Oh WoW: WildStar Open Beta Now Open

I'm a sucker for anything with dual pistols

Of all the MMORPGs that a barroom wit might dismiss with the wave of a hand and a smug “It’s just another WoW clone, and I’ll have a pint of Advocaat thank you barkeep,” WildStar certainly seems to be the most polished and enticing. Carbine Studios have tarted up That Sort of MMORPG with fancier combat, additions like player housing and PvP death arenas that are all customisable to the nines, and general polish. Even to someone with little interest in That Sort of MMORPG, it’s an impressive bit of work.

WildStar is now in open beta testing for a bit and, you know what, I think I’ll download it to poke around. To play with the character creator, if nothing else.

Head on over here to sign up and download the open beta client. If you’ve played in the closed beta test at all, you’re already signed up and can simply update your client. The open beta kicked off this afternoon (at 3pm, so it should be live as this goes up) and will run for 10 days, ending at 7:59am on May 19. It’s not the whole game, limiting players to level 30–short of the level cap of 50.

Of course, capping the beta at level 30 means players won’t get a peek at what is supposedly the big draw for MMORPGs–the end-game. I’ve always thought this slightly weird myself.

I’m quite happy to spending a month or two exploring a game’s world and seeing all the big fancy spectacles then simply stopping and moving onto something new. I picked up WoW and a few expansions cheap in a sale a while back and had a ball roaming around, playing different factions and classes, then stopping a few levels short of cap when my 30-day trial ran out. MMORPGs are theme parks, carefully guiding us through their make-believe worlds and making sure we see the expensive setpieces; it’s okay to go home after the Magic Kingdom Parade.

Oh, and here’s a new trailer about WildStar’s story. People are fighting or something.


  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic. Also optimistically cautious. Also caustic.

    • trjp says:

      I shared Lord Custards enthusiasm for DEATH FORTRESSES but my experiences with the Closed Beta were not encouraging.

      The Solo play – questing, collecting junk etc. etc. – was generic and boring. It felt a bit like GW2 except that the combat has even less ‘weight’ – and I didn’t get on with GW2

      The few areas I saw were small, lacked character and felt like ‘sets’ made purely to support the quests set therin.

      Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot to see and do – it talks ‘at you’ constantly about this and that (the first 20 mins are a wall of gibberish, really) and it may flower into an amazing game – but I lost interest in the CB so I’m hardly going to spend a chunk of money and pay a premium subs to find that out, am I

      They promised us a ‘novel’ monetisation system but what they offer is basically ‘what WoW does’ plus the ability to buy overpriced ‘subscription cards’ which you can then trade in-game for in-game-goods – that’s not ‘novel’

      • Seiniyta says:

        The first two area’s you visit are tutorial area’s which are much smaller. Most of the zones are about 2-3x as large as WoW zones and have subzones as well.

        • trjp says:

          But are they are as utterly generic and dull?

          Despite talking ‘at me’ a lot, I really have no idea what’s going on and why I should care. There are characters named after cowboys, some spaceships, a planet with monster on it and – apparently – another faction I should dislike

          But 2-3 hours in-game I have no idea why I should care about any of it.

          Going back to WoW – even vanilla WoW tho the expansions build enormously on this – every Starter Area told a bit of a story, teased people into the game and gave you a sense of purpose (without making you sound like ‘The Chosen One’ (TM))

          Here I feel more like I’ve gotten a job at a supermarket…

          • Stupoider says:

            Maybe it would be worth reading quest text?

            If you think vanilla WoW starting zones were any better than this then you might want to take a dip into a private server and see how wrong you are

          • Jenks says:

            “(without making you sound like ‘The Chosen One’ (TM))”

            That really is the worst part of modern MMORPGs, isn’t it

          • gunny1993 says:

            My problem with MMO “story” is that generally it’s damn lazy writing (See generic beast, is bad, kill beast, is actually minion for other generic beast, kill beast etc,etc) Twinned with the most destabilizing and slow paced storytelling (Quick hijack that blimp ……. please wait for blimp pilot to spawn……). I’d sooner they just not bother writing it tbh.

            Occasionally you get good parts and interesting characters, but overall most mediocre books are leagues above MMO Story.

          • trjp says:

            @Stupoider – I pay more attention to quest text than most people but there is a LOT of exposition and yet I took very little away from it. I’ll admit I didn’t study it in detail but I sort-of expected the key points to be revisited and the events going on around me to matter in some way (but if they did, I got bored before they did)

            I hate ‘The Chosen One’ shit with a vengeance – it makes no sense when 20 other ‘Chosen Ones’ are standing behind you waiting to talk to the same guy. I prefer the “you’re a grunt in the army – go do stuff” approach which, thankfully, this mostly takes.

            MMOs shouldn’t really have a solid story – that’s for you – but they need lore/canon/context/history/meaning/purpose and that’s what I didn’t get here.

            A ‘frontier’ MMO like this (set on a new planet where you’re trying to establish yourself?) will always struggle for that – the place is alien but that doesn’t mean there can’t be things to discover/secrets/places to visit etc. – but all I got was ‘generic quest hub surrounded by packs of monsters to kill’

          • Ditocoaf says:

            If it’s already quite wordy, wouldn’t it be WORSE if they rehashed key points repeatedly?

            It’s kind of a horrid cycle:
            People don’t pay attention… so games hammer on their key points (plot, mechanics, everything) excessively… so more people zone out to avoid being annoyed by the condescending repetition… so more plots HAVE to repeat themselves to account for people being zoned out… so everyone learns to assume they shouldn’t pay attention because the game will just tell you again later.

            So if you’re looking for a game that’s clever and fun and doesn’t talk down to you, you’re shit out of luck, and if you try to pay close attention to a game you’ll be bored out of your mind by its assumption that you’re half-awake.

            Now I’m sad.

          • Flopper says:

            I think they truly did start at level 50 and work their way backwards on all aspects of content. Having played the beta for the last 13 months and having 2 level 50’s I think the game oozes style and good writing at the end game but it’s true the beginning zones are very boring. Especially the 180 degree spin the game shifts to post level 40 as far as content maturity level. Shit gets real.

            As far as someone saying GW2 combat felt better?… I guess we can just say to each his own but seriously? GW2 combat is so buggy and half your abilities root you to the ground while casting making any kind of PVP a lulz fest.

            A quick comparison.

            Warrior “Rush” on GW2. The greatsword #5 attack where you charge at your target… Completely worthless since launch and completely buggy. You can’t control your character for the entire duration, it can’t be aimed (goes at whoever you’re targeting on autopilot walls be damned.), and rarely actually connects with the target.

            WS warrior charge. Forgot the actual name. Freeform targeting. You can do a 180 and leap away from a fight whenever you want with no target. You can leap in to the action with no target. It gives you instant feedback. Doesn’t lag out and send you running off like an idiot in to a wall.

            That’s just 1 ability from both games to compare. I’ve got 2000 hours invested in GW2 on warrior. I could probably list over 2000 things wrong with the combat if I wanted to spend that much time on it. The combat is the main thing holding GW2 back from being great.

      • Wampbit says:

        Did you reach level 20? The leveling zones are completely generic (although you can optimise leveling routes once you know the zones; it’s quite quick to level latter toons), but the level 20 instances are really solid. Especially KV, good bosses, gear checks due to high white damage, and full wipe mechanics.

        • trjp says:

          I’ve no idea how long it takes to get to Level 20 – I think I was 9 or 10 when I got bored tho and if a game isn’t going to hook me in that time – it isn’t going to hook me (I’m easily hooked by MMOs usually)

          In WoW terms – Level 20 in vanilla WoW was a TONNE of work – you felt like an old-timer by that point!

          I don’t buy this “it gets better later” thing – that’s not really how it needs to be at all…

          • Wampbit says:

            You can easily reach level 20 in 11-13 hours.

            I similarly can’t relate to feeling like and old-timer at level 20 in vanilla WoW. First time through a few areas were slow, but it didn’t exactly take long to reach.

          • Groove says:

            So the game becomes properly interesting at lv20, and it takes 11-13 hours to reach lv20? That sounds awful. 12 hours is a massive investment before you get the chance to see the best of the game.

            My personal experience has so far only meant about 15 minutes, which were quite tedious. It took 5-10 minutes before I was allowed to equip my own weapon. Starting with maybe 4 quickfire click on this thing quests before you’re even given a skillbar is just a horrible design choice; I get that it’s basically movement and UI training but just telling you to go see the person over there teaches that quickly enough, and you don’t need to make it a quest.

      • Sakkura says:

        The solo content is pretty bland, I agree. At least at low levels (it’s particularly bad in the arkships and the first mini-zone after that). There are apparently more solo story dungeons later on, so maybe it gets a little better…

        But anyway, solo content is not what keeps MMOs alive. They’re supposed to be massively multiplayer. And the multiplayer content is pretty exciting if you ask me.

        • Nixitur says:

          That’s a pretty poor excuse, though.
          No, early solo content is not what keeps MMORPGs alive, but I’d still argue that that content is as important, if not more important than the end-game content.
          After all, that content is what new players will see when they join the game. If you can’t get them interested in the game during literally the first few minutes or at the very least the first few hours, you’ve already lost.
          If you don’t put your best foot forward, a lot of new players are going to leave and I’d argue that you can’t really blame them. Every hour spent on bland early-game content is an hour that you could be spending on much more interesting games. This is especially egregious if the game expects you to pay every month with absolutely no promise that it will ever be good.

          • Sakkura says:

            Having played a bit further with the raised level cap, it does seem to gradually get a bit better as you level.

            But the game just doesn’t seem to be designed with single-player questing as a standout experience. It’s one of the game’s weak points, that’s true. But I don’t think it’s as bad as eg. lacking endgame activities. Because endgame is what keeps people interested in an MMO. Solo quests, people blow through that within a month, and if the rest of the content isn’t good enough, you end up like SWTOR or Age of Conan or any of the other post-WoW failures.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Yes, DEATH FORTRESSES indeed.

      • caff says:

        I totally agree. I found myself underwhelmed and really disappointed with the introductory experience. More so than ESO.

        I am an ex-long term WoW player, so I understand the futility of such games. Perhaps I am burnt out and want something richer that engages with a simpler story, rather than attempting to amaze you with a thousand branches of skills that are essentially meaningless to the experience.

      • Tiltowait says:

        I had the same experience in the Beta. I played in for a bit and got completely bored and currently have no interest in the game. I think the World of Warcraft community has taken a shine to this game as it presents similar to that game in its artistic style. Maybe it will have some kind of raiding endgame that will hold them?

  2. Horg says:

    Based on the last beta, I have no qualms about dismissing this one as another WoW clone. Now pass the Advocaat and leave the bottle.

    • Zallgrin says:

      Not exactly a clone, but more of a wacky cousin with three robo-arms coming out of his arse.

      Personally surprised how many improvements they have made with the formula. They aren’t trying to win over people with a single feature that is supposed to blow their minds, but hundreds of smaller things that innovate the game over all.

      There are the different paths, the exploration, the crafting system that has a neat mini-game and feels intuitive, the housing system that encourages checking out neighbour plots, lots of puzzles, optinal challenges, dungeons that feel more like WoW raids and like 100 other nifty things.

      Each on their own neither sounds impressive. But taken together it just gives the game a lot of depth and is simply fun. Not sure whether I will buy it myself, but it’s a cool game. I’ve rarely liked a MMO as much as this one.

      • Seiniyta says:

        Calling it a WoW clone does it no justice. It’s a lot more then just a clone, it shows that a game in the traditional mmo sense still works fine as long as a competent developer is working on it and is given enough time. Wildstar actually showcases how terrible the last 10 years have been with average to horrible mmo’s who tried to capture WoW’s lightning in a bottle.

        Will Wildstar have 12 million subscribers? Hell no, Will it go free to play any time soon? Very unlikely, the game’s for that to happen anytime soon.

        • Sakkura says:

          It’s like a cross between WoW during vanilla or TBC, and Guild Wars 2.

          It’s certainly not the most innovative MMO, but I really don’t care. The question is whether the game is good and has enough content to keep people interested. Seems to me it has a better shot at that than any other major post-WoW MMO.

        • trjp says:

          If it’s not either ‘free client and 30 days’ or ‘tiered subscription with a free option’ by Christmas – well the next WoW expansion will make sure it is in early 2015…

          You also have to assume they’ve gone this route because GW2 didn’t pay-off? That might be because it was a generic drudge of a game tho…

          • 65 says:

            GW2 was NCSoft’s second biggest source of revenue in Q4 2013 with 22.94 million USD.
            How did it not pay-off?
            link to global.ncsoft.com

          • trjp says:

            I’m assuming the fact their next game is using the older/more traditional funding model means that the last one’s model didn’t work as well as they’d hoped?

            If GW2 has been successful (in their eyes) they’d surely have applied the same approach here? No real difference in the games otherwise, that I noticed?

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Not true at all. From what I understand Wildstar is aiming at that end game experience, i.e. raiding, that GW2 never did. This is the difference and why the 2 business models are different.
            They’ve also said they have over a years worth of content of various types ready to go post launch so they were clearly aiming at a sub model for a good while now.

          • Flopper says:

            Also because Carbine decided on a sub not NCSoft. The same way Anet decided on F2P not NCSoft…

    • Flakfizer says:

      I briefly tried the early Beta. Wildstar just reminded me of Allods online. That’s not a good thing.

  3. almostDead says:

    Fucking hell, I even had to google what a barroom was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that word written down.

    I keep saying ‘what’s a barrooooooom wit, what fucking weird writing’

    Then I went, ‘oh bar-room’.

  4. Lobotomist says:

    Widstar is most purest of WoW clones (and hopefully last) , made til today.

    Its made by team of ex-blizzard workers. And everything from art, animation – even music, is made almost as it was following WOW design document guidelines. But with innovated gameplay , improved elements , and whole is packaged as even more accessible and modern product.

    So if you loved WOW but are not playing it for whatever reason , but still you want to play WOW that is not called WOW – than this game is for you …

    However crazy this sounds – it probably sounded sane to investors ( which is also evident from numerous WOW clone graveyards we seen in last several years)

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I hate WoW. I haven’t played it, ever. Not even a little bit. There are very few games I hate as much as I hate WoW. Yet somehow, Wildstar looks awesome to me.

      “But with innovated gameplay , improved elements […]”
      I have a red Ford just like that, only my Hyundai is yellow.

      • trjp says:

        You cannot hate a game you’ve never played

        I’d argue you cannot really hate a game at all – but you really cannot hate something you’ve not played.

        • Niko says:

          Unless a game killed your dog or, I don’t know, repeatedly shits on your doorstep? In that case I guess you can hate it.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          I’d be curious to hear your explanation of my relationship with WoW, then.

          • BloatedGuppy says:

            Confirmation bias.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            That might be the cause for my WoW hatered but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, right?

          • GHudston says:

            It’s like saying you hate a person you’ve never met. You may have heard things about them, but you’ve never actually been able to get a first hand impression.

          • Nevard says:

            I’d call it wilful ignorance rather than hatred.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            While I appreciate that I can’t hate something or someone for some very specific, well-hidden personal flaw until I really get to intimately and fully know that something or someone, I am perfectly capable of hating something for what it clearly is. I don’t need to read Twilight in order to find out what it is and decide that I hate it (though I did watch two movies, because I actually tend to be curious about the things I hate). And I am not ignorant of WoW, willfully or otherwise. I just haven’t played it, because it inspires strong aversion in me.

            You folks seem to suggest that a lot of effort is needed in order to hate something. I’d call that the opposite of what is both true and easily verifiable.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Simple, lots of people like something you clearly don’t fully understand, hence you twist your ignorance into hate.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            I’m sure you’d like to think that, but I assure you I hate because of intense dislike, not because I’m afraid that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Is it the WoW clones? You can’t hate WoW for the clones. Hate the clones for the clones.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          One of the reasons (though fairly minor) that I hate WoW is all this wow-clone hysteria whenever a new theme park MMO is mentioned. I have no issues with the supposed “clones” themselves, though. Most seem uninteresting at best.

      • Arglebargle says:

        I have intense disdain for WoW, based on playing it for six days? Does that work? Sadly, the dislike is based on things that are pretty baked in; poor world/lore, lackluster writing, character class lockdown, not liking their humor, etc.

        But the Wildstar trailers were pretty dang funny. Sadly, NCSoft, so it’s a no go. Not even willing to sign up to their crap to get into the beta.

    • Seiniyta says:

      Well unlike most “WoW-clones” this game is actually good. i’ve invested a good amount of time in it (lvl 41 now in the beta. If you wonder how I got that level, people in the closed beta who got to lvl 32 and beyond could continue leveling in the beta so they can test later game stuff)

    • Shooop says:

      Of course it sounds great to investors, because when they look at WoW their only thought is, “If we did that imagine how much money we’d make!”

    • frightlever says:

      Runes of Magic was a pretty thorough WOW clone.

    • Sakkura says:

      Even more accessible? I think not. WoW gently whisks you away to max level on a cloud of unicorn farts. Wildstar is… not that gentle. It will smack you in the face, HARD, if you stand in the fire. Even at level 20.

      • Wampbit says:

        Very true. Felt much nearer vanilla WoW, in grind, difficulty and the number of new things to learn. The telegraphed combat system really is interesting.

    • GHudston says:

      This is exactly right, it’s a “WoW clone” in the best possible sense.

      I love WoW. I stopped playing years ago but just because the shine has come off the apple, that doesn’t mean I never want to eat another apple again.

      Wildstar is shaping up to be quite a shiny apple indeed and I can’t wait for live.

  5. Kollega says:

    I think I’d play Wildstar for the art side of things, but there are two problems stopping me. First, I can’t really justify paying for a monthly subscription, considering that these days I barely play any games at all, and second… the whole “theme park” dealio just doesn’t sound terribly exciting when instead they could have an epic open-ended struggle between good and evil wrought by the hands of thousands of players.

    • frightlever says:

      Watch “Let’s Play” videos on Youtube. You get to appreciate the art with none of the filthy commerce.

  6. Necron99 says:

    Welcome to WoW – Ratchet and Clank Edition

    • Kollega says:

      I heard it only ratchets and clanks if your connection is bad. But yeah, at least the art style isn’t utter Drek, the questing system won’t leave you Deadlocked, and you’ll get all sorts of fancy Tools of Destruction. Hopefully, anyway.

    • trjp says:

      The worst thing about that is

      a – it’s true
      b – I love WoW
      c – I love Ratchet and Clank
      d – I don’t get on with this at all.

      But then we all like cartoons – but we don’t want to live in one.

    • GHudston says:

      This was my first impression too, and it’s actually one of the reasons that I’m so excited!

  7. Shadow says:

    I tried the closed beta. The game ran like crap even though it looks 6+ years old. Yeah, “it’s a beta” and all. Tried a few quests, and everything screamed WoW at me. No thanks, uninstalled. I don’t have the patience for these clones anymore.

    Great that it has customizable PvP arenas: I’ll never endure the game long enough to see them. Not that I care terribly for PvP. Awesome that it has player housing: why are people so obsessed with houses in any game other than the Sims? The trailers constantly depict some kind of epic struggle between spacefaring factions, yet all the action you’ll see takes place on the surface of a single planet. And that action is more fantasy than sci-fi.

    Bah, sorry about the snark. It’s just my endless disappointment with a genre which can’t seem to break free from the same decade-old formula. Clones always have their little niggles, but it’s ultimately just frosting on the same old, stale bun. A couple of licks and you’ve already tasted all the novelty.

    • trjp says:

      I think you might need a new PC

      I ran the early closed-beta on an Athlon II with a 5670 512Mb and it ran fine on med/high settings

      I ran the later closed-beta on an i5 with a 650 Ti Boost and it ran fine on high-or-better settings

      In fact how smoothly it ran is one of the few positive things I took away from the closed beta ;0

      • nrvsNRG says:

        Well, my personal experience from the CB was that in some of the areas it ran like total and utter shit. Granted, that was on the highest settings possible and with all the sliders pushed to the right, but it was with a 780Ti, i7 4770k,16gb. This was in one of the early CB’s with some stress testers playing aswell. I’m not saying its like this now ( I hope not), but it was shit.

        • Sakkura says:

          They have gone through zone by zone and improved performance.

          Some people are still having performance issues, but it seems to vary a lot from person to person, even when people have practically the same hardware.

    • Sakkura says:

      “all the action you’ll see takes place on the surface of a single planet”

      Haha, no.

    • Shadow says:

      Phenom II X4 955 BE, GeForce GTX 760. Every other game runs fine on high settings. Who knows. What I do know is that if an 8-year-old-looking game runs poorly on my PC on high+ settings, it’s not my rig’s fault.

      As for the action, I’ll only stand corrected if you travel beyond the vicinity of Nexus for any meaningful amount of time. And hopefully, with a reasonable amount of freedom.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        Stop talking out of your arse, it does NOT look like an 8 year old game. On the highest settings it looked pretty for an MMO, and to be fair you have nothing more then a low/mid range rig. It doesnt matter if you can play the latest single player games on high, MMO’s are completely different.

      • Shadow says:

        Do tell me how Wildstar’s graphics are suitable for 2014, and warrant a high-end rig. Do you really expect me to believe I need a top-of-the-line i7 and a 780 to run this particular game decently on high+ settings? Hell, my “low-mid-end” rig ran ESO pretty well, so I’m not talking about just SP games running better.

        The issue here is a lack of optimization, not my supposedly insufficient hardware. As you yourself pointed out earlier, the game ran like crap in some areas even with your own super-rig. And maybe it’s been fixed or will be fixed. I just won’t be around to see it.

        • nrvsNRG says:

          Yes your right its more then likely a CB optimization issue, and is probably fixed. But the amount of stuffs MMO’s have to load onto the screen at once can be quite taxing for CPU’s and GPU’s. And yes, your rig is solidly mid range, I dont know why you had to put quotes around that, seeing as its an indisputable fact.

        • Sakkura says:

          It’s a bit silly to blast a game for having poor performance when it’s in closed beta. That’s precisely the period they’re supposed to be improving performance and fixing other aspects of the game to eventually make a polished product ready for launch.

          Performance has improved quite a bit since last year, but some people are still having issues with it. For me, it runs nearly smoothly at 1080p Ultra High, on a midrange system (R9 270, Core i5-3450). So that’s okay – though they can and should still work on improving performance.

        • trjp says:

          Something you have to remember with an MMO is that, unlike single-player games, the developers have less control over how much stuff is going on and so they have to dial-down some stuff.

          In a game like Bioshock Infinite, the developer has control over how many enemies/objects/areas are ‘in sight’ but in a game like Wildstar you could have 50 players, all with slightly different models/textures etc. – all running around firing-off different ‘spells’ – and so you have to rein-in the effects/detail a bit to compensate for that.

          That said I just gave the OB a whirl – I turned everything up to the max and I think it not only looks pretty good – it ran at 40-50fps on my i5/650Ti Boost which isn’t appalling (and that is everything on the stops – draw-distance – the lot)

          There’s a LOT of detail in there – models/scene decor etc. – it’s not really to my taste but I’d say it looks exactly how a 2014 MMO should look. If I spin-up AoC (a game lauded in it’s day for being graphically complex for an MMO) I think it will look rather worse (I’d spin-up WoW but I’d have to subscribe and that’s – well – that’s cocaine to me)

          You can haul-down all those settings again and it still looks decent AND my PC stops sounding like Concorde on takeoff too – I’ve not actually seen my GPU top 75 degrees before!!

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Every single beta there are masses of people writing off a game for running poorly even though that’s one of the exact reasons devs run these betas. They don’t exist to give YOU a fucking demo of the game or to let you in early. They do it to fix things before release. Some people, it seems, are incapable of realising this and will repeatedly slam games they play in beta because “MUST PLAY IT EARLY” and the dev hasn’t finished optimising it yet.

      • Philomelle says:

        Intel Core i5-2310 @ 2.90Ghz, GeForce GTX 760 @ 2GB Ram, 8GB Operative Memory.

        Playing in open beta. Ramped up all settings to maximum, have yet to get a single hint of lag or stability issues.

    • Stupoider says:

      You ran a couple of quests are managed to churn out a rounded verdict on the game?

      • Shadow says:

        My comments are not meant to be taken as a full review. They’re my impressions, and it’s my belief that if a game doesn’t convince you of its worth within the first couple of hours, it never will. And when you’ve played enough MMOs, you can see the Sacred Template’s signs way before you’ve invested a dozen hours into it.

        • nrvsNRG says:

          With single player games I might agree, but with MMO’s a couple hours is no where near enough, considering how long it takes to even get started, I think you should play for the very least a good 8 hours. So no, you didnt play long enough to create a valid opinion of the game.

        • Shadow says:

          I’ve had the rare MMO positively convince me within the first couple of hours. Like EVE, whaddya know? Wildstar didn’t, and I don’t feel inclined to spend over eight hours with it to maybe see if it gets good at some point. Oddly enough, I prefer games which are fun from the beginning. Why else would I play games if not to have fun?

          Regardless of the validity a random person on the internet might wish to assign my opinion, it’s there for public consumption, as is anyone else’s.

        • Sakkura says:

          I remember I was close to quitting WoW when I was around level 30 on my first character. I stuck with it though, and eventually ended up spending a few years on the game. You can’t really judge an MMO based on just a short few hours.

          Not that having a mediocre (or worse) experience at low levels is a good thing for the game… but it’s not a death sentence.

    • Vyce says:

      Well the obvious suggestion should be to either give it another try now or until the end of the open beta and see if it runs any better. I had some of those issues myself and my computer is pretty high up there, some areas had some big frame rate drops, but there’s less of that now. See if it runs any better now in open beta, the only thing you lose the time and bandwidth involved with downloading an MMO.

  8. BloatedGuppy says:

    I spent 100+ hours in beta, straight up through the most recent closed beta weekend, and…well…people struggling to compare this game to WoW are barking up the wrong tree. It’s WoW’s gimpy half-brother. The “action combat” is soaked in tiring repetition, all attacks and classes eventually blend together into the same AoE-Spam/Circle-Strafe nonsense, the questing is hideously anachronistic, context free and boring (and captures little of the personality from the devspeak videos), the engine runs terribly despite having chosen an art style that prioritizes performance over appearance, paths are a poorly thought out and terribly implemented feature that inexplicably gates off a substantial portion of content…ostensibly to encourage alting (which no one will want to do because the questing is so awful). I could go on and on really.

    It’s not a TERRIBLE game. It’s just so underwhelming, in so many different ways. Raiders and fans of group content will enjoy the dungeons and raids. They’re properly tough and require a lot of movement. And that’s about it really. The game feels like the same grab-bag/kitchen sink theme park MMO we’ve been playing for a decade, yet somehow despite throwing in every feature they could imagine they’ve ended up with something extraordinarily niche.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Can’t I just get an MMO that has the brilliant dungeons style of this game and NOTHING ELSE, I hate lore, which is lazy stories without good storytelling (Like reading a half life wiki with no context), I hate questing, I despise crafting, PVP isn’t my bag.

      I really wana play this game fore dungeons and raids …. but going through 50 levels of bland repetition is gona kill me and certainly isn’t gona make me more likely to renew my subscription.

      I never got to max level in GW2 because there’s no dungeon content (that i like), and i adored the looks and could bare the leveling …. doesn’t bode well for this game tbh.

      This wasn’t meant to be a reply but it fits so i’ll leave it XD

      • GHudston says:

        I’m pretty sure that it’s possible to level with the various dungeons in the game, if all you want to do is that kind of group content then you should be able to do it.

    • lumenadducere says:

      These were my impressions as well. The paths I tried (explorer and scientist) were fairly underwhelming, and not really that great at providing anything all that interesting. And the questing and zones just felt incredibly generic and uninspired. Sure, it’s an MMO, endgame is more important, etc. but I’m not going to trudge through the pain of uninteresting and uninspired leveling to get to “the good stuff.”

      I may have felt differently if the combat actually hooked me, but as much praise as it got from other sources, it really does blend into “make sure you’re facing your enemy so they’re standing in this shape in front of you.” Sure, it’s “mobile” in the sense that you can dodge and circle-strafe, but it winds up becoming incredibly repetitive. Abilities and moves don’t have enough unique identity, and ultimately I wound up coming away from it feeling underwhelmed.

      I’d agree that it isn’t a bad game by any means, but it also isn’t necessarily a great one. It’ll be good for some people and I’m sure they’ll find their audience (especially as they seem to try to be catering to the dungeon/raiding crowd) but I’m curious to see how many people get hooked into it. I’ve heard both praise and disappointment for the title and I was sad to find myself in the latter camp.

  9. FD says:

    I have a lot of respect for WildStar. Unlike many of the other WoW inspired MMOs that seem embarrassed to admit they are WoW inspired WildStar seems to embrace that and its a better game for it. They’ve learned the lessons of many now forgotten “WoW Killers” and focused hard on making good group content so the game doesn’t die out at end game and by many accounts they have succeeded.. There are even a number of top end WoW guilds that are talking about raiding in WildStar during this content lull.

    However WildStar has a couple of major issues, first it suffers from the general issue of WoW inspired MMOs. MMOs are heavily community driven, if you like the WoW style content then why not play the game with the biggest and most active community? Second the combat system seems like a bad amalgamation of good ideas. Combat feels spammy and abilities in general don’t feel that different, sure they have different big particle effects but all of them basically feel like “hit this button on CD/when resource reaches X”. The worst thing is the “auto-attack” system, WildStar is one of the many games that jumped on the anti-auto attack bandwagon without a good solution. Instead you get an ability with no cooldown, zero resource cost ability that is effectively auto attack but you have spam it every GCD you don’t have something else up. It is a spammy system that makes the combat system feel even flatter than the generic abilities already do.

    I want to like WildStar, I think it is the best WoW inspired MMO but the combat system really drags it down.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      I’d give the “best WoW inspired MMO” to Rift, personally, but this was a good post. I agree completely about the auto attack. You are not fooling anyone, guys, you’ve just made something that was previously automated spammy and irritating. Wildstar rivals Diablo for wrist-destroying potential, which is problematic in a genre that people traditionally play for hours at a time.

      • Groove says:

        I haven’t played enough of this yet to understand exactly how the auto-attack works but I liked how auto-attack was handled in GW2. Essentially, all they did was make auto-attack interesting. In WoW auto-attacking meant no special abilites and no variety, just damage. In GW2 every different weapon’s auto-attack did a distinct and often fairly unique thing.

        It looks like they’ve done the same thing in this? Which I’d be okay with.

  10. derbefrier says:

    Looking forward to trying this. I keep hearing its like its an homage to vanilla wow and those that. Came before it type MMO. 40 man raids, death fortresess, and all that sounds awesome and I can see that echoed in the comments.

  11. steviebops says:

    I played it, found it very generic. I just don’t see what the draw is.

    • Rizlar says:

      Um… yes.

      For reference: I played and liked WoW up until WotLK, I play and like GW2 despite not normally being into very gamey games or very contrived game environments. What can I say, GW2 makes it work, with some excellent characters and stories too. Wildstar had some cool zones, the combat is very good, as is player housing but it didn’t grab me at all.

      edit: Played a bit more earlier and feel a need to take back some of that. Wildstar has recieved a lot of polish since I last played, the UI and general flow make it a much smoother experience now. Some of the new animations make the great combat even more enjoyable. Basically I can see how it could be an entertaining time sink, even if the world is still uninspiring.

  12. Tei says:

    The combat and your own character is a bit weighless. You know the feel of “fake” you get with scripted characters? your own character feel fake that way. Is like any moment is going to go “puff” and vanish in a cloud of cartoon like degenerated triangles.

    The game main content is grind, and the flexiblity to build or decide what to do with your time is not theres. Is a theme park mmo.

    Its also well made, so people new to mmos is going to enjoy this one enormeusly.

  13. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    For me, this game suffers from the same issue GW2 did… I don’t give a shit about the world. The races look boring and the lore seems extremely derivative.

    I need to give a shit about the world/lore to play an MMO. I give a shit about the Warcraft world (and yes, I realize it is derivative as a mother fucker, but it got its hooks into me at a young age with WC1), I gave a shit about the Star Wars world, I gave a shit about Conan lore for AoC, I gave a shit about Warhammer for WAR… yes, all those games failed to hold my interest, but they at least held it for a while because I gave a shit.

    GW2 and Wildstar have absolutely nothing of interest in their world’s for someone like me.

    • trjp says:

      That’s a pretty good summation of my feelings too

      I had no vested interest in Warcraft tho – that got my attention purely from playing WoW (I’d played a bit of WC3 before – that was it tho)

      To pour huge amounts of time into a game I need to feel a part of the world – WAR had that outright hatred between the factions, AoC had some lovely, proper Lore to build on – GW and GW2 (in particular) are awfully generic and shallow and this doesn’t even seem to be trying…

      The only game I’ve put time into where I didn’t really connect to what was going-on was Rift – and that was because it simply doesn’t give you 2 mins to think about what’s going on before throwing another task at you!

    • Rizlar says:

      Pretty much agree with you on Wildstar but I think you are selling GW2 short. Almost everything in that game has a really interesting story behind it. The environments are very stylised but they are suffused in story and history. And that history is full of interesting details and ideas. It has so many great characters. It has the Sylvari! And the major quest contains many little individual narratives running through the world.

      And it’s much better written than Wildstar. Played a bit more in the open beta today and was actually impressed by a lot of the improvements, but the writing remained surprisingly terrible.

  14. frank3n says:

    NCSoft being associated with a game means:

    1) They’ll get you hooked on a (possibly great) game.

    2) Game will be shut down permanently not too long after.


    • RonnieBoy says:


      That and the fact I can’t even gain access to my NC Soft account anymore.

  15. CookPassBabtridge says:

    That dude on the left has hacked into his own leg

  16. Voqar says:

    If you want to be able to pay to win via gold for cash in a so-called premium game that definitely has a $60 box price and a $15/mo sub, then WildStar may be the generic WoW clone for you.

    WildStar is high quality and feature laiden but it’s still a WoW clone, and is still more of the same (same style of MMORPG that’s nothing like the classics form the golden age of MMORPGs and that’s been done beyond utter death).

    WildStar has ultra dumbed down solo idiot mode for leveling (all quest objectives on map, quest tracker puts a gigantic arrow on your screen showing you where and how far to go for all objectives, zero challenge involved in doing typical repetitive quests).

    WildStar brings back 40 man raiding, something even the biggest MMORPG ever abandoned since creating content for an extreme minority is stupid and almost nobody can be in a paramilitary style guild that’s like a job just to do a zerg/boring style of raid anyways.

    WildStar has fake/meaningless/pointless instanced PvP that has nothing to do with the real game or the rest of the game and that’ll just lead to whining, balance issues, and changes to the core PvE grouping real game.

    And so on.

    But really, the biggest problem with WildStar is CREDD, which is the system where Carbine/NCSoft skim extra profits by facilitating what is usually RMT (cheating) in real MMORPGs and sell gold to players for cash.

    CREDD is marketed as a way for you, the player, to pay your sub by playing (which is true, some player needs to come up with extra gold to buy the CREDD token from another player who paid Carbine cash for the CREDD token). It’s a neato idea except for the fine print part where CREDD only exists because players buy it from Carbine for cash, so ultimately what’s happening is that players are paying cash for gold. It’s not like Carbine is going to let people play for free – be serious.

    Some F2P have cash for gold, but F2P MMORPGs are trash and not worth playing so who cares. B2P like GW2 has cash for gold too and it’s a bit more of a slippery slope since it’s pay 2 win there; but GW2 is more like single player online and not a true style MMORPG, so again, who cares. Cash for gold is almost certainly what has allowed ANet to not have to charge for content yet in GW2. There are that many scrubs playing MMORPGs who’d rather pay 2 win than PLAY to win.

    But historically thru the history of real MMORPGs, RMT (real money trading, cash for game currency, usually via the evil “chinese gold farmers/bots”) has been a bannable offense since it’s obvious cheating.

    WildStar is changing the rules though and not only condoning what has always been cheating, but it’s handling the cheating for you! Oh. Yay. You can safely buy cash for gold and pay 2 win to your heart’s desire in WildStar.

    Frost has the nerve to defend subs for WildStar (see IGN article) on the grounds that WildStar is a premium game, but I would contend that no premium game features pay 2 win. Sorry Frost. WildStar has no integrity because it includes pay 2 win, and Carbine has no integrity since they are making a sleaze filled game and marketing it as something beneficial.

    It’s admirable that Frost defends subs, when subs ARE the only decent way to have an MMORPG unless you’re a loser who wants to pay 2 win via F2P. But sadly WildStar is a very poor ambassador for P2P since it’s a game that has no integrity and has built in cheating.

    I pre-purchased WildStar even though I wrestled with the CREDD thing since reading about it months ago, and I ended up getting a refund (kudos to Carbine for speedy refunding at least) because as a gamer who has integrity and zero tolerance for cheating or being on servers full of blatant cheaters, I just can’t do it. I can’t play a game that includes cash for gold pay 2 win.

    Further, it’s sad that cheating in games like cash for gold has all but become acceptable. Players either love it (since there’s no lack of losers on the web) or are oblivious/apathetic/don’t care (only care about themselves).

    Gaming “news” sites completely overlook it and give Carbine a pass. How many gaming sites are writing about the bots, exploits, duping, and such in ESO but who at the same time absolutely gloss over or don’t mention how CREDD *IS* RMT/pay 2 win/cheating built in to freakin’ WildStar? It’s pretty sickening.

    So if you want a high quality, full featured, WoW clone with a premium boxed price and premium sub and that features built-in cheating via pay 2 win cash for gold to give you that F2P vibe, then WildStar might be for you.

    • CmdrCrunchy says:

      I take it you’re not a big fan of EVE’s whole PLEX thing that’s been running happily for years then?

      • trjp says:

        We don’t exactly know how their ‘in game subscription earning’ is going to work – or what sort of exchange rate it will have – but what we’ve seen is that you can overpay for a month’s subscription which is tradeable in-game in some way.

        Note the overpay bit in particular.

        There will be some sort of exchange for goods – so people can presumably sell in-game currency/items for game subscription time – somehow.

        Not exactly revolutionary and highly likely to devolve quickly into “only someone who does nothing but farm will be able to play without paying a subscription”??

      • trjp says:

        doublo posto

      • Moraven says:

        Hah, that was my thought.

        “You can safely buy cash for gold and pay 2 win to your heart’s desire in WildStar.”

        I still do not understand how it is pay to win. What power are you able to buy that no other player can obtain? Access to more crafting mats sold by other players? What in the game is purchasable by gold straight up and gives you such a power lead on everyone else? Is there gold ammo or something?

        WoW kinda experimented with it when they allowed one of the store bought pets to be tradable in game. Of course that market dried up after 6 months.

        • trjp says:

          Just to be clear – the system seems to be as follows

          Subscription is 10.99-14.99 ($) per month – depending on how long you take out at a time

          1 CREDD = 1 month subscription – but it costs 19.99!!
          Yes that’s almost TWICE the cost of a 12 month subs, per month – for no reason I can think of?

          That CREDD can be traded in in-game for in-game money. How much is down to the players, but you will only see the cheapest one so there will be considerable pressure to price low.

          You have to assume that the system will settle at however much money you can reasonably earn in a month of scheming/dealing/farming/cheating/exploiting – which is likely FAR FAR more than someone “just playing the game” will ever have.

          The last bit – which really made me laugh – is that they think this ‘system’ will kill-off Gold Sellers. Ahahhhahhhahh – how fucking naive can you be?

          If anything it will make it worse because you’re giving in-game gold a real-world value – oh FFS…

          • Dawngreeter says:

            You might want to google PLEX.

          • trjp says:

            I vaguely remember how PLEX works and – again from hazy memory – it’s designed more to throw reward at long-term players than to offer an ‘alternative to paying a subscription’?

            CREDD will obviously work in a similar way – and I guess the higher price is to cover them against people finding ways of making money ‘faster than intended’??

            It’s not the revolutionary system they promised us tho – end of the day, most people will have to pay to play this?

          • Dawngreeter says:

            CREDD works exactly the same as PLEX, higher price and all. And, yes, the primary function of PLEX is to provide an alternative to paying your subscription. It has gained a couple of alternate uses over time, granted.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I was reading until you called GW2 pay to win then realised you actually are just an idiot.

    • Vyce says:

      CREDD sounds very similar to the PLEX model in EVE Online, which doesn’t appear to have a ‘Pay To Win’ problem.

  17. Kinch says:

    I played two closed beta weekends (just a couple of hours here and there). While the game seemed OK-ish, I can’t say I loved it – I don’t have the urge to play again, which is bad sign for an MMO. Actually, I went and resubbed WoW after a looong hiatus.

    Things I didn’t like:
    Story is silly, not in a good way – at least at the very start. It makes little to no sense, and is generally presented in a hideous fashion. I read all quest text and all lore books until level 6 or 7, and then stopped caring because it was so bland. The “starting zone” makes you feel like you’re 6 years old.
    Colour palette. Ya’rly. There’s too much bloom for my taste. The colours are so bright it hurts my eyes after a while. SweetFx didn’t work for me.
    Telegraphs became tedious really fast. At first I was like “OMG, this is amazing!” but then I wanted to turn off these damned shapes so I can see the ground.

    I liked the Science path, mostly because it was something new to me in an MMO.

    I can’t judge combat because the closed betas were on NA servers and the lag killed a lot of fun. Generally speaking, the combat didn’t engage me though – it felt more like spamming your abilities and mashing buttons. Mobs would die anyway, they weren’t too hard. I know low-level PVE is not supposed to be a challenge but still, it could be a little more demanding.

    Might give open beta a go again, but probably won’t buy the game on/pre launch. Unfortunately.

  18. Moraven says:

    Exploration path always makes me think of Earth & Beyond 3 exp trees: Fighting, Trader, Exploration. Good ole days.

  19. aliksy says:

    Yep. Don’t like theme parks usually, don’t enjoy vertical progression very much (I like to improve as a player more than I like to attach bigger numbers to my character sheet), and my initial impressions of the beta were pretty bad. This is not a game for me.

  20. Nevard says:

    My clearest memory of the closed beta was scoffing at the default female character models, the game itself didn’t stand out that much

  21. geldonyetich says:

    I punched out of World Of Warcraft early, and I find the fantasy setting to be a bit overdone, so I guess WildStar has a chance with me… except, technically, The Old Republic already was a competently done Sci-Fi World Of Warcraft, so I guess Wildstar’s niche is a competently done Sci-Fi World Of Warcraft that isn’t Star Wars.

    Still, I can’t see myself wild about a theme park MMORPG. Give me a real virtual world, you panzies.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I played it for about 3 1/2 hours just now, and I have to say, Wildstar is pretty good. It’s probably the best WoW out there, even better than the original, thanks to the very slick implementation of virtually everything that’s part of the formula, and even adding a combat mechanic that neatly lands exactly between action and MMORPGy combat where it needs to…

      …and I won’t be paying subscription money for it. Funny enough, it’s because it’s so easy. When I play games, I like to feel like I’m playing a game, but Wildstar’s difficulty is so low that I feel more like I’m just jumping through hoops to advance a script. There’s virtually no feeling of adversity here. I think I would have to be *actively trying* to get killed in order for it to happen in this game and, even then, it would take longer than it should.

      Personally, I think “persistence yields reward” is sort of lame to begin with. But Wildstar is so easy it is isn’t even that… it’s “mere presence yields reward.”

      Maybe this is because I’m only 3 1/2 hours into the game, but how many levels do I need to play until the difficulty picks up? 10? 20? 30? 50? Well, I can tell you that they were already feeling extremely late to the party by level 6. I don’t have that kind of patience. *Challenge me* already.

      • Sakkura says:

        Wildstar is more difficult at level 6 than WoW is at the same level. And it only gets tougher as you level.

      • beridel says:

        The difficulty is definitely a valid criticism for the first 8 – 10 levels. However, that changes WILDly at around level 10 when if you don’t dodge the telegraphs of mobs, they’ll definitely take off 1/4 to a 1/3 of your health. And it’s even more ridiculous for “elite”(using WoW terms) mobs. I’m level 12 in the open beta with a friend, and an “elite” took off 3k off my 4.5k total life with a telegraphed attack.

        I think the difficulty is there, just the curve is out of wack. And also, this explains it pretty well.

        EDIT: Added my total life to put 3k into perspective…

        • geldonyetich says:

          Interesting video. Sounds like the tutorial ends at about level 20 and the game begins to be challenging at that point. I’ll see if I can muster the patience to slog through the open beta grind enough to see if that idea of “challenge” applies to me.

  22. bobbyk says:

    So the first two quests involve you basically running around, talking to NPCS and right clicking a lot to finish quests. Really? Is this 2003? Wildstar you waste my time like I’ve never played an MMO before, is that really your target audience. After the first combat I’m not at all interested or impressed, even a lower budget MMO like Aion got you into the action and sent you on your way faster.

    Wildstar isn’t just not ‘hardcore’ I almost feel insulted by it. I’m sure all the raiding and PVP is what it is if you’re into it. But yeah these starter quests make me realize just how focused they are on getting the ‘casual’ players.

  23. Mr Coot says:

    The gfx remind me more of Torchlight than WoW – almost enough to check who the artists are, because that very first older bearded toon looked v similar to a model in Torchlight and the whole feel of the gfx is quite alike. Torchlight model gfx I find tolerable tho’ cartoony. WoW model gfx by and large, are not to my taste (male models larger than life, heavyset and improbable)

  24. goettel says:

    Wildstar is the gamer’s MMO, with the actual gameplay/combat taking centre stage. Those who want neckbeard storytelling need not apply – or at least I think so, since it’s allowed me to skip reading anything so far. Whether its many features (housing, PvP, raiding, etc.) will pan out to be great remains to be seen, but I’m having so much fun with its ‘twitch rotation’ trinity combat that I don’t care, yet. Comparisons to WoW are superficial, since it plays absolutely nothing like it, even though it looks somewhat like it (anno TBC).

  25. Romeric says:

    I downloaded the open beta and have played up until level 10. I will play more. I have been pleasantly surprised by this game. It has the familiarity of games like WoW, but also has managed to carve out its own personality. It is far from stale. I’ve been impressed by the improved physics engine and how smoothly the interface works. I think they’ve got the formula just right. Subscription based, with what sounds like an excellent PLEX-like economy. Of course how well that works will be found out in time.

    Long story short, I think this is a great contender for the next WoW. I played WoW on and off for a good number of years. This game is for fans of WoW, who perhaps don’t necessarily want to play WoW. A strange target audience but I must admit I am one of them. Pretty tempted to preorder!

  26. Borodin says:

    After spending a few hours on WildStar with three different character types, I have to say that I don’t see World of Warcraft being in any great danger.

    The combat mechanism is a refreshing change from other online RPGs, with the zone of effect of your current spell (and that of your opponent’s) being marked clearly on the ground. But it is different rather than better, and is no less likely to result in tedium after months of the same play.

    What grates with me is the zany humour that never goes away. The medic uses a pair of defibrillator paddles as weapons. I didn’t find that funny in the first place, but it’s a joke that gets told over and over again every time you do battle, and I doubt that even the most light-hearted person would continue to laugh for long.

    All the voices are in a variety of North American stereotypes, and you’re obviously supposed to find these funny too. I recognise the “redneck” and the “Louisiana gal” but the others go straight over my head, and again can’t hope to stay funny for long.

    Alec made this point in his Wot I Think about Warlock 2, saying “If you want a reputation as one of the strategy greats, sticking a clown wig on top of all your smart ideas is a bloody funny thing to do.” WildStar clearly finds itself hilarious, but that isn’t a great cue for everyone else to take it seriously.