I am having one of those mornings when I am not entirely certain I have thoughts that are worth sharing. However because of the ritual that I have built up for myself I am going to share something anyway. I consistently have a chorus of “no one wants to hear about that” running through my head as I write most of my posts. I think that is in part why I struggle so hard when someone says something nice to me about my blog or any of the other things I do. I feel like I really have no clue what I am doing and even more so why anyone would care about it. I am super appreciative that people do seem to care, but I feel like one of these days everyone is going to pull back the curtain and realize what a boring person I am. Worse I have an unshakable fear that I am a fraud and that some terribly clever person is going to write a lengthy essay on medium pointing out this fact and cause you all to hate me. Medium feels like it is a site entirely about writing lengthy essays about exposing harsh truths about the things we love.
Sometimes I start writing and things just veer wildly off course, and I have a feeling that is precisely what is happening this morning. Yesterday afternoon at 2pm pst Wildstar went dark as a game and I have some weird feelings about it. This was not an important game to me personally, in fact I struggled to figure out why everyone liked it so much. That said I realize that it was a very important game for an awful lot of the people who I care about in my life. This is in part why I kept trying to unlock the puzzle about what made it feel good to play. Probably the happiest I was with the game was when I was playing my Chua Engineer and even then… largely because of the adorable bot army that I drug along with me. The core problem there is… that the vast majority of the friends I had playing the game on the regular were Exiles not Dominion. Sure this eventually changed so that you could cross faction until your heart was content… but I think by then it was too far past that golden time in which a game really has to hook me on its charm.
There was something about the game that caused me to struggle with it. There was a certain sensory overload that I felt each time I played, with too many things going on with the UI and the telegraphs that just left my eyes feeling immensely tired after playing it for a short period of time. I realize this is weird given that I have always been one of those people who prefers to have a massive number of UI elements on screen in World of Warcraft, but the combination of this and the action combat proved to be more than I could handle most of the time. I am regretful that I never managed to make it to the level cap or really experience any of the endgame content. I had multiple characters largely fall off the face of the leveling curve in Whitevale… and I am not entirely certain what specifically about that zone caused me to lose all forward momentum.
All of that said I have to tell you that Wildstar had quite possibly the best housing system I have seen in a game, namely the way you could set up your little pocket dimension to be whatever you wanted it to be… along with interesting minigames to play. It also had an excellent cosmetic gear and dye pot system that I hope going forward more games pay attention to. It was a game that gave its players so many nice systems, and I think that is in part why it had a generally thriving social structure. There are a good number of people that I met through the game that have become fixtures of my Twitter feed in a daily basis, and I am thankful that I got to meet all of them. Said feed was completely breaking my heart as I watched so many emotional posts scrolling by in the last hours of the game before they finally shut things down. I think what probably makes this worse… is the fact that Wildstar lasted far longer than anyone actually expected it would given NC Soft’s track record of shuttering still relatively popular franchises.
At this point however I am not entirely certain which is worse. Watching a game get shuttered, or having a game purchased by a company that you are almost certain is going to do bad things to the game. I watched Hellgate London be bastardized by Hanbitsoft and then get regurgitated back onto Steam in a form that is at times barely recognizable to the original. Recently Trion Worlds was purchased by a company that has games in its stable with literally temporary inventory bags that expire after seven days. So I have nothing but the worst fears about how Rift is going to change under their stewardship. So I am not sure if it is worse to see a game completely close its doors, or to watch it flop around in a zombie state for awhile muddying your memories of it. As I have said before when this sort of thing happens… these MMO games that we love are fleeting. Grab on with both hands and enjoy them while you still can, because eventually… they are likely going to shut their doors either replaced by something shiny and new or because the players disappeared over time. In the case of Wildstar we can only hope that a Server Emulator is far enough along to be able to create a fan run server like the thriving Star Wars Galaxies community or the Age of Reckoning Warhammer Online community.