Wild Star, like many MMOs will succeed or fail not just on it’s story, graphics, mechanics, or anything that the developers can directly control. It will succeed or fail based around the community that builds up around it.
Wild Star of course has the obligatory Friends List and Guilds that most MMOs have. They are both pretty standard fare at this point. You can friend individual characters or accounts(using an email address), and have access to guild chat, a guild bank, and bonuses for guild runs. (One feature sorely missing from the Friend’s list is the ability to invite friends to your party easily)
One thing that Wild Star does really well is their Renown system. In addition to gold, there is a secondary resource system called Renown, which is only gained from grouping with other players. This secondary system isn’t like Valor Points in WoW however. It is not just used for equipment. Many of the items in the Housing shop use this currency, and a lot of “cool items” require it.
The other thing Wild Star does great is their Mentoring system. I had a level 15 Engineer and my husband wanted to play his level 12 Gunslinger. Rather than me running through and making the fights a joke, I was able to “Mentor down” to level 12 for my stats. I still had the abilities of a level 15 Engineer, but my damage was scaled down to match. Now for the bad stuff. Wild Star is horrible at helping you find your party members. Their names do not stand out, and there are no arrows on the minimap to point you towards your ally. Their only marker on the map is a white mask, which can easily be hidden behind other markers on the map. Luckily, we found an add-on that puts a distance and arrow marker pointing towards your party member when playing together. Plus if they are far away, there is no quick way to teleport/fast travel to each other(unless one is a Scientist). If they are in a different zone with no scientist, you are out of luck, because Wild Star follows the MMO trope of making you visit each Taxi station individually. (This is further made difficult by a bug in the Beta not allowing you to choose the other starting zone besides your race’s).
As I mentioned before, the Friend’s List does not include an “invite to party” option. In fact, inviting people to your party from the chat can be difficult sometimes since the option is hidden behind a menu. Many social options are hidden behind this menu, in fact, forcing multiple clicks and frustration when your mouse inevitably leaves the tiny space allocated to the menu. And as one of my friend’s pointed out, the chat window’s customization settings leave much to be desired. I definitely miss my WoW settings of “no transparency, complete black background.”
I do want to end on a positive note, and I’ll say that while it has a few kinks to work out, the “Neighbor” secondary friend’s list is a lot of fun. My partner and I had each other set as roommates, and helping each other make our houses awesome was a nice feeling.