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Wildstar: A Wildly Fun MMO

by Michael McCahey
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The newest addition to the MMO world is Wildstar by Carbine Studios and published by NCSOFT. This game made a big splash at conventions, creating a lot of buzz about it. It is set in a fantasy/Sci-fi world on and around the planet of Nexus. It has two factions for players to join. One is the intergalactic empire called The Dominion who want Nexus under their control. The other is the Exiles, a group of refugees driven from their homes trying to settle on Nexus. It draws from other MMO’s,like World of Warcraft, to make the systems and HUD of the game.

Wildstar by NCSOFT

The game was in open beta from May 8 to May 18, that means anyone could play it before the game went on sale for $60 on May 31. I heard rumors about the game and saw some of the hype that was happening around the game. I went on the game’s website to learn what the game was actually about. The first thing I saw was two videos that explained the two factions in the game. First, I watched the Exiles video. The humor used in both videos had me chuckling because of the crazy races that are in both factions. In the Exiles, there are the humans, the Granok, the Aurin, and the Mordesh.  The Dominion have the Cassin, the Mechari, the Draken, and the Chua.  There are also classes and paths that are the same in both factions. They are the Warrior, a straightforward melee brawler that uses an arm cannon for long range fighting. The Esper, which is like a mage, but they psychically create swords and creatures to attack their enemies. The Spellslinger is a mage who uses magic guns to put lots of holes in their enemies. The engineer wears heavy armor and dishes out long range damage while spawning lots of damage dealing bots to help them. The stalker is a stealthy assassin that with the help of their claw blades and stealth armor, kill their targets before the target knows what happened. The last class is the medic which sounds like they aren’t dangerous but as well as being healers they can disintegrate opponents with a single blast.

Character Creation

After I downloaded the game, I sat down to begin playing. I started by making my character. I decided to make a character in the Exiles because it seemed like fun to be part of the underdogs. Whenever I play a fantasy class based game, like Dragon Age or MMO’s like WOW, I always play as an elven mage. So I decided to make my character an Aurin Esper. The Aurin are a smaller race that live in trees and have large ears and a tail. They also are a very magical people. This makes them natural espers

Storyline

The Exile story line starts with you being awoken from cryogenic sleep by a member of the Exiles who is looking for his wife.  After you do a few quests and find the man’s wife, you get your starter gear. Like all MMO’s, you get your first weapon and some beginner gear. Then you get beamed down to the surface of Nexus. When you get to the surface you find out that the Exiles are trying to revive an ancient mechanical tree that would tell all the Exiles all the knowledge it had on an ancient race known as the Elden.  But after the tree is revived it is about to tell the exiles queen all of its knowledge when the Dominion bomb the tree killing it. The Exiles swear that the this will not go unpunished and begin to push the Dominion out of the trees grove.

Overall Impression

Wildstar is a fantastic MMO. The humor is great and is something that you do not see in MMO’s very often. The voices of the characters fit well, especially the narrator who introduces each new area of the map. His voice is perfectly epic. The script has that touch of humor that brings a smile to your face. I started running around the map, finding all the new areas just to hear the opening narration. Also the animation of the game is great. It can be comedic but when it needs to be serious it is.  But the best part of the game to me, is the story line and lore. The characters and races fit into the world. Each faction has its reasons for being on Nexus and the reasons are well thought out. Carbine studios gives each race its own reasons for being a part the faction and for being on Nexus. It makes the game that much more immersive to the player. Adding that little touch, that makes the player  want to keep fighting for The Dominion or The Exiles.  It gets you wanting to come back for more quests and adventures time and time again. If the full game is going to be as good as the beta, sign me up now.

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