After months of speculation followed by months of anticipation, WildStar is now free-to-play. While the first few weeks of the relaunch weren’t exactly smooth sailing, what with massive login queues, bugs galore, and lag ahoy, things are finally starting to settle down in Nexus. Which means that, if you haven’t already braved the troublesome launch week to get your fix, now is the perfect time to jump into WildStar and get murderin’.
But whether you played at some point around launch and quit or if you’re brand new to WildStar altogether, diving in can be a very confusing process. I hopped back on a few weeks prior to the free-to-play launch and thought I could just pick up my level 35 Mechari Medic like nothing had happened. I was wrong. So, so very wrong.
Picking up an old MMORPG can be awkward and confusing, playing one for the first time can be equally so. Which is why this week I’ve rounded up some reasonable tips for players of all persuasions when starting out in WildStar to start experiencing that magic. Welcome to Nexus, cupcake.
How to Burn to 50 Because “Taking Your Time” is for Suckers
Look, I realize what kind of world we now live in; people don’t have time for things like “grinding” or “enjoyment”. You want one thing, intrepid WildStar newbie: to burn to maximum level as fast as possible so that you can beat your bloody stumps of arms against the hardest raid content this side of…well, everything.
Well I have just the thing that can make this a reality for you. While WildStar will constantly try to distract you on your way to max level, those looking to burn straight for the endgame need only follow some simple rules.
- Only do World Story, Regional Story, Zone Story Quests — ignore everything else
- Only do quests or fight monsters that are 1-3 levels higher than you. The way experience gains work in WildStar heavily favors content that is above your level. As soon as you fight a monster or complete a quest at or below your level, the amount of experience earned drops severely. Best move on.
- Dungeons and PVP are still viable ways to level if you ever get bored of the quest grind. Use them to help mix up the adventure to 50.
By following those three guidelines, you can easily work your way to 50 in roughly 20 hours. There are several things you can do to make this an even easier chore on yourself, like buying experience gain potions from the store and always making sure you’ve rested up for that delicious rested experience bonus. If you want, create two characters and while you play one, leave the other in a location where they’ll earn rested experience. That way when it comes time to level a second character, they’ll already have oodles of bonus experience to earn.
Claim As Many Bonuses As You Can and Consider Subscribing
This one should be fairly obvious, so it’s just a quick tip. But seriously, take the extra five minutes to make sure you’ve claimed as many of your bonuses as you are eligible, especially taking the time to register the two-step verification on your account. The two-step verification should be one of your first priorities. For starters, it provides you with a healthy 2% bonus to experience, reputation, and the prestige that you earn. You also get a cool new mount that you can use to explore the wide reaches of Nexus! Exciting!
The other thing I would suggest is that, if you have the money to spare, consider dropping down some cash on one month worth of subscription time. The bonuses you get from being a subscriber for one month will offer a big boost to your first weeks in WildStar. On top of earning 25% extra currency, reputation from monster kills, and experience, you’ll also be able to use the auction house better, receive login priorities, and a lot of other really nice benefits.
If you love WildStar enough, you likely won’t have an issue tossing a month’s subscription its way to unlock these features. If you really love WildStar, consider staying subscribed after your first month and when you’ve hit level 50. Having the 25% boost to currency means that with a little effort you can easily farm the platinum you will need to buy CREDD, the in-game item you can redeem for 30 days of subscription time. With a little investment and some free time, you could easily pay your subscription with in-game money. That’s pretty cool.
Read All of the Lore
“But Steven,” you say, “I thought you just gave me all these tips for leveling faster. Now you want me to stop and read everything?”
Yes. Yes I do.
The simple fact is that, while plenty of MMORPGs have these big lush worlds to explore with absolutely no depth to them, WildStar has a surprising amount of story to dig into and get invested in. Even if you have no intention of reading books and data cubes the moment you find them, they get saved into your lore panel for later, which makes taking the time to hunt them down well worth it.
You might also want to save reading the lore for when you level a second character (which is what I’ve done), when you are less invested in getting to experience the endgame and more open to just playing the game for fun. But however you decide to make it happen, just read the bleedin’ lore. It’s good, it’s often funny, and it will absolutely enhance your appreciation and understanding of what is happening in the game. Blitzing through a million quests in an hour might shower you with gold and riches, but it is all for naught if at the end you have no idea what the heck is even going on in the story. So get reading.
Choosing the Right Path
Creating a new character in WildStar is anxiety inducing. I mean, not only do I have to commit to a single class, I also have to choose what Path I’m going to follow in the game. Great. Just great.
Making this decision is never easy, but take some solace in the fact that, by and large, Paths can largely be ignored. Sure, they offer some unique benefits that you might want to unlock eventually, but don’t sweat the decision too much. That said, here’s a quick breakdown of what each Path offers and what classes are best matched with that benefit.
- The Explorer is often considered the weakest of the 4 paths because their abilities aren’t as useful to a group. They do have the ability to warp to a beacon they can place anywhere on a map, which is nice for travelling back and forth. While they can utilize flags scattered around all the zones for extremely fast travel, they also require spending a lot of time finding hard to reach areas which can get tedious. Do this if you like jumping puzzles and are okay taking your time. The Explorer is suitable for any class.
- The Settler provides some great on-the-fly utility by allowing you to summon mailboxes, campfires for buffs, and even a vendor out in the field. This is great because it can cut down on trips back to hubs or the city, and the speed boost you get from doing so is helpful for questing. This path works well with just about any class.
- The Soldier works best with medium range DPS classes since you’ll spend all of your time murdering waves of opponents. The big utility that soldiers bring to the field is an ability called “Bail Out!” which teleports the group away from danger and can reset dungeon challenges. It’s a fantastic way of saving a wipe during a boss fight. Consider this Path for Medics, Stalkers, Warriors and Engineers as they all handle the challenges really well. Soldiers fit into the level grind perfectly, so also consider this if you just want to blitz to 50 while still working on your Path.
- The Scientist is easily one of the most desirable paths because of their ability to teleport a whole group to the Scientist. Paired with the stealth that Stalkers have, this allows groups to easily skip non-essential monsters in dungeons and focus more on the boss fights. People love Scientists, but they’re really only worth being paired with the Stalker.
It really doesn’t matter what you choose, but if you’re the kind of player who does fret about maximum synergy, hopefully this points you in the right direction.
This one is just a brief tip but something you shouldn’t skip over. Now that WildStar has gone free-to-play, the addon community surrounding it has been resurrected from the dead. This is great news because, sad to say, WildStar’s default UI could use a lot of work. Fortunately, there are multiple addon projects worth looking into, like ForgeUI which overhauls the experience. It might not be to your taste, so it’s worth reading around and experimenting to see what you like best.
Also, take some time in the settings menu to tinker with various settings before jumping into the game. You can change the opacity of friendly and enemy telegraphs, and even turn on a nifty feature which where the camera is always controlled by the mouse and each mouse button triggers a specific ability, making the game a lot more of a third person action game than before. Experiment!
Take Your Time and Enjoy the Game
While I’ve provided some great tips to help you burn to 50 as fast as possible, I strongly urge you to take your time and savor the experience of leveling up. There’s a lot of great lore and story to read through, and if you’re solely focused on getting to endgame you might miss some of the bigger pleasures like running dungeons (which are excellent), partaking in PVP, or spending a Saturday evening meticulously building your dream home.
There’s a lot to enjoy about WildStar and now, as a free-to-play MMORPG, its future is looking brighter than ever. Hopefully these tips above will help you jump into the game and hit the ground running. If you have your own suggestions for tips, let us know in the comments! See you on Nexus!Related: Carbine Studios, Column, F2P, Listed, MMORPG, Wildstar