Wildstar – Review
Follow Genre: MMORPG
Developer: Carbine Studios
Publisher:: NCSOFT
Platform: PC

Wildstar – Review

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9.0
Good: Almost everything
Bad: Dungeons only start at level 20
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After the release of Elder Scrolls Online, there is a new player on the market from NCSOFT: Wildstar. Recently, we had the chance to take a look at and experience the gameplay of this new MMORPG. Definitely read on if you want to learn more about this game.

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Story

The story of Wildstar is quite rich and the start of this adventure will takes us 2000 years to the past. One of the biggest key players are the Cassians. The Eldan, inhabitants of the planet Nexus and one of the best developed species in the galaxy, thought that this race would be perfect as intergalactic dominators. Therefore, the Eldan send some ambassadors to the Cassians with a simple request. Give the Eldan the legendary swords and gain extraordinary gifts or die. As they had no other choice, the lesser race gave their treasure to the Eldan. In return, they received an astonishing hybrid leader and amazing technology.

This new leader had only one message: Everyone had to swear their loyalty to him and be part of the world dominion. This is how one of the two factions, “the Dominions”, was created. There were races that didn’t want to bow before this new tyrant. As there was more and more disagreement between the authorities and the other races, “the Exiles” was made. This alliance served as a “home” for all those that rebelled against the Dominions.

The Exiles were chased and killed by the Dominions, so they had to survive on their vessel and keep running from their enemy. This takes us back to the present. Now, both factions found the planet Nexus. The former inhabitants, the Eldan, are nowhere to be seen and both alliances are wondering what happened. Next to that, the two alliances have the same goal: kill the enemy and claim the planet. What they didn’t realise is that this irresistible globe contains other secrets as well.

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Graphics

Wildstar has its own particular style graphic wise. The environments and characters have comical features and vivid colours. Each area in the game has several elements that really fit together and give a certain feeling. If you’re in a forestlike area, you’ll find enough wildlife and insects to keep you busy for a bit, while mechanical surroundings have enough tinkering stuff that will make engineers go crazy.

Each race have their distinctive features which suit them perfectly. Your character really stand out in the environments but at the same time they are a harmonious entity. When you make your little mini-me, you can choose between several facial appearances which gives you loads of customisation options. It will be hard to find another character that looks the same way as you.

Next to that, changing armor isn’t only necessary for your stats, but it also changes your appearance. This is another cool aspect of the game, as you can dye your clothes and let your creativity on the loose.

Sound

The music and sound effects are just superb. Every piece of territory has its own tune and some smaller towns in the area might have their own jingle. Wildstar offers a big variety of music styles. In one area you might have more an uptempo, theatrical soundtrack, while the next one has gentle, soft tones that calms your mind.

Every attack has its own sound effect, while other elements in the game are blessed with their own sound as well. This shows that the developers didn’t forget about the smaller details. All together, the sound experience really takes this game to the next level.

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Gameplay

Wildstar is a MMORPG in which you can reach level 50 and has quite some extra elements. You’ll find out more about these extras in the rest of the review. First of all, you will have to make a character! You can choose between two factions and each nation has its own races you can pick. The Dominion can count on the Cassians, Mechari, Draken and Chua, while the Exiles have the strength of the Humans, Aurin, Granok and the Mordesh. There are a few differences between the races, like the visual appearances, their folklore and history and the classes to choose from. Each race only has certain classes as a possibility.

There are six classes and they have their own particular play style and their specific role during parties and adventures. The available classes are ‘Warrior’, ‘Esper’, ‘Spellslinger’, ‘Engineer’, ‘Medic’ and ‘Stalker’. Some of the names are straightforward, but others are more cryptic. A part of the classes are ranged, while others are close combat. Warriors are the brute force that can both function as a tank or as a melee dps. They burst through enemies and smash them into the ground. Secondly, Espers are masters of illusion and use their mind to inflict pain. If you’re facing an Esper, be ready to face your worst fears. Spellslingers are born snipers and use their guns to blasts their enemies to smithereens. Next to that, they are also capable to use magic to enhance their shots. The Engineers are the best crafters and build the right tool for the right situation. The next class is the Medic and uses healing spells to keep their allies alive or use painful attacks to crush their foes. Last but not least, the Stalkers use advanced stealth technology to sneak behind an enemy and deal severe damage with their claws.

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We’ve talked about the races and classes but, there is another important aspect we have to discuss. Each class gains abilities on levelling and some spells need to be bought in the Action Set Builder. Each class has their own attacks in different ‘areas’, like Assault, Support and Utility. It is your own choice which path you wish to take, but certain skills are more useful during specific events (for example in PvP). You can choose which attacks you want to set to your toolbar by activating them. Levelling will grant you Ability points, which you can invest in your skills. This will give them a nice permanent boost. Next to the Action Set Builder, there is also the AMP. This abbreviation stands for Advanced Modification Protocol and have passive upgrades. You are able to spend points so you can customize your character. There are six main areas, namely Assault, Utility, Support, and their combinations in between. Granting points has its influence on your gameplay and certain areas are great for PvE, while other ones are better for PvP.

There is another aspect we need to discuss, namely the Paths. There are four available Paths to choose from: Soldier, Settler, Scientist and Explorer. Each Path has its advantages and perks when you level it but that’s mostly it. You can pick the Path that suits you best. If you like to run around and explore every bit of the map, you should go for Explorer. On the other hand, when you’re more into slaying enemies and wild animals then Soldier is the Path for you. Settlers use their hands to build several nice and helpful perks and Scientist study the abnormalities found on Nexus.

Now you’ve got your character done and ready for some ass kicking, let’s turn our attention to some other aspects of the game.
As stated before, there are both PvE as PvP possibilities. When you’re up against enemies, you’ll be doing quests, adventures and dungeons. If you’re willing to fight other players, battlegrounds and warplots are the place for you.

When you want to level up, you’ll need to fight either way. The combat is quite different than to other games. You can see your area where your own attack will hit, as well as you can see your enemy his attacks. It is your job to aim your attacks well and to dodge the blasts from your enemy. This is the key to survival.

At the beginning you’ll only be able to do quests and kill monsters to gain experience. You can find your missions in your quest log and at the right side of your screen. The quests are separated in two main groups, namely the tasks and the zone quests. When you click on a mission, you get a handy arrow that points you to the right direction and an estimated amount of meters you’re removed from the objective. The quests also change positions in the list, depending on how far you’re away from certain zones. This causes a lot of switching around in your missions and this might cause some confusion.

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While you’re running around roaming the world, you might bump into challenges. These small events give you an objective you need to complete in a set amount of time. Although it might seem not that useful, there is a reward involved. Completing challenges gives you the chance to gain some nice loot. You can choose one particular item from several possibilities and your choice has now a bigger chance to get randomly chosen by the computer. It’s still Russian Roulette but it’s better that than nothing, right?

When you gain level 15 you get access to the ADVENTUREs. The game loves abbreviations, as this word stands for Advanced Diagnostic Virtual Environment Neuro-Tactile Universal Research Experiment. This mode gives you a certain scenario which you can complete with up to four other players. You will have to make choices about the next step in the story. This means you can replay the same level over and over, since no ADVENTURE will be the same. There are tons of gameplay variants to keep you busy and the decisions you make has its effect on the outcome of the story. You can play the ADVENTURE on veteran mode, giving you the possibility to gain bigger rewards.

Dungeons are only available from level 20. While gameplay and lore are the most important aspects of ADVENTUREs, killing is the main objective in dungeons. You will have to find the boss(es) of a dungeon with four other players and kill it. When you’ve gained enough experience in the normal dungeons, you can try your luck in the veteran mode. It is a shame that the dungeons are only available at level 20, as questing until that level might take a long time and can get boring.
If you want something more tricky and challenging, you can also try to conquer the raids. There is one 20-man raid and two 40-man raids at the moment. Where other MMORPG’s have quite “easy” mobs and hard bosses, Wildstar offers you an all-in-one try-and-die packet. Every encounter will seem like a small boss fight and will demand a lot of concentration and the best timings ever. Be ready to spend quite some time preparing and to feel the adrenaline flowing during the fight!

If you have enough of all that PvE’ing, you can also bash the skulls from some players. There is the one vs one or duel mode, in which you have to show that you’re superior than your enemy. Fancy some bigger events? You can always enter the arena, battleground or warplot.
The arena accepts teams with two, three or five people and you can fight against the other Faction. Since you need a team if you want to enter rated arenas, you can find PvP-friends in the practice arenas. The battlegrounds are similar to arenas as you can fight in a 10vs10 battle. The battlegrounds have a practice event as well. When you really want to have a blast, fight with 39 allies against 40 enemies and grab the victory in warplots! This mode is only accessible at level 50.

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Don’t feel like PvP’ing or PvE’ing? You can also relax in your own home … on your own piece of land. Yes, you’ve read it well, you can have a house in Wildstar! Your first house is more of a tent, but you can buy upgrades soon enough. Something even more fancy, you can change EVERYTHING exterior and interior and you can decorate your house and land like you want. You can find items when you’re exploring Nexus or you can make some when you pick the tradeskill ‘Architect’. Challenges reward decor items as well. Next to that, you can also find FAB kits. These kits are necessary if you want to build specific structures on your plots. You can build several other things around your house, whatever you want as long as you have the materials or the necessary money. Want to have a barbecue? Install a BBQ set and invite some friends! Want to have something more special and unique on your land? Build a meteor crater!

You’ve read it before, there are tradeskills in the game. You can have two main major professions and two hobbies. There is a lot to choose from, but you have 2 groups to choose from: the gathering professions and the production tradeskills. It is wise to combine two skills that are complementary, so you won’t be wasting money on materials. The hobbies are “Cooking” and “Farming”, which you can learn and practice without giving up any major profession spots.

If you want to sell your items, you can find a vendor or you can go to the auction house (AH). You can sell items on the AH but this doesn’t mean that you will find a buyer. Wildstar introduces another way to sell items as well, namely the Commodities Exchange. Here, you can enlist certain gathering items for a certain price. Buyers can buy an amount of items from the overall stack of that particular item and when your items are sold, you get your money.

Conclusion

We have been blessed with a new MMORPG with some refreshing elements and nice gameplay. The graphics have their own particular, cartoonish style but are nicely finished. The game contains quite some soundtracks that will take you on a trip to magical places of mystical beings. Give Wildstar a shot if you want a new gameplay experience.

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AnneMieke
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

3 Comments

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Wildstar going free-to-play
    May 28, 2015, 8:03 pm

    […] this in some crazy way to be sure to check out the trailer, it’s party time! Get ready by reading our review of the […]

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  2. 3rd-strike.com | Wildstar (FTP Beta) – Preview
    September 19, 2015, 1:31 am

    […] It has been a while since the MMORPG Wildstar has been released. NCSOFT have received loads of information since then and they are changing lots of things. Even more, the game will be free to play soon, so you can enjoy the new additions. As there are only changes to the gameplay, we will only cover this section. If you want to read more about the game in overall, you can always check our review. […]

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  3. 3rd-strike.com | Wildstar (FTP Update) – Review
    December 2, 2015, 2:04 am

    […] the gamers that don’t know the game, a quick update (you can find the full review here). We’re sucked into a world where there are two factions: The Dominions and the Exiles. Due […]

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