Blog Archives

[Wildstar] A Wildstar Weekend

Explorer Vista

A very cartoony look, but it still looks nice

In my typical reading ’round the blogosphere, I’ve seen that Wildstar is on Steam now, but didn’t care until one of the posts I read (sorry, don’t recall which blogger and can’t seem to find it now, so no link ūüė¶ ) (Update: ¬†Found it! ) talked about how to take your existing account and add it to Steam and oddly enough the tracking of overall time played is a stat that I actually like to know, so I figured “Why not?” ¬†I didn’t have WS installed, so I fired up Steam and initiated the download through there, then once it was done I didn’t remember my password either so had to go to the NCSoft site to fix that… but I eventually got in.

Assuming anyone reads this blog enough to remember…. last September I posted about having 6 characters on the Exile side, and I planned to do a post about making 6 on the… um.. Imperium(?) side but I must have lost interest quickly again. ¬†And obviously I still don’t care enough to even remember the names of the factions, so we’ll see where this goes, but anyway… I logged in and found that instead of 12 characters I only had 3. ¬†I vaguely recall deleting some, but I didn’t think I’d purged that many. ¬†Or maybe Carbine purged inactive level 1’s or something. ¬†Regardless, I had my level 9 Esper, level 8 Spellslinger, and level 2 Medic and decided to see what I could do with the Medic.

Back whenever I’d made the Medic I chose the Explorer path for it and holy crap does that make you run all over the place! ¬†Seems like every time I’d open up a new section of the map I’d get 2 new path quests and they tend to be either a jumping puzzle and/or finding a way into some really obscure area via a hidden/tucked away single place that you’d never guess by looking at the map so you really do have to explore into every nook and cranny and curse my completionist tendencies for making me actually look everywhere. . . .

I played the Medic pretty much all day Saturday and got it from level 2 to level 14 in that time. ¬†I’m nowhere close to finishing either of the 2 level 7-14 zones either. ¬†Both have very large unexplored chunks as of yet.

On Sunday I decided to go a bit different from my preferred playstyle of a long range damage dealer and rolled up a stalker. ¬†The 1st couple of levels felt a bit off but as I started getting more skills as I leveled up it became rather fun. ¬†Plus the stealth to run in and out of places and simply achieve the quest objectives without a lot of extraneous killing was kinda fun too. ¬†I’ll admit I fell in love with the PBAE skill that hits rather hard. ¬†In the little mini-dungeon you can do at level 6 stealthing into a pack of mobs and lighting that off was a nice way to thin out the numbers of mobs rapidly. ¬†On the other hand, when you’re not in steatlh or behind a mob and your big hits are on cooldown things can take a while to die, so the dichotomy of “It dies in 2-3 hits on opener” vs “This really takes *forever* to die” is a bit jarring. ¬†But then again that’s a hallmark of rogue-style gameplay and I knew that going in. ¬†I got up to level 11, I think.

But then I decided to go back to what I recall as being my more favored class and popped in on the Spellslinger. ¬†I got it from 7 up to… 11 or 12, I think. ¬†And found that I’m not caring so much for it after all. ¬†Every class has to circle strafe a lot and Spellslinger has the narrowest firing cone and attacks that tend to be consistently moderate-to-high damage, but no real big burst (even a fully charged up Charged Shot doesn’t feel like it hits that hard and it takes a long time to charge) at these levels yet, so mobs don’t feel like they’re dying that fast. ¬†They don’t necessarily feel like they’re dying slowly, just… slower than I’d like, if that makes sense. ¬†I’ll probably stick with it a while though, as it did start to feel like it was doing more damage as I got up to the double-digit level range.

To round out the class set I created a Warrior and an Engineer and got them both up to level 6. ¬†In this level range the warrior feels very low on the dps scale even though I’m using its dps abilities and not its tanking ones. ¬†I’ve seen some videos of higher level warriors that looked like they were just fine in the damage-dealing department though, so I’m not too worried about it as of yet, though it will probably be a class that I’d level up last assuming that I keep playing Wildstar more often and don’t end up dropping out again.

The Engineer felt really slow to kill things from levels 1-3 but at level 4 I got he robot companion and it’s a ranged attacker now, where from what I recall before it was a melee tank (and not a good one) and that made a huge difference on the time to kill the mobs. ¬†By the time I got to level 6 I was quite enjoying the engineer, so… I may stick with this for a while and see where it goes. ¬†It’s the class description that most appeals to me and so I always wanted to like it…. we’ll see how it goes.

Happy gaming out there!

 

[Wildstar] My Exile Crew

Since I get 12 character slots in Wildstar and there are 6 classes and 2 factions, it seems to make sense to me with my condition (alt-aholism, or alt-itis, depending on which you prefer to call it) to have a character of each class in each faction. ¬†I think part of the reason I had trouble with the game on my 1st go at it was that I picked a class that the description sounded like I would love, but then I wasn’t enamored of it and I didn’t try any others to see if I’d like them better, so this time I’ll give each class a shot up to .. I dunno, level 10 or 15 or so and see if I like the feel of it then. ¬†With that in mind, I started in on the Exile side since that was what I made last week, so I kept the streak going. ¬†I haven’t advanced any farther on the Spellslinger I started last week, just did a flurry of character creation and mostly just took them in far enough to get their weapon and do that 1st mission where you swing it a couple of times in the general direction of some mobs so I could get a feel for if I liked the basic attacks.

I also discovered that that weird “floaty side to side” feel I got from the running animation back in the beta is mostly limited to male character models. ¬†Females sorta have it, but it’s in the sway of their hips as they run rather than how the males feel like it’s the whole body. ¬†It’s far less pronounced in the shorter Human and Aurin models. ¬†As a result, even though I usually have a male or 2 in any given character group… not this time. ¬†Mostly short females. ¬†Anyway… here’s the list:

Human Spellslinger.  Really like this one's basic attack and the additional ones feel like they are nice finishing moves or bursts.

Human Spellslinger. I really like this one’s basic attack and the additional ones feel like they are nice bursts or finishing moves. ¬†At least in the very low levels, this one’s my favorite.

Aurin Esper.  Basic attack goes off at the end of the cast bar, but you can cast while moving, so it's all the same.  Just feels slightly delayed.  I still like hitting 3 basics and then the 2nd attack you get at level 2 for a big damage shot.

Aurin Esper. The basic attack goes off at the end of the cast bar, but you can cast while moving, so it’s all the same. Just feels slightly delayed. The 2nd attack requires resources built from basic, so it’s a “1, 1, 1, 2” play style so far. ¬†Not bad, but not great either.

Mordesh Medic.  I figured that a "space zombie" with a disease would naturally lean toward medical with trying to cure said disease.  Basic attack is a mid-range cone that doesn't do much damage per hit, but it's fast.  2nd attack is a slower cast but does a lot of damage, so it feels like it plays more "big hit opener, then finish off with basics."

Mordesh Medic. I figured that a “space zombie” with a racial disease would naturally lean toward medical with trying to cure said disease. Basic attack is a mid-range cone that doesn’t do much damage per hit, but it’s fast. 2nd attack is a slower cast but does a lot of damage, so it feels like it plays more “big hit opener, then finish off with basics.”

Aurin Stalker.  Figured an arboreal race would be good at stealth and ambush attacks.  Gets stealth attack from the get-go for a big opening burst, then the basic attack is fast and high damage.  No idea of 2nd attack yet -- still only level 1.

Aurin Stalker. I figured an arboreal race would be good at stealth and ambush attacks, so that’s the rationale for this race/class combo. It gets a stealth attack from the get-go for a big opening burst, then the basic attack is fast and high damage. No idea of 2nd attack yet — still only level 1.

Granok Warrior.  Rock for skin.  Seems natural to play a close-up brawler/tank.  Basic attack is very short range cone and low damage, but 2nd attack is high damage 4-hit thing that works very nicely as a closer.  That said.. not really feeling this one yet.

Granok Warrior. Rock for skin so it seems natural to play a close-up brawler/tank. Basic attack is very short range cone and low damage, but 2nd attack is high damage 4-hit thing that works very nicely as a closer. That said.. not really feeling this one yet.

Human Engineer.  No real reason for this combo other than I wanted an engineer to round out the 6 and for the Exiles I like the human appearance best.  Base on the "late game armor preview" she'll look like a robot before long anyway, so the actual racial appearance won't matter.  Vaguely remember the gameplay from my 1st outing back in the open beta, and the little bit I did at level 1 this time seemed the same.  Didn't feel it then, not really feeling it now either, but we'll see how it is as I get up a bit higher.

Human Engineer. No real reason for this combo other than I wanted an engineer to round out the 6 and for the Exiles I like the human appearance best. Based on the “late game armor preview” she’ll look like a robot before long anyway, so the actual racial appearance won’t matter. I vaguely remember the gameplay from my 1st outing back in the open beta, and the little bit I did at level 1 this time seemed the same. Didn’t feel it then, not really feeling it now either, but we’ll see how it is as I get up a bit higher.

And there you have it. ¬†So far, nothing about this game screams “play me” and so even though last night was an “I don’t need to play FFXIV” night due to the Esoterics cap, I played that game more than this one. ¬†I really only played Wildstar becuz I wanted to make the 6 toons and take screenies of them, more than anything. ¬†I’m hopeful that after the F2P conversion and me playing a bit more that I’ll feel a bit more hooked on it. ¬†Dunno why I want to like this game so much, even though so far I just don’t actually care, but there it is. ¬†Who can divine the reasoning behind the human psyche?

 

Happy gaming out there!

[Wildstar] Wildstar 2nd Impressions

Yes, this game again

Yes, this game again

Given how the weekly Esoterics cap works in FFXIV and how I pull the Monday daily run into Tuesday and am therefore “done” with FFXIV after 5 days, this leaves 2 evenings to do a quick run through the daily hunts (gotta get those Centurio Seals, after all) which takes about a half hour, but then I can do other things. ¬†A few weeks back I did some games of Civ5, and I’ve been thinking about doing the new Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong, or maybe even going back to Pillars of Eternity to finally finish up the 3rd act, but with Wildstar going F2P soon and my buying the box for a mere $10 a couple of weeks back so that I can be “subscribed” when the F2P conversion goes through in order to have the 12 character slots instead of only 2… I finally pulled the trigger and put in the serial number last night to activate my account and give it another go. ¬†Here’s the link to my 1st impression of the game, in case you need a refresher.

My new Human Spellslinger.  Looks ok, I think.

My new Human Spellslinger. Looks ok, I think.

I went Exile faction this time. ¬†The races for this faction are Human, Shorter Human with a Tail and Big Rabbit Ears (Aurin), Big Human with Rocklike Skin (Granok), and Human with Pointy Ears and Diseased Skin (Mordesh). ¬†I tend to not really like to play pure humans, but I also am not fond of rabbits, rocks, or disease, so… human it was. ¬†Character creation seemed to have a few more options than the 1st time. ¬†Where I only recall 3 body types before that were all grotesquely proportioned, there were now about 10 or 12 and none of them was awful. ¬†Face options weren’t all that great, but I could make something that wasn’t completely unpleasant to look at. ¬†And I went Spellslinger for the class instead of Engineer to see if I liked it better than my last try at the game.

Got my hoverboard

Got my hoverboard

The Exile starting ship was a little less visually busy than the Dominion one. ¬†It was quite straightforward and very very easy — as in sneeze in the general direction of the mobs and they fall over dead type of easy. ¬†Of course you get no XP for kills in the tutorial zone either, so there’s no point to killing anything unless your quest calls for it. ¬†Ran through all that and got to level 3 or 4, I don’t recall which and then got told “head to the planet.” ¬†I actually read the quest text a little and saw that the 2 options for where to go next are defined by race, though you still have the option to go to the “other one” if you want. ¬†Even after going to the planet there’s a portal you can use to swap if you desire. ¬†I stayed where I was, did all the quests I could find, and finished that tutorial zone … well, I thought it was fairly quickly, but it turned out it was 1 am when I was finishing up. ¬†I’d started playing at about 9:45, so it was over 3 hours and gone in an eyeblink, so… I guess it was a lot more fun for me this time. ¬†I’m level 7, have a hoverboard mount, and while mobs no longer die if I sneeze in their direction, the Spellslinger has some nice DPS options so things are still falling over quickly. ¬†But now that I’m out of the tutorial and into the game proper we’ll see if that holds up.

Finishing the 1st area

Finishing the 1st area

I still have no idea what the stats do, and from the little things I’ve read here and there they’re going to be completely overhauled when the F2P conversion happens anyway, so I’m not worried about them at all this time. ¬†Maybe in a few weeks. . . .

Happy gaming out there!

[Blaugust Day 28][FFXIV][Wildstar] A little here, a little there

A Churning Mists sunrise

A Churning Mists sunrise

Back in the day I tried out Wildstar for a couple of hours during their open beta. ¬†TL;DR of my impression of it then was “It’s ok, but a confusing mess of stats and way too visually busy, so don’t plan to pick it up.” ¬†When the announcement went out that it was going F2P, though, I figured it might be fun to dip a toe in from time to time, maybe try a few different classes and see if anything clicks. ¬†It’s not F2P yet, but in looking at their conversion plans something that jumped out at me was that free players or even subbed players who don’t buy a box will get 2 character slots per server (though they can buy more), but someone who bought a box gets 12. ¬†Boxes are currently selling for $10, so the alt-oholic in me went “$1 character slots!” and yesterday I ran down to GameStop on my lunch hour and bought a box. ¬†I haven’t installed it yet, and probably won’t until there’s a firm F2P conversion date announced, that way I’ll be “subscribed” in the 1st 30 days included with the box purchase when the switcheroo happens. ¬†With how much FFXIV is still consuming all my gaming oxygen I don’t know how much I’ll actually play it, but it will be nice to have the option with lots of space for my alt-oholism to be satiated for if/when I ever do want a change of pace.

Fireworks over Ul'dah

Fireworks over Ul’dah

On the FFXVI front I got my daily hunts in last night as well as an Expert run. ¬†Since the Astrologian class got buffed this past Tuesday I’ve yet to get an Expert group that hasn’t had an AST as the healer. ¬†Last night was no exception. ¬†Interestingly enough, in spite of the fact that the Noct stance still being considered “trash” on Reddit, the AST last night ran in Noct and didn’t have any trouble keeping us up at all. ¬†DRK, AST, BLM, and SMN (me) in the group, and … that BLM wasn’t very good. ¬†I didn’t pay all that much attention to him, but I only saw him drop Ley Lines 1x in the entire dungeon, and I also only saw him using Enochian 1x on a trash fight. ¬†And things were taking a very long time to die, so even though I wasn’t parsing (since I’m already so over that) it still took a noticeably long time to get through the boss fights. ¬†Fortunately the AST liked to toss The Balance on me and was often able to extend it so I was getting the 10% damage buff for anywhere from 45 to 85 seconds when he’d throw it on me, so I know that helped, at least a little.

The full Cavalry set

The full Cavalry set

I also got my Monk to 32 so it’s now got 5 of the 6 infantry pieces from Brayflox equipped. ¬†I just can’t seem to get the chest piece to drop on my un-sync’d runs. ¬†It’s getting really annoying. ¬†Of course it wasn’t until last night that I finally got the Cavalry gloves to finish out the tank set either, but I didn’t actually care about those since they aren’t so visible, plus my DRK’s already leveled mostly out of the set. ¬†That said, they were a slight upgrade to the DRK’s current gloves, so on that job I’ve got the 2 HQ crafted level 35 pieces that cover 4 slots, then the Cavalry gloves and belt right now. ¬†I put the full Cavalry set on this morning and the starts are extremely similar — 2 points less STR, same VIT, 407 defense vs 417 defense, but… that 10 defense and those 2 points of STR were still enough to have me put on the level 35 gear. ¬†I ran my Ninja job through a leveling roulette dungeon as well and between the xp and the roulette bonus made it to level 33, so there’s progress all around! ¬†The tank had the green leaf and I actually had more HP than he did and ended up tanking a lot of the mobs, including the final boss. ¬†I gave him a few pointers — shield lob, then flash 2x, then do the hate combo, where he’d been doing shield lob, hate combo on 1 mob, then 1 flash if he remembered, but by then the mobs would already have peeled to me and/or the healer… it was pretty funny, really. ¬†But he was noticeably better toward the end of the dungeon and I got 2 commendations so I figure the healer and other dps were grateful that I tried to help him out a bit.

You assist this wandering minstrel during the event fate.

You assist this wandering minstrel during the event fate.

The anniversary event was kinda funny. ¬†Started off normally enough “oh there’s a problem, go do an event FATE” for the quest, but after doing it it got a little epic. ¬†Sort of. ¬†I dunno how they pulled it off, but they broke the 4th wall without actually breaking the 4th wall. ¬†It was very neatly done. ¬†And that’s all I’m saying since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Happy gaming out there!

[Wildstar] Wildstar Impressions

No characters = you see a space goat

No characters = you see a space goat

Over the past year or so I’ve seen Wildstar mentioned a lot.¬† and of course in the past month or so the hype has gone way up.¬† Nothing about it really grabbed me and made me think that I’d want to play it, but with the open beta beginning this past weekend, I decided I’d give it a shot and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Impressive tower, I thought

Impressive tower, I thought

TL;DR – it was fine, but I’ve already uninstalled it and don’t plan to pick it up.

The good:

  • Nice water effects when you swim.
  • Responsive controls

The Bad:

  • 800 gajillion stats with nothing in the tutorial to explain what they do for you and why you’d want them.
  • The typical “you get 3 pieces of gear and unlock the ability to wear more slots as you level up” thing.¬† I really hate that trope.¬† I much prefer the trope that goes “You have X inventory slots.¬† If you can find the pieces for it (like from that vendor over there. . . ) you can fill them.
Nice wake as you swim

Nice wake as you swim

The Ugly:

  • The floaty, bouncy and slow movement
  • The art style doesn’t do it for me, and is WAY too visually busy
  • The character models are… odd.¬† I typically play female avatars in any mmo, but these female ones were so awful I went with a male model instead so as to not be creeped out by the anorexia.
Faceless Mechari

Faceless Mechari

I created a Mechari Engineer since they sounded a bit like a controller with a heavy emphasis on ranged AE damage and “support” abilities, and I like that kind of stuff.¬† And overall, yeah, I rather liked the class and the progression of the abilities that I got — even got a nice robot pet to tank for me while I do that AE damage and it was decent at holding aggro off of me.

My own combat telegraph so I know where I'm aiming

My own combat telegraph so I know where I’m aiming

Combat-wise, the game’s quite solid, and since MMO’s thrive on combat, if that were the only factor I’m sure I’d be singing the praises of the game to high heaven.¬† But when not in combat while running I felt like I was moving through molasses.¬† Yeah, there’s a sprint button but you can only use it for about 5 seconds before you’re out of stamina or whatever they call the resource that sprint uses.¬† Add in that the animation was a kind of zig-zag bounce and it felt like I was wasting motion laterally when I wanted to move forward.

Damn, that's a lot of background clutter.  Most of it's animated so it makes it that much busier.

Damn, that’s a lot of background clutter. Most of it’s animated so it makes it that much busier.

Add in that the stylized cartoony graphics and the extremely busy background visual clutter, the fact that I couldn’t understand my stats and the tooltips for them didn’t say anything other than “this gives you 0.37% increase” which wasn’t really helpful, and well…. I’m pretty invested in ESO and will be back to TSW once Tokyo is released too, so Wildstar would need to be “something special” for me to consider switching to it, and… it was okay, but¬† to my sensibilities it was “nothing special” so… there’s my “impression of Wildstar.”