Sarcan’s WildStar Preview
Interview with a Tester
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON Wildstar-online.com, part 1 on January 09, 2013 and part 2 on January 16, 2013
As part of WildStar’s Friends and Family Testing, I was asked to answer questions from the community about the state WildStar. All the answers were my impression of WildStar are the time after testing for 3 months.
Before the new year, we held a WildStar Uplink where we asked you what questions you’d like a Friends & Family tester to answer. Gathering up those questions, we then turned them over to one of our current testers who agreed to help us out by answering your questions honestly. Below is Part 1 of his unfiltered responses, both good and bad, giving you a glimpse into the progress WildStar has been making so far and what you should expect to see in beta. Huge thanks to for his help in answering your questions!
- Chris Blake: What has been the most fun so far?
Delving into the mystery that is Nexus. As you travel through the areas, you discover the stories behind each and every creature and artifact, learning the complex relationships between the natives and the wilds. There is just so much to see and do.
- Bkmiller428: What feature causes you the most grief?
Double Jump is one of my favorite features that are also the one that gives me the most grief. While in combat and traveling through the world, jumping and double jumping are extremely useful and responsive. However, there are challenges that require precision jumping. Some of the jumps have to be made with the double jump feature. The issue is the lack of precision control in the jump and the landing.
What seems like it would actually be easier to control because you can change direction in the air, is actually difficult, at least for me, due to constantly overcompensating for the responsiveness. Tiny movements can get interpreted as a dodge; landing can have a momentum that will carry you past your intended landing pad. It is easily overcome with practice and possibly some adjustment to the feature functionality, but currently it has made me extremely frustrated in trying to complete some outstanding but difficult challenges.
- Tim Slager: Have you had the experience of “I’m going to play for 30 minutes, and then go do X” and realize that 5 hours later, you said that?
Am I limited to 5 hours? Because I don’t know how many times my wife has kicked me asking if I am going to come down and eat. I’ll promptly respond (without taking my eyes off the screen) that I am testing and just ate breakfast; I will be down later, at which point she proceeds to inform me that it is now time for dinner. And I only sat down to test for an hour. Boy, time can fly.
- Jonathan Dana: We know many things that are enjoyable. So I would ask what did you find less entertaining?
Personally, I find the path of Settler the least enjoyable, it just doesn’t seem to fit my play style. Just can’t seem to get into gathering resources and building stuff to augment towns and outposts. This from a hardcore crafter, who enjoys the gathering and building of things, was rather surprising to discover I didn’t enjoy it. I know others that absolutely love it and dislike my chosen path of Explorer. Looking into every nook and cranny is just not what they are into.
That is the beauty of the Paths: you can pick what fits you and neither choice is bad. There are no bonuses or penalties for choosing a path to go with a certain class or race. Each is an individual choice that you tailor to how you like to play.
- Andreas Scholten: Do you think that the classes of WildStar have enough different mechanics to play each class with a completely different feeling?
Absolutely. The way the class mechanics work, and the way the abilities are used are different enough to require a learning curve when you switch classes. Even when you switch between melee and melee or ranged and ranged. It is a completely different play style requiring different moves for different situations.
The nice thing about the mechanics is the fact that you can change out your abilities at any time (outside of combat) as long as you own the ability. This makes how you play a Warrior completely different than the Warrior next to you. So it not just different between classes, you’ll also see different mechanics within the class.
- Essaltap: did you find the telegraph system easy to learn? Hard to master? Sometimes messy when fighting multiple mobs?
Easy is subjective. Learning how telegraphs work is easy. Knowing what will come out of the telegraph can be hard. The telegraph lets you know where you shouldn’t be standing, but not any indication as to what the mob is going to do. That comes from learning the creatures you are fighting. It can be challenging to fight a single mob with the variety of attacks they will use, which is only compounded with multiple mobs.
Then you add on the layer of player telegraphs that you or your teammates are using, some of which are beneficial, and thus you want to actually be in the path of the ability. Group coordination can become crucial.
Telegraphs in WildStar are unlike telegraphs in or tells of any other game I have played. While in some games a creature has 3 types of attacks, in WildStar, those three attacks could have 16 different telegraphs depending on how they will execute the attack. Trying to just stand in one place during a fight is a good way to end up on your back for the entire fight and dead.
- ValkavGaming: If you could change one thing about the game after having played it, what would it be, and why?
The map interface is my number one target for change at the moment. Indicators on the map and lack of indicators can be confusing, especially when you go into an underground area and the map still shows the surface. Don’t get me wrong however, the current map functions well, I just feel that it can be improved on and needs to be improved upon. Instances should not share the same real estate as the main map for example. It just causes confusion when trying to explore the world and knowing where you have been.
The ability to add your own notes to the map is also a requested feature that I am hoping will get implemented in the near feature. In a world where space travel is possible, control on what and when you see things on a map should be a given.
Thanks again to all of you for your questions, as well as to for his help with the responses! We’ll have Part 2 for you next week!
Last week, we brought you Part 1 of your interview with a Friends & Family tester. This week, we wrap it up with the other half of your questions!
- real_lethality: Dearest friend and/or family WildStar tester: Does Nexus feel like a *place* you go to, rather than a video game you load into?
It does feel like a place, albeit a semi hostile one that you are trying to tame and make your home. I find it quite enjoyable to lose myself in the world of Nexus, trying to discover its many mysteries. Each area and even some subareas have its own ecology that makes it stand out. As you travel through the world, you experience the change, not just view it.
- Mohammed C. Wright: While leveling, do you find yourself rushing through the game ignoring the story and content? Or do you find yourself invested in world created for you as you level?
The story and environment are very engaging, it’s very difficult to rush through anything when you are so connected with the world around you. While you can ignore content and proceed through the zones, I would feel like I missed out on something if I did.
- Liquidgamez: Which race & class is your favourite one at this time?
My favorite race at the moment is the , I love how they move. What impresses me the most is how they swim, I could just swim around for hours.
My favorite class at the moment is the . The extremely mobile melee fighting style is just so engaging, and the stealth it has is an added bonus.
- KurikLein: Has WildStar exceeded your expectations and would you recommend it to other MMO players?
Absolutely. While not all of my expectations have been met YET, I was pleasantly surprised by just how far past some of my expectations they have gone. That is the thing with expectations, they are based on what you think is the right way things should be done. Then when you see the way they are doing them, you realize they are onto something way better they you had even imagined.
- mathieu_lessard: Do you feel like you have control of your character during combat? What are things you would like to see done with combat?
Combat is very dynamic with a lot of movement. Controlling that movement is very easy to manage while fighting.
Free-form targeting is a great way to fight and works very well; however there is still room for improvement in some of the abilities that can’t be used without a defined target. The flow between the free form abilities and the targeted abilities is my main concern with combat at this time.
- siegaplays: Does the path content have a significant effect on your playstyle in the current state of the game?
The paths are a very unique feature that define your playstyle while not impeding you in progression. You have a path that you can do while doing other things or focus on it as you see fit.
What is nice about the paths is the interaction that occurs in a group setting. Everyone can participate (to a point) in completing a path objective, thus getting exposure to the other paths. While not grouped, you may not even be aware that there is a path objective nearby for another path, so it really adds a dynamic level to the areas you travel through when you group up with other players.
- StarWarsDaddy: What separates WildStar from other MMO offerings? Mechanics? Content? Overall gameplay?
WildStar has broken the mold on race/class stat stove-piping. What I mean is that every Warrior will not necessarily be hunting the same piece of gear, it depends on the abilities you want to use, what role you want to fill and how you have allocated your stat points.
Almost every ability available to your class will have two stats that affect it. So the more points you have in that stat, the more effective that particular ability is when used and thus the more you want on your gear. While Strength and Technology may be the main stat most warriors take, some may wish to buff Magic-dependent abilities and use them instead, as an example.
- Diane Berry: Are you seeing signs in the form of tweaks to gameplay and systems that the development team is listening to your feedback?
With as much feedback as I give, a little hard for them not to listen. But in all seriousness, I know they read what every tester says and respond with at least an acknowledgement that it is in review, if not already in work for the next build. I have never been in a testing program with so much interaction between the testers and the devs. The level of communication is unprecedented.
The first time a dev just showed up in game to see how things were going and then joined me for a few missions, I almost had a heart attack. Notice I said first, because it happens often. We even schedule events where the devs come out in force and play with the testers. Then take all our feedback and observations from the event.
Huge thanks to everyone for participating in the interview, and again to our Friends & Family tester for taking time out of his day to answer your questions!