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WildStar

The Nexus Telegraph: Is WildStar's raid size change too late?

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

You cannot play potential.  You cannot enjoy what could be fun.  You can only play the game that there is, and a pile of wasted potential does not make a game worth caring about.
Very few people are going to contest that scaling WildStar's biggest raid down to 20 people is a good move. Some will, yes, but when 400 players are working on content five months after release, that's a good sign that it's not doing the most basic job of getting people to play it. Bringing Datascape's size down is an indisputable good thing.

The question, of course, isn't about that. It's about whether it's too small a change too late in the game.

Make no mistake, this is a change that is significant enough to merit an announcement, but it's one that just missed the big patch we finally received not too long ago. (My initial reaction to that is middling, for the record, neither bad nor really a break from form or something that justifies its long delay.) I would be surprised if we see this change actually live in the game before next year. And it's a change of more conceptual significance than anything else because unless someone very quietly managed to clear Datascape without telling anyone, the end of that raid has gone unseen.

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WildStar is scaling Datascape down to 20 players

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

Yeah, it's all right to just comment with LOL to this one.
WildStar brought 40-player raids back to the forefront. The game is now pushing said raid size back away from the forefront, as the game's 40-person raid pinnacle is getting scaled down to 20 players. The official post on the subject notes that the number of people entering was far too low and the attrition rate far too high, so the raid is being rebalanced (but not nerfed) to account for having only half of its originally designed population inside.

Several reasons are cited for the changed, such as the game's combat working best with a smaller number of people, the lowered demands on computers, and a consistent raid size for future raid content which will hopefully make guild management easier. While the topic stops shy of saying that the 40-player versions are never coming back, that is certainly the implication. So it'll at least be marginally easier to form a group for Datascape soon if you're able to get through the first raid successfully.

WildStar gold exploiters may get lifetime bans

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

Carbine is working on a hotfix for a WildStar gold exploit that many players have mentioned via social media and the game's forums. Community manager Tony Rey says a rollback isn't necessary because "the current scope of abuse is not outside of our ability to manually correct where necessary."

Rey goes on to mention the possibility of lifetime bans, though he does note that players who have used the exploit have until tomorrow to contact customer support for a reduced punishment to include the removal of ill-gotten gains.

NCsoft's third quarter report is glowing; WildStar's revenues are not

Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft's unaudited third quarter 2014 financial report is in. Do you want the good news first or the bad?

Let's get the bad out of the way. WildStar's revenues plummeted between the second and third quarters, down 42.9% (the sales units in the table above, please note, are in millions of Korean Won). Variable expense, NCsoft wrote, also fell "largely due to decreased box sales of WildStar." Guild Wars 2's revenues also fell slightly over the quarter, down 8.5%.

But the good news is that global sales and operating profit are very much up, up, up in total quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, thanks primarily to the continuing popularity of Aion and classic Lineage.

WildStar slashes box prices by 33%

Sci-Fi, Economy, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
In a day after releasing its third major update to the game, WildStar has gone on sale by reducing the cost of both editions by 33% if purchased through the official website. This brings the standard edition down to $40 and the digital deluxe edition to $55. Both editions come with a month of game time included.

Earlier today we reported on an interview in which the studio said that its publisher was standing behind the game and that it had strong though unspecific box sales. Yesterday, WildStar released Drop 3, Mystery of Genesis Prime, a content patch with over a hundred pages of bug fixes.

NCsoft 'sees a future' for WildStar

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Interviews, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

I also see a future for WildStar. I'm not sure it's the same future.
Eurogamer recently spoke to WildStar Creative Director Chad Moore and Product Director Mike Donatelli to counter concerns that WildStar is a "sinking ship." Fortunately for players, NCsoft, which controls Carbine, apparently doesn't think so. "They specialise in MMOs, that's what they do. And they see a future for WildStar," Donatelli explained. "And as far as NCsoft is concerned, they're going to support us, and I take them at their word for that when they've made a commitment to us for the future, so I feel very comfortable making that statement." Moore noted that Carbine still has "hundreds" of employees in spite of recent layoffs, and while he wouldn't outright condemn negative Glassdoor reviews, he did recommend they be taken "with a grain of salt."

Regarding sales, Donatelli told Eurogamer the game sold "many, many, many times" the hoped-for 250,000 boxes, but he doesn't mention current subs. Back in October, he told Massively that the game had "hundreds of thousands of active players." NCsoft declined to clarify that ambiguous phrasing when asked.

WildStar's Mystery of the Genesis Prime patch launched yesterday.

Global Chat: Why we blog

World of Warcraft, Culture, Opinion, The Secret World, RIFT, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

tsw
Why an MMO player decides that he or she needs to take up an additional hobby of writing about these games isn't much of a mystery. We may all blog about a huge variety of topics, but the impetus behind it tends to be very common: We have so many thoughts about and so much love for these games that we can't hold it in.

To blog is to open up and share experiences, observations, and hopes. It's to connect with others and to perhaps give another layer of meaning to the time that we spend in-game. We don't blog because we have to; we blog because we simply could not not blog.

So let's see a few examples of what MMO bloggers couldn't keep inside of them! From spooky stories to rapturous tales of exploration, it's a testament to the power of words and goofy rejoinders.

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WildStar's Mystery of the Genesis Prime is live today [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

It'd be nice to actually learn what Drusera has spent the entire lifespan of the game apologizing for, yes.
It's been a long road getting from there to here, but players who have been waiting patiently for the next WildStar patch can stop waiting. Mystery of the Genesis Prime adds two major new pieces of content: the Defile, a new zone extending off of Blighthaven; and Journey to Omnicore-1, a new solo instance that allows players to explore more of the story behind Nexus.

The Defile includes the Black Focus (which we toured), the Siege of the Lightspire, and a variety of solo quest chains. Journey to Omnicore-1 kicks off the game's ongoing story, exploring more of the details behind what took place on Nexus and how the events on the planet could have long-lasting consequences for everyone on the planet and off. The patch also increases loot rewards from enemies fought in groups, adds rental mount vendors for low-level players, and increases money rewards from quests and junk items. You can take the patch for a drive today; it took a while to land, but there's a lot of new stuff therein.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]
[Update: Carbine has posted a list of known patch issues on the official site; they include currency display issues, non-functioning gardens, and borky public events.]

The Daily Grind: Should MMOs have a 'raid stat'?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Miscellaneous, WildStar

Last week, WildStar dev J-Tal outright apologized for the game's poor solo progression, stating that Carbine is "well aware that solo progression in WildStar is pretty much non-existent" and is working on the problem. But as I was researching that quote, what caught my eye is the post right after J-Tal's mea culpa, a benign little question by a player named Nike Online:
If progression is driven by need, why is there not a budget-hungry 'raid stat' that only provides benefit inside raid instances and keeps those drops more sedate when taken out into the open world? [...] PvP gear has its own stats to protect its environement from outside gear coming in and dominating. PvP power/defense also drain budget from those items so that it's not the optimal open-world gear.
Lots of games have tried PvP stats (for example, World of Warcraft's now-defunct spell penetration and resillience), but I've never seen the equivalent for raid gear. It's definitely a band-aid on a game with innate design and balance issues, but it does seem to solve the problem of overgeared raiders trampling the open world. What do you think: Should MMOs have a "raid stat"?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

WildStar Loremaggedon illuminates the Mordesh, Draken

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, WildStar

WildStar's Loremaggedon is down to its final two races. This week's installment features the Mordesh and the Draken, and it's required reading if you're curious about how the former lived "before they because quasi-undead space zombies."

Carbine's Chad Moore says that Loremaggedon isn't quite finished, either, even though it's now covered all of WildStar's races.

The Stream Team: Whiling away my Monday in WildStar

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

It's the continuing adventures of Emy Fluffybutt! Last episode Massively's MJ took on a group boss in WildStar with the unexpected help of a passerby who jumped into the fray. (See, there are other low-level players in the game!) But even with that accomplishment, she's far from her goal of retiring comfortably in her very little handcrafted housing hideout. That means there's plenty places to see and mobs to kill -- and hopefully housing items to plunder! What better way to while away a Monday than collecting loot? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to continue the bouncy Aurin's adventures on Nexus.

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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A tour of WildStar's upcoming Black Focus area

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Patches, Previews, Opinion, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

I can say it was about what I expected, sadly.
The next update for WildStar has some pretty big shoes to fill. Arriving on November 11th, it's the first update the game has seen since August, when the game abruptly peeled back from monthly updates to quarterly ones. It comes after a round of server merges. It needs to prove to fans who are still subscribed to the game that there's good reason to keep playing and that more content is on the way in the near future -- that there's a reason to hold out hope.

Earlier this week, I toured the Black Focus, the five-person group content releasing in the new region of The Defile in the upcoming patch. Not all of my questions about the zone as a whole were answered since I didn't get to go through all of the quests leading into this particular encounter. However, I did get a chance to form at least some first impressions and see how well this bit of content holds up. And there's a new trailer past the cut if you just want to watch that.

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WildStar shows off the Mystery of the Genesis Prime

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

The real mystery is why she decided to float around eternally without pants.
The nature of the Genesis Prime is one of the major elements of WildStar's story as presented to players on the road to level 50. Even once you get there, though, you still have questions, ones that will hopefully be answered by the end of the game's next update. Lucky for you, a new trailer for the Mystery of the Genesis Prime update is now available, along with a look at the Defile region that should help bring much of this storytelling to a conclusion for the time being.

Inside the Defile, players will be exploring solo content in the Sonic Plaza and the Strain Maw, taking on five-person tasks in the Black Focus, and fighting through large-group challenges with the Siege of the Lightspire. Carbine intends to have content in place for you no matter what your preference is.

The update was originally scheduled to launch in November, but no formal date has been announced. Check out the trailer past the break, scope out the locations available, and get ready to find some answers to one of the game's biggest mysteries.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

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WildStar's Loremageddon focuses on Cassians, Exile Humans

Sci-Fi, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, Races, WildStar

WildStar's Loremageddon continues this week with an installment focused on the Cassians and the Exile Humans. These two groups have a healthy dislike for one another, and if you'd like to know why, you should head to their respective web pages and do a bit of reading. You'll learn about Jarec the Vigilant, Exile cologne, and the reasons behind the Cassian Civil War, among other tidbits.

Employee reviews blast Carbine Studios management

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

On the plus side, we'll give you an extra hour in the employee ball pit.
Whenever you hear of a studio laying off 60 people, you have to think things aren't going well. Sometimes it's a matter of bad luck and circumstance, but sometimes it's a case of bad management and poor decisions. Current and former employees of Carbine Studios attribute it to the latter, with the company holding a 41% rating on Glassdoor.com as reported by The Escapist. The reviews uniformly emphasize that WildStar is an excellent game, but they also point out universal flaws with management, decision-making, and communication.

Several employee reviews characterize the studio as a "boy's club" with only the top decision-makers given leeway. There are also criticisms of the studio's overall implementation of strategies and willingness to adapt. As the reviews come from both present and former employees, the negativity speaks to some underlying problems at the studio and certainly does little to alleviate the sense of general anxiety for players regarding the state of the game.

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