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WildStar

The Stream Team: WildStar megaservers are here

Fantasy, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team, Subscription

The megaservers for WildStar have just been deployed. Will Massively's MJ see an increase in activity while roaming about the Aurin wilds? Perhaps not so much in the lower levels, but maybe the promise of more robust populations will entice players back to the world of Nexus and cause a rash of rerolls. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to peek into this new realm where everyone is now joined together, holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah (OK, not really).

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WildStar's Nexus Report on megaservers and the state of the game

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, WildStar

WildStar's latest Nexus Report has been posted to YouTube. Carbine's Chad Moore, Tony Rey, and Craig Turner are your hosts for a 35-minute show that delves into the specifics of megaservers as well as the current state of the game.

You can watch the full clip just past the cut!

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Global Chat: Going negative

Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

eso
It's hard to be positive as a blogger, I'd say. It's not only really easy to get whipped up into a writing lather when you're upset about something, but negativity sells as well, at least in the short-term. People love a good rant, especially when it mirrors their line of thinking and doesn't bash a game they like. Even I, though I try to stay positive as a rule, have fallen into such patterns.

This week in Global Chat, we're going to see more negativity than normal -- or perhaps, more critical analysis with vivid metaphors. That doesn't mean it's all downers nor mindless emotional wordsplosions. But I thought it was fascinating how these stories caught my eye over the past couple of weeks of MMO blog reading.

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Art director Matt Mocarski leaves WildStar

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Free-fallin', I'm free-fallin'.
We'd heard about recent departures, but this one is new. Former art director Matt Mocarski has apparently left Carbine Studios to work at Amazon Game Studios; no specific date for the departure has been given beyond the fact that he has already started his new job. WildStar has already seen two high-profile names leave the game post-launch, president Jeremy Gaffney and design producer Stephan Frost.

We wish Mocarski the best of luck in his new workspace.

[Thanks to JesLyck for the tip!]

Carbine's Donatelli and Moore on WildStar's population and philosophy

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

No comment.
Two weeks ago, Carbine Studios offered us the opportunity to interview product director Mike Donatelli and creative director Chad Moore regarding the state of WildStar and what future updates would bring to the game. We have their thorough answers in their entirety for you today; Carbine assures us that there was no animosity or conspiracy in the delay, and we thank the studio for that. So let's get to it: Read on as the duo discuss WildStar's current population, business model, development strategy, and plans for the near future.

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WildStar's megaservers deploy this week

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
Carbine has just announced that WildStar's megaserver implementation, first revealed in September, will deploy this Wednesday. Megaservers are intended to increase server capacities and deal with fading populations without disrupting players, though they have the side effect of muddying server communities and eliminating the ruleset servers on which players originally rolled.

The servers will go offline on Wednesday, October 15th, at 8 a.m. EDT, for up to 24 hours. To make up for the extended downtime, Carbine is giving all players a month's worth of in-game Boom-Boxes and a free day of game-time.

Characters level 3 and up, as well as guild, arena teams, circles, mail, and auction items, will move intact, but characters under level 3 that haven't been played in the last month will be nuked. The team is simultaneously introducing surnames to avoid duplicate name conflicts.

WildStar's state-of-the-game missive promises new content, quality-of-life adjustments

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

Carbine Studios has just posted another WildStar state-of-the-game letter to fans. In it, the studio says that an upcoming content update will provide two content chapters: The first, Mystery of the Genesis Prime, will introduce a new level 50 zone and tie into the plot from The Strain. The second, Journey to OMNIcore-1, opens up the "galaxy-spanning Nexus Saga," which the devs say includes "content for players of all stripes, from lore-filled immersive solo content, to fast and furious 5-player quests and massive 20-player public events."

Carbine also mentions sweeping bug fixes, ELO tweaks, housing remodeling, extensive quality-of-life adjustments for lowbies, and tutorial-skipping for alts.

The studio does not provide a date for the release; Carbine has previously floated November for the patch's likely arrival. The devs do say they're putting more into this release "than [they've] put into any update so far."

The Nexus Telegraph Extra: WildStar's deafening silence

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Answers so mysterious they've decided not to share any of them.
How many people are currently playing WildStar?

I don't know. You don't know, either, beyond vague guesses based on things like Raptr numbers, which say more about what Raptr users like to play than about actual game popularity. But it seems like the sort of answer that could be used to at least deflect a great deal of criticism, doesn't it? If Carbine Studios is sitting on two million players at a reasonable level of activity, that wouldn't shut down all discussion of the game's myriad problems, but it sure as heck would demand some rethinking.

That's precisely what I asked when I, at Carbine's behest, sent the team questions about the health of the game over a week ago. The bad news is that Carbine still hasn't answered my questions, nine days later. But the good news is that in the interim, Carbine was willing to tell another site that WildStar does not have a "player interest" problem, which seems like the sort of waffley question you'd answer if you really didn't want to be specific.

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The Nexus Telegraph: Dribs and drabs of WildStar

Sci-Fi, Culture, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Admittedly, talking about it seems a little silly.
The past few weeks have not been a fun time to be a fan of WildStar, and we still have heard distressingly little about what's coming in the next patch. Heck, the most I can think of hearing about in recent memory is the announcement that the game will not feature any sort of holiday content this year, and as those of you who know me will probably guess I kind of wanted a Halloween event. (I like October.)

But let's talk about what we do know and where we are right now, since barring any further developments, there's not much more to be said about what isn't working. Either things get addressed or they don't. So let's talk about the next drop, what we will and won't be getting from it with any measure of luck, and about the complete lack of holiday content and why anyone should care. Yes, even if you normally don't care about holiday content!

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Ask Massively: Dancing on WildStar's grave

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous, WildStar

This week's revelation that WildStar Design Producer Stephen Frost is quitting his role is not the first and likely won't be the last blow to the beleaguered game. Carbine lost several high-profile developers before and after launch, and with raiding guilds abandoning the title, server merges on the way, endgame grind being scaled back, updates being heavily delayed, and Christmas being canceled, even more players are losing faith in the title. That's nothing new in our industry. MMOs are big and unwieldy and sometimes launch with terrible underlying problems. They can usually pull out of a nosedive, given time. So let's give them time.

But there's a whole contingent of gamers already dancing on WildStar's grave when it's not even dead. It's one thing to deeply oppose a game's design, but if you take delight in watching major MMOs flounder, you don't really deserve this genre at all.

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The Think Tank: How to save WildStar (if WildStar needs saving)

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Massively Meta, WildStar, The Think Tank, Subscription

WildStar
When I posed this week's Think Tank question -- what would you do to save WildStar -- to the Massively team, it sparked a heated discussion over whether the game even needs saving in the first place. Fair enough. It's possible to have a long run of bad news and not be in trouble. It's possible that players are just overreacting to Carbine's canceling Christmas. But justified or not, there's growing perception that the game isn't doing so well. I'll address that perception more tomorrow, but for this Think Tank, let's talk about what Carbine can do to fix it.

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WildStar's Stephan Frost calls it quits

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, WildStar, Subscription

frost
In a new WildStar Nexus Report livestream, Design Producer Stephan Frost stunned listeners by announcing that he would be leaving Carbine Studios.

"It really pains me to say this, but this will be my last show and my last week at Carbine," he said on the show. "I'm off to a new adventure; I got an offer that I couldn't turn down and so I'm going to take it. This is super-hard for me. This is one of my proudest achievements. A lot of my heart and soul is in this game."

Frost assured fans that it had nothing to do with the game and the community, and he promised that he would still be playing WildStar even after his departure.

WildStar settles on megaserver names

Sci-Fi, Culture, Previews, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
Players have cast their votes for the new megaservers coming to WildStar, and the decisions have been reached. In North America, the PvE server will be Entity and the PvP server will be Warhound. European players will soon be hanging out on Jabbit (PvE) and Luminai (PvP).

WildStar previously announced that it would be merging all current servers onto these four megaservers to facilitate increased population density and player interaction (and, presumably, to clean up the desolated servers). Until megaservers are instituted, players may transfer to other servers for free within their region.

One Shots: Because who wouldn't want a 12-story-tall killing machine?

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Vindictus, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

wildstar
What does this sight make you think of? Voltron? Pacific Rim? A convenient excuse to wet yourself in front of your fellow soldiers? Thank goodness it's not fully online and operational, or else we'd be facing down a mechanical killing machine that would take a million-person raid to bring down.

"I call this one 'You're Gonna Need a Bigger Bot'," reader Bunglerm00se submitted. "Yes, that is a several-stories-high killer robot, and no, this one doesn't have that cute boy from Sons of Anarchy calling the shots in its brainpan. I was already pre-disposed to liking WildStar, but this is one of the visuals that sealed the deal."

Wait... am I the only one who piddled in my bloomers? C'mon, guys, I thought we were in this together!

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WildStar adopts quarterly update cadence: 'No more drops before their time'

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription

WildStar Product Director Mike Donatelli has penned a new state of the game post to address concerns about the themepark in the wake of Jeremy Gaffney's resignation as Carbine President and the announcement of server merges in the form of megaservers.

Donatelli says that WildStar will now function under a quarterly cadence for major updates. In August, he told players that the team was adopting a "when it's done" approach to drops instead of its originally planned monthly cadence. "If it's not ready, we'll hold it until it is," he reiterates today, citing quality as his motivator. "This doesn't mean we won't have other activities available to experience on a more regular basis; we're just taking the necessary time to get the major drops right." The next drop, scheduled for November, will include both solo and world story content.

He also promises improved elder game itemization, disincentives for toxic PvP behavior, attunement adjustments, and a new training dungeon to prepare players for WildStar's controversial raid content. "I want to stress that we're not nerfing raids," he writes. "We're just giving you the tools to succeed when tackling them."

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