In case you hadn’t noticed by my repeated posting on the subject, I love Wildstar. But I do have one, really big problem. Everyone on Nexus is an absolute asshole! Now don’t get me wrong, I know that many role players, and I count myself among their numbers, love to play as the bad guy. Trust me I get it, and if you had met my Skyrim based child-eating (there’s a mod for that!) werewolf, you would understand how much I love being on the dark side as much as the good side.
However the problem with Wildstar is that you don’t really get a choice, because both available factions are total dicks. I usually start off a game by playing as the good side, the good side is usually better written and it’s easier to role play being a bad guy when you know what nastiness they’re capable of. So it was that I began as a member of the Exiles, Wildstar’s answer to the Alliance. I mean they look like the good guys right?
Everything was going well with my Exile character until I landed on the planets surface and a lot of the missions became less about looking after one another, and more about claiming territory from the locals. This is where things get a little too dark for me, because during my time as one of the “good guys” I destroyed another race’s (The Moodies) cultural artifacts, and brought them to submission. Not only does that not sound like good guy behaviour, it also sounds a little bit too similar to historical atrocities committed by my countrymen in times gone by.
It was as I hunted down the spiritual leaders of the grass-skirt, tribal-mask, pygmy-like, Nexus-natives, that I lost any sympathy for the Exile cause. And with it, I lost interest in my character. The story of the Exile’s is that they have fled the oppression of the evil Dominion empire and intend to make Nexus their new home. I was sold on this idea, until the Exiles landed and started doing some serious oppressing of their own. Seriously, within a few hours of play I was asked to torture locals for information and then harvest the organs of their fellow tribesmen! Ick!
Of course the Dominion are no better, but at least they are portrayed as the the “bad” guys, so it’s obvious that they’re going to be doing bad things. Now before people jump down my throat and call me oversensitive, or missing the point, let’s just clear a few things up. This in an RPG, and in an RPG, I want the choice to be a paragon. The only choice here, is to simply abandon large chunks of quests, which is both messy and affects the flow of the story, and limits my understanding of the world. It is not how the game was meant to be played.
I also understand that Carbine Studios may have been trying to show the horrors of colonial actions, even when done with the best intentions, but doing so in a cute cartoony MMORPG, where there are no consequences is a pretty poor way to do that.
So how do you fix this problem? Well its actually easier than you might think. All we need is a third faction. A faction of characters who are local to Nexus, or who have defected to the locals of Nexus. This would allow players to play as non-conquers and that is important if you want to have a good variety open to all.
As it stands right now, the Exiles and the Dominon are really just two sides of the same unpleasant coin, and whilst I am happy to play as evil Dominion being evil, I am less comfortable playing as a group of self-righteous colonialists. After all, historically speaking, they are the most dangerous ones! None of this will stop me from playing Wildstar, but I do think it should be food for thought for the developers.
Why not check out our in-depth Wildstar review?
Wildstar review: the MMORPG that converted me to the genre
I'm not a lover of MMORPGs, but Wildstar has changed all that. Want to know how this MMORPG turned me from a hater to a daily player? Read on.