WildStar didn’t do it for me as a subscription game. I bought the box and I played it for a while, but it was a long, grindy experience. It takes a long time to reach anywhere that feels significant, and I never even saw a dungeon. By the time I got a house, everything was so complicated and out there that I couldn’t countenance playing as often as I would need to to make the most out of it while feeling okay about the sub.
With WildStar going free to play, I’ve already started installing again and intend to jump into the trial and re-acquaint myself with it. It don’t know if it’s something I can devote to the way I did Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy. It’s definitely something I would love to play with more though. The combat was really entertaining, and I still haven’t tried a dungeon! I even enjoyed the PvP when I gave it a chance. I’ll also say this – there are few games that make me appreciate stealth as a skill, and WildStar did that for me. Stalker was just so much fun to play! The only part of the experience really in the way was the questing. Is that bad?
I don’t actually know where to start now though. I guess gather friends and read up and see what’s changed. It’s a lot to absorb, and a long-term experiment. The game isn’t free to play until fall, so I’m just gathering info and figuring things out. I’ll probably say more when I’ve played around a little.
As an additional note, another problem I had with the game personally was that I wasn’t able to really cultivate a community while I was playing. I had one or two interested partners, but that was about it – and they didn’t share my schedule much of the time. Adventuring is lonely 😦
In other news, I have a static in FFXIV. This is really the first time I’ve gotten a real group like this and tried to tackle something difficult in a game. It’s a little weird to actually have set gaming time. Commitments usually chafe, but I’m okay with this. Maybe because I want to get through Coil? We aren’t a full group yet though. We have people from other raids and we’re kinda filling things in. Progress is still being made though!
We are on Turn 9 of Bahamut’s Coil, aka Turn 4 of the Second Binding Coil of Bahamut. Or something like that. Honestly, I think it’s a silly fight until you get to the second half. It’s almost not really a fight until then, and it’s not nearly as insane as I thought it would be. Playing through it helps quite a bit. The fight continues what I think of as the trend for Final Fantasy XIV’s “difficult” – awareness.
Turn 9 is so heavily choreographed that it feels like a couple attempts (at staying awake) are all that is needed to get to the next phase. If you do the same thing every time, you will actually get the same results. The first half feels very trivial now, having devoted a couple nights to trying it out. This was, I believe, my third night trying it, and we are consistently hitting final phase at this point.
The final phase is fun. Seriously. I’m not looking forward to marking divebombs, like I apparently am going to, but there is so much to watch! Debuffs, ground marks, blah blah blah. It’s entertaining to try and mix all of that around. The divebombs will add another fun level of paying attention. It’s also worrying.
Where is this game going to go with fights? If T9 is one of the big markers for difficulty, and it’s mostly just from a little coordination and paying attention to what’s going on… how much can we reasonably be given to pay attention to and coordinate? Especially with the heavy choreography style that S-E seems to be favoring for the game, I can’t see this getting much more difficult, and it feels like the only reason we don’t fly through T9 is that we just get caught up fighting and stop paying attention. It doesn’t sound interesting for what makes the fight difficult, but that’s kind of it.
The design team has provided a wide array of fights so far, which makes me think they can definitely come up with some grand ideas that will be different and still engaging. I’ve just noticed this one trend and feel like this has to be the limit.
I haven’t really gone through an expansion before apparently. I didn’t play WoW until BC was out, and I didn’t put that much into the game. Guild Wars 2 hasn’t expanded yet, and um… yeah, those are the other big ones. So I’m really excited for FFXIV!
I’m excited to see how much they really branch out from A Realm Reborn. I’m also super excited for flying. Final Fantasy needs flying in my opinion. I want my own airship sooooooo much. Also, the hints at warring triad are the best things ever. I care so much less about everything that is not related to FFVI. The hint of FFVI overshadows all things. Magitek mount for life, yo. I can’t put everything I am looking forward to in here, so I’ll move on to a more interesting topic.
Having read over what we know of the changes to ninja in Heavensward… I’m cautiously optimistic. There isn’t that much changing, which is nice. The things that *are* changing… could be good or bad.
Ninja is getting more positioning requirements added to skills. Positional skills don’t sound fun. They don’t actually make the gameplay more complex, they really just take power away from you. That’s my view anyway. moving around the target while fighting isn’t difficult in the slightest. I could see maxing DPS on Turn 9 being insanely easy even with positioning involved. The boss and the tank don’t move that much. For a lot of fights, for a lot of dungeons, you get tanks doing weird things, or trying to figure things out, and bosses that squirrel around to throw things all over the place, plus AoEs. It does not look fun to me. Am I supposed to run all the way around to what used to be the front to keep going with DPS? Because that’s… um… silly. Silly and pointless and why does ninja need it if monk already has it and dragoon has given it up to a large degree? What is the value in making ninja more like the others when a lot of people liked it for the difference? Also, I see half as many melee DPS as I do ranged. I’m lucky to see 1 melee per team in the Crystal Tower these days. It’s a little concerning. Adding this particular change to the job that represented not dealing with this nuisance… sounds silly. The big consolation is probably…
Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu isn’t changing. Ninja is getting some skill or another that extends the timer on Huton, meaning less 3-step ninjutsu casting and more fuma shuriken. Let’s be honest here. 3-step ninjustu always make your gcd late. 2-step ninjutsu basically always make it late. Fuma is a widely accepted substitute for raiton, meaning ninjutsu is about as complicated as mug for most of the time you use it. I can understand why S-E did this. They can’t fix the fact that ninjutsu feels wrong and clearly can’t happen as quickly as intended. This is their way of admitting defeat and trying to make it better. It also, unfortunately, makes it a little boring. I’m not going to say huton-suiton-fuma-repeat was that interesting, but if I only have to remember suiton for most of the fight, it’s going to become a *very* stupid system. It makes it easier to just use doton over and over and never have to refresh huton, but that’s also not that interesting. I think I just don’t like this decision because it’s making the job simpler, and not more rewarding. If actually getting the refresh is based on positioning… it may be the breaking point for me.
I know it probably shouldn’t be, but the two points so far are not part of what makes ninja interesting in any way, and actively works against what was enjoyable about it. Ruining that, while not addressing how poorly refreshing DE, SF, and mutilate times out along with how ninjutsu doesn’t work as intended… it’s not the same job.
On the plus side: I actually like the enmity skill. This skill, plus goad, means the team can push their limits and do whatever is necessary to just make the fight go faster, and you can make sure the tank has resources and keeps hate. These are weird abilities, but powerful. No, goad does not see a lot of use outside long fights or big AoE pulls, but for those long, obnoxious fights when the tank needs to throw out everything they have, yes, it’s very useful. I can see this skill being used early to help establish hate and keep DPS pumping. I can see it being used to make the tank a back-up for grabbing adds, and to help manage threat when one of your tanks bites it or something. It’s situational, but it is a solid skill.
Then there is the weird one: the 3-step attack thing I have yet to see real details for. I have no clue what this is, and without details it sounds like just another attack, which um… k? Hopefully it has some interesting properties! Otherwise maybe it’s like… ninja’s version of jump? >>
Soooo um… yeeaaah ^^0 That kinda ran away from me there. Maybe I’ll go actually get work done now…