As some of you might know, I was fortunate enough to attend PAX East yesterday, Friday the 22nd. I had a great time, and saw many interesting people who shared much of the same interests that I do. I was surprised to see that Carbine had seemingly, one of, if not largest booth on the floor. Moreover, the Wildstar booth was exceedingly noticeable and attracted many individuals passing by. Most exciting for me, was that I was able to spend around an hour and ten minutes playing through the demo of Wildstar that was on the show floor. The demo was time-limited to around twenty-five minutes, and a Draken Stalker, Mechari Warrior and Cassian Spellslinger were available for play. I mostly played the Draken Stalker, because I enjoyed the way that the combat felt with this particular class; however, I played roughly twenty-five or thirty minutes on a Cassian Spellslinger as well. Keep in mind that this demo was confined to only a few parts of Deradune; most, if not all areas that were shown in the Gamespot "Now Playing" that we received a glimpse of a few weeks ago, were available to play through in the demo. My impressions are as follows: (starting with pros and cons) Pros Combat- Combat felt great. The combat felt more fast-paced and grounded than the likes of Guild Wars 2; moreover, the combat was actually fun. I found myself going out of the way to kill enemies at times. However, the combat did feel distinctly more polished on the Stalker than on the Spellslinger; I will explain why later. Character Creator - I was blown away when I found how exhaustive the character creator is. The options that players are able to choose from, even at this point in the game's development, is impressive to say the least. Art Style - It looks much better in person. Stat Distribution - When a player gains a level, they will receive stats that they can distribute into fields such as: strength, magic, technology, dexterity, stamina, etc. The stat distribution has an old-schoolish RPG feel to it, similar to that of the stat distribution in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I really like this method of distribution, for some reason. Addictive - The first time that I played, I got in about fifteen minutes before the Carbine booth's internet went out. I decided to go browse the rest of the booths and coming back a little later to play it again when the crashes were less frequent. After about 30 minutes of browsing other booths, I thought, "I should maybe go back and see if the connection is stable." This happened probably four, five, maybe six more times throughout the day. I kept wanting to go back and keep playing. This is a big deal for me, because only a fraction of the game was available and was only a starting area. Music/SFX - Immersive as F***. Telegraphs - I actually liked them?! The telegraphs made the combat feel more fast paced and "actiony". Though some of the enemies give the player three or four seconds too long to get out of the telegraph. With some enemies, I was just standing on the other side of them attacking them while they were paused in mid-air about to finish a telegraph. *taps foot waiting for them to finish, nvm thare ded* Cons The Spellslinger felt clunky - Don't get me wrong, I still had fun playing the Spellslinger, but there was one aspect of the class that bothered the hell out of me: the number one (kind of an auto-attack) ability roots you to the ground. When I first tried the Spellslinger, I thought the class was bugged; I kept trying to kite enemies while using my number one ability and the game wouldn't let me. I quickly realized that in order to use my number one, I had to remain stationary. This ruined the feel of the class for me. I immediately asked Chad Moore why this was and he said he didn't know and that I should ask the combat designer who was hanging around the booth somewhere. I put off the question until later when I found him (the combat designer) and asked him why the Spellslinger wasn't able to use number one while moving. He assured me that the demo build was quite old (four months, to be exact), and in the latest internal build, the Spellslinger is exceedingly more mobile (Yay!). Despite my first impression of the Spellslinger, the class definitely has the potential to be just as fun as the Stalker. Enemy AI was boring -Most of the enemies that I encountered were stationary and only moved when a player got close, or made the first move (most didn't patrol). There were some enemies that moved around, but I didn't see too many of them. Dodging felt too touchy when attempting a jumping puzzle - I tried to do a tree jumping puzzle as an Explorer and fell too many times to count due to overly-touchy dodging. Housing is completely instanced, not even neighborhoods as of yet - Though the overall housing system is exceptionally impressive (I was drooling with excitement at the panel), I am quite disappointed that your house is exclusively instanced to you and only you, unless you open it to the public. Enemies could have been more challenging - I never really had too much trouble fighting enemies, unless I pulled way too many mobs. I realize that this is only a starter zone and it might not need to be difficult, but I am just putting this out there. Overall, I had a great experience with Wildstar and am definitely looking forward to beta testing it and playing it upon launch. I only played maybe 10% of the total Deradune zone, and I am looking forward to the rest of the zone. I asked these questions to our boi Scootz and he gave me great answers to each: (please note that I am paraphrasing what he said) 1.How are telegraphs going to be implemented in raiding content? I keep imagining that the telegraph system while playing in 40-man raids is going to be overwhelming and will massively clutter the screen. Scooter assured me that they are doing in-house testing of the 40-mans and they aren't going to be overwhelming to your screen or obtrusive like myself and some other WSC community members are imagining. 2. Will there be unique and prestigious loot that is only acquirable by doing 40-man raids so other players can look at you and think, "Wow, he's a bad (in a good way) motha f*****!" Scooter told me that the gear obtained in 40-mans will be unique from anything else in the game in both stats AND aesthetics. 3. We know that housing will be instanced; how instanced is it going to be? Scooter told me what we all already know after the newest housing video was released yesterday. 4. In WoW Vanilla and BC leveling to the cap felt truly like an achievement. In most MMOs, it seems more and more as if leveling to cap becomes easier and easier and faster and faster and once you get to cap you just don't feel like you accomplished anything. There was no struggle or challenge getting there. In WildStar, is leveling to cap going to feel like an achievement? Scooter told me that some players level faster than others, of course, but he also said that he wants leveling to be fun and challenging. He said closed-testing will help them achieve the sense of challenge and that he would be happy with a few hundred hours to get to max level. 5. On August 17th, 2011 in an interview with VG247 Jeremy Gaffney said shortly after revealing WildStar for the first time that: "We don't walk a tightrope: we're very willing to throw ourselves right off it. It's the hardcore that matters in the long haul. If you don't appeal to the hardcore, you've got no one to get up to the high level. It's not us, you know? We're hardcore gamers. First and foremost, it's to appeal to those complex gamers, those players that want the depth, and if we can make it so we're not scaring off players that are new to it, rock on. That's cool by us. "Most important are the gamers. But we're important too. If we get bored of our game we'll make a <REDACTED> game. There's no tightrope: it's the hardcore first, honestly." Does this quote still hold true? Are you fundamentally designing the game with "hardcore" or "complex" players in mind? Scooter told me that they have no problem with making raids inaccessible and they don't expect everyone to be able to do the raiding content because it is going to be exceptionally challenging content. He said he thinks it is good for less-experienced players to see high-end raiders who are doing the hardest content, because it adds motivation for those less-experienced players to get to where the high-end players are. Scooter said that basically yes, they are fundamentally designing the game with hardcore players in mind because it's they who stick around the longest and are generally exceedingly loyal to the game. He assured me that other types of players will definitely have plenty to do though, also. 6. We know that there are going to be flying mounts. How have you designed flying mounts so that they won't subtract from exploration? In games that have flying mounts, it seems that the world is much smaller and you can bypass everything so there is no need to explore. Also, it can easily trivialize open-world PvP because you can simply fly over potential OW-PvP encounters. Scooter told me that players must get to max level to obtain a flying mount, so everyone has to explore by ground until then. He then went on to say that he can't talk much about open-world PvP except that there isn't going to be a huge emphasis on it at launch. 7. Will there be Player to Player (Face to Face) trading? Scooter said yes there will be. 8. Will players be able to use their own images or customize something in photoshop and upload it in-game to use a guild emblem? Scooter said he can't confirm anything on it, but he loves the idea. Thanks, Scooter, for taking the time to answer my questions! Please add-on to any of your answers if you like. Sorry if I left something out! Other information to note: When asked during the Wildstar panel if there will be a PvE matchmaker (LFG tool), Gaffney answered, "For dungeons, yes. For raids? That is a different question." Level cap is 50, not 60. There are achievement titles in the game. There is hit rating. Donatelli confirmed to me that there aren't attunements for raids, but there is something similar in place to get ready for raiding. Couldn't talk about it.