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Choose My Adventure: Now we're playing some WildStar

Shawn Schuster

As promised, this week I've entered the realm of double digits with the character you've helped me create. While my experience has admittedly improved since last week's write-up, I'm still finding WildStar to be a little too similar to the biggest MMOs of the last 10 years or so. But is that a bad thing if it's done right?

Last week I asked you to give me some suggestions on how to play through this week's adventure, and I wanted to not only explain what I've done as I reached level 11 but also touch on some of the suggestions I've followed from the comments.

BalsBigBrother1: "Just take your time, see where the game take you and post your experiences. Wildstar seems to be a sum of its parts type of game to me, in that if you just focus on one thing you will be missing out on the full flavour so to speak."

This and so much this. I tend to play my MMOs this way anyway, but I find that you have to do this in WildStar or you'll miss the good stuff. Although I'm primarily a sandbox fan, there are certainly times when I appreciate a good linear MMO because I would go crazy playing only sandbox games all the time (and vice versa).

One of the biggest things I've discovered in these first 11 levels is that the game may be linear and "themepark-ish," but we're not talking about a mall parking lot carnival with a broken Tilt-A-Whirl here. When you get to Six Flags or Disneyworld, what do you say? "I want to ride that first! No, that first! I want to ride all the rides!" Right? In my opinion, if you're making a negative comparison to WildStar and a themepark, then you're going to the wrong themeparks.

In a way, the quest progression reminds me of Lord of the Rings Online (as just one example). You may have quest hubs, but you're also sent over here, then back over here, and then you happen upon a new quest hub on your way over here, and pretty soon you have more quests than you know what to do with. As commenter Olybard said, "I don't recommend being Mr. Completionist, as each zone has so many quests and challenges that you'll quickly outlevel the content before you clear it all."

This is also a good point (although impossible for my personality to comprehend!) because I did find myself outleveling the beginning area when I circled back around to complete those early quests to get them off my map, and that forced me to make a plan. The explorer in me wants to run around and open up the entire Celestion map as soon as possible, but my inner completionist wants me to go back and finish the quests before outleveling anything. Also, high-level monsters hurt.

One exception to this rule is with the Explorer path, oddly enough. I'm enjoying the Explorer quests and opening up the map and everything involved in finding secret ways up to the top of giant structures, but I think the camera angles and strange collision issues make the jumping puzzles frustrating, so I tend to skip those for the most part.

As for the Spellslinger himself, I am enjoying him immensely, but my next-highest-level character is a Medic that I'm actually enjoying more. Yeah, sorry, I'm cheating on Choose My Adventure with another character! I haven't tried all of the other classes past level two or three yet, but it's definitely something I want to do before this series ends.

The Spellslinger appeals to me because of Charged Shot, which is almost like a sniper ability that lets you charge up your shot before unleashing the extra damage on a surprised victim. I usually follow that up with Flash Freeze to root the enemy in place, Ignite for some DoT action, and then hammer away with Quick Draw a few times until he dies. If a foe is particularly difficult, I'll throw in Gate to warp behind them, add that extra stun, and finish him off. This has worked well for me so far, but I know that I'll need to fine-tune that strategy for stronger enemies (and bosses!) soon.

As for character building, I'm really enjoying the Action Set Builder. Not only does it allow you to not only build your skill bar(s) with unlockable skills that you can upgrade and purchase, but you also have the AMP specialization tree (or more like a web, I guess) that allows you to refine your specializations even further by adding points to increase stats like Critical Hit chance, Armor Penetration, Max Shield Capacity, and more. Through the combination of AMP and your abilities, you can really build your perfect character. I especially like when games do this because it allows you to play with friends who might also want to play the same class as you, but in a different way.

DeadlyAccurate: "My suggestion is to do some crafting."
Wolfyseyes: "As for activities, might I suggest trying some of the crafting out? It is a fascinating system in my view."
Eselle28: "Crafting might be a nice thing to try next. There's a good bit you can do with it."

Excellent suggestions! So that's what we're going to focus on this week. The poll below will let you pick my crafting focus(es). From what I've seen of crafting so far, I'm really excited about trying it out. I love that it's lore-based and that you must use your tradeskills to help rebuild what was destroyed. So get those votes in by Friday night at 9 p.m. EDT, and I will jump into crafting for next week.
While I wait for those results to come in, I will still be leveling through the storyline, sidequests, and discovering the smaller nuances that hide in the corners of this game, just waiting to be discovered.

Shawn Schuster is now permanently at the helm of Massively's Choose My Adventure with you as the co-captain. It's going to be a rough ride, so put on your seat belt! Join him every Wednesday for a reader-guided deep-dive into a new MMO every month. Farcical puns about cars and farming sold separately.

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