The reason for this is the fact that this is our first truly contested area with Dominion, who also have firm footholds somewhere out there in this area. All previous zones you had the opportunity to see the enemy if they made the trip. Not so in Whitevale: you are pretty much guaranteed to see the other faction out questing in the same areas you are traveling. So watch your back if you are flagged for PVP as it could get dicey (and if you’re on a PVP server, you expect as much).
Whitevale, as the name implies, is a snowy covered area with its very beautiful yet imposing trees reaching for the sky. Traveling through the gentle rolling hills and rivers encased in ice is almost tranquil, especially when it starts snowing. It has a sense of the untamed wilds, a place to stake a claim if only you can survive the harsh environment. So you set out with the idea of it is just you against nature… that is until you notice the giant robot remains scatter around the area and Freebot communities either vying for your assistance or trying to kill you. Continuing on you will discover numerous outposts; places where intrepid adventures before you have attempted to scratch out a living who will need your assistance, so go forth and be the hero.
Whitevale is chock full of Eldan tech, and a smorgasbord of the nastiest baddies on Nexus that want a taste of the sweet, sweet goodness that is you. As a spread out zone, the mob density is much lighter than seen in the past, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Be careful of the local wildlife and of course the temperature as you don’t want to end up like these guys:
As you proceed farther to the southwest, we start to see the ice melting and vibrant life peeking through the snow. Protostar has gone through great pains to establish numerous bases in the area. Some have been successful while others are in need of your assistance to reclaim them for rogue robots, bandits and various species that deem all the technology laying around as theirs. Much of the zone is sprawling areas dominated with a theme. Your adventure is to explore that theme, learn about it and help or hinder as required. Whether it toxic Chua experiments to the Southeast or Squirg Zombies overrunning a Dominion Outpost, you are sure to find plenty to do.
Need a break from all the endless carnage, want a bit of humor in your day? Look no further than one of the many Lopp villages that are around and help them with their treasure hunting antics to get your chuckles on. You may also find the boat tied up at the dock that will take you to Skullcano, the next dungeon that you can tackle if you dare. Keep in mind that it is aimed for parties of a bit higher level than we are currently. But knowing where it is at and uncovering it on the map will let you queue up for it if your within level range in the future. You can also enter directly from the dock with a party of friends at any time (the level requirements will let you in earlier than the queue system).
Want to explore the hostile base camps that the Dominion are establishing? Well just head way over to the Northwest and take a look at Palerock. This well-established military base is sure to get your blood pumping. You will perform some quests in this area but be careful of going in to far as there may be guards that can kill you very quickly. And if that wasn’t enough, just across the lake they have built Deadrock Prison, a fortified area for stashing prisoners of war. You best get up your courage and get in there and rescue your fellow Exiles.
With both of the newest zones uncovered for media, it is refreshing to see there is enough guided structure in the storyline quests to keep you heading in a general direction but not so restrictive as to stifle the freedom of exploration, side missions and just random fun that can be found. This is becoming easier and easier with the progressive increase in the size of the zones. While you have tutorials that pop up occasionally as you continue your journey, they are not overdone. The natural progression of events, story, systems and character development has been paced very well.
WildStar is really shaping up to be all that Carbine Studios has promised it to be. Their so many options in each area to provide hours of entertainment just looking around at all the wonders and listening to all the music. Never mind the amount of stories, quests, and challenges that are also there. The farther we progress into the world of Nexus, the more we are aware of the Eldan and how they have affected not just the world you are on but also you, the hero. How they have manipulated and control the weather, the life that inhabits the planet… and we are still just scratching the surface at this point. While many may rush through to achieve level 50 and the Elder Game, I can say that after looking at the two new zones, I will be stopping to smell the proverbial roses. The scope and breadth of the detail is impressive. Let us know what you think as you make your own journey through Galeras and Whitevale.