WildStar Is Bringing Individuality Back to the MMO

WildStar promises to bring a witty personality back into the MMORPG genre for the long haul. Hands-on time at E3, as well as a chat with social systems designer Tiffany Chu.

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WildStar, Carbine Studios up-and-coming MMORPG was at E3 this year, and it brought with it all of its mirthful and often hilarious personality. At the expo, we were lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the game and chat with Tiffany Chu, social systems director and tutorial creator from Carbine Studios.

In WildStar you play a part in the world of Nexus, the mysterious world of a lost civilization known as the Eldan. As with any newly discovered and treasure-ridden planet, everyone who is anyone, even anyone who is no one, wants to be there.

Unfortunately this kind of planetary popularity also leads to conflict. In the game this conflict is established in a war between the Dominion, who claim ownership of the new world, and the exiles, who call Nexus home. As their war wages, however, each faction discovers that they are not alone on the planet. This somewhat open storyline opens countless opportunities for WildStar, including the capacity for well-established lore, faction based PvP, and strong end-game content.

Tiffany Chu is in charge of working the backbone of what makes the overall MMO experience—the social systems. She is also currently working on game play tutorials. “Our game has a lot of unique systems,” said Chu, “so I want to make sure that players learn about them at a good pace. I don’t want to frontload you with all of the information—you don’t need to know everything right away. That can discourage you or overwhelm you.”

In the demo, the unique style of this game is immediately evident and memorable. Choosing from one of the six races and four classes, I entered the world as a human spell-slinger. The game hilariously mocked my decision with the message, “It seems you were painfully birthed a human, the most common race in the entire galaxy. Seriously, these guys are over the place…” It’s obvious that part of the fun in WildStar lies in its artistic design and witty humor, which is encountered from the very start of your character’s creation.

When asking Chu about the roles of each character class, she mentioned that they were going to be relatively flexible. If I were to pick a Stalker—a rogue-like DPS class—I could perform traditional dps. However, if I decided I wanted to tank in dungeons, I could also get abilities that would allow my character to evade and dodge tank. This is an aspect that can provide the player with a completely different experience than the time-honored warrior tank and spank.

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