I was part of the media roundtable for WildStar’s second closed beta call the other day, and I came away from it feeling as though I’m missing out from being part of the testing experience right now. No, I still haven’t applied and I’m going to be good and stick to that, but there’s always that part of me that wants to be included, wants to be behind the scenes, and doesn’t want to be left out in the cold, dingy street with my nose pressed to a window while I watch a happy family dine on succulent ham.
This feeling wouldn’t be so strong if Carbine would just stop saying things that make me really want to play this game. In addition to the call, the team released the patch notes for CB2, all 19-or-so pages of it. Even if you’re not in the beta, as I assume most people aren’t right now, you can still get a good feel for what’s going on by digesting all of this. I instantly skipped to the end to digest the housing changes (nothing huge other than, oh, 400-or-so decor items being added). I still am rubbing my eyes in disbelief that they’re placing such a great importance on housing and integrating it with the rest of the game experience, and hearing about housing dungeons made my day.
The interesting thing for me is that there are plenty of aspects of this game that interest me not at all: PvP, raiding, addon modification. And yet I’m still happy that they’re being worked on, because it takes all types to build a healthy game community, and I know that these will get others excited in the same way that housing and playstyle paths are interesting me.
One thing that I took away from the phone call is how passionate the team is about this product. There’s a lot of voluntary above-and-beyond going on; Jeremy Gaffney said that there’s no mandatory crunch, but devs routinely spend their evenings there anyway because they want to. It reminds me that I definitely belong on this side of the games industry, because I would have a huge problem with staying past 5 pm at any job. Maybe games development is for the single folks, I don’t know. I always wonder how their families cope with the fact that mommy or daddy or that person they married spends most of their waking hours not at home.
Anyway, I have a hunch that not being part of the WildStar beta is only going to get worse as the summer goes on. I mean, thank goodness that there’s so much else to do right now, but that doesn’t make the desire to get into that game any less.