Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WildStar Reaction Round-Up

It took most of yesterday morning and some of the afternoon to plow through the nearly two hundred posts that piled up in my Feedly feed while we were away. I did take both my Android tablet and my iPod Touch with me but hotel WiFi, at least in the kind of hotels we end up staying in, has yet to reach a state of grace where web browsing offers an attractive alternative to sitting on the balcony reading a good book. Or a bad book. Or the label on a sauce bottle.

If there was any apparent trend evident in the wealth of posts it must be that quite a lot of bloggers are playing WildStar even if some of them hadn't exactly planned on it. The most space-happy of all? That would probably be Liore at Herding Cats, who by her own admission doesn't want to write about anything else right now. Also at the front of the pack and bouncing with enthusiasm is Syp, although he's had some of the shine taken off his experience by a series of connectivity issues and bugs, something The Nosy Gamer suspects might be at the root of the swift drop-off that saw WildStar fall almost 25% in XFire log-ins this week.

Channeling Eeyore rather than Tigger, yet still very much committed to giving the new game a good run out, comes Tobold, who announced his intent to get his three months in a while back. His enthusiasm appears only mildly dimmed by the growing controversy over Casual vs Hardcore and what it might mean for the long-term future of the game (a better example of which would be hard to find than Jaedia's account of her first low-level dungeon run). He's a lot less enthusiastic about keeping up his WildStar Journal, which limped to eight entries and then closed up shop, although that hasn't stopped him making some pointed observations on the current state of crafting in the game.

Rolling in somewhere in the middle, unconvinced but still willing to give WildStar the benefit of the doubt for the sake of seeing something if not new then at least newly painted, come Rowan and Saylah. Go in with your expectations low and you're less likely to be disappointed, especially if you arrive in good company. Syl, meanwhile, admits to being confused why she's playing WS instead of the other MMOs she knows she ought to prefer. She's having a fine old time despite all that, so much so that she's thinking about putting down roots.

Finally, bringing up the rear, indeed possibly leaving an inch-deep heel-trail in the ground, there's J3w3l, who couches her announcement that she's caved and bought WildStar in a pithy and revealing explanation of why ESO turned out to be a lot less than sum of its parts. Come to think about it, though, she might have some competition as the least-enthusiastic purchaser of the New Shiny, even so. Keen has posted just once about his experiences, exactly two weeks ago, at which point the thought uppermost in his mind was already the problem of falling behind the rest of the guild he's supposed to be leading.

Of those not writing about the game, Stargrace, at least, is in fact playing. Only her position with Carbine mitigates against blogging about it. Most everyone else is stalwartly ignoring the new upstart altogether or waving it past with a vague promise to maybe go look at it someday, when there's nothing better going on and/or the price is right. Perhaps the most curious blogosphere non-show when it comes to WildStar is the KTR team, specifically Zubon and Ravious, who flew out to Carbine's Arkship press junket the Spring before last, put up a short series of pieces about it and then never mentioned the game again.

Me, I'm somewhat torn. WildStar does look and sound like a lot of fun and I definitely didn't not enjoy the beta. It's still mostly that I don't have time to play another MMO, at least not enough to make the box+sub cost worthwhile. It's a shame to miss the new MMO experience, though. As Murf says in his first full-blown non-blog MMO article "If you want to have your finger on the pulse of any MMORPG, it is best to start fast and early."

Maybe I'll get a second bite at that cherry with the F2P conversion.


  1. Wildstar's hype train never hooked me. Something about it just felt "off" to me for some reason. But as launch approached and people wrtoe about it I figured I'd give it a shot in beta, at least. I did, but after just a couple of hours I was done. Can't say what was wrong, but it just didn't "have it" for me.

    And of course now that it has launched and everybody, their dog, and its puppies are writing about it and posting screenies. . . . part of me wants to jump back in to be on the train, so to speak, and yet..... there's still something.... off........ So I won't. For now I'm still happy enough with ESO and TSW just released Tokyo and I've bought the expansion but haven't actually jumped in yet so I still need to do that.

    1. I almost included a paragraph about ESO and which bloggers are still playing and writing about it. There aren't many. Werit is about the only one who comes to mind. How are you finding it a couple of months in?

    2. Nomadic Gamers still write about ESO too: http://nomadicgamer.wordpress.com/ I try to get one post a week in about the game.

  2. "The most space-happy of all? That would probably be Liore at Herding Cats..."

    Dammit, so busted.

  3. So box+sub is the limiter for playing? Or is it the perception of value for money based on time spent? I know I stopped playing FF14 because of time, not the cost. And GW2 gets zero time too, even with a sunk cost. WoW gets me for a month or so, every other year.

    Curious as to how you make the decision

    1. Irrationally, mostly. I've had a sub for either EQ or the All Access/Station Pass for the last 15 years bar one 6 month break even though nowadays I only play a few hours a week and don't do anything I couldn't do for free. I've had it running so long and have so many characters across so many SOE games that it doesn't feel like a sub, more like a club membership fee and like any club fee you pay it so you could use the facilities not because you have any intention of using them.

      That's the exception, though. Other than that, if I'm paying a sub I feel at least some pressure to play the game. Ditto if I've bought the "box" and it comes with 30 days. Right now I have a long list of MMOs I already want to play but don't seem to be getting round to and most of those interest me more than WildStar.

      There are other factors, too. Mrs Bhagpuss isn't interested in WildStar at all, which wouldn't make much difference if I was really keen - I play a lot of MMOs she never bothers with - but since I'm not *that* keen to play it does make it easier to pass. Then there's the fact that if I was going to pay a sub there's another subscription MMO I'm more interested in than WildStar that I haven't yet been able to make time for - The Hammers End. If I felt I could a new game the bulk of my time for a month I'd pick that one (even though I suspect I wouldn't find 30 days worth of content there, but I won't know that until I try it).

      In the end it does all come down to time I guess. I could afford to buy WildStar and subscribe but there doesn't seem much point if I don't have time to do it justice. As I said, htough, it's not really a rational decision, more a feeling.

  4. if you want some hands on experience I still have some 7 days access passes. Not sure if they will be active after I cancel my sub or how long after tho.

    My experiences generally fall in synch with those who found it enjoyable but not enough to justify a sub. While I found WS good, only parts I liked was those I did solo; which was a pretty big negative for me.

  5. I also have 7 day access passes. Let me know if want them Bhag.
    I am subbed and not playing due to business of life, and feel like I am only doing my part by subsidizing heavy gaming users.

  6. @S. Tolga and Isey - Thanks for the offer both of you! The same issue of not finding time to play is going to be there even with a 7-day pass, unfortunately, although obviously not in such a pressing fashion as a box+sub purchase. I don't want to take one and effectively waste it but if either of you really don't have a better use for one then by all means fire it across ( bhagpuss@googlemail.com finds me ) - I might at least make time to pop in and take the temperature post-launch for blogging purposes.


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