Wildstar is no Threat to World of Warcraft

Wildstar is no Threat to World of Warcraft

I’m about five days into Wildstar now. I’ve advanced my Esper to level 24. Managed to complete an adventure and a dungeon. Most importantly, I participated in two world boss raid events to get a glimmer of what actual raiding will be like at max level. Wildstar does bill itself as Hardcore and there may come a day where it could even challenge WoW for the lion’s share of subscribers.

But not any time soon.

Simply put, this game is just not ideal for the casual player. Doesn’t matter if you want to attach the term casual to a player who doesn’t have the requisite skill or interest or time.

If you suck at moving from plainly obvious telegraphed markings on the ground, you will die.

If you suck at timing your key presses, you will not be able to take advantage of certain bonuses.

If you can’t invest the necessary time to grind out the cash or develop your character, you won’t be very effective.

The stark comparison between Wildstar and vanilla WoW is uncanny. I remember farming for Tubers. I remember farming for Dark Runes. I remember making the choice between spending my gold on new abilities or a mount so I can move around faster (Mount wins). This game just isn’t going to be as accessible to a more casual oriented audience. Not unless significant changes come later on in the game’s life. WoW has multiple modes of raiding and dungeon difficulty that allows players to pick and choose their poison. With Wildstar, you only get one and if you’re group isn’t good enough, tough. You’ll have to come back when you get better.

Almost all aspects of the game are gated against the casual player. If you fail at timing your key presses or hitting them at the right time, you can still perform the quest. It’ll just take ten seconds later. Combat itself can be unforgiving. If you die, you can find yourself resurrected at the opposite end of a zone (unless you shelled out some cash).

Let’s talk about raiding

I love it. I was a proponent of AVR back in the days of Icecrown Citadel. I assume Wildstar devs were too. Now this game has AVR mechanics (called telegraphs) all over the place. I was conversing with one of my raiders who hated Blade Lord Ta’yak (Heart of Fear, 2nd boss). They completely despised the tornado running mechanic. The raid bosses have different abilities like that which will make the game un-fun for people who aren’t able to handle it.

Here’s a quick image set to showcase how telegraphing works:

Mattycus.140603.111234

See the red lines that are expanding from the middle? If you stand in it, you’ll get struck down by something like this:

Mattycus.140603.111237

At the end of the fight, there’s an encounter breakdown which ranks you by your contribution. How much healing did you do? How much damage did you deal? How much damage did you take?

I would like to just say that I took zero damage in that attempt. But I didn’t screenshot it. Therefore, according to the rules of the internet, it did not happen.

Interrupt mechanics aren’t as simple as hitting a key to actually interrupt. No, sometimes you need more than one and they have to be synchronized. In the below image on the bottom right, you can see Metalmaw’s target frame. Just left of it, you’ll see the number 9 over a shield. Metalmaw is casting a large firebreath type ability. It takes 9 different interrupts to actually interrupt the breath. Everyone has to coordinate and hit their button at the same time. Otherwise the interrupt shield will re-activate after a few seconds. Some bosses have more.

Mattycus.140603.160557

With respect to healing, it is a different game. There’s no raid frames to click on or players to mouse over. Most of your spells have to be aimed or placed. Find the biggest clump of players and unload your healing spells. If there’s a player at low health, you better hope they’re near you or else they won’t get healed up. In fact, I think the only way to heal is to activate friendly name plates which is going to be overwhelming at the 40 man level. If you had a hard time standing in Efflorescence, then you’re not going to have fun either. In WoW, I usually stand at max range to minimize prospects of getting hit by stuff. But healers could simply target my bars and keep me healed that way. Here as a DPS player, I’ve had to pay attention to the ground circles and arcs and actually stand in them to ensure I get topped up when I needed.

It’s not just the healer’s responsibility to dish out heals. It’s your responsibility to stand in them.

Mattycus.140603.155731

I know Tobold doesn’t think the game can be healthy long term if the state of the game is like this. I don’t agree. You can appeal to a certain subset of a population. I don’t see Wildstar hitting 8 million subscribers anytime soon. But it doesn’t need that many to stay financially healthy. All it needs is to hit that X number of subscribers which can power the infrastructure and provide resources for the devs to continue delivering on content. If it can hit that number, it’ll be fine. I haven’t seen any microtransaction models yet but there is that ability where players can swap in game credit and purchase game time (and vice versa from other players). I see many guilds in Wildstar advertising themselves as casual raiders. I give them 3 months tops (and that’s an optimistic number). But Warcraft has a diverse number of activities that will appeal to players of different varieties.

I am fully expecting Mythic raiding to offer the same challenge as what I’ve seen so far in Wildstar. I hope not to be let down.

If this the world bosses above are any indication, then raiding in this game is going to be challenging and fun. I would have loved to start a Wildstar chapter for Conquest but I can’t stretch myself out in that sense. No one wants to be an officer much less a guild leader. Can’t wait to reach end game though!

For those interested, I’m Mattycus on Stormtalon (Exile side).

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

7 comments
kingerzexpress
kingerzexpress

A hollow game filled with elitist-bullies.  Many bugs.  Claims to be next-gen, but is NOT.  I feel ripped-off and wish that I had never bought it.  Unsubbed and hope to see it fade into oblivion.  I'd love to buy a TBC game today.  That, I would pay for.

Klinxexile
Klinxexile

Good read and well said... MMOMAIL527 is just not mentally developed enough to understand how to read an article HAHAHA.


Im 29 run a business and wildstar is an epic grind with stupid dailys and gearing up to do raids is bullcrap my opinion. Age of conan if you hit 80 BAM! you go raid and it was tough raids but well done, Can not stomach the grind to gear and do veteran dungeons and adventures to gear up... Im top level let me raid FFS! dont make me do the same crap as i was leveling for example veteran mode when im top level so i can gear up and then raid.... Take more of my time and money geez!


Kids have time but there kids and there are a crap load of em on wildstar makes pug groups the worst cause they are kids and dont know what to do... I got more money then kids to spend on the game so why not make it not so much a time sink cause thats what it is a bloody time sink!

mmomail527
mmomail527

get your discusting grubby casual paws off of Wildstarr than. I'm pretty sure that Wildstarr was made to not be like the wow world of dogshit is now and quite frankly alot of gamers are thrilled about it. We dont want to be like world of casual craft so if you dont like it go back to that heap of shit

Fosforo
Fosforo

Loved the review, but the image size is way too small to see what you're talking about.

danceindepalem00nlight
danceindepalem00nlight

@Klinxexile LOL this is the mentality wow has created, you would have never survived in EQ days. How do we know if you are "Top-Level" if you cant even silver some dungeons or refuse to grind for your gear, the attunement steps are a "DUMMY CHECK". Age of conan was a bad game.... Using it as an example against WS is almost asinine.  I work 9-5 every day, yet still have time to go out, cap out my EG's for the week, and raid 3-4 days a week. You're saying "I got more money then kids spend on the game", who was asking? Outside of sub fees/CREDD everyone pays the same. The wow mentality is staring to leak out, "I hit level cap, Give me access". Just maybe the game isn't for you then? We can read just fine, I just humbly disagree. Also... way too many typos, and horribly conjectured sentences for a 29 year old business owner, I call shenanigans. 

rubthesleep
rubthesleep

@mmomail527 WoW followed their audience which is a big reason that they dropped in subs so much over the years. For example, I was 18 when the game came out. I could call into work when I wanted, not go into classes if I didnt feel like it and had a ton of free time and extra income. I was able to play non stop for a few years which is what Wildstar seems to have gone for. The non stop playing, which is fine for teenagers and young adults. I am now 28, married, living in another country, and working on a higher degree in school. So you can call WoW poop now, but the game targets the players who have been around a long time really. My friends are lucky if they get time to play one day a week since they all have kids now and full time jobs. Wildstar will be very fun for younger audience who didnt get to really play WoW when it was new and at an acceptable age to properly socialize online. Not all of us are stuck in our young years still trying to sit on our butts and play games all day. Whether that is being lazy, or still trying to think up get rich quick schemes... GL with that though!

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@mmomail527 Whoa, easy there friend. A little excessive and unneeded hostility there. I never said I didn't like it. I love it, actually. I like the challenge and the tougher and twitchier components. There's no need for an either/or thing here.