Doom Averted (?)

About two weeks ago, I warned that the financial numbers weren’t looking too hot for Wildstar. Today’s news is that Wildstar is going Free-to-Play. This Fall. Which I’m assuming means that NCSoft is going to give Carbine a chance to bail the submerged vessel out a bit longer before pulling the plug, to mix metaphors.

I would say I am not particularly optimistic that Wildstar will get a second life from the F2P transition, but now that I think about it, MMOs shutting down is more rare than you think. TERA is still around. People are still playing RIFT. Hell, you can go download Age of Conan off of Steam right now, and when was the last time you even heard of that game? The City of Heroes episode sort of underlines NCSoft’s view on profitability, but the status quo seems to heavily lean towards zombie MMOs.

As for me, I shan’t be returning to Nexus. I have read about the inroads the devs (those who remain anyway) have made in terms of smoothing out the hardcore cupcake edges, and that’s great. Unfortunately, I had a much more fundamental problem with the game, as described a year ago:

And that’s when I realized that I don’t really like my Medic. Not just healing, which is a total clusterfuck, but… all of it. I enjoy the concept of the class, and even the sort of niche it occupies as an AoE healer. But guys, there is a profound sense of deadening when you realize how utterly shallow the combat system is. I get why Carbine did things this way – the only way the bullet-hell gameplay works is by reducing everything down to 5 buttons – but it puts enormous pressure on those few abilities to be fun to press. This isn’t like WoW where you can go Arcane or Frost if you dislike the Fire rotation. Every (DPS) class is basically a Ret paladin. Enjoy.

There are a lot of things you can dislike about an MMO and still play anyway. You know, raiding instead of PvP, or vice versa. When you don’t like pushing the buttons though… well, you’re going to be doing that quite a bit. Or not, in my case.

Good luck, Wildstar. Something tells me you’re going to need it.

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Posted on May 29, 2015, in Wildstar and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Tabula Rasa was an NCsoft MMO too.

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  2. A notable exception in the zombie MMO category are the ones based on external IP. I don’t see LotRO becoming a zombie….. (even if it’s not far from there at the moment). When it goes down, it’ll be sinking like a brick to the bottom. Fast and irreversible.

    All the rest: as long as you can pull in more money that it costs, it’ll keep going. Hell, the first MMO I played (Rappelz) is still around……

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  3. I like the term (zombie MMO). I do wonder just how well Rift, Tera, Aion etc are doing these days as it’s generally not very easy to see even from earnings reports. I’m jumping back into Wildstar to give it a go, just because I’m lacking a second game at just the right time. Is the super-simplified combat not the same in most action MMOs though? Certainly I grew bored of my skill rotation in Tera as I was levelling a priest, it was so repetitive after 40 levels of the same combat. At least Wildstar has some other non-combat stuff like the paths to do inbetween fighting.

    In reality I only expect this to be a brief side-trek, if I stick with the game to cap I’ll be surprised. I do look forward to seeing the housing system finally though!

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