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WildStar - "Hardcore" MMO - dying on its arse and rumoured to be going F2P in August 2015

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Yes that's right, another new mmo!

The premise for WildStar is that in the far flung future, two factions (of course) are fighting over the control of a new-found planet (so far, so generic).

An exiled spacefarer has discovered a lost planet. A planet of legend, once home to a powerful race known as the Eldan. With excitement and exotic technology beckoning them from across the stars, other Exiles have traveled to this planet, Nexus, with the intent of building a new home.

But the Exiles aren't the only ones with their eyes set on the tall mountains and lush forests of this exotic world. The people of the Dominion, an interstellar empire founded by the Eldan generations ago, believe the planet is theirs to claim.

So begins the battle for Nexus. The galactic stage for the upcoming MMO WildStar.

Developed by Carbine Studios -- a team with roots in World of Warcraft, Everquest, and City of Heroes -- WildStar is spinning up its engines and preparing for a launch sometime this year.

Factions!

The Exiles

A rag-tag group of races who have lost their homeworld to the Dominion.

Humans

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After centuries of wandering the Fringe in their ramshackle fleet, humans are ready to settle down on Nexus using grit, backbone, and some old-fashioned elbow grease. And if those Dominion bastards are looking for a fight? Bring it on!

The Granok

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Banished from their homeworld after a bloody war with the Dominion, the Granok are a race of skull-cracking, hard-charging galactic mercenaries that have come to Nexus to kick ass and drink beer. Not necessarily in that order.

The Aurin

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Small but scrappy, the Aurin are a race of forest dwellers whose homeworld was ravaged by the Dominion. They might be into hugging trees, but they're more than ready to bare tooth and claw to defend their new home on Nexus.

The Mordesh

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Cursed with a degenerative disease after delving into the forbidden secrets of alchemy, the Mordesh have come to Nexus to find a cure. Being a space zombie can be complicated. Unleashing dark and deadly disciplines on the Dominion? Much simpler.

The Dominion

The Dominion are a group a 'higher' power-hungry races who see themselves as the lords of the galaxy. The races of the Dominion are the Cassian (humans), the warmongering Draken and the cyborg Mechari.

The Cassian

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Long ago, the Cassians were chosen by the Eldan to establish the Dominion - and they're going to make sure the pathetic vermin infesting the galaxy don't forget it. Destiny is a terribly heavy burden, and the Cassians bear it with style.

The Draken

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Forged in the heat and dust of their savage homeworld, the Draken have come to Nexus to prove they are the most badass warriors in the galaxy. Eviscerations, disembowelments, and decapitations will definitely be involved.

The Mechari

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Engineered by the Eldan themselves, the Mechari are a race of highly-efficient killing machines that make it their business to eliminate traitors and spies on Nexus. Sense of humor? Not one of their strong points.

The Chua

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Nearly as brilliant as they are sociopathic, the Chua are mischievous inventors who develop advanced weapons and technology for the Dominion. Science has never been more fun or agonizing.

Two races (one per faction) are yet to be announced.

Classes!

Warrior

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Role: Melee DPS, Tank

Equipment: Tech Sword

Armor Weight: Medium Armor (Upgrades to Heavy)

Ability Resources: Kinetic Cells

Primary Attribute: Strength (DPS), Technology (Tank)

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

Stalker

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Role: Melee DPS, Tank

Equipment: Claws

Armor Weight: Light Armor (Upgrades to Medium)

Ability Resources: Suit Power

Primary Attribute: Dexterity (DPS), Technology (Tank)

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

Spellslinger

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Role: Ranged DPS, Healer

Equipment: Dual Pistols

Armor Weight: Light Armor

Ability Resources: Spell Surges and Mana

Primary Attributes: Dexterity (DPS), Wisdom (Healing)

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

Esper

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Role: Ranged DPS, Healer

Equipment: Psyblade

Armor Weight: Light Armor

Ability Resources: Mana and Focus Points

Primary Attributes: Magic (DPS), Wisdom (Healing)

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

Two further classes are yet to be announced.

Paths!

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THE SCIENTIST

You are the living proof that knowledge is power! Dig into the mysteries of planet Nexus, and unlock unique abilities by studying ancient Eldan relics, exotic plants and dangerous alien organisms.

THE SOLDIER

You have come here to kick ass! Initiate epic battles, mastering new weapons and special combat skills as you smash your way up the ranks for fame, fortune and glory.

THE EXPLORER

You will explore the wonders of an alien world. Travel to the darkest corners of this mysterious planet while discovering the locations of ancient artifacts of immense power. Climb higher, dig deeper and go farther than anyone in order to claim territory in the name of your faction.

THE SETTLER

You are the pillar of the community. Bring civilization to this newly discovered planet by constructing outposts in dangerous areas and upgrading existing towns. Work with others to improve the world with banks, transportation networks, vendors, and other helpful structures to aid your allies.

Paths reward you for playing in a certain way. As a soldier you receive bonuses for killing critters and you can activate large group battles for other players in the zone. Alternatively, an explorer receives rewards for uncovering different areas in each zone and can access things like underground tunnel networks that make zone traversal much faster.

Each path grants you special abilities, and each opens up specific quest types unique to that path. So not only can you select a faction, race, and class, but your path will fine tune that experience to suit your gaming preferences. It enables specific types of play outside of standard class progression, and caters to certain types of players -- like those that favor combat, exploration, or even lore.

Combat!

Not much is known yet, other than what the following quote gives away:

When it comes to battle, WildStar is fast and physical. Every ability creates a visual "telegraph" that highlights the area of the ground about to be affected by the skill. These include offensives skills and defensive ones used by you and your party.

These telegraphs force you to stay active when engaged in a fight and dance around enemy attacks while also keeping your own skills on target. More importantly, the visual cues function as an additional method of communication for parties. About to unleash a powerful healing ability? Lay down a telegraph so your fellow adventurers can run in and snag a health boost.

Trailers!

Announcement Trailer

Meet the Dominion

Meet the Exiles

Screens!

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If this is a true action mmorpg with combos etc then I'll be all over it.

Still looking for an mmo with combat that's actually involving and fun rather than "press button for spell/ability/attack buttons and stand still to do maximum damage/healing/tanking" that is WoW/SWTOR. Tera and GW2 sort of started down this route, but no mmo is actually there yet.

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If this is a true action mmorpg with combos etc then I'll be all over it.

Still looking for an mmo with combat that's actually involving and fun rather than "press button for spell/ability/attack buttons and stand still to do maximum damage/healing/tanking" that is WoW/SWTOR. Tera and GW2 sort of started down this route, but no mmo is actually there yet.

Defiance is a third person shooter/MMO which I tried the beta of last weekend. Seems a lot of fun and it's essentially like playing a third person shooter. I didn't spend enough time with it to get a feel for the MMO side but I enjoyed the few hours I spent with it. Might give it a go especially as there's no subscription when it comes out in April.

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A cross between Guild Wars 2's combo system and Tera's 'True Action Combat' would be absolutely fantastic, although not enough has been released to say if it's close to either or both.

I think Tera's combat - although not always perfect - has spoilt us in terms of other mmo combat feels very flat and disengaging in comparison now.

It's interesting (and good, in my opinion, after the shambles GW2 made of it) that they're keeping the holy trinity intact. I personally don't see anything wrong with the trinity - I like it, in fact - but hopefully they'll innovate in other ways, such as the questing and dungeons.

The devs have stated that the game will be packed with stuff at launch - more quests than you need to level, entire zones dedicated to max level players, engaging stories and multi-layered questing. There will also be dungeons, raids and pvp.

One to keep an eye on, for sure.

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Hmmm' looks fine ( I like the style but hate the flat wow-esque textures) but doesn't seem to have any innovations, and I think I've had my fill of theme park MMOs. Sandbox hybrids are where it's at.

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What do you define as a theme park mmo and what do you define as a sandbox hybrid?

Googling images for it yesterday, I was struck by how some of the environments could have been taken straight from wow, they're that similar. I reckon the game is going to face a lot of 'wow in space' comparisons which it could do without. I agree it hasn't shown anything innovative yet but it's still early days. I think the bottom has dropped out of the standard mmo market and someone really needs to shake it up to refresh the genre. Will this do it? Probably not, based on what we've seen, but it has a certain charm that I like and it might be fun. ^_^

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Theme park is SWTOR, or WoW or. None of them have a sniff of sandbox or even the obligatory nod that most MMOs have - housing.

Sandbox hybrid would be something that let's you do your own thing, in your own time without shuttling you from one zone to the next to progress, or give players the tools to entertain themselves (achievements don't count).

Funnily enough, Star Trek Online be classed as a theme park/sandbox ( not a sandbox/theme park as it's more theme than box) due to the foundry, despite it being incredibly linear.

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So, what? There would be no sense of progression at all? You could just go wherever you want whenever you want? It's a novel idea but I don't see how that could work in an mmo. Without some kind of carrot on a stick to shuttle people along, they'd just get bored.

I think a true innovation would be to do away with levels completely. TSW kind of did it, but not all the way. In my vision of it, you'd go through a lengthy tutorial area that would tell a cool story, introduce gameplay mechanics and give you a new ability every few quests, with the next few quests teaching you how to use it, how it compliments your other abilities etc. By the end of this tutorial area, you've got all the abilities you're ever going to get and are free to go out into the world and do what you want with who you want, where you want and when you want. You can walk into any dungeon, do any quest etc from day 1. Completing them gives access to better gear that makes them easier, so you've still got that bit of a treadmill, but the dungeons 'level' alongside your gear, so they're always a challenge and thus always relevant. Completing the harder versions of these dungeons allows you to upgrade your gear to match and on it goes. Dungeons would award a currency for this purpose and each dungeon would have a gear set that aesthetically matches it but is statistically the same as that of the other dungeons. That way you wear the gear you want and keep the stats that matter most to you but you don't have to run the same dungeons over and over a la GW2. Then, on top of the dungeons, you'd have procedurally generated 'adventure' zones or something, which are basically random dungeons that change each time you run them.

I dunno, I'm just making this up as I go :P

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No, there is always progression (until you reach the top of your game - as is the way of every game in existence - and then the challenge is either remaining top dog or fighting harder battles ect.). I do go on about it a lot, but SWG was so far ahead of its time in so many areas. It had quests and questlines (yeah, they were mostly shit but a few were decent enough; point is they were there for the people that wanted some structure to their gameplay) it had boss level mobs to fight (Axkva Min, Lord Nyax, the big thing in the mountains of Endor whose name I forget) it had dungeons (Death Watch bunker, Geonosian cave, the Warren) it had titles and achievements (all the hidden POIs on all the worlds) it had free form space flight and the best crafting and resource gathering in an MMO ever.

It did a lot of stuff half arsed, and had more bugs than Colonial Marines and a mound of termites combined, but I think it is the way forward for MMOs. You give all types of player what they want, and give the players the tools for making quests and ways to keep themselves interested; don't underestimate the ingenuity and creativity of players, use it to your advantage. Give those that like the treadmill their A-B-C through quests and let those that want to grind, just grind.

You can have your cake and eat it but for some reason (probably issues of balance, I can't think of anything else) devs have been scared to embrace a proper hybrid game. Although if what he says is true, then SoE head honcho John Smedley says Everquest Next is going to follow this formula. Guess we'll find out of it's more Smed bullshit at Fanfair.

*edit*

I guess what I'm saying is, imagine WoW as it is, but with a whole continent just for player housing and guilds (all built by players using resources that vary in quality depending on where they came from and other factors) and had professions dedicated just for crafting and being non-combat, but the flip side is you'd be able (if you were good enough) to make raid level weapons armour and the ability to dominate economically your whole server, and quests that players could make and rate; rewards would have to be strictly controlled but even without rewards, it gives something for players to do that is at worst, a diversion and at best, I'd wager better than anything a dev team could put out.

Why stop with half a game?

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So, what? There would be no sense of progression at all? You could just go wherever you want whenever you want? It's a novel idea but I don't see how that could work in an mmo.

EVE Online waves hello.

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I like the art style to this.

Can't help see things like mobs spawning from mining nodes (in the PAX preview) not happening at release. Though I like the idea of battling for the nodes myself/spawning special monsters due to it. Rather then making it a 1-click activity, like the dev said.

The problem with exploration vistas (like with Guild Wars 2) is can it be seen as actual exploration if it's telling you where to go/explore? It's fun, yes. And this looks to be equally platform-y like GW2 was, but exploring in WoW (before flying mounts) and Rift came naturally. Not with signposts.

Overall looking good, though.

Edit: It's biggest strength to me is having/trying to have so many types of gameplay, that if every kind of player has a place at endgame (the farmers, the types that kind to grind mobs, even the house decorators for all I know) then it'll feel/have depth for this reason alone. A bit like Free Realms in that respect. Hundreds of mini-games, but all with its purpose. That's how you expand the MMO genre. Much like CCP is doing with EVE and Dust. Not that I think, at first glance, this will be going that far.

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Was it Age of Conan that had mini-bosses spawn from resource nodes? I'm positive I remember trying to mine and having 'Disgruntled miner' or 'Iron thief' or some such attack me mid-swing.

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So, what? There would be no sense of progression at all? You could just go wherever you want whenever you want? It's a novel idea but I don't see how that could work in an mmo. Without some kind of carrot on a stick to shuttle people along, they'd just get bored.

Ultima Online. We made our own fun back in those days :)

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Another vid, this time from PAX 2012 and talking about some of the features of the game such as combat. It's very fluid and well animated and oozes charm.

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Ultima Online. We made our own fun back in those days :)

Played that for about 2-3 years I think. Even bought (and sold on ebay) my own tower. Wish more games followed that model instead of the Everquest one.

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Tells or telegraphs have been staple for WoW-esque games for quite a while now, so it's not something that is going to upset a great many people and to be honest, you say it is catering for the casuals but you'd be surprised how many people still manage to do it. As an ex-raider in EQ2 - which didn't have anything like that at the time I left, I'd much rather have interesting boss fights that had cool mechanics and tells or telegraphs included (along with a decent difficulty level) than something that arbitrarily kills people and punishes the entire raid/group; being killed by the RNG is not fun in any way shape or form.

As for the rest of the video, I didn't really get much of the game as I was mesmerised by that line down the centre of the bald guys head. All I could do was stare and imagine his skull splitting in half :unsure:

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Not played Star Trek but Star Wars is a single player rpg with other people running around and Eve is Excel in space. Is some kind of mid point too much to expect? I think it would be silly to do without theme park stuff completely but i'm a little tired of a lack of actual exploration and worlds being 90% useless and unvisited when you reach a max level. While I do like Wildstar's style, fundamentally it still seems to be just like all the others. Someone fancy giving me a couple of hundred million to make my own MMO? :D

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Yeah I played Eve once many (many) years ago and it just seemed like a progress bar simulator. I'm sure the end game is fabulous but it's too distant for me!

Oh well, just have to try and get in on the beta for this! It looks lovely :)

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There's no end game per se, other than that of your own making. And agreed, SWG was so far ahead of its time, until they thought it needed to be a WoW clone to succeed, it isn't funny. I'm beside myself waiting for SWGemu to hit 1.0.

This thing looks competent, if a little by the numbers. Will it be f2p?

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Star Wars, Star Trek and Eve. There was one called Tabula Rasa that was meant to be ok, but it shut down.

I quite enjoyed Tabula Rasa but it really was essentially just a crapper WoW with guns (Despite being in the military you actually had to pay for every single bullet :) )

It used to encourage large battles in parts of the map. The enemy would start pushing forward and all the players in the area would rush to push back. It was like the Somme in the first zone. They had a nice feature called something like battlefield experience. When stuff like this was going on you'd gain a very small amount of XP when other people around you killed something. Even if you weren't fighting it. It helped the levelling process along. Then shortly after launch the bastards just removed it.

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