Wildstar is shutting down (also Wildstar was apparently still running)

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#1 Posted by Rorie (5303 posts) -

That's according to Kotaku. Carbine, the developer, is also shutting down, it looks like. The game had some potential but I had some pretty bad lag problems at launch, which was pretty killer when you consider the realtime nature of the fighting and the amount of dodging you had to do. Also whoever thought this was a good raid attunement in 2014 was...wrong. With the rumors that KOTOR might be on the block as well, there might not be any more WoW-killers running soon? Everquest, FFXI and FFXIV are the only really big MMOs of that stripe that I can think of at the moment.

Staff
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#2 Posted by Ares42 (4159 posts) -

The fact that we have all these games now that have an actual lifespan is a real bummer. Wildstar was one of those games I always thought I should go back and play again at some point, but I guess I never will now. Although I guess if Warhammer Online has managed to stay alive with private servers even Wildstar might have a chance of not completely vanishing as well.

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#3 Posted by MerxWorx01 (735 posts) -

The game had a number of interesting ideas; varies means of telegraphing attacks and abilities that entered in to how you played and mitigated damage. Seems like just another game that got lost in the MMO shuffle.

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#4 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7076 posts) -

I too thought this game was scrapped ages ago. MMO closures are always a bummer because unless there's a decent number of extremely dedicated players putting in extremely long hours for little to no thanks, those games are lost to the ether forever. The artstyle was the only thing that really stood out to me, but it would be nice if someone does manage to preserve this game.

The genre is in a weird place it seems because it feels like it's been forever since we had any major shakeups. There's been a number of hyped up Korean MMOs released, but each and every single time the cycle seems to be that during beta everyone is like "this is the best thing eveeeeeer! It has some issues that I'm absolutely positive they'll work out because they said so!" Then it launches and those first few months are a little sketchy, so more people decide to jump ship. Then several more months to a year pass and if they haven't already, those publishers just give up any pretense of giving a shit about their playerbase and they begin to introduce absurd cash shop items and whatnot. And yet people keep falling for it.

I guess it's because they're desperate for something, anything new in this genre. After 4-5 years of FFXIV, I know I am. Sadly, the risk vs reward isn't exactly bringing a ton of publishers into the arena. MMOs had their day, then it MOBAs, and now it's the battle royale genre. Wonder if we'll swing back around and everyone will try and dump more money into this space again. Lord knows we could use it.

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#5 Posted by Rorie (5303 posts) -

@babychoochoo: I've seen a handful of Asian MMOs that have looked interesting in the past but they always seem to be either intensely PVP-focused or require some amazing, sit-in-an-internet-cafe-for-ten-hours-a-day grinds to get anywhere in them. Luckily WoW seems to be going strong for those of us that dig it, and FFXIV is always there too. Need to get back to that!

Staff
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#7 Posted by grandCurator (211 posts) -

I'm one of the people who absolutely LOVES Wildstar and wish it had thrived. Despite some of the attitude in the ads leading up to the launch, the community was extremely kind and welcoming of new people so long as you told them as such. The gameplay was also fun as hell, even if attunement was sorta silly (they toned it down after F2P launched to a few steps as opposed to 11). It seems weird that games can just disappear now, especially since I doubt NCSoft will ever release the code to run servers for it.

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#8 Posted by Corvak (1948 posts) -

Since time immemorial, MMO players have always lamented that "they dumbed it down" and "its too easy now".

Wildstar, at least in its marketing, was originally supposed to be "hey, remember when WoW raiding was hard?" and then NCSoft learned a harsh lesson in the separation between what people rant about on MMO forums, and what they'll actually pay money for.

The trouble with those old WoW raids, and Blizzard has mentioned it long ago - the data just doesn't support putting money and dev time in them. Blizzard made Naxxramas in Vanilla, and according to their telemetry, something like 2% of the total population of actively paid accounts actually finished it - when you consider it was the focus of their dev team for however long, thats not a great return if you look at content development as something that's meant to retain subscribers. After Burning Crusade, they made an about face on content design - even doing a cut and paste of Naxxramas, since most players never saw it anyway - and suddenly raids were the endgame instead of 'that thing the no-lifers do'.

Ultima Online had basically open PvP everywhere. People tolerated it and then fled in droves as soon as they could play an MMO without dealing with it. Everquest had XP debt you had to work off as a penalty for death, and again, they fled in droves when games came out where you didn't have to deal with it. This is where WoW kinda exploded, it appeared right when every other game had some kind of annoyance that players only tolerated, whether it was EQ's XP debt, or FFXI's having to group just to grind levels. WoW hid the grind behind quests, and let you do them solo. It instanced dungeons so nobody could steal your kills. And now, Vanilla WoW is looked back on as an exercise in tedium, after 14 years of streamlining.

I think the solution is what WoW and FFXIV have already done - difficulty tiers for the same content. There are three tiers in FFXIV, and four in WoW, and they let you run raids on a sliding scale from the pickup group to the team of regulars who know the game inside and out.

MMO players will never quit pining for "back in the day" but with all of the failed MMOs of the last 15 years, you target that group at your peril, if you're a developer.

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#9 Edited by Genessee (284 posts) -

@corvak said:

Since time immemorial, MMO players have always lamented that "they dumbed it down" and "its too easy now".

Wildstar, at least in its marketing, was originally supposed to be "hey, remember when WoW raiding was hard?" and then NCSoft learned a harsh lesson in the separation between what people rant about on MMO forums, and what they'll actually pay money for.

The trouble with those old WoW raids, and Blizzard has mentioned it long ago - the data just doesn't support putting money and dev time in them. Blizzard made Naxxramas in Vanilla, and according to their telemetry, something like 2% of the total population of actively paid accounts actually finished it - when you consider it was the focus of their dev team for however long, thats not a great return if you look at content development as something that's meant to retain subscribers. After Burning Crusade, they made an about face on content design - even doing a cut and paste of Naxxramas, since most players never saw it anyway - and suddenly raids were the endgame instead of 'that thing the no-lifers do'.

Ultima Online had basically open PvP everywhere. People tolerated it and then fled in droves as soon as they could play an MMO without dealing with it. Everquest had XP debt you had to work off as a penalty for death, and again, they fled in droves when games came out where you didn't have to deal with it. This is where WoW kinda exploded, it appeared right when every other game had some kind of annoyance that players only tolerated, whether it was EQ's XP debt, or FFXI's having to group just to grind levels. WoW hid the grind behind quests, and let you do them solo. It instanced dungeons so nobody could steal your kills. And now, Vanilla WoW is looked back on as an exercise in tedium, after 14 years of streamlining.

I think the solution is what WoW and FFXIV have already done - difficulty tiers for the same content. There are three tiers in FFXIV, and four in WoW, and they let you run raids on a sliding scale from the pickup group to the team of regulars who know the game inside and out.

MMO players will never quit pining for "back in the day" but with all of the failed MMOs of the last 15 years, you target that group at your peril, if you're a developer.

Now do one for all the closed or deathwatched MMOs that did exactly what you said to do.

That's how this keeps happening. That's why we should make note of this.

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#10 Edited by Ares42 (4159 posts) -

@corvak: Difficulty tiers is literally one of the reasons why WoW lost its momentum and went into a steady decline of subscribers. The fact that only 2% of the userbase saw Naxx in Vanilla is much of the reason why people kept playing, there were always new goals to accomplish. The problem most MMOs run into is that they didn't realize they were making an online multiplayer game. Making a successful multiplayer game is hard as fuck, the success rate is absolutely terrible. There has to be a core gameplay structure that's solid and appealing that will keep people coming back over and over and over. Look at any successful online multiplayer game and you see this is the one common trait they all share, they have enjoyable mechanics.

Wildstar actually was on the right track, understanding this point, they just completely flubbed on the execution. It got rushed out by the publisher and put in the same direction of "appeasing the playerbase with content" that you are talking about, and it just crumbled due the flawed gameplay they never got to complete or refine.

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#11 Posted by TheHT (15721 posts) -

Oh god, oh no, oh god. KOTOR on the block really? I gotta get in there and finish all those storylines. If I could get one video game wish it's that they rejigger all that content into a single-player package they can sell folks, cause I legit love what I've seen of those storylines. Oh god, I should go reinstall it now.

Bummer about Wildstar. It seemed okay, just not my cuppa. Had some good times there for a hot minute though.

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