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WildStar details free-to-play fall update while announcing China launch in 2016

WildStar has some ambitious plans for the future. Carbine Studios has already revealed that the game will become a free-to-play MMORPG with a special update coming this fall. Now the developer is looking to expand the game further. On the heels of Eastern MMORPG Blade & Soul getting a Western release from NCSoft, the publisher and Carbine are now looking to debut WildStar in China.

Testing in China is set to begin in the coming weeks, with the full game expected to release in the region in 2016. When it does, those players, along with all other WildStar players, will soon find some major changes to the game. In addiion to going free-to-play, Carbine is aiming for a massive content drop that will overhaul many of the current WildStar mechanics.

With WildStar already getting an influx of new players since the F2P announcement, the big fall update will make it easier for newcomers to get started based on MMORPG experience. They can either go in and learn the absolute basics (Novice), simply learn the game's core components (Intermediate), or skip all tutorials entirely while still keeping tutorial rewards (Expert). Those new players can then enter the revamped character creator, which will feature embedded videos to explain each class.

All others will see a major change to the game's stats system. Primary stats are being removed entirely and will be replaced with Armor, Assault Power, Support Power, and Health stats. Secondary stats, such as Vigor and Deflect, will be expanded and allow for extra customization for mix/max users, but will not affect player power as a whole. Similarly, the game's Gear system will include streamlined stats to make it easier for everyone to understand.

WildStar's dungeons will be streamlined to improve flow and provide a consistent challenge. To this end, all dungeons are being rescaled to be suitable to players in five-level increments. The result is that players will be able to level up almost entirely by running through each of the game's dungeons.

Look for additional quality of life improvements to hit WildStar with the fall update, with such improvements as a sprint revamp and a much-requested 'Sell Junk' button. However, one of the biggest changes is Communities. Up to five players can join forces and combine their housing plots, allowing them to create a makeshift town. These players can share this space, as well as any of WildStar's community features. Afterwards, 15 more players will be able to join the community and make housing changes.

Look for new content to debut, as well. A Level 15 story instance called Alpha Sanctum will allow new players to enter the story earlier. Meanwhile, PvP players will get the Cryo-Plex PvP arena, an icy multi-level combat zone. This is being billed as the largest PvP arena to date, featuring a high number of vertical spaces to play with.

Finally, there's the new rewards model set to debut this fall. Players will be able to earn reward points and pass through several reward tiers for spending C.R.E.D.D., the special currency that can be used for rare items or subscription time. They can also earn these rewards by spending NCoin currency. These rewards will include PTR access, cosmetic items, pets, and more. The reward system is retroactive, so anyone that has already spent NCoin or C.R.E.D.D. in the past will be rewarded once this new system kicks in.

Carbine and NCSoft remain hesitant to put an exact date on when WildStar will go free-to-play. At the moment, they're simply indicating a fall release window.

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