NCsoft revealed its long-kept secret, that is, WildStar, a brilliant sandbox fantasy MMO which was exhibited at Gamescom 2011 at booth (A11/B10, Hall 9.1).
During the fair, Matt Turetzky, executive vice-president of publishing for NCsoft West, acclaimed that WildStar would showcase the innovation coming from NCsoft’s development studios, paving the way for the next generation of video games and setting a high bar for the entertainment industry to follow, so we are eager to know more about this so-called high-quality yet creative game.
Almost all MMO developers would rather make a big deal than wait passively until their competitors eventually left them behind. Yet the way they took might be varied: Bioware and EA choose to inject a great deal of money in their Star Wars: The Old Republic, while ArenaNet tries to reinvent parts of Guild Wars 2.
And Carbine Studios seems convinced that they have figured out what it takes – WildStar – a totally new MMORPG which was unveiled during a meeting in Aug 17, 2011.
To make Wild Star a hit, Carbine has focused on three aspects. The first and most obvious is the in-game cartoonish graphics, which style a fascinating mixture of the Wild West, Steam Punk and Fantasy. The Carbine studios created a unique visual style that feels like World of Warcraft blending with Joss Whedon’s cartoon series of Firefly.
The second aspect is the diversity of explorable locations. Nexus is depicted as a giant planet dotted by myriads of separate zones to ensure that players won’t get tired of seeing the same environment for hours. If you’ve ever been on an adventure trekking through Stranglethorn Vale in World of Warcraft, you would know what “fatigue zone” means, and by comparison you then realize the great efforts Carbine takes to make a diversified map.
The third aspect is innovation. Not that Wild Star strikes you as a completely new game, for you may actually find familiar gameplay in many aspects. For instance, red circles on the earth warn you about your enemy’s next attack beforehand and this widget allows you to dodge in time when an enemy gets close to you—doesn’t this design resemble the way you can dodge firing grenades in Star Trek Online or stay way out of attack in Age of Conan? Of course, designs like the fast-paced, skill-loaded battle and smooth, vivid animation are by no means rare in good MMOs.
However, Wild Star manages to impress you with something of its own. Besides race and class definition of your avatar, you also need to choose a Path, which will take you into different kinds of gameplay. Simply, you can play the way you want. It’s your call to decide whether you want to fight, build, role-play or interact with friends. what’s more important, you can delve into the gameplay just as complex and deep as your wish. Take a hunting quest for example. You work on a quest of killing 10 jungle cats, and then you notice a dynamic emergency nearby that a group of poachers are in the camp. So what would you do, to kill them while you hunt the jungle cats or just to leave them alone and focus on your own business?
Will Wild Star be the next big MMO? Many people have made a fool of themselves by rash predictions, so I will not comment on it too much. But Wild Star does have some good ideas, which altogether could make a really good game.
The fantasy world of Nexus is renowned for its incredible magic and high technology, but it is now caught in endless troubles after Eldan, the former ruler of the kingdom, disappeared in a mysterious circumstance. Consequently, you have to control a character, venture into the messy world, fight against grumpy monsters and engage in a series of quests in hope of restoring peace and glory to this wild planet.
When we were still innocent children, we thought we could do whatever we want and go wherever we like in the future. However, life denies many dreams of ours. But WildStar is what can make your dreams become reality. Perhaps you have your personal orientation and pursuit while you plunge into a game world. Don’t worry! WildStar has a variety of gaming experience in store for you. Whether you want to focus on becoming an invincible fighter or a popular social butterfly or somebody else, your wishes can be fulfilled.
But first and foremost, you have to create an individual avatar. The playable races include intelligent Human, magic Fey, bunny-eared Aurin and gigantic Granok, each of which possesses its unique history and special skills. And then, there are four available professions. You opt for one of them according to your playing style. For example, if you are fond of slaying monsters during combat, you can become a Warrior, wield powerful weapons and foray into the furious battleground. If you are interested in the mysterious magic, you can become an Esper who has flair for psychic support. If you find the wizardry captivating, you assume the role of a Spellsinger, a gunman who is good at casting enchanting spells. The complete set of archetypes is still undisclosed yet, but based on what we have known, the RPG feature of this game is really engaging.
In WildStar, you can follow different development path to your liking and focus on pursuing an unparalleled career as an Explorer, a Soldier, a Scientist or a Settler. And the innovative feature of WildStar is that you can engage in distinct adventures which are, to some extent, foreign to the players who take the other paths. So when you get bored of being a warrior, you can restart from the beginning and go through a whole new gaming fun as a builder or the like. But we still don’t know how this feature will work in the game. We will follow closely to any updates about this game.
The faraway planet shrouded in mysteries is waiting to be explored. And thanks to its momentum mechanics and iconic graphical style, WildStar offers a deep immersive gaming experience with brilliant contents, countless quests, generous rewards and unending surprises. Most importantly, you can march into the wondrous world in your own way depending on your choice of play style.
“We’ve learned enough to make the next great MMO,” said Jeremy Gaffney, the Executive Producer of WildStar. So let’s wait and see whether WildStar is great or not!
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