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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Beta notes: Wildstar'

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Impressions from Nexus

It's been a very long search, but I've finally think I've found a 'World of Warcraft' successor in the form of 'Wildstar.' I finally finished up my time in the open beta yesterday, and I came away quite impressed. Here's a few notes from my time on Nexus:

Combat:

'Wildstar' has an interesting approach to the usual MMO affair of right-clicking and waiting for the thing in front of you to die. Its combat system is much, much more active and action-based, and your positioning is much more important. Both your attacks and your enemies' show up as telegraphs, making each combat encounter a back-and-forth, bob-and-weave feel as you dodge enemy attacks while landing your own. Raids look to be a test of reflexes and teamwork as bosses look less like giant targets and more like playing 'Ikaruga' with 19 to 39 other people. Did mention this game is hard? Even partied with other people, one mistake can wipe you out. There's no cupcake mode here, and you're gonna have to pay attention if you plan on making it far.

Questing:

The heart and soul of any MMO is how you manage to make it to your top level and just how entertaining that is can make or break a game. So far, 'Wildstar's' questing has atonof content, almost to an overwhelming amount. Each section of each region of each leveling area has loads of quests, making sure that there's always something to no matter where you are. Not only that, but different professions have specialized mini-quests that can lead to more experience and in some cases, actually help out other players with some stat boosts. Time will tell if it'll get tedious after a while (the beta only went to level 30), but in my experience, it was obvious that Carbine doesn't want questing to be an eventless experience.

Performance:

Here's the rough patch at this point: 'Wildstar' isn't very optimized. Reports from around the internet show varying levels of framerate, even on extremely powerful machines. I had to crank down the settings to basically wireframe to get a consistent framerate myself, which is an absolute shame, because the art style is gorgeous. It invokes just about everything good about space sci-fi while giving air to its 'WoW' influences. It's bright, cheerful, and adventurous, like a brand new world just waiting to be explored. One other point of potential interest/problems is the UI. There is an absolute glut of information at any given point, and it can actually get overwhelming between the huge logs of quests, telegraphs, chat and quest markers. Thankfully, the developers have opened up the way for modders to improve and polish through their add-ons system. While I'm hoping that Carbine can work up some better ways at convey everything that players need to know without being buried in numbers, getting the community involved is never a bad idea.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with my time in 'Wildstar.' If you're looking for a new MMO fix, keep an eye out for it on June 3.

Aaron Waite has defeated Sheng Long. He stands a chance.

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