Bounding through the mountains of Tremor Ridge, I found the body of a dead man. It was curious, because I did not kill him. Even more curious was that he was one of the enigmatic race that seems to make up Protostar. So far I’ve encountered them as a super-corporation with tight control over it’s members, who all seem to look alike. But maybe that’s just me being racist. I mean, not everyone of the same species looks alike, right?

 

What if they aren’t one species but instead one person?

This was the log of the dead person:

(Spoilers after the break)

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Wildstar has a lot of strangely named stats. “Moxie,” “Grit,” and “Brutality” replace the RPG standards of “Strength” “Dexterity” and “Constitution.” But this isn’t just a renaming of the previous stats, these are completely new. Moxie, for example, improves Critical Hits on most classes, but Assault Power on the Esper. Sure, you can look at a complicated chart to see what each stat does, but the game actually tells you directly. When you hover over an item, it breaks down how much of each secondary stats each item gives you. While it’ll say +20 Grit, it’ll also tell you how much HP that gives you. But what of these strange “Support Power” and “Assault Power”?

Support Power and Assault Power is a strange quirk in Wild Star’s system. You know how WildStar splits all class abilities between “Assault” “Support” and “Utility”? Well anything under the “Assault” tab gets more powerful with Assault Power, while anything in the “Support” tab gets more powerful with Support Power. That means Esper’s heals, Engineer’s threat/tanking abilities, or any of the other classes heals or tanking abilities.

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.

Many new MMO’s come up expecting big things in regards to subscription models. And if history is to be repeated, go free-to-play after a few months and the fervor has died down. Well, let’s just say Wild Star really isn’t “free to play” just yet. They decided to follow EVE Online’s business model of a sort of modular subscription. Basically, you can buy extra months of subscription and sell them in game for gold. Wild Star is calling it a C.R.E.D.D. system.

The reason CREDD system is so important is because it allows people who have free time but not money to essentially play the game for free. Note, this isn’t gold selling. This is literally trading in-game money for game time.

However, it IS gold buying. I can pay $15 and get whatever amount of gold people are willing to pay for it on the AH. This is a dynamic system that players decide how much their time is worth in game.

Now what about all the Protostars and ex-WoW Goblins out there? Will they ruin this exchange and make millions of real-world dollars? I have my doubts. While as an ex-Goblin in WoW I was able to make gold faster than most people, I also realized quickly that the goblin-crowd believed in one thing above profits: Don’t spend your money unless there is a profit. I don’t think they would have exchanged their hard-earned gold for $15 when they could invest it back into the AH for even MORE money. Or just to see the big numbers when they log in.

The fun thing about this is by setting up an exchange rate, we can calculate the horrifying amount of money we spend on our in game houses in the same way that EVE online players can see the thousands of dollars lost from wars.

Personally, I would not buy a CREDD to sell unless the exchange rate gives me gold higher than what I can earn in one hour. I would not buy a CREDD in game unless it took me less than one/two hours to get that much gold. But different people’s thresholds are different. How about you, how much gold would you pay for a CREDD or how much gold would you be willing to pay $15 to get?