Despite Wayfinder coming out in the middle of August. The game had severe server issues that plagued it for multiple weeks. As such it was hard to even play the game and offer any valuable insight, aside from our many guides and few critiques. But now that the game has gotten at least a month and half to simmer. How has the game held up?
Queues No More
If you purchased a founder’s pack at launch for Wayfinder and got stuck with exorbitant queue numbers. Good news then! Because that is gone, and I do miss it at times because I was able to clock some time into Persona 4 Golden while I waited, but that was definitely not the reason why the queue line existed. I spent a whole week off and on trying to get in. Between waiting in those lines for solid sessions. My game would crash during the queue. While also getting constant disconnects and the games engine crashing as well. Putting me back to square one with my heart broken.
But as of right now there are very short wait times to play, and I have only experienced one engine crash in my 80+ hours of play time. The queue still comes up from time to time, but I get in there very quickly.
I completely understand people who refunded during the opening weeks. Spending upwards of $150 to support a game’s early access is soul crushing when you just cannot play it. But if you were expecting me to say; “Give it one more chance”. Well, I cannot do that for a few reasons. Such as the crafting and experience point gains in Wayfinder.
Two Tedious Grinds in Wayfinder
For starters, the crafting system is a major turn off right now. The materials needed to craft wayfinders, especially items like Archaic Bones are needed in the double digits and I have only encountered the event to earn one twice. This, along with other boss resources and RNG tied to “essence” to finish the builds for certain weapons makes for a very underwhelming grind at this moment.
Going hand in hand with this problem in Wayfinder is the experience point gains. They are very low across every activity you do. I only noticed this when I went back to level a different wayfinder and weapon and found myself locked out of a lot of content until I do low level content to get back to that point.
I have been trying to see if the XP grind or material grind is worse, and I think it all comes down to time commitment. If I were to spend more time than I have to level up through more runs in every activity I can do. It would not be so much of a problem. But as it stands right now, I still want to get every wayfinder and weapon. But if I do that grind, I cannot level up as most weapons in the end game require doing high level content.
I know as the months go on; things can get better. But I would at least like some assurance on that front. Aside from seeing another weapon come into the fold with the Call of the Void update.
Current Content Evaluation
Currently Wayfinder has an actually good amount of content during its early access period. There are several bosses to fight, multiple expeditions to undertake for long runs where you just kill enemies. As well as fully voice acted and scripted quests to accompany you across those activities and the open world, The Highlands.
The Highlands has a lot of little secret areas, world bosses, as well as public events and other quests in between. But one thing it does lack are daily bounties of any kind. There are mission boards near many points of interests, but you cannot find anything to do. Making the open world lack in repeatable content, which would alleviate the XP grind if you were still new to the game.
The expeditions rely on procedurally generated tiles to create fresh runs every time. After a while, a lot of the locations start to blur together, however. But the orb and imbuement system is fascinating and opens up avenues to create interesting runs. You can choose how high the difficulty goes, and what effect the activity is afflicted by. For example, if you choose solar, enemies deal additional burn damage. But if you choose greed, you can pick up extra money but take more damage with every pile you pick up.
You can also choose up to two imbuements to create even more devastating and interesting modifiers. But this is not just for flavor, certain resources are tied to certain modifiers, so you will have to use these often to craft wayfinders and weapons in Wayfinder.
What is Next for Wayfinder?
Well, every wednesday, Airship Syndicate has started sharing updates on changes and content coming to the game with Wayfinder Wednesdays. The most recent one shared a glimpse at the next upcoming Wayfinder in Season 2. As well as an upcoming content update that will add a new event with some narrative elements and a new weapon to grind out. But that is not all as a new boss is being added into the mix as well.
There is a lot of content planned, and it is great to see that a game filled with so much content to enjoy is already getting more content. But one aspect of it that I think is hindered by the XP system is the Reward Tower.
The Reward Tower is Wayfinder’s take on the battle pass system with a lot of meaningful goodies to earn. But the rate in which you level up in it is very slow. Which makes wanting to earn the character featured in the Tower, Venomess, even more tedious. I am aware Reward Towers never expire, so it encourages going at your own pace. But due to the slow XP gains, I can imagine myself still feeling like I need to rush to finish to get ready for the next one. It is a great idea and offers some great side rewards too. But one thing I am not a fan of is wallpaper for the loading screen being rewarded as cosmetics.
I would not mind having to pick and choose what to stare at. But to have to earn these in place of other character cosmetics is just strange.
Should You Buy in Yet?
Honestly, not yet. As it stands, there are some issues with the number of resources needed for certain crafting recipes. As well as XP gains being skewed, affecting the Reward Tower as well. There is a lot of content to enjoy, even at the lowest tier of founder’s pack. But I know full well that some of these issues may negatively impact your experience. The content is great, the gameplay is great, it runs great, but everything surrounding it is not up to those standards. But I hope things improve over the months, and we at Lords of Gaming will be here to report on its progress at times goes by.
If you would like a rundown on the content of Wayfinder, you can find our closed beta impressions that evaluated similar content in-depth here.