Wildstar and group ‘questing’

Wildstar is one of those games that may or may not be great. I’ve watched the housing video and it all looks rather fun and innovative. There’s tons of customisation and according to the voice-over a lot of items to collect out in the world. They’ve combined housing with a farm-style system (like the one in Mists of Pandaria but more elaborate) for gathering resources. There’s also some benefits for gathering a raid at someone’s house which is an intriguing idea.

I’ve just read a hands-on from PAX East by one of the Massively writers and have some more thoughts. I like the sound of the action combat, and too that there is both a dodge and a dash-forward skill to give combat some movement and flow. The varied combat styles of the two classes featured (spellslinger and warrior) also sounds like rolling alt characters would be worthwhile just for the gameplay.

But then a concern has popped into my head over the four paths in the game (explorer, soldier, scientist, settler). How big an impact will these paths have on your average questing session? If you prefer to quest with a friend or two, as I always have in MMOs, will taking different paths between the group add to the experience or take away from it?

In Guild Wars 2 there is a smorgasbord of content available, but there’s a constant tension if you roam as a group between those wanting to do hearts, vistas, map exploring, events and just ‘kill stuff’.

In SWTOR there is plenty of good group content but the class stories can repeatedly interrupt group play or even mean splitting the group temporarily to avoid spoilers for other classes.

I wonder whether in Wildstar you’ll have certain tensions for group play to deal with. Will the whole group join the explorer in the jumping puzzle or will the explorer feel a bit rushed doing said puzzle while his friends are sat waiting at the bottom? I just hope that this radical path system doesn’t promote solo play over group play in the leveling zones.

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