news\ Aug 11, 2015 at 9:24 am

WildStar free-to-play closed beta launches

Carbine Studios' MMORPG goes free-to-play this fall

Closed beta for the upcoming free-to-play version of WildStar, Carbine Studios' fantasy MMORPG, went live today. Accessible to all current subscribers and non-subscribers who have received an invitation, the closed beta allows you to experience all of the "new and improved features" available in what is WildStar's "biggest content update yet."

Previously billed as the most feature-complete MMO to launch in a long time, NCSOFT opted for the more traditional monthly subscription; however, players did have an option to play the game for free through a rather complex C.R.E.D.D. system also designed to combat gold selling online. Although WildStar's ambition maybe warranted a subscription cost, it's hard for a game to compete when there are so many other quality free-to-play options flooding the market. Aside from maybe World of Warcraft, I can't think of too many other MMOs able to still charge monthly. In May 2015, NCSOFT announced plans for the game to go free-to-play this fall

But WildStar's transition to free-to-play isn't just a business model change. A large content update will be accompanying the change, and some of the new content and features coming to the already rich MMO include:

  • The Alpha Sanctum - A new instance that brings players into WildStar's world storyline much earlier in the game than ever before. Featuring creative gameplay, a unique environment, and a compelling narrative, the Alpha Sanctum introduces players to the mysteries of Nexus in an unforgettable way. 
  • Madame Fay’s Fortunes - Discover all-new treasures with Madame Fay's Fortunes, an exciting, andomized reward system that can turn a tiny investment into big, big shinies with the help of everyone's favorite Lopp fortune-teller, Madame Fay.
  • New Player Experience - A revamped Arkship and arrival sequence welcomes newcomers to WildStar and offers everyone the option of choosing where to start their Nexus adventure based on their level of MMO experience. Character creation has also been overhauled, giving players a better understanding of the choices they're making and the customization options available.
  • Loyalty Program - Any player who has ever invested money in WildStar by subscribing to the game, redeeming C.R.E.D.D., or purchasing MTX items will now earn points in the game’s Loyalty Program. These reward points, which are also earned retroactively, give players access to additional gear, items, pets, mounts and more.
  • Quality-of-Life - A multitude of quality-of-life improvements have been added, including a revamped sprint function, navpoints to help players keep track of their next objective, daily player login rewards, and much more.

Anyone interested in trying out WildStar now that it's going free-to-play can sign up for the closed beta here.

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