WildStar Preview: Taking what you think you know about MMOs and adding a unique spin
After getting my hands on Carbine’s MMO WildStar, I can definitely say there is a whole lot going on in this game. Though playing a level 25 character without any previous gameplay experience, WildStar is quite overwhelming. By no means do I mean this in a negative light though; if anything, it is a tribute to what the game is going to be about. I like the depth, I like the potential, I accept the challenge.
When I was playing, I was in control of a Mordesh Stalker (go Exiles). The first thing that stuck out to me was the lack of an auto attack. I could spam the first ability but your character will only act when you tell it too. Also, this spam-able attack also attacked in an ark. From what I played , it seemed that positioning will be king. Your abilities will come in different shapes and sizes which you can aim and miss with. To really excel at WildStar, you’re going to want to get familiar with your classes’ kit and capabilities.
As a stealth class, I could disappear and backstab from the shadows. While in stealth, certain abilities had special qualities when used in this state. The backstab ability also had charges. This way the Stalker can’t just maximize damage by pressing one button in raids. Certain abilities can only be used at certain times. The stun could be used while the global cool down was active. Those certain rules you expect aren’t necessarily in play – I dig that.
At this point, enemy broadcasted attacks aren’t anything new. WildStar adds its own flavor though. I saw certain arches/AOEs/total random attacks appear that I had to dodge. Again, this plays with what you expect and know while keeping you on your toes. The area I was playing in was also a PvP zone. When I got ganked, it was an interesting experience to see my abilities and my foe’s abilities appear. This non tab-targeting type of play really adds a new layer of skill to the typical PvP model. In a game that returns to the 40-man raids, it’s good to see that skill will still become a factor.
What stood out to me the most, was how characters get their roles. By removing the talent trees, WIldStar uses gear to determine what role your character will play. This isn’t just about gear sets, literally your capabilities change with specific gear. The Stalker can either be a DPS based class or a tank depending on the combination of what you’re wearing. Need more damage in a certain fight in a raid? Switch it on the fly. With no specs or even duel-specs, if you have the right items you can play the full gambit of your character class. You are also limited on how many abilities you can have on your bar, with the ability to swap these in and out as you please. This takes a bit of foresight and planning to the everyday grind.
This may seem like a blanket statement, but to really get what WildStar is about, you’ll have to play it for yourself. I got my hands on it for a solid 20+ minutes and I don’t even feel like I’ve scratched the surface. To get the essence of the game, you’re going to have to learn it starting from the beginning. I didn’t even get a chance to explore paths. My suggestion would be to continue keeping an eye on this game, sign up for the beta, and play some WildStar.