WildStar (video game)

Developer(s) Carbine Studios
Publisher(s) NCSOFT
Director(s) Mike Donatelli
Matt Mocarski
Producer(s) Jeremy Gaffney
Writer(s) Chad Moore
Composer(s) Jeff Kurtenacker
Engine Proprietary[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA: June 3, 2014
Genre(s) Online role-playing game
Mode(s) Online multiplayer

WildStar is a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that is developed by Carbine Studios, published by NCSOFT and was unveiled on August 17, 2011 during Gamescom.[2] WildStar takes place on the fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan have disappeared, leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.[3][4]

The game was released on June 3, 2014 with a subscription and later changed to free-to-play on September 29, 2015. While it is no longer required to pay for a subscription, those who do are "signature" members, getting a few bonuses such as increased experience/currency gain.



The game takes place in a fictional universe on the recently discovered planet of Nexus.[5] The planet, once inhabited by a hyper-advanced race of aliens known as The Eldan who have all but disappeared, is fought over by two factions both hoping to control the concealed lost technology of Nexus:[6] The Dominion, an intergalactic empire forged by the Eldan with the goal of controlling the galaxy,[7] and The Exiles, a group of refugees and outlaws who have all been driven from their respective homeworlds by The Dominion and have joined forces to fight them.[8]


The Eldan, a highly advanced alien race, sought to create a perfect being called the Genesis Prime through the Nexus Project. In the first phase of the project, they constructed and terraformed an entire planet, which they called Nexus. In the second phase they created many new species to inhabit the planet, including the humanoid Dreg, the avian humanoid Falkrin, the necromatic Moodies, the tyrannical Osun, the xenophobic and zealous Pell, the diminutive Skeech, the fearsome Stemdragons, and the spider-like Xenobites, among others. They then experimented with infusing "primal energy" into living beings. (In the fictional universe of WildStar, everything is ultimately derived from the six "primal powers". There are four kinds of primal matter: earth, air, water, and fire; and two kinds of primal forces: life and logic.)

In the final phase of the Nexus Project, the Eldan used a device called the protoplasmic resonator to combine six chosen Eldan and the six primal powers into the Genesis Prime, a perfect being capable of manipulating the primal powers at will. This being, whom the Eldan named Drusera, was essentially a kind, benevolent deity and was capable of shaping reality as she saw fit. Shortly after Drusera's creation, the Eldan realized that someone had tampered with the protoplasmic resonator, causing her to have an evil alternate personality, which they called the Entity. They attempted to destroy the Entity using a device called the primal disintegrator. However, they were unsuccessful, and in retaliation the Entity annihilated all Eldan on the planet Nexus. Distraught over her failure to save the Eldan, Drusera then imprisoned herself and the Entity in the Lightspire, a construct made of pure exanite, in an attempt to stop him from destroying the rest of the galaxy. (Exanite is a fictional material containing all six primal powers.)


In WildStar, players are able to create a character that they can control through their playing session. These characters can move in an open, persistent world environment.[9] Characters can level from 1 to 50.[10] Gameplay mainly consists of quests, dungeons, and player versus player combat.


WildStar allows the player many liberties in movement, such as double jumping, sprinting, and dashing. This ties into the gameplay in ways such as speed races and jumping puzzles.[11][12]

Moreover, there are zones with altered gravity in the game, allowing the player to jump higher.[13]


WildStar uses a system of telegraphs for combat, where zones are displayed on the ground, allowing a player to predict attacks of enemies and heals of allies. A player can dodge them by either walking or dashing out of them.[14][15]

Players attacks are also telegraphs, this means that players have to cast them in the right direction if they want to damage enemies. Players also have the option of auto-targeting enemies, which puts the telegraph for the move they use centered on their current target. This makes it easier to get a particular enemy into their telegraph, but often won't catch as many enemies as a well-placed free-targeting attack would.[14]


In WildStar, players can own a sky plot. This plot is a part of land consisting of a house and several "sockets", each socket can receive different "plugs". Plugs can consist of many different things, such as a crafting bench, a mine, an exploration shaft, etc.[16][17]

While the exterior of your plot can be filled with "plugs" and decorations placed on predefined "hooks", the interior offers complete creative freedom. Various interior decorations offer a bonus to your rested experience if you log out inside your home, making your own house the best source of rested experience in the game.

This plot can be accessed by anyone who has the owner's permission. Every plug can be used by all the players who have access to this plot. If a visitor performs a task such as harvesting, the reward can be split by the visitor and the owner of the plot, allowing friends to maintain your plot for the owner and allowing both to benefit.

While housing is not a required part of the game, it offers many advantages to the players, from personal workbenches, gathering nodes, personal dungeons, quicker access to raids and increased rested experience.

Character advancement

Upon character creation, players will be able to choose among six classes, four paths, and eight races. Classes are limited to certain pre-determined races. There are no inherent stat or gameplay difference in the different races, the difference is all aesthetic.[18]

Each class is able to fulfill the role of DPS as well as one of the support roles, tank or healer.[19]

WildStar also uses a system of paths. Upon character creation, players are able to choose among the four paths, in addition to their desired class. Unlike classes, paths are not restricted to specific races, and level up independently of class, capping at 30. The paths are loosely based on the Bartle player types.[20] The path the player chooses upon character creation determines what kind of extra content the player enjoys,[21]

Player versus player

WildStar offers numerous means of player conflict. WildStar allows players of opposing factions to fight almost anywhere within the in-game world.[22]

In addition to open world combat, players are able to participate in more organized combat, such as arenas, battlegrounds, or Warplots, where players fight each other in teams.[23]

Arenas consist of small teams (2v2, 3v3, or 5v5) attempting to kill the opposing group of enemies. Each team has a set amount of respawns. A match is won when all of the members of a certain team has been killed, and are unable to respawn.[24]

Battlegrounds consist of larger teams (up to 15v15). Matches are centered on varying objectives, and victory conditions are dependant upon the nature of the objectives teams are tasked with.[25]

War Plots have the biggest teams (30v30). A War Plot is a fortress controlled by a Warparty. Players of a Warparty have to build the Warplot in order to increase its attack and defense possibilities. Matches are then organized by two Warparties. Victory is then obtained when players take control of the opposing team's Warplot.[26]


WildStar development started in 2005, after 17 former members of Blizzard Entertainment founded Carbine Studios. At the time, the seventeen former members of Blizzard Entertainment had a desire to "do anything but WoW",[27] "In fact, most were excited and overjoyed to try and start over, this time, not making the same mistakes that might have been made before." When confronted with the decision of a game engine, the company first looked at off-the-shelf options. Although multiple engines were available for use, the team found that none of them suited their needs, to be able to scale well five years into the future. Eventually, the team decided it would be best for them to create their own, allowing them complete freedom.[28]

In 2007, NCSOFT acquired Carbine Studios, saying they are working on an unannounced MMO project.[29]

WildStar was first announced by NCSOFT at Gamescom 2011 and that it would use the subscription model.[2] Two weeks later, more footage of the game was released at PAX Prime 2011.[30]

WildStar gives players two methods of paying for the game's subscription. The first is paying a fee monthly, and the second method allows players to purchase with real money an in-game item, C.R.E.D.D., which grants 30 days of playtime and is tradable to other players for in-game currency.[31] This essentially enables the player-driven economy to set the in-game price for C.R.E.D.D., and thus an exchange rate between real money and in-game currency.

On May 28, 2015, NCSOFT announced that the game would become free-to-play to all players starting on September 29, 2015.[32] Coinciding with the launch of the free-to-play model, the game received graphical updates that improves the lighting system, skyboxes, and viewing distance.[33]

In February 2016, NCSOFT closed the game's PvP servers for being under-populated and those users were merged with the two remaining PvE servers.[34]


The soundtrack for WildStar was composed and arranged by Jeff Kurtenacker.


Aggregate scores
GameRankings(PC) 80.52%[35]
Metacritic(PC) 82/100[36]
Review scores

WildStar was released to mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites Metacritic and GamingRankings held a rating of 82/100[36] and 80.52% respectively.[35] Reviewers praised the game for its own unique style and personality, an active battle system, and numerous side features such as housing and challenges. IGN's Branden Tyrrel remarked that "...WildStar is of course not the next evolution of the modern MMORPG. Instead, it's much more the culmination of a decade’s worth of experimentation and design, cherry-picked and enhanced, and infused with Carbine’s twists and light-hearted flourish."[38] GamesRadar praised the game's combat system and its side features, but panned the game's traditional questing as "patience-breakingly long" and its story-telling as "shallow".[37]


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  14. 1 2 Lefebvre, Eliot (September 12, 2012). "WildStar Wednesday shows off the telegraphs of combat". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  15. Prell, Sophie (March 29, 2013). "WildStar Wednesday shows off the telegraphs of combat". Penny Arcade. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  16. Ricciardi, Jay (March 27, 2013). "New Info About Wildstar Housing is Way Cooler Than We Had Hoped". Gamebreaker.tv. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  17. Petitte, Omri (March 26, 2013). "WildStar trailer shows player housing, rebellious coffee table placement". PCGamer.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
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  19. Lefebvre, Eliot (June 25, 2012). "Massively Exclusive: An interview with WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  20. Lefebvre, Eliot (August 27, 2011). "PAX 2011: WildStar panel discusses playing with paths the Bartle way". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  21. Fillari, Alessandro (May 22, 2013). "WildStar's Paths accommodate [sic] specific MMO play styles". Destructoid. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
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  26. Bass, David (March 8, 2013). "Uplink analysis: PvP". WildStar-Online.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
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  30. Bayer, Rubi (August 31, 2011). "PAX 2011: Massively's hands-on with WildStar". Joystiq. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  31. Gaffney, Jeremy (August 19, 2013). "The Business Model of WildStar". WildStar-Online. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  32. Karmali, Luke (May 28, 2015). "WildStar Devs Confirm Free-to-play as Part of Huge Revamp". IGN. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  33. Prescott, Shaun (25 September 2015). "WildStar is getting graphical enhancements when it goes free-to-play". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  34. "WildStar Devs Reportedly Lay Off 70 People". Rock Paper Shotgun. 14 March 2016.
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  36. 1 2 "WildStar for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
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