When NCSoft and Carbine Studios debuted Wildstar’s first trailer back in 2011, they piqued the interest of MMORPG fans with the promise of a carefree wisecracking style and sci-fi adventure on the planet Nexus. The game stood out for its quirky personality in a crowd of much more self-serious fare.
Two and a half years later, Wildstar looks strong among major MMORPG releases for 2014. The game’s developers have made big promises for ambitious content, but no one game is perfect for every MMORPG fan. Is Wildstar the right game for you? Learn about the game’s unique features here, and decide for yourself!
Wildstar doesn’t know the definition of the word “subtle”. Imagine a sci-fi action kids’ cartoon with smoking, drinking, and trash talk, and you’ve got a good idea of what you’re in for regardless of which faction you play. The Dominion is an army of mustache-twirling imperial villains, complete with the option to play a Chua; a plump, anthropomorphic gerbil with talents in mad science and maniacal laughter. Or you can do battle as one of the rough and tumble Exiles if you prefer a crew of ragtag underdogs with cowboy can-do attitude. You really take the square-jawed action hero archetype to a whole new level when you play one of the rock skinned Granok. You’ve got four species to choose from in each faction, and each one communicates a lot of personality with polished animations and snappy one-liners.
Without a doubt, Wildstar’s over-the-top presentation differentiates it in a saturated market, but how much you enjoy that presentation could have a huge effect on your ability to enjoy the game. Botch something, and the game’s narrator might tease you and call you “Cupcake”. Level up, and he’ll tell you what an extreme badass you are. Everything Wildstar does, it does with the volume cranked up to 11.
Taking Off The Kid Gloves
The next thing to consider is whether or not you’re looking for challenging gameplay. Wildstar’s combat asks more of you than most games, demanding that you dodge clear of telegraphed enemy attacks, manually aim your abilities, interrupt enemies, and act quickly to shake off crowd control. There’s no simply clicking an enemy and auto-attacking here. Even single player questing will boot you unceremoniously back to resurrect at the nearest holo-crypt if you fight half heartedly. If you sit down to play your MMORPGs after a long day of work and just want to relax and feel like a hero, you may want to ask a friend who buys the game for a free trial pass before you commit.
The bright side to this deliberate design is that Wildstar’s combat has an exceptionally high skill ceiling. Combat with other players gets intense when you can’t count on the game just checking an accuracy stat to see if your shots connect. The game’s group content, from 5 player adventures to 40 player raids, will challenge your reflexes as much as they challenge your gear. You’ll weave your way through incredibly complex attack patterns, and when you win, you’ll know it’s because you outplayed your enemy.
Wildstar’s housing system isn’t just about putting together a pretty building for the pleasure of it. Your home is an expression of the gameplay you care about most, and it’s deeply woven into your daily activities. Like crafting? Fill your lawn with crafting stations and resource nodes. Prefer group content? You can set dungeon and raid portals, some exclusively accessible from housing lots, right by your patio. Dig solo traversal or combat challenges? Stick them in your yard and test yourself against them for prizes. You can even declare certain players to be your neighbors so they can enjoy your lot while you’re offline.
The housing system alone would be enough for many players, but Wildstar goes on to include a standard MMORPG crafting system, too. Make weapons and armor, personalize mounts and vehicles, or adjust the bonuses on existing gear. You’ll express yourself in your combat style, too. Though you’ll unlock dozens of abilities, you can only have a small number of them equipped at a time. This means that instead of all characters of a particular class playing mostly the same, each player will construct their own preferred load-out from the pool of moves. If you’re eager to express your unique style in an online world, you’ll have lots of options here.
Your Money Or Your Life
Wildstar requires you to buy a $60 game and pay a monthly subscription to play, but just like in EVE Online, there’s a way to offset or eliminate that subscription. Wildstar lets players buy 30 day chunks of subscription time called CREDD to trade to other players for in-game currency. It’s a brilliant system that cuts back on destructive gold farming and botting by giving players who want to buy in-game assets from others for real money a way to do so without funding exploitative behavior. The real money cost of CREDD will be fixed, but the in-game value will fluctuate naturally based on supply and demand. Whether you want to cover your subscription by playing like a pro, or you’re a busy player who prefers buy your way past the gold grind, Wildstar gives you a way to get what you want.
If Wildstar wasn’t on your radar until now, you likely have a good idea of whether or not you’re interested in hearing more. Head on over to the game’s website or its YouTube channel to get the latest info.
Made up your mind on Wildstar? Share your opinion in the comments, Cupcake!
Not sold on this one? Maybe it’s time for a second look at Guild Wars 2.