Wildstar's huge February patch will revamp the endgame

In February, a big update for the MMORPG Wildstar is scheduled to arrive, an update that developer Carbine Studios reckons will introduce "engaging, high-end content, as well as a variety of incredible new systems focused at end-game players". So if you've maxed out your character and have spent the last while in Wildstar twiddling their virtual thumbs, know that you'll soon be able to advance past level 50.

It's all thanks to the power of the 'Primal Matrix', which sounds like that shit nightclub bit in The Matrix Reloaded, but is in fact a new advancement system that will unlock "the latent power in every hero on Nexus". There's a new skill tree, essentially, that you'll power-up by acquiring something called Primal Essence, which sounds like a new range of shampoo but probably isn't. No, you'll collect it by "engaging in a wide variety of content, including instanced PvE, PvP, Daily Quests, Contracts, and throughout the world itself".

"As you collect Primal Essence and progress through the Primal Matrix, you’ll gain additional power in the form of ability points, new abilities, and stat increases, some of which will provide bonuses for the three new character stats also being added to WildStar: Toughness, Tenacity, and Hope. And as your Primal Matrix nodes are unlocked, you’ll increase your Heroism rating—a trackable number that allows you to easily gauge your relative power increases post-level 50."

There's a new difficulty scaling feature that will allow you to tackle earlier dungeons on harder settings in exchange for better rewards, or alternately temporarily scale your level down so you can team up with lower-level players.

There's a new "scalable 5-player" dungeon in the form of the cheerily named Coldblood Citadel, along with a new expedition that will see you investigating a lost transport ship. The 'Power of the Primal Matrix' update will be on the Public Test Realm next week, and will properly release sometime in February.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.