Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wildstar Beta Weekend: Final thoughts

I love the occasional ear perking and listening the Aurin do... it's too cute.
     Well the beta weekend ended last night. I was very sad to see it go. I really wish I thought buying and playing this game was in the cards for me. More than that I wish it worked on my husband's computer. I'd have loved both of us playing together, two different classes, two different paths, probably both Aurin. It was fun. Insane amounts of fun and just lovely... I don't know how many times during gameplay I'd just pause a moment and savor how incredibly pretty it was.
     The UI was buggy as heck, I assume that's why it's still in beta, but when it was working there were some neat concepts. Little mini games for certain tasks instead of just: right click, interact, done. Of course those got a little annoying when the UI didn't work enough to pop up that interface for you.
     I logged onto Frith Sunday, I'd hoped to level him far enough to check out the housing, but that didn't happen. I did get as far as tradeskills though I hadn't figured out mining by the time I logged off for the last time. I did make my first weapons though and he goes off into whatever sort of oblivion beta characters go to well armed.
Don't know if you can tell but this is way up on top of the world... or at least on top of a really huge tree.
     I really suspect I'd have gotten further with the leveling and tried out housing and everything if it hadn't been for all the time Frith and I spent climbing everything that could be climbed by an enterprising catboy. This game was designed for climbing, for getting up onto things and into things and just exploring. I didn't even care that I failed to level enough to check out the housing because I had so much fun climbing. Explorer is definitely the path for me.
     Back in WoW today I miss double jump... and just a little bit I miss those flicking ears and the twitching tail. I don't wish them terrible luck but if this game ever goes free to play I will be there. If I ever scrounge up the money for a preorder... I'll be there... probably taking a million years to level but climbing all of the things.
This little area was so beautiful and the quest was rather touching. And I love those weird deer things, they're pretty.
So long, Wildstar. Feel free to invite me back sometime. And if not, well at least I've got the memories and some really gorgeous screenshots!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wildstar Beta Weekend: Day 2-Black and White?

     One of the things I love in WoW is that, regardless of what people say about Horde or Alliance, there is no real clear cut 'good guy' or 'bad guy' faction. If you play the storylines on each side you'll see both do things that are wonderful and brave and heroic... and also things that are morally questionable at best. There's a lot of grey areas in WoW. There is no black and white, just red and blue.
     The Guardians and Defiants in Rift come across the same way to me. There isn't a right and a wrong so much as two different viewpoints. I like that, the different viewpoints make for interesting story but nobody is really playing the 'bad guys'. So I really expected it to be somewhat the same way with the Exiles and Dominions in Wildstar. And to my perception at least, it's not.
     I dragged myself away from Frith long enough for a taste of Dominion storyline today. And I made this charmer:
To let me see it. I did the entire set of quests on the Destiny and then a few more after landfall on Crimson Isle. I like the Draken.  I had fun smashing things up with imposing Kuurrim. And though he's no cute catboy he's a little adorable in his own way.
Look at that face.
But I didn't find much of that moral ambiguity I expected. The Dominion are straight up, make no apologies evil. I really don't think I can sugarcoat it. Interestingly enough it wouldn't stop me from playing Kuurrim if I actually got the game, but he'd have his own personal narrative inside it. But it did give me plenty of room  for thought and with that and very limited time left in the beta I went back to Frith to try out other things. I'm definitely an Aurin lover. I'm pretty sure I'd be mostly Exile if I actually play when it goes live.

Frith played around mostly with his Explorer Path stuff, lighting candles at shrines:
One of which involved a jumping puzzle but was pretty fun... and climbing up waterfalls with weird high jumping mushrooms to enjoy the view:
He did get to level 8 despite all my goofing around, and I spent a lot of time just being impressed by how incredibly pretty this game is despite... or maybe because of it's cartoony style and bright colors. It's not WoW, but it's homey, at least on the Exile side.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wildstar Beta Weekend: Day 1

I got it downloaded this morning and have not done a whole lot else all day. Such a pretty game!
I spent far too long in the character creation screen making myself a catboy... I mean Aurin... who was going to be called Therion except that somebody else had already thought of that name so he got a coloration change and became Frith.
Here he is a bit later running around in the first area after the ship. The bouncy animations are fun and he's a Spellslinger Explorer which was a good choice and was loads of fun for me. I had so much fun seeing what sort of things I could climb up.
Inititally I wasn't too impressed with the gameplay, mostly because I couldn't figure out where a bunch of my quests were. Eventually I worked out that there's just less hand-holding than in WoW or it's a different style and figured out how to find them and make my way to them. The combat is slightly Neverwinter-ish so I'm not great at it, but I'm getting the hang of it and finding it fun even if Frith has spent his fair share of time face-down due to my incompetence.
After several hours and six levels I love the Aurin and don't think I could have chosen a race/class/path combination that would have suited me better. I kind of want to preorder this game... I had fun, it's gorgeous, the characters are adorable and I could find stories here. Not sure that's actually in the cards for me but so far I'm a little bit in love. If I can drag myself away from Frith long enough tomorrow I'll probably spend a little time trying Dominion Side. After playing Exiles I'm curious how they'll manage to make the Dominion feel like something you're proud to be on the other side.
More posts to come!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wildstar Beta Weekend!!

     I just got an invite for a Beta Weekend in Wildstar! I'm so excited, I've been desperately wanting to try it out but couldn't justify shelling out for a pre-order just to give it a shot when I don't know if I'll like it yet. Guess I know what I'll be squeezing in as much of as possible this weekend!
     There should be posts! Probably with screenshots! I don't know whether to hope I like it or not since I'm not sure I could ever afford a second sub-based MMO, but part of me loves the idea of starting in one right out the gate when it's brand new. I've already been clearing Hard Drive space for it and deciding what I'll probably want to try. More posts to come on Friday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An Evening in Neverwinter

     Most of my non-WoW gaming is done late at night after everybody else has gone to bed and things have settled into the quiet that allows me some time just for me. I've gotten very fond of MMO night time as a result. Last night I spent the evening in Neverwinter.
     I'm still not sure how I feel about this game. It's very D&D in some ways. It's got actual drow and I love that. I love it so much that I made one. Of all the characters I have in MMOs Drazek is the only one I've actually made in multiple ones. He was a character I played in my first online MUD. He was my first character in Everquest and later the closest thing I had to a main, though since the First had been on a friend's account he ended up with his name spelled Drazzek instead. He's had an incarnation in DDO as well, and now he's my ranger/hunter in Neverwinter.
     He was level 7 when I started the evening and after a few hours with plenty of afk time for other random things I was doing in the background he was level 10 when I finished the evening. I had fun really, but I still can't decide what I think of this game. And well that's no surprise, level 10 is a little early to really tell.
     The controls are different and aren't very intuitive to me at all. They are interesting, but I don't feel comfortable in them and I can't help disliking the lack of control I have over views for screenshots, even if it is nice that it pops the UI down automatically for them. Then again the characters, though the customization for them is better than WoW (what isn't?) aren't really very much to look at when they're done.(I admit it, I play MMOs for the pretty sometimes and I wish Drazek up there was a little better looking. Or that I could even see him a bit better most of the time to see the customizations I have done.)
     But for all the things that bug me about the controls there are a couple of aspects to their playstyle that are interesting, or that are with the class I've chosen. There are big ground effects that show up as circles for Drazek to dodge out of, and he darts around enemies and tries to keep his distance so the fights do feel very dynamic. The controls for attack are simple so even though I can not master the camera view without thinking about it and keep trying to click my mouse buttons to run I can remember what all of my attack buttons do so far even though it had been weeks since last time I'd played it. So it's got pluses. He's just picked up professions so hopefully I'll be able to develop an opinion on those at some point. So far I can't really figure out what I'm doing, but half the fun for me is trying to figure things out before looking them up.
     I haven't really tried any yet, but I love the idea of player created content through the Foundry so I'm hoping to take him off and try some of it out at some point, and maybe if I get a chance try my hand at making something of my own. I've got a few D&D plots I wouldn't mind translating over.
     I'm not playing any of the other places Drazek has lived any more, but I think for a little while at least, he's at home in Neverwinter.
Bonus screenshot of the original Drazzek that is the only one I have.

Friday, April 11, 2014

An introduction

     I think I've been in love with MMORPGs since the first time I played a character on a friend's Everquest account many years ago in college. Eventually I got my own Everquest account and spent many hours happily noobing around and not really getting anywhere. None of my characters ever reached cap. None of them got great gear or did anything particularly awesome, though I had managed to get my Dark Elf to entirely switch sides and go live with the Wood Elves.
     Eventually I took a break and didn't MMO again for years until a friend got me into WoW. That's a whole other story (and indeed a whole other blog which will probably see a lot more action than this one.) I love WoW and it's my MMO home, but periodically  I get my little bit of wanderlust and a new shiny catches my eye and I like to wander off and find out what's over a different horizon.
     So this blog is my place for this, exciting little tidbits, pretty screenshots, reviews if I'm ever lucky enough to get into something that isn't years old. But hey maybe I'll review the years old ones too, for my own personal reference if nothing else. So these are the stories of an MMO Wayfarer. I'm less of a noob to the genre than I was back in Everquest but I'm no expert either, and this blog is entirely for fun. If you end up reading it, I hope you have some.