How does the active combat compare to DDO?
How does the active combat compare to DDO?
Movement and Aiming through their devSpeak and that's mostly how it works. But if you wanted a WALL OF TEXT... read on:
I played Wildstar up to L20 during the Headstart the last weekend with some friends. As you know most of the game is WoW++ stylings (communicators so you can turn in quests remotely, lots of autodone everything to make stuff "friendly", arrows pointing to everything you need to do, though still no more than one set of 10 actions available at combat time, etc). I consider the combat is also WoW++. Overlay tells and cast times for most things with 2-d dodging (jumping up or moving downward doesn't get you out of the damage overlays).
DDO comparison example:
Think of Velah raid. As well as puffing smoke/fire from her nostrils before a breath, a giant red overlay would hit the ground just before breathing, but it would show clear area behind the stone pillars. Add to that if you hit her with various stuns while she's rearing back for the breath, you could actually stun her and interrupt the breath. Since she's a boss it would take coordinated stuns from the entire party. Of course if you're trying an elaborate stun and she gets off her breath weapon then you would be stunned and take 50% extra damage. So lots of tells and reactions to tells and bigger abilities require you to broadcast tells. Movement is okay with mouse turning, double jump, limited number of dashes (double move), limited amount of sprint time (mostly no combat ability while sprinting). So very much the dodge and aim (overlays showing your aim locations) and fire style game. You still have tanks and healers though the tank can't always stand in one place even against low level bosses when they put out the BIG TELL ABILITY.
Combat abilities are still strictly divided into Tanking (damage absorb, aggro), DPS, and Hjeals based on the gear and action set you have primed (most tanks can't heal or vice versa though DPS is available to all classes). It seems like the classes change somewhat as you acquire new abilities, set by their AoEness, casting time, cooldown time, movement capability while casting, and of course damage/dotness/healness... though you can still level up previous abilities so they keep pace if you liked them. I would guess it's very formulaic to try and balance classes/levels. I guess it must be since when you enter certain PVP arenas all your stats/gear get setup to matching levels. In the end picking a class seems more about which abilities you prefer and which class has a larger share of those abilities. Though each class only has access to either Tanking or Healing.
There I think I've wandered across some of the areas of Wildstar. I haven't gotten to housing, setupPvpArenas, or anywhere near end game so no idea on those. But here's my @L20 +/- list:
- Art: The style is very tech-animated-movie. Think Treasure Planet or Titan A.E. But still mostly pretty with enough detail to keep you looking. A very comic sensibility - but different from WoW.
- Giant World: There's lots to do everywhere and nothing ever feels empty across all the spaces. Though moving through it with pre-mount levels leaves a bit to be desired time wise. QUANTITY everywhere.
- Double Jump: I don't know why... but having that second jump at the top of the height of your current jump makes you feel like you can get around the place.
- Bigger Story: The overall PVE story march reminded me a lot of Warhammer. It's the other factions fault! We must unlock the secrets to beat them FIRST! But they keep a good rolling story going at least across the levels I had encountered.
- Load Times: Almost non-existent once you've gotten past the queues. (though there are currently bugs where the screen goes blank after a load or the game crashes if you sync to a new party - usual launch stuff).
- Themes: The level up and the varied audio sayings that go with it often made me laugh/take notice. Bits of comedy/snarkyness tossed into lots of the story through the tutorial.
- Paths: Each character you create gets a different set of bonus experience "missions" for their paths. Soldier (fight more mobs), Scientist (make/repair more stuff), Settler (housing and other stuff), and explorer (scavenger hunts and climb to the top of every everything).
- Character Race Customization: 4 mostly different looking races with tons of customability and ability to recolor about everything visual on the character and get various cosmetics added all overs.
- Bugs: Not very many system level ones for a new game. Once you get past the queueing and sometimes empty post load screen bugs... I only hit two crashes in 3 days of playing (one was a "random network error" and one was a "sync to party fail crash"). Though the game allowed me to restart with no queue... so that was nice. Didn't really hit any uncompletable quests bugs either.
- Launch Queues and Carbine stingyness: Carbine announced X worlds with Y held off in reserve once they found what type of servers people wanted to play on (Normal, PvP Anywhere, Roleplay). Then all the giant guilds that ended up on announced worlds got treated to "30 hour queue times". Then they brought up 3 or 4 more reserve worlds and lots of small guilds moved. But still the giant guild worlds had half-day to play queues. This is more a knock against the Ops team that seemed to have a lot of other things right but not overbuying servers to start and/or doing some sort of world-reservation system.
- Animations: For launch they have tons of different creature types... but some of the nonVehicle ones just have 2 points of animation... I guess that lets you get more quantity out there... but kind of sad when the legs don't move. But I'd guess they'll clean it up later.
- Questing: I had run a few of the "adventures" plus most of the region story, but most everything gets nailed down to Click on These and/or Kill This and if you get lost here's giant arrows to point the way. Here's a voiced cut-scene for you in some cases. While better than previous WoW clone MMO's due to often communications between quest objectives and some cutscenes at the end of an area's grand objective - it's got nothing on many of DDO's fully voiced quests with "nuances" and/or "stories" and/or "puzzles (so far that I've seen). You'll also often miss picking up a quest (sometimes due to completion triggers) and then anti-climatically heading back to the same area where you just completed the region story. Which kind of turns it into a very go here, kill/trigger this quest. They do have the normal "hacking" style skill of either Hold Button Down, Repeately hit button, Hit button at certain intervals, or play Simon.
- Mobs: Pretty dumb, constantly respawning, maybe one level above just-charge/fire-at-you scripting on them. Slightly more on bosses... but that was moreso just more varied attacks.
- World PVE: For non-adventures, dungeons you get the same old MMO instance re-use "that jerk just used/killed the thing I needed and now I have to wait for it to respawn". Though there are instanced dungeons/adventures at higher levels and you can level strictly via PVP or just killing stuff. Some parts of your instance graphically change to match the portion of the story you are on despite sharing the instance with other random players.
- Character Class Customization: While I'm still learning how other classes work (I've only played 2) things just feel "formulaic" all over. It doesn't matter that it's called Ice Chasm or Rooting Vines or Robot Quarantine field... all 3 abilities are an AOE lockdown with X damage usable once every ~30 seconds. Maybe this criticism doesn't fully make sense but while there's a lot of variety on the names/fx of abilities, the total number of things to be done seem limited. Then again that's a lot easier to balance for PVP.
- Itemization: Generic WoWlike: +armor or +damage and +'s on abilities. Maybe more interesting things later? Very quantity over quality. I guess I could sum this up by saying there was never a +1 higher level item I got that didn't instantly make me toss the previous item in that slot. Even Warhammer had quest/adventure/dungeon end items that would last longer than the other stuff you got possibly due to higher stats or special class stats or ... But maybe L20 (of 50 currently) is too low for that or I didn't hit the right places.
I'll play some more Wildstar just to talk to the friends I haven't talked to for a while. But so far despite having filled out most of the normal WoW MMO quota's things aren't beyond awesome enough to leave DDO. But it's new for now.
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