The Average Gamer

Wildstar Beta Weekend Preview

Wildstar Logo Black
It is supposed, by people far wiser than I, that a relationship has five stages: Romance, Power Struggle, Stability, Commitment and finally, Co-Creation. The fact that these five stages loosely apply to my relationships with MMORPG’s is probably damning testament, or a sign I need to get out more.

So then, the romance stage. I’ll come clean, I’d not even looked at WildStar until a friend asked if I’d be playing. WoW and I have been in this long term, on and off thing and it was going fine – it wasn’t demanding much of me, I was too disillusioned to try and make a new start anywhere else. But the more I stalked, I mean ‘researched’, the upcoming release from Carbine Studios & NCSOFT the more I liked the look of it.

Eventually, one thing led to another and we may have exchanged contact details, I may have received an invitation to a beta weekend (sign up’s here) and I may have downloaded the client. But then, the dreaded anxiety – will it be as good as I’m hoping for, will it be worth investing in a pre-order package, WILL IT LIKE MY HAIR?! Being the trooper I am, I sucked up all the doubt and let myself succumb to the alluring character creation screen.

Wildstar Quercus

Much fiddling later *cough*, I went with an Amazonian-thighed tree woman. She’s also a Medic and a Settler, please note: she looks awesome and she’s wearing sensible clothes. Quercus (it’s Latin for Oak) is part of the plucky, probably rebel forces, trying to do good and have a nice sit down with tea and biscuits. I don’t know, I’m crap with back story but the opposing side is called Dominion and they sound much more filthy. It was a gentle first date, the game led Quercus and I around, introducing us to how quests work (like they always do), how kit management works (like it always does), and how combat works (trust me, you’ve got this). I was clumsy at first, awkward with which buttons to press, but I would have made Judy Blume proud as within no time I was dodging, healing and generally not getting myself dead.

When we weren’t doing battle – and I can probably stop abusing this ‘dating’ analogy now – there was ample opportunity to survey the landscapes and listen to the environmental and NPC chatter, on all these scores WildStar performs incredibly well – there’s enough quips, one liners and unexpected moments to keep anyone smiling through what is essentially, something we’ve all seen before. Professions have a slightly new twist where I found myself running around picking up randomly spawned clutter just to make a fruit bowl for all the other players (Settler), or scanning random foliage for who knows what reason (Scientist).

Wildstar Combat

Most classes look like they can cross-spec for almost any situation and I suspect there will already be ‘theorycrafting’ websites springing up for this release as it’s a lot more complicated than something like GW2.

Mainly, and most importantly, it’s fun to play, very fun. What bugs I found ( the UI refusing to let go of previous info pop-ups) could easily be solved with /reloadui and the worst I heard people complaining of was low FPS in the starter zone, not a deal breaker in my opinion.

Wildstar IndoorsBut, and it’s a big butt (hurr hurr), I can’t decide whether it’s worth the pre-order. Whilst my instinct says “Yes, buy it you fooooooooooooooooooooooooooooools!” my cold, hard, experience says that I always get my rose-tinted glasses on when it comes to new MMORPGs (apart from TESO, thankfully I kept my purse shut for that one) only to become bored by the third date.

If you enjoy Borderlands’ humour and art style then you’re on to a good’un, if you’d like a challenge when it comes to selecting the optimum spec rather than the more ‘cookie cutter’ games then this is worth a look. Actually, even if you just fancy the same grind but with different scenery then £35.00 for the most basic pre-order package isn’t eye-wateringly costly. If you’re sat on the fence then watch some of their trailers and sign up for the beta weekends as there’s still a couple to go.

Oh and there’s swearing, I f**king love swearing in games.

N.B. I will almost certainly pay all the monies for this game, rose tinted glasses or no

PC Specs, tested by Novabench

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Intel Core i52500K 3.30GHz @ 3301 MHz
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

8169 MB System RAM (Score: 211)
– RAM Speed: 15041 MB/s

CPU Tests (Score: 510)
– Floating Point Operations/Second: 103249484
– Integer Operations/Second: 478841660
– MD5 Hashes Generated/Second: 1291198

Graphics Tests (Score: 982)
– 3D Frames Per Second: 2551

Hardware Tests (Score: 19)
– Primary Partition Capacity: 60 GB
– Drive Write Speed: 198 MB/s