WildStar has built up an incredible amount of hype for a brand-new IP. With 1.4 million unique beta signups to date, the game is poised to explode once it finally launches. Right now, only 160,000 players are actually running around Nexus in the game’s closed beta, while the rest of those million-and-a-half gamers wait patiently for their turn. I’m happy to tell you that wait will soon be over. WildStar launches June 3rd.
Starting a week from now, on March 19th, gamers the world over will be able to pre-order WildStar and gain immediate access to the beta. They’ll also be able to reserve their character and guild names, and get a three day head-start on the game proper (meaning it’ll launch for you on may 31st). On top of that, Carbine is throwing in some exclusive loot, including a bag that expands your in-game inventory, a mini-ship trophy that boosts your house’s rested XP bonus, and speaking of houses, you’ll also get a rocket ship that you can live in. For a game this deeply committed to player expression, the cosmetic items are a nice perk.
There’s good news for folks currently in the beta as well. While many of you will likely be itching to get those preorder bonuses anyway, those who want to hold off won’t have to lose their spot. Anyone at a sufficiently high level (unspecified as of this writing) will be allowed to keep playing without having to preorder. Carbine’s still testing after all, and they need all the help they can get from the game’s best players. That’s doubly true when it comes to high-level content. On top of that, the Beta NDA will finally be dropping at 6am on the 19th, meaning you can finally tell your friends about it, and, more importantly, google strategies for that one boss you just can’t figure out.
So what, exactly, will you be preordering? The game comes in two editions, priced at 60 and 75 US dollars, respectively. The basic game comes with 30 days of playtime, three seven-day guest passes (so you too can be a pusher!) and a little bit of housing décor themed after the Eldan (the precursor race that used to live on Nexus). The Deluxe edition comes with all that, plus a fully customizable Eldan hoverboard mount, an Eldan costume augmentation, and an Eldan player title, along with a set of dye in gold and green, the colours of the Eldan. You may be noticing a theme with this package. The European bourgeoisie will get all this in a deluxe steelbook, while we North American peasants will be left with only digital options.
Now, when that first 30 days runs out, you will have to start paying a subscription fee – the genre-standard of 15 dollars a month. For those not keen on monthly upkeep, WildStar offers an out in the form of CREDD. CREDD is an in-game item worth a month of play time. Enterprising players can purchase CREDD for 20 dollars, then turn around and sell it on the marketplace for gold. That seems like a win/win proposition to me. The subscription model is a risky proposition to be sure, but Carbine seems to be taking a fairly decent approach to it. Boasting thousands of hours of elder game content at launch, with huge updates planned every month, they certainly seem ready to sidestep the pratfalls of the many notable sub-based games that have recently gone free-to-play. I’m ready to give it a shot, and I wasn’t even willing to shell out for WOW. If you’re of like mind, you can pre-order through Amazon, Gamespot, or WildStar’s own site.