Intergalactic Adventure Awaits! The rebel group of the Exiles has found the Eldan homeworld of Nexus but the Dominion is not far behind trying to take the planet Nexus as their rightful legacy. The Exiles and Dominion fight over control of this beautiful planet in a bid for control over its precious resources and technologies. WildStar is a MMORPG created by the team at Carbine Studios in an attempt to offer something new in the MMO genre, to create a high skill and hardcore MMO experience for experienced players of the genre whilst been very accessible and offering plenty to casual players. It puts great emphasis on fun and therefore hooks the casual, but it also surprisingly complex, with its deep combat mechanics as well as as its plethora of high level challenging content.
WildStar takes place in a fantasy universe where there are two opposing factions, the Dominion, an interstellar empire that enforces their will on any planet and race they come across and opposing them are the Exiles, a rebel faction comprised of races that were forced off their homeworlds by the evil Dominion. The Exiles want to use the Planet Nexus as the new homeworld for all those displaced by the Dominion, who will not let this valuable planet go so easily. Nexus is certainly interesting to look at. The visual style is a bit of a mess, without a coherent theme or even different themes brought together coherently, but despite this it manages to be very pleasing at all times.
The game plays as you would expect of a MMORPG. You accept quests and complete those quests for experience, gold, and items in order to level up and move onto the next zone. WildStar is a little different in that besides the normal levelling quests you also have challenges that show up in areas as sort of bonus objectives. These objectives, when completed, will grade you from bronze to gold and depending on what your score is you will get further rewards. It’s an interesting change of pace from normal questing but unfortunately doesn’t encourage cooperation through use of a scaling difficulty based on the number of players. The classic ever present grindy missions with no fulfilling purpose that plague the MMORPG genre are of course here, but WildStar is also full of exciting story based missions that are fun and can be wacky and full of pop culture references.
The combat system in WildStar is really what sets it apart from other games; the game takes more of an action orientated approach to its combat rather than a standard RPG targeting system. The system encourages a skilful approach in PVE and PVP by requiring you to aim your abilities rather than just cast them at an enemy. This leads to fewer abilities on your cast bar but also encourages that you use your abilities strategically and makes it easier for new players not to be overwhelmed by an ever more intimidating number of abilities. This combat is unique in that it shows where your abilities will be cast to both you and your enemies. This is the case for PVE dungeons and raids as well as PVP which opens up all sorts of new and exciting tactical avenues. Combat ends up being a combination of the classic MMORPG style and this interesting twist. The most important aspect here is definitely the telegraphed attacks. As absolutely everything is telegraphed it allows for tactical evasion and a need for good observation as well as requiring planned and cunning attacks in order to succeed. When put together with WildStar’s fast and free double-jumping movement, you get a unique and exciting take on MMORPG combat. The only downside to this combat is that in PvP, the telegraphing system can make things a little too frantic and difficult to mange.
Abilities are determined by WildStar’s action set system which allows you choose your abilities from your class’ pool. This lets you set up your character to play however you want with the freedom to swap abilities in and out as you please. The classes are all unique and all fulfil the damage role with half of them having the ability to be tanks and half of them having the ability to be healers. This ensures that all classes can participate as big damage in PVP but can also support the groups in PVE by being able to switch their abilities around as needed to benefit the group. This enables players to stay in the comfort zone while at the same time freeing them to try new playstyles in safety.
WildStar’s downfall is in its endgame with most dungeons not being available until very high levels and the raids not being able to be attempted until you have a 20 person team and have each member complete their attunement missions beforehand making PVE endgame almost non-existent. PVP has a pretty good community and the action orientated combat leads to battles that are chaotic and fun with arenas and objective based maps. If you can handle the frantic nature, then you can get a lot out of it. WildStar has combined all the servers into one PVE and one PVP server so that the community doesn’t dwindle under multiple servers. The world really feels alive as there really is only one server and I can see the MMO remaining subscription based if they stick to what their players want.
If you’re looking for something different yet familiar in the MMO genre WildStar is a quality MMORPG with awesome characters, settings, and a unique combat system. WildStar now costs £25 for the base game and one month prepaid subscription, so is certainly worth checking out. Even with its downsides it is a quality adventure MMO that has a fun storyline, memorable characters, and a comedic atmosphere that makes it very easy to get sucked in. There are certainly some problems such as broken quests and bugs to encounter and ultimately, the game does not stray too far from the typical MMORPG formula, but having said that however, WildStar is lots of fun and has plenty of personality.