Suck It Up, Cupcake: It’s Good That WildStar Is Going F2P

Every few months I revive my World of Warcraft subscription, go poking about the old haunts and decide that yes, things were better back in my day. Then I order the local kids off my lawn and wish I had my £9.99 back. This is WildStar’s target audience: people like me who yearn for the hardcore days of yore, too jacked up on happy memories to recall that a lot of what Warcraft had going on 10 years ago was a massive arse-ache. WildStar offered 40-man raids, a lengthy pre-raid attunement process and hour-long dungeon runs to a fickle, flighty bunch on a nostalgia trip, and so, after an opening surge in rose-tinted interest, wrestling with obstacles WoW patched out years back was judged not to warrant £12 a month. Servers withered, and NCSOFT’s earnings reports took on an unhealthy pallor.

Free-to-play, Wildstar’s long-anticipated move to which was announced today, is smashing down the financial barrier to an old school reunion where the nostalgic can come and go as they please.

I’m underselling it horribly – despite the odd lapsed month, WildStar’s innovations have kept me logging in to planet Nexus since the head-start last June. It is a beautiful thing, drawn in an intoxicating comic book style and heavy with Whedonesque space cowboy lore. Combat is peerless, double-jumps and backflips complementing a telegraph system which sketches attacks to be evaded or fired off on the ground. WildStar aims to make you breathless, bouncing between activities in a state of suppressed hysteria.

These activities require people though, and WildStar doesn’t have many of those. I’ll get flak from the WildStar forums for saying so – they have, for several months now, been buoyant with optimism at the reappearance of former players and healthy congregations in the new ‘elder game’ zone, Star-Comm Basin. After the population imploded, developers Carbine acted to make WildStar less hardcore (to the purists) or less of a pain (to everyone else), and the toned-down attunement, a health increase for all and the replacement of the 40-man organisational migraine with a 20-man raid seemed – seemed – to be pulling it back from the brink. That’s why I can’t begrudge WildStar recanting the hardcore bluster it was sold on – it was adapt or die off; a different MMO or no MMO. And that’s what we’re dealing with now it’s heading free-to-play: WildStar’s drear first-quarter earnings silence anecdotal evidence of growth.

In fairness, elder game events are packed out and guilds make good progress now they need only maintain a 20-man raid roster. As someone drawn to WildStar for boss fights on the edge of sanity, it’s pleasing that, for all Carbine’s nerfs, mid-level guilds tend not to have cleared the two raids it shipped with. But step out of the max-level zones, even into the Dominion’s capital city, and you begin to feel very alone. Most of WildStar’s unique public events fail on their first phase due to lack of participants – not a lack of interest, but a lack of bodies in the zone. The Group Finder, meanwhile, is slower than asking in the player-created LFG channel. WildStar’s quest pane has the nice touch of displaying nearby players that might have encouraged group play in happier times but now points out how few nearby players there are.

Simply, free-to-play means more players collaborating to get the most from the planet Nexus’s fabulous toy box. More people means more events, more groups, no howling silence in cities and PvP. Zones like the low-gravity, Alien-inspired Farside on the moon far above Nexus deserve to be savoured, not bombed through just to see faces again. Madcap shiphand missions, including one that casts you in a gladiatorial ‘80s gameshow, can be ploughed through solo, but why chuckle to yourself when you could be belly-laughing with friends? More players means access to content which is currently as good as locked – free-to-play is practically an expansion pack.

It’s not all about pragmatism, though. The concern among loyal followers is that the coming transition will twist the game into a form it was never meant to hold, but I suspect otherwise: WildStar, in its hyperbolic pursuit of space badassery, is tonally and psychologically a free-to-play game already. Like Candy Crush provoking your pleasure neurons with a tinkle and a flash, every inconsequential action in WildStar comes with pyrotechnics, a shower of loot and a thundering announcement asserting that you (as you suspected all along) are a Big Deal.

Free-to-play doesn’t need to change WildStar’s structure to keep people hooked long enough to blow cash on cosmetics – your brain is always alert for the source of the praise, eager to provoke more gratuitous celebration. Mining nodes damn near outnumber rocks, and missing out on even one wave of jingling, fluorescent ore demands willpower. Remove the paywall and WildStar will retain custom like a drug lord giving out uncut tasters.

Its reverence for loot puts WildStar in a good place to make microtransactions equitable. Costumes, mounts, housing and even PvP Warplots (though they see tragically little action) were designed from the start to support obscene levels of customisation. As a long-time mount-hoarder, having not only the mount itself but interchangeable front, back and side flairs to choose from has been a major incentive to play on in the downtime between dungeons and raids, and though it’s a pity the collection won’t ever be complete without substantial financial outlay, it’s heartening to know that Carbine have ready monetisation vehicles that don’t encroach on the business of killing stuff.

Mounts are small-time dealing though – housing is the real vice. Every player gets their own Protostar Nexus Housing Initiative smallhold on which to set thousands of decorations, furnishings, plants and pre-made plugs which include farms, excavations and dungeons in miniature. Days of player time are guzzled by virtual homes, so there’s room for a cosmetic supermarket. That might feel like a slap to subscribers used to decor on tap, but I feel we’re in good hands precisely because WildStar wasn’t intended to gate content. So much is hardwired into the game that any attempt to divvy up what’s there into paid chunks would end in madness. No, what we will get will surely be new; it will mean more stuff, and though it will have a price tag, there won’y have to a be a monthly tithe sucking at our bank accounts.

Free-to-play isn’t a drastic move for WildStar. It has plenty to sell without compromising its vision any more than it has had to to retain a scant subscriber base – vendors already dispense experience boosts for a virtual currency, while the C.R.E.D.D subscription alternative can be bought for real cash. Plus, it’s an ostentatious, loot-spewing, praise-lavishing space romp, which is all the staying power necessary to keep a hugely expanded player base spending money.

A crowd through the door is all it needs to thrive – a big crowd, mind: people will tend to drop in and out, and that’s why I think Carbine and NCSOFT were right not to go with the “buy-to-play” (double quotes for disgust) model many have asked for. To get momentum going there can be no barrier to anyone who wants to play nostalgic space cowboy.

Numbers are what WildStar needs to survive, but though I welcome that new rush of Nexians through the transmat terminal it is, in a selfish way, a bit sad. WildStar subscribers are endangered, and as a result they stick together like genetically enhanced honey from an ill-advised Protostar business venture. It has been refreshing to be part of a community which goes out of its way to be warm and patient, in-game and on the message boards, in the knowledge that there can only be a few hundred people left to team up with.

Putting out calls for groups the old fashioned way, participating in weekly server-wide events organised through the forums and tuning in to the global chat channel reveals a bunch of people who love their game and are intent on making the most of a bad situation. They’re going to be outnumbered soon, and though it will almost certainly rescue WildStar, going free-to-play may take the biggest toll on those who boldly stayed where they were.

68 Comments

  1. Freud says:

    Making a MMO these days is like Spanish expeditions to discover El Dorado, the city of gold. Everyone figures they are the one that’s going to make it while it’s obvious no one budgets for a post-release hype player base.

    Same with multiplayer shooters, really.

  2. Tuor says:

    Wildstar’s financials are pretty bad. I doubt this move will do anything but prolong the inevitable. But, stranger things have happened, I guess.

    • Zallgrin says:

      F2P not only prolonged SWTOR’s existance, but allowed it to be very profitable for quite a long time. I don’t see why Wildstar should be any different, especially since it is a high-quality game.

      Personally, I look forward to jumping in and playing with my sister. I liked the game a lot during beta, but did not want to subscribe nor sell my soul to the MMO devil – especially not during collge.

      • Nasarius says:

        I don’t see why Wildstar should be any different

        It’s STAR WARS. There’s a huge amount of interest in any Star Wars product, even if it’s a pile of shit.

        Wildstar is just yet another entry into the indistinct mass of WoW-ish MMOs, which seem to mostly do well enough to survive.

        • Zallgrin says:

          Being “Star Wars” did not help any other of those mass-produced single-player titles that tried to leech off the franchise’s success.

          One has to face it: MMOs are profitable even when they go F2P. Otherwise people wouldn’t keep doing them, or wouldn’t keep supporting them or releasing expansions. Sure, they will never reach the levels of WoW profits, but they don’t have to – it’s still good business.

          • malkav11 says:

            The Star Wars license is the only reason a lot of those games sold at all. And MMOs don’t remain profitable despite F2P, but because of it. I’ve yet to hear of a single MMO whose finances were harmed by going F2P. Rather, they die on the vine as a subscription product and perk back up the moment the subscription is removed. Whereas most of these games would be in the bin already if they hadn’t made that move.

          • Mint says:

            exactly, But it is not like they tend to be even profitable when they go F2P but MMO’s have turned out to be even MORE profitable when they go F2P.

            Take a look at aion, it had a great start of about 3 million players. Then most of the western players found out how slow it is to level and how hard it was to make money (it was truly a hardcore game back then , not anymore tho) player numbers dropped BUT stayed stable for a very long time. But once it went F2P it became a few hundred procent more profitable then it ever was and the game is still succsefully going right now in 2015 since 2009, making more money now then it did in the time it was a subscription game.

            Starwars is in a way saved because it is starwars because it is one of the few mmo’s that only runs and is catered for in the west so in that sense it is true tho.

      • blastaz says:

        Trust me, college is the only time you will have anywhere near enough free time to properly play a mmo. You have a guaranteed four hours a day between waking up at two and going to the pub at six. Treasure it!

        • nanophage says:

          What does “properly play a mmo” mean?

          • SomeDuder says:

            Grinding your way to the max level, grinding reputation for , getting attuned for dungeons/raids, getting equipment to tackle raids, grinding materials for crafting, getting 5 people together for dungeons/instances, getting a larger group together for raids.

            Doing the quests, doing the daily quests, travelling the world, administrative crap (selling your unwanted shit, guild/clan nonsense, et cetera).

            Anyway, what people want (yes, I speak for everyone) isn’t that nostalgic feeling from the good ol’ World of Warcraft (TBC) days, it’s having the inhuman amount of time they had to even consider playing a game like this. Any working adult knows its not possible to have a 8-5 jerb, commute, do adult stuff like fixing the sink, doing the laundry and cleaning and do some form of sport/work-out while possibly also maintaining a relationship in combination with a honest full-on WoW-like end-game position in a guild.

            And yea, you only realise those days of Black Temple runs are forever gone when you no longer have them.

    • Kamalen says:

      Thing as bas as SWTOR is like very high on MMO rentability charts. Wildstar can easily find money too.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        The thing is SWTOR isn’t that bad. It’s a much better levelling experience than Wildstar which is generic and boring. SWTOR as a free to play game works because lots of people will just play it as a Bioware single player game that cost them nothing, by the time they are done with the story, they are max level and look for other things to do which causes some people to spend money.
        Wildstar needs to get people to stick with it until they reach max level where most of the focus of that game is. For me first time around that didn’t happen, I bailed at lvl 20-something. Certainly wasn’t paying any more of a sub to keep playing it. I guess I’ll see how things go when I re-try it once it’s free to play.

        • Mint says:

          In my experience with both those games ^this^ is spot on and my exact experience with the one difference that i only made it to level 15 in wildstar.

    • Flopper says:

      Have you ever played WS? Literally the only thing wrong with the game is player population…. It will be a momentum shift when people start downloading to try it out. A booming player base will turn in to an even bigger player base. Once that happens GG MMO market.

      WS has literally everything WoW has but better. I honestly can’t believe the game flopped at launch.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Maybe you are in the minority in finding it so much fun? I’m not knocking you, to each their own, but honestly I found the game dull and boring. As good as WoW? No, not even close in my opinion. It has none of the charm, the quests are dull, the areas are duller. The combat was interesting but like every MMO still gets repetitive after your 100th mob.
        I will be trying it again once it goes F2P as the endgame stuff does sound interesting, I was not paying any more money to find out though.

        • nanophage says:

          I also loved Wildstar, aside from the lack of players doing lower level content. I played WoW between ’04 and ’05 so I can only compare it to WoW back then but I think WS is a superior product in many things, including theme, combat, and crafting. WoW’s theme is very Tolken-esq (which I find boring), the combat is basic MMO, and the crafting is blah. All subjective of course.

          Perhaps I am in the minority as well but I suspect they will only need a minority to make WildStar a profitable endevour again.

      • evilengineer says:

        yeah if he only thing wrong with wildstar was low pop it wouldn’t have a low pop problem. wild star is a reskin of all the things from vanilla wow that 99.9999% of people grew out of by the time BC and wrath rolled around. on top of which they heaped poorly thought out mechanics, and horribly boring filler content that no one really game a damn about.

      • gwathdring says:

        I found it miserable. I was there at the last beta/rial and I couldn’t stomach it. The art was lovely, the Dev Speak run-up video series was sheer joy. But actually playing it … I didn’t find the telegraphing during combat to make it even remotely as interactive and interesting as it sounded like it would be on paper. It didn’t go far enough towards a proper thinking-person’s action game but it went far enough away from point-and-click to make that feel even more tedious than ever.

        I still found myself being told I’m the chosen whatever and hammering my primary until the few things I have at low level cool down and then hammering those because the optimal move was too often Give It Everything You’ve Got. I still found myself doing Kill This Many Xs. I still found myself every bit as horribly bored as in most MMOs. At least SWOTOR managed to hook me better with some of it’s story lines.

        Wildstar, as discussed prior to release, pushed all of my buttons in a way no other MMO has. I wanted to love it. Very much so. But I couldn’t get through more than a few hours of it. It was dreadful. It was everything I hate about MMOs dressed up in all of my favorite wacky science fiction fluff with a sense of humor right up my alley.

    • aepervius says:

      It would be a pity, but i expect wildstar to close much quicker than SWOTOR. Every time I go thru a new char and every time by the middle of the second zone… I falter. much quicker than SWOTOR. At least with SWOTOR the jedi/sith is hold my attention longer. The grinding is way too high with Wildstar.

    • Xan says:

      Dungeons and Dragons Online saw a revenue increase of 300% after it went F2P

  3. Jenks says:

    I think I was the target audience for Wildstar, here was my reaction to it:

    40 man raids? You’ve got my attention.
    Lengthy attunements? Awesome, loved those in EQ and early WoW
    Sub only? Perfect! Keep out cash shops so the game world is a meritocracy

    Great, this sounds like a return to classic MMOs, where I can really get immersed in the world and my character, I cant wait to see what it looks like!

    link to youtube.com

    Uhhhhhh… nevermind. Good luck with that.

    • Allenomura says:

      You’re so right.
      All that hip window dressing is plain awful! So, the guy’s all “you levelled up” and there’s a mild mania sets in from the gfx onscreen – yeah, but game, I’m trying to focus on what’s going on around me in the area, probably also trying to follow my tracker cues, keep an eye on chat – objectives blend in almost to opaque with the game’s scenery.
      I’m basically trying to play, here, but they’re more interested in playing some hellish, demented cheerleader in spite of it!
      That’s for ONE level. There are many of those.

      Burn the whole announcer, pyro, hair metal bs, and the game ticks up in my estimation, hugely. Or, maybe just set theatrics as a toggle. Anyway, it’s a key factor against my interest in resuming Wildstar.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Careful what you wish for. As the article mentions, it’s often a case of rose coloured glasses. WoW brought back 40 man Molten Core (and Tarren Mill vs Southshore as a battleground) for the 10 year anniversary. Most people hated it.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t know if it’s *just* a case of rose tinted glasses. I wouldn’t say.

        I mean, Blizzard can bring those back all they want, but if it can’t resurrect at the same time the communities that them worthwhile, then it’s not helping much.

      • RayEllis says:

        I did the 40th Anniversary raid in WoW and I can say it was the most boring two hours I’ve spent in the game in a long time.

        The combo of no loot from the trash mobs and people who just DO NOT have a freaking clue about even the very most basic of tactics such as “let the tank do the pulling” made it a very painful experience.

      • Distec says:

        I’m not sure the issue was with the 40-man raids themselves or the fact that Molten Core was absolutely ancient in its design; first raid released for the game IIRC.

        But even then, I see plenty of 25-man groups in LFR completely failing, and I don’t imagine 40-man PUGs are much better. It pretty much is a proper guild activity.

    • Nibblet says:

      That was my reaction aswell.
      They tried to go the “silly fun” route that was such a success in wow, but went way overboard and and woundup just being plain silly.
      The mindlessly repetative gameplay did not help either.
      Ncsoft seems to have an unhealthy obsession with dodging telegraphs, and for some reason they keep coming up with overly simplistic combat systems built entirely around that one mechanic.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Yeah. GW2 does that style of combat so much better. More skill required to hit and dodge things. Sometimes you can’t dodge things etc etc. Wildstar, as you say, everything is telegraphed with big “MOVE OUT OF THIS NOW!!” red areas that usually take 2-3 seconds to hit. “Skillshots” are generally massive, unmissable cones of damage that might as well just be WoW style tab targeted skills.

      • gwathdring says:

        The sillyness is a matter of taste. I like the silly weirdness, personally, but the mindlessly repetitive gameplay is a deal-breaker. Of course, that applies to many MMOs …

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah I think you hit one of the nails on the head there. The whole art style of the game was just…….shit.

      When I heard it was going to be a sci-fi MMO I was excited, that’s right up my alley. Only it was so barely sci-fi. You were still running around grassy areas hacking stuff with swords, ok they replaced the bows with guns, that’s about it. It still fit into the standard fantasy MMO mold (much more than say SWTOR did, which did a much better job of conveying it’s sci-fi element).
      On top of that you had this garish, horrible design choice and honestly the whole world felt like such an incoherent mish-mash because of it.

  4. Hawks says:

    Does it still have separate servers? That was the biggest problem for me when I played, no megaserver = no people to play with. Well that and the art/forced humor…

    • Procrastination Giant says:

      They switched to a megaserver system sometime at the end of last year – november-ish i think? Not sure how well their system works, though, since that was after my time.

      • po says:

        They lost a few players over it (including me) because instead of doing the sensible thing, and requiring everyone to have unique account names (like GW2 does with its accountname.1234 format, which handily lets you swap your characters while in a group), they instead forced unique player names by requiring mandatory last names (regardless of having the same name as another player), onto people with characters they’d had for a long time, some of us since early beta, participation in which was supposed to have granted a reserved character name (by way of a headstart over other players when the game came out of beta).

        I know it’s not a big deal for many, but it shows a lack of respect for players, forcing something like that on them when there are perfectly good alternatives.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          That sort of thing pisses people off a hell of a lot. I know I wouldn’t want to change my character name after months.
          To me, with a lot of these MMOs, there seems to be a huge lack of foresight when it comes to things like this. Could they not imagine a world where there game wasn’t super successful and be ready for potential server mergers? They clearly didn’t have good plans in place if they just forced people to start changing their character names.
          SWTOR had similar issues. “People are queuing for a while 2 days after launch? ADD MORE SERVERS!”. 3 months down the line and 90% of the servers are completely fucking dead because they spread the players out too much.
          It just baffles me how supposedly intelligent and experienced game developers cannot see the potential problems they are creating a mere few months down the line.

          • po says:

            This is why FireFall’s cloud based server infrastructure is complete genius.

            They aren’t hiring rack space, which would result in changes in player population either requiring selling off surplus hardware (at a major loss), or trying work with servers spread across a datacenter, because you can’t guarantee that the rack next to yours will remain empty to expand into.

            Instead whenever you get a spike or fall in player numbers, you just spin up or down cloud instances, and the load balancers handle everything. You can even do it on an hourly basis to minimise your running costs due to daily variance.

  5. zentropy says:

    I’d say I told you so…

    But in all fairnes sit was mostly everybody else who said so. :3

  6. Lionmaruu says:

    well I guess it may be different, but on some games I played, when they went free to play the loot vanished and most stuff was on a paywall even stuff that used to be free and the other basically sells power on the cash shop, not directly but you can trade your money for game currency and then get everything you need easily (perfect world games like champions online and neverwinter.) dont know any game from ncsoft that’s not guild wars, which is one pretty consistent game… hopefully I’ll like Wildstar and hopefully it will be enough for them to be able to profit and invest in the game again…

    but if the free players are to be treated like second class citizens like on most hybrid sub/free mmos I am out and will probably hope they just crash. Lets see

    • Lionmaruu says:

      heh just saw on their page faq, a free player wont even be able to make a guild or whatever a circle is… I dont think I’ll be playing this game if even the basic of the basic is being restricted.

      • po says:

        Well that’s just totally crap.

        In WoW you can join a guild on a Starter Edition account once you’ve bought the game (which is what, £10?) and let the sub lapse (so it’s kind of a microtransaction to get in a guild), and in RIFT before it went completely F2P, anyone could join a guild with a <20 character, subbed or unsubbed.

      • bleeters says:

        A lot of the differences between subscribers and f2p players remind me of swtor. Which is bad, because I didn’t stick that out for long.

        I mean, it’s not unbearable, I just resent the feeling that I’m having my time wasted.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          I’d play more SWTOR if the F2P model wasn’t so ridiculous. 3 warzones and flashpoints a week, then you have to pay? Cmon, that is beyond ridiculous. Buy more than one of those boosters a week and it costs you more than a sub so they are pretty much trying to force people into buying a sub or they cannot even play the game at max lvl.
          We’ll see how scummy Wildstar goes with it’s F2P model I guess.

          • bleeters says:

            Not to mention that reduced currency income and increased vendor prices meant trying to make any kind of item progression in pvp without a subscription was so glacially slow you might as well not bother, yet the game is mechanically designed in such a way that people in specialised pvp gear are at a huge advantage in pvp fights over people who don’t have any. Nevermind trying to get the best-at-the-time stuff. I do hear they’re working on this by making everything much cheaper to buy, but, well, it’s personally a bit late now.

            They just went overboard when the f2p system went live originally, and it’s a shame. Like I’m going to pay them fifteen dollars a month for the priviledge of using the /cheer emote.

          • James says:

            You are getting hundreds of hours worth of content (assuming you play more than one storyline) for free, so try to keep that in mind before you call not being able to play 2 more hours in a warzone ‘rediculous’. When you aren’t paying, you get a lot for nothing.

            The credits thing on the other hand makes little sense and seems to be just an attempt to get more people paying for stuff. I wish they were a bit more lenient about the amount of credits, but the game has to make money somehow.

          • gwathdring says:

            @James

            Quality over quantity. In the case of SWOTOR, you get that whole single-player-esque storytelling shtick that works out pretty well for a lot of the characters. So that’s great. But the “100s of hours of free content” involves a lot of thwacking the same enemy by clicking on it and tapping a familiar button sequence. So I’m not sure I follow your bang-for-buck rebuttal.

        • Lionmaruu says:

          Thats one of the reasons I never even downloaded swtor, if I want to play hobo simulator I have better options.

          • airmikee says:

            You can’t afford a measly $15 a month subscription to have full access to a game? Are you sure ‘hobo simulator’ isn’t just a euphemism for ‘your life’?

          • Lionmaruu says:

            Let me explain to you, being able to play a game for free doesn’t mean you never put money on the game. and the way this game is being split, anyone could spent much more than $15, could spend $1000 in one month, and would still be treated like a second class citizen, if you cant understand that, better drop the subject.

            also My life is very good, I have enough money to buy more interesting games per month than having to pay 15 and only play one thing forever, I also have to live a life, go out with friends and dates and generally live my life. no game is worth more than 60 bucks and I wont subscribe to some game that even the player base has abandoned. even if it gets my attention.

  7. aircool says:

    It was a cool game that just happened to suffer from being a retread. Levelling up was more fun in PvP as there was actually a challenge involved as other players aren’t predictable like PvE mobs. Unfortunately, Walatiki Temple was the only map that popped on a reasonably regular basis, and it was full of bots; basically, the team with the most bots would lose.

    It’s then you realise that you’re paying a monthly sub for playing Walatiki Temple with bots. People leave; servers die.

  8. Arglebargle says:

    Carbine better hope this works. ‘Cause ya know, NCSoft — ‘We Kill Worlds!’ (even moreso than EA).

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Oh for sure if F2P isn’t successful I don’t see Wildstar staying around for long.

  9. Gibster says:

    Anytime I see stuff about MMOs and such, I always wonder what happened to Runescape (WoW was way to expensive for a broke kid like me back in the 2000s).

    • Luciferous says:

      Runescape is still a thing that people play and is still doing remarkably well.

      • airmikee says:

        Surprisingly well for being such a dated game with graphics that did not age well at all. I’d completely forgotten I ever made an account for that game until I got a threat from Jagex that they were going to suspend my account for such and such reason. Turns out it was a phishing attempt and not really from Jagex, but if a game has phishers, then it must have enough players to make it an attractive target.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          It’s like the 18th most popular game on Twitch as I type this. More than 2k people just watching it. Must still be popular.

  10. SaintAn says:

    Meh, MMO’s are dead so it doesn’t matter. F2P and B2P are scams meant to take advantage of stupid people and they should be made illegal, though not even sub fees are that great these days because they are not always being used to develop content anymore as you can see with WoW ripping off its players by not releasing much content anymore and making excuses that they can’t make much content because hey don’t have enough staff to even though millions of peope are spending $15 a month + cash shop items and box fees. Where’s that money going? Is someone embezzling? Last I checked FFXIV has way less subscribers but are able to put out triple the content every 3 months with more content between major patches, and they even do it without making subscribers wait years with no content while they make a new xpac. Someone has to be embezzling money at Blizz or they are really really incompetent.

    • airmikee says:

      MMO’s are dead?

      link to engadget.com

      A market that barely existed fifteen years ago and now makes 8 billion a year is dead?

      No new content in WoW since you last checked? Was the last time you checked six months ago?

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Yeah hehe. “I don’t like them anymore hence they are dead”

  11. PenGunn says:

    Yeah, well you see ESO went BTP and now it’s full of newbies. I guess this cartoon thigy does not stand up to an actual TES game, no matter how this pitiful site spins it.

    • Xzi says:

      Well, if TESO were an “actual TES game,” I might agree with you. In reality, it’s just another samey MMO that doesn’t do anything better than its peers, and having played both, Wildstar is the higher quality game.

  12. aliksy says:

    Tempted to try it, but I’m pretty sure it’s not for me. I hated WoW and really liked Guild Wars 1 and 2.

    • Xzi says:

      The visuals take take some cues from WoW, obviously, but it actually plays a lot more like Guild Wars 2.

      • gwathdring says:

        I heartily disagree. I enjoyed Guild Wars 1 and occasionally come back to GW2 but found it a bit disappointing.

        I really, really, really, really didn’t like Wildstar. I didn’t find it much like GW 2 either in the things I did or the things I didn’t like about each.

        • Xzi says:

          Well, whether your likes/dislikes about each were similar or not, Wildstar’s combat fairly obviously takes cues from GW2’s. Overall, they do have a fair amount of differences, but I’d at least consider Wildstar much closer to GW2 than to WoW.

          • gwathdring says:

            I would argue most of the things I found important about both designs are not all that similar. Even the combat doesn’t feel that similar. Both have more spacial reactive elements which, while unusual in MMOs, is not so unusual in gaming in general. And as such things go, they’re not all that similar to me.

            The question was if it’s worth pursuing if someone dislikes WoW but likes the two GW games. That I like both Guild Wars games and found Wildstar boring as heck makes the case at the very least that the answer isn’t a straightforward “yes.” You thinking the two games are more similar than I think they are doesn’t really come into it with respect to the original question.

            What the OP liked and disliked about GW and WoW would help fine-tune the recommendation.

  13. AvatarOP says:

    Heya,

    I was not registered to RPS. But after reading this fione piece of writing.. I had to.
    Geez, you nailed it. almost brought tears to my eyes.
    thumbs up, cupcake.

    -one of the few, and proud, Nexian.

  14. geldonyetich says:

    WildStar’s an absolutely fabulous game, love it, love the developers, could not resist buying it on release day… but I didn’t love the subscription model because I really can’t focus on any one thing long enough in this day and age for it to be worth subscribing to on a monthly basis for more than, like, $5. So I’m highly encouraged to see WildStar is leaving 2004 behind and going F2P, and plan to land feet first and running in game when it happens.

  15. Theomancer says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of MMO articles on various sites lately, and I just wanted to comment in the hopes that the author might read this. This is a spectacular example of GOOD WRITING. Well done. It’s so mind boggling how many articles are published with even semi-mainstream and mainstream sites, and just have horrible writing generally. You are a true writer — regardless of what genre you put your pen to. Well done.

  16. Xtorma says:

    Plenty of people , bought this game and were willing to pay the sub. Unfortunately it was not worth the sub fee when released, and decisions made down the line caused even more defection. They could not keep their own promises on frequency of content releases, they totally screwed up pvp, and then exasperated it by offering one way transfers off of pvp servers to pve, which finished killing them. After much fanfare ,they had to admit that 40 mans were a no go. They put in unavoidable white damage so healers would have something to do, making skill much less of a factor… the list goes on, just read the forums.

    They marketed the game as “harcore” and that drove away a lot of people from even trying the game out, even though it isn’t hardcore at all. There were a lot of failures associated with this game , and the pay model was a minor one.