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WildStar

WildStar elaborates on change to update cadence

Sci-Fi, Patches, Dev Diaries, WildStar, Subscription

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Today, Carbine Studios posted a follow-up to the breaking news that WildStar would be dropping its monthly update pace for more of a "when it's done" approach. Product Director Mike Donatelli elaborated on the decision:
The plan was to roll out a zone next month, and a pretty badass one at that. The new zone and its contents not only sets up the epic ongoing world story of WildStar, but provides more group and solo content along with costumes, items, etc. What we hadn't planned for was the mountain of feedback. You guys have been vocal about everything from bugs, early level content, attunement, PvP, and Elder Game. And we were listening.

Because of that, we decided to make a change. We are adding a month's worth of feedback and bugfixes to the mix based on player feedback and user experiences. These are changes to core systems such as economy, classes, PvP, crafting -- you name it. We're knocking out bugs and making changes to improve your gameplay experience. We want to roll these issues into the patch with the new zone content and that's going to take some more time.

How much time you ask? That's an excellent question! We're going to take the time to make sure that this next patch is not only badass but bug free. I'll update you again shortly with the list of details on what's being addressed in the game and the timeframe.

The Stream Team: Where the WildStar things are

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

The last time Massively's MJ popped into WildStar, she marveled at the migration of a herd of prancing Kool-aid gazelles... or some such creature. The Aurin starting area is definitely more colorful than the human one, and it's bound to be full of many more interesting creatures. In fact, MJ's next task is to help a giant tree. Where will that lead? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see as she continues her adventures and seeks out strange new life.

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Gamescom 2014: WildStar abandons monthly update pace

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Patches, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
Yet another MMO has fallen into the trap of promising monthly updates after launch only to realize that it's not as feasible as once thought. A mere two content updates into the live game, WildStar announced that it will be abandoning its monthly pace in favor of major drops every few months.

At Gamescom, Senior Game Designer Megan Starks fessed up to the change of release cadence: "Originally our idea was to have a really aggressive post-launch schedule, just constantly provide stuff for our players so that there's always things for you to do. Now that we've put out two of our updates, our schedule is still planned out. [...] We decided to work on [the upcoming patch Defile] until it's a really good quality state. We do know that we want it to come out in the next few months. Instead of saying that we have this hard deadline, that it's going out no matter what, we're going to take the time to make sure that the quality is there."

When asked if this is going to be the case for updates in the future, Starks said, "Yes."

Carbine Studios explains WildStar housing prices for music

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

Because this deserves a stirring march.
If you'd like to change the music on your housing plot in WildStar, you'll be able to do so with the next major update. But it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Players have been a little upset about this for understandable reason, so Social Systems Lead Victoria Dollbaum took to the forums to explain why the prices for this feature -- as well as wallpaper options, atmosphere, and similar points -- were being set so high.

Dollbaum explains that rather than simple changes, these purchases unlock the feature forever, rather than incurring another cost each time you decide to change. While the current system is less expensive, it also requires you to buy changes to wallpaper, sky, and so forth every time you change; with the new system, once you've bought it once, you'll never have to do so again. It doesn't fully ameliorate the issue, but understanding the reason might make it a bit more palatable.

One Shots: Falling through the world

Screenshots, Culture, Vanguard, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Destiny

Did you get a chance to say goodbye to Vanguard and perhaps take a screenshot or two in its memory before it shut down? Reader Agemyth did, submitting the following odd image and fascinating tale.

"The Vanguard shot that looks like I'm in a cave is actually because I flew my griffon straight into the peak of a mountain. Thanks to Vanguard's being the lovely lump of lovable bugs it is, I fell off my mount and right through the mountain," Agemyth writes. "Silly Vanguard, I thought, but instead of falling to the bottom of the virtual world as typically happens, I fell on top of a dungeon of some kind! I never got to explore Vanguard as much as I had hoped, but what started as an annoying bug ended up being a shortcut to an ancient forgotten underground structure soon to be forgotten for good by the end of Telon itself.

"In Vanguard's final hours, it showed me the beauty of its true open-world design. You never know what mysteries lie below the dirt when your world is designed to be lived in rather than 'progressed' through."

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Gamescom 2014: WildStar reveals new dungeons and raid tweaks

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Refreshing?
WildStar is on the ground at Gamescom 2014, and it's got something new for players to explore. Specifically, it's got the game's newest dungeons. The Protostar Academy and the Ultimate Protogames are intended for level 10 and level 50, respectively; the former is meant to help introduce players to mechanics found throughout group content, whilst the latter will provide a new top-level experience with heretofore unseen mechanics and content. And, of course, plenty of bosses that tested very well in marketing, because this is Protostar we're talking about. You can see the dungeon in action on this archived Twitch stream, starting at 4:45:00.

But what about players looking into getting into the raiding scene? Will this help bridge the gap? According to the latest dispatch from the developers via the Nexus Report, while there are no content nerfs incoming, attunement processes are being eased. Silver medal requirements are being lowered to bronze, rune slots are being added as definite additions to both crafted and dungeon gear, and attunement item requirements are being tuned down as well to make life just a little bit easier.

[Thanks to Syphaed for the tip!]

WildStar and Guild Wars 2 boost NCsoft profits

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Economy, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, WildStar

ncsoft
The second quarter of 2014 was a very good time indeed for NCsoft, as the publisher announced today that revenues and profits are up thanks to WildStar's launch and Guild Wars 2's move into China.

In today's earnings report, NCsoft shows that sales went up 20% and operating profit increased 46% from the previous quarter. The company said that it saw a marketing expense increase due to WildStar and that Lineage "recovered meaningfully" during this period.

As for sales per game, Lineage is still at the top with 32.2%. Following that is WildStar (15.9%), Guild Wars 2 (12.6%), Blade and Soul (10.8%), Aion (10.4%), and Lineage II (7.7%).

The Nexus Telegraph: Addictions that WildStar must kick

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

I look forward to people telling me how I'm wrong because the game is meant to be a raiding game as if that wasn't an inherently ridiculous statement.  Commence to jigglin', folks.
Matt Daniel is a friend of mine. (Yes, despite my claims at the end of some poorly considered features we did together.) He's also a spectacularly bright guy with a clear picture of what games do well and what they do poorly. So when he and I wind up chatting about WildStar and noting the exact same problems, I take this stuff to heart. And there are a couple of underlying issues that the game would do well to address sooner rather than later.

I've talked about issues that the game has before, but a lot of those issues are really symptoms, not the core issues. I enjoy the game a lot, and I think it has a lot to recommend it, but there are some nagging fundamental issues, just certain ways of viewing the game and the community. As we approach the all-important three-month mark, it's time to start thinking about those issues, about what they represent, and perhaps most importantly about how those issues can be addressed.

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One Shots: There's no bear in panda

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

wow
As much fun as it is to be corrected by know-it-alls who like to huff things like, "You can't call them panda bears; they're not bears, you know!" it's even more fun to say, "Yuh-huh they're bears! And your face also has a ursine visage, especially around the snout."

I don't even know why I brought that up. It certainly has nothing to do with our opening screenshot from reader JohnD, who writes, "While starting off with my new Pandaren Monk in World of Warcraft, I came across these delightful Pandaren children, who seemed more than happy to just chat with me and occasionally wave. After a few minutes they quickly ran off -- but not before making my adventures a little more fun!"

But they're not bears. Or are they? Yes. No. I don't know.

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WildStar teases new ambient housing music

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, Previews, News Items, WildStar, Music, Subscription

Are you a fan of Massively's Jukebox Heroes column? Do you love MMO music so much that you keep it on even when it annoys your voice-chat mates? Good news for you today: WildStar composer Jeff Kurtenacker tweeted that more housing music is on the way for the sci-fantasy space opera and provided a link to a preview... er, pre-listen.
More options for housing music... yeah... it's coming!!
We've embedded 18 minutes' worth of new tunes via WildStar Center below.

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One Shots: A horse and his girl

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

I have a strong suspicion that ArcheAge is about to become one of the most screenshotted games when it launches in the West. Until that fateful day on which my inbox will explode with pics, here's reader Balsbigbrother to tease a little of what is to come.

"Here's a quick screen shot of my character Celosia and her faithful horsey companion Chapp taken during the first closed beta weekend," Balsbigbrother writes. "It's a really gorgeous-looking game, and I also really appreciate the fact that the female characters have sensible, functional-looking armour for the most part rather than the usual bikini armour nonsense."

But what about bikini horse armor? For shame, that beast is practically nude! For more shocking and lurid photos, click on the button below and make sure your mom isn't standing over your shoulder.

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WildStar's Sabotage update is now live

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
PvP fans who were miffed at the PvE focus of WildStar's first major content update, Strain, will be mollified by today's release, Sabotage, which is now live. It introduces a new level 30+ 15v15 battleground called Daggerstone Pass and adds new achievements and decorative housing items -- because nothing says PvP like new housing items.

PvE gamers needn't worry, however; Carbine says "the next drop is for you!"

Massively's WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre previewed Daggerstone Pass and the rest of the patch earlier this month.

The Nexus Telegraph: Another WildStar patch approaches!

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

It's where I have my fun, It's where I point my gun.
I honestly expected the second patch for WildStar to take much longer to show up on test servers, but here it is. In some ways, I'm not surprised, since we're in the just-after-launch pattern of finishing and polishing stuff that wasn't quite ready for launch with the rest of the game, but still. It's a small one, but you know, I can live with frequent small patches just as well as I can live with more spaced-out large patches.

As it stands right now, we've had about a month to get used to the Strain drop, and I imagine we'll be seeing Daggerstone pass on live sooner rather than later. (With my luck, tomorrow.) So let's talk a little about the last patch, the upcoming patch, and what we can see about how Carbine Studios handles its patches overall.

Oh, and dropping bombs on your teammates. I'm sure that'll factor into this discussion at some point.

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One Shots: The green marble

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

wildstar
Man, Bunglerm00se is so lost right now, you can't even imagine it. At least he's getting a great view as he contemplates having to trudge back. If you haven't heard, space is, like, really really big. Costco-family-packages-of-goldfish-crackers big.

"WildStar is shaping up to be one of the most immersive, interesting, and (above all) fun MMORPGs I've played in over a decade of mMm-Mor-Pu-Guhing, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone!" Bunglerm00se enthuses. "This is from the first shiphand mission your character can run. In this case, my character was asked to liberate a moonbase from a deadly menace. Is there any other kind of menace, you ask? On and around Nexus, the answer is 'no.' But the scenery sure is pretty."

You know what else is pretty? Everything after the break. Just you wait and see, my friends.

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Global Chat: Doom and WAAAGH!

Culture, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Neverwinter

war
It's time for our second edition of Global Chat, the column that scours the blogosphere (or blogorama if you prefer) for engaging insights, intelligent essays, and whoopie cushion goofiness. We had a good response to our first column, so I'm glad you all want to hear more about what bloggers are saying regarding MMOs!

In this week's edition, we'll look at Warhammer Online's fatal flaw, adventure through Neverwinter's foundry missions, and speculate on the status of a certain Norrathian sandpark. Remember that it's not all doom and WAAAGH! in this community; it's excitement and cherished outings as well!

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