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WildStar Column: The Pre-Launch Primer

By Gareth Harmer on May 22, 2014

The Social Glue

An arkship-sized amount of PvE and PvP content will always grab attention, but what about all the other activities that bind an MMO community together? Carbine’s not neglected that either, unleashing a plethora of features that help players play together. It starts with open mob tagging – you can attack a mob someone else is already fighting, and still get quest credit and loot from it, whether you’re grouped or not. But there’s a lot more bricks to that community house than just having a leveling buddy.

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Crafting in WildStar is performed through tradeskills, three that involve gathering materials and six for creating finished items. A character can have two tradeskills at any one time, but can swap them around and not loose progress – the only hardship is a long cooldown. It’s not about gathering a long list of recipes either, as WildStar uses two different crafting systems depending on what’s being made. We’ve also heard hints that crafting will be relevant all the way to level cap and beyond, with talk of raid drops being used to craft sellable weapons of incredible power.

On top of these, everyone will be able to farm for seeds and ingredients, which can then be used in cooking to make temporary buffs. Likewise, everyone can Salvage unwanted loot for materials and components and craft runes that can be slotted into gear to make it more powerful.

Being able to craft all this stuff is of little benefit if you can’t sell it to anyone, which is why WildStar will include two markets. The Commodities Exchange is where you’ll find all the resources and raw materials available, and only the cheapest price is actually shown. The Auction House, on the other hand, is for finished items and manufactured goods. Each server will have its own market, accessible from the capital cities of each faction.

Aggressive entrepreneurialism is just a single facet of WildStar’s social scene, with another part being the ability to team up for more than just a dungeon. WildStar will have standard guild support, along with guild banks and a progression system. On top of that we’ll have circles – almost like mini-guilds, with their own chat channel and ranks, but without the formality. Friends lists are also in, both on the same and cross-server, and it’ll even be possible to group up for most instanced content.

Player Housing has to be the top-end of WildStar’s social scene. As soon as you hit level 14, race to your faction’s capital city and grab your own plot of land in the sky. Once you’ve built a house, you can decorate the insides and out in whatever way you choose, with some items even granting a bonus to rested XP. Not only that, but various patches of land around the house can be filled with plugs that provide personal mines or farms, crafting stations and banks, or social toys and challenges. It’s even possible to invite friends over to your plot, set them up so they can redecorate, or even throw it open to the public.

And finally, in the spirit of sharing some of the best UI techniques with the community, WildStar fully supports addons. Every aspect of the user interface has been written in Lua, ready for interested gamers to unpick and rebuild. Not only that, but Carbine also includes a copy of their addon development environment, Houston, with the game, giving you access to the same tools the developers use themselves. Sites are already springing up to share addons and help budding programmers

An Incredible Community

Even though this is a three-page primer, there’s a ton of stuff that’s simply not been possible to cram in. Tradeskill progression systems, costumes (and dyes), mounts (including hoverboards), the incredible music and much, much more are all topics I’ve not been able to dig into this time. To continue on your journey to Nexus, have a read through some of the previews, interviews and other features you’ll find here. And, as always, feel free to add your own wisdom in the comments below.

Beyond our own offerings, you’ll find a burgeoning WildStar community that’s eagerly anticipating launch. The official forums are a useful source of official news on patch notes and game updates, together with some interesting player discussion. WildStar Fans, WildStar Core and WildStar Central have been serving fans for some considerable time, and contain many references and guides to help new players. If you’re a redditor, the WildStar Subreddit is definitely worth subscribing to, and is regularly frequented by Carbinies.

Roleplayers will find a home in WildStar Roleplay, while Hidden Arena is a haven for theorycrafters and those who delve into game mechanics. WS Base is an excellent resource for researching limited action sets and AMP builds, and the WildStar Wikia is an emerging resource on in-game lore. Two database sites have sprung up, with WildHeap and Jabbithole both helping to find errant NPCs and rare items. And finally, if you’re interested in addons, WildStar NASA has a stack of guides, and Curse is already offering a bundle of addons to get you started.

Getting to Nexus

So, if all this has tempted you into heading on the next rocket to WildStar Country, there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of the substantial preorder bonuses available. And while it’s a subscription MMO, it’s possible to play WildStar without paying a cent beyond the box price. A CREDD is worth 30 days of gametime, can be bought for real cash and sold for in-game gold on the commodities exchange. The market sets the price for CREDD – after all, there’s no point setting it sky-high if it won’t sell – and only the cheapest is shown on the CX. And best of all, goldsellers get absolutely nothing.

Once your preorder is safely locked in, head on over to the Name Reservation page to bag the character and guild name you want before launch. Make sure you also get the game downloaded and installed, as the current client is the same as the one used for launch. After all that’s done, just kick back and wait for Early Access to tick over on 00:01 PDT, Saturday May 31.

See you on Nexus!

Gareth Harmer / Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer has been blasting and fireballing his way through MMOs for over ten years. When he's not exploring an online world, he can usually be found enthusiastically dissecting and debating them. Follow him on Twitter at @Gazimoff.


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