Man, that’s a title I didn’t think I’d be writing six months ago. Despite my positive assessment of WildStar and the entertainment it gave me in its first few months, the momentum dissipated by the end of the year. While the latest content drop helped to keep the existing fanbase content for a spell, the problem was that it wasn’t enticing those who had tried the game and left, or those who had yet to even pick up a copy. As this was happening, old behemoths were proving they were still relevant with new expansions, a suckerpunch to what was meant to be a new home for disillusioned former WoW players. Meanwhile, titles like The Secret World and especially Guild Wars 2 were demonstrating how to do an ongoing storyline with style, putting the much-touted World Story instance to shame.
It was heart-breaking to see it happen, but it was ultimately understandable. Something needed to change, and fast. So with that said, this afternoon Product Director Mike Donatelli issued a statement over on the official website detailing the battleplan for WildStar. The summary of it was that Carbine Studios know "there are important areas where we can, and must, do better in 2015 — and we are.” As such, it seems to be a good time to take look at what Carbine have in store with both the announced and unannounced content and features, reflect on the issues from the last few months, and see if WildStar can restore some of that lost excitement from last summer's launch.Click here to read more...
Not to be outdone by Blizzard's earlier zinga of a deal, NCSOFT have unleashed their own set of deals by halving the current price of their flagship MMOs. The offer sees both Guild Wars 2 and WildStar fall below the £20 mark, making it an excellent opportunity to investigate two highly enjoyable online experiences.
A few bits of housekeeping - Guild Wars 2 is subscription free but contains optional microtransactions for mainly cosmetic items, although they have recently started charging for access to previous episodes of its ongoing Living Story (which, from what I hear, is worth the investment.) Meanwhile, WildStar does have a subscription of £8.99 per month, but a purchase comes with 30 days of game time, so you'll have plenty of time to decide if life on Nexus is for you. If you need more details, before to check out our review for Guild Wars 2 and WildStar for the full lowdown.
I like WildStar. I've made no secret of that fact for some time now, but it's hard to deny that, after a launch period that was filled with hope for a long and enjoyable lifespan, the enthusiasm has waned for many players who invested their time and money. There are many reasons for this - RNG nightmares for gear stats, PVP balance becoming a hot mess, and top level characters not having much to do unless they were working towards raid content. Population issues also hampered the fun, and then in-game Christmas was cancelled. Oh, and there were redundancies. Basically, there was good reason to be worried.
However, the troops are re-mobilising over at Carbine, and with the megaserver merge now live and (kind of) fixed the population situation, the long awaited third content drop is almost ready to roll. With a stronger focus on the narrative this time around, The Mystery of the Genesis Prime will tie up many of the stories that have been going on since launch, while setting up the next chapter for WildStar. Of course, that's on top of the additional group content that will be found throughout the new zone of the Defile, and I was invited by Carbine Studios to get hands-on with The Black Focus - an area that will deliver 5-player group content. It's all in our latest video preview, as I give my impressions on what I was shown, what I'm looking forward to, and if this content drop will do enough to entice disillusioned players to return to WildStar.
If you're a fan of that WildStar game that I wouldn't shut up about for 3 years, you may have seen many opportunities for get hold of some exclusive in-game goodies that were handed out at this year's Gamescom. They were quite the dapper pieces of swag, providing a top hat and monocle costume piece, a rather executive looking table for your house, and a unique dye to give your avatar a special look. You may have thought that your last chance to grab one has past... but I think you'll find that's not true. You see, I managed to procure 10 EU codes to give away, and we're going to have a little fun in the process.
So, how do you go about getting one of these codes? Simple - amuse me!Click this link to find out how to win >>
It's been almost three months since WildStar launched, and the team at Carbine Studios have already dropped two sizable content patches into the game. They're not done yet though, and so to learn a bit more about what is in store for the MMORPG I sat down with Lead System Designer Nick Roth at this year's Gamescom. We get the lowdown on the new zone of the Defile, the first in-game holiday event Shades Eve, and the all-new 5-man dungeon The Ultimate ProtoGames.
Last episode, we found ourselves desperately searching for a nobleman's daughter -- Lydia Horacos. Now, with Tideborn on our tails, and dangerous foes on all sides, Mechdusa and Bob clear out the Research Centre, and infiltrate the Eldan Tower where Lydia is being held. Will Corrigan Doon make himself useful? Can our heroes defeat Cortex Prime? What's the meaning of life?
All this and more in today's episode of WildStar: The Evil Noob.
After chasing down some illicit fraternising in the last episode, today's jaunt down to Nexus is all about a search and rescue. And killing giant birds.
Some rich noble's daughter has gone missing, and the adventurer sent to find her has gone missing too, presumed drunk. And the henchmen sent to give the drunkard a kick up the backside have also gone missing too. So it's up to us to venture into the local pub, siober up the sozzled mercenary, and try and find the daughter ourselves.
Happy Monday folks! Some bizarre activity from Virgin over the weekend meant that there wasn't as much time for WildStar as I would have liked, but I did manage to squeeze in enough for another episode of The Evil Noob.
In today's dip into the narrative waters of Nexus, things get a little bit messed up as we're tasked with conducting some internal investigations. After breaking into Commander Toric's office and hunting for salacious evidence of depraved misdeeds, we're ordered into the woods to see if we can catch him in the act.
To be honest, I probably should have called this episode Mechdusa and Bob: Sex Police!
Developer: Carbine Studios
Here we are – finally at end of the review that just wouldn’t stop coming (blame Carbine accordingly for their gigantic game, I say.) There’s still a lot to get through before the verdict, but here’s a helpful hub if you’ve missed my previous instalments or want a refresher on my previous musings on WildStar.
We begin this instalment by taking a look at the Limited Action Sets and the AMP system, which acts as the skills and talent tree for WildStar respectively. As long as players are out of combat, the flexibility and user friendly nature of the LAS is one of my favourite aspects of Carbine’s efforts. Being able to swap out abilities at a moment’s notice ensures players can try new tactics and combos, along with the option of powering up equipped abilities with Tier Points to unlock bonus effects. On top of this, being able to buy new abilities from the menu without having to travel to a trainer is a godsend, as it means players no longer have to make their way back to the nearest one upon levelling up (something a lot of MMOs still do, annoyingly.)
Click here to read more...
Those dastardly Exiles play us for fools in today's instalment of WildStar: The Evil Noob. The Elder Cube is gone, the Dominion forces have been slightly overrun, and we're forced to make an incredibly tactical, not at all cowardly retreat.
Not until we've smashed some Exile skulls and beaten up their Warbot, though.
Man, the Dominion really has a thing against house elves. On today's episode, we're once again massacring the big-eared creatures on the hunt for a special key to unlock the power of the Elder Cube. But really trhis episode is all about new powers, and the introduction of Mechdusa's shiny new artillery bot -- Bob.
Developer: Carbine Studios
Our in-depth and ever-growing review continues for WildStar - because if you're going to do something, you may as well drag it out for several weeks. Or do it properly considering the size of the game. Yes - let's go with that one. If you're a latecomer to the party that is my review, or if you're a swine who has been all like "MMOs? Nah," then I suggest you SHUT THE HELL UP and check out the convenient hub I've provided below for you to click on.
One of the biggest complaints about MMOs in general is the crafting and economy elements. Cries of “it’s too complicated!” or “it’s too boring!” can be heard from across the interwebs, as a large percentage of those that try it will simply go “nah, it’s not for me” before becoming a hoarder of all the crafting materials they can find, vendoring away at the earliest opportunity. Thankfully, Carbine have created mechanics that are not only varied in nature, but far more hands-on than first glance, providing a multiple levels of depth depending on the comfort zone of the player.
I won’t go all FAQ here with the details (if you want that you can find my rather in-depth article on it here) so I’ll give a quick overview - It’s the usual affair of selecting two professions out of the bunch that are available, some of which are better paired than others, while everyone has the ability to cook (labelled as a ‘hobby’ activity.) The strong theme with these crafting elements is that of player choice, providing players with the ability to customise items with stats needed for specific roles (or, if things are being made to order, with a specific balance of stats for maximum class build efficiency.)Click here to read more...
On today's episode of WildStar: The Evil Noob, we finally give our scanbot a name, retrieve intelligence from the corpse of an enemy, fight a bunch of robots, hack some Exile weaponry, and massacre a bunch of Dobby the house elf's cousins.
Because that's what bad guys do.
We're still in the process of our on-going review for WildStar, but Carbine Studios are still busy at work and yesterday let us have a look at the content that will be making its way onto Nexus in the very near future. The Strain Ultra Drop will bring new zones, new enemies, new mechanics, and plenty of disgusting things to swim through if what we got to see is any indication. Carl provides commentary in this sneek-peek video that gives you a taster of what is to come when the content patch hits.
In our latest episode of Dealspwn Playthrough dedicated to WildStar, Carl provides commentary as he makes demonstrates one of the many Shiphand missions to be found throughout Carbine's newly-released MMO. As well as demonstrating the sort of activities these missions away from Nexus provide (including some sort of dance-off... no, really) Carl gives us his overview of how the game has been since launch.
Part of being the evil empire means prioritising objectives to maximise your evilness. First impressions are important and all that. So it is that the first mission we find ourselves undertaking as soon as we set foot on Nexus involves slaying some indigenous creatures with our ludicrous shotgun.
Mechdusa now has the ability to stun creatures, which comes in very handy indeed as we romp about the beach, killing grizzly fidos, and combing the sands for ancient relics.
WildStar is out and looking resplendent, E3 is over for another year, and that means that I finally have a chance to leap back into the game to start a totally new playthrough with the "finished" (or at least retail) version of the game.
I've had a few people over the past couple of months message me asking if there'd be a second season of The Noob, and here it is. So thank you to everyone for the kind words and the advice. We're shaking things up this time, however. For starters, I'm rolling Dominion this time around, a decision that has arisen mainly because everybody that I know (and therefore will look to play with) has decided to be an Imperial rather than a plucky rebel. That's fine, though -- variety is the spice of life and all that. Plus, it's good to be bad sometimes, and I like the Dominion's colour scheme.
I fully intended to stick with Spellslinging, but at the last minute decided to become an Engineer. Basically, I spent an evening watching Firefly and the Terminator and settled on trying to make a cross between Kaylee and the T-1000.
Behold... Mechdusa! My Mechari Dominion Engineer Scientist. She's going to be enormously badass... so long as I don't get her killed too often. Still, no deaths in the first five minutes this time around -- I call that progress!Click here to read more...
Developer: Carbine Studios
We’re back with the second part of our in-depth review of WildStar, having covered our initial impressions of the gameplay and the launch in our first instalment which you read here if you had the gall to miss it. Go on, catch up if you must. I’ll wait here, judging you, until you get back.
I’m just kidding. I’ve judged you already.
Plenty has happened over the last seven days on Nexus, with hitting the level cap of 50 probably being the most significant thing. What that means is that I have now experienced every zone in the game and finally delved into the world story, but it also means that I’ve had chance to sample every aspect of the PvE content, which is handy considering today I’ll be talking about the array of activities players can get up to in WildStar. And there’s a lot. Most of it fun, too.
Let’s begin with the bread of button of the experience – levelling. Wandering through the various zones is a familiar affair, with hubs acting as temporary resting points that deliver various types of quest chains – tasks (random quest), regional stories (which guide you through that particular hub), and world stories (which tie everything up together in a “OHMYGODWEBETTERSAVENEXUS” bow.) The objectives for these quests are tried and tested – kill X of Y, pick up X of Y, attach a rocket to a Cubig, etc) although Carbine’s inclusion of a few aspects of Guild Wars 2’s public events system makes questing a more agreeable affair, and the combat system along with increasingly more elaborate telegraphs certainly mix things up as well.Click here to read more...
Developer: Carbine Studios
Well, here we are. After nearly three years of following the project it’s a little weird to be saying that the game is finally live, but myself and many others have taken to Nexus like a swarm of Chompacabras, ready to eat up whatever Carbine have been cooking. Before we kick this off, some housekeeping – because of the size and scope of MMOs, and the wide range of content available in this one specifically, WildStar will be reviewed in instalments that cover different aspects of the game, with a finale in a few weeks’ time that will deliver my overall verdict. I’ll be providing a “summary so far” at the end of each part, but be aware this is a huge effort, because it’s a huge game.
Or, alternatively, just throw all blame at Matt. Because.
Anyway, enough of that – let’s summarise what Carbine’s MMO is all about for the three of you that have ignored my coverage of it up until now (you swines.) WildStar is a sci-fi MMORPG where two factions – the oppressive empire of the Dominion, and the ragtag group of rebels that are the Exiles – vie for control of a newly found planet called Nexus. Both groups are there because it is believed to be the home planet of the Eldan, a hyper-advanced race that hasn’t been seen in a millennia, and it’s up to the players to tame the wilds of Nexus to forge a new home, fight for the honour of their chosen faction, and discover the reason why the Eldan aren’t around anymore (spoiler alert – bad things happened, and you’ll eventually go head-to-head with that badness.)Click here to read more...
Well, it's almost here - after years incessantly throwing coverage in your faces (whether you wanted it or not) Carbine Studios and NCSOFT are days away from flicking the switch and launching WildStar. I think it goes without saying that I have been rather optimistic for the sci-fi MMO thanks to the pedigree of the developers creating it, the charming art direction of its visuals & story, and the focus on providing a end-game experience that hasn't really been seen since the early years of World of Warcraft. It also helps a fair bit that the combat mechanics allow for fast-paced gameplay, something that has been attempted many times in previous efforts but has never really hit the mark.
There are other things too - PvP, Warplots, player housing and the like - but it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that all of these features have been done before. What Carbine have done is refine the wheel we know and love, not redesign it, bringing about a culmination of what the genre has experimented with over the last decade or so, and with the promise of a raiding experience that will challenge even the most skilled of players (hardcore) it's not hard to see why a huge community of excited players have been clamouring to get started as much as I have.
So, at the end of last week I was given the chance to speak to the recently-crowned Creative Director Chad "Pappy" Moore - a man who drops the most glorious of lore-bombs at every opportunity. I sat down with him to discuss WildStar's lore (obviously), balancing the World Story for players, the blurred moral lines of both factions, developing an deep narrative moving forward, and the importance of community interaction.Click here to read more...