“The most important story in WildStar really centers around Planet Nexus.” Chad “Pappy” Moore, Carbine’s Creative Director, spoke like a practiced storyteller, as he introduced the studio’s upcoming MMO. It’s a tale that I’d heard several times before, but it’s different when you hear it from the man responsible.
Following on from our extensive interview on all things lore (part 1 and part 2), I asked Moore if he’d provide me with a lore primer to go along with the feature primer we published last week. What followed was a detailed description of just why Nexus is an amazing place for adventure, what mysteries await, and why everyone with a starship is racing to get there.
“Nexus, in our game universe, is the most legendary planet ever known. Everyone in the galaxy knows about it, nobody in the galaxy knows if it’s real or, if it is real, where it exists. And so, there’s this large, multi-cultural mystery about this legendary mythical world that may or may not be out there somewhere.”
“What’s great about our story is that it begins when this mythical place is actually discovered. That is the catalyzing event that takes place, and what will eventually bring the player to Nexus.”
“Now, the next question was ‘Why is it legendary? Why do people care about Nexus?’ And the answer to that question was that it was once the home of this advanced race, known as the Eldan, who everyone also knew about. Their servants – they had these mechanical servants, the Mechari – used to go out and interact with all of the different races in the galaxy. And so, while the Mechari were doing that, they were building this legend about these advanced, almost godlike beings, who lived out there on this legendary world called Nexus. There were wonders upon their planet that had never even been imagined. And the Mechari used that legend to their advantage, as they were interacting with, and sometimes leading the different races that were in the galaxy.”
“What happened in our game universe about a thousand years ago, is that the Eldan disappeared. With them disappearing and never being heard from again, the mystery and the legend of Nexus grew even more. People wanted to know ‘Why aren’t we hearing from them any more? Where did they go? What were they doing?’ And so, the discovery of Nexus that starts the game is a massive event in our universe. What drives people there is really to discover what exactly they were working on. What players will discover when they get to Nexus is they were working on something very specific, and they left behind lots of clues in these ancient scientific facilities that would give hints on the overall purpose of what they were doing, and ultimately what led to their disappearance. There’s just countless wonders on this world that players will get to experience when they get here, and aside from being cool and epic and fun to play through, they are also continuing to reveal the big mystery of planet Nexus, and which ultimately leads to the larger conflict which drives the game once you get to the end of progression.”
“I think, for me, that is the most awesome part about the lore of our game, is that there’s always this big mystery behind everything that you’re doing, and all of these conflicts and all of these experiences that you are involved in as you play the game. There’s always this bigger mystery that drives the experience, which I think is something that players will be drawn to once they start to play.”
While there’s a bigger mystery lurking over Nexus, there’s also a race to get there. Competing for the prize of a planet are two warring factions – the Dominion and the Exiles.
“As part of the Eldan story, one of the things you find out as a player is that they are actually responsible for founding one of our factions, which is the Dominion. About two thousand years ago, they approached one of our player races, known as the Cassians, and said ‘We’re going to use you to create a powerful empire,’ and there’s this epic story about how all of that went down. But the result was that they founded this powerful interstellar empire that has been gaining strength, adding different races to it, and beginning to actually push other races off their homeworlds, as you get near to where the game begins. Those other races that are being pushed off their homeworlds by the Dominion are known as the Exiles, who are our other faction. And so, because the Dominion has been gaining strength over the past couple of millennia, they don’t have anywhere left to go. There’re no more worlds for them to settle.”
“One of those individuals on the Exiles actually discovers planet Nexus. He’s looking for it - he’s been looking for it all his life - and he finally finds it. So for the Exiles, that represents their last chance for a new home. But for the Dominion, since the Eldan founded the Empire, they consider Nexus to be their rightful kingdom, their legacy. It sets up this underlying conflict that’s against the backdrop that I was talking about before, between these two factions. An irreconcilable difference. One group has nowhere left to go, and the other group considers this to be their property. And so, what you get is this visceral conflict to see who’s going to finally settle this place, and then at the same time who’s going to control all the cool toys and technology that they find when they get here. That conflict between the two factions is what drives a lot of the content in the game, and I think will get players involved in the moment-to-moment questing that they do throughout WildStar.”