Wildstar is Carbine Studios’ first project - and it began just as work on World of Warcraft’s launch wrapped up, back in 2005.
“It was about 20 or so of the senior leads off of WoW basically saying, ‘Hey, we want to take that game but do it right this time’,” said Carbine’s Jeremy Gaffney.
The game that’s emerged in the decade since has been built by two camps within Carbine - one which wanted to do WoW better, and another that wanted to do “anything but WoW”.
After seven years of WoW development, the team that would become Carbine emerged with “two very distinct ideas”, Gaffney told CVG.
“One of which was, ‘Okay, we’re done with WoW, we know what we did right and what we did wrong, and we really want to tweak it and do WoW but better,” said Gaffney.
“Then the other group said, ‘No, we want to do anything but WoW. We want to get as far from the WoW space as we can’. And you can see both of those visions show up.”
The first team, the WoW devotees, are primarily responsible for bringing back “what was popular in vanilla WoW but has been abandoned since then” - namely, 20 and 40-player Wildstar raids.
The second team have focused instead on “super-extensive” player housing, planet-settling, and Warplots - the gigantic battlestations players ride into 40v40 PvP scraps.
“It’s doing the monthly updates instead of updates that happen every year or six months, building everything around that kind of dynamism,” expanded Gaffney.
“There are aspects of those visions that you can actually see now as the game’s going live that paid off strongly.”
An MMO invested both in traditionalism and trying new things - can it work, do you think?