Le WildStar Preview: Adventures on Planet Nexus

First of all, let me welcome all you newcomers to Wildstar! The cartoon style sci-fi MMORPG that utilizes satirical humor about the genre itself. Second, let me tell you why I have been playing and enjoying this game so much. Yes this game is like playing a Saturday morning cartoon and it is truly a blast to play! What the game actually looks like? Imagine if World of Warcraft and Ratchet & Clank had a baby, that baby would look exactly like Wildstar. Let me tell you about my personal experience with Wildstar and how I got to know it before I got to play it.

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I’m guessing everybody has seen at least one of the dev speak videos the developers have been posting about the game. If you haven’t, I highly suggest you go check them out. They’re truly comical, whilst explaining a lot of the actual game / gameplay. Anyway, I am SUPER glad to be the one receiving a beta key to test this game out for you guys.

Not to rub it in your face, but this game is loads of fun to play. First off, there are 2 (YES 2!) factions to choose from. Instead of your average 1 faction fits all kind of thing there are 2 factions! YES this means there is an actual sense of rivalry instead of having the one faction fits all like Guild Wars 2 or Tera utilizes. Not meaning to bash those games, they are still incredibly cool. Call me old-fashioned, but I like it when I have a faction that I can rightfully call mine and fight for. It is way more fun to brag to your friends about why your faction is so much better than the other one, while of course kicking a butt-ton of ass doing so.

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So first off, the customization screen. Oh boy isn’t it always loads of fun to be able to customize your character to the finest little detail? I know I do. I always spend hours in the customization screen perfecting every little detail of the character I will be playing. Usually I take the brutish type of character. As for a class, I usually tend to lean towards the ranged DPSer, because I think it’s always a blast to kite your enemies all day long. Seriously though, if you haven’t seen the dev speaks about the different kind of classes, I recommend you do.

But for now, I’m happy to let you know that the Spellslinger was the class for me. Pistol-toting kitemachine? AWESOMESAUCE! As for race? I have to admit, ALL of the races are EQUALLY cool. SO, just to be clear, since they’re all equally cool, I have chosen the Chua race. Yes, the ‘RAT’ race. HAHA! Puns of damage! But all jokes aside, I used to keep rats as pets when I was little, so Chua was the obvious race to pick for me. But in all fairness, all the races are pretty sweet. The Granook are rock-like hulks who look pretty stern and sturdy. The Mechari are the robot race, who have a cold and deadly stature.

Not to mention the Draken, the devil-looking race. The Mordesh are also look very cool, like they are undead or something. I suggest you check out all the races, they haven’t held back on them, and they divided all cool looking races equally among the 2 factions, so nothing to worry about which faction has the “best” looking races.

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Okay, ready, set, LOG IN! I have entered the beta. Feel that slight tingling sensation? If you don’t, you probably haven’t played Wildstar yet. This game is truly awesome! The tutorial and levelling didn’t feel like a drag to me. They really know how to make the quests not feel like a grind, differentiating a lot between gathering items and slaying opponents while offering a funny / serious narrative. The best part about levelling I thought, was the communicator you get almost immediately.

Since you’re in the FUTURE, everyone has a communicator, meaning you don’t have to walk up and down to hand in quests personally. You can just talk to them over the communicator to hand them in. High-tech is best tech if you ask me! You still go back to your quest giver from time to time, but only when handing in the very end of a chain quest. A little bit of technology can go a long way!

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Combat in Wildstar is different from other MMOs. As you know, the tried and true tab-targeting is non-existent here. Instead, you get the aim-and-shoot so called ‘telegraphs’. Also, in Wildstar, you can DOUBLE-jump, sprint and perform dodge rolls! How awesome is that? This adds more fun to exploring around the map in my opinion.

As for actual combat, like I said earlier, telegraphs are visual representations of what area your skill reaches and hits. So basically you are aiming all your skills, and of course you only hit enemies if they’re within that hit-box. This brings a lot of skill to the game, not only making you aim every skill you have, but you also have to juggle around your cooldowns as well. Tricky stuff, but once you get the hang of it, the combat feels very fast-paced and rewarding. I also got to try a bit of PvP, which was pretty chaotic, but still in a good way.

The thing is, when everybody is using their skills at the same time, the telegraphs get kind of intertwined with each other. This makes fights very confusing, but still a lot of fun.

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Let’s talk about the classes in Wildstar. I’m not going into any specifics, because I only played just one class. If I would have had more time, I would go into more detail on all of them, but for now I really suggest you check out their class videos on their official website or Youtube. From what I understand, there are no DPS only classes or tank only or healing only classes. EVERY class has the ability to be either a DPS or tank / healer.

For instance, I am a Spellslinger. My speciality is dual-wielding guns and shooting my opponents from far away. I have three different spell trees though. One for DPS, one for Utility (speed ups and teleporting) and one for healing. So from what I’ve seen so far, every class is like this. So let’s take the Engineer per example. The Engineer is a heavy armored front-line ranged DPSer, but can also go tank spec if he/she wants. This I believe will make the waiting time for searching for a group for a dungeon nearly non-existent. What more could you ask for as a PVE dungeon crawler lover?

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Oh, and since we’re talking about classes, let’s also talk paths. Paths are a role you chose for your character. The Paths exist out of Soldiers, Settlers, Explorers and Scientists. These roles add some extra depth to your character, because while levelling you get to do some additional side quests according to what role you have chosen.

For example, if you have chosen the Explorer role, you get side quests that promote exploring every nook and cranny of the map, and giving you extra points if you do it quickly enough. Scientists get to research flora, fauna and technology. Soldiers have to kill stuff and settlers build stuff like buff dispensers or vendors (or a bar if that’s your thing). I chose the soldier path because I enjoy killing stuff. It’s what I do best. The Paths system is a unique and fun to play system, and it’s not bothersome at all to deal with the extra side quests.

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Another core part of Wildstar is the Housing element added to the game. First off, you get to buy your own lot at a pretty early level. Your lot is located in the sky! Once your house is built, you can find items for your house all over the game, from crafting to random drops from monsters to quest rewards. With these items you can customize your own house. The more cool items in your house, the more rest exp. bonus you get.

You always get more rested experience at your own house than anywhere else in the game, so keep in mind always to log out in your own crib! Teleport to your house from any place, any time. You can open it up to the public or keep it private. Also, not to forget, you can add additional “plug-ins” around your house. You can fill these plugs with stuff like gardens so you can make food, or crafting areas so you can craft items, or even target dummies so you can test your DPS! There are a lot of options here, which makes player housing a key part of the game and a lot of fun to upkeep and customize.

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As a conclusion let me give you this: Wildstar is one heck of a fun game to play. The developers seemed to have nailed all the things just right. The combat is fresh and exciting, never a dull moment in questing, hoverboards at level 10 (YES HOVERBOARDS!!). This game has something for everybody. It rekindled my fiery passion for MMOs for sure. This game doesn’t feel like a grind at all, but more like an awesome experience to get through to the end. Let’s just hope the devs have it all figured it what there is to do in terms of late game content. For now, I got the Nexus fever, and the only prescription is: Play more Wildstar.

Serious business

Serious business.

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