Has Wildstar got what it takes to compete with World of Warcraft?

wildstar screen

Launching this week the brand new sci-fi MMORPG Wildstar has high hopes to progress MMORPGs but does it stand a chance of knocking WoW off the top spot?

Since World of Warcraft stormed into MMORPG dominance some eight years back there’s been more and more big AAA online RPGs attempting to tap into the hugely popular MMORPG market. None have even come close to presenting a threat to Blizzard’s Warcraft supremacy however and all too often new MMORPG titles, after enjoying a brief honeymoon in the limelight, descend into free-to-play obscurity.

Wildstar the first game from NCSoft subsidiary Carbine Studios is setting its goals high. Drawing from development talent from some previous big name MMORPGs, amongst them World of Warcraft, Everquest and Warhammer, Carbine look to build on previous MMORPG successes whilst adding some innovations to the genre that they hope will offer up something original enough to draw in interest.

Set on the planet of Nexus you play within one of two opposing factions. Whilst this and the base class system look pretty standard fare, tanks, healers, nukers etc Wildstar is also using a new Path system to give your toons access to extra content. By choosing from Explorer, Scientist, Soldier or Settler paths players can choose to gain experience from their prefered RPG aspects be it fighting, lore or open world exploration.

The big new feature coming with Wildstar is the Telegraph battle system which does away with tab targetting in favour of putting up a graphic on screen showing both you and your opponent the range and area of effect of your attacks. By making you aim your attacks in this way the combat in Wildstar is a lot more twitch based and frenetic and distinctly different from established MMORPG battle mechanics.

Opinion is divided over the Telegraph system however and this could represent too far of a departure from long established MMORPG battle mechanics to persuade entrenched online RPG enthusiasts. That said it is definitely making things more challenging and the action is a great deal of fun.

Add to this player real estate at launch, the ability to level up by fighting in player vs player (PvP) battles, some epic boss-heavy dungeons and mass PVP Arena and Warplot events and Wildstar on paper has convincing potential to stir things up.

Having played on the Wildstar beta we think Wildstar has a lot going for it. It has plenty of content that’s easy to pick up and XP. The Wildstar universe Carbine have created is refreshingly outside your high-fantasy cliches and combat, PvP especially can make for some epic fights ,although large scale battles with a lot of casting effects going off can be a strain on performance,  making a very well specked-out PC a benefit with Wildstar.

Below is the full feature trailer for Wildstar. The game launches on June 3rd on PC check out the official website here.

What are your thoughts. Do you think Wildstar will cause enough of a stir to worry Blizzard or will World of Warcraft effortlessly hold the MMORPG throne? Let us know in the comments below.

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