May 6, 2003
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WildStar Official Trailer

What is WildStar?

Meet the Dominion

Meet the Exiles


WildStar Paths

Protostar Announces Nexus Housing Initiative

Wildstar Gameplay Footage

Deradune Gameplay Footage

DevSpeak - Movement

DevSpeak - Paths

DevSpeak - Housing

Friends and Family Update

Combat Telegraphs in WildStar

WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney on progression, tradeskills, and endgame


In the first part of our interview with Carbine Studios executive producer Jeremy Gaffney, we discussed everything we could about the Settler path. In this followup interview, he divulges the beautiful details on essential parts of the game: progression, tradeskills, and the elder game.

WildStar has been setting a fun tone with each new video that's released. As it turns out, that same philosophy extends to nearly every corner of the game.

Massively: How does progression work? Specifically, how do I differentiate myself from people of the same class and path?

Jeremy Gaffney: This is in flux right now. We are in beta, and this is exactly the kinda stuff we are trying to tune right now. This will probably change, but I'll give you a snapshot of the current form. One of the ways you differentiate yourself is stats, like your brutality level or your moxie. As you raise these to pick up levels, they will unlock things for you. Some things are like more critical hit chance or special powers that unlock talent-ish things or raise your brutality high enough that now when you kill a monster, it drops a healing glob, so you can kill a bunch of littler things and give yourself a healing pool for the big guy.

We want cooler perks attached to raising your stats. Sure, getting crit chance is awesome, but unless you're a spreadsheet wizard, you never really notice. We want things that help change how you play your character.

So are these tree-like designs?

At the moment they're not. Down the line, our combat guys might tweak things so that there are more distinct paths, but we don't plan on using a talent tree structure. That's kinda been done before. A lot. But then again, it's much too early to say. It might turn out down the road to be the best visual presentation for our system.

Will differentiation continue beyond level cap?

At the high end, we have an elder game system in which you'll encounter advancement that isn't level-based. You'll see skills and perks that unlock via achievements, some of which are easy and some very difficult. Some of your early game decisions will determine the difficulty of those challenges. If you're a Granok, then you'll have more strength, which will make the strength-based unlocks easier to attain. If you're on the Soldier path, combat unlocks become easier. You won't cripple yourself by making the wrong decision, but certain achievements will be easier depending on those choices.


How about gear?

We think it's funny that you end up seeing lots of people standing around town with the same gear on in the endgame. The greatest differentiation should be at the high level. For us that means randomized elements on equipment, customized gear, and points that unlock powers to make you different than the guy next to you.

What can you tell us about tradeskills?

Tradeskills aren't actually on our reveal schedule yet, but let me leak a little bit. We believe that tradeskills should be an intimate part of the game. By that I mean, as you walk around, surrounded by interesting things, we don't believe that you should click a node and watch a bar fill up. That's boring.

For example, when you run around in the game, you'll notice rocks that you can hit. We have lots of interesting base metals in the game, such as Explodium. It's a temp name, but it might stick because we're a little over the top. If you didn't guess, Explodium blows up when you hit it. If you're fighting a monster near it and hit it with your spells, it will damage you and the monster. Another example is when you're picking at a small rock and it turns out that the mineral is attached to the back of a large bug that runs away. Now you have to chase it down, knocking materials off it. Or perhaps a creature made from the material swallows you and then you have to knock through the creature's stomach to escape while harvesting.

We believe in variance. We don't like things that get boring. We also think that this type of system makes it harder for bot farmers to exploit. I mean, try to make a bot that chases ore nodes that run away or actually swallow you. Good luck with that. Part of this is because we want to make people play the game, not macro it.

Is the crafting advancement something we're used to? Make 10 pairs of cotton space pants?

We're trying to avoid things like make 17 bronze hammers and 12 golden swords. We have questing, but we want it to be more like achievement-type advancement. I can't go into it too deep, but we think it's a fun system.

Let me put it like this: You're growing a garden of plants on the grounds of your housing plot. Maybe sometimes you wake up and you get some rare blooms, or maybe you've managed to grow a creature that tries to kill you. We want tradeskills to involve you more than just sitting in an auction house doing the same thing over and over again.


Do you take a similar approach with your endgame?

Elder games are even more important to us. There are several ways to set fire to a hundred-million dollars and lose it. Probably the best way is not spending time developing your endgame. Leveling is awesome, but it goes by quickly and then people leave. It's even worse if your hardcore players report back to the general public that there is nothing to do and that the game sucks. It's about what you get to as much as it is about getting there.

Right now, 50 to 70% of our team is dedicated to elder content. We need a lot of it, and it has to be replayable. A huge chunk of the coolest stuff is happening in the elder content because that's when it has to pay off. That's why we have things like War Plots, 40v40 destructible fortress PvP with captured raid bosses that you can use to fight the enemy.

We want stuff that you look forward to, and we want experiences that are hard -- content that you have to invest in and work toward.


War Plots feel like guild PvP challenges. How about PvE stuff?

We wanted to make raiding something that more people can compete in. We love world firsts, but that is something that only 1% of the 1% can compete in. We decided a good fix was to make lots of the elements inside the raid dynamic. Make them random. Like one week there is a health-increasing spot that pops up here or extra AoE damage spread in different patterns.

We don't want raiding to be something that you go look up on Wowhead [WildStarhead?] for a solution the top guilds found four weeks ago. Guilds should have to put on their thinking caps and work together in the week before the configuration goes away. And maybe this week your guild finds a better solution and beats one of the top guilds. We want people to work together toward goals like fastest raid time. I say fastest by time in the raid, not first of the week. You shouldn't have to stay up till four in the morning to be competitive. We want to reward fun behavior and competition.

Is speed the only challenge?

Right now, it's the easy one to test, but we want to work on more like defeating bosses without armor or some of those other Fable-like challenges. We'll know more on it in the future.


There are currently four known Player classes in WildStar. There are currently no known Factions restrictions on these, however they are race dependent.

The choice are:

  • Esper (playable by Human, Aurin and Cassians)
  • Spellslinger (Playable by Human, Draken, Cassians, and Aurin)
  • Warrior (Playable by the Mechari, Cassians, Granok, Draken and Human)
  • Stalker (Playable by the Aurin, Human, Mechari, Draken, Cassians)

There are also two yet to be announced classes


  • Role: Ranged DPS, Healer
  • Equipment: Psyblade
  • Armor Weight: Light Armor
  • Ability Resources: Mana and Focus Points
  • Primary Attribute: Magic (DPS), Wisdom (Healing)
  • Available to: Humans, Aurin, Cassians

Using their Mana, the Esper conjures psychic spells to build up their Combo Points, increasing the effectiveness of their finishing moves. Combo Points degenerate when out of combat.

Espers are masters of the mind who tap into powerful psychic energies to lash out and incapacitate enemies or strengthen and protect their friends.

The connection between the mind and body is a powerful thing, and no one demonstrates this better than an Esper. Rare individuals that display unusual mental fortitude, Espers must undergo rigorous training in order to harness the turbulent, chaotic energies of the mind - eventually learning to focus and transform this energy into telekinetic power. Once they have mastered this ability, Espers learn to use the psyblade - a sharp and deadly projectile weapon propelled through the air by the force of their minds.

But the psyblade is not the only weapon in the Esper's arsenal. They can also manipulate mental energy to create illusions so convincing they are capable of inflicting very real damage on their enemies. This same technique can be used to bolster friends, allowing them to return to the fray after being injured in battle. A fully trained Esper can turn the tide in any conflict, sustaining and healing their allies while dishing out devastating mental blasts against their foes.



  • Role: Ranged DPS, Healer
  • Equipment: Dual Pistols
  • Armor Weight: Light Armor
  • Ability Resources: Spell Surges and Mana
  • Primary Attribute: Dexterity (DPS), Wisdom (Healing)
  • Available to: Humans, Aurin, Cassians, Draken

The Spellslinger wields magically enhanced pistols, preferring to dish out damage at a distance. Their Charge increases their damage and fills up over time and by using magical abilities, which in turn are powered by Arcana, generated during combat and decaying out of combat.

Spellslingers are deadly and dangerous pisoleers, often found beyond the Fringe working as bounty hunters, bodyguards, and guns-for-hire.

Spellslingers fight with a unique style that's a lethal combination of magic, reflexes and instinct - making them some of the most feared combatants in the galaxy. By wielding specially designed mag pistols, Spellslingers manipulate arcane energy to create powerful magic sigils - greatly increasing their accuracy and infusing their projectiles with destructive power.

Along with their deadly weapons, Spellslingers also use acrobatic agility to quickly move around the battlefield - positioning themselves to inflict the most damage upon their enemies. These deadly abilities, coupled with steely-eyed resolve, make the Spellslinger a truly frightening foe in battle.



  • Role: Melee DPS, Tank
  • Equipment: Tech Sword
  • Armor Weight: Medium Armor (Upgrades to Heavy)
  • Ability Resources: Kinetic Cells
  • Primary Attribute: Strength (DPS), Technology (Tank)
  • Available to: Humans, Granok, Cassians, Draken, Mechari

The Warrior is a class utilizing a mix of devastating melee strikes and technologically powered attacks. Their abilities are powered by Adrenaline, generated and consumed by sword based attacks and decays while out of combat, and Fuel Cells are consumed by tech abilities and regenerate over time.

Warriors are unstoppable juggernauts on the battlefield, using a combination of heavy weaponry, powerful armor and advanced Technology to take care of business.

Fearless bruisers that give as good as they get, Warriors are at their best when charging into the fray. Equipped with a heavy battle suit, and armed with a giant tech-sword and a plasma blasting arm cannon, Warriors use hyper-charged kinetic cells which allow the use of powerful attacks and greatly improve their destructive potential.

Drawing upon the power of these kinetic cells give Warriors access to a wide array of strategic technological capabilities designed to damage, disarm, or incapacitate their enemies. In short, the Warrior is a walking death machine, absorbing impressive amounts of damage while dispatching his foes by the dozens.



  • Role: Melee DPS, Tank
  • Equipment: Claws
  • Armor Weight Light Armor (Upgrades to Medium)
  • Ability Resources: Suit Power
  • Primary Attribute: Dexterity (DPS), Technology (Tank)
  • Available to: Humans, Aurin, Cassians, Draken, Mechari

Stalkers are feared throughout the galaxy as silent and deadly assassins who always eliminate their targets.

The Stalkers’ training begins with an injected serum of advanced nanotechnology. The nanites within the serum instantly create a cerebral interface that gives the Stalker access to powerful technological abilities—such as advanced stealth capabilities, optical holoprojection, and enhanced defenses. This interface also accelerates and enhances the Stalker’s physiological systems, allowing them to execute impressive physical feats and complex martial arts disciplines. These abilities, used in concert with a pair of well-balanced alloy clawblades, make the Stalker a fearsome opponent on the field of battle.

Stalkers are also masters of tactical combat. Using their neurological enhancements, they strategically control the battlefield, utilizing combat hardware such as proximity mines to maximize their kill potential in each and every encounter. Their cerebral interface also provides real-time analytical data during encounters, allowing Stalkers to energize their clawblades based on their opponents’ greatest vulnerabilities. The result? During combat, Stalkers leave a pile of corpses in their wake before silently disappearing into the shadows.

Although it is a little known fact, the technological prowess of the Stalker is owed to the Eldan themselves. When The Dominion was first established almost two-thousand years ago, the humans of planet Cassus were given a number of technological gifts from the Eldan—including a small sample labeled ]omni-plasm. This sample contained millions of programmable nanites—which in time became the basis of the Stalker’s technological abilities.


The Stalker

Gamesradar: WildStar - Developer Demo

IGN Plays Wildstar - Taking a Guided Tour of Deradune

GameSpot Now Playing - WildStar

PAX East 2013 - Full WildStar Character Creator
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I've been keeping an eye on this game for a while. Looks pretty neat.
yeah looks very tidy n stylised,playin neverwinter atm but willing to play anything to kill time till world of darkness tbh. any idea on when this game might be launching m8?
TBA 2013. That's all we've got so far.
cool,something to look forward to.thats the fastest i been replied to on here as well,u replied before i even reloaded page man lol
Maybe if enough people are interested we could start a guild.
I was looking forward to that when the Star Wars MMO came out, sadly nothing ever happened there. What faction is everyone interested in so far? Dominion or Exiles?
I'll probably do a character in both.
I'm more of a good guy fighting the evil forces of the Empire, though on Star Wars I mostly played as a Sith Warrior and Bounty Hunter. So I might probably go Dominion, but I'll probably play both sides. I did play a Trooper in Star Wars too. I can't wait to try out the Esper class. Tossing around Psyblades looks really fun.
Hopefully this is a F2P or a B2P like the Guild Wars series.
I'm more of a good guy fighting the evil forces of the Empire, though on Star Wars I mostly played as a Sith Warrior and Bounty Hunter. So I might probably go Dominion, but I'll probably play both sides. I did play a Trooper in Star Wars too. I can't wait to try out the Esper class. Tossing around Psyblades looks really fun.

Personally, unless it's explicitly stated otherwise in the game, I tend not to think about this stuff as good vs. evil. I just go whichever side's style suits me the most.

Hopefully this is a F2P or a B2P like the Guild Wars series.

Pretty sure it's free to play.
I think so far they haven't stated their business model. But it's NCsoft. Most of their MMOs are F2P, right? How many MMOs do we have left, that still use a subscription model? The only ones I know for certain are WoW and FFXI.
EVE Online is subscription based as well.
Hands-on with WildStar's Scientist path and Esper class


There is something exciting about taking your first steps into the mysteries of a new planet. I was anxious to mingle with the locals, analyze artifacts, and even pick a few plants -- that is, until I saw a flower burst from the ground as a giant vine-like beast. As it chewed up the slinky Aurin next to me, I decided to leave the flowers for the next Scientist.

So began my hands-on experience with WildStar, the exciting and often comical new MMO from NCsoft and Carbine Studios. The half-day event gave me time to play the Esper class, build some structures on the Settler path, and hurtle myself through the air in the name of science. There is so much to talk about!

Except plants. 'Cause allergies. *ahem*

Let me start by first noting that the UI in these screenshots is completely and totally in beta. It's one of our first looks at the UI's direction, but Carbine Studios insisted that design could and probably will change in areas. Now, the good stuff.


Esper mind tricks

I figured if I'm going to discover the secrets of the planet Nexus, I'm going to need the smartest character ever. I settled on the psychic powers of the Esper to start. The class is themed around abilities that use the power of the mind to summon temporary illusions to a variety of effects. The Esper isn't a pet class; the longest illusion "'pet" lasts only about 10 seconds.

In fact, playing the Esper felt like playing a magical rogue. I built up charges using Telekinetic Strike, an ability that summons ethereal blades that pierce all enemies in a line. Mind Burst consumes the charges while manifesting a large hawk creature that swoops at the target, heavily damaging enemies in a cone before you.

Building points was much more interesting than just spamming one skill. Telekinetic Strike hit multiple enemies but forced me to stand still for a cast time. Concentrated Blades, however, allowed me to summon magical disks on the fly. They don't hit immediately; instead, they grow in size before striking at the target. I also had the option to summon up to three phantoms for charges, each of which attacked for 10 seconds before evaporating. If the battle turned dicey sketchy (and it frequently did!), I could use my Crush skill to stun the enemy with a large ghost-like fist that punched him into the ground.


By level 14, I had acquired only a handful of skills, but the class felt much more mobile than a traditional caster class. The Esper also had an interesting metagame to it with the management of combo points and a mana pool. Unfortunately, I wasn't high enough in level to see how it performed in groups with healing and support skills added to the mix. The powers I did use felt interesting and involved; if I mindlessly pushed buttons, I felt weak, which encouraged me to work combos to devastating effect.

Science: A lore hound's dream

The Scientist path is one of the four paths players can choose from at the beginning of their Nexus adventure. Each path helps define what kind of side content you'll experience throughout the game. For example, the Soldier path emphasizes beating the small and large inhabitants of Nexus into a fine, manageable paste.

The Scientist is much more refined, choosing to scan creatures and objects, solve various puzzles, and catalogue data in order to piece together the lore-ridden puzzle of the planet Nexus. Each of the scans gave me more info about the objects of the world. Some scans unlocked audio clips that took me deeper into a side-quest, while others unlocked new advantages for me after numerous scans of the same creature.


With each scan, my collection of Nexus history and game plot-lines thickened. Using the Galactic Archive, the in-game compendium, I could review what I'd learned about a plant, a race, or the zone I had been exploring. I couldn't help but scan everything as though each unlock was an achievement for the taking. Bonus: Scans also increased the level of my Scientist path, rewarding me with new Scanbot powers, titles, and even housing equipment in the form of what the game calls "FABkits." I became addicted to knowledge!

But the Scientist isn't just about collecting lore. Carbine Studios has made sure that members of each path help members of the others to find new areas to explore. In Algoroc, a mountainous area covered in grassy hills and crystal-encrusted hillsides, I unlocked the power of Loftite using a few science scans. Thanks to my achievement, nearby players were suddenly given the ability to jump incredibly high in areas with a large concentration of the crystals. We bounded up and down the cliff until we reached a peak where we found the boss that had been throwing giant snowballs at us during our ascent. This area had a few objectives for other paths, but they needed my brain power to get there.

I also found a small puzzle that reminded me of RIFT's zone puzzles. Solving it opened a door that led to more areas to explore and a pathway for the Explorer path. The great thing was the puzzle's randomization. Jeremy Gaffney, WildStar's executive producer, told me that each of the puzzles is randomized so that the experience can be different for each player. "We don't like the optional way of puzzle solutions -- i.e., looking up the one solution online," he explained.


What strikes a chord with me is how WildStar has managed to create specific paths for individual playstyles without alienating players. If my friends like to rampage via the Soldier path, they provide me as a Scientist with more opportunities to learn about an enemy's history. To top things off, the team even hinted that each path will be a boon when players begin to run dungeons together.

WildStar is, simply put, the small plant I mentioned at the start. On the surface, it's humorous and beautiful in its allure, but buried deep beneath the surface is a complex and exciting monster ready to devour all your free time.


WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney on the Settler path


In a world full of potential and chaos, WildStar's factions will succeed on the planet Nexus on the backs of the Settlers. The Settlers don't just build bonfires for sappy Explorers to sing around; these titans of construction will save you time in dungeons, establish bigger outposts, and open up new realms of quests for everyone.

At a recent media event, Carbine Studios executive producer Jeremy Gaffney was only too happy to explain how the Settler path opens up the world, intersects with housing, and even plays a part in PvP.

Massively: So tell us, what type of player should select the Settler path?

Jeremy Gaffney: Settlers are for socializers. We usually talk about the Settlers primarily socializing, but they are also about building. It's an achievement type that is under-served. It feels good to actually improve and make your mark on the world.

How does a Settler contribute socially/mechanically to the community and the game world?

When you go into a town, you see a couple of different things. You'll see some things that need maintenance, like a farmer's fence that has been destroyed; now his cows are escaping and you need to repair it. These types of interactions are separate from questing. You just find them and use the object or one of your path abilities. The internal name for that, which probably won't be used in the game, is a "minfrastructure" (mini-infrastructure). There is also true infrastructure like building a new shop, building a new vendor, or building a bus station. These are the major things you do in town. Usually, you'll do the smaller projects to gather resources for these bigger projects.

Entirely separate from that is unlocking Settler powers that allow you to free-farm anywhere. It isn't all "go and see the only five things I can do." You have a goal. You're either trying to raise a town's values or you're working to utilize your abilities. The more people use them, the more benefit you get from them.


Can you explain these "town values"?

We haven't talked about this yet. A town has economy, quality of life, and security. Usually anything you do in town raises the values of these bars. When you increase the value to certain points, special things happen, like getting bigger rewards. It will take multiple Settlers to reach these goals, which is why we call them the socializers.

Are these maintenance values? Will players have to maintain them to prevent the town value from degrading?

That's basically right. We try to make it so that a single Settler can do a lot of the lower-tier stuff. For Second-tier stuff, a single Settler might be able to maintain one or two things, but in general you'll need groups working together to maintain the values. You need a ton of Settlers to eventually hit the tier 3 values and maintain them. There are some big things in tier 3, from quest givers to vendors that hold rare loot or powerful buffs. We try to ensure that if you're playing on an underpopulated server or in the middle of nowhere, there will still be stuff for you to do.

What if you're a slow player starting later than the bell curve of players? How do you get the experience of building some of the bigger structures that other players already accomplished?

If player's don't maintain a structure, it will eventually decay. Some things are longer-lasting than others. We want lots of players to experience building stuff up and maintaining it. It's probably more fun to kick it off than it is to maintain something already built. The other part of that is if you are the only Settler around, you'll get a lot of path XP by running around and building everything by yourself, but you'll get less XP from the social tools like the campfires Settlers lay down to give players bonuses. It's kind of a balancing act to make sure people have a great experience depending on the conditions of the zone.


Will you utilize phasing at all to give players the experience of putting their mark on the world so that they aren't just running into the structures others have built?

We experimented with that in the beginning, but it's a tough balancing act. We want you to feel like you made your mark, but with phasing, you didn't really make your mark. We just pretended you did. So almost everything the Settlers now do is unphased. I can't think of a single mission of the Settlers that's phased. There are very few instances of phasing in the game. We think players see through the fakery of it.

So what is the Settler's function in a dungeon setting?

Settlers who have gone through the content enough times will gather materials that helps them build extra things in the dungeon. Like, hey, here's a resurrection station right next to the final boss. You can choose to invest your materials into that kind of stuff. Or maybe you're lucky and got a rare spawn that gave you the materials your first time through.

One of the things Settlers do separate from building towns is building outposts next to dangerous chunks of content out in the world. We purposely made certain areas more dangerous than others. Settlers can build up next to those areas. There will, of course, be stuff you can freely place around the world too. The campfires are an example of that.

What sort of perks will Settlers bring to player housing?

Settlers are all about housing. Lots of their rewards come in the form of FABkits, which can be decor items for you home or buffs to existing decor -- for example, if you had a garden, you would get a better garden because you have a FABkit. All the paths receive these kits, but the Settler tends to get them more often.

We also had this cool idea to make dungeons for your house. We wanted to ship the game sometime in our lives, though. We weren't sure we'd have time to do it. A branch of our team thought they were too cool not to have and decided, when all the managers were out, to make housing dungeons. So they put together eight housing dungeons so that we couldn't cut it. We haven't talked about it much because we don't like to promise features we can't finish.


You mentioned PvP and War Plots. How does the Settler fit in there?

We're going to have open-world PvP and arenas, and then there's War Plots. They're not just a house but an entire big-chunk of land. They are up in the air, literally, like player housing, but the idea is that you can set these chunks down and fight other chunks. So you basically build a fortress with your buddies. Then you can do stuff like go on a raid, capture a raid boss, bring it back to your plot, and send it to fight the enemy's fortress. You'll be able to make Mech factories that will put you in a Mech with super powers. We'll talk more about this more as it still needs lots of testing, but the idea is destructible fortress vs. destructible fortress.

I've been leaning towards Settler, it seems cool. I'll wait until there's more information on the other paths before deciding though.
You could build the Nexus Hype Pub. :woot: I can't decide between Soldier and Explorer. As a Soldier, you are able to take on huge mobs, and I love to just go all out crazy, obliterating everything in my path. But I also tend to just go out into the world, all by myself. I guess having the ability to explore secret passages and finding hidden trinkets would be nice.
Yeah, I'm kind of stuck between Settler and Explorer. Both seem geared toward the way I like to play MMOs.
The Nexus Telegraph: WildStar forges a path


The latest news out of WildStar's new previews isn't going to quiet people who dislike the concept of the game's path system, nor will it stanch the flow of complaints about the game's art style. Those of us simply waiting at attention, however, found ourselves rewarded this week with a wealth of new information, not to mention the best look we've yet seen at how the paths will work together in action instead of concept.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg; Jeremy Gaffney has said so many things that merit unpacking that it's almost impossible to swallow some of the implications. There is, in fact, far too much to unpack in a single week. So I'm going to look at paths and start figuring out everything else next week.

I may also gush about the Mechari at some point. It's like GLaDOS, Hal, and Starscream had a kid.

I've been researching new kinds of pain. Found a lot of them.One of the things that's impressed me so far about how WildStar handles its paths is that they're not "class missions," so to speak. We've already seen the diversity of content available to Explorers and Soldiers, but until now we didn't have a clear picture of how many things Scientists and Settlers would have to do. We just knew that the former scanned stuff and the latter built stuff.

The problem is that if you give a path just one thing to do, it's going to be boring and repetitive. Explorers inherit jumping puzzles, map completion, and location-hunting mechanics, meaning that you can focus on one or all three or two of three and still have a unique set of things to do. Scanning things endlessly didn't exactly sound engaging for the long term.

Having seen both in action at long last and been told more about the mechanics, I believe the remaining paths have now come into their own. Scientists scan things, pick up sidequests, and even solve puzzles, something that I think has long been sorely missing in MMOs as a whole. That alone merits more digression, since I've seen only two games that have really tried to build in puzzles at a gameplay level, The Secret World and Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Dungeons & Dragons Online, unfortunately, frequently made puzzles into a roadblock in the midst of an otherwise normal mission. The Secret World solved that problem by making its puzzles into their own form of content, but it then shot that in the foot by making those puzzles absolutely insane. It's very clever that you built a web browser into your game, but one of the first rules of making a puzzle is making sure that people can access the answer without a bunch of outside knowledge.

Solve all your problems with a gun, never have the same problem twice.In other words, both games made me want to just look up the solution so I could get on with the part I enjoyed.

By contrast, the WildStar puzzles -- both jumping and science-related -- are not only optional but intended to not have a fixed solution. In other words, they're something you can do if you want to, can avoid if you don't, and they aren't ever tied to a mandatory part of the game that grinds overall play down to a crawl. Sure, you might have been able to open a secret door, but if the Soldier just charges ahead heedless, you aren't going to miss out on all the awesome.

Settlers, meanwhile, get to interact with towns as actual things. It's not just building stuff in the wilderness because you need stuff; it's realizing that Backwoods Junction needs to be more than two shacks and a fence. Of course, it's also building stuff because it turns out a lot of people need to be four dozen miles out from Backwoods Junction but still need access to crafting tables and campfires.

From the same people who convinced you that a glittering neon hub in the middle of the desert is the place to be for fun.The implications of Settlers in dungeons particularly excite me. Most dungeons provide the biggest challenge to groups in the form of grinding irritation, forcing people to run back after wipes and have a difficult time recovering after the same guy makes the same mistake on the same pull over and over and over. The whole function of a Settler isn't to make those runs easier; it's to reduce that irritation and thereby prevent group-splitting tensions from exploding.

Seeing the various paths interact in both homogeneous and heterogeneous forms also gives a clearer picture of just how interactive these different playstyles are. Scientists have reasons to tag along with Soldiers by having more targets to scan, while Soldiers get that much tougher against their foes with a Scientist backing them up. Explorers can lead everyone into strange directions, possibly to a place for a Settler to build a new transport hub and allow Soldiers to start clearing out new and exciting wildlife.

Lines are for people who need trips to be reliable.For roleplayers, this is an entirely new level of giving your character definition. You could easily play two Warriors with the exact same set of abilities and yet wind up in completely different situations by virtue of your path. For everyone else, if you want to play just one character, it's a chance to focus on what you like most about MMOs. If you play a bunch of alts, it's a chance to ensure that the same area doesn't play the same. Literally no one loses out here.

If you're wondering which path I'm going to be playing first? All of them. I create a lot of characters.

Wildstar Wednesday: Caste, ritual and the ascension of an emperor god


WildStar is set in a dangerous and unpredictable universe where anything goes, but that doesn't mean some of the game's inhabitants aren't just dripping with class and old-money tradition. This week's WildStar Wednesday outlines the history of the Luminai, an Eldan-human hybrid race that currently walks the halls of power in the Dominion -- and has its eyes set on the conquest of Nexus.

The story of the Luminai is deep and intriguing and hinges on some familiar themes. There's a lauded leader who reigned over 300 years of peace, an elite tier of people who named themselves as gods, a caste system forged by an emperor's decree, and an ongoing tussle for power between competing houses that often results in bloodshed and betrayal. Heck, there's even a forced coup and a "dark reign."

Click the jump to get a closer look at Myrcalus the Vindicator, the current emperor of the Dominion and the man-Eldan who swears to bring Nexus under its rule. And keep a lookout for the Luminai while you're in WildStar. They are, after all, your gods.


I was excited for this game...until I saw a bunch of gameplay videos. It's pretty much a sci-fi version of WoW in terms of questing and gameplay...which is pretty boring to me. :/
I was excited for this game...until I saw a bunch of gameplay videos. It's pretty much a sci-fi version of WoW in terms of questing and gameplay...which is pretty boring to me. :/

You were excited about an MMO.... until you found out it played like an MMO.


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