WildStar's "signature" service is probably what will make or break the game. You need enough incentive to make players who regularly play the game pay to enjoy extra benefits, while at the same time not hampering the free-to-play players to the point that they hit a grotesque paywall. Nothing is worse to a player who is playing free than to have the feeling go from "desiring the premium service" to "requiring the premium service." So far, in my experience, not much has limited my new player experience in the game.
Reaching level 5 was the same as it felt in the game at launch - I had a small gap between level 3 and level 4, where I was about a quarter of a level underleveled, from not doing any side quests, but I immediatly upon doing the story quests reached level 5 while everything in my log was level 4 still, and this is without the signature service. From there, everything felt just as it was at launch. I didn't feel limited in any way - I hit level 6 right as soon as I reached the second zone, the appriorate level for the area. Now, I will say XP felt a bit... close to the edge, but it wasn't anything limiting and I could have easily grinded the other staring area or just a few enemies or did a side quest or two instead of rushing through it like my muscle memory tells me.
As for most of the other benefits - they're mostly confined to elder game content. The additional overcharge for instance, is nice while leveling, but really comes to play toward the end game. Reputition is useful as you're leveling, but the normal rates are fine by all means. Some quality of life improvements, like "Wake Here" going from 60 minutes to 30 minutes will make the leveling experience a tad bit easier, but it's not that huge.
That's not to downplay the value of the service - but I would say so far the first ten levels, I'm not even impacted. The various quality of life changes and the ample amount of quests, plus the option to grind XP through PvP doesn't really hurt my advancement at all. In addition, there are some cheaper or even free methods of boosting your XP gains, including a 50% XP potion in the shop for around 120 NCoin or so (who knows what'll be at launch), that you can also buy with Omnibits, which do come in rather frequently enough that it shouldn't be too much of a problem to get a few as you're leveling to really boost your gains.
However, so far, I may say that I don't feel that I need to immediatly upgrade - but looking at the feature list, I can tell that if I was going to play for any lengthy period of time, there would be no reason for me not to move to a subscription, especially considering the easy way to obtain it through C.R.E.D.D. which you could buy in game. I'd give the system a thumbs-up so far from what I've experienced in the lower level areas. However, to continue testing, I'm going to need to see what a character is like with a subscription to WildStar Signature to see if the experience is the same or similar.
Just to reiterate what I'm saying - after playing the first ten levels, I haven't found the immediate need to upgrade and the XP rate seems to keep up with quests well enough. I don't feel that it's neccessary yet, however, having played some of the elder game content in the launch WildStar, I can see how getting closer and closer to max level would make it where you'd desire the premium subscription more - which, in my opinion, is how a free-to-play game should work.
I'll continue to talk about their signature service in the months to come, for sure, as it's probably the most important element of the F2P conversion for WildStar.
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