Its not unusual for there to be a buzz over games here at Gameora, what is unusual however is for all the buzz to be about one game in particular.
This game is Wildstar, the stunning MMORPG by Carbine Studios.
But why? What got the entire team so excited?
I think it is for a number of reasons, but let me see if I can quickly untangle the mystery.
The Sense of Humour
Wildstar has a rather glorious sense of humour, the type I have not been seen nearly enough of in the industry over the past few years. It is over the top, it is loud and it is ridiculous and generally amazing. If you don’t crack a smile I may just need to crack your skull.
The Art Style
Wildstar has a brilliantly stylized art style that really helps bring the world of Nexus to life, I personally really love it, stylized graphics are a personal favourite of mine and Wildstar do it so well! The modelling, textures and animations look great, if the art team don’t get an award for their work there is something really wrong with our industry. The world looks brilliant, the characters look bad-ass and the monsters look legendary!
This is a bit of a step away from normal for my writing. But it has to be said, player housing is something that I love. I like personal space in MMORPGs, normally I feel that you play these games with little to no effect on the real world, even though you’re supposed to be the legendary hero.
Warcraft tried to fix it by phasing, which is great, but not perfect. I always prefer player housing. It sounds mad, but if I could just impact one tiny plot, make my own mark, it makes (in my mind) my hero’s tale a bit more tangible.
Wildstar does this. The housing in Wildstar from what I have seen looks very well done. In fact I would go as far as to say that it is probably the best I’ve seen in any video game. But I’ll know if I ever get a chance to get a hands on.
What it is, what it’s not
From all the media we have seen Wildstar has stood out from many MMOs because it is not scared of doing it right. Do I Sound crazy? I might be, but it still holds true. In my personal experience MMOs try so hard not be ‘similar’ to one another that they forget to learn from the mistakes of others. In my personal experience the prime example of this is World of Warcraft, so many MMOs try so hard not be Warcraft they forget Warcraft has made mistakes, a lot of them. They have also fixed just as many.
What has this got to do with Wildstar? Well, from what I’ve seen Wildstar does not give a damn. And not in a bad way, in the best way. They only care about the user experience not being compromised. They will do whatever they want to make their game fantastic and I hope they won’t sacrifice a single ounce of this games awesome potential.
“Sure, the NDA is an important document. It is a legal arrangement between us, and our testers. But there’s a more important contract we need to discuss: the social contract we have with our testing community. This is an agreement founded on trust and a genuine excitement to invite people that aren’t beholden to a Carbine pay check to join us in our efforts in making the best MMO possible.”
Community makes MMOs, but most developers come across as cold and corporate, not Carbine. Their interaction with their fan base is nothing short of amazing. Their community managers and PR team deserve a medal.
For example, a short while ago patch notes from the beta were leaked online, in my experience any other company would chase it down and made sure that it never saw the light of day. Carbine instead made them public, in the release Carbine stated:
This gained them a huge amount of respect in my book. The fact that they are willing to openly talk about their work at this stage tell me that Wildstar is obviously something they are proud of, and if they are that proud of it I will be behind them every step of the way.
So that’s that. These are some of the reasons I think Carbine and Wildstar have become such a huge hit here at the office. We are all waiting to see.
Now I’ve got to get back to work, I’ve got videos to edit. I can’t sit around forever waiting for a Beta invite. That being said,who ever gets the first beta invite in office may end up being involved in a battle royal with the rest of us. I have the upper hand if comes to that, since I keep my training swords in my office.