Winter Beta Patch Three has come to WildStar and with it, many significant changes to the game for Beta players. The ability to level to 50 now has to be at the top of the list for most. However the adjustment to the Press NDA has only been to allow coverage for content from level 16-29. So let’s take our first look beyond the City of Thayd and see what is in store for us as we continue our adventures on Nexus. It is striking, as we gaze out past the safety of the walls to see a war torn landscape called Galeras. It is tragic to see such a beautiful area, with great flowing white flowers and herds of beast grazing in such a state. Dominion has established battle lines right at our door step, reminding us just how tenuous our hold on our new home really is. Let me set the tone…
With a deep sigh, we look upon the Exile refuge, the City of Thayd, nestled inside the ruins of what appears to be an Eldan fortification. The City is not a sprawling affair by any means, wedged in between broken pieces of walls, inside tunnels and high up on towers. After the extreme events that have transpired since leaving the Arkship, all Exiles look forward to the relative safety the walls offer. However, as you wonder the city you soon realize that there is much gone wrong. All you have to do is listen to the sound of war just outside the walls and see the signs of hunger within. After completing a tour of Thayd, you are asked to meet with the soldiers outside the gates to address the strife that is affecting your new home. You learn of the continuing war, the poisoning of your food sources and so much more. It is time for you to head out and do what you can for your fellow citizens.
Galeras is broad expanse of a zone that gives you the feel of the wind that is constantly blowing the grass and the flowers. There are windmills on almost every hill top. Centered on the 14-22 level progression, it’s here that the conflict between the Exiles and Dominion begins to take its true shape, and the player can see that there’s a real struggle between the two to conquer Nexus and gain a seat of power. Great War machines are constantly on the move or are lying in various states of destruction.
You start off taking down the Dommie (the Exile pet name for their enemies) spider drones and bots as an introduction to the conflict. You will also be asked to clear out some contaminated roan to the south and enticed into the Sim Core, but be careful here as this leads to your first Adventure (see Gareth’s preview of this feature from yesterday). Be sure you are ready for it by bringing some friends. So many different avenues are available to you and you have barely stepped outside the ragged city walls.
You can really start to feel the complexity of combat as you journey through Galeras. The mobs are getting tougher. They move a lot more than we have seen in the past, sometimes even dive bombing you from above. The mob telegraphs are more complex, keeping you on your toes with their ever changing geometric patterns that having trying to figure out if you need to zig or zag. But on top of all that, we are also start to see interesting environmental telegraphs that we have to dodge while also completing missions in the area. Start worrying about being attacked while dodging chemical leaks like we see here at Nibben’s Ranch.
Galeras is also home to the first opportunity to experience a dungeon. Stormtalon’s Lair lies in a windswept and desolate valley at the southern end of the zone. This area is known as the Thundercall Village and is full of creatures that our out to harness the power or are made of the wind. Within this dungeon is Stormtalon, a supreme wind creature who is worshipped as the corrupted God and rules the creatures in the area.
Galeras is a zone full of wonders to see and experience. It should be noted that unlike previous areas, this is no walk in the park. Just getting around could mean a long walk to discover the path to the top of the ruins using the ramps or finds in the slopes that will lead you to cliff side encampment. One wrong step could send you sailing down the embankments to your death. And when you finally lay eyes upon what causes all the wind in Galeras, it will take your breath away… it truly is that epic.
Heading south through a snowy mountain pass brings us to Whitevale. Opening the map we can see that this is the largest area we have encountered to this point. Thinking back to the relative size of all the previous zones, this is easily double the size of them. Interesting to think that this massive area is only designed to house your level 22-30 adventures.