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The Think Tank: Catching up on WildStar's launch


WildStar's launch has come and gone, and I missed it while I was away on a raid IRL (my loot? A legendary baby drop!). This might just be one of the few major MMORPGs whose launch metas I've missed out on in my entire span of playing MMOs since Ultima Online, so I asked the Massively staffers who've been playing either a lot or a little to catch me up on the state of the launch. How did it go from the perspective of the people on the ground (as opposed to the people in the peanut gallery)? I'd love to hear from our readers, too!

Anatoli Ingram, Columnist
@ceruleangrey: I'm kind of out of the loop too because I haven't picked it up yet and didn't follow the launch closely, but from my vantage on the sidelines, it seems to have gone well, and I've been enjoying looking at screenshots of my friends' characters and their cool houses! One thing I keep hearing: "I'd be max level if it weren't for housing." MMO industry, take note! Extend the life of every game by distracting us with decorative whatsits!

Brendan Drain, Columnist
@nyphur: I've been burned by so many launches in recent years that I decided to give WildStar a miss at launch. I'll likely do my usual and check back in six months to see how the game is doing before deciding whether or not to dive in. On a positive note, there weren't any huge glaring issues with the launch and reports say the servers seem to have coped, so now we just have to wait and see if the gameplay can hold people in the long term.

Eliot Lefebvre, Senior Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre: There's not really much to say I haven't said elsewhere. Stability and server-wise, while it wasn't perfect, it was pretty much on average, and there was nothing that stuck out as being terrible. In terms of actual gameplay, well, I've been excited about this game forever and now it's out. Why are you asking me this when I could be decorating my house more?

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor
@jefreahard: Well, I only played it for two to three hours, so I'm not sure how much my opinion matters. I didn't encounter many bugs during that time, but I also didn't even get out of the starter areas. I was playing over that headstart weekend thing and not launch week proper, so I don't know whether the relatively stable performance I experienced amounts to a good launch or not.

Justin Olivetti, Senior Contributing Editor
@Sypster: From my end, it's been a remarkably smooth launch (the first hour notwithstanding). I haven't had any queue times, any crashes, or any significant bugs. There are a few things that seem to be broken in the game, such as the costume system not always working right or the numerous addon errors for the default UI, but latency has been acceptable, and I've been playing nonstop for a week now.

I've seen a huge swell of excitement and connection over housing. Getting items for one's house has become a major reward motivator, and with stuff to actually do on people's plots, folks are visiting neighbors left and right. I wish I had more stuff in my house right now compared to some I've seen, but time will rectify that.

I do want to say that Carbine's done an excellent job with communication during this period. Important information has gone out regularly and clearly, and the devs weren't ducking the stickier tech issues that happened during launch -- they addressed them.

Larry Everett, Columnist
@Shaddoe: I was annoyed by not being able to get into the servers at launch, having to wait for about two hours before even being able to create a character. Other than that, it was a normal launch. It wasn't extra smooth like Elder Scrolls Online where everyone who wanted to play got in, and it wasn't horrible where servers were down for a day or so. It was happily average.

MJ Guthrie, Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie: As far as launches go, I found it pretty unremarkable. And that's a good thing! There was nothing infuriating like massive queues or crashing worlds that prevented me from playing and therefore permanently spoil the experience. The one moment that is seared in my memory forever is a slight change in a newbie tutorial quest that shocked (and traumatized) me -- live on a stream, no less!

Shawn Schuster, Senior Editor
@Epykbeard: I'm playing it for Choose My Adventure (and another character weekly with a group of friends) and really enjoying it so far. I think the launch went smoothly with minimal launch-day staples, and it feels like a very polished game overall. Granted, I'm not hitting level cap and maxing out every single feature, but I think the important stuff is in place and it's a fun experience.

What do you get when you throw the Massively writers' opinions together in one big pot to stew? You get The Think Tank, a column dedicated to ruminating on the MMO genre. We range from hardcore PvPers to sandbox lovers to the most caring of the carebears, so expect more than a little disagreement! Join Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and the team for a new edition right here every Thursday.

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