Lone Star: Soloing Wildstar (Part 1)

By Alec Meer on June 5th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Please note this is not a review diary or any form of critique. Another writer will be providing such things for us very soon. This is me bimbling about in Wildstar on my lonesome and sharing my experiences in character. That said, one piece of critique – I’m skipping all mention of what I got up to in the over-long and extremely dull tutorial.

My name is Ambus. I am a malevolent one-eyed rat-thing which students of alternative universes have cryptically described as the ugly result of a cross-breeding experiment between a Warhammer Skaven and a Warcraft Gnome. I wield two pistols and some basic magic, and while I look as though I could be crushed by a medium-sized cat, it seems I am feared. I am considered dangerous, feral, untrustworthy. If you like, but right now all I care about is finding a new pair of trousers.


I scan the canyons and scorpion warrens and warbot factories that sprawl out ahead of me. Here be trousers, I just know it. All my other clothes glow softly with gentle mystical infusions, but my trousers are oh-so-plain. I shall fight, endlessly, until my short, squat, hairy legs are clad in a finer cloth.

Time passes in a dizzying blur. My communicator sounds again and again, like a smartphone whose user hasn’t turned off Twitter notifications, announcing challenges offered and completed, targets to hunt, mountains to climb, warbot factories to demolish, hidden caves to tumble into, messages from an unseen man who keeps calling me ‘cupcake.’

This place of islands and canyons is locked in war without end, but hell, it’s a theme park. Every time I set out to do something, I find myself distracted by three other things I ran into en route. Maybe theme park is wrong – anti-boredom concentration camp says it better. I WILL ENJOY MYSELF AND I WILL NOT RUN OUT OF THINGS TO DO AND BIG NOISY THINGS WILL HAPPEN AROUND ME.

No arguments here, especially because so far I haven’t had to talk to anyone else for any of this to happen. I’m a lone wolf, baby. A lone rat-thing, anyway. I skip through chaos at my own distracted rate, as my attention ping-pongs wildly between mass giant spider genocide and scouring cliffsides for secret thoroughfares. I can double-jump, I can dash, I can take out up to five spiders/scorpions/warbots/miscellaneous men-with-guns at once. I’m a tiny little death machine. I even took out a 100 foot tall mutanty-bot-thing, but mysteriously it wasn’t much tougher than your average man-with-gun.

It’s almost as if someone wanted me to immediately feel good about myself, rather than like a puny servant miserably squashing rats (real rats, rather than impressively destructive, double-jumping talking rat-things like me. I feel no kinship with my scuttling relatives. I’d kill a rat if I had to, but I’m relieved I haven’t had to). It sort of works, but I also feel like a kid who’s just realised that his dad is letting him win at Connect-4. Yeah, get me out of these training grounds, I’m ready for some real toughening up, dammit. If you’re going to throw a 100-foot tall robo-mutant at me, I really want it to take my face off.

I have to admit, I found quite a few pairs of trousers in the end. They didn’t make me look any more mighty, but I could tell they were a little bit magic. I’m happy with even entry-level magic trousers, me. I found gloves too. A shirt or two, I think. No hats yet, which is extremely disappointing. Hey, at least I have an overriding purpose again. Hat-quest is on.

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34 Comments »

  1. Wulfram says:

    Hats always seem to take awhile to show up. I think I got my first hat in SWtOR about when I killed my first Darth

  2. Philomelle says:

    The difficulty really does need some tweaking. I understand that the solo campaign here is mostly to provide context to the endgame, but it’s so sickeningly easy in the current variation that I hope they buff it. I’m an Exile, currently in Celestion, and I so far haven’t gone anywhere near the possibility of dying.

    I think the saddest moment for me was when a newbie was sitting on the exit from Everstar Grove and helplessly begging everyone in the zone to help him with the “raid boss”, his yellow-bellied self refusing to accept everyone else’s insistence that he should solo it. I suspect he was a little disappointed when my tiny monkey-bat-girl double-jumped out of the bushes, pulled out her dual peashooters and killed said raid boss in maybe six seconds.

    • Mortomes says:

      Celestion is still quite easy, it will get harder in Galeras.

    • bhauck says:

      When I was in one of the weekend beta a couple months ago, I couldn’t stop dying from fall damage. So try jumping around hills and cliffs if you’re looking to die more.

    • Sakkura says:

      The difficulty ramps up over the course of the game. That said, solo quests are not meant to be super-difficult. Harder than WoW, certainly, but not soulcrushing.

    • Phenomen says:

      Are you serious? Celestion is literally FIRST zone after tutorial. Of course it’s easy. Come back after you complete first 2 dungeons at lvl20 and get to lvl30 zone where missing just one mob attack took 90% HP.

  3. Seiniyta says:

    The difficulty curve definitly needs some tweaking. However, the game definitly get’s harder, a lot harder. Especially glowy red enemies, they’ll rip your face off your body and use it as a napkin for a nice chua soup if you’re not prepared.

    • sunarinelentari says:

      Staying away from the glowy red mobs was a quickly learned lesson.

  4. QSpec says:

    The difficulty curve seems to vary. It seemed pretty easy until my aoe kept pulling red mobs near my target for a kill quest. Many a death happened right there.

    My only time running through an adventure was pretty rough too (snipers knocking me down, spot light doing great sustained damage, and mobs I had to tank), but that could be attributed to me having to learn to tank and our healer learning to heal and me again learning not to dodge out of an incoming heal.

    My only complaint so far is the ubiquity of stalkers… holy god, so many stalkers. I probably went my first hour without seeing another class.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      With only 6 classes, you’re going to see a lot of *everything*.

      • QSpec says:

        No, I’m serious. Stalkers… everywhere.

        Admittedly, it is better than it was during early access, but to give a more concrete example, my first PvP experience was well over 50% stalker. Hell the /advice channel got to talking about stalkers and it got flooded with “Stalker here. Loving it.” posts for a remarkably long time.

    • Kamalen says:

      Seems very much different here ; for me, engineers everywhere. I’ve seen mass engi, good numbers of medics, some pistol and sword dudes, and a esper. The class i have really totally never seen is Stalker, and even after 23 levels and some dungeons runs. To be fair, that’s their point but still…

    • Sakkura says:

      You died in an adventure? Have fun when you get to dungeons (dare I add: cupcake).

  5. rexx.sabotage says:

    Are the Pandas any good?

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Why do computervideogame spiders never have the right number of legs?

    Is there some ancient contract somewhere, signed in blood and venom?

    • Lemming says:

      To be fair, these are alien spider-like creatures. Not spiders. it’s got crab claws for a start!

      • LionsPhil says:

        Indeed, but most games that have spiders have some kind of fantasy setting.

        Maybe designers just think lopping a pair of legs off of regular ol’ real-world spiders makes them cooler.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Also, they’re usually much larger than normal. Unrealistic!

      • Faxanadu says:

        Don’t joke about it man. Boobs were also much larger than normal, and unrealistic – so Carbine reduced them.

        All we need is a few angry bloggers about spider size and we’ll be fighting itty bitty spideys.

    • Carra says:

      To make them 25℅ less scary.

    • Grottismo says:

      Maybe its much easier to animate things with only 6 legs to worry about and most rarely notice it, since not many people enjoy looking at spiders

  7. derbefrier says:

    Got a friend pass or whatever they call them yesterday got a week to decide if I wanna buy it. I do like what I hear and read so far though

  8. cylentstorm says:

    My only question is this: How did you manage to stay awake while playing this? Guild Wars meets Neverwinter with some Disneyfied Star Wars paint and WoW/EQ mechanics all thrown together for what is a basically a hodge-podge of every other MMO out there.

    Don’t take that the wrong way–there is fun to be had, but only if you are a hopeless MMO addict or a complete newcomer to the scene. Otherwise, it’s just another ho-hum journey through stats and annoying chat abbreviations. Meh.

    • Kamalen says:

      Actually that’s in some way quite the point of Wildstar here ; for anyone who likes the themepark MMO genre, it’s actually the state of the art : GW2-style combat but with manual aiming, classic trinity Tank-DPS-Heal and very hard group content.

      A great evolution and totally not a revolution. Wait EQ Next for that.

    • xao says:

      Proof by counter-example: I am neither a hopeless MMO addict nor a newcomer to the scene. I am having a ton of fun with Wildstar.

      Among other innovations, the combat system is quite different from either Guild Wars 2 or Neverwinter, both of which heavily featured auto-targeting.

    • Bitter says:

      Look at it as one of two ways you can try to go when you make a new game in an old genre. Either you try to do something new and funky, or you build on tried-and-true mechanics in an evolutionary fashion. Wildstar did the latter. I think their “adventures” are the closest thing they have to anything distinctive.

      The combat is fun (especially as you level and gain more options), there’s a lot to do while leveling up, and they have a variety of endgame options in place. They’re refining the formula instead of making something new.

      Considering we haven’t seen any wildly successful MMOs that truly redefined the genre, I have a hard time faulting this approach. If they can take what people already like about MMOs and put their own spin on it, more power to them if the result is something people want to play. Heck, the most recent MMO that could be said to have been wildly successful was WoW, and it was more of a refinement of the MMO formula (more quests, less rat-slaying) than a reinvention.

  9. Koozer says:

    Eugh, I hate it when MMOs throw an elite or boss type monster at you with exactly the same stat range as a normal mob just to make you feel special. Are there any MMOs with a difficulty setting..?

    • Kamalen says:

      Heh, you’re a bit off topic in this game ; try to attack elite (red hovered mobs) like any others and you will totally die.

      But it is true that quest “boss” are just creep upped a bit.

    • xao says:

      Get out of the intro island and get back to us…

  10. AndyTheGeeky says:

    Just work on your Path a bit, one of the first rewards is a hat :) Also, how are you enjoying Soldier (assuming the holdout hologram is the one calling you Cupcake)?

  11. bill says:

    What is it with RPS/Alec and epic quests for Trousers (and then hats)???

    Though, the main thing I took from this is that Wildstar is much less funny than Morrowind.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/06/23/a-fool-in-morrowind-day-1-trousers/
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/07/03/a-fool-in-morrowind-day-7-powerhat/