WildStar beta is currently running and despite the countless bugs haunting the testing phase, there’s one thing that is truly irreproachable, the combat system. Fighting and moving in this sci-fi MMO feels completely natural, intuitive and fluid. Basically, Carbine Studios has developed a new character control system based on proficiency and reflexes. Unlike most traditional MMOs, players will be able to aim all their abilities, dodge all type of enemy attacks, break out of disables and even trigger special bonuses based on their accuracy levels. This seems like a dream come true for a MMO player like me, who has tried basically every MMORPG out there. I must admit, this combat system did impress me. It’s a huge step forward in terms of innovation and usability. It’s not just about casting skills in a specific order or executing a few dashes anymore. WildStar introduces a reactive system, where players can decide how they wish to play their characters in real time. Every decisions counts. Missing a stun-break might get you killed and landing a certain skill might earn you a victory. It’s interesting how every choice and reactive response might end up generating different results. I believe the next-gen of Action MMOs is here and it arrives this June.
The combat system in WildStar is remarkably fast and spontaneous. Whether in PvE or PvP, hostile encounters are very flexible, dynamic and immersive. Everything happens really quickly, just as it happens in first-person shooter games and even the smallest details can become decisive. Each fight turns out to be a real challenge and a true test of skill. I normally get really uninterested while questing and doing PvE in general but in WildStar I could clearly say goodbye to boredom. For the first time (since Guild Wars 2), I felt a certain degree of enthusiasm and challenge in environmental fights.
Non-Target Cast: Expertise Required
Non-target systems are part of modern MMORPGs but the whole concept hadn’t been mastered to date. In MMOs like Age of Wushu or Tera, there were several skills that required aiming but target skills were still existent. However, in WildStar I felt like this skill-based system has finally been perceived as intended. All single abilities require aiming, unless of course it’s self-cast. Target-skills are nothing but a feature of the past and hopefully, the future will embrace this new reality.
Another creative feature in WildStar’s combat gameplay is the reactive/responsive system. While fighting opponents, players might find themselves disabled in any way. But unlike most games, there’s something players can do about it. Looking at your character and wait until the stun time is out is no longer the only possibility. Now, players can press a random generated key (a, w, s, d) to get out of a certain altered state. The fastest this key is pressed, the quicker players can snap out of it.
Innovative Mobility: Never Stop Moving
Mobility in WildStar couldn’t be any less enthralling. The game features a restorative sprint, two cool down dashes and a continuously double-jump. Besides, while journeying across planet Nexus players can experience a speed buff by traveling through the main roads. And since this is an action MMO, there are countless mobility skills, including blinks, withdrawal flashes and speed boosts. Moving is the key to success and the new insurance that your opponents won’t hit you as much as they should.
Finally, the skill customization system offers tremendous possibilities. With three role trees per class and a total of eight active skills at a time, players have an extended series of skill combinations. Mixing skills from different roles is also conceivable, allowing players to create their very unique and personalized builds. Furthermore, the AMP system extends this diversification model with multiple passive tiers and potential new skills.
The only issue and the major enemy of this system is definitely any sort of lag. I experienced a few moments of server lag during my PvP sessions and it was quite awful, since aiming and hitting your skills is basically impossible with even the smallest delay. Nevertheless, this system is totally flawless and a surprising innovation in the MMO world.