Wikia had the honor of being invited to a private function on Saturday night hosted by Carbine Studios and NCSoft. As you may be aware, we're proud to have the official wikia for Carbine's flagship title, WildStar Online. WSO is a massively multi-player online role playing game set in a galaxy far away where the Dominion and Exiles fight over the planet Nexus. If you are crazy for games like World of Warcraft or Aion, definitely check it out!

WildStar Online

Since we're on the subject, maybe you tried WildStar when it first came out. The devs are ready to admit that some elements needed to be improved upon and certainly wish certain areas could have been smoothed out prior to launch. So maybe you're one of those who played it for a while and then decided to move on to other titles. Why return?

In case you weren't aware, Carbine is ditching the subscription model and going free-to-play this fall. (Find out more from their FAQ here). That, of course, probably isn't enough for some to return except to give it a once-over, but they've also made great strides in revamping the entire starting experience from 1 through 20, including character selection.

We got to sit and play through some of that, and we've got to say, the whole thing is a lot smoother from the get-go. The character creation interface is far more user-friendly and informative, and once you get thrown into the game, the storyline hits you immediately rather than having to wait for it. Additionally, there's less confusion in the starting introductory quests, with the intention of getting players out into the world more quickly. Let's face it - that's a good thing.

With this revamp getting further polished before FTP launches - and, yes, we're slaving away getting ready for it on the wikia - they're already looking to the future to expand and improve upon one of their already stellar features: housing.

Blade and Soul

The second game we were invited to try - and which we were surprised was even there - was Blade and Soul. Our very own Pinkachu has been working on our English-version site, having to go through South Korean fansites to do so. Why? Because NCSoft is readying the North American version for launch in early 2016 for this critically acclaimed, wildly popular game. A closed beta begins this fall (more info).

So what is Blade and Soul like? At first blush it's very similar to the Aion interface, which makes sense because Aion is another NCSoft title. But there's quite a bit more to the game, including a unique Death System. Essentially a character, when faced with zero health, has the opportunity to crawl away and choose from a small selection of options, including meditation. Meditation will replenish your health over a period of time - but you can be killed once you make your choice, so you have to be very aware of your surroundings.

The second feature that stood out is windwalking. In Blade and Soul there are no mounts to speak of, but characters can sprint very quickly for a prolonged period of time. Now, that doesn't sound cool in and of itself - but wait! There's more! You can sprint across water and, if you jump off high points, you can glide through the air, doing spins and barrel rolls. If you're lucky enough to find Dragon Spouts, you can be launched even higher to otherwise unreachable areas. To be honest, we really enjoyed windwalking and may have spent the majority of our time seeing how high we could jump from.

Blade and Soul will be free-to-play as well and promises to be very exciting and a great addition to the genre. So if you want some awesome free-to-play games - with no "pay-to-win" nonsense - check out WildStar Online in the fall and Blade and Soul when it is released.

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