The WildStar afterparty at PAX East was a lot of fun. The part where I managed to injure myself in the process? Not so much fun.
This is not the first con at which WildStar had a presence, but this year it was not just a presence but the presence. You literally couldn’t walk down a hallway without seeing some of the promo art. WildStar videos were on display all over the monitors throughout the convention center, and the afterparty consisted of approximately everyone.
For those of us who have been following the game for a while, the convention provided a lot of information. For people who had literally never known it existed until this weekend, it had a huge impact, and I think it drew in a lot of surprise converts. So let’s talk about all the fun there was to be had during the event and discuss how I was dumb enough to put myself out of commission for the entirety of Sunday.
There were some things discussed during the WildStar panel that didn’t quite merit a full article, but I took note of them. These are things that won’t be of interest to some folks but will be of interest to dedicated fans and readers of this column — like the message reiterated multiple times that the level cap should have content for literally everyone, ranging from solo players to raiders to PvP fans to whatever. And that’s not just “they said everyone” — solo players were mentioned repeatedly as a group that’s frequently left out in the cold in terms of endgame content.
Endgame story will be a particular focus for solo players, both to give those players a sense of accomplishment and to ensure that the lore of the game isn’t tied to content that gives little chance to enjoy story. If you want to see the resolution to overarching stories, you can.
We also know now that the last two races should be revealed very shortly. When I asked about one of the races, I was told that the team could neither confirm nor deny my theory. Take that as you will. Considering some of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge responses to other speculation, I know how I choose to take it, but nothing has been set in stone.
If you’re waiting on an announcement regarding the game’s business model, it should be coming out in a couple of months.
The panel did reveal something interesting: All of the personality videos are done almost entirely in-engine. The only component not rendered by the game engine are the 2-D animated tidbits. That says something about the overall quality of the engine, and it’s a statement borne out in play over the weekend as well.
We were also told a little bit more about the Settler path. In essence, Settlers don’t get experience just for building things but for building things that other people make use of. So you don’t want to just drop a campfire in the middle of a town square because then there will be millions of campfires and no one will click yours. Instead, you want to seek out places where things are happening and build useful structures there, encouraging more social interaction.
About the only thing that slightly raised my hackles was the lack of multiple physique options for characters and the fact that Dominion and Exiles may not be able to speak to one another. That makes me unhappy; sure, the factions aren’t supposed to like one another, but it’s great roleplaying fodder.
Overall there wasn’t as much novelty in the panel, but that was balanced by the sheer amount of information available at the convention, especially since there were little hints hither and yon about some of the next reveals. Emphasis on “hints,” as I don’t actually know what they are.
Going out in a blaze of glory
The WildStar afterparty was not at the end of PAX East, but it was after the panel and the majority of the festivities had died down. It was a chance for fans to chill, drink, and party with fellow fans and an opportunity for some of us to pretend to be important, since I was allowed into the VIP lounge to do whatever VIPs are supposed to do.
Confession time: I’ve got no idea what VIPs are supposed to do. I don’t consider myself particularly important, so my emulation of the VIP lifestyle consisted of getting drinks, lounging on couches, and staring around like someone allowed into the VIP lounge without the slightest clue of how he got there. Later it also consisted of me hobbling about in pain and scavenging more free drinks.
Yes, the hobbling. The reason that happened is because, quite simply, I enjoy dancing. I don’t frequently go out dancing, and the last time I did so I was 23 or so, but I still enjoy it. The fact that it had been several years since my last dance-based outing and that I had several drinks in me at the time that I started dancing did not register in my mind.
So, while dancing, I managed to do something I felt was wonderfully clever by jumping up, losing my balance, and landing on my ankle by asking it to bend in several wrong directions at once. This means that WildStar is now officially the first game that has led to my injuring myself.
But was the dancing any good, you ask? Was my loss from the dance floor felt keenly by all in attendance? There is video, but unfortunately it currently remains lost to the sands of time due to unreliable internet connections. I’ll publicly humiliate myself on a later date.
For the record, the ankle is ultimately just a minor twist. That doesn’t make walking any easier while it heals, but I’ve got only myself to blame for that. It also isn’t really all that encouraging that pretty much everyone who saw me mention it on Twitter thought I was joking.