WildStar (video game)

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WildStar
Wildstar logo.png
Developer(s) Carbine Studios
Publisher(s) NCSOFT
Director(s) Mike Donatelli
Matt Mocarski
Producer(s) Jeremy Gaffney
Writer(s) Chad Moore
Composer(s) Jeff Kurtenacker
Engine Proprietary[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) June 3, 2014
Genre(s) Online role-playing game
Mode(s) Online multiplayer

WildStar is a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that takes place on the 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.[2][3]

WildStar is developed by Carbine Studios, published by NCSOFT and was unveiled on August 17, 2011 during Gamescom.[4]

The game went live on June 3, 2014. WildStar gives players two methods of paying for the game, following the initial purchase. The first is a monthly subscription, which gives the player 30 days of game time. The second method allows players to purchase an in-game item, C.R.E.D.D., which grants 30 days of playtime and is tradable to other players for in-game currency.[5] This essentially enables the player-driven economy to set the in-game price for C.R.E.D.D., and thus an exchange rate for real money in in-game currency.

Plot[edit]

The game takes place in a fictional universe on the recently discovered planet of Nexus.[6] The planet, once inhabited by a hyper-advanced race of aliens known as The Eldan who have all but disappeared, is fought over by two factions both hoping to control the concealed lost technology of Nexus;[7] The Dominion, an intergalactic empire forged by the Eldan with the goal of controlling the galaxy,[8] and The Exiles, a group of refugees and outlaws who have all been driven from their respective homelands by The Dominion and have joined forces to fight them.[9]

As the plot continues, and characters continue through the zones of Nexus, they continue to butt heads with the opposing faction, as well as other races—such as the eugenically-minded Ikthyans, the tyrannical Osun, and the xenophobic and zealous Pell—and the remains of Eldan technology. Eventually, the characters and factions learn about the nature of Nexus, the purpose of the experiments performed there, and what happened to the Eldan and why they disappeared from the universe.

Gameplay[edit]

In WildStar, players are able to create a character that they can control through their playing session. These characters can move in an open, persistent world environment.[10] Characters can level from 1 to 50.[11] Gameplay mainly consists of quests, dungeons, and player versus player combat.

Movement[edit]

WildStar allows the player many liberties in movement, such as double jumping, sprinting, and dashing. This ties into the gameplay in ways such as speed races and jumping puzzles.[12][13]

Moreover, there are zones with altered gravity in the game, allowing the player to jump higher.[14]

Combat[edit]

WildStar uses a system of telegraphs for combat, where zones are displayed on the ground, allowing a player to predict attacks of enemies and heals of allies. A player can dodge them by either walking or dashing out of them.[15][16]

Players attacks are also telegraphs, this means that players have to cast them in the right direction if they want to damage enemies. Players also have the option of auto-targeting enemies, which puts the telegraph for the move they use centered on their current target. This makes it easier to get a particular enemy into their telegraph, but often won't catch as many enemies as a well-placed free-targeting attack would.[15]

Housing[edit]

In WildStar, players can own a sky plot. This plot is a part of land consisting of a house and several "sockets", each socket can receive different "plugs". Plugs can consist of many different things, such as a crafting bench, a mine, an exploration shaft, etc.[17][18]

While the exterior of your plot can be filled with "plugs" and decorations placed on predefined "hooks", the interior offers complete creative freedom. Various interior decorations offer a bonus to your rested experience if you log out inside your home, making your own house the best source of rested experience in the game.

This plot can be accessed by anyone who has the owner's permission. Every plug can be used by all the players who have access to this plot. If a visitor performs a task such as harvesting, the reward can be split by the visitor and the owner of the plot. So if you can't log into the game for a while, one of your friends can maintain your plot for you and you'll still receive at least a portion of what was produced.

While housing is not a required part of the game, it offers many advantages to the players, from personal workbenches, gathering nodes, personal dungeons, quicker access to raids and increased rested experience.

Character advancement[edit]

Upon character creation, players will be able to choose among six classes and eight races. Classes are limited to certain pre-determined races. There are no inherent stat or gameplay difference in the different races, the difference is all aesthetic.[19]

Playable races that belong to the Dominion faction are:

  • Cassian, a race of humans from the planet Cassius chosen by the Eldans as their successors. They are the leaders in the dominion, speaking with a distinctly British accent and often look down on other races.
  • Draken, a reptilian, warlike race that serves as the Dominion's main combat force.
  • Mechari, a race of robots created by the Eldan to support the Dominion.
  • Chua, a race of rodent-like creatures that torched their own planet in pursuit of rapid industrialization. Most chua have little regard for the safety of others, and they strive on building inventions that are efficient at eliminating enemies.

Playable races that belong to the Exile faction are:

  • Exile Humans, a group of Cassians that rebelled against the Dominion. Speak primarily in a Southern US accent.
  • Granok, a rough-and-tumble race of stone creatures that love drinking and brawling. The Granok's home planet was invaded when they refused to join the Dominion, and after fighting a losing war, some of their young decided to steal Dominion technology and use it against the invaders. They were exiled for breaking tribal customs, and now joined up with the Exiles as their primary military force.
  • Aurin, a race of people with animal ears and tails. The Aurin were once a tribal race that assisted the Exile Humans out of kindness, giving them food and shelter on their home planet. This led the Dominion to seize and raze their home. Some of the remaining Aurin escaped — including their queen — and have joined with the exiles. Since their exile, the Aurin developed an interest in science, and are often found in the exile research facility along with the Mordesh.
  • Mordesh, a race of formerly beautiful creatures with a penchant for alchemy. Once allied with the Dominion, their research into immortality led to the entire race's permanent sterility and metamorphosis into partially decayed, zombie-like creatures. Quarantined by the Dominion, they joined up with the Exiles, offering their knowledge of science and alchemy while frantically searching for a cure for their condition.

Meanwhile, the six classes are:

  • The Warrior - A melee class, wielding a broadsword as well as a number of other combat tools. Warriors build up kinetic energy using "builder" skills and unleash them with other, more powerful skills.
  • The Esper - A ranged class akin to mages, utilizing illusions to damage enemies and heal allies. Espers use psyblades - a large shuriken-like weapon - although it is not actually used to attack enemies.
  • The Spellslinger - Uses dual pistols combined with magic. Spellslingers have a "spell power" resources that regenerates with time and can be used to power up or give additional effects to their spells.
  • The Stalker - Uses dual claws and stealth. Stealth grants a number of benefits in addition to invisibility, and allows the stalker to hit for extra damage.
  • The Medic - Wields resonators into combat. Despite the name, medics can serve as an excellent DPS class.
  • The Engineer - Summons robot pets to aid in combat. Engineers use heavy weapons and manage a resource called "volatility".

Each class is able to fulfill the role of DPS as well as one of the support roles, tank or healer.[20]

WildStar also uses a system of paths. Upon character creation, players are able to choose among the four paths, in addition to their desired class, however, unlike classes, paths are not restricted to specific races. The paths are loosely based on the Bartle player types.[21] The path the player chooses upon character creation determines what kind of extra content the player enjoys.[22] The four available paths are:

  • Soldier - Soldiers are the primary military force in charge of defending their faction's interests from hostile forces. Their path quests involve assassinating dangerous creatures, defending bases from invaders, and weapons testing.
  • Explorer - Explorers are charged with discovering and mapping the strange and unexplored areas of nexus. Their path quests promote world exploration, such as climbing otherwise unscalable mountains and finding treasure atop giant statues.
  • Settler - Settlers are charged with making nexus habitable for their respective factions. Their path quests requires them to set up various structures in Nexus, including coveted buffing stations that can be used by anyone.
  • Scientist - Scientists are responsible for discovering the lore and creatures of nexus. Their path quests requires them to find data entries left from Eldan experiments, as well as scanning/analyzing the flora, fauna, spiritual symbols, artifacts, mechanical beings, Eldan-augmented abominations, and other assorted curios of the new planet.

Player versus player[edit]

WildStar offers numerous means of player conflict. WildStar allows players of opposing factions to fight almost anywhere within the in-game world.[23]

In addition to open world combat, players are able to participate in more organized combat, such as arenas, battlegrounds, or Warplots, where players fight each other in teams.[24]

Arenas consist of small teams (2v2, 3v3, or 5v5) attempting to kill the opposing group of enemies. Each team has a set amount of respawns. A match is won when all of the members of a certain team has been killed, and are unable to respawn.[25]

Battlegrounds consist of larger teams (up to 15v15). Matches are centered around varying objectives, and victory conditions are dependant upon the nature of the objectives teams are tasked with.[26]

War Plots have the biggest teams (40v40). A War Plot is a fortress controlled by a Warparty. Players of a Warparty have to build the Warplot in order to increase its attack and defense possibilities. Matches are then organized by two Warparties. Victory is then obtained when players take control of the opposing team's Warplot.[27]

Development[edit]

WildStar development started in 2005, after 17 former members of Blizzard Entertainment founded Carbine Studios. At the time, the seventeen former members of Blizzard Entertainment had a desire to "do anything but WoW",[28] "In fact, most were excited and overjoyed to try and start over, this time, not making the same mistakes that might have been made before." When confronted with the decision of a game engine, the company first looked at off-the-shelf options. Although multiple engines were available for use, the team found that none of them suited their needs, to be able to scale well five years into the future. Eventually, the team decided it would be best for them to create their own, allowing them complete freedom.[29]

In 2007, NCSOFT acquired Carbine Studios, saying they are working on a unannounced MMO project.[30][31]

WildStar was first announced by NCsoft at Gamescom 2011.[4] Two weeks later, more footage of the game was released at PAX Prime 2011.[32]

Audio[edit]

The soundtrack for WildStar was composed and arranged by Jeff Kurtenacker.

WildStar Original Soundtrack tracklist
No. Title Length
1. "Systematic Domination" (Dominion Faction Theme) 2:30
2. "The Last Beacon of Hope"   2:30
3. "The Cold Science of Supremacy" (Eldan Race Theme) 2:48
4. "Justice Doesn't Always Wear A Badge" (Algoroc Zone Theme) 1:47
5. "Enemy Territory" (Battle Theme) 3:17
6. "The Rescue Mission"   1:06
7. "The Hunt" (Deradune Zone Music) 2:34
8. "Fight for Survival" (Metal Maw Battle Music) 2:29
9. "Character Creation Screen"   7:11
10. "Ready for the Fight"   1:21
11. "Saving the Universe ... Destroying One Giant Robot At a Time"   3:11
12. "Defend The Gates"   2:24
13. "A Story of Hope and Healing" (Aurin Race Theme) 2:00
14. "War Will Come" (Exile Faction Theme) 2:24
15. "The Stand"   0:58
16. "Bandits, Thieves, and Epic Loot"   2:05

[33]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 79.37%[34]
Metacritic (PC) 81/100[35]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10
G4 N/A
GamesRadar 3.5/5[36]
IGN 8.7/10[37]

WildStar was released to mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites Metacritic and GamingRankings held a rating of 81/100[35] and 79.37% respectively.[34] Reviewers praised the game for its own unique style and personality, an active battle system, and numerous side features such as housing and challenges. IGN's Branden Tyrrel remarked that "...WildStar is of course not the next evolution of the modern MMORPG. Instead, it’s much more the culmination of a decade’s worth of experimentation and design, cherry-picked and enhanced, and infused with Carbine’s twists and light-hearted flourish."[37] GamesRadar praised the game's combat system and its side features, but panned the game's traditional questing as "patience-breakingly long" and its story-telling as "shallow".[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WildStar: The Engine Interview :: ZAM". ZAM. April 22, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Fahey, Mike (August 17, 2011). "I'm Falling in Love With WildStar, and I Don't Care Who Knows It". Kotaku. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ Caldwell, Brendan (May 30, 2013). "Viewed Prior To Release: Wildstar". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "NCsoft announces new MMO: WildStar [Updated]". Joystiq. August 17, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Gaffney, Jeremy (August 19, 2013). "The Business Model of WildStar". WildStar-Online. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "WildStar Exclusive presentation May 2013 Press Tour". f2p.com. May 22, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Robinson, Joe. "WildStar Preview". StrategyInformer.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  8. ^ Harmer, Gareth (February 13, 2013). "WildStar: The Dominion Opinion". ZAM. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Royce, Brianna (February 6, 2013). "You can't take the sky from me: WildStar's Exiles". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ Chadwick, Eric (June 3, 2013). "Interview WildStar, Behind the Scenes". Polycount. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Dumitrescu, Andrei (March 26, 2013). "WildStar’s Elder Games System Will Deal with Level Cap Issues". Softpedia. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ Murphy, William (May 11, 2013). "WildStar Interviews: Why Movement Matters". MMORPG.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "WildStar: More on Movement". ZAM. May 9, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (March 22, 2013). "PAX East 2013: A first look at WildStar's housing and new zones". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Lefebvre, Eliot (September 12, 2012). "WildStar Wednesday shows off the telegraphs of combat". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ Prell, Sophie (March 29, 2013). "WildStar Wednesday shows off the telegraphs of combat". Penny Arcade. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ricciardi, Jay (March 27, 2013). "New Info About Wildstar Housing is Way Cooler Than We Had Hoped". Gamebreaker.tv. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  18. ^ Petitte, Omri (March 26, 2013). "WildStar trailer shows player housing, rebellious coffee table placement". PCGamer.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  19. ^ "WildStar Official Races Reveal". WildStar-Online.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (June 25, 2012). "Massively Exclusive: An interview with WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (August 27, 2011). "PAX 2011: WildStar panel discusses playing with paths the Bartle way". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ Fillari, Alessandro (May 22, 2013). "WildStar's Paths accommodate [sic] specific MMO play styles". Destructoid. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  23. ^ "WildStar Beta Q&A about PvP content". Betacake. March 6, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Developer Blog: Arenas with Leaderboards and Full Web Support". Junkies Nation. Apr 3, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ Gordy, Jen (April 3, 2013). "What is WildStar: Arenas". WildStar-Online.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  26. ^ "WildStar: The PvP Plans". ZAM. April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  27. ^ Bass, David (March 8, 2013). "Uplink analysis: PvP". WildStar-Online.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  28. ^ Olivetti, Justin. "WildStar aims to be 'anything but WoW'". Joystiq. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  29. ^ Harmer, Gareth. "WildStar: The Engine Interview". ZAM Network. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  30. ^ Parfitt, Ben (October 5, 2007). "NCSOFT unveils Carbine Studios". MCV UK. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  31. ^ "NCSOFT unveils Carbine Studios". Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  32. ^ Bayer, Rubi (August 31, 2011). "PAX 2011: Massively's hands-on with WildStar". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  33. ^ Kurtenacker, Jeff. "WildStar MMO OST Cues". Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "WildStar for PC". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  35. ^ a b "WildStar for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  36. ^ a b "Wildstar Review". GameRadar. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  37. ^ a b "Wildstar - PC - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 

External links[edit]