WildStar has a column going on called “DevSpeak”. The latest clip is about movement. “Movement?” the hardened MMO veteran in you says, “what a silly thing to advertise for your game.” In a way it is silly, but like Mr. DevSpeak says “it plays a major role in every part of the game.” (I will say whoever wrote and voiced this first episode did a fantastic job of keeping it informative and snappy. Definitely looking forward to more.)
Poor movement can harm a game. Take Guild Wars for example. It doesn’t matter how great it was in some parts when gamers couldn’t get past the fact that they couldn’t jump. I admit every time I play Guild Wars it feels like there is a ceiling pressing down. I also do not care for how movement feels in The Secret World, especially when they add don’t-stand-in-the-evil-
This is even more important for WildStar where the combat system is largely based on area control and area-of-effect placement. Without fluid movement, the whole system would suck. In my short time playing WildStar, I was pretty impressed with movement. Okay, actually the thought was dismissed in lieu of all the other mechanics I had to explore. I climbed some tree tower jumping puzzle, and it all felt right. In retrospect thought, I was impressed.
The video mentions the double-jump. I cannot even begin to describe how principal this movement action is going to be in WildStar. There are parts where it will be critical, but it is so fun to double jump in WildStar there is almost no reason not to make every jump a double jump. Double-jump a sheep on the way to fight something else. Double-jump all the AFK’ers in the cities. Double-jump to my lou as you are running to the next piece of content. It gets pretty addictive.
I will say that the one area I remember not really feeling was the “dash”, which is a dodge. While words are not that great for this, it felt like there was organic movement as I moved a long (w + mouse steering), but whenever I dashed, it felt like my character snapped to a grid and then moved laterally along that grid. Then there was a snap out of that grid back to the organic movement. It’s a small thing, and perhaps with iterations and betas, things have changed since then.
It should be expected that movement is great in an MMO, but often times it’s just “good” or “okay”. I’ve already mentioned that WildStar feels a tad more game-y with regard to combat and movement, which raises the bar for the quality of the movement. I think WildStar at least excels in this area, which is pretty critical to even getting a good start on the other points of review.