I’ve been wondering how accurately the WildStar PVP Leaderboards reflect the current meta and player activity, so I compared the 2v2 Arena Leaderboards from September 25th and October 10th.
You can find my analysis in the following spreadsheet document:
There is a summary tab with calculations and two tabs for the Leaderboards. I sorted the Leaderboards by name – you can easily move between the tabs to see the changes for each player.
Here are my conclusions:
- The highest number of active classes who gained rating or joined the top 250 on October 10th were Warriors (16) and Medics (13), followed by Espers (9), Spellslingers (8), Stalkers (5), and Engineers (3)
- A whopping 65% of the 250 top-rated players in 2v2 are inactive. Meaning they have either stopped playing WildStar or they are still playing but not participating in 2v2 anymore
Point #1 should be no surprise to anyone, given the recent changes to PVP stats to decrease damage and increase healing. Warrior/Medic was always a good comp, but with the current meta they faceroll most other comps. The Medic is durable, can kite effectively, and can heal even when out of Focus (i.e. they are un-OOMable), and the Warrior has high passive mitigation, strong burst, and is difficult to sustainably peel/CC. The longer TTK has made life harder for Stalkers, although in my experience the top-end Stalkers in a dual DPS comp are still very dangerous, if they spec to strip shields and coordinate their burst. I’ve never been able to understand why Engineers aren’t played more in 2v2 – in particular heal-soak Engi/Medic is a strong comp.
What is alarming about point #2 is that even with cross-server queues for BG and Arena, the PVP queue times outside of prime time are very high – as Lewis B discussed in his recent article The WildStar Ghost Town – and during prime time PBGs still take 5+ minutes to pop. As a comparison, with World of Tanks (WoT), the queue pops for Random Battles in under a minute any time day or night.
I love WildStar’s action combat system – it’s the most skill-based and engaging of any MMORPG that I’ve played. That said, the dwindling population has a direct impact on me: I have to worry about queue times and the likelihood that the queues will get longer.
On top of that, I’m very burned out by the RNG runes system, where the rune colors are randomized. In most games, when you get a purple drop in PVE or PVP, you rejoice. In WildStar, you hold your breath and pray for decent runes. To date I’ve purchased approximately 55 pieces of 1800 PVP gear, and it’s been a very frustrating and unrewarding experience. Players have said “wait until you can re-roll runes in Drop 3” but that doesn’t solve my problem now, and I face other 1800-geared players who got their PVP gear prior to the RNG system being introduced for PVP gear. After my 4th purchase of an 1800 weapon resulted in another non-upgrade from the 1800 weapon I’m using, I finally gave up and unsubbed from WildStar last weekend.
This is a tough time for WildStar. The community is hoping/praying that Drop 3 will turn the game around. Since WAR and AoC in 2008, I have yet to see a game that hemorrhaged subs in the first 3 months make a meaningful recovery. Some folks point to SWTOR, which transitioned to F2P, but that game has not only an epic combat feel but one of the most valuable IPs of any genre.
Over the past week I’ve been playing ArcheAge (AA) and shaking off rust in WoT. I doubt I will stick with AA as the leveling process is bland and there are no BGs to enjoy, practice, test specs, and gain leveling experience. I really appreciate AA’s flexible build system, and on paper I found a class that suits me well: Abolisher, which combines Battlerage/Defense/Auramancy for a durable MDPS build that has CC and can counter CC. That said, my Abolisher is only level 15 and the road to 50 is many hours of tedium. Folks have told me AA’s endgame sandbox PVP is worth it, but I’ve never played a game that I disliked while leveling and loved at endgame. If the game can’t pull me in during the leveling process, the shoe doesn’t fit.
WoT has thankfully reminded what a (mostly) skill-based game with a very active population looks like, and I’m continuing to try to play at a Super Unicum (2900+ WN8 rating) level without gold ammo. It’s a fun goal :)
I eventually dropped on Wildstar as well. Something about it just didn’t keep me drawn in. Without being able to pinpoint exactly what, it just felt empty somehow.
So far I’ve been subbed for almost three years to SWTOR and still enjoying it. I mostly started to do and enjoy PvP because of your videos and contributions to The Republic. The latter just hasn’t been the same since you left though, missing insights of your calibur into the mechanics, the industry and possible thoughts of developers.
That being said, I was wondering if you’ve heard about the new Discipline system they’re about to introduce with 3.0 to replace skilltrees and what you’re thoughts are about it. :)
I haven’t kept up with SWTOR over the past couple years. There have been other promising games (GW2, WS) that I was more interested in.
Is SWTOR still of the piano combat model where you have dozens of abilities to keybind? I like that at the time but now prefer an action combat model.
Yeah, it is. And even with the changes, you’d still have a ton to keybind, the changes are mostly just simplifying the skill trees and killing hybrid builds.
It indeed is, and I personally prefer having more skills with lots of keybinds. And yes, the discipline system is indeed meant to have BW not worry about untested Hybrids popping up, but it also allows for utility talents that were up high in one tree to be shared across the trees, or now disciplines.
An example: say you’re a marauder and you really like your force camo (the short invisibility) to have an extra effect. Before you had only one option depending on which skilltree you were in. Carnage had the breaking of roots while Annihilation had the increased invisibility and runspeed to it. With disciplines you can, in all likelyhood as the system has only been announced, take both of them, if you would like it.
Swtor’s team did a stream about the disciplines and they showcased the Sorcerer’s discipline in it. A calculator has been build based on it which you can find on Dulfy here:
Perhaps that will give you some more insight into the new system that will be coming for 3.0 :)
Speaking of piano combat – both WoW and SWTOR’s new expansion are making an effort to reduce redundant abilities; I used to think WoW was unplayable without a naga, but when I tried its new expansion, I can actually follow your keybind guide and use a crappy mouse to play. So I think this might be a good trend.
Both are kinda going in the direction of more social games though – WoW’s focus are more on more social features, while SWTOR always has another story to tell.
Back in WotLK and Cata I had no trouble playing without a gaming mouse, but I did write macros to simplify keybinds.
Enabling social interaction in any MMORPG is certainly critical – relationships make games sticky, because it’s more fun to play with people you like and play well with.
Even with fewer abilities, I don’t see PC-based MMORPGs such as WoW or SWTOR getting dumbed down to the extent social games are.
I’ve tried some social ‘MMOs’ on tablets and smartphones and the gameplay is bland and unsophisticated. Today’s tablets and smartphones are best suited to Candy Crush type games, where simply swiping gestures are sufficient for interaction.
The latest WildStar news makes me sad, but I guess it was always a possibility when thinking about some of the team’s design choices. Being someone who focuses more on the PvE side of things, there were a ton of poorly implemented end-game mechanics we had to deal with as well. Most of which involved the attunement quest and unnecessary/frustrating RNG and time gating mechanics, among other things. These issues seemed to affect the “medium-core” guilds the most, causing them to hit a brick wall in terms of progression and recruitment.
You’d often find that if you weren’t progressing fast enough, players would just leave to join a “more hardcore guild”, causing you to have to recruit a fresh player and help them catch up in attunement. This often turned into an endless cycle of seeing people leave, then needing to recruit, then going through the attunement again(which wasn’t fun to begin with). And when you need 20-40+ people to raid, it just ended up causing early burn out for lot of people I think. I’ve talked to members and leaders of a few other guilds who had this happen pretty early on as well.
And since PvP was having its fair share of issues, it eventually caused my guild to disband which is why I haven’t been playing much myself.
If you’re playing casually, then the game is probably great because there’s no pressure to start raiding or farm veteran adventures/dungeons all day, or even start the attunement quest for that matter. And Hardcore players tend to play for 8+ hours daily anyway, to get ready for raids. I just think a big chunk of those middle-ground players sort of got left in the dust.
It sucks, because the game has a lot of potential. I agree that the combat is probably the best iteration I’ve seen before in any MMORPG to date. However, a lot of these early design decisions served to turn people off, rather than get them hooked into this new IP. I’m hoping they can eventually turn it around, but at that point it may be too late to bring people back.
As far as what you’re playing currently, I’m surprised that with you being a big PvP guy you haven’t spent a ton of time(to my knowledge at least) playing many MOBAs. But if you were to tell me that it’s because the communities surrounding them tend to be a turn off, then I wouldn’t blame you.
I’ve been playing them a lot more recently, but I’d agree that the nature of MOBAs in general make for not the best player interactions unless you go with a pre-made.
It’s always great to hear your thoughts though and I hope life is good otherwise!
I’m very surprised at how hard WildStar has flopped. There was a lot of what-seemed-legit hype about the game mechanics and raid content.
My first month of the game was highly enjoyable. It wasn’t til endgame that I was exposed from a PVP perspective at the gear imbalances, exploitability of the game, and other issues.
Yep, at some point a lot of players just throw up their hands and move on to something else.
I think the active pop has dropped below critical mass, so even casual players will eventually run into very long queue times to the point where they can’t get a queue to pop for the content they want to experience, whether it be PVE or PVP.
Yep, and it’s that demographic which is the backbone of every game in terms of playerbase.
I think action combat can be a tough transition for a lot of players, especially those that struggle with movement, keybinding, and aiming/hand-eye coordination.
That said, these are things that most players can improve on, no matter how high or how low their current skill level, if they intentionally try. There are some folks with “diverse abilities” (aka disabilities) who have barriers to being able to play action combat games, but most other players can make the transition gracefully, if they look to improve.
I couldn’t finish the tutorial for LoL. I despise click-to-move, the character feels so disconnected from the player.
I’m OK with a limited # of abilities, so long as it’s action combat, a la WildStar. MOBA combat felt too basic.
I’ve also heard awful things about the MOBA community.
For me, WoT has filled the niche of quick battle against other players.
Thanks, same to you too.
Have you tried SMITE? It’s combat is very similar to wildstar’s in terms of feel, and it has non-moba modes as well that play like straight-up MMO PVP matches.
Check out some “Orcs Must Die Unchained” videos if you get some time Jacob. I think you might be impressed with it if you like SMITE.
I’m a bit of an Orcs Must Die fanboy so I am biased, but the single player game is very solid, and I loved the idea of playing against another player using their combat system. So Unchained is something I am going to check out.
Another non-click to move MOBA that’s entertaining is Awesomenauts. It’s a 2D, sidescrolling, casual MOBA that uses WASD and mouse controls. I really enjoy it over click to move MOBAs like LoL and Dota2. Plus the community is far better than anything I’ve seen in the latter two.
I’d probably try SMITE first, since it seems to be the more established game, but thanks for the recommendation.
I haven’t unsubbed yet from Wildstar, but I am not having fun with long que times for pvp sub 50. This is my preference for leveling. Most days the que time states ‘unknown’. That has happened during peak hours. Non-peak (in cab driver voice) “forget about it”.
I will keep plugging away while I have friends to play with, but the status quo is not sustainable. I think they made a statement about how the ‘Megaservers’ were going to help que times. I don’t understand how this can be when we have cross server ques already.
I agree with some of the other folks commenting, in that this combat system is one of the best out there. Taugrim, I know you said you gave LOL a try and the point and click didn’t work for you. Have you tried SMITE? The combat is the same perspective as in Wildstar, and the combat is very similar. I am not a big MOBA fan, but SMITE is a different breed with its 3rd person perspective and telegraph combat.
I had the pleasure of bumping into in game on a couple of occasions. You are a stand up guy, and you will be a missed member of the community. I will still be consuming any game related videos you decide to publish.
This was another reason I unsubbed. I recently rolled an Engi, and I wanted to level him with a mix of PVE and PVP. One late night I was in a queue for 6-14 BG for 110 minutes adn it didn’t pop.
I gave up on leveling, since I’d rather go pound sand than level primarily by PVE.
This doesn’t make sense to me either.
Megaservers will make the world feel more populated, but it’s the same pop that’s already queuing for cross-server content.
No, but SMITE is on my list of games to try. It seems like a possible good fit.
I didn’t want to post on the official forums or Reddit that I’m leaving – there are a ton of those posts already and I don’t want to add to the negativity.
Right now, WildStar isn’t a game worth investing more time in for me.
Yeah, I unsubdued from Wildstar a few weeks ago as well.
It’s such a shame Wildstar ended up the way it did. I had high hopes for it. Maybe in six months or so it will be worth another try.
I thought about trying out Archeage but just the thought of tab targeting gives me the heebie-jeebies.
I’ve been feeling the WoT itch lately but I don’t know if I want to reinvest into it. The game is timeless, but it makes me feel like an inadequate scrub of a human being. Tanks is hard to play competently and playing poorly really bums me out, which is something I don’t want from my games.
I’m surprised too. The vibe from players in Beta was that the game was great.
I think some folks who were diehard in some areas (e.g. Arena) knew there were serious issues, but as has been the case with many games, WildStar launched anyway.
WoT is a very challenging game – mistakes are harshly punished given that you can’t heal your HP.
Oddly, I’m much more mellow about WoT now.
I used to aggro on friendly players who played poorly and cost us the game. I still get annoyed, and sometimes I’ll say something in chat to tell people what they’re doing wrong. But I don’t get angry IRL, win or lose. I just try to play better the next game.
What I’m trying to sort out now is whether to sell my AMX 50 100 to get the AMX 50 120 and eventually grind up to the AMX 50 B, or even leapfrog over the 50 120 to get the AMX 50 B. The latter path would cost RL money, but that’s not really an issue.
My goal in starting the French heavy line was to learn autoloader play and because the final tank is a good one.
I don’t really rage at team mates, just at myself when I pull a goose egg.
Autoloaders are fun. I only have experience with the American tier 8 autoloader and the french lights, so I can’t comment on the French heavies.
Speaking of rage, I rage-sold my AMX 50 120 after only 19 games today.
While I initially struggled with the AMX 50 100 (45% WR after 100 battles), I eventually got the hang of it and worked my way to 55% WR after 415 battles.
I didn’t like the AMX 50 120 from the get-go.
The 4-shot 400 damage autoloader and faster clip load time are nice, but the tank is huge and is a joke to penetrate. Comparatively the AMX 50 100 has a much smaller profile and is more agile.
At this point, I’m so accustomed to medium tanks, especially the E50/E50M, that a lumbering giant isn’t a fit. I could have grinded out the hundreds of matches to unlock the AMX 50 B, but I was not enjoying it, so I figured there is no point.
This does make me wonder whether the BatChat would be a much better autoloader for me than the 50B, given that the BatChat is more mobile and can scout effectively.
Heh. The same thing happened to me and the Churchhill. Horribly boring tanks to play. I just didn’t have fun.
It’s funny how WoT can have such piss poor balance yet still be competitive and fun. It’s so mechanically deep and skill driven that, if you’re good, it doesn’t really matter what rusty tin can you’re driving around the field.
I love AA. It brings back many of the MMO elements that have been missing since the early days of SWG. In Wildstar, people were pidgeonholed into narrow classes. So much more freedom in AA. The great thing about AA is that it’s a hybrid, so the economy doesn’t rely entirely upon the user population.
There isn’t another mass-market MMORPG today that has AA’s build/spec system. It really is a gem.
I just can’t stomach the leveling – it’s tedious, uninteresting, and very dated. Even games starting in 2008 started to have much more flexible leveling, e.g. WAR where you could level with PVE only, PVP only (World PVP or instanced BGs), or both.
What is WAR? Warhammer Online?
I leveled to 50 fairly quickly in AA – it didn’t seem like a grind to me. You need to pick the right class at the start and group with people, then when you hit 50 you can level the classes you want to play.
In Wildstar and WAR, I leveled mainly through Battlegrounds. My BG experience in Wildstar was very frustrating due to all the people who AFK leveled, resulting in inbalanced games. Was not fun at all. I had more fun in Beta when people actually wanted to play rather than level.
I occasionally grouped with PUGs or guildees. Still felt slow.
Keep in mind I have a very low tolerance for unchallenging gameplay, so what seems fine to most is unpleasant to me.
I would soooo take ArcheAge with BGs riddled with bots, than to have no BGs at all.
I’ve been trying out ArcheAge over the last week or so too. It’s a nice world, but it’s increasingly hard to put up with the tab-target + no dodge mechanic combat. GW2 and WS have really spoiled me.
The nice thing about WS is that having a bank of CREDD makes it almost as easy to slip back into as GW2. I’ve been leveling up my esper (level 38), and for the most part I’ve been seeing queue pops of no more than 10 minutes (today it hovered around 2:30). My main complaint is that you receive little experience for the time spent in PVP compared to PVE questing. I’ve stopped playing my level 50 engineer because of gear imbalance and my frustratingly inconsistent play with the class.
I think people will return to check out the game once Drop 3 comes because 1) the combat system is just too addictive, 2) I’m guessing a fair number of inactive players have CREDD left on their accounts, and 3) the devs seem pretty intent on making this a reboot update.
So hopefully see you all in-game in a month!
For the sake of Carbine and the WildStar community, I hope you are right.
I think so too, but some people seem fine going back to WoW or picking up ArcheAge. I find old-school tab-target combat to be too boring now.
Wildstar had moments where I thought “this is what I have been looking for”. And then all sort of things started to annoy me.
Two things caused me to stop playing early. The first was the amount of grind. The second was my latency disadvantage. Boss fights and pvp it was just a huge disadvantage running 150+ms and trying to react. Healing it wasn’t too bad, but dps was really problematic using some high precision & high damage abilities.
I’m sorry to say i left wildstar a month ago. I too love the combat. I’ve come to the conclusion that mmos may not be for me anymore. I don’t have as much time to play games anymore and that makes it really hard to justify a sub and leveling a toon just feels tedious. Was thinking of going back to wows expansion but now I don’t know if I will.
This is how I’m spending my time on games now: PvP Smite and Hearthstone. I never thought a cardgame would get me that hooked. PvE Diablo 3 is fun to level in and pretty fast so it doesn’t feel like a grind. The endgame has improved so much since launch and the skillsystem is really fun.
I think Smites combat is pretty close to wildstars and I would recommend it to anyone who likes mmo battlegrounds. I don’t have to level (other than in each match witch is fun to me) and there is a ton of characters to try out. I’m thinking that it gives me the pvp fix WoT gives you. They allso have deathmatches so there’s a bit more variety that way. Ever tryed Smite?
Anyway, allways interresting to read your thoughts on the games you play.
Oh the grammar, oh the spelling… well I’m from Sweden so i blame that.
I wish I could read/write Swedish as well as you do English.
Your English is excellent!
Carbine said they’re looking at addressing short-session play, which might help folks in the same situation as you.
Nice, another recommendation for SMITE :)
Sorry for not reading all the other posts before posting. Some of my thoughts are allready aired. Nice to see others agree with me on Smite :-)
No problem at all.
It’s interesting to hear that you share the same opinions as other folks – it’s helpful validation for me.
Thanks man! It’s awesome that you answer. Looking forward to whatever content might follow.
A couple of more things about Smite that i like:
No rightclick for turning, the leveling in each match becomes a strategy in itself.
You can go indepth with gearing if you really want to optimise or just let the autogearing take care of you when getting to know the game.
The voicecommand system is really good, we all know how hard it is to get peoples attention via chat. Learn a handful of important ones to sheperd the flock so to speak.
I had never played mobas so I had to learn the specific roles in conquest matches, how XP was shared (XP is shared between players in each lane, too many palyers in a lane gives too little XP to each while leveling up).
And how to make use of friendly npcs and when to beware of enemy npc’s in lanes (If no friendly npc around they hurt like hell in early levels and can make a big differens later if getting ganked by enemy players).
I’m sure that you would find out these things on your own, and then some, but I could really have used these tips myself when I started. You might even know it all and in that case just ignore me :-)
I really hope you try it out and let us know what you think.
I wont be sad if you don’t… really I wont… /cry
Hey Taugs Frizz here. I saw that problem happening when we were playing together. At the time I though the long Q times were because I was playing on a North American server, and was in New Zealand. Switching over to the oceanic server did help, but not much. I pretty much unsubbed a week after leaving you guys to play on the other server and haven’t been back since. I really loved the game though and was hoping it was doing well, but apparently not.
As for arche age I have not tried it. I like open world pop but I often find this is almost always unbalanced with one group having higher numbers etc and rolling the other group. So your either spending 90% of your time searching for people only to have ten more people show up and trash them OR you are getting ganked over and over. I could do it if there was BG’s but not otherwise.
You have peaked my interest again in WOT.
There were some significant layoffs today at Carbine :(
I don’t think Carbine has the resources nor NCSOFT’s financial support to meaningfully invest in WildStar moving forward, aside from possibly moving to a F2P or B2P system.
The subscription model won’t work for any game aside from WoW.
A game that has both instanced PVP and World PVP is the best. WAR was fun as heck in both regards.
It’s a challenging game, and driving tanks is fun.
I’ve been playing Archeage since launch (and alpha/beta before that). Leveling in that game is some of the easiest in any MMO. Questing is only one way, but you can level extremely fast with crafting as well. I got at least 20 levels just spending all my labor crafting. Easiest way is to make sure you have 5000 labor, and Worker’s Compensation is off cooldown. Get a Vocation Tonic to double xp gained from crafting, and either craft/disenchant cloth belts, leather belts, or metal belts, whichever you prefer. Ideally you’d pop 2 Worker’s Compensation (on your main and alt) to get the most out of your vocation tonic. The game really opens up when you get your boat, piece of land, and start going into the pvp zones. Can’t think of it like the other mmo’s, though. There are arenas (1v1 and 5v5) to practice pvp specs in, but a lot of people go tryhard mode and spend hundreds of gold on potions and are really geared, so I don’t bother. I’m playing on Ollo West.
I unsubbed after two months. I wanted wildstar to succeed but they just didnt deliver on a core promise–that they wanted to address the solo end game that over 60% of players want. Most of us are married with jobs now and while we have fond memories of 40 man raids dont necessarily wany to relive them.
Ironically the action based combat from wildstar made me give Neverwinter a second chance and I am having a great time. Have it tried it Taugrim? The end game has really stabilized and i am having a blast. I also tried AA and found it bland, i found the class systems really undifferentiated.