So last week I introduced you all to the wonderful world of WildStar as I took part in their first Beta Weekends.
Well now it's back as the game developer's Carbine decided to give us a bonus weekend!
Now this is something that works out well for all of us. Well for Carbine as they get more testing data, and well for us players as we get more time to experience the world.
So I mentioned last time about my NDA that prevented my releasing screenshots? Apparently that has been removed so I was sure to spam PrintScreen whenever possible.
So first things first, I need to introduce you to my character:
His name is Loxley Ivanovic a Mordesh Spellslinger.
You may notice that I gave him a surname, now normally in WildStar this isn't possible, but thanks to the mod Rocket Pig (or RP for short) this is viewable in game by anyone else with the mod installed.
- That's right, we're not even live and already we have mod support!
I'd like to take a moment to show you something that I always find very interesting about MMOs, and that is the load screen. I find the load screen can tell you a lot about a game in terms of the mood it is setting and what sort of style you should expect. This is WildStar's load screen for my current region:
Quite pleasantly the map and planet are animated with satellites orbiting around it while they float and bob giving the impression of a hologram projection. It's not much, but I find it gives something that the usual static image would not.
So following on from last week it was a shame to see that the UI or HUD has yet to be updated to 2.0, but that's ok after all I still like what I'm looking at, just not as much as what I've seen of UI 2.0.
You may also remember that last week I talked about fighting a giant mech?
Yeah, so this weekend I was avble to ally myself with an ancient AI construct who gave me access to this bright green laser gun!
Which then proceeded to blast the big mech in his big chest and head
Which left him with only half a head!
Now this was a pretty awesome feeling, largely because it wasn't just an intense boss fight like many other games would have done, instead it had a steady build up, lots of quests around researching the monster and the facility and a good number of intense fights against other robots some of them involving me really struggling to bring them down.
When the big guy finally fell, I felt it wasn't just an achievement for me but also for all the NPCs who helped me get there.
I guess the best way to describe it, I felt like I was part of the world, which as I'm sure we can agree is a massive part of an MMO.
I also got to take part in some of the ancillary parts of the game this weekend.
First up was ingame housing:
Welcome to Chateau le Loxley (or whatever the phrase is) inside you will find:
A very large plush dinosaur thing!
And a four post bed!
All of this giving a 'medium' comfort level.
This is the game's answer to Inns. While inside your house you begin to gather rested XP meaning that you earn more when you start questing again.
But the housing isn't just for you to play 'house' in and earn XP buffs, no you can also apply different plots outside. Some of these plots are simple blank canvases, just plane bits of dirt that allows you to put more decor in and play with some more, but others are special.
You have the usual crafting station to allow you to work on making that epic sword in piece, but you also have challenge plots which when placed unlock special missions for you and your friends to compete in. In my case I was able to unlock a plot that consisted of large floating rocks covered in crystals, the challenge mission to get from the ground to the highest floating rock within a time limit. After a few false starts this was achieved and I was rewarded with a nice tree decoration to place outside my home!
Next up was something that is always my favourite part of MMOs...
Yup this game has them like you would expect. Now I can only speak for the Exile mounts which for some reason appear to be largely lizard like in appearance from the strange lizard-panther, through the on-2-legs lizard-goat to the lizard-horse.
Yeah I'm not such a fan of lizard beasts.
Then I saw what I wanted, it was beautiful in way that only gritty western sci-fi can produce.
I am of course talking about The Grinder
You can take it from me, this has nothing to do with the match making app of the same name and is instead one giant wheel of awesome sauce!
Let me tell you, with this bad ass motorcycle I felt like King of the world! I didn't care if I was getting in people's way or driving in inappropriate places, I just didn't want to get off the unike (like bike but with one wheel).
And that essentially brought my experience to a close for another weekend.
I reported my fair share of bugs, some of them ignorable others less so and thoroughly enjoyed my time.
The next test for me is how far do I want to progress in the beta. Until this weekend the limit was 14, that has now been upped to 20 and I'm sitting nicely at 15. I've got my house, I've got my transport, I can not currently see any other 'carrots on sticks' encouraging me to play, which means it's now all down to the game itself. If that is good enough then I'll stick with it, if it's not....
Anyway we'll find out about that in the next beta weekend, whenever that may be.
Until then stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley