Updated Thu, Jan 02, 2014 by Lewis B
The new year brings the excitement of a whole host of new massively multiplayer games launching. For me, it's the prospect of WildStar finally landing on store shelves in the next few months (I predict July), however, there's three specific things up to level 15 that I've encountered in the Beta, I have concerns about or would like to see implemented.
It might sound minor, but there are a variety of sounds missing at present and some which I would have expected to be in the game at this stage: a lack of sounds when you land on water and hard surfaces is very odd. In addition, there's no character sounds from when you physically jump, sprint or dash. Normally I'd never have thought that this would make a huge difference to a game, but it's surprising how you notice that it isn't there. It effects the “oomph!” of combat, movement and the feeling of weight to your character. I'm not suggesting my character should shout every time I sprint or dash, but there should be some form of sound. Whether it's my character breathing, a minor grunt or sigh - anything is welcome if it makes me feel part of the game world when undertaking an action. Thankfully there are footstep sounds when you walk, but they're incredibly faint and could do with having a volume increase.
With the Chua already confirmed as a Medic (though not yet in the Beta) I can't help but feel that Carbine have missed a specific segment of the player-base by not permitting the Aurin to be Medics also. If you're like me, the two things that I have to be in an MMOG is relatively small and not human. Unfortunately WildStar doesn't have a height scale on character creation, that leaves players like me with no choice but to choose Dominion if we wanted to be a Medic and I think that's a real shame. The last thing I want to be in a massively multiplayer game is a human (considering I'm trying to escape real life) while I now can't play a specific profession because every other race option is gigantic. I'm more than confident there are plenty of other players like me and listening to the public chat channels in the Beta, it's pretty clear the current player base wants it as well. From a lore perspective, there really is no restriction. Suggesting the Aurin aren't combat based or caring is already at odds with what they do in game, so I don't see it as a particularly poor fit. On top of this (and certainly the combination of Aurin/Medic isn't a unique issue), there are also some choices that are lacking that I really thought would have been present. Chua unable to be Warriors is a really strange one as once again I hear from loads of people wanting that specific combination. Perhaps we'll see some adjustments later in WildStar's lifespan after its launched.
I briefly touched upon the animations in WildStar during my First Impressions, but the main issue I have with them isn't combat related. Despite people saying otherwise, the combat animations in WildStar are actually bloody good, my issue is with the way some races walk. This has nothing to do with gender but is about the appropriateness of an animation based on the race chosen. The Mordesh and Mechari share similar if not the same animations. The females walk like hookers and the men walk as though they've done a “number 2” in their mechanical underpants. Both look pretty awful and far short of what hulking robots or zombie-esque races should really walk like (although I have a sneaky feeling the Mechari males share the same Human animation, though it's made worse by their size). As for the Aurin and Humans, once again the females draw the short straw. Aurin females skip along with legs elongated, as if pretending to be a prancing pony while Human females (thankfully better) have an odd arm swing. Lastly, the male Humans run along on their tiptoes at an odd angle. Overall, it's a bit of a mixed bag (the Chua and Aurin males are spot on) and one that further restricts what race I'll play. They desperately need a once over before launch.
There are other minor issues I've encountered, but they primarily revolve around the classes and not the game as a whole. I'll be covering those said class issues in my next First Impressions (Medic), but I feel these are the most "pressing" to date. Admittedly the Aurin Medic one is very personal and based on all the above, I think it's relatively evident the games in pretty good shape. Still, there's always room for improvement and without being able to discuss content above level 15, there's time for a few more surprises I'm sure...