Wildstar, Game Design, and Independence


So you may have recalled I was looking forward to Wildstar Online. If you haven’t been paying attention to the MMO scene, it’s an SF MMO with fantasy elements and a deliberately cartoony style that’s been in development awhile. Also it has erudite space zombies (the Mordesh), a race of whose males are micro-bishounen Wolverines (The Aurin), and psychotic super-scientific squirrel-aliens (the Chua), so it’s not exactly your typical space romp.

(I predict around about Guardians of the Galaxy, a lot of Chua with names like “RokkitRaccoon” and “JamesRocketRaccoon” will pop up. Just warning you now.)

So I’d been looking forward to it enough I bought it pre-release and played the beta. And, yes I was a Spellslinger, but rolled Scientist not Settler because this is me. If you’re playing the game and/or know me, you get it.

So essentially I’ve decided to play awhile now that it’s out. I don’t have a long-term relationship thing with any MMO I tried, so I figure it’ll be something I play for a few months during my normal “game time” until I get tired of it. I only have so many hours in the week to play and I bound it carefully.

But it’s why I chose to play that is interesting- and is the subject of this column as I think it shines some light on the world of game development that’ll be useful to professional geeks.

As you may know I’ve been on an indie kick, which seems to be defined by “Playing FTL and other stuff.” Wildstar intrigued me enough that I decided to give it a go, however, because it felt well-crafted. There was just a sense of precision, of almost artisanl creation.

Then I realized it. This big, sprwawling, AAA MMO had parts that felt like an indie game.

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Feeling Wild About WIldstar Online


If you know me, MMO’s aren’t quite my bag.  I did some City of Heroes back in the day, tried Dungeon Fighter and liked it but lost tracked, and was rather charmed by Dragon’s Nest and it’s anime-esque style for some time.  I just don’t really get into them, and with the way they suck time, they better be worth it.

I think one of the next-Gen MMO’s may not also get my attention, but it looks like it’s going to try some interesting mechanics and design ideas.  Welcome to WildStar Online.  Let’s take a look at why I’m paying attention.

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