The future of free-to-play WildStar is a bright one
Why now is the perfect time to return to planet Nexus
When WildStar released all the way back in 2014, we immediately fell in love with it. The sci-fi setting, the charming characters, challenging combat, and the unique take on the MMO genre -- it was pretty amazing. But as we’ve seen in the past, the MMO subscription model is dead -- or dying. And WildStar, like so many others before it, felt the pinch. But, where others have failed, WildStar has succeeded in successfully transitioning to a more friendly free-to-play model. As of September of this year, WildStar went entirely free-to-play, removing any sort of barrier to entry and opening up its expansive universe to millions of gamers. And now, more than a month later, it’s clear this is the perfect time to return to planet Nexus.
Regardless of how many MMOs out there now embrace the free-to-play model, there’s always the fear that it translates into pay-to-win. WildStar does not fall victim to that. MMOs never really end, but it’s possible to progress to the level cap without spending a cent, and things you can purchase with NCoin are limited to cosmetic items, like costumes, mounts, dyes, etc. From a gameplay standpoint, everything that made WildStar so great at launch is still there and you’re not held back by any free-to-play restrictions.
Of course, WildStar still needs money to operate, and Carbine will be rewarding you, even if you spent money with them in the past. The “Cosmic Rewards Program” provides rewards to players who have either in the past spent money on WildStar or are currently spending money in the game.
For those who previously played, Carbine has kept track of your information, and when you boot up the free-to-play version, you’ll immediately see that you’ve accrued some percentage of “Cosmic Points,” which can be spent on unique items created just for that system. Again, these are purely cosmetic. The system continues to monitor your purchases, so if you buy anything from the in-game store, you’ll still earn Cosmic Points.
CREDD, formally WildStar’s unique business model, still exists, but now gives you a month of “Signature Service.” This is basically a continuation of the sub, giving you extra bonuses, increased drop rates for loot, reputation increaes, and XP bonuses. If you redeem CREDD for a month of Signature Service, you’ll also get Cosmic Points. What’s cool about this is you don’t actually have to spend any real money to gain access to the Cosmic Rewards Program.
“We’ve tried as much as we can with how we are approaching the free-to-play model to reward not just players who are spending money, but players who are spending their time,” explained creative director Chad Moore. “Free players are getting access to the same kind of rewards as players who actually spend money.”