2015.02.09 update: This game made our Top 5 PC games of 2014 list!
Greetings travelers! It is I, your ever faithful WildStar reviewer, here to bring you Part 2 of my galactic journey through the stars and interwebz of WildStar. If you missed the first part of this article, never fear. You may find Part 1 of my adventure here, where I covered all aspects of character creation. Inside you’ll find information on the WildStar races, classes and paths, with screenshots to boot! In this second part, and final segment of my WildStar review, I will be touching on the many things I didn’t cover in the last part, such as: class customization, combat, quests, housing and much, MUCH more! Then, at the end I’ll reveal my final thoughts on WildStar and my overall rating!!! Whoohoo!!! Let’s get this show on the road!
With my Mechari Medic Settler created, I finally got to start the game. If you chose the Dominion you get unfrozen from cryogenic sleep and treated like you’re the chosen one. You get a proper (if not long) tutorial and really feel like you’re one of the elite. If you chose to become an Exile you get unfrozen from cryogenic sleep because you were one of the few undamaged cryopods in the ship when the Dominion attacked.
Leveling-Up and Class Customization
Leveling-up in WildStar is quite a treat. Not only do you get this manly announcement of your accomplishments at various levels, but unlock additional abilities, stronger versions of the abilities you already have and AMPs.
A character can only have 10 abilities equipped at one time (8 class, 1 Gadget and 1 Path). Abilities are categorized into four different types: Assault, Support, Utility and Path. You can choose what kind of character you want to play based on the abilities you choose to have equipped and how you choose to AMP your character.
- Assault – Abilities designed to deal all the damage.
- Support – Abilities that focus on either healing or tanking. Depends on your class.
- Utility – Abilities geared towards mobility, buffing or debuffing.
Carbine Studios didn’t stop at three different types of moves either. They took class customization a step further with the creation of AMPs. Think of AMPs as a way to specialize your character. You enjoy dealing damage? Put some points in the Assault AMP grid to add a bleed-effect to one your moves. Is healing your thing? Throw points in the Support AMP grid so cause your next heal to be instantaneous. There’s even hybrid AMP grids as well.
Here is what the AMP grid system looks like.
- Assault AMP Grid – Helps you deal more damage.
- Support AMP Grid – Buffs your healing/tanking capabilities. Depends on your class.
- Utility AMP Grid – Grants you increased movement capabilities cool down reduction, crowd control resistance and various other things.
- Assault/Support AMP Grid – Increases crit chance and debuffs enemies.
- Support/Utility AMP Grid – Focuses on shield regeneration and increased defense in PVP.
- Assault/Utility AMP Grid – Grants self-buffs and increased offense in PVP.
After a well made tutorial sequence you get to travel down to Planet Nexus and start your adventure! The battle mechanics in WildStar are top notch. Each class has their own energy resource used to cast abilities and you don’t play with a simple click and attack mentality like in WoW either. Combat in the game is similar to that of Guild Wars 2 with one major difference. Telegraphs.
Blue telegraphs are ally targeting zones. Red telegraphs are enemy targeting zones.
Utilizing the telegraph system, combat in WildStar is dynamic, innovative and fast paced. You essentially aim your skill, your opponent does the same, and y’all either dodge or die.
Check out the screenshot above. The character in the center of the screen is charging up an attack– you can tell this by looking at the blue cone shaped light in front of him. That light is a telegraph. Any enemies in, or touching, that blue telegraph will be hit with the ability.
Now look at the poor soul getting skewered to death at the bottom of the picture. Notice how she has a red circular light beneath her, as does someone else in the picture? That red light is an enemy telegraph. Most attacks can dodged as long as you get away from the enemy telegraph. There are some intense boss fights where they have attacks that are near impossible to avoid, as their telegraphs move with you or cover a massive area. The biggest perk of the telegraph system, to me anyway, is that WildStar can throw some pretty crazy enemies at you with attacks that in other MMOs would be all but impossible to avoid or defend against.
Questing in WildStar on the other hand, is a traditional “Go here and kill 10 things.” While I’m not the biggest fan of dry quests like that, WildStar does mix it up a bit. Occasionally you’ll be killing something for a quest, but then a mission pops up where you need to kill 20 of these creatures within the next 5 minutes. If you manage to accomplish that challenge you get rewards that could be any number of things, from crafting components, housing components to bag expansions. Some of these items are even worth a ton of money. So it’s in your favor to try and complete the challenge whenever you can.
Paths also play a role in questing. Every path has a path correspondent who reaches out to you via a chat device that everyone carries. They’ll let you know if a mission is available in that area and to hop to it. Path missions are generally a lot more diverse in terms of what you do for them. Soldiers may have to go assassinate someone, Explorers might have to set up a communication device, Settlers general need to develop certain areas and scientists might have to go scan a bunch of fauna. While we’re back on paths, there are some environmental challenges that only certain paths can fulfill. For instance, there may be a door that you and your party found that only a Scientist can open. Or a platform device that an Explorer would need to activate. Remember that communication device I just mentioned? It does more than give you missions. It also tracks your quests and allows you to turn completed ones in remotely (and get the reward) by contacting the person who gave it to you. This does not work for all quests however, but for most them.
Other types of PVE content include:
- Public Events – Multi-staged public events where you, your friends and everyone else can take part in the glory.
- Shiphand Missions – Sci-Fi adventures in outer space and beyond!
- Adventures – Virtual reality simulations, each with unique story elements, gameplay mechanics, and objectives.
- Dungeons – Unforgettable locations inhabited by the most frightening baddies in the galaxy!
- Raids – Hardcore 20 and 40-man raids that truly separate the men from the boys. The most epic content on Nexus can be found here with dynamically changing environments and boss mechanics not for the faint of heart.
I did not touch much on PVP as I am a PVE fan myself. My brief time trying it out was ton of fun though. I loved the mass scale battles the most. For those who like to be the best though, you can partake in smaller scale PVP bouts as well.
- Open World – Open World is your general, I see someone who isn’t on my side. Lets kill them.
- Duels – Someone offend you? Challenge them to a 1v1 duel and hurt them with your feelings. And weapon.
- Arenas – MOBA fans should enjoy Arenas. Annihilate your enemies in 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 Arena matches.
- Battlegrounds – Like Arenas but with more blood! Battlegrounds are impressive 10v10 onslaughts.
- Warplots – Warplots are interesting and were my personal favorite in terms of PVP. They are full on 40v40 matches that take place in a highly dangerous, customizable battlegrounds designed for players by players.
One of my favorite parts of any MMO is crafting. Making stuff and making money. What’s not to love? WildStar delivers in this area too. While you do have some more traditional tradeskills, such as Weaponsmith and Miner, you have some unique ones as well like the Architect and Relic Hunter. Players may only learn two tradeskills per character.
- Miner – The Miner excavates precious ores, crystals and gems to be used by the Weaponsmith, Armorer and Architect.
- Relic Hunter – The Relic Hunter excavates omni-plasm and Eldan relics used by the Technologist, and the Weaponsmith.
- Survivalist – The Survivalist skins leather and cuts meat from creatures. They also harvest wood from trees with a laser chainsaw.
- Architect – The Architect shapes FABkits, decor items and war plot deployables.
- Armorer – The Armorer forges heavy armor and combat shields, then powers them with microchips and power cores.
- Outfitter – The Outfitter uses Leather, pelts and bone to craft medium armor and support systems, then powers them with microchips and power cores.
- Tailor – The Tailor uses cloth gathered from humanoids to craft light armor.
- Technologist – The Technologists creates medical supplies, stat boosting potions, and field technologies from combining omni-plasm with herbs and produce. Refurbishes Eldan relics to craft gadgets.
- Weaponsmith – Weaponsmithing is the art of forging weapons and weapon attachments, then powering them with microchips and power cores.
The following tradeskills can be learned by anyone and do not count against the two tradeskill limit.
- Cook – Cooks use produce and meats to whip up delicious delicacies. By mixing different ingredients at cooking stations, cooks can discover recipes that provide all kinds of benefits and buffs.
- Farmer – Farmers collect herbs, seeds, and produce by attacking various plants. The resources can be used for crafting and the seeds can be planted in a garden in player housing.
- Runecrafting – Runecrafting is an item enhancement system. Players can create runes to place into open rune slots in their gear. Runecrafting is available to all players at level 15.
- Salvaging – Salvaging is a process by which players break down items into their basic components, providing materials to use for crafting. Salvaging is available to all players at level 8.
For my two tradeskills I chose to be a Relic Hunter and Technologist. Relic Hunter sounded like it would be a great gathering resource late-game, and because I am a medic, creating medicine and buffs as a Technologist also sounded beneficial. As I’m writing this article the Architect is currently the most profitable of all tradeskills. So much so that they had to lower the cost and resource requirement of other tradeskill recipes to balance things out.
I do have a complaint about crafting in WildStar. There wasn’t a great tutorial for either of my tradeskills and to this day I’m still not sure how to cook properly. All that could just be user-error, but I thought I’d mention it regardless since I enjoy crafting so much and was a bit lost after “learning” how to do it.
Every intergalactic explorer needs a place to crash and WildStar gives you your own plot of land to call your own. Houses can quite literally come in all shapes and sizes.
Your house can be big, small, large or tall! Nothing is out of reach when creating your own house. That’s just the outside too. You can fill the inside of your house with up to 200 items. You find these items from mob drops, quests and challenges. Or become an Architect and craft them yourself! Benefits of having a house are pretty extensive too! You can even invite friends over to your place.
- Rested XP – Logging off WildStar while in your home grants your character bonus experience called “Rested XP.” Further more, the amount and rarity of items in your home affect how much Rested XP you’ll gain. Who says money can’t buy happiness?
- Sockets and Plugs – Around your house you will find areas where you can build different facilities and amenities. These areas are called Sockets. You can then further advance the Socket by adding Plugs to it. What this lets you do is mine and farm on your own land. You can also create crafting stations here as well.
- Expeditions – Expeditions are a type of housing dungeon you can explore with friends. I never went on an expedition.
- Teleportals – You can establish portals for different Raid dungeons in your house. You can also teleport to your house from anywhere in the open world of Nexus.
There is a monthly fee in WildStar of $14.99 but don’t let that sway you away from experiencing this amazing game. Carbine Studios gave players a way to bypass that fee for C.R.E.D.D.
C.R.E.D.D. is an in-game item that adds 30 days of play time to an account. Players can purchase C.R.E.D.D. for $19.99 and sell it on the Commodity Exchange (auction house) or purchase it from another player for in-game gold. In essence, C.R.E.D.D. allows you to buy more game time with in-game currency or gain more in-game currency with real-world currency. So as long as you’re earning money, you can keeping playing WildStar for free. That made sense right?
I don’t know what to say about WildStar that I haven’t already. This game rocks, plain and simple. If it didn’t, I don’t think I could have written such an extensive review. WildStar offers something for everyone, whether it’s vibrant graphics and amusing audio, a plethora of quests and storylines, HARDCORE raids, dungeons and PVP or a unique combat style and an in-depth character customization system. WildStar has it all. Pick-up WildStar at your local game retailer for $59.99 today or upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version (and get in-game goodies) for $74.99.
To learn more check out Wildstar‘s official website. While you’re there, watch the WildStar Flicks and DevSpeak videos. They’re fun, 4-5 minutes videos that cover every aspect of WildStar. You’ll get expanded details on what I covered in this review, see the game in action and even learn more about the things I didn’t touch much on (like RAIDS!!!).
I hope to see you on Nexus!