First (Week) Impressions

WildStar has officially been available for play for a week now, and I’ve had the good fortune to play at least a little every day. So what has ol’ Gracie been up to? How did the first week go? Read on!

Like many of my Chili and Cornbread guildies, I stayed up way too late on Friday night to be online right when Headstart began. I poured myself a celebratory glass of apple pie moonshine and waited for the final countdown. The mood was festive but when the clock struck midnight PST it became clear pretty quickly that the launch would not be completely smooth. It would be over an hour before folks were able to start logging into the game, and my moonshine, while still delicious, was quite warm by then.

Did you think I was kidding about the moonshine?

Did you think I was kidding about the moonshine?

Other than that initial hiccup I think the launch went fairly smoothly for a major MMO. There were definitely some lingering bugs, but nothing gamebreaking for me, and many were fixed within the first day or two. Our guild chose a server which hasn’t been plagued by the long queue times that some of the PvP servers were experiencing, but frankly during the first 48 hours of the Headstart I wasn’t ever logged out long enough to notice anyway!

I played plenty in beta, which is what made me fall completely in love with WildStar. I did try to keep my pace pretty slow, and focused on things like housing and random exploration (as opposed to Explorer Path missions) rather than spoiling all the quests. This was the perfect balance for me, because when headstart rolled around I knew what race/class/path I wanted and how the basic mechanics of the game worked. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge I gained from beta gave me the power to ignore most tutorial things and focus on reading quest text and lore and just generally enjoying the game.

Over the course of this first week I have been mostly focused on questing, with an occasional adventure or dungeon thrown in. Of course, once I unlocked my house at lvl 14 there was a flurry of activity there to make it presentable! I’ve been trying hard to do every quest I come across, and reading the text and lore. Since all the lore is new and unique to WildStar I find it is important to me to pay attention to the little details and really get myself immersed in the story of this new world. The story seems incredibly rich to me given it is not built on an existing property, especially in comparison to other games that fell flat in that area for me. RIFT in particular was a game I really enjoyed but whose lore never appealed to me like it should have.  In any case, the story in WildStar gets a pretty huge thumbs up from me for now. I hope it manages to keep me this engaged once the new MMO smell has worn off.

It has been a great joy to see my guild grow full of some really awesome people. Many of them are blogging about WildStar too so you should check out my blogroll if you are interested in some other great WildStar blogs! It’s been so fun to see everyone respond to all the little surprises the game throws at you, and to see folks work together to run content and help out with crafting. I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone better over the coming months. The overall mood in guild chat and out in zone chat has been pretty positive. I guess that’s expected for a MMO launch, but it feels great and I intend to enjoy it.

I struggled a little to come up with negative things about the last week in WildStar for me. I think the main one is expected, the lingering bugs. There’s a few UI bugs and some assorted others that have been annoying. The say chat in game seems to have too wide a range which has some…interesting consequences on an RP server. The chat in general still feels like it could use a little more polish, especially when it comes to whispers and account whispers. I know I still have some rose-colored glasses on when it comes to this game but frankly, if there were a ton of things I hated when I was playing the beta I would not still be here playing and blogging about it right now, and the released game is yet more polished and fun.

So I feel like I’ve rambled on enough here without much direction. My first impression of the launched game is that I am still wildly in love with it. At barely level 30 after a week, I have plenty of content to look forward to before the first content drop at the end of the month piles on even more. I hope the honeymoon period of this game is long and happy!

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