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WildStar

Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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Like WildStar music? There's a concert for that

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Music

If you happen to be in Poland on September 26th, make sure to grab tickets for the GameOn multimedia show, the first part of which will feature selections from the scores of popular video games, including MMOs like WildStar.

Composer Jeff Kurtenacker blogged that he is "absolutely honored to announce that the GameOn concert in Krakow, Poland, will be premiering a new arrangement of Our Perception of Beauty (Drusera's Theme), which [he] composed for the MMO WildStar by Carbine Studios." According to Kurtenacker, this concert will mark "first time WildStar music will be played in a concert setting"; he also notes that flutist Sara Andon, spotlighted throughout the WildStar score, will again perform at the concert. Music from World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and other games will also be featured.

Kurtenacker spoke to Massively's resident Jukebox Hero last year about his work on WildStar. He has since released several exclusive and free music tracks for players.

One Shots: Avian servitude

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

rift
Birds? I don't hate them, but I don't trust them either. Anything that can travel passportless with impunity is something to be wary of, especially if it has access to flight without clearing it with the FAA. And ever since the bird flu scare, I'm quite sure that our feathered "friends" are out to eradicate our entire race.

That said, I'm happy for reader Bill because he's finally putting birds where they belong: under us in full service of their land-masters. "Luck has found me again on RIFT patch day when this 'Lovely Budgie" popped out of a box. I can't help but think there is evil hidden beneath pink feathers and those big black eyes!" Bill wrote.

Oh, but there is evil, Bill. No doubt about it. Hopefully the rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots will not reek of foul intent the way that this cute birdie does.

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The Stream Team: Advancing the Aurin adventures in WildStar

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

Mega servers are coming in WildStar, so Massively's MJ is trying to cover as much ground as possible in her Aurin adventures before she starts tripping over other folks. Or is that tripping them? Definitely the latter if they are evil Dominion, and especially if they are right near the edge of a cliff! Either way, it's high time she moved on from the memories of the bombed tree and found somewhere new to frolic. And there's always new stuff to collect for her first home (if she ever levels enough to get one!). Join us live at 3:00 p.m. EDT to watch as MJ tries to avoid distraction enough to advance to the next zone.

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WildStar trims back attunement requirements

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

So that got fixed up real nice.
If you're still slamming your head against the wall of WildStar's raid attunement, the game's most recent small patch will make your life a bit easier. The medal requirements for Veteran dungeons have been lowered to only Bronze, achieved simply by clearing the dungeons. Players will also be required to kill only 12 out of 18 bosses to complete a step of the chain, with progress applied retroactively via achievements where applicable. It won't strip away the overall length and complexity of the process, but it will make it a bit less onerous.

This patch also improves the process of acquiring new AMP and Ability Tier points, adding them to PvP vendors, including them in Path progression, and upping their world drop rates. Aside from a handful of bugfixes and balance changes, the patch doesn't contain any new content, but it should give players trying to get into content a little more incentive to keep moving.

The Nexus Telegraph: WildStar ain't doing so good

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

We were thinking about something else.
If you somehow missed it, last week the WildStar team announced that the game will be squishing into megaservers to help bolster populations. What the hell happened?

Contrary to what the developers would like you to believe, this is not good news. It's especially bad news if you're part of the roleplaying community, as you're about to get shoved into a server configuration that's almost specifically designed to prevent you from roleplaying outside of a handful of shared plots, but it's bad news for everyone. And it's bad news for the game when server merges are a reasonable reaction after less than three full months of operation.

We all know that the game launched to good reviews, and it's far too early to say, "Well, it failed." At the same time, this is not a sign of a robust and vibrant future. This is the first stage of an organized retreat, and it doesn't inspire confidence. So what, exactly, took place that brought the game from the high of its launch to server mergers today?

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One Shots: Taste the rainbow

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

ggw2
You can't tell by looking at that header right there, but that is a proper rainbow with all sorts of vibrant colors. Trust me, it's quite impressive. You can't help but feel the entire emotional spectrum when you gaze upon it, which is why it's a shame that we have to tease you with a grayscale version right here. But persevere! Your patience will be rewarded.

"Hooray! I just completed World 1 Zone 2 of the Super Adventure Box in Guild Wars 2 and collected my chest," sent in reader Silphead. "But this zone is special because completing it causes magical rainbows to appear, whether or not you're in Infantile Mode. So cheerful and fun."

Ready for the full reveal? Go on -- you deserve it.

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WildStar announces megaservers

Sci-Fi, PvP, PvE, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
WildStar will be cleaning up its server list and condensing populations in the future, as Carbine Studios announced today that it will be implementing megaservers for the game. The team did caution that it "still some ways away" from the change but wanted to get the news out now.

"Going the megaserver route means that we vastly increase server capacity allowing for greater critical mass of our player base, resulting in more people, more groups, more activity and more raids... more of everything that makes WildStar so fun," the team posted.

The new megaservers will eliminate the old rulesets and replace them with one PvP and one PvE server per region (North America and Europe). The region lock will still apply, however. The team will also be putting specific chat channels (such as roleplay or French) to offset this elimination of old rulesets.

All players will be getting an increased number of character slots to 12 when the megaservers go live, and Carbine will be adding last names to avoid name conflicts. In the meantime, Carbine is allowing for free realm transfers for everyone.

PAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, Events (Massively's Coverage), WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
Nexus is a giant ball of mysteries at its core, but WildStar doesn't want to drag out solving them. In the upcoming Defile drop, the team is prepared to address some of the biggest questions of Drusara and the Elden as players delve into the mystery of Genesis Prime. I sat down with Carbine's Stephen Frost at PAX Prime to pry out a few secrets in advance of the patch's release.

Defile is a massive patch compared to the game's first two releases, piling on a ton of solo, small-group, and large-group PvE content for players to face and conquer. A new zone will open up, one that's a key battleground between the Strain and Drusara, and things have gotten all sorts of weird there as a result of the clash. There are sentient spiders who have kidnapped faction leaders, a black focus that is malfunctioning, and a five-stage public event that includes bombing runs and a 20-man boss fight.

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One Shots: The big plunge

Screenshots, EverQuest, Culture, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Miscellaneous, WildStar

gw2
For someone like myself who is mortally terrified of heights, MMOs are not a good form of immersion therapy. I still feel my stomach clench when I fall from a ledge or, in the case of our first screenshot of the day, witness someone else doing it.

"This was my first jumping puzzle in Guild Wars 2," Reader Chiara said. "You don't forget those things. I was all excited when I found a secret passage -- I wasn't even aware of the existence of jumping puzzles back then -- and as luck would have it, I found one of the toughest ones. Of course. My character is always camera-ready, as you can see -- even when she's plunging to her death. I think she was trying to wave, actually."

What happened next? In my mind, she'll always be falling, falling. Well, we all might as well take the big plunge into the rest of these screencaps!

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WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney steps down as president of Carbine Studios

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

So long, and thanks for all the feuds.
Jeremy Gaffney, President of Carbine Studios, has announced via the WildStar forums that he will be stepping down from his current role as president of the studio. He's staying on in a consulting and advisory role, but he'll no longer be steering the operation.

Why the change? According to Gaffney's post, part of it is a result of both losing several family members to cancer last year and having to receive treatment for skin cancer himself. He's recovering without incident, but he put off the treatment for nine months to keep working through launch. Meanwhile, he also wants to allow the studio's creative team to keep working on improving the game rather than simply listening to his creative vision, something which is more easily accomplished if he steps away from an active role.

Gaffney concludes his letter by thanking the fans as well as the studio for making a game that he's proud to have been a part of.

[Thanks to Pete for the tip!]

WildStar to make character upgrades easier

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
The WildStar devs claim that they are listening to players' concerns over the infrequency of AMP upgrades and ability tier unlocks, which is why the team is planning to roll out several improvements to these drop rates in an upcoming patch.

"For the uninitiated, players earn AMP power points and ability tier unlocks naturally through leveling up in WildStar," the team posted. "Special items can be found throughout the game however that further boost your character's AMP points and ability tier unlocks. These items, based on our data and from feedback from players, simply do not drop enough."

Players will see a drop rate increase from level 50 creatures and PvP victory bags. On top of those, the team is putting in one-shot items from endgame reputation vendors, the prestige vendor, gold medal veteran dungeon rewards, and at path levels 15 and 30.

Carbine Studios planning to address WildStar server issues

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

On the bright side, this means that low raid attendance isn't really the big problem.
Does your server in WildStar feel just a bit empty lately? Of course it does; there are always population issues in a game after the initial subscription rush, and players trying to gear up for the game's larger raids have been feeling the pinch. There's good news, however, as the developers are apparently looking into solutions. Design Producer Stephen Frost replied to fans on Twitter earlier today stating that the team is working on some new technology to help alleviate the issue of population. Whether this means a more open server structure, guesting on other servers, or something else altogether remains to be seen, but it's at least comfort for players stuck in something of a ghost town.

The Nexus Telegraph: Habits that WildStar should keep

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

It's time for another round of Good Idea, Bad Idea.
Last time around in this column, I talked about the stuff that WildStar desperately needs to get out of its system, and quickly. I'm pleased with it. With the scaling-back of the update pace and some changes that I expect to be coming, I'm hopeful on that front. (Incidentally, if someone has a link to an actual promise of monthly updates from Carbine Studios, pass that along, since I don't think anyone ever actually promised it so much as just wound up doing it.)

So why am I still playing the game? Because it's got a lot to recommend it despite those failings. These are not bad habits that the game needs to kick but things that the development team should arguably double down on. They're arguably the best parts about the game and certain what makes it stand out the most. So in direct counterpoint to last week's article, here are the things that WildStar should keep doing.

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One Shots: [Epic Pants]

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Firefall

firefall
If you've never truly appreciated a good pair of pants, then you've never been a video gamer who's had a character in severe want of some. Today, we're able to bring you a story that will make you tear up when you hear about one player who got what we've all wanted.

"After downloading the massive pre-launch Firefall update, I logged in to find that my Engineer looked different somehow: more self assured, more confident," reader Ralph the Wonder Llama wrote. "You see, all through beta my engineer had been getting by with just one 'pant.' While the other players used to run around looking all comfy in their full pair of pants, my poor Engineer had to make do wearing just one. But no more! No more sleepless nights wondering where her other pant had gone! No more Chosen snickering at her for showing up to battle half-dressed! My Engineer can finally hold her head high! She has... PANTS!"

Pass me a hankie, that was beautiful. To see the pants in their full-color glory, all you need to do is stop sobbing for a minute to click that button.

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