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.)
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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...
After a hiatus, Dealspwn Playthrough is back! We're taking a look at the Open Beta for WildStar in this episode, with Carl being joined by Matt (aka "The Noob") to sample some capture-based PvP in Walatiki Temple.
How does Matt fare in his fire foray into the PvP action of Carbine's upcoming MMORPG? Do the Exiles manage to hold their own against their Dominion opponents? Answers to these questions - and a spot of dancing - can be found in today's video.
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Looking to get in on the action of the upcoming WildStar weekend beta, which is set to take place between 2nd - 4th May? Well, if you haven't put money down for a pre-order (with which you will gain automatic access to every beta weekend between now and the release on June 3rd) you may want to hit the jump to find out how to snab yourself a key, as we have 2000 weekend beta keys for EU NCSOFT account users to give away.
Endgame content is key for any MMO -- it is, after all, what keeps players coming back long after their initial purchase, and good content beyond the game's level cap is essential for maintaining an MMO audience for a decent amount of time. It's perhaps even more important for a game such as WildStar, which is stubbornly flouting the recent trend of free-to-play and buy-to-play MMOs in favour of the all-too familiar, and increasingly unpopular subscription model. After all, if you're going to charge a subscription fee, the content reward package for those who blitz the main game stuff had better be damn good.
That sentiment is not lost on WildStar's design producer Stephan Frost.
"The thing that we've noticed with other MMOs is that if you don't have endgame content, people leave immediately," Frost said, talking to me at a Warplots and Raids event last week. "If you have raids that people can complete in a very short space of time they go, 'Cool, that's it? I'm out.' So endgame for us meant coming up with content for each individual type of gamer, and what I mean by that is we have dungeons and raids, housing, PvE, and all these different sub-groups of players in WildStar, and all of those groups need to have something to do once they reach the level cap."
But last week's event centred around a very specific group of gamers -- those who'll speed through the game's main content in a matter of days once WildStar releases on June 3rd. Straight out of the gates, there's going to be a need for endgame content, and Carbine's Frost delivered a brief presentation regarding two of the main things in store for those hardcore players who'll be scrambling to reach level 50 as soon as possible.Click here to read more...
Carbine have been so busy over the past couple of years detailing the reams of content that they'll be stuffing into WildStar, that not much has emerged on what'll be on offer come Level 50. But that all changed with the supreme unveiling of the Warplots content last week. As Carl detailed in his enormous fact-stuffed blowout a few days ago, Warplots will serve up a 40-v-40 carnival of PvP goodness as two beefy War Parties craft and customise their own battle fortresses before plonking them down and slugging it out for ultimate victory.
As the marvellous Mr. Phillips puts it, "it’s basically as if the original incarnation of World of Warcraft’s Alterec Valley and indie title Orcs Must Die! had a baby, and then many Chua were rained upon it for kicks – that’s pretty much Warplots in a nutshell."
That sounds pretty awesome, even to a relative MMO noob such as myself, so naturally I had to ask design producer Stephan Frost about it when I caught up with him at the end of last week.
Click here for more, cupcake >>