[Wildstar] Of Unfun Raids. And: That Attunement just got Nerfed

Following up on Monday’s post about the complexities of healing Wildstar dungeons, which clearly doesn’t entice everybody, I came across this interesting link on Wildstar’s raiding being a major pita (my words) by one who seems to know what he’s talking about. Now clearly, no raider speaks for everybody but it’s rare to find one of the cool kids looking back and saying”yeah, that sucked” or “I don’t miss it one bit”.

To paraphrase some of Fevir’s points in the video, raid encounters are such hectic and constant telegraph dodge-fights that everything else that’s usually fun and rewarding about raid challenges – such as employing different tactics, improvisation and saves – has no room whatsoever. Fights boil down to dodging 40+ mechanics per boss while staring on the ground, or alternatively looking for healers so you can position yourself in green telegraphs. The unforgiving survivability test requires such a degree of focus that multi-hour raidnights are mentally draining and exhausting. Not to speak of the blame-game.

To be honest, I don’t fully buy into Fevir’s commentary. Much of it sounds like 40man vanilla WoW style raiding where raid nights were as draining at times as they were rewarding. At the same time, 40mans were great because there was actually room for error and creativity, and room for carrying people. And they were far, far from being mobility checks. Once more, I am getting the impression Carbine are out to combine everything other MMOs are already doing in terms of difficult mechanics. That makes Wildstar a game of grim satisfaction a lot more than lighthearted fun. It sure feels that way to me.

Not that I’m particularly fussed about raiding at this point. If we can’t make it, there are plenty of other games to play.

Raid Attunement going Bronze

I’m not going to fake surprise at this week’s news in terms of the Wildstar attunement. I put myself on the spot declaring the chain over the top and snottily giving Carbine six months to reconsider some of the hefty requirements, so three months it is. No condemnation from me for evaluating player concerns, the way they did for more varied body types, too.



The related forum topic is naturally, already 46 pages long and consists largely of whining about whiners. To clarify what really happened: silver dungeons runs (with timer) weren’t nerfed – instead, the attunement requirement was dropped to bronze mode (no timer). To some kids who clearly don’t belong to the hardcore who have already begun raiding in Wildstar, that is the end of the world as we know it, despite the fact that you can still do silver (and gold) runs and best timers for feels and extra loot. That last point demonstrates the underlying motive of exclusivity over actual content difficulty; you can still do ‘better runs’ but the fact that the attunement just got nerfed, mildly, means endgame has become just a tad more accessible. Amagad.

As far as skill checks are really concerned, Carbine’s primary reason for the change was timers not effectively serving as such. That’s the actual development team saying “yeah, not really working as intended”. Timers promote rushed runs, skipping trash and risky pulls that put most of the onus on yes, the healer. No biobreaks allowed, no disconnects, no swapping specs manually (thanks to the inane interface), not even time to sit down for consumables. Raids are just like that?

What “remains” now are difficult veteran dungeons full of running, dodging, frantic resource management and wipes, only without people hating each other as much afterwards. Anyway, given Wildstar’s current raiding difficulty, I’m not sure how much more accessible raiding really got. There is however value symbolic or otherwise, in being allowed through the door, sniffing some of that endgame air for yourself. What’s the harm?

For the more hardcore players both imagined and real, there’s mostly this concern: now that they’ve nerfed / showed sense on the attunement, Carbine might adjust more things about raids in the future (noes?). I’m sorry for the lack of empathy in this case because MMOs constantly evolve, balance and change their content. They already do that! Also, I lied about being sorry! Life is too short, yo.

This week in Wildstar: Common Sense 1 – Vainglory 0.


  1. That Fevir is CLEARLY not hardcore enough for Wildstar raiding! And Carbine is CLEARLY watering down the game for scummy casuals!

    To follow through on their PROMISE, the NATURAL progression should be to raise the monthly subscription to a hardcore $150 so that the TRUE HARDCORE can revel in how super-prestigious their exclusive club got!

    *ducks and runs away from the lobbed tomatoes and squished cupcakes*

    1. Actually that would be a good solution – if it’s about exclusivity, let them pay for themselves only. MMOs should make hardcore raiders pay extra ;)

  2. Not playing WildStar I have to confess there was quite a lot of the above post I didn’t really understand. That said, isn’t it a serious problem when a game that marketed itself very heavily on being “Hardcore” starts making changes that upset those players who consider themselves to be “Hardcore”? If that is what is happening.

    Yes, MMOs are always mutable but three months seems awfully early to be re-tooling your game for a different demographic.

    Also every account of both group and raid content that I read already sounds WAY too hardcore for my tastes so I do tend to believe it IS a hardcore game. They would have to change an awful lot of the fundamental mechanics to convince me it would be attractive to a casual mindset.

    1. I don’t play W* either, but from listening around, it seems the reason the reduced the requirement to Bronze was because Silver was not encouraging groups to skillfully and efficiently defeat encounters and enemies, but instead speed-run, wall-hop, and do other content-avoiding tactics in order to beat the timer.

      Basically, the reasoning behind requiring Silver was not working out as intended. It’s not like they nerfed the actual dungeon content.

      1. What Pai said. they’re not re-tooling the game for a different demography (not for now anyway), content is still as hard as before. Silver runs feature difficulties that do not apply to raiding and that’s mostly why this change was even considered.

  3. I tend to regard mission timers as fake difficulty in most cases anyway – for the same reason, I regard enrage timers on bosses as cheap and lazy game design.

    And there’s also the “sh1t happens” factor. I did a Wildstar dungeon run with some guildies last week where we got to the final boss with no deaths and more than enough time left… then halfway through our leader explaining the tactics I had to go AFK and sort out why daughter #1 was reducing daughter #2 to tears (answer: because daughter #1 apparently needs to play with ALL the My Little Ponies), during which the timer ran down to about 90 seconds, which means it ran out mid-fight on the boss.
    Now, I’m pretty sure that parents are going to get limited sympathy from the basement-dwellers, but that interruption could have been a power cut, or an untimely knock at the front door from persistent Jehovah’s Witnesses. Life happens, and if you’re going to play a game with other people you have to deal with the fact that it sometimes happens to other people. The game shouldn’t make that become more of a drama than it has to be.

    1. Agreed. I can usually guarantee a run without interruptions but we have quite a few people in the guild that need to run off sometime. personally, I just hate the rushing – I wanna be able to chat and have fun, have time for consumables or switching windows without drama.

  4. Good to hear. With no guild as of yet and despite going the slow (ok, very slow) route as a team of two that planned to do the attunement anyway it sounds a lot less frustrating.

    On the one hand I am totally happy not having a schedule for once (after years and years of WoW raiding), but on the other hand I’m keen to see the raids.

    1. I have massive respect for WS raids at this point. The dungeons are already tough, timer or not, and if raids are going to be worse (which they will be because there’s more room for error with more people), it could be a very exhausting affair. We’ll see.

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