WildStar is a new sci-fi MMORPG developed by NCsoft’s Carbine Studios in Southern California. Initially known by public in July of 2011, it was officially announced by NCsoft at GamesCom on 17th of August, with a confirmed title, a trailer and several screenshots. And then it was the active beta sign-up open for fans to register and be among the first testers (if chosen by luck) getting hands on it when it’s time. (And sign-up remains open now.)
The Carbine Studio is a development division of NCsoft that is dedicated to always making the next great game. It is comprised of many former Blizzard developers who are involved with hit titles such as WoW, Diablo II, Asheron’s Call, Everquest and Starcraft, just to name a few; and it is also behind many single-player games like Fallout, Baldur’s Gate and Stonekeep.
One legendary planet, two major factions, trio-build team, four playable ‘paths’, hexagon-shaped map, and endless fun. If we piece them all together, we get a great game titled WildStar.
WildStar stages all the fantastic gameplay in Planet Nexus, an original home to a race named Eldan and now a Golden Apple incurring discords among all that has its own axes to grind there. Wild and unsettled, the planet allures different races to explore, hunting treasures, claiming new territories or poking around the hidden secrets and mysteries.
Interesting back story is brought back to life by its fresh, artistic graphics. Simply put, visual effect is amazing. It’s a feast to eyes to see the character running past the diversified dreamscapes of forests, mountains or swamps, or the rusty giant robots startled to awake in a jerk by sheer chance. Static or dynamic, all in-game scenarios are rendered fairly well, especially with the interludes of humor tinged now and then.
Character creation has a depth, with race, class, path and faction included to define. Styling a three-act build, it offers three races (bond with classes), e.g. Human, Granok and Aurin (female). Accordingly, Human is a duel-pistols-armed Spellslinger with a special teleport ability; Granok is a towering sword-wielding Warrior; and Aurin is a purple-haired bunny Esper. Each class has its own story and skill tree. Charge and Arcana are the barometers for human, indicating the strength of attack and magic respectively; Adrenaline and Fuel Cells support the Granok in combat; and Combo Points and Mana are used by Aurin to boost certain abilities.
Innovative with a Player-Path system, the game provides players with four Paths including Explorer, Soldier, Scientist and Settler, which lead to different play styles and growth routes. Explorers can venture into the unknown world, relishing the journey of adventure and the joy of discovery of new lands and routes; Soldiers can horn their skills in fast-paced combat against monsters and all foes; Scientists can focus on collecting materials and devising new stuff to be stronger; and Settlers can give full play to their communicative aptitude in trading and questing. Moreover, the path will also decide the way how players are rewarded whether it’s in solo questing or in teamwork.
Not only can players play their own way on their chosen direction to win XP and reputation, they are also left to hands with 30% self-decided contents to experience more engaging plots to enrich the major 70% fixed playable contents.
Another noticeable eye-opener in the game is the Momentum System, by which players can act in a more flexible, playful manner in various activities. By means of it, players can change environment or change themselves if necessary. For example, the scientist in the trio-team can transform into an animal halfway confronting a monster; the soldier can adjust combating abilities such as dodge and attack; and the team can also change the environment when fighting monsters in instances.
More freedom, better gameplay. With the two systems mentioned above, it is quite possible that the same quest can be done by multiply manners. For sure players’ unpredictable act influences their own growth and it also affects the large game world to certain extent. An explorer, for instance, will be crowned the No.1 Explorer with bonuses of boost-up in XP, reputation and fame, etc. if he/she discovers a new land; yet the discovery don’t affect the exploration of others except his/her teammates in most cases. It’s similar under the Momentum system: the change of players into an animal is only visible to team members, posing no influence on others or monsters in practice.
In addition to the terrific exploration and adventure in the vast land, the game also realizes factional wars in the RvR system which draws upon the advantages of a combing PvP and Auction House elements in common MMOs.