WildStar (video game)
|Genre(s)||Online role-playing game|
WildStar is a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that is developed by Carbine Studios, published by NCSOFT. It unveiled on August 17, 2011 during Gamescom. WildStar takes place on the fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan have disappeared, leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.
The game was released on June 3, 2014 with a subscription and later changed to free-to-play on September 29, 2015. While it is no longer required to pay for a subscription, those who do are "signature" members, getting a few bonuses such as increased experience/currency gain.
The Eldan, a highly advanced alien race, sought to create a perfect being called the Genesis Prime through the Nexus Project. This being, whom the Eldan named Drusera, seemed kind and benevolent, and was capable of shaping reality as she saw fit; shortly thereafter, the Eldan realized that their creation was less than perfect: Drusera contained an alternate, malicious personality which they called the Entity. They attempted to destroy the Entity using a device called the primal disintegrator. However, they were unsuccessful, and in retaliation the Entity annihilated all Eldan on the planet Nexus. Distraught over her failure to save the Eldan, Drusera then imprisoned herself (and by extension, the Entity) away.
Before their sudden extinction, the Eldan had sown the seeds for an intergalactic empire; they had contacted humans, native to a planet called Cassius, and assisted them in forming a mighty civilization which would span galaxies and ultimately be under Eldan control. After their patrons' disappearance the majority of the Cassian humans continued as they had done before, forming a religion around the vanished Eldan. A splinter faction, who would become known as the Exiles, rebelled against the nascent Dominion and fled into the stars; over the years they accumulated other races who had grievances with the Cassian Dominion.
Shortly before the beginning of the game, an Exile explorer rediscovered Nexus. Both factions attempt to lay claim to the world: the Exiles want a planet to settle and call home, while the Dominion see the world as sacred and see it as a holy obligation to take it for themselves. Unfortunately for both sides, Nexus still contains Drusera, the Entity, and many holdovers from the Nexus project, both mechanical and living; the factions wrestling for control of the Eldan world need to fight not only each other, but the world itself.
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. Characters can level from 1 to 50. Gameplay mainly consists of quests, dungeons, and player versus player combat.
Moreover, there are zones with altered gravity in the game, allowing the player to jump higher.
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.
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.
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.
While the exterior of a 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 rested experience if a player logs out inside their home, making a 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, allowing friends to maintain a plot for the owner and allowing both to benefit.
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.
Upon character creation, players will be able to choose among six classes, four paths, 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.
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. Unlike classes, paths are not restricted to specific races, and level up independently of class, capping at 30. The paths are loosely based on the Bartle player types. The path the player chooses upon character creation determines what kind of extra content the player enjoys.
Player versus player
WildStar offers numerous means of player conflict. WildStar allows players of opposing factions to fight almost anywhere within the in-game world.
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.
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.
Battlegrounds consist of larger teams (up to 15v15). Matches are centered on varying objectives, and victory conditions are dependant upon the nature of the objectives teams are tasked with.
War Plots have the biggest teams (30v30). 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.
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", "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.
WildStar initially gave players two methods of paying for the game's subscription: a monthly fee, or the purchase of an in-game item, C.R.E.D.D., with real money. C.R.E.D.D. granted 30 days of playtime and is tradable to other players for in-game currency. This essentially enables the player-driven economy to set the in-game price for C.R.E.D.D., and thus an exchange rate between real money and in-game currency.
On May 28, 2015, NCSOFT announced that the game would become free-to-play to all players starting on September 29, 2015. Coinciding with the launch of the free-to-play model, the game received graphical updates that improves the lighting system, skyboxes, and viewing distance.
In February 2016, NCSOFT closed the game's PvP servers for being under-populated and those users were merged with the two remaining PvE servers.
The soundtrack for WildStar was composed and arranged by Jeff Kurtenacker.
WildStar was released to mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites Metacritic and GamingRankings held a rating of 82/100 and 80.52% respectively. 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." 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".
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