Welcome to Wildstar
This newest MMO (massively-multiplayer online) game by NCSoft, who also brought us Guild Wars (GW) and Guild Wars 2 (GW2), just went live at the beginning of June. For those who have been playing WildStar, it is a fun romp through a new galaxy and focuses on the planet Nexus. The two main factions are the Exiles and the Dominion. The Exiles are escaping the rule of the Dominion, like the Independents in the show “Firefly” or the Rebels in Star Wars. The Dominion is trying to maintain strict control throughout the galaxy, much like the Empire in Star Wars or the Alliance in Firefly.
The factions come together on one planet, called “Nexus.” The adventures start on the ship and landing zone and take off from there.
An Aurin Esper in the Exile faction
This Draken Warrior is from the Dominion faction
The art style is bright and cartoony. This isn’t the game for those who prefer to stick to pure realism—it’s far more geared to light-hearted fun. The details are hilariously over-the-top, and the quips in game are worthy of the banter written for Han Solo or Star Wars: The Old Republic’s (SWTOR) Smuggler and Bounty Hunter storylines.
Who knew we’d find toilet paper!
While the story content is not nearly as fleshed out as it was for each single class in SWTOR, the stories are different depending on the faction you play, and each class and race have had their tales tweaked to allow a more unique fit into the WildStar universe. If you enjoy witty banter and lots of quips, you’ll love the dialogue in this game.
Setting up a character is straightforward, though it might take you awhile to get through all the choices. There are different server types: PvP (player versus player), PvE (player versus environment), and RP (role-playing) PvP and PvE servers. Each faction has four different races and six classes. On top of that, you can choose four paths. Paths are designed to accommodate a player’s particular style of gaming, whether that’s running all over a map to learn every tiny detail or to build items for personal and guild use.
Faces can be selected from one of the templates and then further customized. Enjoy the Jetson hair.
Like Elder Scrolls Online, there is tremendous customization in skills and crafting in addition to the classes and races offered at the start of the game. While you may choose a Human Esper at the beginning of the game, your character’s gameplay may be entirely different from another Human Esper depending on the skill trees you select throughout the game.
Crafting materials won’t clutter up your main inventory bag, happily.
The combat animations are fun and easy for me to differentiate, which is great since I’m terrible at identifying these in general by sight alone. Many of the combat options can be adjusted in the settings if you prefer better immersion, and there are numerous add-ons for the game, very much like the add-ons that we can find for Elder Scrolls Online. These can be a tremendous help for both hard-core and casual players.
Quests are easy to find, and the quest markers were clear, especially in the tutorial zone. The directions were straightforward and the quest locations were not difficult to find.
You can return to the quest giver or just call them from your phone when you complete an objective.
One thing NCSoft has worked hard on is including options for people with various disabilities. There is a color-blind option for the three main different types of color vision defects located in the combat settings. Deuteranopia and protanopia are for those with red-green color vision defects (deuteranopia being the more common version—experiment to see which works best for you), and tritanopia is for those with the rare blue-yellow color blindness. I also noted a ‘click to move’ option, which is especially helpful for those who can’t hold down a button for long to move their toon, such as those with limited hand movements. Adjustments can be made in the graphics and audio to help people with vision and hearing losses so that many more people can enjoy the game more fully. I give the WildStar team kudos for putting so much effort into being inclusive to as many players as possible.
JaeOnasi rescues five chattering veggies. Make sure you have the sound on for this one.
While this is a subscription model game, the developers have created the C.R.E.D.D. system, where you can exchange paid play time for in-game gold and vice versa. People who have limited “Real Life” funds can play the game, earn in-game gold, and exchange that gold for more game time. People who want to be able to buy items quickly or need more gold for their favorite decorative item for their house can use real currency to buy in-game gold. This is similar to Turbine’s coin system in Lord of the Rings Online to unlock playable content or GW2’s gem store items—but also imagine being able to buy more game time with those gems. This makes WildStar more accessible to those with limited funds and lots of time to play, while allowing those with little time due to Real Life work, school or family demands to purchase some of their favorite skins and items if they choose that route. While one can argue about play-to-win issues if high-powered items can be purchased with cash, I think NCSoft will work to keep it all in balance.
The Gaiscioch family does not have an official presence or guild in game, but a couple of guilds from our Tuatha, such as Harbingers of Light, have created a guild in game. Members of the family have set up “Circles” on the Stormtalon server where we can join in to chat, give and receive help, and share items more easily. Of course, we can always chat in RaidCall, too, and everyone is encouraged to hop on and enjoy each other’s company. Details on how to join a Circle are in the WildStar threads on the Gaiscioch forum.
While I had a chance to play the game in both open beta and early start, I wanted to chat with one of our members who had played WildStar longer and had more experience with it. Kamia has been enjoying the game, so I contacted her for an interview, and she graciously consented to answer all my questions.
Jae Onasi (J): What drew you to WildStar?
Kamia (K): I was invited into the very first beta, and I accepted. I try to test one game a year in order to have some input. I loved it from the start. I found the humor and the play style to be amazing. I loved the cartoony characters. It seemed like it would be a very fun game.
J: What’s your favorite class, faction, pathway, race, and so on?
K: I like the Exile (faction) over the Dominion. They are just looking for a home and trying to find their place in the world. My favorite race so far is the Aurin. I like the ‘cutsey woodsey’ person. My favorite class is Spellslinger - I tend to favor ranged dps in any MMO that I play, and it has a wonderful combination of spells and damage abilities, along with some nice heals. The pathway I have enjoyed the best is explorer as I like finding every nook and cranny, and there is a lot to discover.
One of the many lore books in game
J: What would be a good starter class for a new player?
K: I think every class is good; it really depends on what type of play style a person enjoys. I say try them all and see what sticks best.
J: This game is REALLY quirky—the style is kind of ‘Disney animated steampunk meets Firefly’ with its cartoonish graphics and ‘space western’ theme. What are your favorite quotes or quests in game?
K: I am not very good at remembering quotes, but it is non-stop enjoyable. Most games I skip the text to just quest, but in WildStar, I am finding that I am reading everything.
J: How do you feel about the C.R.E.D.D. system?
K: I am hoping it turns out to be a good system and offers a person a variety of ways to play and pay. I haven’t seen it in action yet, since it is early.
J: Have you tried PvP, and if so, how did you like it?
K: PvP is great fun. It is crazy and chaotic, which I love. The PvP reminds me a bit of World of Warcraft PvP with the various mission objectives. It is very fast-paced and a blast.
J: Are there add-ons for the game, and if so, what are the best ones and how can we find them?
K: There are many add-ons that help the game. I have found mine from Curse. The couple that I am using are ZenRadar - which helps you find everything from lore books and crafting materials, AMP Finder - it helps you find all the AMP’s in the game, and a Junk seller add-on that sells all the junk with one click.
J: How is crafting?
K: Crafting is very unique. It consists of discovery and playing a game of hot or cold. I did find it very confusing to figure out on my own, but after I watched a YouTube video on how to use the system, it made sense and became easier.
J: I saw that a couple players made level 50 in only a couple days on the Stormtalon server. Do you think there will be enough content to keep players busy?
K: I believe there is plenty of content. WildStar is not like most games out there. You hit 50 and don’t just start raiding. You have to do adventures first, then expert ones, then dungeons, then expert dungeons, and many attunements all to get to raids. I believe there is a lot of depth that exists in endgame. It is not easy content, so the challenge level is high.
J: How do Gaiscioch members get together in game, since this isn’t formally a Saighdear game?
K: There are many posts on the forums with people’s names and what servers they are on. The easiest is to add that person as a friend. Once both people are online at the same time, they can join a circle - which is like a guild, but it’s for chatting and finding a group.
J: How did you like character creation?
K: It’s not bad; I would like more hair and body options to really fine-tune what I want. There are some good customizations, but it’s mostly on the face.
J: How easy or hard is it to figure out the skill system?
K: I haven’t had a problem figuring out the skill system, but I have been gaming for many years and have played many different MMOs.
J: WildStar seems to have tried hard to accommodate players with vision and other disabilities (e.g., ‘click to move’ option, color blindness options, and so on). Have you used any of these or know anyone who has, and have they helped?
K: I have no knowledge of these items - I know the game has it, which I think is great.
J: Is the loot as quirky as the rest of the game?
K: Yes, the names and looks of the items fit right in with the quirky, fun game.
J: How does the basic storyline play out with the different classes? Is it the same for each class like GW, or is it dramatically different in the way that SWTOR did so well?
K: It is pretty much the same storyline for each faction. The main difference is between the Exile and Dominion sides - and that storyline is amazing. The different races have small variations of storyline, but it is nothing like the great development that SWTOR did.
J: What is the ‘best/coolest/most awesome/most emotional’ moment you’ve had in game so far?
K: I have enjoyed every part of this game. I am really enjoying housing. The depth of what you can do is incredible.
J: Do you recommend WildStar? Are there player types who this game would especially appeal to?
K: I would recommend this game to everyone. It is unique and has a great development team behind it. I love PvE, PvP, grouping, solo play, housing, and pretty much anything else. The depth and thought that went into this game is incredible. I think a person that will enjoy the game is someone that doesn’t mind the cartoony style and appreciates some witty, not always obvious humor.
J: How is combat? I thought the game made it really clear where and when I was attacking or going to be attacked so I could dodge (a good thing for me, since I have bad eyes myself), but it’s pretty obvious and may affect immersion for others. Then again, I have all my combat settings turned on, so that may be part of it.
K: I think the combat is pretty intense. It is a game that is meant to challenge a person. It is always moving and changing. It is not a game where someone can stand still. In regards to that, the developers made it very easy to see the big red areas of danger.
J: The map system is very interesting—you can hit a button and an arrow and distance marker will show you which way to go, kind of like a personal GPS. Do you like it?
K: The world is big and the interface is very customizable. The maps have so much to do in each zone.
J: Anything you’d like to add or comment on that we haven’t touched on?
K: I think WildStar is a great game and think that anyone that wants to come over and try it out should! I think the majority will love it.
If you’d like to try WildStar, players who have purchased the game were given three guest passes to share with friends, and we may still have one. Check out the WildStar threads, and don’t hesitate to message one of us to see if we have a pass left. We love to share fun games with family!