Of all the MMORPGs that a barroom wit might dismiss with the wave of a hand and a smug "It's just another WoW clone, and I'll have a pint of Advocaat thank you barkeep," WildStar certainly seems to be the most polished and enticing. Carbine Studios have tarted up That Sort of MMORPG with fancier combat, additions like player housing and PvP death arenas that are all customisable to the nines, and general polish. Even to someone with little interest in That Sort of MMORPG, it's an impressive bit of work.
WildStar is now in open beta testing for a bit and, you know what, I think I'll download it to poke around. To play with the character creator, if nothing else.
Head on over here to sign up and download the open beta client. If you've played in the closed beta test at all, you're already signed up and can simply update your client. The open beta kicked off this afternoon (at 3pm, so it should be live as this goes up) and will run for 10 days, ending at 7:59am on May 19. It's not the whole game, limiting players to level 30--short of the level cap of 50.
Of course, capping the beta at level 30 means players won't get a peek at what is supposedly the big draw for MMORPGs--the end-game. I've always thought this slightly weird myself.
I'm quite happy to spending a month or two exploring a game's world and seeing all the big fancy spectacles then simply stopping and moving onto something new. I picked up WoW and a few expansions cheap in a sale a while back and had a ball roaming around, playing different factions and classes, then stopping a few levels short of cap when my 30-day trial ran out. MMORPGs are theme parks, carefully guiding us through their make-believe worlds and making sure we see the expensive setpieces; it's okay to go home after the Magic Kingdom Parade.
Oh, and here's a new trailer about WildStar's story. People are fighting or something.