Wildstar is an upcoming MMORPG from Carbine Studios that was originally scheduled for a 2013 release, but was pushed back to 2014 due to delays. The game is however progressing along nicely, with a closed beta happening as we speak.
I was already excited about this game last year after attending a presentation given by Chris Lynch, lead combat designer for Wildstar, at GamesCom last year. After getting my hot little hands on a beta key I could not wait to give the game a try, and once I finally got to launch the game for the first time I was even more excited about the prospects of this game, thanks to the already polished client.
Wildstar takes place on the planet Nexus, an ancient planet that has just been discovered. The former inhabitants of Nexus are nowhere to be found, but they did leave behind ancient and powerful technology that could be used for the forces of good or evil.
Here we meet the two factions for the game, much like the Alliance and Horde in World of Warcraft. The Exiles (aka the good guys) are a rag tag bunch of adventurers that are outside the influence of The Dominion, who can be compared to the Sith Empire in Star Wars and are also the other playable faction in the game.
Each side, whether you turn towards the path of good or evil, has their own unique flavour and storyline, and each is equally entertaining, even after multiple play-throughs.
There are eight different classes to choose from, with four races available in either faction, but this could get increased before release. Choosing and customising your character is easy and there are plenty of options for all races, and will please anyone who likes customising their characters for hours.
The most outstanding part of the game however must the combat system, which puts Wildstar well in the lead for the most exciting MMORPG to be releasing in 2014. Not only do you have to aim where your abilities are going, but nothing is auto-castable – not even your auto-attack. This means you have to be on the ball at all times with your skill casting and cooldown, and really favours the gamers with a bit of skill.
Wildstar’s combat comes with its own easily visible triggers as well, like red on the floor means bad, but green on the floor is good, as it is an ally’s spell. This system is built on and refined through the opening levels of the game so that by the time you do your first boss fight in-game, even though you may not know what the boss is doing, you will still be able to survive if you understand the triggers happening around you.
While you quest around on the world of Nexus you will have an additional “path” as well, which you choose during character creation. This path will give you extra things to do in the world, based on what you choose. For example, if you choose the explorer path you will be sent on quests to climb mountains and find the most remote parts of the planet, while the soldier path will have you killing monsters all day.
This adds a whole different and interesting layer onto questing as there are usually one or two path challenges in each area, so there is always plenty to do.
The soundtrack for the game is nothing short of epic, and comes with a full orchestral backtrack which includes a rather heavy brass section – something I particularly enjoy as a French Horn player myself.
With developers from World of Warcraft, Everquest, Rift and Guild Wars in the mix at Carbine Studios, Wildstar is definitely not trying to redefine the genre. It is however, trying to mix all the good things about our favourite MMO’s and put them into one place, and seem to be doing a good job of it as well.
The slick and shine of Wildstar is already an impressive one, and could well be the MMORPG that “breaks the camel” that is World of Warcraft’s back and move MMORPG’s into the next-generation.
In the next coming weeks I will be getting my characters up to level 30, which will introduce my characters into some PvP (just wait and see – it’s awesome) as well as some dungeon content. I will stream when available, so make sure to watch my Twitch.TV channel if you are keen to find out more. You can find me at http://www.twitch.tv/demonikza