Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's the Little Things

Darn it! I started writing this post yesterday after reading Syp's Poky Little Puppy post. Then he goes and posts his own 10 Little Things, and I look like a copycat. Well, this won't be all happiness and fluffy Aurin. There's some Chua in there, too. Evuhl vermin!

Little things I love:
For lack of playing time, I am not quite to level 11, with Scooter on my heels. My main is RowanBlaze—how original!—a Human medic scientist (or is it scientist medic?), and just barely Monday, Scooter and I realized that I could activate some mining bots that she, as a settler, had repaired(?), which then provided building materials for her. We'd heard of synergies between the paths, but this was the first time we'd really seen it in action beyond simple buffs and things that benefit anyone walking by.
Another little thing that I find fascinating is that the water flows. If I am in a river, there is a current. I move downstream if I am not actively swimming. There may be other MMOs that have done this, but Wildstar is the first that I have played with moving water.

Breaking out of crowd control is a welcome mechanic. Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck helpless while some other player—or an NPC—whales on me. I've been blinded and stunned a couple times, but haven't reacted quickly enough to get out them before they end on their own. Luckily, Scooter is often right there with me, fighting the good fight; though I have died several times as well, still learning my character's strengths and vulnerabilities.

I like the costume button, which allows you to customize your look without sacrificing your stats. [EDIT] Unlike GW2 at launch (ANet has since revisited that mechanic—thanks João Carlos), costumes are not just "city clothes." I realize this is not a new concept, but it's a pretty good implementation.

I love the buff stations and other benefits of the Settler path. Scooter and another settler made a plant and seed vendor as well. I'm not sure if this feature actually supports a sense of community, but it certainly makes me appreciate at least one subset of players. I haven't really seen much of how the other paths benefit everyone in quite the way that Settler stuff does, but I'd like to think that's because I just haven't realized what they were.

Some things I already find annoying:
Challenges: Ludus interruptus, with a healthy side of "Hell is other people." Challenges break the flow of a relatively leisurely questing session. And in the current fairly well-populated areas, they are virtually impossible to finish, since the the quarry is hunted to extinction on a regular basis.

Class/Race limitations: My opinion on this matter has not changed. I came up with the perfect name for a Mordesh esper the other day, only to realize the Mordesh can't be espers.

Fully separated "Realms": Helloo, Carbine, this is 2014. For one thing, calling them realms (a la WoW) makes very little sense in the context of a Sci-Fi planetary colonization setting. "Worlds" (a la GW2) would have been a better word choice for the servers. And more importantly, why is the playerbase being separated from itself in such a way at all? Plenty of modern games, from STO to TSW and GW2 (and dare I say it, TESO?) have had either seamless super-servers or easy visiting privileges. Even Rift has had free server transfers almost since its launch.

Yesterday, the official launch day, Carbine announced free realm transfers so people could join their friends without losing any progress they'd made. But the fine print, as it turned out, was that free transfers were only offered from high to low population servers. Which meant that my BtV buddy, Feii, had to re-create his character on my server and essentially losing any head start he once had. While I applaud the server balancing effort, it would have been obviated by a better, more modern server structure. [EDIT] As I was reminded by the MMO Gypsy, there is also a region lock, meaning North American and European friends don't even have the option to play on the same server.

Factions locked in eternal conflict: I've harped on this before—repeatedly—but I feel more ranty about this than the Class/Race thing. Segregating your playerbase along faction lines does not really serve anyone but the PvP fringe, which can be addressed in a different way. I know, PvPers like to think they are hardcore and a major factor in MMO gaming. I believe that many game developers are PvPers too, and that explains the devotion to PvP in so many games. Hey that's cool, but many people don't do any PvP at all, at I'd be willing to bet that most who do only dabble in it at best.

Now you may be saying to yourself—maybe even getting ready to comment—that the story lends itself to factionalism. And you'd be right. But I'd bet dollars to donuts that the idea for opposing sides in a war over the planet came before any details about what those two factions would be like, or even what the war would be about. They certainly gave the Exiles who went to Everstar Grove reason enough to hate the Chua, though.
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  1. Mordesh Esper is what I would have played, if it weren't for that and about three other deal breakers. (-: Still, it is a fun game, and I'm glad you are getting to enjoy it with your spouse!

    1. Yeah, we've been looking for something we both really enjoy playing since around the beginning of the year.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm not even saying I would never play one. But they do seem to be the flavor the month in this circle of bloggers.

  3. "Unlike GW2 (unless this has changed) costumes are not just "city clothes."""

    Yes, it changed. Since last big april patch costumes can be used everywhere.