News

State of the Game

Written by Mike Donatelli on September 25, 2014

It's been three hectic months since we launched WildStar to the world, and it’s taken us all on a wild ride. We've had our share of ups and downs and you've stuck with us through it all. First let me say, on behalf of the rest of the studio, thank you for joining us on Nexus. That said, I want to talk to you about our plans for WildStar moving forward.

On Megaservers…

At launch we were really excited by the surge of players trying to log into WildStar. If you were playing at the time, you'll remember that we had some pretty insane queue times. In order to mitigate the queue times, we opened more servers to accommodate the demand. And here we are three months later needing to balance capacity once more. If you ask me it’s no secret that MMOs are only as good as the communities that form around them and, while we have an AWESOME community, it’s spread out across our servers. We want to rectify that toot sweet.

Enter megaservers.

What do megaservers get us? Greater participation in PvP and PvE. More players for guild recruitment. You’ll see more player based trading and a busy auction house and commodity exchange. We want players playing together, so this strikes us as the best approach to address the sparsely populated realms.

On Drops...

An aggressive drop schedule was something we had planned from the beginning. Our goal was to get new content out there and into your hands as fast as possible. However, we soon learned a pretty painful lesson: the quicker we tried to get content out the door, the buggier it ended up.

The community has been both very forgiving, but very clear about their opinion on the matter:

Stop releasing buggy content. Period.

After Drop 2, we sat down and had a hard talk about the process so far. The result of this discussion: no more drops before their time. While we would still like to get content to our players as quickly as possible, we’re going to focus on quality. In the end, this will provide true value.

We feel we can accomplish this on a quarterly basis, with one caveat. If it's not ready, we'll hold it until it is. 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.

We’ve already released information on some of the content coming in the next drop (Mystery of the Genesis Prime and Journey to OMNIcore-1) at gamescom and PAX Prime. This content will entail solo and large public world story content that continues the story we’ve been telling through the game starting with the very first announcement trailer, published three years ago. We’re currently shooting for a release early November. Release timing really depends on how things go during internal and PTR testing. The additional polish time on the content will be worth the delay, no doubt.

Keeping WildStar great ...

We are committed to making WildStar the best MMO experience out there – and that means getting it right from the start. To demonstrate our commitment to this goal and our players, we are also focusing on addressing as many bugs as we can. To date we've managed to fix more than three thousand bugs, which equates to 61 pages of patch notes. That's pretty good. While the majority of the fixes were on the backend, we are also focusing efforts on making changes that matter the most. Here are a couple of the big ticket items that you’ve probably already seen, or will see, in the game:

1. Attunement - The raid content was designed to have players actually play it. We adjusted the attunement process to help get players into raids, where the real challenge is. Getting in is one thing, being prepared is another. We are currently implementing a training dungeon that will help train and prepare players for the epic challenges that await them in our dungeons and raids. I want to stress that we’re not nerfing raids, we’re just giving you the tools to succeed when tackling them.

2. Elder Game Itemization – We got a ton of testing and feedback on the early leveling content in beta stages, as that is what gets tested the most. Since launch we’ve tried to respond as quickly as possible to the concerns about elder game items based on direct feedback from the thousands of players playing the live build, something that got little interaction before launch. We’ve been making positive changes related to rune slots and how desirable the hard content rewards are and we’re not close to finished yet.

3. PvP – Early PvP systems incentivized toxic behavior and play patterns. While updates to the gear and matchmaking system have gone a long way to mitigate this, expect further updates and adjustments in the future.

And this is just the beginning folks, the first step in building and maintaining regular, honest communication. We’re working on the next post that will detail the major features we’re tweaking and introducing into the game and how WildStar really does provide gaming experiences for all play styles – casual and hardcore.

And one last thing...

The devs are listening. Your input, your feedback, your vision have already and will continue to help shape the future of WildStar. We want you to feel good about sharing your WildStar experiences with your friends and inviting them to play with you. We can and will do to this together, united...

Except for you tree hugging exiles. You I can do without ;)

 

Mike Donatelli
Product Director
Carbine Studios - WildStar

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