The State of WildStar
Earlier today, Product Director of Carbine, Mike Donatelli, released WildStar's State of the Game address. It's like the President's State of the Union address with less politics and a little less boring. These addresses serve a purpose by letting the community know what's been happening in the game (you know, besides what doomsayers on forums might say), what needs to happen, and what will be happening. Donatelli's address is brief, but when you are able to be succint in your message, you don't need to get all wordy to say what you need to say.
How is WildStar now that it has been live for three months? There are are mixed opinions, both positive and negative. As I go through Donatelli's address, I will also bring up community criticisms and concerns, because I believe that constructive feedback is always valuable. To read both the positive and negative reactions to Donatelli's address, see the corresponding thread on the WildStar forums (official) or the WildStar subreddit (unofficial). Anyway, onto Donatelli's address.
First up, Megaservers. We know my thought about them (spoiler alert: yay) and Carbine wants your help naming them. Some of the initial criticism was asking for a timeline for when players should expect when Megaservers will be rolled out. To anyone who needs a refresher, rather than the current state of servers, Carbine will be rolling them all into four: one PvP and one PvE for both NA and EU. If you don't want to sift through eight replies to find it, a dev response came into the thread pretty fast to say that there is no hard date yet, but they're looking at 3-6 weeks out. Don't want to wait for Megaservers to happen? Free transfers are available right now for players wanting to hop over to a more active server.
Donatelli's next point is in regards to Drops. When Carbine initially announced their plan for a 30-day Ultra Drop content release schedule, most people were excited to hear this news, but the minority voice wanted to know how this would be possible. Content takes time. Carbine has learned this, and because they would rather release higher quality (less buggy) content less often, the 30-day release will be changed to quarterly, content quality permitting. Donatelli said that this means that the third drop might not be seen until early November, if testing goes well. From here, addressing the concerns regarding the new content timeline also go hand-in-hand with the rest of Donatelli's points (“Keeping WildStar Great” through Attunement, Itemization, and PvP fixes). All of these issues are closely intertwined, and most of the community concern comes from here.
The one outlier concern is that there is no Halloween event on schedule or written about. Like Megaservers, this could come outside of a Drop. It's quite possible that a fun event is just something Carbine has brewing, but they didn't see it fitting into the State of the Game. Let's get back to what is in the address and what has folks concerned. If the next Drop doesn't come until November, that means that fixes like Donatelli says are planned in the address, fixes like itemization, are still over a month out. People are concerned that some of these fixes should not be tied into content. The criticism is that while they can wait on new story content, waiting for rune fixes, itemization, and attunement might mean that more people are canceling their subscriptions. If balance for support class builds doesn't come until February with Drop 4, will that be too long for this outstanding issue?
Donatelli knows that rewards need retuning. Also in the address is the issue of raid attuning. Raids are intentionally hard, and thankfully Carbine wants to keep it that way. Rather than nerfing raids, they want to give the community the tools they need to be successful. This success will come in the form of a training dungeon where players can better learn the mechanics before they get into the high level dungeons and raids. PvE isn't the only thing that will be getting improvement passes. PvP will continue to be updated, as well.
WildStar looks to be on a good path for a healthy MMO. Are the community's concerns about fixes taking too long sound? Should they come separately from content updates? Will the fixes come in time or will the population suffer too much before the fixes happen? Has everything been addressed or do you feel like there are other outstanding issues? Carbine is currently collecting feedback based on the address, which you can leave in the thread on the official forums.