The Official Website
It's being developed by Carbine Studios and lead by Jeremy Gaffney, co-creator of Turbine, and published by NCsoft.
Rock Paper Shotgun Preview
Some interesting quotes from that article:
Why we should play attention to Wildstar is its concept of playstyles, aka Paths – an additional layer of specialism on top of race, class, haircut and all that, and one that’s designed to shape the game as a whole depending on what kind of MMO gamer you are.
Combat, Collecting, Building and Exploring: pick one when you create your character, and that’s going to play a big part in how you gain experience, find loot and level up. Rather than simply doing the quest or killing fields treadmill, in theory you’re making your own path.
If you’re a Combat guy, certain points and objects enable you to incite, essentially, a public quest: a wave of angry monsters to chop/shoot/magic to pieces, building in numbers and ferocity and eventually to big-arse boss fights. (You can apparently tackle at least some of these solo, by the way). Concentrate on this and scrolling impatiently quest text will essentially be a thing of the past for you, because instead you’re setting up your own fights and resultant rewards.
The game will also offer you the option of on-the-spot challenges – kill a monster particularly speedily and a message asks if you fancy taking out, say, five more of them within five minutes for a bonus package of XP and loot.
Combat generally, by the way (as shared by all playstyles, regardless of how much they want to engage with monster-bothering), is along familiar MMO lines, but a touch more dynamic and reactive. Rather than snoresome auto-attack, players are in there blow-by-blow, and able to dodge looming special attacks with a bit of timely double-tapping of the backwards key. Time your evade right and your enemy will be tired out by its futile assault, rendering it temporarily more vulnerable.
A Locator device, available only to characters with that playstyle, gives hints of nearby secret areas and objects, and making your way to them will result in xp, cash and/or gear.
Again, it’s a chance to go off-piste, to do your own thing rather than stick slavishly to the quest run. Nosing at it, following leads, I stumbled into bonus quests such as a chasing a floating spatial anomaly, which granted me mega-jump powers that enabled me to reach the top of towering spire. For doing this, the game gifted me some gloves and experience. I hadn’t had to kill 10 rats to do this. I’d instead wandered away from the mobs, to the edges of the map, and I’d found things to do. Another asked me to plant a locator beacon on the top of a high pile of boulders – inaccessible, of course. But Explorers can see/activate paths that other playstyles can’t – tracking my way to a subtly-marked point on my minimap, I found the requisite hotspot, right-clicked and a series of platforms appeared on the side of rocky tower. Up ‘em I went, and my beacon was safely planted. Ding! Gifts for me.
Collecting is going deep into the game’s lore and/or achievement whoring via finding reams of hidden data stashes, reading every last piece of quest and ancillary text and the like.
Building has you both contributing to the growth of settlements (don’t know yet if this is in a permanent, major, UO or Galaxies-like way or something more transitory – I’m meeting Carbine tomorrow and will inquire) and fostering good relations with other players and assorted NPCs – it’s the social element of MMOs, in other words, with a for-now still fairly cryptic construction element there too.