WildStar, the first major production by developer Carbine Studios, has officially opened its servers to players who purchased the game during the beta testing phase. The science fiction MMORPG, which was initially slated for release in late 2013, has received a great deal of positive feedback from players centering primarily around the games fast-paced combat system and the responsiveness of the development team to technical issues and software bugs.
WildStar brings a number of innovations to its genre, not the least of which is its action-oriented and aim-based combat system. As opposed to traditional RPG mechanics of specifically targeting a certain enemy with skills using the UI, Carbine Studios has taken a cue from first-person shooters and used a mouse-based aiming system in their title. In addition to this, WildStar uses a shooter-esque sprinting and dodging system to keep combat mobile and fast-paced, likely having learned a lesson from 2011’s TERA, which also implemented this aiming mechanism in an MMO but in such a way it was frequently criticized for making combat feel sluggish and cumbersome.
In addition to its combat, WildStar brings a new element to the traditional RPG formula of questing, leveling up, and gaining items by allowing players to customize the type of quests available to them by participating in one of four “paths.” These paths, which are loosely based on Bartle Test, a peronsality test designed to classify different types of gamers, offer players a chance to choose what activities they’d like to take part in more often while playing.
In an interview with MMORPG.com, Carbine developer Troy Hewitt referred to paths as the embodiment of the “play how you want to play” philosophy. Hewitt went on to say that WildStar’s design goal was to create a common ground in which all these different types of players could interact within the same game and “[facilitate] opportunities for superior, high-quality interactions across the spectrum of play styles.”
WildStar is arriving at what many fans of the genre are describing as a lull in MMO development. With the exception of Korean sandbox ArcheAge arriving in North America and the Warlords of Draenor expansion for genre-dominating title World of Warcraft, there are few MMO games slated for release in the coming year. If WildStar’s appeal can survive the test of time, it may well be able to take advantage of this relative lack of competition and rise to the top of the MMORPG market.
You can watch the game’s launch trailer on YouTube.