In Gamescom conversation with lead designer Mike Barr, it became apparent that Carbine had seized the imminent WildStar free-to-play relaunch as an opportunity to flatten many of the design bumps that had put potential players off. An MMO could still evoke early WoW without having a difficulty curve that looked like a cliff, couldn’t it?
Well, we’re about to find out. We’ll enter orbit around the rejigged Nexus on September 29th.
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Second phase closed beta testing will begin tomorrow, and focus on fine-tuning the update’s new economy. It’s accessible to all current subscribers, plus sign-up invitees, and any real-world cash spent will be transferred to their live characters after the 29th.
Dubbed WildStar Reloaded, this will be the MMO’s largest patch yet – and represents months of work at Carbine. Expect more quests, altered systems and improved “quality of life”.
“New players will enjoy a greatly streamlined starting experience,” write Carbine, “while veteran players will be handsomely rewarded for their loyalty.”
Players with active subscriptions at the time of transition will be given exclusive items by way of thank you.
“I think we made all the right moves,” said Barr at Gamescom. “And now this free-to-play transition and this relaunch allows us to really say, ‘It’s free, there’s no reason not to try it.’” Do you think you will?