I was originally quite put-off when Wlidstar was releasing that first rush of information. What they were selling was not really what I was interested in at the time; I wanted something new, something more innovative and more interesting than the next space wow.
The visuals were over the top but so much so that it irritated me just watching the videos; colourful is great but I would much rather that be an accent on the world rather than being surrounding by the entirety of the colour palette. It also seemed like the main attraction was just going to be the usual quest hubs, killing static mobs and grinding out large raids.
There still seems to be a lot of that but now it seems like it is going to be enhanced by a few other things and supported by interesting mechanics and alternative game types. It isn’t a reinvention but it certainly could reinvigorate interest.
The Call of Combat
In earlier versions of the game the combat looked rather simplistic and dumbed down. Incoming damage was minimal and you barely had to exercise caution and movement. The animations were rather bad, the telegraph system was off-putting and the mechanics themselves seem to lack many options.
With polish it seems to have improved dramatically. The animations look much better with the options and types of telegraphs are now a nice supplement to the active combat style. It seems the complexity of combat has jumped as well with the NPC enemies gaining new abilities and interesting combos to avoid. It does have the modern-day reduced hotbar which is easy to learn but with the amount of customisation and an emphasis on timing and movement during combat it should keep players active, engaged and busy theory-crafting optimal strategies for a while to come.
All over the Options
I’m kind of liking how diverse the character options and creation are as well. The classes show of a good mix of gameplay styles in regards to the mechanics; they each have a different aesthetic but also a focus on a particular mechanic style. They even showed how the classes differ in the attack patterns in regards to the area of effect, direction and distance of skills.
There is going to be something for everyone. I’m definitely sold on the on the medic class as my main as I really enjoy that pro-active style of healing and support. The inherent area control is a nice part as well.
There is an interesting selection of races in each faction too. There is a good mix of plain, weird, cute and creepy to pick from, enough that people in the guild are just happy with whatever faction… that rarely happens. I can only imagine the wars that will be had when picking a WH40k faction (ELDAR!!) but here it’s no issue.
Character creator seems suitable with many options and some race specific ones to create a character unique to you. It also seems like a game that is going to get and understand the importance of fluff: variety of cosmetics, mounts, weapons to choose from… and HOUSING!
Bring the Beat-Down
Oh how I missed thee. I’m terribly excited to once again enjoy some open-world PvP, these large battlegrounds and such just aren’t the same. I love that feeling of tension and apprehension you feel, the excitement of the unplanned and just the emergent elements it creates.
Even if terribly designed without any sort of planned mechanics that initial period will still be an amazing experience. On release, when everyone is still learning the systems and where people are levelling kind of at the same pace is really quite glorious.
I look forward to the unplanned fights and ganks, the raids on enemy camps and outposts, and the beautiful wars they instigate. Worth the price of admission in my mind.
The Warplots thing could be fun, it looks completely crazy and might give guilds long term goals to work towards. Then there is the standard battleground and such which I assume in this day and age will have there own leaderboards and rewards and such… or else.
I also get the feeling from the Q&A’s and live-streams that the understand the importance and implications of cc systems and balancing for PvP. Usually CC systems can be insanely frustrating with how they take control away from the player and then being decimated without the ability to fight back but they have some novel approaches to it with the breakout system and the variety of available cc types.
With the predominance of directional attacks it also places the emphasis on timing and player skill during combat. The comparisons to Guild Wars 2 seem rather apt right now except they seem to be further downplaying the use of lock on attacks and better use of area affect skills. Oh yeh, there’s a trinity too…Hallelujah
I’m really interested this time and although I expect it to last longer than the usual 3 months or less I don’t believe it will have that long-lasting appeal that keeps people interested and engaged for a year or more. It should be a fun ride though.
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