Last week, developer Carbine Studios and publisher NCSOFT started its open beta for an upcoming fantasy/science-fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG, “WildStar.” According to the developer’s description, the game “takes place on a fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan has disappeared leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.”
Players of “WildStar” can create a unique character, male or female, and choose to be a part of one of several classes: Warrior, Spellslinger, Esper, Engineer, Stalker or Medic. The in-game planet of Nexus has been inhabited by an advanced race of aliens called the Eldan and is now fought over by two factions wanting to control the lost technology left behind. Playable character races are chosen depending upon the class chosen during character creation. The Dominion faction includes Cassian, Chua, Draken and Mechari, while the Exile faction is made up of the Aurin, Granok, Humans and Mordesh. Then, players can choose one of four available paths: Soldier, Explorer, Settler or Scientist.
“WildStar” is similar to other MMO games and their mechanics, but I like the added bits to this game that help it stand out from the rest. The animations, for one, are interesting, as the moves a player inputs chain together, creating combos to give the player a feeling of satisfaction. Also, traversing through the world is enhanced by the added double jump, sprinting and dashing features that come in handy. Quests in the game didn’t seem boring or repetitive and were varied further depending on the path I chose for my character.
The combat is fun, and instead of the normal click-and-wait feature of most MMORPGs, in “WildStar,” players can telegraph or predict where the enemy will move before it happens. Players are even allowed sky plots for in-game housing, something that is not a requirement but offers advantages to players including personal workbenches, gathering nodes and personal dungeons, as well as quicker access to raids and increased rested experience. There is even a player-versus-player option that consists of team fighting (2v2, 3v3 or 5v5). Each team has a set amount of re-spawns, and the match ends when a team is killed off and runs out of re-spawns. Although I did not participate or find them in the beta version, Battlegrounds consist of larger teams (15v15), and even bigger War Plots have the largest teams (40v40).
“WildStar” had a very long installation time, but that is generally expected from an MMO. Also, as is common with MMOs, upon loading a new character, players may see a slowdown in performance or overcrowding from other new players’ characters, but this is resolved once quests begin and the population is thinned out. I also was a victim of bad timing initially, as the server went down for maintenance (only 30 minutes) when I set up my first character.
As a seasoned player in the MMO genre, I found “WildStar” to be both entertaining and unique enough to make a splash. The game worked well on play-through, both solo and with teammates. “WildStar” seems to be an MMORPG that could possibly give the competition a run for its money.