Tobold has a post addressing the debate around the difficulty of Wildstar’s group content, in particular the dungeons. For the record I didn’t choose to subscribe and play the game after my beta trial and the biggest reason was the perceived difficulty of all the content, I didn’t get as far as the dungeons but then I didn’t need to.
The game plays at a fundamental, combat level just like Tera – it’s a pretty full-on action MMORPG. This means almost constant positioning and dodging, it means the most basic fights against monsters out in the world can be dangerous and take some time as you’ll have telegraphed big attacks or stuns to avoid. When I was playing Tera I leveled really happily for the first half of the way to cap on my priest, the healing in group content was frantic but fun. However the leveling itself started to wear on me as even the simplest fights took quite a while so the pace of leveling was slow and the combat didn’t vary in intensity much – it was always slightly too tense.
Now Tobold and most others commenting on this are referring to the dungeon difficulty as the big issue, I’ve watched a few videos of dungeons and would agree that it’s simply too intense for me – it’s very like WoW’s current normal mode raiding. I did flex-mode and normal mode raiding in my last stint in WoW and found normal mode to be too stressful an experience. As a healer there is way too much to dodge and too many mechanics to learn. Watching Liore’s video of the first dungeon makes me think I’d tire of Wildstar’s dungeons very quickly – the game doesn’t pace a build up to raid-style content, it throws you in there with the first group content you do!
Tobold goes on to argue that there’s no good reason for Carbine’s not to introduce an easier alternate mode to the dungeons in Wildstar. However I think the overall game’s combat tuning, like Tera’s, is too intense for me to have subscribed – the dungeons are just a continuation of the whole game experience in this regard. Fundamentally the humourous artwork and broad content of the game was very appealing (except that level up thing!) but buried under the layers of whimsy is a fundamentally different game from one I’d want to play for very long.
It’s a pretty core issue – would you play an MMO in which you didn’t like the combat for very long?