WildStar's Primal Matrix Update Is Causing a Stir For Its Grindiness
WildStar's Power of the Primal update is only a couple of days old, but that's long enough for some players to get ruffled by it. One in particular has crunched the numbers on the new progression system -- the heart of the update -- and found it a lot grindier than they would have preferred.
Those opinions -- backed by quite a few numbers -- are spelled out in detail in a post on Reddit. In it, the poster laments the time-gated aspect of the Primal Matrix, saying that:
"An experienced veteran player who plays 3-4 hours every day will complete the matrix at the same time a green and inexperienced player would spending 2-3 hours per week."
How long will it take to complete the Matrix? By their calculations, 405 days for free players, or 270 for subscribers. And that's only if you do your dailies every single day. Even the "catch-up" mechanic doesn't help, as it only gives you the common essences you need -- which, by their nature are, duh, common -- and not the rare ones that are locked behind the dailies. Unless you spend money to convert commons into rares, that is.
And that barely gets into the nature of the Primal Matrix itself, which is naked vertical advancement/power creep. As the Redditor points out, raids are not tuned to take this additional power into account, so the Primal Matrix will "destroy any meaningful accomplishments." For a game that prided itself on being "old-school difficult" and an emphasis on skill over time played, the Primal Matrix sounds like a way to circumvent difficulty by simply making your stats bigger.
This means that Carbine will be inclined to tune content around those stats. So a raid that's a challenge for someone "early" in the Primal Matrix will be easy for someone further along in the PM, while one that's sufficiently tuned for an advanced PM player will be too difficult for someone "early" in it. Want to get better? Spend months attuning, I mean, grinding out the PM. It's basically a level-cap increase without actually adding a number to your level.
All of which brings us to the big question: What exact audience is WildStar going for these days? Sure, it backed down a little bit from its "hardcore or GTFO, cupcake" stance of its early days, but that seemed to be more in the sense of attuning characters for top-end content. Now you can get a free max-level character, but to get the absolute best stats, it's time to grind away again.
The summation of the post reads like this:
This new update is extremely bad for the game. It greatly reduces the amount of viable content beyond farming dungeons/expeditions and doing dailies, it creates complete imbalance between veteran and new players, it destroys inter-class balance for competitive content like raids and pvp, it invalidates difficulty of content with a massive pay to progress faster power creep wall and it comes loaded with bugs and exploits but publicly known and withheld from PTR testing.
Since I don't play WildStar, I have only this one user's breakdown to go by, though most of the comments seem to be in agreement. If it is this bad, it's the sort of thing a struggling game like WildStar could ill afford; one bad move could send the game careening into oblivion. Any WildStar players out there who would like to offer up their thoughts?
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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