Today marks the official launch of Wildstar. Lots of you may have already played something of Carbine’s MMO, either as testers in the open beta or by preordering the game and securing yourself a couple of days head start.
It’s fair to say that the game is popular: Carbine have been coping with the stress of launch by rapidly spooling up new servers – in the last five days alone there have been six new European servers opened up for use.
Back on the 28 May, just in time for the preorder players, Carbine spooled up 22 servers – 11 over in the US and 11 over here in Europe:
Our #WildStar Realms List is now live! We’ll post more info on our forums once they are back up! pic.twitter.com/SOYKTCjsHg
— WildStar (@WildStar) May 28, 2014
These filled rapidly, creating long queues.
In response, the studio began booting up servers almost daily. There are now 17 servers for European players and 14 over in the US. When I logged in earlier today I’d no trouble finding a server, creating a character and jumping into the game – a real step on from the queues that have hindered the game’s head start.
The post launch support goes beyond server’s, though. I sat down with Wildstar’s creative director, Chad Moore, to talk through what’s coming in future updates.
“[Over the next year] we’re going to be updating the content that’s specifically associated with the shipped game.” They’ve plans to release new story instances “where you can go and reveal the mysteries of nexus,” You can take on these episodic instances on your own, they’re really there for the completionists and those caught up in the Wildstar’s story.
There’s also “new dungeons, new raids, new adventures, new zones,” Chad said. “We’ve already said that our very first 30 day release is going to be a completely new zone.”
Chad also pointed out that Carbine will be regularly rotating the bosses in raids, that way they can keep them surprising. So, one week you and your guild might ace a raid run and the next you find whole new bosses to contend with.
I asked about the possibility of not just rotating bosses in the raids but introducing new areas and enemies within raids, augmenting them. “Yes,” he said, cagily. “We can do that. I probably can’t talk about the specifics but I will say that’s something we’ve already discussed extensively.
“Any piece of content is a living piece of content. There’s nothing stopping us adding onto any type of content – whether that’s a dungeon or a raid, a shiphand mission or a story instance. Once the game is out there’s nothing stopping us.
“However, releasing large chunks of new content is going to be our big focus. That’s not to say making and adjustment to an existing dungeon or making an addendum to an existing dungeon isn’t new content but we’re a subscription based model so we want our players to always think they’re getting their money’s worth every month.
“We’re going to have hundreds of hours to experience at launch but players are going to get through that, they’re going to churn through it and they’re going to say ‘What else you got?’
“The expectations of the community are different now,” he explained, talking about release cycles for MMOs. “ArenaNet’s done a very good job of this and we’re following their model, giving players new content every month in order to keep things fresh, to remind players that just because you bought the game and paid your subscription doesn’t mean we’re not still thinking about you guys.
“From a development standpoint it’s a lot more challenging but that’s where the market is today.”