Let’s real talk for a minute here, okay? MMOs as a genre are languishing. They’re the same grind, the same rush to end game and farming materials to get better gear to farm more materials. There’s been a distinct lack of interest in the large community of Role Players that MMOs gather and almost all the focus is usually on high end raids and PvP content. I get it, these are really popular, and people ask for them all the time so ‘fluff’ content for Rpers tends to get tossed to the wayside. It’s okay, we are patient and if we love a game’s story and environment we can wait a really long time. After all, I’m still waiting for Blizzard to give us player owned housing (a girl can dream, can’t she?).
A customizable MMO experience has always seemed like a big pipe dream. A few different MMOs have attempted to offer us bits and pieces of it, and it’s usually some but not the other. You could have player owned housing, but you wouldn’t have armor coloring or mount customization. The last MMO I played that even tried to offer us everything was Star Wars Galaxies and…well, let’s just leave that can of worms alone. Many of us have simply give up hope that we might get a game that appeals as much to the “PvE Carebears” as it does to the hardcore gamer. I say to you, friends, our time has come!
Behold, the planet Nexus. The recent release of the WildStar Features Trailer from Carbine Studios seems to promise everything. My best friend had come over yelling that I needed to see it before I even finished my first cup of coffee that morning. I want to be skeptical, specially in light of my recent Elder Scrolls Online heartbreak, but I found myself watching the trailer with a growing sense of wonder and amazement. It was like Christmas morning as I watched the video phase from the crazy cool combat system to player owned housing and war plots. What’s a war plot? Oh, nothing much, just a fully customizable battle fortresses that you can build, style and booby trap just the way you want to to maximize your own personal brand of chaotic mayhem and destruction. The short video flips rapidly through a myriad of different styles and items you can use to make your house a home from gears and doo-dads to fluffy hearts and candy looking things. So whether your style is dark and industrial or cute and fluffy, WildStar seems to offer something for everyone. Even mounts can be customized, and not just the paint job! How’d you like your Chua ball to have a spinning bowl of ramen on top, or what looks like a motorcycle with a killer sound system that you could probably hear from orbit? Whatever floats your boat, WildStar seems to have it and its only the beginning.
If you think that PvE is just the most boring part of an MMO experience, don’t worry! You can level entirely through PvP if you want to! Customization doesn’t stop at just the visual aspects like gear, you can also customize the way you fight. When I played World of Warcraft regularly I heard a lot from both sides of the table on this and personally I much prefer the wide open options for play style as long as those styles are all equally viable. I worry about how they might balance all of the different options they seem to have given us when Blizzard seemed to have struggled with just three or four. Most WoW players can probably list the one or two viable specs for their given class, while going into all the reasons why one of those specs is just the worst possible thing to have in your group or raid. Of everything I saw in the admittedly short trailers, this is the only part that concerns me. Class balance has always been difficult but even if it can’t manage that right out the gate, everything else they’ve offered up will earn them forgiveness in my book. The graphics, while cartoony, have a depth and richness that is missing in a lot of the more “realistic” style games lately. The seem more personable and expressive than I’m used to seeing outside of single player games. The character personalities are clear and seem very three dimensional and I am very excited to be able to dive into the world at 00:01 PDT on Saturday. If you’re like me lately, a little jaded and a little scared, I urge you to join with me and give WildStar a chance. The Devs are listening, you can see that in their Twitch feeds, and I think that we might just have what we’ve been asking for all along. And before you even ask, yes. Yes I am planning to put a giant gaudy rainbow on my land and paint my house pretty colors. Because I finally can.
What do you think? Can WildStar possibly live up to the hype or will it implode upon itself like a planet that’s had its core mined out from under it? Let us know in the comments below!