Wildstar is a fresh, colorful, brilliant new science-fiction MMORPG developed by Carbine Studios and published by NCSOFT. I had a great time playing the trial which I got from the guys at www.alienwarearena.com and I’m looking forward to playing even more.
The first thing you’ll notice when entering the game is the great music. It’s something a little bit inspired by the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and it places you into a nice atmosphere. I suggest playing it with the sound turned on. The character creation offers plenty of customizability, both aesthetical and class-wise. You can choose to belong to one of the two factions: the Exiles and the Dominion. Each faction has 4 races. The Exiles have the Human, the Aurin (skinny people with colorful hair and tails), the Granok (big rocky guys) and the Mordesh (they look like elves combined with robots), while the Dominion has the Cassian (humans), the Draken (ugly guys with horns), the Chua (little furry things) and the Mechari (cyborgs). There are 6 classes at your disposal: Warrior, Engineer, Esper (caster), Medic, Stalker (like a rogue) and Spellslinger (guns+magic), each with their unique set of spells and playstile. Moreover, you must also follow one of the 4 paths avialable (Soldier, Settler, Scientist and Explorer), every path with its different quests and rewards.
I went for a Granok Warrior following the Soldier path. You get thrown into your adventure on a huge spaceship where you learn the basics one at a time. The tutorial is funny and easy to follow and even if it was the first time I played this game, I grabbed the basics in no time. The controls are intuitive and the fact that you can double jump and dodge-roll enemy attacks mixes with the short cooldowns of your spells into a great dynamic combat system. Also, most of the spells are casted in a determined area in front of the character, usually a cone.
Leveling up is announced with a flashy text in the middle of the screen and a cheer from your character. You will get rewarded with increased stats, Tier points which can be spent to get new spells or improve existing ones and AMP (Advanced Modification Protocol) points which can be used to customize your class and define its role. There are 3 AMP areas, Assault, Utility and Support and the way you use your AMP influences your role in a party.Now let’s talk about quests. They are easy to follow and blend well with Wildstar’s lore. Your quest log will be split into a few categories, each zone having it’s own line of quests and with a few side quests from time to time. Once you’re done with a zone, you will get sent into another region where you will start another chain of quests, blending with what you did previously. Some quests are very interactive and may require you to press some buttons in a given order or to remember a sequence of colors. You don’t always have to run back to the quest giver because you can turn lots of your quests in over your in-game mobile phone. If you’re not entirely sure what you’re supposed to do, you can always click on the quest name and an arrow will appear on the ground for a few seconds, pointing you into the correct direction.
There are also the Path Missions that have a separate place and give another kind of XP points, leveling up your Path (Soldier for me) and earning you different rewards. Having a little difference between your character’s level and your Path level is not a big problem, but it’s unlikely to happen, as there are plenty of those quests spreaded around the map. Even if the Path Missions are not very varied, the Soldier having a only a few types of quests (like Assassination, Demolition or Holdout), you will not get bored and it will not feel like a grind because they mix well with your other quests.
The main story line will walk you through the varied zones of Wildstar and get you involved in the conflicts of the beautiful planet Nexus. You will notice the zones are diverse and colorful and vary from lush jungles and dense forests to arid deserts. You will only spend a few hours in each leveling zone before you will get sent to the next one, gotta explore ’em all. They will all have different factions and you can earn reputation by doing their quests in order to unlock rewards.
The transport around the world is easy, thanks to the Taxi service. Once you get to level 15 (it took me about 13 hours) you will be able to purchase a mount and ride your way on Nexus on it. The mount costs a few pieces of gold, which are significant for a level 15 character, but i got mine for free, because Wildstar will offer a free mount to everyone adding a free mobile authenticator to their account, therefore improving its security.
Another thing that will be unlocked at level 15 is owning a plot of land in Thayd, the capital of the Exiles (which felt a little bit laggy). You can build a house there, decorate it and construct several facilities that will make your life on Nexus a little bit easier. I chose to grow some mining nodes on my land to help me with professions and a few vendors so i don’t have to wander about in the huge city. The decorations you add to your home will give you buffs and you can even buy some items for your land that will reward you with achievements.
I admit I lost track of time playing this game a few times and even hit 7 hours game sessions. Wildstar simply knows what a gamer needs and makes sure he gets it. It has been said that it’s a WoW copy or that it’s combat system is stolen from Guild Wars 2, but is that really important? It’s not a copy and it didn’t steal anything, the devs made sure Wildstar has everything gamers liked in previous MMORPGs and they delivered it. I’ve played WoW for 6 years, GW2 for 1 year and i tried some other MMORPGs too but i have yet to find a complaint about Wildstar. So what’s next? I will buy the full game, pay the subscription (which you can also pay for using in-game currency btw) and play the heck out of the game, and i advise anyone to try it. Expect a PVP and a end-game content review from me soon, because i’ll surely get there.