So I've got a month to decide if I want to go ahead and renew my Wildstar subscription for another month, and frankly I'm struggling for a lot of different reasons. There are some things that I really love about the game, and some things that drive me absolutely nuts.
So let me start off by laying out where I'm coming from. I'm an extremely casual player. I don't generally raid consistently with a raid team in any game, not in small part because my work and family schedules are very unpredictable, and I wouldn't be able to commit to a consistent date or time. I do, however, run LFR and world bosses pretty frequently, and at least two of my WoW characters have ilvls that are on par with someone that does raid (i.e., over 553). I'm mostly playing the game for entertainment and stress relief. There's really not much on TV that interests me other than as background noise, and frankly I can't bring myself to read the 94th version of the same story by John Grisham. So I play video games. For fun. And to relax.
Yep. I'm a carebear.
So here are the things that I love about Wildstar so far. It's different. The whole idea of a alien space fantasy game is really cool, and different than the stuff that's come out recently. It's pretty cartoony, so it runs well on laptops in airports when I'm traveling for work. I like the whole path concept and having two things that you can be working on leveling for your character. It adds another dimension to the game play that is really interesting. I also absolutely love what they've done with housing. Without a raid finder, I need something to do at end game, and tinkering with housing plots across an army of alts seems like it would be a really entertaining way to spend my time. They seem to have done a lot of things with the game really well. The approach to crafting has really been intriguing for me so far, and I like the fact that they also seem to be releasing content at a pretty decent pace.
So now for the negatives. The game is hard. Really hard. From the perspective of a casual rather than a hard core raider, it is almost unreasonably so. Now don't get me wrong, I fully recognize that there are people that play these games because of the skill required. And they don't even necessarily have to be hard-core progression raiders. People that just really enjoy the challenge. And this game may be truly excellent for those folks. But for me, as someone who is looking at it as an alternative to watching Grey's Anatomy (ok, not really), I'm looking for an interesting story and something that is challenging, but not to the point of being frustrating. And Wildstar so far has been well over that frustrating line.
The second issue for me is there is still a lot about the game that is extremely buggy. Quests that are bugged, abilities that don't work. Whole areas that are just glitchy. Checking the forums, it's obvious that these bugs have been out there since release, and they don't appear to be getting addressed. I started playing Wildstar on an Engineer and have finally concluded that I just can't continue. In concept, it should be a great class to level with, but I've found the bots to just be too buggy. From times where they just stop following you altogether, to other times that they either decide to pull things for themselves, or won't taunt when you ask. For a class where they've seemingly sacrificed both dps and mobility because you have these bot defenders, not having the bots work properly ruins it for me.
So I've switched to trying my Spellslinger, and so far that seems to be working a little bit better in terms of the buginess, so I may take a shot at running this character to 50. I feel like I owe the game that much at least.
But I have found myself going to back to WoW and leveling more members of the Joar alliance army. The 7 non-90 classes I have alliance side are all in the early 50's, so getting close to Outland, which might be fun. And the game feels a lot like an old cherished blanket when you slide back into after a break. Warm, comfortable, and just seems to fit perfectly. So we'll see. As always, I'll write about it here.