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WildStar

WildStar outlines its plans for the future of PvP

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

Here comes the face smashing.
Do you want to smash faces on Nexus? Do you not give the smallest toss about being able to unravel ancient mysteries so long as you can find the opposite faction and crack their collective skulls? Then good news, cupcake: WildStar still has PvP on its docket. A new post outlines the game's plans for PvP in 2015, starting with new daily and weekly PvP quests in the next major patch to the game.

What else is coming in 2015? How about gear sets that can be purchased with gold, a removal of rating from higher-tier PvP sets, the end of season 1, and same-faction battlegrounds? Because those are all in the pipeline, along with bigger improvements for later in the year. If you just can't get enough of that factional warfare, check out the full post and get ready to carve up the other side.

[Thanks to Cap for the tip!]

WildStar explores the design of Veteran Shiphand missions

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

Better late than never, although better earlier than now.
Veteran Shiphand missions are coming to WildStar, and that's great, but their design also posed a lot of unique challenges to the design team. Those challenges are outlined in the game's most recent development diary, starting with a core set of assumptions that had to be true for these missions: They had to remain scalable, they had to still be soloable, and they had to offer appropriate rewards. This meant making challenging combat that could scale up or down for party sizes and didn't require tanks, healers, or pre-made groups.

To settle nicely into the gap between other solo content and Veteran Adventures, the Shiphand missions reward Renown even for solo play, as well as various appropriate bells and whistles for higher medal performance. Renown vendors will soon sell variety of gear as well as social items to ensure that playing through feels rewarding. Veteran difficulty will also offer remixed elements of the missions to give players a taste of something novel even if they've been through the base mission before. If you've been looking for more scaling content in the game, this one's for you.

WildStar will reduce grind, focus on 'a multitude of playstyles' in 2015

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

You can see this as something to be repaired or something beyond repair, you're going to argue about it in the comments either way.
Where does WildStar go from here? That's the question that director Mike Donatelli seeks to answer with his latest address to the community. Donatelli says this morning that while he's thankful for the praise the game received toward the end of 2014, there are several areas where the game needs to improve, and thus the team is working on making a better game experience for everyone moving forward. He lays out three chief foci for the team over the next year: listen to feedback to make the game more fun and "less grindy"; support "a multitude of playstyles," group sizes, and levels; and invest, expand, and improve the existing game.

Donatelli targets for these plans the first half of 2015, which will contain better-tuned endgame reward systems to fight fatigue along with a wider breadth of content for solo and small-group players. Over the rest of the year, the team plans to introduce a new Contract system to support different playstyles, continue tuning the rewards, and greatly expand the game's customization options. It's a lot of changes, but the Carbine team seems dedicated to making them work.

The Nexus Telegraph: WildStar's past year and future

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

I don't want to have to say goodnight.
A year ago, I was excited for WildStar's future. Now I'm sitting here wondering how things went so very, very wrong.

That's not true, though; I know exactly how things went wrong. I don't like thinking about it, but I do know. And so here I am, with a game I was hugely excited to play out and in the wild, and so much has gone wrong. It's easy to think that I've pretty much clocked out altogether.

But that's also not true. I'll be the first to point out that I've said some decidedly unkind things about the state of the game and the choices that have been made thus far in terms of fixing them. The last column I wrote even posited that it might be too late for several of the changes being proposed to make any sort of impact when it comes to the game's image.

This is why I really want the game to prove me wrong.

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Jukebox Heroes: WildStar features the MMO soundtrack of the year

Sci-Fi, Opinion, WildStar, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Subscription

wildstar
Originally I wanted to write a final Jukebox Heroes column for this year that would have ranked all of the soundtrack releases in 2014, but that ran into a couple of snags. Not only am I still in the process of listening and finding all of them, but one game's score was going to thrash the rest of them so badly that it didn't feel fair to stack them up together. That MMO was, of course, WildStar.

I started to suspect that Composer Jeff Kurtenacker's score for WildStar was going to be something else when the studio started releasing parts of it over a year ago, but even then I wasn't prepared for the sheer quality and quantity that the full soundtrack presented. Critics and fans of the game alike have been very vocal in praising this game's music since the beta and through launch, and I'm still grooving on it months later. My only complaint is that it still -- still -- has yet to see an official release, free or paid.

So even though our yearly awards didn't include a soundtrack category, I'm going to take the initiative and crown WildStar as the soundtrack of the year. Let's listen to six of the OST's highlights and discuss our favorites in the comments section.

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WildStar eyes Chinese release

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
WildStar may have a new audience for its sci-fi western ways, as 2P.com reports that the game will be headed to China somewhere between late 2015 and early 2016.

The MMO will be operated by Giant Interactive, which also handles ZT Online. However, NCsoft and Carbine have yet to officially announce the partnership.

A new market for WildStar may be just what the beleaguered title needs to shore up its financials. The Q3 2014 earnings report from NCsoft showed that the new MMO had dropped sales dramatically compared to the previous quarter.

[Thanks to Mason for the tip!]

WildStar's next big update and holiday surprise

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Now if you'd jut say that Glory is available from shiphands, we'd be moving somewhere!
The first major WildStar update of 2015 is available on the test servers now. Yes, there's a little time before it actually goes live for everyone. Creative Director Chad Moore took the opportunity today to explain to the community everything contained within the new update, starting with the addition of two new dungeons (the Protostar Academy and the Ultimate Protogames), a new Shiphand mission, and the addition of veteran-level Shiphand missions that can still be cleared solo or in a group as you'd like.

This update also includes new housing options, cosmetic options for characters (including the ability to edit your appearance post-character creation), and the addition of the new Glory currency for completing dungeons and raids, which can be exchanged for high-end equipment. Last but not least, it's the update that includes the long-discussed drop of the Datascape raid down to 20 players, making it less of a challenge to assemble a roster for this content. While it remains to be seen how well the update actually plays, it looks to be filled with a number of positive changes for the game.

In other WildStar news today, the studio is running holiday promotion during December. "Carbine wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and spread some cheer by giving out 12 Days of Boom Boxes," wrote Community Manager Tony Rey yesterday. "Everyone that has logged into WildStar during the month of December (12/1-12/15) will receive these sweet little bundles of potential."

WildStar begins testing Drop 4 and 20-player Datascape raid

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription

wildstar
WildStar's upcoming Drop 4 is now on the public test realm, and despite Carbine's reluctance to post patch notes, the news on the street is that this content update will be a doozy.

Among the changes and additions coming to next year's Drop 4 are new costumes for all of the races, more daily and weekly quests, an underground bunker housing option, the ability to see different armor models at character creation, a character customization vendor, loads of class changes, and a low-level shiphand mission called Fragment Zero.

Datascape, the former 40-player raid that is now being retooled as a 20-player instance, is also on the test server for those with 19 good friends.

Carbine's Chad Moore on WildStar's fresh focus on lore

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

Sure, you could make some jokes about corresponding events, but that just seems like a series of cheap shots.
There's a big focus on WildStar's lore recently. Aside from the big lore drops, dubbed "Loremageddon" by Carbine Studios, the game's official site has begun releasing a series of short stories detailing important moments in the game's history, from the first space voyage of the Cassian people to dealing with the Genesis Prime now. That's a lot of storytelling, the sort that should be continuing on well into next year.

We had a chance to sit down and ask a few questions of creative director Chad Moore regarding what we've seen thus far for the game and what the goals are with this renewed focus on the game's setting and story. If you'd like to know a little more about the setting and what players can expect from the ongoing history lesson, check out the interview just past the break. There's also a new story available today detailing the first contact between the Cassians and the Eldan.

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One Shots: Cult worship

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

tsw
Have you ever been running along in an MMO and come screeching to a halt because other players are doing something inexplicably weird? Then perhaps you'd sympathize with reader Tyler in this situation.

"There are times in games -- especially games like The Secret World -- when one stumbles across something they simply can't explain," he submitted. "But nothing I have seen is as surreal as the sight that greeted me when I stepped into Agartha during the recent Halloween event: a circle of Atenists worshipping a girl in a bikini whilst chanting "ATEN! ATEN! ATEN!' I asked around in general. No one had any explanation for what in God's name was happening. It is a mystery for the ages."

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Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa

EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), Dragon Nest, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Neverwinter

rift
One of the yearly traditions in the blogosphere that I always look forward to is Stargrace's Annual Gamers Secret Santa. Currently in its sixth year, Gamers Secret Santa accepts any and all who want to sign up to be a part of a gift exchange. You'll end up sending a gift ($20 maximum) to someone and will receive a gift from another person during the month of December. There's even a digital exchange for more remote locations.

It's always a blast to see what gifts I end up getting (and they are always geeky), and I wanted to encourage others to be a part of this. You'll need to sign up by December 1st if you do, however! It's grown every year, but this year I'm giving a bit of Massively publicity, so let's see if we can make this the biggest year ever!

Another blogger-driven Christmas initiative is Syl's Blogosphere Xmas Countdown, during which she's assigning various blogs a day to write about the theme of positive gaming and community. Keep an eye on MMO Gypsy to see this advent countdown progress!

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WildStar releases Voyage of the Nomad, plans story rollout

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Lore, News Items, Roleplaying, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
Carbine Studios has just announced new content for WildStar... well, for the WildStar website, anyway. Voyage of the Nomad, a short story that "recollects the tale of the Cassians' first steps into the vast world of deep-space exploration," will go live on the official site's story page today.

And it won't be a lone entry. Carbine plans to publish 11 such tales starting today and running every other Tuesday until the plots are played out. "The stories will unfold chronologically, until they reach the events that players have already experienced in WildStar's main story," says the press release.

Hey, at least the lore-fiends among the greater MMO playerbase will be happy!

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.

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