Wildstar

Impressions: Wildstar – closed beta access

Wildstar, the popular MMORPG got a closed beta to show gamers how it will plays as a free-to-play game.

We played the beta and give you our impressions in this special preview.

When Wildstar was announced, a lot of people were very excited to see this whole new world set in a comical tone and the new combat system. The “dev. Speak” videos were so amusing and promising that everyone had high hopes for this action packed MMORPG. The game was packed with content, customization, different game modes, big man raids, … however it still followed the generic standards of previous MMOs with a few tweaks. Wildstar was supposed to lure the hardcore gamers back into the world of Massive Multiplayer interaction. In the beginning, they seemed to succeed, during launch their amount of accounts rose but they suffered from a loss of accounts due to the fact that some of the promising features couldn’t be achieved like the monthly updates for example. People quickly gained their levels and started grinding towards the end game content, but it wasn’t enough and Carbine couldn’t handle the pressure they put themselves into. Loss of subscribers means loss of capital which in other terms means, less production values. The idea of going free-to-play has its advantages and disadvantages. Will they have a successful relaunch like Final Fantasy 14 or will they fade into a black hole of disappointment?

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Going back to Wildstar as a former player, the game seemed different and yet comforting. It was like visiting an old city and meeting all of my other space friends, however it quickly came to my attention that I was no longer part of my guild. Seems reasonable after months of being absent. The comical tone and the cartoonish world still looked fresh and untouched since the last time I set foot on the planet Nexus. Which is of course a good thing, the game looked so funny and the developers were so confident, I wanted to give it a try.

A new thing pops up after logging in… it seems that Carbine studios allows you to get two names for each character, which is definitely a good thing for your character to be unique. Your character deserves a good name since it will be your playmate for months to come and it shouldn’t run around with a “random and weird”. When you launch the game, everything seems “okay”, my skill bar is the same way I left it and so are all my other items in my backpack.

The combat system of Wildstar is really one of the best features they have in-game. It’s all skill based and you’ll notice some experienced players all around you. The fact that you can sprint, dodge and double jump, makes the game run fluently and that’s definitely a plus. It’s so much more fun when you can use your skills while you get out of the way of an enemy attack. It gives you a better feeling of immersion. It’s not your standard MMO where you stand in front of an enemy, line up your skills and fire them off one by one. It probably will be a bit more repetitive if you play the game over and over again but this effect is common in all MMOs.

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When you look at the quests you’ll have on Nexus, it’s a bit chaotic since there’s so much to do. You can do side quests, main quests, explore, challenges, … and you just don’t know where to begin. Every path has something “fun” to do. Again, they really want to let the player form his own identity in the game and that’s very positive. The game can be formed into your kind of playstyle. One of the other things I notice, is the fact that the Esper can use some of his skills while moving. This was a big flaw ( in my opinion) to all the Esper players. We were at a disadvantage during PVP. The powerful skills didn’t compensate with this lack of mobility. Good initiative by Carbine Studios.

As I’m running around, the game really doesn’t seem dead… I really thought the game lost a lot of subscribers but in the end, it really seems to be doing fine. A lot of level 50 characters are running around, thanks to the latest 3 Ultra drops which were content patches to add to the end game. A lot of people are showing off their incredible mounts and outfits.

The content patches were released for all players but most of the Ultra drops added to the PVP. The first one was Strain and it was released pretty soon after launch. This was one of their features before launch. They would have this tight schedule on releasing different content patches very quick after the other one but they failed after the 2nd drop. The first one released in July ( one month after launch), the second one added a PVP mode “ Sabotage” for the battlegrounds but it didn’t impact the PVE section. The third one was “ Mystery of the Genesis Prime” which added to the PVE nut it was long after the previous patch (November). These patches of course also fixed some of the issues or bugs.

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One of the main goals of Wildstar was to bring 40- man raids back into the game. WOW had them but eventually changed those raids into different difficulty settings. These 40 man raids were time consuming, demanded a lot of attention of guild members, there was planning involved, … in other words it was very difficult to get a good team and eventually a team that played good to complete these raids. And the fact that those armor sets weren’t invulnerable to other expansions…. It made the feeling of success less compelling since the next expansion made you start all over again because of the stats that were changing. So Wildstar promised the 40- man raid to all those people who loved this “ adventure”, unfortunately there’s only one named Datascape. So people were disappointed that Carbine Studios couldn’t live up to the gamer’s expectations. The future of this raid will change into a 20-man raid which is positive but is it enough to bring players back in? The goal was to get those old school days of Vanilla WOW back to the genre but history is yet repeating itself but in a different world. 40- man raids are doomed to work. Maybe the change to 20-man raids will bring other players back to Nexus but I’m thinking it might be too late…

Wildstar really had its ups and downs but it really is a decent game to play. If you want to play a game that handles some of the generic standards of other MMO’s differently then there’s only one thing to say: since it’s free, just try it! It’s a game that you either love or hate, don’t expect mind blowing things but Wildstar learned from the greatest and they’re trying to find their own way into the MMO world. Wildstar offers a lot of player customization, a cartoony world with hilarious characters, an action packed combat system, tons of quests and there’s end game content. It’s a world different from other Fantasy MMO’s. I loved the game in the beginning but I couldn’t get my worth of money out of this game since it’s time consuming, like any other MMO out there but since it’s free to play and it’s more polished, I’ll probably warp myself onto Nexus once more.