The next few weeks are arguably make or break for WildStar. I’m still confused as to why so few people have clicked with the game but it’s also fair to say that massively multiplayer games are well known for their cycles of player loss and gain in a very short space of time. Elder Scrolls Online or Star Wars the Old Republic are two perfect examples of this. They suffered terrible press (though theirs was warranted) but managed to find their feet after steadying the ship. I think the biggest mistake that WildStar made was pushing the impression that it was hardcore when in actual fact it’s far from. It’s difficult in places and there are some time consuming elements, but it isn’t hardcore. In actual fact, huge amounts of the game can be completed casually if you find yourself a guild and just plod along at a leisurely pace.
With that in mind, there has been a fair bit of news trickling out of Carbine and various other sources that I thought I’d throw together in this weeks Newsround.
First up is the fact that Carbine have changed their approach to the Test Server and patching process. Instead of them simply leaving the next big patch on the Test Server, they’re instead placing each weekly patch on their. The purpose of this is the quality control what hits live servers and to ensure any changes they have made are thoroughly tested beforehand by the players. It’s worked in the most recent patch and the latest addition is the MegaServer Technology everyone has been waiting for.
I must admit, my biggest issue with MegaServers is the fact that players are to be forced to have second names. If it means that servers are once again busy, I’ll be happy but I was genuinely worried about a second name. Fortunately Carbine have thought ahead and provided a pretty bloody awesome name generator. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the best I’ve ever used in the entire genre. What I love so much about it is the fact that it provides a first and last name but with racial context. It takes into account whether you’re Chua or say, Cassian and provides an appropriate name. Having played around with it for a good while yesterday, it didn’t once throw up a bad name and allowed me to find an awesome second name instantly.
As of the 3rd October, there was also a post stating that - potentially - the MegaServer Tech will arrive in the next 2 weeks and should hopefully allow for Drop 3 at the same time.
On the subject of whether or not WildStar still has plenty of players (it does) there was a recent stream and screenshot barrage where Exiles attacked Illium. The stream was brilliant to watch and the screenshots here show only a snippet of how many players were involved. It’s an awesome example of a community event attracting a lot of interest and I’m seriously thinking about organising a Dominion version.
Over to Massively and there’s a recent article discussing online communities enjoying the demise or suffering of massively multiplayer games: that some people actually get a kick out of watching games fail. Personally, if a game is terrible just speak with your wallet rather than your mouth - have you say by all means, but don’t spew bile just for the sake of it. I think WildStar has been a victim of that, especially from players who have played little of the game and yet they’ve continued to bring the game to its knees.
In case you missed it, I sat down with WildStar’s PvP Lead, Kevin Lee, to discuss the course of its Player versus Player and what Kevin has in store for us in the future. He was pretty open in his answers and I think it’s fair to say there’s a clear roadmap ahead that people can look forward to, especially with Kevin at the helm.
Finally, there’s a bit of a sensationalist article that caught my attention today that Kevin Lee ought to take a look at. It’s a huge list of things that just isn’t possible if all you like to do is PvP. While I’d always recommend players undertake all parts of the game, I do sympathise with those who only want to smash face because the game is so limiting. Removing many of the games restrictions for PvP players, in terms of earning Reputation or money would be a big step in retaining players.