WildStar: Confessions of an Ex-WoW Player

Thanks to both my dad and my brother, I grew up playing RTS games like Starcraft, Age of Empires, Total Annihilation, and Warcraft. In 2004, when the MMORPG World of Warcraft was released, I jumped at the opportunity to actually be a part of a the Warcraft lore that I had come to enjoy so much. Namoria, my feral druid (a nightelf gone tauren), became part of my online identity.

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To avoid stating my exact /played time, I’m just going to go ahead and say that I played the game a lot. I leveled to 60, joined a hardcore raiding guild, and eventually worked my way into becoming one of the guild leaders. I was only 15 at the time, so the fact that I took part in leading raids of 40 people, most of which were older than me, is still a little crazy. In a way, it shows the capability that MMORPGs have to positively affect their players: inspiring people to step into leadership roles they may have otherwise abandoned, building confidence, organizing people and items in both an economical and tactical setting. Some may see WoW as a waste of time, but I see it as something that that helped me get to where I am now. As I said in a previous article, while games can provide an educational experience, it is up to the player to live that experience or not.

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Anyways, I played WoW through Cataclysm. By that point the game had lost its initial zest; exploring became less adventurous and leveling became easier. Between having to maintain a monthly subscription and school, I simply didn’t have the time to put into World of Warcraft anymore.

If you have played WoW, then you know that once you quit there is a hole left in your gaming heart. I tried to find other MMORPGs that could possibly fill the gap that WoW’s experience created. Recently, I thought this gap would be filled by Guild Wars 2. Many of my friends in graduate school were playing it, so I thought it would be a great way to pick things back up. Although Guild Wars 2 is a great game, it didn’t satisfy me enough to stick with it. I then realized that I needed some sort of version of vanilla WoW.

Enter WildStar. I had never heard of this game, but then I got invited to a press release at E3 regarding a new and upcoming MMORPG. Curious, I looked up videos from PAX about the game, and was immediately intrigued by it’s overall style. Made by Carbine Studios, WildStar looks very similar to WoW in terms of art, but is a bit more unique in that it blends both science fiction and fantasy. From what I have seen, the game is extremely vibrant and colorful. Although the graphics are not exactly next-gen material, they still look fantastic and can easily be run on PCs that would otherwise lack the ability to play the game.

There appear to be quite a few things that set this game apart from other MMOs, though there is still much to be discovered about it. You actually get “player housing,” in which you can make and customize your own house (I got WAY to excited about this). Similar to inns in WoW, you can get rest experience in your home to enhance your character leveling or invite your friends over for a beer. Pretty awesome stuff.

Within the game itself, there are two factions and eight races. So far, the races and characters of the game are light-hearted, diverse, and refreshing. They range from the Aurin, who appear to be an adorable hybrid between a human, fox, and bunny, to the Granoks, giant golems made of boulders. Similarly, the classes, though they do fall into the traditional warrior, mage, and rogue spectrum, each offer the player a unique experience through different class-based personalities and stories (similar to the class-based quests in Guild Wars 2). Each time you create a character, you can also choose a path for them to follow, which will allow you to explore different story-lines within the game. In addition to housing and unique characters, Carbine created a dynamic world that begs to be explored, each video I have seen of the game having a completely different setting.

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Right now we know that there will also be PvP and that 40-man raids (GAH!!!) will be available in WildStar’s end-game content. Will this be a WoW-killer? Who knows, as it seems that prediction is often made and never met. However, it does seem like a promising  and exciting game, even in comparison to the Elder Scrolls Online. We still do not know if it will be pay-to-play or not, which is often a major factor that can make or break the popularity of an MMO. Regardless, color me intrigued. We will be keeping an eye on it at E3.

Wildstar has been in development for a while now, and is said to be released sometime in 2013.

*E3 Update: My great friend and fantastic writer, Robyn Miller, will be covering E3 with me this year. Be sure to check out her blog, Nerd-Person Narrative , for updates and other compelling reads!

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14 thoughts on “WildStar: Confessions of an Ex-WoW Player

  1. Color me intrigued as well! This post made me go take a more in-depth look at the game overall and I am so sold. The biggest feature for me is the ability to choose a path! In other words, its not quest and kill to level. You have more options that contribute to your leveling and the overall gameplay. It looks so fun. 🙂 Not to mention it sates my sudden thirst for sci-fi that I never knew would get so intense!

    – Britney

    1. I love that ability as well! One big downfall with WoW was re-making the same character over and over again. Being able to have a unique story the entire game really helps the replay value.

  2. There’s something about being able to own a fictional residence that always draws me in. Maybe my standards need to be higher, but if you tell me that I can buy a house or business or something along those lines I will immediately take a look at your game.

    1. I think you standards are fantastic, as that’s exactly how I feel. I was way too excited about Hearthfire for Skyim. I’ll probably spend more time in my house than actually questing.

    1. Thank you so much Laurie, I really appreciate it. :]
      Congrats on your award!
      Despite being pretty new to the wordpress world, I love your blog and look forward to more,

  3. Sounds like an interesting game that I’ll probably give a shot if its F2P. Never even tried one of the free trials for WoW (something about that game just puts me off for some reason). Never really liked the pay aspect of an MMO.

    Love RTS games though, and played a ton of Age of Empires. My favorite though, and one I still play to this day, is Rise of Nations.

  4. I love RuneScape as an MMO a lot. Though I never tried World of Warcraft, I’ve heard both good and bad things about it. I’ll definitely look at some footage of it on YouTube.

    Otherwise, I’m gonna stick with RuneScape and start building up my clan from humble beginnings to something close-knit and friendly. In fact, I would recommend RuneScape to anyone looking for a fun way to spend the time. As a MMO, RuneScape doesn’t have a defined endgame like most other MMOs (from what I’ve heard), where it’s all about the means, not the ends. (Getting even a max skill in RuneScape will take you hours, and there are twenty-five of them) Yes, leveling up skills takes less time than the past, but that comes with every MMO, really.

    Anyways, this was a good read. Keep it up!

    1. It’s going to be fantastic; I had some hands-on time with it at E3, and it plays so well. The double jump is a brilliant addition for combat. I’ll be writing up a review for it soon. 🙂

  5. Well, I remember back in 2011, when they first announced it, (I think it was around then anyway; there were some videos circulating the web at that time for sure, such as this from 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4fIruA4fxo ), Wildstar got me all hyped up. Took some time before it actually arrived, but when it finally did, it was a pretty good experience tbh.

    I had some beta invites, but by the time I got those, I was a bit on the fence. Nevertheless I picked up the game on launch day and started running around with a Warrior. The whole experience of it was pretty decent (I am saying this as a long time WoW player). The story is compelling and the areas (zones) are well made. Lacks a bit in some of the sub-systems such as trading/crafting/auction house interfaces, but I suppose that will all be ironed out as time goes by. The PvP is pretty decent too.

    As an MMO, I can put it this way: If this was the first MMO ever made, people would be over the moon about it. It IS a great game in itself. The raiding has an unprecedented approach, for example ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lr5wzAviCQ ). Thing is, over the years we have seen so many games fall into the trap of trying to copy one another or do the same, only better – well, this might be a good thing actually – because it creates competition and we all know competition is good for the end user. But none has really “risen to the challenge” of becoming a “WoW killer”. Honestly I do not think anyone ever will. A new, successful MMO has to be a good experience in its own right and for its own reasons.

    As for the economy there is one thing that really separates Wildstar from other MMOs; the C.R.E.D.D. system. The way they laid out this whole feature is pretty unique. It is about taking power away from the 3d party actors and transferring it over to the players. I know that one can get a good deal on some sites, such as g2a: https://www.g2a.com/r/wildstar-category-global – but if one can make big bucks in game (being sort of an in game tycoon), one can actually end up paying for the subscription by just playing the game.

    In the end I think it is safe to say that the impressions one gets from playing a new MMO depends on where you are coming from. If you have played MMOs for 15 years, you will not easily get impressed. But if you are just starting out, and Wildstar is your first MMO experience, it is as good as any.

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