WildStar – More Chore Than Game?

453 wc

Over the weekend I had a depressing realization: Playing WildStar is already becoming a chore. How can this be?

I said before that questing is not inordinately challenging in WildStar, but I don’t know if I made it clear that the difficulty is higher than average. (Solo questing that is.) It takes some time and patience to thread your way through the packs of mobs out in the world without pulling too many. Up around level 20, you can’t just run around jauntily shooting everything in sight and expect to survive for very long, especially if you miss a telegraph. In other words, it’s work.

And that work is draining. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t keep up that kind of sustained effort for hours on end without mentally wearing myself out.

Now let’s talk about the rewards you get for going through all that work. Um. Yeah. There are some, I assume. Somewhere. I mean, experience points, obviously. Those are cool, but it’s not something you can really see. You get a new piece of gear now and then for completing quests, but nothing earth-shattering, and most new gear looks exactly the same as the gear it replaces. I haven’t seen any gear that gives you a radical boost in power. They are always small, incremental changes that you can barely see.

Oh speaking of experience points, I noticed that the last new ability you get comes at level 31. After that, you only get tier upgrades to your existing abilities. So it doesn’t look like you’ll have any new “powers” to look forward to for the bulk of your character’s lifetime. (Assuming that getting from 32 to 50 will take longer than getting from 1 to 31.) It always annoys me when your character essentially stops evolving halfway through the game.

One worthwhile reward that you usually get in MMOs is seeing some kind of a story unfold. Unfortunately, for me, WildStar is very non-immersive in terms of story. It’s so easy to click through the quest text that I usually forget there is even a story there. (Like WoW heh.) Not to mention that there is some Challenge every 10 seconds that knocks you out of the world and reminds you, “Hey Cupcake, this is a video game!”

So I’m starting to feel disillusioned by WildStar. I keep switching between characters, rotating through Esper, Warrior, Engineer, and Spellslinger, trying to keep the game fresh (while ironically re-playing the same content). But right now I doubt that I’ll be subscribing after the first month.

So I guess they are succeeding in their plan to keep casual players out of the game. No fun allowed! This is serious business!

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