One of the standout games at PAX this year was Wildstar, a new MMORPG from NCSOFT. In the world of Wildstar, there is a galaxy wide land rush for the planet of Nexus. According to legend, Nexus is home to some of the most beautiful places imaginable, as well as the lost technology of an ancient civilization. The Exiles just want to settle the planet and live out their days making a home, while the Dominion seeks to add the power and secrets of Nexus to its empire.
Between the Exiles and Dominion, the game has eight races to choose from. On the Exile side, there are the rebellious Humans, mercenary stone giant Granok, the forest-dwelling Aurin, and the space zombie Mordesh. Each race has a history with the Dominion and rebelled, putting down on Nexus to stop the Dominion colonization. The Dominion’s four races include the human zealot Cassian, the savage Draken, the insane yet brilliant Chua and the technological assassins the Mechari.
The four classes are familiar yet bring subtle touches that make them wholly part of the Wildstar mythos. The Warriors are your standard MMO class, who have brute strength and big weapons on their side. Spellslingers use magic-infused firepower to even the odds; they make great healers and ranged fighters. Stalkers are light fighters that can take a hit and set a trap thanks to their tech prowess. The Esper uses psychic attacks that allow for ranged combat in addition to healing your party. For our hands-on demo of the game we created an Aurin Esper. Psychic blades? Check.
On the surface of Nexus, our first quest involves helping some of the diabolically genius Chua disarm landmines placed across a landing zone. The humor and tone of the game are almost immediately infectious. The opening tasks of disarming mines and killing giant scorpions feel challenging but achievable, and it’s incredibly easy to fall into this game. The game leaves you to your own approach and doesn’t force any specific tactic on you in defeating your opponent. After figuring out that you can set a landmine to disarm and draw a scorpion toward you through the blast radius, I’ve figured out what works for my lightly-armored, psychic Esper. With the style of play I’m choosing, though, I wonder if a Stalker might not have been a better course of action. Within 20 minutes I was at a level 3 Esper and completed a couple of the demo’s goals.
The game will support four paths, Explorer, Scientist, Settler and Soldier. This helpful video breaks it down for us:
Wildstar is one of the most appealing MMOs I’ve seen in recent memory. The bright colors, over-the-top characters, and fun play mechanics make this game incredibly immersive. If you’re more sci-fi than sorcery and want to adjust your gaming experience accordingly, jump on board Wildstar now. The Wildstar Beta has launched and is adding players, so jump in while you still can.