoW Insider.

I think they asked her some really good questions that show very well how she plays and what she likes in the game of her choosing:

What is your favorite expansion?  What is your main character?  What is the number one thing Blizzard has done well, what could they do better?

If I ever do interviews, I may lift some of these questions.  Fair warning!

I like the way she sounds as a player and I’d be happy to share a PUG with her any day.  There can be no higher praise.


EQ Report

I was just going to write about my Ratonga Paladin on Tuesdays, but then I created a couple of other Ratongas and well, I find myself switching between my characters.

My sister does this leveling thing where she plays each character five levels and she can level pretty fast.  I try to do that but I do get charmed with the way things are going for a particular character.

In the case of EQ2 my Ratonga Wizard has sailed along to level 10.  She is so much fun to play.  I don’t like long fights and she sort of zap zaps everything so pleasingly.

I got my Paladin to level 8 tonight in Dyer Mycoria, a cave full of Mushroom People with invading goblins.  I really don’t like caves as an environment and am even less a fan of goblins.

The Paladin is definitely a tank.  She takes forever to take down an enemy by my standards, but they don’t do much damage to her.  Maybe it is one of those situations where a different rotation would help but then again most of her skills are for threat generation so hmmpf.

My Defiler is at level 12 and has been mouldering in Timourous Deep for a bit.  The area has a pleasant south seas type aura to it.  Since acquiring a Spirit Wolf, she seems better in a fight than at first.  She has this message that her inventory is overflowing but she is only carrying six items, has an empty backpack, nothing in any bank or other place. I don’t know what the deal is.

My final Ratonga is a level 5 Ranger.  She can stealth which is usually a roguish ability, but it makes sense for a woodsmouseperson to be able to sneak without being seen.   I like her so far.  She looks like a little chipmunk in her helm.  She is at the beginning of the Darklight Woods area in the quaint town of Hate’s Envy.

This area, Darklight Woods, seems to be popular and is packed with people at all hours.  It’s like a different game from the other starter areas where you might see one or two people now and then.

Speaking of Comics

Wow Insider has a nice link list of World of Warcraft related comics for the past week.  I’ve added two that are WOW-specific comics to the World of Warcraft link list.

For my own Sunday comic I’ll be using a variety of comic generators because, unlike the talented people doing the comics in this article, I haven’t the slightest artistic ability.  Just imagination, and lots of it.  It will have to do.

Some Online Comics Generators: