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WildStar

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."

WildStar puts megaserver names up for a vote

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

I promposed naming one of them something to the effect of 'so long, roleplayers' but the suggestion was not heeded.
Do you have strong feelings about the name of your server? Then you'll want to make sure to get involved with the poll for WildStar players that's running until September 24th at 12:30 p.m. EDT. While the megaserver system has not yet been rolled out, the team is nearly ready and is looking for feedback on just what to call the new PvE and PvP servers for each region.

Both server types have five names to choose from. Currently, the North American vote is leaning toward Entity for the PvE server and Deadeye for the PvP server, but there's still enough time for players to change that trajectory. If you don't care about your server name, it's nothing to worry about, but if it matters a lot, jump on over and share your feelings.

The Nexus Telegraph: How to fix WildStar

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

I've been thinking about fixing my brain, but... actually, don't think about it.  Just do it.
It's been a quiet couple of weeks for WildStar, which could be taken as indicating the team is making major changes, or it could just be pre-patch preparations that are taking half of forever. It'd look the same either way. We know the next patch is coming, and we have some idea of what it's going to contain, but we still haven't gotten anything resembling a release date. Still, leaving aside the obvious shift in patch schedules, I'd like to think this is the start of a paradigm shift for the game's development as a whole.

This ties into the last column's topic quite well. The game has issues at the moment; it's not hitting the notes or player numbers it wants. What can actually be done to address this? How can the game draw players back and keep them engaged, especially when it's in need of some pretty serious server consolidation so early in its life?

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One Shots: The sacred bosom dance

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

gw2
It's one thing to dance for the fun of it. But it's another thing entirely to dance to save lives. Apart from an exotic snake charmer who rescued me from a king cobra last year, I've never witnessed a boogie performed for someone's health. At least... not until now.

Reader Jesse kicks off today's community screenshots with this silly-yet-serious jig from Guild Wars 2: "I am submitting this screenshot of my character and a few friends celebrating Pink Day in Lions Arch in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Here we are dancing around (and on) a podium."

All she wants to do is... all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance! I wish that I was Jesse's girl! Now I'm dancing for my life!

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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.

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