I’m always on the lookout for the next “Hot Game” to check out, and when I heard about WildStar (WS) I just about started jumping up and down. The game is already getting a great bit of hype on YouTube before most of the Beta Invitations have even gone out. I can honestly say that I feel that WS is the best response to World of Warcraft (WoW) in years. The gameplay is smooth and looks easy to learn and there is a lot more of a sandbox feel to this game than there has been in any other in quite some time. I found a few features at WildStar-Online.com (the official page for WS) that I’m personally very excited about and wanted to share them with you. They are…
This game allows for players to move normally and jump… and double jump. That’s right; you can do that insane act of gravity defying wonder by hurling yourself further into the air than you already were by shear will. And from what I understand, the Explorers can jump just a bit further than the rest.
Also, when a big baddie is about to throw down his big attack, you can dodge it. Not by RNG, but by actually getting out of the way. I’ve seen somewhat similar features like this in the past, but not since Tabula Rasa (also developed by NC Soft) has it been on everything. That means if you’re a sniper and you take a head-shot at someone, they can move out of the way in a Jason Statham style.
Houses and Guild Bases
This feature was originally seen with the early games, but unlike Ultima Online, WS is using a more The Realm Online style, where everyone gets a house and they can go to their house whenever they want. They’ve built the houses in the same style that Supergroup Bases were built back in City of Heroes (a feature that I totally loved) and have incorporated special bonuses to doing things at your house, and better bonuses for doing things with other people at THEIR houses.
As for Guilds, if your Guild is a PVP style then you get to participate in some rather interesting looking battles with other Guilds. Stronghold Matches are going to be a major thing, so you and your friends can beat up that Guild that was stealing your raid slots… or tournaments, I’m sure that’s going to be a big thing later on, too.
Races, Classes, and Paths
If you’ve watched one of those odd Anime movies where people talk to rabbit-men, then you probably already understand the races. They aren’t really “unique” races, but they are ones that might take players a bit of time to get used to. This might be a draw-back to the game, but I’m sure that if they focus on explaining them in the crazy way they’ve explained everything else, that they will turn out to be SUPER fun.
Right now there are just four classes, Warrior, Spellslinger, Stalker, and Esper. There are two more that will be released either before or after the game is open to the public, but they are still a mystery. The races they have, though, are quite interesting because you can use a Sword, Spellbook, Gun, Rocket Launcher, or Telekenetic Awesomeness to fight your foes. In this regard, I really think they used a lot of inspiration from Tabula Rasa, because they had a lot of the same styles of classes and interplay with styles.
On top of the basic Races and Classes, we also have your character’s Path. This is where your character finishes off their meat and starts to get interesting. Soldiers are your basic combatant who finishes their mission by going in guns-a-blazin’ and beating down all of their enemies. Explorers are the ones that find secret entrances, race from A-B-C before your opponents, and are masters of surveillance and tracking. Settlers are more of the craftsmen of the group, but don’t discount them… there’s something to be said about your team riding into a mission riding on one of their motor bikes. Scientists will get you past the problems that you’re going to face by hacking computers, sampling chemicals, and disarming weapons.
Individually, the various paths can be used to fully enjoy the game, but when you start to combine them you start to get some VERY interesting missions that each member gets to participate in (hopefully for an XP bonus ala Dungeons and Dragons Online).
“Look at those GRAPHICS!”
I know that a lot of seasoned players are going to log onto WS and think “This place looks JUST like Warcraft!” but when I login, I think the same thing I thought when I first logged into Warcraft, “This place looks like Disneyland…”
You see, the bright colors and smooth edges are actually easier for your computer to render than those dark and high-res worlds that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. All they need to do is make some simple polygons and then put a simple skin over the poly so that it creates a beautiful picture. You aren’t going to get photo-realistic avatars… but most players don’t really want all that. Also, those low-poly count creatures, objects, and backgrounds mean that you aren’t going to need the latest video card to be able to play WS, which, in my case, is a huge mark in its favor.