I am enjoying Wildstar. The writing is humorous and some of the effects are over the top – for instance, the animation when you level up.
But what I like most of all is the “active” combat. It is refreshing after playing so many tab-target MMOs. You can tab select an enemy but doesn’t mean your attack will hit. You need to position them in the effect area of your skill. Selecting is useful for things like telling your scan bot to scan them.
In the pic above, my skill takes effect in a frontal arc. It’s a pale blue wedge in front of me which is hard to see given the color of the ground/snow. Anyway, as my skill charges, a line moves to the far edge and when it hits the perimeter, the skill fires.
Mob skills are in red, in the pic above it is a red square. Same thing, when the line reaches the edge (far edge from the mob, close edge to me) the skill fires.
The key is: if you aren’t in the effect area, you don’t take damage. Or at the very least you take much less. All the mobs I’ve seen telegraph their attacks this way, so rather than standing still and plinking away, Wildstar encourages you to dodge and move out of the way by telegraphing upcoming attacks. In some ways the combat movement makes this a hybrid of MMO and FPS style fighting.
So combat in this game is hitting your skills and moving so the enemy in your skill’s effect area by the time the skill fires, and avoiding their skill’s effect area by the time their skills fire. And as a Medic, planting a field (a small AoE DoT effect, more or less) and then trying to keep the mob in the field as well, so it makes the most of the field’s duration and effect.
It’s kinda fun so be moving around while fighting. It’s a bit like GW2, but as I remember there only the serious mobs telegraphed attacks, plus some skills weren’t usable while moving.
I’m not sure how good/bad that would be for PvP, but it turns out: I don’t care. It’s fun for me in PvE and that’s what I’m playing. Maybe other classes can’t do this, maybe some skills have to be usable while stopped, but I kind of hope it is the same for every class and skill: every skill can be used while moving and you can avoid the bulk of the effect by being out of the way. That’s just awesome. And as far as PvP, as long as skill usage while moving is consistent, then it should be fine (assuming other balancing is taken into consideration).
Actually, for PvP I think this would be far preferable to other MMOs (that shall remain nameless) where some classes have ranged attacks they can use while moving, and other classes are melee range and have some skills that can only be used while standing still. That design mechanism totally sucks, because enemy players move and dodge while fighting, they just don’t stand there and eat attacks at melee range like mob AI; classes might be balanced fine for dumb PvE AI but then have significant disadvantages in PvP making the whole thing kinda miserable because you generally can’t change classes.
Whoops, sorry about the mini-rant. 😉
Anyway, another cool thing about Wildstar are zone improvements that other characters can make, if they are the Settler path and go through the trouble of doing it, etc.
Here, I’m taking advantage of a “Critical Strike” buffing station that someone built. I’m sure the stations don’t last long but it is a nice mechanic if somebody was questing ahead of you and built an improvement.
Dominion vs Exile
After playing my Mechari and Granok, I decided I liked the looks of the Granok more. Yep, that’s what it comes down to. And the reality is I’m only going to have time to play one char in Wildstar, so Granok Medic on the Exile side it is. 🙂 Maybe down the road I’ll work my Dominion char along, or play when I have a bit of spare time.
I made it to level 6 (about 85% to level 7) and the 2nd zone, Algoroc.
I unlocked Action Set Builders. I’m not even sure what they are. The UI looks… wild. Like WTF is this?! Need to hit the wikis and interwebz for more information.
It vaguely looks like the skill/ability wheel in TSW, which was also confusing at first. I’m sure if I fiddled around a bit it will make sense.