WildStar to Transition to F2P This Fall

The studio remains dedicated to providing a quality experience in the F2P environment.

Carbine's WildStar team has poured their heart and soul into shaping and expanding the sci-fi MMO into the diversified gaming experience it is today. The last several content drops have focused on a multitude of playstyles, from newbie to casual to raider.

With the game so fleshed out, Carbine has now decided that the time is ripe for it to soon join the ranks of free-to-play MMOs. We sat down with Product Director Mike Donatelli and Creative Director Chad Moore last week to learn more about WildStar's new frontier.

"It's a big decision, a big change, and not one we went into lightly as a studio. Carbine's commitment to WildStar has never been stronger; we will continue to release AAA updates for the game, the experience that players have come to expect they will only get more of as we head into the future."

When the game shifts to free-to-play this fall (date still not determined), all barriers of entry will drop. There will be no box cost, no subscription fee—albeit an optional Signature Membership monthly fee—and no artificial barricades for content. "None of the areas in our game, whether they're existing or new ones coming in the future, are going to be hidden behind paywalls. They will be available to all players whether they pay us any money or not," Chad told us.

"One of the things that's the most important to us about this transition and why we decided to go with free-to-play was that we just wanted anybody who wanted to try WildStar to have the ability to do that."

Remaining a subscriber currently will have its perks, of course. Those who remain loyal subscribers from June 15th through the F2P launch will be entitled to an exclusive set of items. On top of that, those who have been subscribers since the game's launch will have access to a second exclusive item set. Current subscribers will also be able to help test out and give feedback on all the F2P changes on the PTR.

Those who convert to a Signature Membership or new players who pick one up will enjoy additional perks and bonuses as part of their subscription, though no specifics have been released yet on that. A loyalty points program will tie in with previous, current, and future subscribers as well, with its own store to spend your points in.

"The game that we have today is a better game than it was 12 months ago, and it is due in no small part to the players' feedback."

Going F2P does mean that WildStar will have to see some cash shop aspects with a virtual currency, NCoin. The team will limit the in-game shop offerings to customization and convenience items. For example, you can expect to see things such as wake tokens, pets, mounts, costumes, and so on available for purchase.

"We're also going to have Omnibits," Mike commented. "Any player who plays the game is going to earn these things by playing the game—they'll be dropped from killing monsters. If you earn Omnibits you can also spend them on the very same customization and convenience items." This will allow anyone to earn the same items through gameplay as those who are willing to drop real world money on shop items.

"Most importantly we're not going to sell power. The team was unanimously against it; it's obnoxious."

WildStar's "biggest drop ever" is coming this autumn as well. It will feature a tutorial revamp for both factions, an itemization system overhaul so that it's more intuitive, the Amp will be streamlined to eliminate unlocks and only require the requisite number of points, both dungeons and open world will see changes in their content experience so that the experience is challenging but not brutally difficult at lower levels, and "tons of other things we'll talk about later."

Further details about WildStar's F2P transition is expected at E3. In the meantime, let your feedback be heard and enjoy the Nexus.

Thanks to Mike Donatelli and Chad Moore for taking the time to talk to us!

Bill "Lethality" Leonard, Contributing Writer


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Bad performance
# Jun 07 2015 at 1:15 PM Rating: Decent
No multicore support = performance like dry bread. Heavy FPS drops.
Not a shocker.
# May 29 2015 at 5:46 AM Rating: Good
I've not played in a good 7 months. I know I was capped, and was gated in trying to raid and/or rank up in pvp. There was just not enough to do at end game for the casual. This caused the game to bleed players on a daily.

Sounds like this has changed. Good.

I have thought about coming back, and may, before the F2P change.
Sandinmyeye | |Tsukaremashi*a |
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