GamesCom 2011 – First look at WildStar

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Carbine Studios is excited to show off their upcoming MMO game, as there have been videos of the intro CG film all over the convention. But of course, one of the first questions we have is, who is Carbine Studios?

“You might not have heard of us, but chances are, if you’ve played an MMO game in the latest couple of years, then we’ve had a hand in it, helping to produce”, Chad Moore, Lead Creative Director of Carbine Studios tells us. “Basically, what we want to do is create the deepest, most rewarding MMO possible, as well as listen to gamers and make adjustments to the game so that they enjoy it”.

“We want to gather information, and change the game to suit them”. Moore then shows us a quick intro video that sets the game, as three explorers descend on the mysterious planet Nexus. One is human, the other a cute type of Cat-Girl, and the other explorer, “Sarge”, is a big hulking brute that is more interested in his weaponry than exploration.

Shenanigans ensue, and its not long before the trio finds themselves up against a swarm of miniature robots and a gigantic plant-like dragon, before the screen fades to black. “And there you have it, welcome to Nexus”, Moore says.

“Nexus is a unique and dangerous planet, that used to be home to the Eldan, the most technologically advanced race in the universe. But they’re gone now, having vanished, leaving their planet behind with all their relics and technology. But what ever caused the extinction of the Eldan is still out there, and players will discover what that threat is exactly”.

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“What we wanted to do visually, is create a unique art style for WildStar, and place characters in an evocative setting, which is how we came up with Nexus. The planet is there for you to do what you want with it, but we want you to play it the way you want to play it. You can explore, exploit or conquer, which is why the game offers several unique player paths to choose”.

“You’re going to set your own momentum, and play the game in your own style. Which is why we’re going to show you four of the paths that you can choose today”. The first one we see is the explorer, a path designed for players who want to uncover every square inch of the map. “As the explorer, you’ll get rewards for climbing over mountains and uncovering hidden caves. You’ve got a special locater device that lights up points of interest, but nothing is stopping you from ignoring that and going off on your own path”.

Next up, we have the Conquering path, “Which is a combat heavy path for those players who want to see some action, and prefer direct gameplay". They’ve got all the boosts to survive Nexus, and they’re the best armed”.

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Then, we get shown the Collecting path, which is for those players who want to study and collect everything on the planet. “You’ve actually got this little droid with you, who will follow you and highlight new animals and items, giving you in game rewards just for finding them. For the player who likes to collect as many things as possible, this is the dream profession”.

Lastly, we get shown the Building path. “The building class is for those players who want to create, not destroy. You’ll be able to create new settlements for fellow players, but you wont just be limited to houses and towers, you’ll get to build social relationships as well. This is a very social class, maybe suited for people who like to be the nice guy in games.

“One of the main way we discussed to keep WildStar interesting, is the idea of layered content. Say for instance you go out into the wild and kill an animal or two, then some NPC’s might give you an instant challenge to kill 5 more creatures in under a minute, At that point, you might even get to fight a sub boss, who will summon an even bigger boss. And thats all from just doing some routine missions. Not that you have to do those instant challenges, because its all up to you”.

“Based on your class, you’ll also have unique, special quests. You might be playing as an explorer, tagging highlighted areas, get bored and wander off the beaten path, only to wind up discovering an ancient cave filled with cool loot. We really want the game to reward players for their behaviour”.

Moore shows us some quick gameplay, as his main character, a human spell-slinger who has chosen the exploration path, finds himself trying to survive after having crash landed on the planet. “The Spell-Slinger is a nice all round character, with great offense and defence, Moore says. “He’s going to be a popular guy”. Our little explorer then gets tasked with locating a tower, which is broadcasting an icy winter signal, making all the survivors slowly freeze to death.

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The Explorer climbs up a mountain fights with a few creatures, as well as demonstrates how the ecology of the planet is active. “Nexus is a living breathing world, and not all the wild life get along, and you can use that to your advantage, luring them into fights and picking off the winner”.

Moore shows us how we’ll have to climb up a mountain and the terrain to get to the tower, but just by doing that, our character is earning experience points, as it is related to his path. With the survivors below saved, we then signal a ship to come pick them up, only for it to be destroyed as it takes off, while our character over-acts and mourns their loss. There’s going to be a lot on unexpected events happening, so players will be on their toes throughout the game.

And with that, our demo is over, and Moore gives us a short time to ask a question each. I ask whether working various MMO’s has allowed him to cherry pick the best parts for WildStar, something he admits to.

“We’ve been involved with the fans for many years now, and one of the things they’ve always complained about is how there is no rewarding experience for their characters. We want to change that, but we also want to be able to allow the game to alter itself to suit them, to reward them.

Last Updated: August 19, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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