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What Guild Wars 2 can learn from the death of Wildstar


JohnRiddle.8196

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The demise of WildStar was definitely that it was marketed as a hardcore MMO game so much that they couldn't escape from to the point that it became quite a bit of a meme. I would like to point out a lot of o similarities a have noticed recently between Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar. Hopefully, this thread will reach some dev ears and take advice into consideration about what to avoid in the future.First, let's talk about the history of WildStar and why it failed. I actually recently saw this really awesome video of a YouTuber by the name of NerdSlayer. He covered a chronological history of what happened with WildStar and I want to give you a brief recap of that here.

WildStar was promised to be this MMO that let you play the way that you want and it also harkens back to kind of the good old days of MMOs. The game that officially launched in 2014 and actually got a lot of early praise and ended up making over 26 million dollars decent sized player base; so much so that they ended up having server issues which are something that happens with a lot of MMOs that people are excited about. Now also what happens with a lot of MMOs is the subsequent drop-off and it happened with WildStar after a few short months 2 player base began to dip; But then in 2015 Wild Star decided they're going to go "Free-to-play" trying to revitalize their base and it actually happened. Carbine Studios was reportedly continuing to dip and then had a ton of layoffs at their studio when in 2017 there were a few updates and then finally here in 2018 what the point where the game is officially shutting down. (Now at this point, I want to emphasize that I don't want to see this happening with GW2)

So I give you like a history of of the lifespan of the game but what are the things in between that led to us being at this point. And I got to admit I totally understand what they were doing they were trying to find their angle into the MMO Market they were trying to appeal to a certain type of player unfortunately as it turns out that among other reasons just wasn't enough to go first watch with a subscription model now that is not a death for a game but it certainly limits its initial player base.

You either want to do something like Guild Wars 2 where you just have a base game and you get to play it, which hopefully doesn't hinder the game's progression. I think the sub-model definitely hurt that initial impression of a decent chunk of people playing the game, and like as it happens with a lot of games that have a ton of players dumped, there were several problems. It doesn't really matter why it happens or how it happens it just matters that performance issues at launch will negatively impact the impression the people have of the game you got.

Times have changed, and along with them both tastes and expectations from modern loot game design. The hardcore marketing that we talked about was a bit over-the-top idea that they got an audience that wasn't interested in hardcore raiding like we are being honest here. A big chunk of player-bases when it comes to these have PVE Centric MMOs kind of the casual, relaxed player base that that maybe dozen 40 Man raid group. They pushed away what could have been their "casual player-base", and again that can make up a large portion of your actual players. Probably it was not a very good idea that they were trying to make money just to keep the studio going.

Classic MMO's Games seems to be a dying breed nowadays because there are games that require a massive time investment. We've already got the market saturated with behemoth MMO's that people are pretty much glue to an unlikely to leave anytime soon. You look at some of the big development Studios out there and their gaming and they pretty much have given up on making traditional MMO's as we know them. By all the time we get new games that come out, these "open-ish worlds" with multiplayer experiences are just not getting made anymore and you will not see a portion of gaming audiences interested in those types of games. Then after a few months or after a couple of years player-base just doesn't exist anymore.

Despite all this, I also believe that Wildstar as a game experimented with unique features in gameplay that if adopted could be positively beneficial for GW2 at its current state or future updates/expansions. Like:

Housing (While Guild Wars 2 already has done something similar with Guild Halls, I fancy the idea of creating and decorating your own Home Instance as you want.)

In WildStar, players could own a sky plot. This plot was a part of land consisting of a house and several "sockets", each socket could receive different "plugs". Plugs could consist of many different things, such as a crafting bench, a mine, an exploration shaft, etc. While the exterior of a plot could be filled with "plugs" and decorations placed on predefined "hooks", the interior offers complete creative freedom. Various interior decorations offer a bonus to rested experience if a player logged out inside their home, making a house the best source of rested experience in the game.

  • This plot could be accessed by anyone who has the owner's permission. If a visitor performed a task such as harvesting, the reward can be split by the visitor and the owner of the plot, allowing friends to maintain a plot for the owner and allowing both to benefit.
  • While housing was not a required part of the game, it offered many advantages to the players, from personal workbenches, gathering nodes, personal dungeons, quicker access to raids, and increased rested experience.
  • Players of a certain level or above can own a housing establishment in one of the residential areas. Housing comes with several benefits and features, such as buffs and extra warehouse space.
  • Special decorative items can be acquired through crafting, collection, quests, merchants, and drops.

Paths - (Way different than Crafting disciplines or Elite Specializations)Paths are a system in WildStar that are meant to complement a player's preferred playstyle. Upon creating a character the player will be asked to choose one of four paths. These correspond to what the core playstyles people tend to fall into. By choosing a path, a player will be given unique challenges and rewards that players outside of the path cannot experience by themselves.

  • Explorer: For players who enjoy wandering off the beaten path and exploring every nook and cranny of the game world. Explore the wonders of the world. Travel to the darkest corners of this mysterious planet while discovering the locations of ancient artifacts of immense power. Explorers climb higher, dig deeper and go farther than anyone in order to claim territory in the name of their faction.
  • Scientist: For inquisitive players who wish to learn everything about the game world and who can then use that knowledge to their advantage. Scientists are living proof that knowledge is power! Dig into the mysteries and unlock unique abilities by studying exotic and dangerous local wildlife and flora.
  • Settler: For players who enjoy the social aspects of MMOs and wish to enhance that experience. Settlers bring civilization by constructing outposts in dangerous areas and upgrading existing towns. Work with others to improve the world with banks, transportation networks, vendors, and other helpful structures to aid your allies. Start campfires for boosts, maintain taxi services and enjoy increased drop rates for housing supplies.

(And a few I thought it would be a good addition from WoW)

  • Archaeology: Archaeologists search the world - and places beyond - for mysterious remnants of the past. Their digs unearth all manner of artifacts, and a persistent archaeologist will research commonplace historical items alongside rare and powerful ancient relics.
  • Fishing: Fishers relax and feed themselves by catching the bounty of lakes and seas. Careful bait selection and patience can result in some truly rewarding hauls, from seafaring delicacies that restore heroes' health or enhance their attributes to waterlogged flotsam like cases and trunks. Fishing can even yield rare reagents and items lost at the bottom of the ocean or swallowed up by sea creatures!
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I tried Wildstar when it first launched. It tried to be a sci fi GW2 in some ways, yet lacked the intuitive accessibility and clarity GW2 had. It was a mess to get into. GW2 has nothing to learn from Wildstar because it was already doing the key things better.

I also wanted to like the artstyle as that style appeals to me, but it was so poorly implemented it was headache inducing.

GW2 might have lost its way under a lack of direction and management, but comparisons to Wildstar - doomed pretty much from the beginning and then nailed down when it started cancelling festivals - are misplaced.

Having said that, I'm not against the path or housing ideas. It doesn't need to do them at all, but they sound kinda cool if done well.

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There's a lot of run-on sentences in this post, and I don't really follow where it's going. Wildstar had problems GW2 could learn from, here are some things it did wrong that don't apply to GW2, please copy these unrelated features from Wildstar?

Generally I'd prefer a suggestion thread to focus on the suggestions, and explain why they're better than the competing systems already present in GW2.

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@"Randulf.7614" said:I tried Wildstar when it first launched. It tried to be a sci fi GW2 in some ways, yet lacked the intuitive accessibility and clarity GW2 had. It was a mess to get into. GW2 has nothing to learn from Wildstar because it was already doing the key things better.

I also wanted to like the artstyle as that style appeals to me, but it was so poorly implemented it was headache inducing.

GW2 might have lost its way under a lack of direction and management, but comparisons to Wildstar - doomed pretty much from the beginning and then nailed down when it started cancelling festivals - are misplaced.

Having said that, I'm not against the path or housing ideas. It doesn't need to do them at all, but they sound kinda cool if done well.

Nothing to learn from WildStar indeed. Learn from the "death of Wilsdtar" though...

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@JohnRiddle.8196 said:The suggestions are highlighted with bold.

Yes, and basically none of your highlighted text passages apply.

Sub fee? Not present in GW2 already.

Initial impressions? This is a 7 year old game.

Hardcore marketing? 90%+ in GW2 are super casual content.

I don't follow. This thread reads more like someone wanting to get some knowledge off their chest about Wildstar which doesn't really apply to GW2.

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@Cyninja.2954 said:

@JohnRiddle.8196 said:The suggestions are highlighted with
bold
.

Yes, and basically none of your highlighted text passages apply.

Sub fee?
Not present in GW2 already.

Initial impressions?
This is a 7 year old game.

Hardcore marketing?
90%+ in GW2 are super casual content.

I don't follow. This thread reads more like someone wanting to get some knowledge off their chest about Wildstar which doesn't really apply to GW2.

This thread is not about WildStar.

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@JohnRiddle.8196 said:

@JohnRiddle.8196 said:The suggestions are highlighted with
bold
.

Yes, and basically none of your highlighted text passages apply.

Sub fee?
Not present in GW2 already.

Initial impressions?
This is a 7 year old game.

Hardcore marketing?
90%+ in GW2 are super casual content.

I don't follow. This thread reads more like someone wanting to get some knowledge off their chest about Wildstar which doesn't really apply to GW2.

This thread is not about WildStar.

Which is odd considering your OP covers primarily Wildstar. You can’t talk about Wildstar, try to make some vague connections to GW2, and then dismiss anyone that disagrees with you by saying “this thread is not about Wildstar”.

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@JohnRiddle.8196 said:

@JohnRiddle.8196 said:The suggestions are highlighted with
bold
.

Yes, and basically none of your highlighted text passages apply.

Sub fee?
Not present in GW2 already.

Initial impressions?
This is a 7 year old game.

Hardcore marketing?
90%+ in GW2 are super casual content.

I don't follow. This thread reads more like someone wanting to get some knowledge off their chest about Wildstar which doesn't really apply to GW2.

This thread is not about WildStar.

Exactly, maybe you want to edit your topic opener to actually apply to Guild Wars 2.

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I don't really get this thread. Seems to me that these are just random correlations or some requests for specific features 'backed up' by what Wildstar shouldn't have done? It's all pretty cryptic if you ask me.

For instance, OP is talking about performance issues at launch. I mean, this game isn't just launching ... so what's the relevance to talking about it? Even IF this game had that problem, it's long been forgotten AND corrected. I dunno. if you want fishing, just make a thread saying "Hey I love fishing, please add it".

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The long and the short of it is that wild star failed because it aimed at the 'hardcore' community with tight raiding and gated access. A dying game style even back then. There were other issues, server performance was terible, there was the crass childish space cowboy humour and maps where quests were chucked at you whenever you moved. Fortunately gw2 never made these mistakes and I'm guessing no other mmo will ever again. Housing in wildstar was indeed awesome.

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What can ANet learn from the closure of Wildstar?

Games that don't make enough money hurt NCSoft's bottom line and go away.

Why did Wildstar not make enough money? There were several reasons.

  • The game was primarily marketed to and designed for an MMO gaming niche (raiding) that is already being catered to by other games that did it better. The same thing has happened to GW2 with respect to sPvP as an eSport. There are too many games that do PvP better than GW2. Fortunately, ANet already avoided the mistake of marketing primarily to the dedicated PvP crowd. Dedicated PvP was one of several demographics that GW2 was aimed at.
  • In addition to designing mostly for the raiding niche, Wildstar misread the willingness of that group to grind preparatory to actually raiding. A lot of players who wanted to raid did not want to "get ready to have fun." ANet has done a much better job with that aspect of GW2.
  • Carbine did not really provide much content for anyone at endgame outside of raiders and PvP. MMO audiences as a rule tend to like games that they can devote a lot of time to. Anyone who did not want to raid had almost nothing to do. GW2 did not make the mistake of putting all or most of its eggs in a single basket, so to speak. There might well be a cautionary tale in this aspect of Carbine's failure to make money. Based on the last NCSoft quarterly report, GW2 still looks like it's drawing enough revenue to be making a positive contribution to the NCSoft P&L tables. However, it remains to be seen whether Living World only content will continue to keep enough players playing the game with nothing else to look towards.
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Seems more like a wildstar nostalgy trip than a real "learn from its failure" thread. I don't really see a lot from what you said that could apply to gw2 at the current state.Also paths are limiting more content than they're adding. Basically you'd need to make a few characters to go through the jumping puzzles or to complete certain 'hearts'. Personally I don't see the point.

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@vesica tempestas.1563 said:The long and the short of it is that wild star failed because it aimed at the 'hardcore' community with tight raiding and gated access. A dying game style even back then. There were other issues, server performance was terible, there was the crass childish space cowboy humour and maps where quests were chucked at you whenever you moved. Fortunately gw2 never made these mistakes and I'm guessing no other mmo will ever again. Housing in wildstar was indeed awesome.

Finally someone gets it!

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@"IndigoSundown.5419" said:What can ANet learn from the closure of Wildstar?

Games that don't make enough money hurt NCSoft's bottom line and go away.

Why did Wildstar not make enough money? There were several reasons.

  • The game was primarily marketed to and designed for an MMO gaming niche (raiding) that is already being catered to by other games that did it better. The same thing has happened to GW2 with respect to sPvP as an eSport. There are too many games that do PvP better than GW2. Fortunately, ANet already avoided the mistake of marketing primarily to the dedicated PvP crowd. Dedicated PvP was one of several demographics that GW2 was aimed at.
  • In addition to designing mostly for the raiding niche, Wildstar misread the willingness of that group to grind preparatory to actually raiding. A lot of players who wanted to raid did not want to "get ready to have fun." ANet has done a much better job with that aspect of GW2.
  • Carbine did not really provide much content for anyone at endgame outside of raiders and PvP. MMO audiences as a rule tend to like games that they can devote a lot of time to. Anyone who did not want to raid had almost nothing to do. GW2 did not make the mistake of putting all or most of its eggs in a single basket, so to speak. There might well be a cautionary tale in this aspect of Carbine's failure to make money. Based on the last NCSoft quarterly report, GW2 still looks like it's drawing enough revenue to be making a positive contribution to the NCSoft P&L tables. However, it remains to be seen whether Living World only content will continue to keep enough players playing the game with nothing else to look towards.

Finally someone gets it!

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So MMORPGs shouldn't concentrate only on one part of potential customer groups? What a life changing revelation. In favor of Carbine, risk is part of entrepreneurship. It's always easy to criticise and know better afterwards. They surely knew that they were developing for a specific niche audience. You are not the only one with a brain.

The living story in GW2 is something similar. In my opinion Anet saw an opportunity in it but unfortunately changed the course multiple times over the years and lost player due to it. Might not be the most relevant group to them but still.

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@IndigoSundown.5419 said:What can ANet learn from the closure of Wildstar?

Games that don't make enough money hurt NCSoft's bottom line and go away.

Why did Wildstar not make enough money? There were several reasons.

  • The game was primarily marketed to and designed for an MMO gaming niche (raiding) that is already being catered to by other games that did it better. The same thing has happened to GW2 with respect to sPvP as an eSport. There are too many games that do PvP better than GW2. Fortunately, ANet already avoided the mistake of marketing primarily to the dedicated PvP crowd. Dedicated PvP was one of several demographics that GW2 was aimed at.

This a problem with GW2. Anet failed with the Esport thing. But they refuse to give us SPvP like Battlegrounds and Warfronts. We still have same SPvP and they refuse to change their mindset on this despite what players say.

I dont want more 5v5 king of the hill with different maps doing same thing.

I want 20 vs 20, 40 vs 40, etc with objectives on the map and goals beside hold 3 circles.

Also with a Queue. Queue is important here. Some reason Anet fails to understand this.

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@Knighthonor.4061 said:

@IndigoSundown.5419 said:What can ANet learn from the closure of Wildstar?

Games that don't make enough money hurt NCSoft's bottom line and go away.

Why did Wildstar not make enough money? There were several reasons.
  • The game was primarily marketed to
    and designed for
    an MMO gaming niche (raiding) that is already being catered to by other games that did it better. The same thing has happened to GW2 with respect to sPvP as an eSport. There are too many games that do PvP better than GW2. Fortunately, ANet already avoided the mistake of marketing primarily to the dedicated PvP crowd. Dedicated PvP was one of several demographics that GW2 was aimed at.

This a problem with GW2. Anet failed with the Esport thing. But they refuse to give us SPvP like Battlegrounds and Warfronts. We still have same SPvP and they refuse to change their mindset on this despite what players say.

I dont want more 5v5 king of the hill with different maps doing same thing.

I want 20 vs 20, 40 vs 40, etc with objectives on the map and goals beside hold 3 circles.

Also with a Queue. Queue is important here. Some reason Anet fails to understand this.

This may be what you want (and I'm not putting it down), but to me it seems that ANet's marketing data shows this not to be the target audience from which they can gain the most profit. They will put their resources and development toward the demographic that will make the most profit for their shareholders.

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@kharmin.7683 said:

@IndigoSundown.5419 said:What can ANet learn from the closure of Wildstar?

Games that don't make enough money hurt NCSoft's bottom line and go away.

Why did Wildstar not make enough money? There were several reasons.
  • The game was primarily marketed to
    and designed for
    an MMO gaming niche (raiding) that is already being catered to by other games that did it better. The same thing has happened to GW2 with respect to sPvP as an eSport. There are too many games that do PvP better than GW2. Fortunately, ANet already avoided the mistake of marketing primarily to the dedicated PvP crowd. Dedicated PvP was one of several demographics that GW2 was aimed at.

This a problem with GW2. Anet failed with the Esport thing. But they refuse to give us SPvP like Battlegrounds and Warfronts. We still have same SPvP and they refuse to change their mindset on this despite what players say.

I dont want more 5v5 king of the hill with different maps doing same thing.

I want 20 vs 20, 40 vs 40, etc with objectives on the map and goals beside hold 3 circles.

Also with a Queue. Queue is important here. Some reason Anet fails to understand this.

This may be what you want (and I'm not putting it down), but to me it seems that ANet's marketing data shows this not to be the target audience from which they can gain the most profit. They will put their resources and development toward the demographic that will make the most profit for their shareholders.

What data they have on something they never done?They were banking on Esport which was a big failure, yet refuse to move on from that and admit to their misjudgement.

The whole Anti WoW approach they had back prerelease was dropped for PvE, so I dont see why they dont have that same mentality for the Instanced PvP in this game.

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