Welcome to my review in progress for WildStar: Carbine’s space themed “hardcore” MMO. For the next two weeks I’ll be exploring the planet Nexus, writing down my adventures and impressions on a daily basis. Be sure to check back regularly for my latest thoughts, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions in the comments section below.
Levels 6-11 / Hour 8: Questing and Ellevar
Questing in WildStar doesn’t differ too much from the norm: you talk to an NPC, get handed a task, complete it and turn it in. So far it’s been a lot of collect X and kill Y; but WildStar’s combat is such a joy to experience I’ve never felt frustrated when an arbitrary number is flung my way. Every enemy has some sort of telegraphed unique attack, which can take you by surprise if you’re not paying attention.
Lets talk quickly about the telegraph system. On paper it’s relatively simple to grasp: enemies broadcast their special abilities with huge red areas on the ground. Step or remain inside the telegraphed attack when it triggers and you’re going to be in for a world of hurt. What this allows Carbine to do is turn the difficulty of fights up a notch, while not being unfair or cruel on the player. If you get hit by an attack, it’s because you didn’t react quickly enough. It’s down to you this time, not just raw numbers and stats.
Carbine have finely tuned quests to be as an efficient experience as possible. Most quests can be turned in remotely via your comms unit - and new ones picked up too - preventing the need to go to and from a quest hub like a yo-yo and waste time. Your objectives can also be easily tracked - unless the quest deems it inappropriate - with a GPS like arrow. It’s rare to ever find yourself lost on the planet Nexus.
The actual quest content itself is another prime example of how streamlined it feels. Outside of the main and regional storylines, the majority of quests you pick up will be enclosed with their own little arcs, usually of a silly demeanor. The side quests that litter the zones are for the most part silent affairs; with only the main ones completely voice acted.
But this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. I was allowed to quickly scan through and gleam the important bits from floating quest text, which ultimately led to a high tempo between multiple quests:
You want me to go lure a huge bull with a rocket launcher that fires vegetables? Sounds fab.
This unsavoury character has been caught committing treason against the glorious Dominion and needs to be dealt with? I can handle that.
I have to go and gain the trust of the local indigenous species by throwing a ball in their elders face? If you say so.
The pace in which I pick up a quest, understand the objective and then complete it is entirely dictated by me. I’m not waiting around for rambling dialogues to finish, or drawn out scripted events to run their course. I’m in control, and it feels great.
Tomorrow I’ll be taking PVP for a spin with the Walatiki Temple battleground, and also talking about the ability & amp system. If you’re playing WildStar yourself, you can find me on the Eko server (EU) on the Dominion side. Add “Dweia” and let me know you’ve come from the site!