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Posted on June 17th, 2014
I picked up Carbine's new MMO Wildstar mostly on a whim -- it was a sci-fi MMO, and I don't really have one of those I'm currently playing. But it was really the look of Wildstar that grabbed me off the bat, the bright colors and cartoonish character design reminding me a little of my first days in WoW. Combine that with a lot of really funny and incredibly tongue-in-cheek trailers, and I figured it was worth more than just a brief look.
While I will be the first to admit I haven't exactly been plowing through leveling content with any speed, I've gotten enough of a look at Wildstar's features to get a feel for the game. I did finally get my hands on a mount, and got a look at some of the more intensive side-objectives and features as well as check out plenty of questing content. How does it hold up? It's a good game, at first glance and with just a short amount of time played.
And there are a few things WoW could learn from this scrappy little title that makes its impact in a very big way.
Maybe this seems like the silliest thing to start out with, but let's just get down to it. In Wildstar, you press space to jump. If you press space while you are in midair, you will jump again. It's not a big thing. In fact, in the list of things the game has to offer, this one is very small. But when you're addicted to jumping and use your spacebar almost like a nervous tick in between fights or while running around or even while standing in one spot talking to your friends, double jump is the single most amazing thing ever created. Even your mounts can do it.
I very fondly remember the first time I hit space bar while playing a night elf and watching that elf execute a flip in midair. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, and promptly spending any time in which I should have been standing still, jumping and tapping that spacebar. Movement is cool. Being able to suddenly leap higher than high? Even cooler. It's a small thing, it's a very small, tiny, insignificant thing, but man I wish WoW had double jump.
When you make a character in Wildstar, you don't just choose a class -- you also choose a path for that class to follow. There are four paths to follow: Soldier, Settler, Scientist and Explorer. In addition to your usual run of the mill quests you get while leveling, the path system offers its own unique set of side quests and challenges that pop up fluidly while you're traveling the world. Each path has its own levels, it's own perks to earn, it's own set of challenges, and each embraces a different little quirk of gameplay.