Carbine has finally released its long-awaited fourth major content update for WildStar Online.
As we reported last month when we covered Carbine’s 2015 roadmap for WildStar, The Protogames Intiative adds a rather large dollop of new content alongside the usual array of tweaks, fixes and balance adjustments.
Here are the highlights, taken from the official press release:
- New Shiphand Experiences
“They Came From Fragment Zero!” is the newest Shiphand, designed for level six players (don’t worry level 50s, there’s a Veteran mode included). Players can blast off to an asteroid near the moon of Halon to uncover a spooky Eldan facility and investigate the unnerving experiments going on there. Additionally, WildStar’s existing Shiphands now also feature Veteran modes for level-50 fans looking for challenging encounters and matching completion rewards.
- Protogames Academy
To help the newest players out, WildStar brings the best tutorial on this side of Nexus in the form of Protogames Academy. This level-10 dungeon will teach less-experienced dungeon-goers the tricks of the trade by introducing them to WildStar’s more complex group content mechanics, while also providing a fun experience and access to more support-role gear much earlier in the leveling process.
- The Ultimate Protogames
A challenging new level-50 veteran dungeon, The Ultimate Protogames gives player-contestants the opportunity to battle through Protostar’s most diabolical and deviously devised diversions. In this maniacal game show, players will fight through randomly-ordered rooms making every run of the dungeon unique. The prize for emerging victorious? Eternal glory (and sweet loot).
- New Customization Options
A new customization system called the “Character Chop Shop” enables players to make all kinds of changes to their characters’ hair, face, and body, and a new housing option give players the tools to change the terrain style of their property. From the dusty dunes of Malgrave to the ice floes of Whitevale, players have more control over the look of their plot than ever before. And the new Underground Bunker House will let you get the most out of your available space by putting your living quarters deep beneath the surface.
In addition to the new content, a number of improvements have been made to the game’s systems and UI. Here’s a few of them:
- Players now have the option of setting the client up to remember and trust their IP address so that they won’t be prompted for two-step verification every time they login.
- We have updated the way Renown is earned from Veteran Shiphands and Veteran Adventures. Players will now earn bonus Renown from Medals, Daily Quests, and using the Random Queue. We’ve also added a new currency called ‘Glory’ to Veteran Dungeons and Raids. This currency will be used to purchase Veteran Dungeon and Raid quality gear. We have removed many of the progression-based rewards from the Elder Gem vendor and moved them to Renown and Glory vendors. Elder Gems will now award mostly cosmetic items such as Dyes, Costumes, Mounts, and Customizations.
- Players will now receive additional money, Renown, Glory and Prestige from using the random group finder queue for Veteran Shiphands, Veteran Adventures, Veteran Dungeons, Practice Battlegrounds and Rated Battlegrounds.
- The speed at which players travel on roads across Nexus has been given a slight boost.
- New overhead icons for tradeskill trainers, quest givers and stations have been added to the game.
- Character realm transfers should no longer be blocked based on mail the player can’t see.
- Grit will now increase health by 18 per point, up from 14, and Grit mini-milestones will now increase health by 250, up from 150.
- Players can now customize their existing character’s physical appearance in-game. Look for the customization vendor in major towns (Hint: it’s the same as the previous Dye/Costumes vendor).
- Players must now enter their character name to confirm a realm transfer. This is to avoid accidental transfer of the wrong character.
- Players may now preview low, medium and high level armor on each class while they are creating a new character.
You can read the full patch notes over on the official forums.
Myself and Heather Williams reviewed WildStar Online when it launched last year, and we rather liked it – scoring it 9/10, which we rate as “Excellent” according to our scale. “WildStar is worth the time of anyone with even the slightest interest in the genre,” we said in our WildStar Online Review. “WildStar is quite possibly one of the most polished, playable and enjoyable MMOs we have ever played, and so it comes highly recommended. To quote the game’s announcer: ‘Boom! Now things are gonna get real’.”
We’ll be taking a look at the latest content, as well as the content that’s been released since our original review, soon – so be sure to keep an eye out for it and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to our RSS and new newsletter to keep up to date.
In the meantime, here’s a trailer for The Protogames Initiative and some new screenshots.