Something For The Weekend: Wildstar Beta Key Giveaway

Listen! This weekend, the beta for Wildstar is opening up and 40,000 keys are available right now. First come, first served.

Our first feature about the sci-fi MMO went live in August 2011, which is approximately fifty seven years ago in blog years. Since then, we’ve had interviews, hands-on previews, news stories aplenty and one last interview. It’s am ambitious game, not quite shattering the WOW mould but seeming to stretch it as far as it can go.

Go go go.

When they’re gone, they’re gone. If you’re quick enough to snag a key, you’ll receive an email from NCSOFT with download details and the servers go live this Friday at 15:00 GMT. Access ends on Sunday at 19:59 GMT.

It’s a game that’s trying to do a great deal, as our Graham noted recently:

Its PvE questing is structured in such a way that as well as hitting up NPCs for new quests, you get phonecalls from people as you play with little tasks to keep you engaged. Whatever you’re doing, chances are you’re progressing towards completing three different things simultaneously.

When you get in a scrap with some bads, the combat is a little more tactical than I’m used to from the genre.

Graham’s thoughts gel with the claims and promises made by the dev team. They speak of skills that take actual skill to utilise, which is quite an unexpected concept in an MMORPG. I’m quite keen to play myself but don’t have time this weekend. Send me postcards. You can see my house and address in this Street View image.


  1. int says:

    Thank ye, kindly!

  2. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Yay. I think I’ll get one. This MMO has looked pretty interesting. I sadly haven’t found time to play far into Guild Wars 2, and now it feels like there’s no one around anymore in the beginner parts of the game…

  3. engion3 says:

    Easiest beta I’ve ever signed up for.

  4. spacedyemeerkat says:

    Turbine? Are you sure you don’t mean Carbine?

      • spacedyemeerkat says:

        …although I do so wish it really was Turbine. You never forget your first love (Asheron’s Call).

        • JanusForbeare says:

          *sad sigh*

          ‘Tis better to have loved and logged out…

          I actually went back to AC a few months ago, but got disappointed when I released that the player base entirely consisted of level 400 characters hanging out in a single town. I miss playing on their PVP server back in the good old days, when the Bloods (no relation to the street gang of the same name, though they behaved like them) were a massive coalition of PKers that vied for territory with the rest of the player base. That, plus the reactive, monthly content updates made it one of the finest MMO experiences I’ve ever had. Hell, the leader of the Bloods actually swore fealty (ACs guild-building mechanic) to the dev-controlled dark god during his rampage around the game world.

          They just don’t make ’em like they used to. Grumble grumble, fifty miles in the snow, uphill both ways, grumble.

          • spacedyemeerkat says:

            Great post.

            I cherish my memories of going on an Atlan stone run with my US-based clan in the early morning hours of the weekend. Clan Boru on Morningthaw, fact fans.

            I loved the patron/vassal relationship, too. Sure, it could be abused, but it really encouraged patrons to coach their vassals, lest they be off somewhere else.

            I subscribe for a month every now and then but many of the game’s systems feel so complicated due to the spoonfeeding of most MMOs these days that I quickly log off again after saying hello to my old characters. Mind you, I did manage to get the items together to buy a little cottage in the middle of nowhere about a year ago. Forgot to log in and pay the maintenance, though, and lost it. Together with everything I’d stored there – including one of those old diamond shields.

            Anyway, great memories.

            Great memories.

  5. aliksy says:

    The main reason I have little interest in this game is the subscription, so if I could play it for free I would give it a chance. But… 504 Gateway Time-out.

    Oh well. Back to Dark Souls and GW2 for me, I guess.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Insist, ye of little faith.

    • trjp says:

      Have they said they’re going to have a subs yet? I’ve not seen anything??

      I was sort-of guessing it would be perhaps a one-off fee plus an optional monthly ‘premium’ subs with a f2p shop for other stuff – that seems to suit their market…

      Remember that subs games don’t work in Asia (which is where the publisher are based?)

      • LunyAlex says:

        The game will be subscription fee based, but there will be a system in place that enables you to get more game time with in-game currency.

        You play a lot. You get a lot of… let’s call it gold (no idea what the currency is).

        Someone else can’t play a lot. Doesn’t want to grind forstuff. Has no problem paying for some extra gold.

        So they purchase an certain item with real money (That is slightly more expensive than 1 months worth of gametime) and trade you your gold for it. You activate it and presto.

      • Max.I.Candy says:

        It will be same as EVE.(with in game exchange)
        Which also means that ppl can use real money to buy in game money.

  6. Slabs says:

    Looking forward to giving this a try, see if it will be worth playing when it inevitably goes F2P!

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      If it does, it’ll be the slowest of all the recent MMO projects to adopt this system.

      Of all the wannabe WoW killers, this is the only one who really has what it takes to snatch the burned WoW players, especially the PvE-ers. Those people want an evolution, not a revolution, and they are unable to find another MMO with the same quality. As a former hardcore raider during TBC times myself, this is the only possible replacement i can get. Sadly i don’t have MMO time anymore, personally, but i’m sure others will be more than happy.

      If you’re looking for a MMO about to tank, look no further than TESO.

      • Slabs says:

        Oh I think they’ll both tank in different ways. I expect we’ll see the usual large upfront sales and sharp decline once it comes time to pay a monthly fee.

        • Oconnell says:

          I disagree. Carbine Studios knows what needs to be done to not lose the interest of people after the first months: End game content. The game is going to start with two tiers of Raid content, a total of 4 raid dungeons, Rated PvP Arenas, Rated PvP Battlegrounds and Rated PvP Warplots(40 vs40 players). It also got something for the casual players (Housing and solo player dungeons) but makes a distinction between the two types of content instead of just nerfing everything into oblivion.
          Also: Ex-Vanilla/TBC WoW developers make up the core of the dev team.

  7. pupsikaso says:

    “Oops, this campaign is not available. Please try again later.”

    Anyone else getting this?

  8. h4plo says:


    Not sure if this means that they are out of keys or if there’s a lot of traffic, but thanks a ton for the tip guys. Really looking forward to obsessing over and getting bored of Wildstar within a month.

  9. Obc says:

    such a disappointment, especially the combat. i thought it would bring something new to the table, but it plays exactly like WoW. all the “telegraphed” abilities by the mobs are just the same as in panda land. OMG A CHARGING RHINO, whodathunkthat? instead of clearly visible marked area, wow atleast has the decency to mask it with an effect such as dust blowing or whathaveyou thus focusing on the mob at hand instead of ground markers.

    the game is like a mix between GW2, TOR and WoW without bringing anything really new but mashing everything together, the good, the bad, the ugly and the boring. speaking of boring: the questing can get tedious very fast, the activities arent really varied unlike pandaadventureland or hell WotLK.

    even the interesting sounding professions are just “jumping around without the puzzle” or “click on EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE”.

    what was kinda interesting for me was housing, but i couldnt test it thoroughly coz it was too damn expensive to do anything with it. it might be fun but as it seemed to me i would have to be max level and have a LOT more gold to do anything worthwhile with it.

    what i’ll grant the game is charm and humor.

    my conclusion from the beta: if i would want to pay for any MMO again, it might as well be WoW.

    the problem is: if i wouldnt know what WoW is and how much better it is in a lot of aspects thanks to 9 years head start, i might love this game instead of maligning all its shortcoming compared to WoW, but if it wasnt for WoW this game might not even exist.

    • DiiGiiTAL says:

      Just out of curisoity – what level did you get to? I only got up to 7. I’m willing to give it another go so I can get a bit further.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      This game is made for former WoW raiders, by former WoW devs. Don’t look for something different than that because you’re in for a hell of a disappointment, as you promptly discovered.

      For those who DO like this formula, however, this is the only promising MMO in recent years. Any extra ( minor ) feature this game has is just the icing on the cake, but it’s only for those who love the cake in the first place.

      Besides, the game was never marketed as anything more than this.

    • tyren says:

      “instead of clearly visible marked area, wow atleast has the decency to mask it with an effect such as dust blowing or whathaveyou thus focusing on the mob at hand instead of ground markers.”

      Um, no, those are still ground markers. You still have to look at them and move out of them. They’re just dust or churning earth instead of red boxes. Doesn’t mean you’re looking at the mob and not them.

      To be honest, if anything I found that method even less immersive. “Why is this beast preemptively kicking up dust BEFORE it charges?” etc.

      • Obc says:

        oh ofcourse they are groundmarkers all the same and some mobs even have a cast bar pop up when they charge but still its still not so garish. in wildstar its more about move out of the the red line on the ground than avoid the mob. its a subtle difference but i found it less “immersive”.

        • Oconnell says:

          You do know you are under NDA when playing the Wildstar Beta events, right? You know that first thing you agreed to without reading? Yeah, a Non Disclosure Agreement. Next time take a moment to put all your dissappointment in their beta forums instead of everywhere else. Perhaps that way the ones that need to see your opinion, that being the devs, will be able to read them.

          • Obc says:

            i havent said anything too specific. only things that anyone can read/see anywhere on the net, a lot of it in the released videos by carbine themselves. the only thing that might be too much is that one sentence about housing regarding costs and that i played it. and btw i did voice my opinion on the beta forum ;)

            but you are right i should just stay quite.

  10. Shadow says:

    Is the linked page supposed to close up once all keys have been given away? I was able to enter my e-mail address, but I’m not sure whether that’s indicative of getting a key, regarless of delay. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything and it’s just consciously confusing.

    Anyway, looks kinda WoWy, down to the chunky, cartoony art design. But we’ll see.

  11. fdisk says:

    Thanks for the heads up RPS! You guys are awesome :)

  12. fenriz says:

    “Its PvE questing is structured in such a way that as well as hitting up NPCs for new quests, you get phonecalls from people as you play with little tasks to keep you engaged. Whatever you’re doing, chances are you’re progressing towards completing three different things simultaneously.”

    lol revolutionary.

    I remember it in Tabula Rasa, and it’s a bad memory.

    • Koozer says:

      Hey! Tabula Rasa was great. And buggy.

      • fenriz says:

        a lousy themepark WoW clone, it was.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Only someone who’s never played Tabula Rasa would make that claim. TR was many things, but a WoW clone is simply absurd. No other game has yet managed to make map-wide war against NPC enemies work even remotely as well and many are certainly trying. Defiance for example is trying to be Tabula Rasa almost 1:1, yet it falls utterly short of what TR accomplished with it’s base defenses and constant tug of war.

  13. golem09 says:

    “three different things simultaneously”

    Why do MMOs have to be checklist simulators?

    I want an MMO where fighting enemies is fun and rewarding enough so that I don’t have to finish even ONE quest in the whole time.
    Of course everyone would call it a grinding game then. But Questgrinding is a LOT LOT worse, because that is not even gameplay at all.

    • fenriz says:

      yah. Sandbox is the only way. Quests ruined MMO’s, i’m sure most are realizing it, if they’re not in a coma.

    • bhauck says:

      I pressed “Reply” to tell you how wrong you were, but by the time the page loaded I’d dismantled all my arguments. A little “checklist simulator” would be nice, but I quit WoW because I realized that I was spending way too much time and energy on trying to “accomplish” things that weren’t fun and had no real world value.

      I wonder if you could balance a game where 1 quest equals 1 level and takes the appropriate amount of time to complete. You’d probably have to offer a limited number of “Level X” quests, and I’m open to suggestions for how you’d allow someone to play them all, but I wouldn’t mind collecting 9 gorilla teeth if I also had to collect 8 wolf tails, 14 parrot beaks, an orb of mystery, talk to a shaman, get him 15 bear claws, and all of this were spread over a continent that was interesting to explore and resulted in an automatic ding when I was done. I’m not saying that would be for everyone, but I think I might like it.

      • Shadow says:

        (…) I wouldn’t mind collecting 9 gorilla teeth if I also had to collect 8 wolf tails, 14 parrot beaks, an orb of mystery, talk to a shaman, get him 15 bear claws, and all of this were spread over a continent that was interesting to explore and resulted in an automatic ding when I was done. I’m not saying that would be for everyone, but I think I might like it.

        That’s merely bundling 6 generic MMO quests into one larger generic MMO quest. All it does is save you from having to return to the quest-giver all the time, but if that’s what you want to do without, I suggest Guild Wars 2.

        Sure, the big quest could be better written than that, but there’s something psychological about rewards being more frequent than what you suggest. It’s classic MMO theory, keeping the player interested, thinking he’s progressing, getting one cookie at a time along the way, instead of nothing but the promise of cake at the end of a road of unspecified length.

        Ultimately, bigger, better-written quests is costlier for the company than a group of small, generic quests. And the MMO industry (hell, the entire mainstream gaming industry as of late), it’s all about making as much profit from the smallest possible cost, taking as few risks as they can.

        • bhauck says:

          I don’t disagree with any of your points about feasibility, broad appeal, or profitability. But I do think I’d enjoy “bundling” the quests if it were used as a reason to go exploring. What I genuinely enjoyed about WoW was “wasting” an hour trying to sneak through a higher level area while I was leveling and didn’t know what the hell I was doing, or finally getting into the high 50s right before Wrath launched (even though I’d been playing since whatever patch introduced weather – altitis) and visiting all of the old end-game zones and experiencing what so many did years before, or sneaking through or soloing old dungeons and even some raid trash, and again seeing what dominated others’ attentions for so long.

          Imagine quests designed to encourage that, with special bosses at the end of lower-level dungeons, or giving everybody stealth for an area and asking them to weave solo through the last expansion’s raids, or a quest that has you trying to jump up a mountain to get to the top but you can’t tell exactly which way to go. Sure, you could ruin a lot of that challenge with mods that tell you where to go, and it might not be feasible to instance everything you’d need to, and 99% of MMORPGers might hate it. I’m not demanding that game, or saying it’s around the corner, I just think it would be really cool for me.

          PS: Every industry is all about making as much profit as possible. That’s what industries do.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          I feel like the GW2 system is probably the best attempt at improving the standard MMO questing system. Most things felt like they had a purpose, both the yellow hearts and the dynamic events. It made it feel like you were helping people in a bigger way than inexplicably collecting 8 bear penises for some unknown reason. Combine that with them actually giving you reasons to explore, i.e. the point bhauck made about finding your way up a mountain, that’s basically what the vistas in GW2 did.

          Personally I thought Cataclysm did questing better than any other WoW-clone, people didn’t seem to like it so much but I really enjoyed the ongoing storyline that progressed throughout the zone, culminating in some big ass event where you fight the big baddy. It felt more like an RPG than most MMO’s manage. Compare that to SWTOR or Pandaland and I feel like its trying to throw 6 different stories at me at once. Cata’s zones did it much better.

          • bhauck says:

            Cataclysm broke me of any desire to actually play WoW ever again, but again for the reasons I’ve talked about above that are very particular to me. My favorite memories of WoW were stealthing through BRD, soloing Scholomance a hundred times at 80 to complete my Dungeon Set gear, and wandering Silithus and Winterspring long after their events were complete. And they overwrote it all.

        • fenriz says:

          I don’t understand you guys, why would you let a MMO, that’s supposed to be about virtuality, simulation and persistency, tell you what to do?

          It’s fine in single player games, where there has to be a plot and a story, but why so in a persistant simulated world, where YOU are the maker of your own path and you should affect the whole world?

          why do you crave to be hand-held, isolated from both the population and the whole scenery, in a narrow-minded, asphyctical little excuse of a story written by some puny mind?

  14. namad says:

    this news article wasn’t posted earlier enough in the day… it’s only 2hours after this article was posted and yet the link is already dead… don’t bother posting links that are already dead when the article goes live.

    • bhauck says:

      You’re totally right, the keys I and who knows how many others got because we saw this post in the 7 hours it was live before you commented are completely worthless because you clicked a link a couple hours late. Sorry to inconvenience you.

  15. Talahar says:

    Aw man, I missed it. :(

  16. ragbuff says:

    Just registered here to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!! I got the key thanks to this article. Adam Smith today you are my hero !

  17. Matt says:

    Missed this… So far the traditional method of signing up for beta with the intention to actually try and break it, even with providing years of testing and MMO experience, seems not be yielding any results.

    Also I’m going to be pretty cheesed off if I’m not successful making it in and Carbine turn around and go “cheers pal for taking part, here’s a free chest of items” :|

  18. jrodman says:

    Interesting. I registered for the Wildstar beta in .. i think 2010? Then by 2012 I had forgotten that I’d registered it had been so long, and registered again.

    I get doubled spam from them, but never a key.

    It’s probably for the best as I think my interest has evaporated as I’ve learned more. I liked the idea of exploring, but this doesn’t sound explore-meaty enough for my taste.

  19. maxwarn says:

    would love to play gd luck