PAX Prime 2013: WildStar wants to be a home for MMO players

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WildStar has been on my radar ever since I first laid eyes on it back at PAX Prime 2011. Fast forward two years and it still remains one of my most highly anticipated MMORPGs. WildStar has certainly come a long way since it was first revealed two years ago, but the scope of the game has remained – one that is a “home for MMO players.” And based on what I was told at PAX Prime this weekend, it sounds like Carbine is catering to the traditionalists.

“We want to be a home,” developer Jordan Lighthart told me at PAX Prime this weekend. “We want to be a home for MMO players and it’s not necessarily – like we’re not trying to the biggest necessarily – we’re trying to be the best, obviously.

“Everyone wants to be the best, but we want to be a home to MMO players who are looking for a fun to play game where you can spend a lot of time in,” he continued.

When pressed for further detail, Jordan explained to me that Carbine Studios is placing heavy emphasis on community. “We’re doing a lot of things for community people,” he said. During my playthrough he showed off the basic chat window in the bottom-left corner, but also pointed out a new feature called “Circles,” which “kind of extends beyond your guild.”

WildStar

“We all have guilds, but we’ll have circles where we can interact with people as we’re going along,” he said. “Maybe you don’t want to invite someone to your guild, but want to hook up with them later; put them in a circle, get a big friend group.

“People keep playing because of community,” he added. Carbine’s focus on community extends far beyond guilds, chat options, and a glorified friend list, though. The studio is planning on bringing back 40-man raids – think vanilla WoW. While it’s this sort of raid mentality that will help make WildStar a game for traditional MMO players, there are options for those who prefer to play within their circle. It’s nice to see the game cater to all kinds of players.

“There will be 40-man raids and 20-man raids,” he revealed. “But we also realize that not everyone likes 40-man raids. And the people that don’t like it don’t hate that there are 40-man raids, they hate that they feel like they have to do it in order to progress.

“So we have a lot of content for the solo player, the person who only wants to play with five of their closest friends, running through dungeons,” he said. Jordan assured that solo content will be released “about every five weeks.”

Check out our hands-on preview of WildStar from PAX Prime this weekend and be sure to check back tomorrow for a very special announcement regarding WildStar’s beta.
 

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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