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WildStar Preview

publisher: NCSoft
developer: Carbine Studios
genre: RPG

ESRB rating: RP

release date: Jun 03, 14
» All About WildStar on ActionTrip

Two weeks ago I found myself sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Aliso Viejo California, waiting to head to the airport and catch a flight home. For the previous two days I had been the guest of NCSoft and Carbine studios as they showed off the soon to be launched MMO, Wildstar. As I waited for the cab, my mind was reeling. It was not because Wildstar is a brand new franchise. Nor was it because Wildstar is a science fiction themed MMO set on a newly rediscovered ancient, technologically advanced but mysteriously vanished Alien world. The launch of a new MMO is a pretty common thing these days. So common in fact that most players have become spoiled, demanding a laundry list of features they expect to see in an MMO: engaging single player content, a robust, fulfilling combat system, a compelling end game content, PVP, dungeons, raiding, crafting, player housing and a affordable monthly subscription if not altogether free to play. Miss one or more of those features in a new release and the fan boys will line up to tell you why the game is going to flop. Even worse, try to cram all those features in but do so in a way that is half baked with the promise to fix it after release. It’s no wonder then that so many MMO’s launch with huge fanfare and then shortly transition to free to play or close down altogether. So I was waiting for a cab with my mind spinning because from what I had witnessed, Wildstar appears to be a genuine, dyed in the wool, miracle: A brand new MMO that seems to have everything players want, feature rich, right from the start. There is a lot to cover here so let’s hit on some of the larger points.

Wildstar is the creation of Carbine Studios, a group of MMO development vets who have worked on every major title you could name (and probably a few you have forgotten). Carbine has a short list of core company values but key among them is ‘No Bullshit’. It’s more than just lip service as they have that phrase posted around the company to help keep the team members well grounded and focused. The team has to stay on task as they need to deliver a product that has a ton of stuff to do, is brimming with personality and hits on all the points that players want in order to earn as many subscribers as possible. To ensure that they are satisfying players’ desires, Carbine has been conducting Beta tests and soliciting feedback from players at an unprecedented rate. Once that feedback is collected, it’s actually read, digested and used to improve the game. So far it seems to be paying off. The first clue you get that the group has been trying to get thing right is obvious when you start going down that ‘must have at launch’ check list. Wildstar has gone through and checked off that feature list. However, expect to find a wealth of added tweaks and improvements to those features that will ensure that everything is fun, familiar and recognizable and yet still has that unique, Wildstar slant.

Plenty of single player content abounds with quests, challenges, crafting, player housing (which is more than just room decorating and a money sink), and a pathing system that provides missions catering to different play styles; exploring, lore, killing or building. Players looking for the thrill of working with a group will find dungeons to tackle in regular and veteran modes. The team is also dedicated to an engaging and continuing end game content that will allow players to uncover more of the backstory of Nexus Or if Guild operations are more their speed they can tackle the 20 and 40 man Raids which are wickedly hardcore and deviously designed to keep even the most elite of the raiding guilds happy. For example , some raids have a fixed number of bosses that respawn weekly form but a roster that has more bosses than available slots. This means that there is no set pattern for completing the dungeon. No more step by step YouTube walkthrough for raid completion. Players have to be at the top of their cooperative game in order to test, learn and adapt if they want to succeed.

If you are not the ‘Care Bear’ type, Wildstar has PvP in open world, Arenas, and Battlegrounds which should be familiar settings for most, but what is unique and new is Warplots. Teams of 20 or 40 can form guild like structures where each side gets to design their base prior to the match via plug construction system, building out defenses, weaponry systems and other combat boosters that will all be placed when the round begins. Then the teams swarm out into the arena to capture and hold control points or assault the enemy base in the attempt to win the round. One of the coolest features I saw in this mode was the ability to call in an enemy boss we had defeated in a dungeon early in the day to fight for our side! The enemy got quite a shock when a massive monster came lumbering on the battle field. All of the PvP modes have been designed from the ground up for competition so it will be very interesting to see what strategies emerge as rival teams begin facing off.

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