Crafting and the mechanics thereof
I'm starting on the list at a point that isn't actively worrisome but still is a bit baffling because I know the game's crafting systems are in place in the beta. I'm even willing to bet that if I decided to scour a bit, I could find many sites with unscrupulous individuals willing to break the NDA and spill the beans on exactly what crafting looks like at this point in the game's development, potentially with pictures.
As I've discussed previously, though, that's not my style. But it still raises the question of why we haven't seen more than the vaguest details on crafting.
There's something distinctly odd about letting a system go live for testing without giving a full rundown on how it works to onlookers. Yes, crafting might require more intimate knowledge of how the games' mechanics work before we can fully appreciate its subtle brilliance, but I'm willing to bet that most of us could piece together the overall intention from just a few words. Without any more information, it becomes odd -- are we not being told something important? Is the crafting somehow shameful? Should we be worried? What's the big secret?
Those story updates
Again, this is less worrisome, but moreso than is crafting because we know for a fact that crafting itself does exist. Right now, these do not.
The promise of new story content on a regular basis for people at the endgame is a laudable goal. But herein lies the problem, Timmy: Technically that's what Guild Wars 2 is providing right now. For some players this is a satisfying buffet, and for other folks this is a never-ending onslaught of updates with all the content density of a holiday event, coupled with a story in which the players are hangers-on for all of the important NPCs doing things. You can guess which camp I fall into.
Ongoing story content could be that. Or it could be a single new mission chain every month. Or a small new area. Or a single quest. Or nearly anything in the world. It tells us virtually nothing. We've heard a lot about the endgame recently, but we've heard nothing about what this particular aspect is going to look like, what sort of rewards can be expected, what sort of challenges to expect, and so forth. And this is a big deal, especially in light of the next point.
Anything about solo endgame, really
Time and again we've been told that WildStar will have an endgame for everyone. Or "elder game," if you want to rename a spade into a diamond-head digging tool. We've also been told that high-end PvP and group PvE content is aimed at people who want a challenge.
All well and good. So where's that content aimed at people like me? I like PvE and PvP, but my willingness to devote an escalating spiral of my time into grinding out every conceivable boss fight is... well, more or less nil. I roleplay, I enjoy storyline stuff, and I like heading into dungeons, but I don't like raiding. From what I've been told thus far, my endgame is probably going to be the solo stuff, since I don't want to get in on the raid cycle and I don't expect to be good enough to be among the best in PvP.
What exactly will that look like? I have very little idea of what I'll actually be doing, just that it will conceivably exist. This is a neglected field of gamers, a group of people who want to play but have traditionally been ignored at endgame. The fact that something is promised but isn't actually being detailed in any way doesn't fill me with comfort; it makes me think that this is the first promise that will be broken when it becomes convenient.
A solid release date
We're told that this game will release in 2013. All right. I don't mean to scare anyone, but there's not a lot of 2013 left. And at this point the developers are so comfortable with the existing version of the game that they still haven't told us two of the classes that will be playable when you boot it up for the first time. Slow roll for PR purposes, sure, but we're running out of time for that slow roll and running into that horrible beast called the year is not that much longer.
I suppose this doesn't exactly qualify as worrisome, considering the fact that I'm perfectly fine with the game not launching until 2014. Although that would mean launching alongside The Elder Scrolls Online, which people care about for some reason, it seems like the most likely scenario at this point. I just wish we'd actually be told that's the case.
Feedback is welcome, whether it consists of agreement, your own points of confusion regarding unreveals, or a detailed list of reasons why I'm an awful man. You can leave that down in the comments or mail it along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, let's talk about PvP.
Here's how it is: The world of Nexus can be a dangerous place for a tourist or a resident. If you're going to venture into WildStar, you want to be prepared. That's why Eliot Lefebvre brings you a shiny new installment of The Nexus Telegraph every week, giving you a good idea of what to expect from both the people and the environment. Keep your eyes peeled, and we'll get you where you need to go.