NCsoft's fantasy MMO Wildstar fared very well in our 2014 review, but it wasn't what you'd call a smash hit with subscribers. But last year's switch to free-to-play appears to have turned things around, or has at least given them enough confidence to announce that another big update is on the way. Destination Arcterra will open up the new realm of Arcterra, a frozen wasteland dotted with mysterious ruins, dangerous creatures, and challenges for both solo adventurers and groups. It will also herald Wildstar's long-awaited debut on Steam.
Destination Arcterra will feature “snowballing” boss encounters that will pit players against increasingly difficult bosses as they rack up kills—first two-man bosses, then five-man, and finally 20-man bosses. Dynamic blizzard events will see 20-man bosses appear throughout the zone, who will drop keys when killed. The first faction to collect enough keys will unlock a dungeon beneath the quest hub, which they'll have exclusive access to for 24 hours.
Arcterra will have its own reward track, with unique loot including a new costume and mount, and also bring updated graphics to the game as well as more story that will culminate in the Vault of the Archon, the second chapter in the Nexus saga. The Vault of the Archon will offer unique mechanics and bosses, new environments, cinematics, fully-voiced NPCs, and “iconic characters” that will guide each faction through the new adventure. And while its predecessor, Journey Into Omnicore-1, was single-player only, Vault of the Archon will also support multiplayer, so players can either work through the instance on their own or in groups of up to five.
Other updates include changes to the item upgrade system, an epic 20-person raid called Redmoon terror, and, as mentioned, a release on Steam. A solid date for the Steam rollout hasn't been announced but it's expected to happen fairly soon, sometime within the first half of 2016.
Screens? We got 'em.
Update: The report originally described Destination Arcterra as an expansion, but developer Carbine Studios has clarified that it's really more of an update. I've changed the headline accordingly.