In the first of our WildStar Guild Spotlight series, we've chosen Europe's "The Unnamed" to kick us off. Intending to play Dominion, we pick their brains about all things WildStar. Why're we doing Guild Spotlights you might ask? Massively multiplayer games live and die by the guilds that inhabit them so what better way to understand the strengths and weakness of a game than going to ground zero and seeing exactly what guilds moving to WildStar have to say about the game.
Ten Ton Hammer: The Unnamed (or ThUn as they're also known) has been playing MMOG’s together for over 6 years. Why choose Wildstar?
ThUn: We have been around in one form or another - playing WoW, SWG, MXO, and so forth - for some time, but finally came together during the closed (guild) beta of Warhammer Online. In that game we really became established as a large and influential guild, and as a community we came together in comradeship and in celebrating those hard fought victories where we forged a name for ourselves. We had a lot of fun, a lot of success, and it was a great thing to see ThUn become one of the great forces for our realm. What really interested the majority of our members was the open RvR and general PvP. Sadly Warhammer Online had its flaws; it was missing the final touches, the polish, the balance. In our eyes it was an incomplete game and seemed rushed to release. That game will always hold a special place in our heart as it brought our core/founding members together where we become great friends. It was our first chance to show that The Unnamed were a force to be reckoned with. We succeeded in that and that motivates us to strive for excellence in every subsequent game we enter. We kinda treat our times and the experiences in Warhammer Online as the measuring stick for all other MMOGs. We have played many more MMOGs since WAR, but they all seemed to have their problems. Aion was too "grindy", with little to no end game content. Rift was good (we went into it with the intentions of being a PvP guild and ended up raiding 4 nights a week which was a surprise to us all. Star Wars: The Old Republic was next but it was a short one. The large scale PvP left much to be desired - it felt fundamentally broken. The PvE was not enjoyable and the Battlegrounds were mediocre at best. Guild Wars 2 followed, which was a decent game for us. We got to re-live some RvR glories from Warhammer there but the game felt too easy and too shallow.
From what we've seen and played in the WildStar closed beta, with guild members ranging from 15's to 50's in level, Wildstar has what we have been looking for in an MMOG. It goes back to the basics and takes the best features from all the above games and crams it into one place. In the absence of no large scale open world PvP objectives, there are Warplots. Hopefully these will give us the large scale (40 man) PvP we have a thirst for - along with a sense of accomplishment. There is the 40 man Raiding which, after our Rift venture, is something we are looking forward to. Finally, the Battlegrounds and arenas which have a rating system is something that certain members within our guild are very fond of.
I guess the short answer is: The skill based combat system and the variety of end game content it offers our members. This will allow us as a guild to organize multiple events throughout the week, both PvE and PvP, which is important for a large guild trying to cater to the variety of preferences our members are bound to have.
Ten Ton Hammer: Having played most of what the genre has to offer, what do you think WildStar’s long term prospects are?
ThUn: It's always hard to predict how things will turn out with MMOGs. Both Warhammer Online and Guild Wars 2 were very much seen as the 'Messiah' of PvP by many of our members. We had huge hopes that these game would do for PvP what WoW managed to do for PvE almost a decade ago; have substance, polish, and longevity. Thus far no other MMOG has quite came close to that level of satisfaction that keeps you coming back. It's hard to say whether Wildstar will be 'the one' but our members are certainly hoping so.
Ten Ton Hammer: For individuals who have yet to play WildStar, why do you think a guilds are important in this game?
ThUn: I think Wildstar will bring back the larger guild. Lately MMOGs have catered to the smaller guilds and you literally end up with hundreds of them on each server. I think Wildstar will only have 5-6 large guilds on each server capable of competing in the full range of content on offer. The best end game content will be 40 man; to have that many people online at the right time is an issue of manpower and getting the horde organized will be a mammoth task needing a solid leadership team!
There are two types of guild; a log-and-play guild which will do things as and when they have people online, and a organised guild like ourselves that will have calendars in place with sign ups and events running every night to have a proper attempt at the content. If you want the 40 man content you will have to find a guild that is capable of doing so. PUGs for that kind of content will most likely be an exercise in futility.
Ten Ton Hammer: Where end game content is concerned, how do you feel about WildStar?
ThUn: Organisation is going to be key. It's going to bring back the larger guild. It looks like there will be plenty of goals to strive towards: we like to set high standards for ourselves. The challenging content will bring back guild pride and a sense of achievement that's lacking in the genre. If you look at many of the MMOGs of today, a lot of stuff is handed out to you on a plate until you get to the very highest tier of the game. With Wildstar, even low-level dungeons will be a challenge, so what does that say about end-game? Clearing a 40-man will be no walk in the park. Gear won't come easy - it's going to be bought in sweat and blood and that suits us and many vanilla players just fine.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do you think Battlegrounds, Warplots or Raiding is going to provide enough of a lifespan?
ThUn: As long as they don't reduce the difficulty to cater to the current industry of making things easier, I think that Wildstar will have an old-school appeal for some time to come. I don't think we will see many guilds blazing through end-game content and then wondering where the next update is. That said, it's important that Carbine keeps rolling out new content for the game and continues to develop and balance: I can't stress this enough for PvP. They need to keep monitoring and keep balancing. Warhammer Online and Guild Wars 2 suffered massively because of this; the PvP community felt ignored and blatant imbalances in the game were never going to be rectified. This sort of demoralization of the community is the deathknell for an MMOG. A lot of Arena-focused players in Guild Wars 2 called time after seeing ArenaNet's stubborn refusal to bring major changes to PvP. Other than that, new battlegrounds, new dungeons and polish, polish, polish is a must! If Carbine can do that, the playerbase will be confident that this is a game that is not becoming stagnant.
Ten Ton Hammer: If you could point out the best and worst that WildStar has to offer, what would it be?
- We're big fans of the artstyle
- The lighthearted and mature setting
- WildStar brings back player and challenge that so many MMOGs have lacked
- Exciting content such as Warplots and 40 man raids should give a real sense of guild pride
- Lots of customisation will hopefully make PvP very interesting
- Early leveling is an under whelming experience
- There's a limited number of Battlegrounds available at launch. Although both are fun and Walatiki Temple has been revised, some people may find it's too limited.
- The sci-fi setting isn't for everyone. I haven't came across many people who are big fans of it.
- We have a lot of criticisms for the UI and some balance issues from closed beta (see Medic), but unless Carbine drop the ball these will be resolved/improved come launch.
Ten Ton Hammer: What’s the guilds overall opinion on WildStar’s PvP?
ThUn: It's hard to definitely say so far, since we haven't gotten to end game PvP (with 10 level 50's as a premade group) or seen much in the way of world PvP. Our main experience has been in Battlegrounds between the 15 and 29 brackets. We've done really well as pre-made groups and have had a great time. The combat is really quite engrossing when you have a party to play with. Although the number of telegraphs can be overwhelming and the Limited Action Set takes some getting used to, it's well worth doing so. It's much more reactive and tactical than you think and a significant step above the likes of Guild Wars 2 We can't wait for release so that we can get some real progression going and blaze through Battlegrounds whilst we level up (it's actually really quick). My main criticisms would be (as mentioned above) that two Battlegrounds feels limited.
Ten Ton Hammer: Why do you think The Unnamed has been so successful for so long?
ThUn: We've had a core set of members ever since we started to prepare for Warhammer Online. That core has shifted from game to game but it remains a nucleolus of skilled members who can be relied on to be there and get things done. We find this draws in new members and helps them integrate them into the guild family. Once people show their faces on Team Speak or Mumble they soon feel like one of the lads (or lasses - hey we're mostly Northerners!) and are eager to keep in regular contact. We've seen many new members come into the guild, form close friendships and become part of this nucleous that keep us running.
Ten Ton Hammer: How do you feel about Carbine’s guild support and in-game infrastructure? What would you like to see to make leading a guild easier?
ThUn: It's interesting that ArenaNet have only just begun to pad out their Guild systems in game (over a year after launch) and yet WildStar already has what we primarily need (seeing whom has logged in and when!). The only other things we'd like to see is a facility, if Guilds wanted it, of supporting raid sign ups and attendance. Calendars and DKP would also be welcome as well. All that being said, we tend to manage ours from our website which is an incredibly important part of our community.
You chose not to primarily pursue Elder Scrolls Online: why is that?
ThUn: As a guild we never felt particularly bowled over by The Elder Scrolls Online. Some of our guild members seem to prefer it over Wildstar, but many of us feel that it is not a game that will have the longevity we're seeking. A lot of our first impressions (as well as your own!) were less than positive. We had two choices: Wildstar or ESO and based on our impressions of both the outright majority (over 100 members) preferred WildStar. We think that's telling.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are you currently recruiting and if so, what sets you apart from other guilds?
Although we don't open recruitment often, we are currently recruiting and would be more than happy to receive new applicants. There's a number of things I believe set us above the mass of guilds you may find out there.
- Our guild history is a source of inspiration for us - a stern measuring stick for future success. It's provided us with good, experienced players who excel in their given area. Its provided many lessons on how to improve our guild and avoid the mistakes that newer guilds might make.
- We have a down-to-earth philosophy in our approach to progression and general gaming: we fight hard but at the same time we value our members and respect that real life comes first.
- We play with honour and treat our friends and enemies with equal respect. We do not tolerate drama or flamewars and expect all of our members to approach all things in maturity; victory or defeat, praise or criticism.
- Lastly and most importantly, we have a large, loyal and welcoming community that new members can integrate into with. Without our members we could not function and could not attain all that we have thus far, and all that we will in Wildstar.
We can't wait for launch and we want to thank you for taking the time out to chat with us.
The Unnamed are a European Dominion Guild focused on PvP and Raiding whom are currently recruiting. We'd like to thank them for taking the time out to answer our questions.
Do you want your guild in the spotlight? Drop me an email at lewisb[at]tentonhammer.com or via Twitter @Persistentworld