WildStar review – Welcome to Nexus, Cupcake!


By Matthew Figueira on Thursday, June 19, 2014
"There is just something addictive about Wildstar"

Reviewing MMORPG’s is always a darn tricky affair. They are filled with dozens, if not hundreds of hours of content, many, MANY acres to explore, millions of quests, and of course, a variety of classes to choose from which plays a part in dictating how you experience the game. WildStar is no different, offering up the experience you’d expect, but with its own crazy flavour. I’ve spent twenty hours in game, spread unevenly across two classes from two opposing factions. I’ve barely dented what the game has to offer, but I already know that it’s something I’d be happy to spend more time with.

WildStar’s playground is Nexus, a planet that has just been discovered by two factions. The Exiles are a ragtag bunch of folk, looking to make Nexus their new home. Not far behind them are The Dominion, a super power looking to claim Nexus as their own.

Character Creation

Character creation is surprisingly limited in terms of customising the aesthetics of your character. Messing with your face is fine, and tiny details can be fine tuned. Everything else though gives you very little in terms of customisation. You can only choose from a handful of options for your skin, hair, and eye colour. There are also a limited number of hairstyles and accessories to choose from. It’s really a minor gripe though because the gear you pick up in game will allow you to really customise the look of your character if you wish.

There are a total of eight races to choose from, four for each faction. You can choose from the Dominions completely evil looking Draken (claws, horns, OMG SO EVIL), or the Exile’s Aurin (fluffy tails, incredibly cute, AWWW) . Each race has its own unique look and history that accompanies it. Your biggest choice really boils down to the class that you choose to play. There are six to choose from; Warrior, Engineer, Esper, Medic, Stalker, Spellslinger. I opted for a Spellslinger on my Exile character. Much like the name hints, you dual wield pistols, but you combine their firepower with some pretty awesome spells and abilities. My Dominion character was a Stalker, a class that excels at stealth and deals out a hefty amount of damage.

Scenery

Your last choice comes down to the path you wish to follow. You can be a Soldier, Settler, Scientist, or Explorer. These all offer unique in game opportunities and side quests that in my opinion, really added to the game and made it that teeny bit more enjoyable. My one character was a soldier, which meant that there were many missions where the objective was simply to hold out against wave after wave of enemies. I definitely enjoyed the Explorer path more. You are on a new planet after all, and there are peaks to be scaled and caves to be explored. These quests are completely optional, but it was incredibly satisfying trying to figure out how to reach a seemingly unreachable area simply to place a flag and claim the area (FOR THE DOMINION!)

Different Paths can work together on some of these side quests too. I discovered an opening which lead to a network of caves. I explored the whole area except for one section, a section that was blocked by a wall which only a Scientist could destroy. If you’re looking to play the game with friends, try select different Paths because you can unlock some pretty darn cool rewards and buffs for the whole party if you all work together.

Mount

Path quests aside, the main and secondary quests are also quite enjoyable. There are the usual go do something, kill that, fetch this quests, but they hardly feel like a chore (at least to me they didn’t). There are also community quests spaced throughout, allowing complete strangers to work together towards a common goal. One quest took me off planet to a creepy outpost. I couldn’t help but feel that it was a homage of sort to the Alien franchise, and as pointed out by a familiar Wookie face, it had Dead Space written all over it too. It made for a nice change of scenery and enemies, a short but perfect distraction from the already crazy world of Nexus.

Map

Speaking of Nexus, the locales are pretty darn awesome. Once you complete the tutorial with your character (on your relevant factions space station), you get to choose two locations in which to land on Nexus. Both of these are completely different in terms of look, enemies, as well as quests. So if you’re looking to start a new character, don’t fear having to grind your early levels, because there is a whole separate area to do so. Keep in mind that it is two starting areas per faction, leaving you with a four new early level areas in which to start afresh.

Each area has a distinct look, but you can see exactly where their inspiration came from. Deradune for example, was the area I spent my most time in, and it definitely feels like it was inspired by the wildlife and areas found right here in Africa. Vast veld, large cat and rhino like enemies, you get the idea. One area I explored was being created in Deradune itself by some large machinery. It was quite something to walk from the expansive yellow stretches right into a lush green forest in the space of a metre or two. The music is great too with each area having a distinct track to go with it. It can range from downright playful to deadly serious, and it was definitely one of the games highlights for me.

Scenery 2

For those who love closely exploring and finding lore, there is more than enough to keep you thirst for information quenched. There are journals scattered throughout for your reading pleasure. There are also Datacubes which narrate a history or brief explanation of the area you are exploring or the enemy you are fighting.

One of the most important parts of any MMO is of course, the combat. Sadly, I never got the chance to explore the PvP WildStar had to offer (bar one random encounter where I was challenged by another player when I arrived in a new area). Combat with the creatures and enemies however, I spent so much time doing, and I really enjoyed it. Most of your spells and abilities can be performed while moving, and moving is what you will need to do to survive. Enemies attacks are indicated by red markers on the floor which either fill up before activating, or merely hint at where their next attack is going to land. Worried about lag? Don’t, I never experienced one latency issue.

Combat

The early levels are fine, you can pretty much tank anything that comes your way. As you progress though, you will find that ignoring enemies attacks will result in your untimely demise. I certainly died a few times because I felt I could take the enemy, or I was merely being ignorant and looking for loot and glory. Revival can be done at the location of your death either by spending some of your in-game currency, or simply reviving at a nearby station. Honestly though, with so many abilities, spells, and effects on offer to each class, customising your character and killing enemies never got dull for me.

WTF IS THAT THING

I really loved the look and design of WildStar, but I know it’s something that will put a few people off. For lack of a better description, it’s what I would call “cartoony”, but it just works so well and fits the game like a glove (or vice versa). It’s just so gosh darn charming, and I feel people would be silly to dismiss the WildStar based purely on its design. The humour is awesome, and levelling up is all fireworks and guitar solos with the narrator saying stuff like, “welcome to the next level, Sparky!” I am a complete MMORPG noob. Yet, I was able to understand exactly how my levelling worked, where to go, what to do, and so on. The game is very welcoming to newcomers of the genre.

Lastly, bugs. I was genuinely gobsmacked when I only experienced a total of one bug in my twenty hours with the game. This is not to say that they don’t exist somewhere else in the game, but my experience was almost perfect. I really have to hand it to NCsoft for ironing out the game before its release, especially considering that it is a MMO which has the potential to have lots of issues.

WildStar was reviewed by on the 19th of June , 2014 at 3:30 PM on PC

GAMEPLAY
9.0
There is just something addictive about Wildstar. Whether you are questing, exploring, or just engaging in warfare, it's really quite enjoyable.
DESIGN
9.0
While the design might not appeal to everybody, I really don't see how this game would be Wildstar if any other approach was taken. Visually, the game is awesome and something the developers should be proud of. One bug? Just a drop in the desert, I had a near flawless experience.
VALUE
8.5
There is a monthly subscription fee, something which most people won't be happy with. It really depends on whether you see yourself putting the time into your monthly investment or not. Keep in mind that there will be constant updates too. Personally, I can see myself spending some money to back and keep exploring Nexus.
TOTAL
8.5
If you've never tried an MMO, Wildstar may be the game to get its hooks in to you. If you're a veteran, I have a strong feeling that you will like what is on offer.

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Author:Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES!

Don't stop now.... you're having a good time

  • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Monado

    Never played a single MMO in my life before….This review has just tempted me to take a dip

    • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

      Its the pretty colours right?

      • Rince&exhale

        It’s the pink hair 0-O

        • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

          Doh!

      • https://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX Monado

        Actually it is, so pretty……and cute

  • Rince&exhale

    Nice one Mat! Long (as ever) but well detailed!

    • Hammersteyn

      Now that is what she said!
      *RUNS

    • hairyknees

      Thanks! Haha I really can’t shy away from the long reviews (especially for games like this). There is just too damn much to say O_o

  • Rince&exhale

    You say monthly fee, what is it? (Not that I support paying a monthly fee! )

    • hairyknees

      $20 :) teeny tiny bit steep I won’t lie, but I will definitely be giving the game at least an extra month or two of love!

      EDIT – BT Games have it for R205 a month. Pretty much the same :P

      • Wyvern

        Dont forget about the CREDD system – where you can save up ingame gold (which at lev 50 is easy to make) to buy credd with – it is currently about 4 – 5 platinum for a CREDD and one CREDD gives you a month’s game play.

        http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/game/features/business-model/

        • hairyknees

          Holy moly, I never saw that model! That is really really cool :)

          • Wyvern

            Plus keep in mind the fact that the sub is only $15 so its currently cheaper to buy it directly from them :D Oh and lots of 40 man raiding!

          • hairyknees

            Sheesh… the only reason I never made it to late game was because I was busy writing exams so I had to dedicate much less time to gaming :P I really can’t wait to see what the end game has to offer.

            40 man raids sound awesome! I did have a taste of that at one stage where there is a particularly large boss that a good few people were fighting. It had 15 million HP, and at that stage, I was only killing stuff with like 2k hp. Was quite rad :)

          • Willem Swanepoel

            The same model is in Eve Online, they pretty much got the idea from them. I played Eve Online for 2 years and the last year I didnt spend a rand to play the game and it was a month sub game.

            Only problem is that you have to keep on playing it, so one must decide. MMO or single player games like Witcher 3 etc.

      • Sk3tz0

        MMM Live Auctoin House Type of system hope they dont fail where blizzard did with Diablo 3′s AH

      • b1nd3r

        Ive heard about their business model of play to pay, would you guys ever do an article on it? the game looks amazing but my biggest issue is the monthly fee. How viable is the “CREDD” system or is it just another over price auction house like wow where this price of game time is ridiculous >.<

        • hairyknees

          When I do reach the end game (and the end of my subscription), I will see just how viable it is :)

          • b1nd3r

            would love too know as all my “gamer” friends only play dota and other free mmo`s -.- so they angry and useless at other games (^^,) cant ask them about any new game

        • Kromas

          If CREDD works anything like PLEX from eve you will only be able to afford it if you average about 1 hour a day purely grinding and pretty much 2 full weekends a month. Feasible but then you will be “working” in the game and not really playing. Obviously if you have no real life commitments it is very easy to do.

          • b1nd3r

            I have lots of commitments but i generally dont sleep for more than 3 hours hence why i still game :P

          • Aaron Tidball

            Although you could just reduce your monthly cost (in a way) by buying CREDD every other month – then it’s like a half-price sub, and you aren’t spending as much time grinding for it. If you redeem a CREDD it adds one month of paid game time, so that should prevent you from being billed the next month.

      • Druzle

        It is $20 if you buy the CREDD otherwise it is the standard $15 monthly charge.

  • Sk3tz0

    Looks cool….?? Is there raiding and dungeons ?? Will it knock WoW off its throne?

    • Rince&exhale

      Monthly fee (in the value box) :)

      • Sk3tz0

        lol saw that why i edited the comment :P

        • Rince&exhale

          haha

    • Paul Fouche

      have yet to experience a raid… but the dungeons… ha ha lvl 20 dungeon has more tactics than some 10 man hc content and its more skill based.. you really cannot have noobs just standing around https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCowLl-7k5alraAsgp5-OT7g

      • Sk3tz0

        SHWEEEEET

  • hubble19

    If you don’t have a static IP, make double sure you can actually play this, in my case I could never get past the login page because the game kept thinking I was a hacker. I’d love to play this but I am not going to put in a telephone line just for one game.

    • Hammersteyn

      Hectic

    • b1nd3r

      Dude thats more of an issue with your service provider, assuming you are using 3g. I used to have the same problem with tera a long time ago. turned out mtn had to sort something out from there end.

  • Valshen

    Hope you guys like my awesome screenshots! XD

    • hairyknees

      Thanks again! <3 xoxo

  • Sk3tz0

    Wish the Screens would enlarge. I’d a clear view on how the HUD looks..

    • Guest

      Hope that helps, I dropped image quality though.

      • Sk3tz0

        Looks nice.. Reminds me of Guild Wars 2 HUD

        • b1nd3r

          looks nice but hopefully not as badly functioning as the gw2 hud

  • Willem Swanepoel

    This will be just another MMO that will be forgotten over time like the rest of them, I hope it will prove me wrong.

    Played the Beta, nothing special. Maybe if I give it a proper go I might get into it but the first 5 levels did not entertain me ;-)

    Better off saving money for games like Witcher 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    Good review.

    • TC

      You only played to level 5 so clearly you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      • Willem Swanepoel

        Really… you dont say o_O

        I pretty much said that …

        • RCN

          So why post at all then? Trololol?

          “Hi, I played five levels of the game, and it sucks, but I don’t think my opinion counts because I only played 40minutes, so ignore this post.” Ok…

          • Willem Swanepoel

            So why do you reply to a silly post then, why not just ignore it ? Ok…

            ;-)

          • RCN

            I failed my resistance roll :-)

          • Willem Swanepoel

            hahaha nice ^_^

  • Kromas

    I own the collectors but have not even activated it yet. My first ever MMO on a backlog. LOL!

  • Charl van der Merwe

    So you need to be an exact WoW clone with a space theme to get good ratings ? Why would anyone play this that has played wow ?

    • TC

      Combat. WoW combat is horrid after playing Wildstar. Stand in place and mash buttons? No thanks. I like combat where you have to actually pay attention to not only your opponent but also to your surroundings as well.

    • RCN

      I played WoW since it came out. I raided probably 80% of all content since vanilla. I fired up WoW a couple of weeks ago, bought myself 60-days game time, and couldn’t stomach more than two weeks of the same old grinding crap.

      My brother gave me a Guest pass for Wildstar. At first I couldn’t be bothered, but I was bored out of my mind and thought “why not?”. I now own a copy and can’t stop playing it. It feels so much better than WoW… less “grindy”. If you liked WoW, you’ll love this. It’s not for noobs. The first 5-man dungeon is similar in difficulty to your easier WoW raids. There is no such thing as tank and spank. Not even one such boss.

      • Charl van der Merwe

        Fair enough, I just shuddered when I saw you have grind faction rep to do dungeons or something, that completely turned me away.

        busy playing ESO but the Vr grind has stopped it dead in its tracks, vr 5 out of 12.So joining a pvp guild and giving the PVe a finger.

        Archeage is next on the horizon.

        • RCN

          Well I am only level 22 at the moment, and I have done 2 dungeons and 1 adventure. I didn’t know that you had to have a certain reputation level to do certain dungeons. You get loads of rep for every quest you do, and was at max rep level for each faction in a zone that I complete quest-wise thus far. I wouldn’t call it a grind at this point in time. Mostly it’s been challenging enough such that I don’t get bored. Even killing mobs can go pear-shaped in seconds. Nothing has been boring, and nothing has felt like a grind either. I hope it lasts, but either way, it’s been a very entertaining game thus far. Everyone tells me “I won’t spoil if for you, but just WAIT till level 28-30. So awesome!” I wonder what lies in wait…

  • Nikola

    I played the beta and I was presently surprised game looks very good, reminds me a LOT of WOW back in the day if you are looking for an MMO this is definitely worth the try…myself no time for MMO’s anymore plus don’t need another WOW like addiction.

  • Bianca

    Oh wow. Only just saw the new layout, I kind of like it :)
    Also… I want this game. I should not have read this review. I just wish I could pay the monthly fee :/

  • Hasmodai

    Buy at your own risk. My account was banned. I play mmos for entertainment and have no reason to cheat with something called 3rd party apps. Anyway, I lost the money for the game and I unsubscribed from a good mmo for this one. Its been 5 days and Wildstar has not replied to one of my support tickets.

    • Cheatersgetowned

      Don’t cheat and you won’t be banned.

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  • Paul Fouche

    Good Review, I would say the game gets REALLY great at around 25- 30 the story gets intense.. monsters are hard fights.. and pvp is just insane , if anyone is looking for a guild http://www.antioch-gaming.co.za sign up there and post on the forums.. we play on contagion pvp

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