As WildStar conducts another beta test this weekend, these are some impressions of the character creation system. WildStar is the highly anticipated upcoming massively multiplayer online (MMO) game from Carbine Studios. While it is Carbine’s first major project as a developer, the studio is made up almost entirely of industry veterans who have worked on other highly successful projects like World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Dark Age of Camelot. The studio recently announced the release date for the game, which will be June 3rd, 2014 and began selling pre-orders for it. Purchasing the game in advance gives players access to all the upcoming weekend beta events like the one conducted this weekend.
The first thing new players will deal with upon starting up WildStar is the character creation system. The ability to create a unique and distinctive character varies in importance to MMO players. It is the single most important factor to some, and almost a non-issue to others. Those players who find character creation to be the most important feature of an MMO will likely be somewhat disappointed in WildStar. It is a good system, to be certain, but it does not have the in depth customization and wealth of options that some other MMO’s offer. The best way to summarize it would be to say that WildStar is squarely in the middle between highly robust systems like the old City of Heroes and very mundane systems like World of Warcraft. For all its other qualities, character creation in World of Warcraft remains a joke among top tier MMO’s.
WildStar does give a player plenty of options to create their character however. The most in depth portion of character creation is a series of sliders that can be used to adjust every aspect of the character’s head and face. This is where WildStar offers the most customization to a player. Aside from this there are the standard sorts of options for skin color, hair style, facial hair, etc. There are also some race specific options like horns for the bestial Draken, jewelry for humans, and ear styles for the Aurin. The most disappointing aspect of character creation in WildStar is the total lack of body customization at this time. A player cannot alter the size and shape of their character in any way. Each race and gender is locked to a specific body form and cannot be changed. This omission has already drawn the ire of some players and while Carbine has stood firm on this decision up to now, hope remains that perhaps they will revisit the issue before the game launches in June.
One final comment to be made on the character creation system has little to do with the system itself, but instead the background music for the screen. The theme that plays during character creation is one of the best sounding pieces of music to be heard in an MMO. It does an excellent job of setting the “mood” for what is about to take place. It makes the player feel like they are about to begin an epic journey, which is what the creation of a character in a new MMO should be doing. If the rest of the music in WildStar is of similar quality, players will be aurally impressed throughout their journey on the planet Nexus.
There will be further impressions and commentaries as the WildStar beta event unfolds this weekend, but this was a look at the first thing players will encounter in the game, the character creation system.
Commentary Review by Christopher V. Spencer