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At GamesCom: Wildstar – A Promising MMO



Telkom Do Gaming managed to attend a presentation given by Chris Lynch, lead combat designer for Carbine Studios, to take us through Wildstar, their upcoming MMO. Wildstar looks to be an exciting, quirky new MMORPG, set on the planet Nexus.

Planet Nexus was once populated by the Elders – a super intelligent society with powerful technology and magic. They however, have disappeared for some reason, leaving the Planet Nexus a planet filled with technology that people would want, if they knew it was there.

Enter our two factions, The Exiles – a rag tag bunch of refugees, outlaws and mercenaries; and The Dominion – an interstellar empire that “prides itself on kicking ass.” These two sides represent the two sides you will be able to play in Wildstar in things such as the competitive PvP.

PvP will be on set servers, and separate from the PvE World, and will include things like Arenas, Battlegrounds and another mode which has yet to be announced. You and your friends will also be able to make a castle of your choice, weaponise it to your choosing, and take that with you into PvP as well against other sides.

Wildstar embraces “The Holy Trinity”, which is to say that there will be three major class groups, being Tank, Healer and DPS. Although this isn’t new, the combat system itself is going to change the way these classes interact with each other, and is definitely not something we have seen before.

The first thing people want to talk about when dealing with MMO combat is always “crowd control” (CC). In tradition MMO’s, if you were stunned, there was nothing that you could do about it. In Wildstar – you can!

For example, if your enemy uses a disarm on you, your weapon will fly out of your hand and land a short distance away, which allows you to then dodge or run to pick up your weapon, and idea which I really enjoyed. If you get stunned, you can also shorten the duration with a little button smashing, making sure there is never a moment when you completely helpless while playing the game.

Combat is dealt with in a particularly pleasing manner. When you start the game, a couple of concepts are ingrained into your head from the start, and that concept is grown upon as you level through the game. “Red is bad” – a familiar concept to anyone that has played an MMO, is the key feature when dodging enemy attacks and abilities.

Red is not the only colour that features however, as there are other colours, each with their own intuitive meaning. Green decals are friendly healing, while blue decals are spells that you have put on the floor. Orange decals on the ground are allies spells they have put down, and purple decals are the enemies beneficial spells (such as healing circles).

This concept is drilled into your head through the starting levels, and you begin to see why as you progress later into the game. Once you hit level 20 you will be able to enter your first dungeon with four of your friends, for what looks to be a challenging experience.

You can see exactly how the combat concept takes its ultimate form as you enter your first boss fight, as there is suddenly red areas that move, shift, and follow players around. Knowing that it’s bad, forces the players to react out of instinct, and figure out the mechanics of the boss in the moment.

When it comes to stunning bosses, they have found a middle – ground that could be quite effective in team situations. Bosses are not impossible to stun, but they do have resistance, so you and your raid team have to line up your CC’s in a row in order to get him disabled. The CC’s all have to happen within a certain period as well, so communication is definitely going to be key in these tough fights.

Dungeons will take players between 45 minutes and 1 hour 15 minutes to complete, and there are a multitude of boss fights in every dungeon.

Combat is ultimately the most important part of an MMO besides the story itself, and Wildstar looks to be ticking the boxes in both departments in its own interesting way. It is scheduled for a 2013 release, and is currently in a closed beta. You can however, sign up in hope, all you have to do is head on down to http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/beta/ and fill out some things.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch the video below: