3. The Little Story Things All Adds Up
Most MMOs these days forget that the starting experience has to matter just as much as the end-game uber raids. Within a few hours and depending on your chosen faction, you’ll either be fixing up the natural order of the Nexus’ wildlife and summoning forest guardians to smash Dominion techno-catapults, or helping out a famed Dominion explorer unearth the secrets of the Eldan.
A poorly-made MMO can make all that feel like a chore. Thanks to bits of lore you come across, the off-hand humorous exchanges of the Nexus denizens and the ever-changing-to-the-story environments, players will feel invested in how all of their contributions stack up to forwarding the plot along.
As long as the final game keeps this balance of gameplay and narrative, other companies may have to pay attention to Carbine Studio’s method of handling MMO pacing.
4. Telegraphs That Changes MMO Combat
With combat being more action-focused like Guild Wars 2 and Dragon Nest, challenges from enemy mobs should reflect that. Enemies are surrounded by a red field of varying shapes, which pop up on the ground after a major attack.
Be it a delayed burst hit or a rapid-fire flurry of projectiles and claw swipes, players can either dodge out of the way, stand on a specific spot where there’s no red field, or interrupt it with a hard-hitting attack. This actually makes players improve their reaction skills to oncoming threats.
Wildstar's combat system is not your usual 'attack and wait until the next round' MMO fights. Besides worrying about gear stats, you also have to work on your reactions and the active skills of your chosen class. The red fields can appear fast and in different shapes and areas, so timing and positioning takes precedence over stats.
5. The CREDD System
Sure, Wildstar will be subscription-based; one month for US$14.99, with additional paying schemes. However, NCSoft and Carbine Studios introduce a new Certificate of Research, Exploration, Destruction and Development (CREDD) system that lets players get away with not paying for a subscription.
Similar to EVE Online’s PLEX system, the in-game certificate grants players a month’s extra days of play. It can either be bought for US$19.99 (not to be confused with the US$14.99 monthly subscription) or for an undisclosed amount of in-game gold between player transaction. So a player who has money but no time to amass lots of gold for in-game items can buy CREDD and sell it to other players. A player who doesn’t want to pay for a subscription can amass a huge personal stockpile of in-game gold and buy a CREDD off other players.
This is a viable way to keep player types happy and curbstomp gold-farming in a way. This benefits fans of MMOs if they either don’t have time or pressed for funds to keep the subscription going. Keep in mind: CREDD is priced using in-game gold, thus it fluctuates depending on the in-game economy. Additionally, it cannot be gifted to other players.
Stoked for the Wildstar MMO, or just think it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be? Voice out your two cents below.