Interestingly enough, two of my most popular posts are my Wildstar Esper guides, which still get daily hits. And, for good or bad, they don’t require much in terms of an update.
So good news (finally), Wildstar is going Free to Play. And the GW2 free to play model minus the box price – I guess just like Rift. Apparently, in the 24 hours since the announcement was made, it was the highest uptick in the Reddit sub-site in nearly a year, which is great news.
I will be honest here, the $15 fee wasn’t a dealbreaker for me. I was going to re-sub next month when I got the new laptop anyways. I had left the game due to rather significant balance issues around the elder game (max level content). I really enjoyed nearly everything about the leveling game, including the dungeons. When I hit 50 though… that was bad. Gold medal runs were the only type of dungeon run, so 90% of them failed after the first death. World bosses took forever to kill/spawn. Raids were 40 people and if 2 people messed up, it was a wipe. It was like a gentle curve from 1-50, then a massive gap until you were raid running and spending a dozen hours a week doing so.
Since then, there have been about a half dozen content patches. More zones, more dungeons, a “fill” of that content gap, 20 man raids, pets, costumes and a crafting reset. The majority of the folk leading the game for all those years in dev have moved on, and the folks who are there now are drinking a whole different type of kool-aid. Heck the F2P conversion is going to add even more wanted features, like a full AMP unlock for everyone (no more farming dozens of hours).
That said those who are playing now are going to be in for an interesting ride. Where SWTOR’s swap put a rather massive gate on top end dungeons/raids, this is not the case for Wildstar. It’s more like TERA, Aion and Rift. I wouldn’t say it’s a drastic shift, given that the past 4 patches have been all about making the game more accessible and less HARCORDE!!1! If that’s the reason people are playing today, get ready for a rather large resource shift from super elite raids to a more simplified version. Dollars to donuts, they put in a 2 tier raiding system.
There are quite a few posts on the matter…with all sorts of opinions on this value of this message. Most though agree that this is a good step, even if they don’t plan on taking advantage of it. I know I am and my gut tells me this is going to be good news long term for the game.
As far as I see it, this is the only long term hope. I doubt an expansion would’ve dug them out this hole. F2P offers a real opportunity to relaunch and rebrand. The game is good enough that a FFXIV-style restart wouldn’t of worked. What would they have changed for that?
Time to drop your barrier and start hunting whales.
That’s a really good point. They are at the point where they can add to the game, rather than cut/replace.
I do have to say I find it odd that it isn’t trial for x levels and then b2p. With a CREDD system, having zero barrier to entry is going to be a lot like launch – gold spammer everywhere.
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Great news for me as I’ve not even Tried the game. Hopefully it will spring up with a dedicated following who will drop $ to their hearts content.