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Wildstar

Weekend Deals photo
Weekend Deals

Weekend Deals: Fallout 4 pre-order discount returns to 25%


Save $15 on your way to Boston
Aug 22
// Dealzon
August has been a semi-slow month in terms of gaming deals but things are about to heat up as we near Fall release schedule + holiday season. Digital retailer GMG released a new 25% off coupon that works on select upcoming PC...
WildStar F2P photo
WildStar F2P

WildStar's free-to-play closed beta is live today


Test out the free version
Aug 11
// Chris Carter
If you happen to currently subscribe to WildStar (or have obtained a code through other means), you're eligible to play the beta today, for the F2P version of the game releasing later this year. Alternatively, you can g...
WildStar F2P photo
Here's all the details
For years, WildStar was touted as the next great subscription-based MMO. It was unveiled all the way back in 2011at Gamescom, and the hype kind of built from there. I had a chance to play multiple builds, and I liked wha...

Wildstar photo
Wildstar

Wildstar might be going free to play in August


Just as predicted
May 14
// Joe Parlock
Look, I’m going to try and not be smug about this… but I was right. A few weeks ago, Wildstar was pulled from the shelves in Australia, leading to speculation it might be going free to play or Guild Wars­-st...

Wildstar photo
Wildstar

Wildstar's been pulled from shelves. Might be dropping the sub fee?


Shocking absolutely nobody
Apr 16
// Joe Parlock
Wildstar once stood firm in the face of a growing tide of MMOs ditching subscriptions and instead opting for Free-to-Play or Guild Wars-style one time purchasing. Developer Carbine has been pretty critical of F2P in the past ...
Deals photo
Deals

GameStop Black Friday has a bunch of MMOs on sale


Prices so low, you'll scream
Nov 26
// Dealzon
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. Well, this came out of left field for us. GameStop just started up its digital PC Games Black Friday Sale. We're...

Review: WildStar

Sep 08 // Chris Carter
WildStar (PC)Developer: Carbine StudiosPublisher: NCSoftReleased: June 3, 2014MSRP: $59.99 ($14.99 flexible subscription fee, with 30 days included in base game) After reaching the mid-levels of the game, WildStar gets more grindy, but not more than the average MMO. The key is you have so much to do while you enjoy the process of getting to max level -- tend to your house, explore, PVP, do regular quests, or go in a ton of instances. The world itself is more interesting than most, offering up a hearty helping of humor alongside its purposefully cartoon veneer. The quests don't change for better or worse, and teeter along the line of "innovative for the genre" and "standard fare." It's fun to do vehicular quests and wacky tasks that ape popular culture, but at the same time it can feel methodical, which isn't a good thing for people who want to break free of the bonds of standard MMO play. WildStar still heavily leans on a method of vertical progression, which is great for people who love to see that "ding," along with the personal satisfaction that comes with it, but again, it's a very traditional system. With a lot of sandbox MMOs trying horizontal and more seamless methods, WildStar will scare off people looking for something new. The last time I stopped our Review in Progress was at level 30, at which point more starts to open up. Level 35 sees a new dungeon (Skullcano Island), which is just as lively as all of the other instanced content so far. Level 40 and 45 introduce The Crimelords of Whitevale and Malgrave Trail respectively, in the form of Adventures -- which as we know, are more open-ended dungeons designed for multiple runs. At this point I'm a little more on board with the Adventure scheme, but at the same time the sheer lack of dungeons isn't ideal. It's admirable that the WildStar team would put more effort into PVP than most MMOs, but for those of you who enjoy PVE, your options are limited. Again questing is fun, but it isn't all that different or exciting compared to the rest of the genre, so players are going to naturally funnel into instances and PVP. Either way the questing process continues -- Level 46 sees the Grimvault zone, which really preps you for all the "Elder Game" content (also known as "endgame"). Leveling up doesn't stop at 50, as you can earn "Elder Gems" to spend on gear. The grind continues! Just a little more horizontal this time. Of course, many players will want to move on to raiding -- the most hardcore goal of any MMO. The Genetic Archives (20-man) and Datascape (40-man) are herculean tasks, and you must attune to them before you even enter. This process is meant to weed out people who aren't serious about undertaking this massive commitment, and even though the attunement questline has since been nerfed, it's still a major time sink, though there are "no plans" to nerf raid difficulty. It might turn you off, but Carbine Studios is steadfast about its intended audience. Let me be clear -- to even attune to these raids you pretty much need the help of a static group of friends or a guild, and it will take you a long time to even do "upkeep" on your character so that you're "raid-ready." These fights take me back to the golden age of WoW, and are worth the squeeze if you have the time. The only problem is over the course of a few months, the amount of people willing to do these raids have dwindled. So if you're looking for a group, it may take more time to find players who will match up with your requirements. Not only that, but real endgame gear and character progress outside of these raids isn't nearly as engaging or viable -- so if you don't raid, you might run out of things to do if you aren't into PVP. WildStar is a very traditional MMO, and it doesn't attempt to hide that fact. As someone who enjoys both the new- and old-school means of thought, I found WildStar to be both a solid foundation of tried-and-true methods and an all-too familiar retread. If you've finally grown tired of WoW and want another hardcore MMO, this is it -- but everyone else may want to wait for a free trial period.
WildStar photo
A great alternative MMO
I undertook a Review in Progress of WildStar at release, and due to a number of distractions and surprise announcements, it's taken me a while to see almost everything there is. But here I am with my Dominion Mechar...

Review in Progress: WildStar (Mid-levels)

Jul 07 // Chris Carter
WildStar (PC)Developer: Carbine StudiosPublisher: NCSoftRelease: June 3, 2014MSRP: $59.99 ($14.99 flexible subscription fee, with 30 days included in base game) After slowly making my way through the very traditional quest system, I found myself at the first big milestone in WildStar at level 14 -- instanced player housing. Although it's not quite as exciting as Ultima Online's open-world placement, this is easily one of the best housing systems ever created in an MMO, and fans of housing in general will be more than pleased. First off, getting your instanced house in the sky is as easy as accepting the quest in your capital city, and entering the area by way of a teleporter -- which grants you a recall spell for your housing plot that you can use at any time after that. You'll start off with an empty plot, but WildStar gives you enough to set down a small house and furnish it with a few pieces. You'll earn more by purchasing them or by way of enemy drops. The house editor is simple to use, and follows a grid-like pattern for placing and removing objects. I spent a few hours just re-arranging furniture and trinkets and actually had a good time, as the bright and vibrant visuals make everything come to life in its own way. You can also create crafting tables in your home, as well as resource nodes and even daily quest hubs -- it's awesome. The floating motif is a perfect way to explain the instanced design, and it looks beautiful. [embed]277426:54779:0[/embed] Here's where it gets interesting beyond the aesthetic level -- if you rest at your home area, you'll get an increased amount of rested XP as a bonus to your leveling process. Also, extra furniture can contribute to an extra bonus depending on the parameters. It's by no means required at all to level-up at a decent pace, but it's a nice way to reward players for pimping out their house. Getting around is as easy as ever with taxi waypoints, teleportation points in major quest hubs, a capital city recall and your housing recall spell. The next milestone is mounts, which are obtained at level 15 for 10 gold -- roughly the amount you'll earn by selling vendor trash items from the start of the game. It's a completely fair price and one most players will earn even without trying that hard. Whereas a lot of other MMOs gate off mounts until later in the game or make them extremely difficult to purchase, WildStar does it right by letting relatively low levels enjoy themselves with a few big milestones. Having said that, there definitely is a gating process, as advanced mounts and better riding skills aren't unlocked until level 25, for a heftier sum. Although WildStar is quick to hand out some perks and bonuses early, it smartly withholds a lot of good rewards as well so you have to work to unlock them. This is particularly true of the attunement quests for endgame raids, which we'll get to later down the line. Ok, so all of that ancillary stuff sounds great, so let's talk about the meat of the game. In terms of questing, I have to say WildStar is fairly consistent. Although it never really transcends the genre in terms of "kill this" or "gather that," it manages to present said quests in fun ways due to the cartoony nature of the game, and some wacky out-of-the-box thinking. For instance, one quest will task you with gathering berries on a farm -- but with a jetpack as the catalyst, leaping 50 feet into the air to scrub the berries off trees. So beyond normal world map leveling, what else can you do as you work towards 50? Most notably at level 15, the instanced path begins to really open up, leading to Adventures, which are essentially WildStar's take on dynamic dungeons. Rather than have players grind out the same dungeon over and over to level-up, Carbine Studios has crafted a "choose your own adventure" of sorts, plopping players into a scripted, but unique mini-sandbox to complete. On the Dominion side one of them is a prison assault, tasking you with dodging snipers at the start -- but that's the only real static event. From there, you'll get to choose a series of events within roughly five waves, all of which can offer something different, and up to three unique bosses to fight. It really is just a wheeled dungeon with a lot of little spokes, but with objectives such as "defend the point" or "complete the puzzle," to break up just killing enemies over and over. Level 25 has another Adventure, as does level 30. All of these have ranks, the top of which can be achieved by not wiping once and completing the Adventure in a certain amount of time -- so there's something extra for high-level players to shoot for. I didn't have any desire to repeat these Adventures more than five or so times each, but the fact that Carbine was able to pull them off and cram multiple instances into one is impressive. At level 20, you'll unlock another dungeon (which differs depending on your alliance). These are the typical PVE MMO experience -- trash mob pulls, then bosses, rinse and repeat. The good news is WildStar's telegraph system really shines in big encounters, so even if they are fairly paint-by-numbers affairs, they're still fun to play with a group of friends. Carbine has done a good job of providing guides to said dungeons for new players, so they don't have to seek out information elsewhere. At level 15 you'll get a new PVP battleground called Halls of the Bloodsworn. It's a 10v10 map that involves control points, much like Domination in Call of Duty, but with set "attack and defend" teams at any given moment. I found this mode to be more engaging than the first PVP location (Walatiki Temple), which often had a decent amount of downtime when the talismans weren't in play or near your person. Now in Bloodsworn you're constantly fighting for points, and at any given moment each team has a concrete role and an idea of what to do. It leads to more intense group fights, and given the great combat system it's a ton of fun. Level 30 hosts an arena mode, which should placate a lot of competitive PVP fans. Just like World of Warcraft and many other MMOs, there are 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 options -- but with a twist -- the arena uses the "Life Pool" system unique to WildStar. Instead of ending the fight immediately after everyone dies on a team, WildStar allows people to come back if they have a life pool available -- in other words, you can immediately respawn and kill enemies that were hanging on for dear life with little to no HP left. It's not mind-blowingly different, but it's an option for those of you who enjoy the always classic arena play. So let's take a hard look at levels 1-30 in terms of instanced content outside of the inherently diverse PVP that feels new every round -- you have two adventures and two dungeons. While an adventure does technically count as multiple dungeons, the fact remains that the actual location remains the same, and it's easy to get bored of entering the same place over and over. All in all if you don't enjoy PVP, you're stuck with four instances until you reach level 35, which unlocks your next location. It's not the most ideal situation for those of you who prefer leveling in dungeons outside of the confines of traditional world leveling, but the fact remains that WildStar offers more options to level up than pretty much every other game out there. Odds are you're going to find something you like and stick with it, and the best part is -- all of these avenues are viable. WildStar is very much a traditional MMO, but it does a lot of things right and I am enjoying myself overall. Whereas many MMOs launch these days with very little to do outside of questing, Carbine Studios has done right by its fans, ensuring that people won't quickly unsubscribe as they approach the level cap. It's a noble effort, and shows that the developer isn't willing to half-ass its game just to make a quick buck. Stay tuned as I make my way up to the level cap and see how the game fares beyond the first month of a subscription.
WildStar review photo
Levels 14-30
[We'll be reviewing WildStar over an extended period of time. For more details, check out our Reviews in Progress program.] As we all know, MMOs can drastically change not only over the course of months of...

WildStar photo
WildStar

WildStar's server status seems stable for today's launch


PVP and PVE are good to go
Jun 03
// Chris Carter
In the first entry of my ongoing WildStar Review in Progress, I noted that there were some issues with various PVE and PVP servers over the early access weekend, most notably long queue times that could stretch on for ho...

Review in Progress: WildStar (Early-Access)

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
WildStar (PC)Developer: Carbine StudiosPublisher: NCSoftRelease: June 3, 2014MSRP: $59.99 ($14.99 flexible subscription fee, with 30 days included in base game)  As a frame of reference, my character is currently a level 13 Dominion Mechari Warrior. Exile is the faction, Mechari is the race, and Warrior is the class -- with the power to tank or deal out damage (DPS). Yep, you read that right, WildStar is an old-school MMO in that it adheres to the holy trinity of tanking, damage, and healing, for better or worse. It's not that strict though in terms of locking classes into singular jobs, as every class in the game can perform two of the trinity's roles with various specs (ability choices). So instead of being stuck at max level with just one role for months on end, you'll have the choice to switch between multiple jobs -- for Warrior, I can either tank or DPS, the latter of which I'm going to use to level to 50. Speaking of races and classes, there's a decent amount of customization within the game's character creator tool, and the races themselves have more variety than the average MMO. There's plenty of humanoid choices, as well as tiny rat people (Chua), poison elves (Mordesh), robots (Mechari), rock people (Granok), and a few others. Odds are you'll find something you'll want to play as with the class system as well, since melee, ranged, stealth, and support roles are all intact in addition to the trinity itself. [embed]275535:54137:0[/embed] Early game in WildStar is instanced (like every other MMO these days), which serves two purposes -- to acclimate you to the game in a controlled environment, and ease the load of everyone jumping into the game at the same time. You'll learn the general setup of the the game and the planet Nexus, why both factions are warring, and so on. It's a short hour or so intro before you head off to Nexus' surface, which will happen around level three. It's here that WildStar starts to show off its openness in terms of the leveling process. In addition to PVP, instanced dungeons, and open-world questing, you'll also be able to choose a "path" -- like exploration or combat -- that helps you earn new abilities and special path levels separately. If you just like combat, you can be a Soldier and do more quests that way, or if you're sick of fighting things constantly in every game, you can do other activities like running around and finding new locations. It's not a game-changer, but it's a refreshing change of pace from other MMOs that mostly feel like combat grinds. There are also fun world events in the form of challenges and group bosses to help mix things up. Having said that, regular questing feels very standard, and it almost all consists of kill and gather quests. Carbine has made some concessions to the formula by giving you more "credit" towards quests by killing stronger enemies -- so you don't have to keep killing the same thing over and over -- but at the end of the day it's the same result. There really isn't a whole lot of leeway here, and after level seven things really started to feel like a standard MMO grind. The good news is you can level in other ways, most notably in PVP. You'll get access to PVP early (sadly, world PVP doesn't come until level 30 or so), in the form of a single battleground called Walatiki Temple. It's basically Capture the Flag with neutral flags (in this case, masks), and direct duels and group combat is inevitable. It's always intense because you can steal masks from other bases, and you won't have to wander far for a skirmish, which is a great thing. Not only is this a viable method of leveling, but it's also a particularly fun PVP system for one major reason -- the telegraph system. Simply put, WildStar telegraphs (shows) all its attacks from both friends and foes. Friendly attacks are designated with a blue color on the ground (in the shape of the attack), and enemies are red. This gives you a chance to not only dodge attacks, but coordinate heals, stuns, and group attacks with teammates. It feels more action-oriented than most games, but still retains that tactical overhead MMO feel that other games have. It really comes together when you're having an intense fight with lots of dodging involved, only to find out that you have to further dodge other world hazards, which are also telegraphed. It's not as fast-paced as TERA's combat, but it's a great middle ground for those of you who feel like the old style of MMO combat is outdated. Jumping puzzles and even dodge puzzles are fully intact, which also breaks up the monotony. WildStar is a particularly pretty game, mostly because of the cartoony art style that isn't afraid to use more than dark colors. It's reminiscent of World of Warcraft for sure, but much worse from an optimization standpoint. In other words, if you have an older PC and are attempting to run WildStar, you likely won't push a frame rate over 10 FPS. It's strange, because the game doesn't look as incredible as say, Final Fantasy XIV, but it runs slower on the same machine. Hopefully more optimization will occur in future updates to alleviate the problem with older machines (I'm currently achieving 60 FPS consistently with a high-end laptop, but a lot of fellow players have been complaining about poor optimization as well). Carbine Studios has responded to early access server issues by opening up new ones, though queues for the old servers (where your friends likely are), are huge. I'm talking five hours or more, and it's clear that they will need to ensure that this doesn't happen with the game's launch tomorrow. Of course, after about a month when the game loses some subscribers (standard practice for MMOs), things will likely even out. It's not ideal but it's far from a complete disaster in terms of an early launch. We'll keep you posted. Nothing about WildStar's early game experience blew me away, but there's not a whole lot wrong with it either from a traditional MMO perspective. As we all know MMOs open up the more you play them, and with the dynamic "choose your own adventure" events coming up as well as the always crucial endgame test, be sure to stay tuned as I work my way through all of the content. For now, I'm having fun -- but we'll see if it's worth paying a subscription for.
WildStar review photo
The first three days
[We'll be reviewing WildStar over an extended period of time. For more details, check out our new Reviews in Progress program.] The time has finally come for WildStar to back up all that hype. For yea...

Betas photo
Betas

How do you feel about betas for games with long time commitments?


Are you okay with getting your progress rolled back?
May 16
// Chris Carter
It's crazy what can be considered a "beta" these days. Often times, betas are nothing but glorified demos, providing very little in terms of actual stress testing and used as more of a marketing tool. Sometimes I really miss ...
WildStar photo
WildStar

WildStar's raids sound pretty incredible if you're dedicated enough


I see lots of endless nights in your future
May 14
// Chris Carter
"Hey man, you want to go out tonight?""Sorry dude, I gotta raid." How many times have you either said that phrase, or heard it from a friend of yours? Whether you "get" MMOs or not, the fact remains that upcoming MMO WildStar will have a major focus on raids, which is either good or bad news for your social life.
WildStar beta keys photo
Play the upcoming MMO all weekend long
[Update: The beta weekend has been extended until Monday!] Our friends at NCSoft and Carbine Studios have hooked us up with 5,000 beta keys for their hot new MMO WildStar! The beta weekend starts tomorrow at 7am and ends on S...

WildStar photo
WildStar

WildStar's developers seem to be taking endgame content seriously


Yes! Yes! Yes!
Apr 14
// Chris Carter
When I previewed WildStar last year at PAX East, I had a long conversation with the developers in regards to endgame content. While not every MMO player necessarily needs a hefty amount of max level raids and dungeo...

Get your WildStar beta keys here!

Mar 21 // mrandydixon
For the rest of you, check back tomorrow; we'll unleash the remaining keys upon the world then.
WildStar beta keys photo
Play the upcoming MMO all weekend long
[Update: Beta weekend over! Hope you had fun.] NOTE: The rest of the codes are loaded and live! Click here to snag yours before they're all gone! Our friends at NCSoft and Carbine Studios have hooked us up with 5,000 bet...

WildStar photo
WildStar

WildStar lets you customize the crap out of everything


Make rainbows in the sky!
Feb 01
// Wesley Ruscher
If it's one thing the upcoming MMO WildStar has going for it, besides a beautiful art style, it's the amount of customization it affords players. The latest DevSpeak video from the team at Carbine Studios delves into some of...
WildStar photo
WildStar

WildStar's Esper class revealed


This might be my choice
Nov 14
// Chris Carter
Gamers who typically play casters in MMOs (hi!) will be pleased to see these screenshots of the Esper, the newest class reveal for the upcoming MMO WildStar. You can see them doing their thing in the gallery below, and it loo...
WildStar payment model photo
WildStar payment model

MMO WildStar has officially announced its payment model


Pay a fee, or don't!
Aug 19
// Patrick Hancock
The upcoming MMO WildStar looks pretty solid. It's got a good sense of humor, style, and appears to be different enough to fill a certain niche. Today the team at NCSoft has officially announced the game's business ...
WildStar Paths system photo
WildStar Paths system

WildStar 'Paths' system detailed in new dev video


Oh jeez I'm excited about an MMO again...
May 22
// Patrick Hancock
The Path system in WildStar is the focus of the latest developer video, going into detail about how your character will cater to how you like to personally play. The available Paths are Soldier, Explorer, Scientist, and...
WildStar preview photo
WildStar preview

WildStar's Paths accomodate specific MMO play styles


Which Path will you choose?
May 22
// Alessandro Fillari
The new MMO on the block, WildStar, is gearing up for its release this year, and the developers at Carbine Studios are cranking out new details as we near that. As if making choices in MMO games weren’t tough enough, C...

A first look at Carbine Studios' WildStar

Sep 05 // Aerox
WildStar (PC)Developer: Carbine StudiosPublisher: NCsoft Carbine's presentation started out with some information about the studio. One of the things that they believe sets them aside from other companies is that, in their own words, everyone who works at the company is a gamer -- even the receptionists. The company itself is made up of developers and designers who have not only worked on pretty much every major MMO that's been released, but are also avid MMO players who are familiar with most games on the market. What do they aim to do with all this knowledge and experience? Create the "deepest, richest, MMO experience" possible. They say their goal is not just to clone the MMOs that already exist, but to make a unique game that innovates the genre. WildStar takes place on a planet called Nexus, which used to be home to an all-powerful race called the Elden. Suddenly and with no warning, the Elden vanished, and many adventurers have come to Nexus to either try to figure out what happened to them, or to claim for themselves all the artifacts and power they left behind. As you progress through the game, you'll experience what the developers referred to as "layered content." Instead of having straight quest progression, moving from point A to point B, WildStar aims to do something more fluid. The gameplay still sounds quest-based, but the way in which you acquire quests seems much more natural. The example we were given was from a starting zone, where you may initially be sent out to exterminate some of the local wildlife. Once you start killing the critters, you may notice that some are mutated, which kicks off a separate quest that charges you with finding the source of the mutation. While you're investigating the mutation, you may come across a hidden cave that starts an entirely new quest line. You may get a random call on your transceiver once you get close enough to a certain section of the map, warning you of a dangerous monster you have to kill. That's just an example of one layer -- as you progress through the game, Carbine says that you'll be in areas that have multiple and increasingly complex "layers," with the ultimate goal of eliminating the videogame trope of running back and forth between people with exclamation points over their heads. Quests and layered content aren't the only new things Carbine is attempting to do -- they also have set out to design a system that lets people play the way they actually want to play, instead of being forced into roles they may have no interest in. Many gamers may be familiar with the Bartle Test, a psychological profile created by Richard Bartle that aims to classify the way people play online multiplayer games. The four main types he identified are the killers, the achievers, the socializers, and the explorers. Killers mainly play because they love combat and defeating both enemies and other players. Explorers like discovering new aspects of the game and tend to search every nook and cranny. Socializers are mostly interested in interacting with other players. Achievers want to be as powerful as possible, maxing out their stats and getting the best items. Carbine has taken Bartle's test and essentially implemented it into the game. In addition to picking a race and class, as you would in a standard MMO, you also select one of four paths that essentially defines your gameplay goals for you, rewards you for your play style, and gives you abilities that complement the way you want to play. If you pick the Soldier path, you get rewarded for excelling in combat and taking down huge monsters. Soldiers also have the ability to trigger large public combat quests -- they plant a battle standard in the ground, and they and anyone nearby can take on big waves of creatures. Explorers are, naturally, rewarded for exploring different areas of the map and making discoveries. They can find and unlock hidden paths for their party, and can discover and open sealed-off dungeons. Scientists are rewarded for collecting information, whether it be in-game lore or information on enemies. They carry around a scanbot, which can help them identify boss' weak points, and also can scan the local flora and fauna for bonuses. Finally, the Settlers are responsible for building up towns and quest hubs, and can provide valuable buffs for characters who reside in their settlements. I'm intrigued by the way WildStar is shaping up. It's still pretty early on in the development process, so there's quite a bit of work to do, but I really like the idea of the Path system. It's also nice to see a team made up almost entirely of veteran MMO players and makers, since they presumably know exactly where other MMOs have made missteps. Those of you getting burned out on WoW and looking for a new MMO will probably want to keep an eye on WildStar -- it's definitely got a lot of promise.
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When NCsoft announced they had formed Carbine Studios way back in 2007, both companies were tight-lipped about what Carbine would actually be working on, aside from it being a new MMO. Almost four years later, Carbine unveiled WildStar at gamescom and PAX, and I was able to sit down and talk with the devs to learn just what WildStar is, and what Carbine is hoping to accomplish with the game.

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NCsoft has been a very popular bunch here at gamescom and it isn't just because of Guild Wars 2. At the press conference, we saw the announcement of WildStar, a completely new MMO from the also newly announced...


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