If you were to visit the WildStar official forums or its sub Reddit you might think that the game were on its last legs. Fortunately it isn’t, but it is notably quieter than when it launched. For the most part that's natural for massively multiplayer games but I still think WildStar deserves much more praise than it receives from players and the press. My love of the game didn’t happen overnight and my first impressions weren’t particularly glowing. Once I’d eventually gotten used to the differences in its combat and telegraph system there’s just no possible way I could go back to standard combat or dungeons of a difficulty any less than infuriating. With that in mind, here’s my primary reasons why you should step away from whatever game you’re currently trying and pickup WildStar. I promise you won’t regret it.
Combat is F*&KIN AWESOME
I don’t know about you guys, but before WildStar I was tired of tab targetting. Homing attacks and so little skill against enemies or players was driving me insane. In comes WildStar and mixes things up with its telegraph system. Admitedly many games already have telegraphs (see Guild Wars 2) but the key difference is that A) EVERYTHING is a telegraph and B) You have to physically aim every attack. It might sound a minor change, but the difference to the enjoyment of play is enormous. The reactions needed for the simplest of encounters are so much higher than that of any other MMOG I’ve played before. There’s no standing still here and if you can’t aim, you’re in trouble. It makes generic PvE encounters fun, fast paced and at times truly exciting. Where PvP is concerned, it’s transformed a genre that was stagnating to one that’s genuinely reactionary.
Its Dungeons Are The Best In The Genre
Make no mistake, WildStar’s dungeons are amazing. The standard versions aren’t overly difficult but will teach you all you need to know about the encounters and what telegraphs fly forth from what enemies. When you crank up the volume to Veteran level, you’re in for a whole new world of pain. Enemies hit harder and the margin for error is tiny. If that wasn’t good enough, the dungeons are not only visually lovely and tell excellent stories but will genuinely challenge even the most experience group.
It’s PvP Is Excellent
It’s PvP might currently be plagued with some itemisation issues and general balance problems (like all MMOG’s) but for the most part, it’s PvP is brilliant. The telegraph system plays a large part in this and while it might initially make your eyes bleed at the sight of all the red and green squares on the floor, you eventually get used to it. At that point, the PvP takes on a whole world of its own and you begin to truly appreciate the level of skill involved. If Battlegrounds aren’t enough to keep your attention (with multiple game modes) there’s always Arena that comes in 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5. 3v3 is a personal favourite because it feels the most balanced and lends itself to some truly brilliant fights. It’s also a lot of fun if you and your friends queue against one another and end up going toe to toe.
The World and Lore are excellent
The sci-fi setting might not be for everyone, but if you can see past that (if sci-fi isn’t your thing) then the world and lore are truly wonderful. It’s bright, bold and colourful and highly varied. My favourite aspect of the world is the fact it’s so heavily stylized. From the creatures who inhabit Nexus to the plants and architecture, it’s all so unique. I’m a huge lover of traditional fantasy settings but there’s something moreish about WildStar’s. Where the Lore is concerned, it admittedly isn’t instantly noticeable. The traditional nature of the quests make it sometimes difficult to digest what’s occurring in the story. Fortunately there’s several key instances that you join that clear things up nicely. Drusera and the Caretaker are brilliant characters and some of the most unique I’ve ever encountered.
It Has Awesome Housing
We’re not talking Landmark standard, but we are talking a visually stunning and accessible method of building your own haven. I’ve spent countless hours creating two homes across two characters and have absolutely loved every minute of it. It’s super easy, super quick and the results are amazing. Better still, housing actually serves a purpose. You can teleport to other locations, join Raids, Expeditions and gain buffs. Most importantly, you can just invite your friends over to show off your handy work.
It’s Effectively Free
While WildStar might have a subscription, it’s super easy to actually earn money in game to buy C.R.E.D.D which you can then convert for free game time. On Hazak (EU) a single C.R.E.D.D costs around 9 Platinum and it takes me less than a weeks casual PvE play to acquire that much money. If I was to hardcore grind or max out my Elder Gems quickly (in order to boost my money gain even more) I could easily achieve it in a few days. Playing the Auction House and Commodity Exchange is also a quick and easy option of acquiring Platinum quickly (especially if you just flip items for a profit). So while WildStar is a subscription based game, Carbine couldn’t be any more generous when it comes to allowing you to play for free.