Nexus Telegraph: Six little WildStar elements that I love

    
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With the free-to-play launch calming down somewhat (look man, I can log onto the server!) and fall events kicking off in WildStar, I’ve been enjoying watching a new crowd come into the game and coo over all of the little details that make this game special.

While we can never get a completely fresh first look at any particular game after that initial run, there is the next best thing of looking at it through someone else’s eyes. In all of the discussion and questions and excitement of the past few weeks, I’ve noted that this enthusiasm is having a revitalizing effect on the veteran community.

Of course, it’s not as if we can’t get out of our rut and take the effort to notice the small things that make WildStar a great place to be. Today I’m going to list, in no particular order, six little elements that I love about this game. Just because I’m that much of a fanboy.

1. Movement

In discussing WildStar’s virtues and vices, one of its most positive attributes almost always goes unmentioned: its movement. I’ve played a lot of MMOs in my time, and few have characters that move and control the way that WildStar’s does. I’m not saying it’s the best, but it’s certainly one of the better games out there in this respect.

Perhaps it’s due to the double-jumping or custom-made animations for each race/class combo, but I love moving my characters around. Fighting, zipping on a hoverboard, emoting, or trying to reach out-of-the-way areas are all a lot more fun because of the attention the devs gave to this area.

2. Being neighborly

Housing is too big of a category for a “little element,” so I’m going to single out one aspect that surprised me in WildStar, which is how instanced housing is actually quite social. Some players decry instanced housing as not as immersive and social as open world, but I think that WildStar proves it can be quite the opposite, thanks to a neighbor system that encourages you to visit others, gathering privileges that allow players to harvest on each other’s plots, and best of all, housing zone chat.

You see, the housing nuts in WildStar spend a lot — and I mean a lot — of time on their plots, and perhaps foreseeing this, Carbine created a chat channel that spans all housing areas. There isn’t a friendlier and more interesting channel in the game because of it, since folks tweaking their homes are of the mindset that they want to visit and be visited by others. Lots of great advice and chatter make this the place to be when you want to unwind.

3. The skybox

This is silly. I mean, I know it’s silly to list it. But I love skyboxes in MMOs, and some simply stand out more than others. WildStar has a lot of great visuals in the game, but one of its best is almost always overhead.

Morning, noon, or night, the sky has such personality and stunning visuals that I can’t help but snap a picture or two every time I’m out. My son, who is getting into astronomy, loves how you can sometimes see the twin rings of Nexus moving in the night sky, while I really love the dream-like clouds that waft in and out of the scene.

4. The rush of loot

I love looting in WildStar. I mean it. There’s a great combination of meaningful, exciting loot to be had and a visceral, fun way that it’s delivered. Loot explodes out of corpses like a Diablo-type game, while hitting the V key vacuums it all up with a satisfying woosh. Really good loot is telegraphed by better colors and more intense looting sounds, which gets you all excited before you open the bags.

And there’s so many types of loot to get. My favorites include new pets, any good-looking costume piece that I haven’t collected yet, bonus AMP upgrades, anything purple, and especially housing decor.

5. Nameplate icons

A friend pointed this out a while back, how WildStar adds icons next to enemy name plates to give you a quick visual reference whether that mob is part of a quest or challenge or path you’re doing. And when he mentioned that, I realized that I don’t often see this in MMOs and have taken it for granted in this game. It’s incredibly helpful when you’re juggling a lot of objectives at once, cutting down on the time spent hunting through packs for the one or two mobs you really need.

6. Alien melting pot

I’m going to go more into detail on this in a future column, but boy howdy do I love me WildStar’s wide array of alien races that have converged on Nexus. Some are natives, some friendly, some hostile, some playable, but all with buckets of personality.

When you start rattling off all of the races — the Lopp, the Freebots, Protostar, the Torine, the Skeech, etc. — you come to realize that Nexus is home to an enormous melting pot of diverse races and factions, each with their own histories, quirks, attitudes, and ongoing storylines. And what’s even better is that most of them are refreshingly different from your stock fantasy races that inhabit most MMOs. I think it all deserves some recognition at least!

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crclassen
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crclassen

ColdinT woolydub Chua are genderless, i think he meant the Aurin!

TheDonDude
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TheDonDude

Good list, Justin.

JayPower
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JayPower

Great read thanks. Sounds like I need to give this one a try. The art style was a turn off for me though maybe it won’t bother me so much once I get used to it.

ColdinT
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ColdinT

jonny_sage woolydub There is a tonic you can get that lets you turn into one for a little bit! It even has some of the emotes hooked up to it. :)

Bannex19
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Bannex19

I don’t think this game inundates you with loot like most other mmos. More often than not I find that the stuff I loot (when it happens) is useful for my class.
I agree with the article, loot had more general value in this game than a lot of others.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

The particle effects in the game are such a nice touch. Mostly because they are very reminiscent to Michel Gagne’s art style, which is something that I looooove so much. I was surprised that he had nothing to do with the game, but then I found out one of the artists on Wildstar has Gagne as one of their huge artistic inspirations. 

I feel like the movement system in Wildstar is pretty much the best out there right now. Guild Wars 2’s feels floaty and it’s very hard to do things as a larger character then a smaller one, Wildstar pretty much nailed down a PS2 era platforming game like Ratchet and Clank on it’s movement. And it’s perfect for the type of game that it is.

jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

woolydub I kind of want to play a Protostar employee and just go around firing people.

jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

I hate loot. Every 5 mins i have to look through my inventory, and most of it is trash. Less is more.

xania
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xania

I like how the skybox looks painted – the clouds especially.

My favourite thing about WS – aside from the music – is (maybe oddly) the landing animations for each race. Especially mechari and chua. Chua’s little jump’n’roll catches their wild personality pretty well, doing crazy things just for the fun of it. Mechari’s is both fluid and robotic at the same time – the way they rise up and come to sudden halt. I couldn’t really make a mechari design I liked in the CC, but the little details like this are what keeps me playing her regardless. .

Tsiya
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Tsiya

Agree with #6 wholeheartedly. I have to play a human IRL, don’t want to be one in my escape. The races are all very different, but all are very fluid and detailed.