WildStar Is Going Free-To-Play
NCSOFT and Carbine Studios have announced that action-MMORPG WildStar will be transitioning to a free-to-play model this fall. This won’t include any content gating mechanisms, so all players will be able to experience the same dungeons, raids, shiphands, and PvP experiences – so how will things work if that’s the case?
Players will still be able to opt-in to a monthly membership service that provides bonuses to experience, crafting, currency acquisition, item drops, and reputation boosts. This service will also provide additional perks like character slots, costumes, bank space, and the like.
Other cosmetic and convenience items will be available for purchase a la carte via an in-game store service, but Carbine and NCSOFT are clear on stating that there won’t be any pay-for-power mechanisms in play. With a robust housing system, pets, mounts, costumes, and many more optional customizable aspects of player characters, there are plenty of areas that will likely fall under the new NCoin umbrella.
Another big change that will be coming with this fall in addition to the new payment model is a complete unlocking of all Amp slots (sort of like talents, for those not familiar with the game) so you’ll never have to spend time or money tracking down the Amps you need to complete a build.
Player and item stats are being completely overhauled to make more sense, so you’ll always have a clear indication as to how a few more points of brutality, moxie, or finesse will work, and that will be reflected in a full-scale item revamp. Expect the early game to offer a more streamlined tutorial and for dungeons tuned to provide a challenging – but not overwhelming – play experience.
There are additional perks for those who decide to maintain a subscription until the change, and some even cooler rewards for those players that have maintained a sub since launch. You can find out more about these rewards at http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/2015-05-28-player-appreciation-rewards
Honestly, I was quite smitten with WildStar at launch but things fell off as I got to the endgame where a massive raid attunement quest gated things off and dungeons that were frankly quite difficult (and difficult to coax friends and new players into even attempting!) created an environment where it was harder to log on each day.
But recent changes have all been for the best, and a free-to-play model sounds like a great change, and will probably give me and my crew another reason to log on and start smashing space monsters. There have been a lot of new additions to the game I'm eager to check out as well, like the pet system, and I think the game has lots of potential if they can get the dungeon formula right. Based on what we see with these changes, I'm optimistic, as the core game was colorful, fun, fast-paced, and a great addition to the MMORPG environment.