There’s a weird atmosphere that’s coating WildStar these days. Everyone in the game can’t seem to stop referencing or talking about the big free-to-play switch that’s happening in just a week and a half now.
It’s not just the business model and the expected flood of new/returning people, but also the sweeping changes, improvements, and new features that are coming with the patch. It seems that WildStar is joining several other MMOs this fall in creating a dividing line between the old game and a “2.0” game:
- ArcheAge just merged servers and did a whole bunch of new stuff that reshaped and rebooted the worlds.
- Destiny just entered “Year Two” with The Taken King and huge changes
- Star Wars: The Old Republic is more or less pushing the current game to the way back and starting over with Knights of the Fallen Empire, going so far as to jump forward in the timeline and allow players to advance right to level 60 upon character creation.
Maybe WildStar’s changes won’t be as drastic as some of the above, but they will be significant. Exciting, to be sure, but the stat changes, rune changes, crafting changes, etc. have lots of folks scrambling to figure out what they need to do to prepare for the next stage of the game — placing them in a weird holding pattern right now until it happens.
I might end up riding out the transition more smoothly than most. I’m not big into the endgame right now and haven’t started crafting on my Medic (although I’m saving up mats, oh yes I am), so I’ll grow into the changes rather than have to quickly adjust to them.
One thing that works in WildStar’s favor is that — for a few weeks at least — it will be more in the spotlight in a positive fashion than it has been in a long time. Expect more discussion about it, more people returning to give it another look, and more articles covering it. My hope is that when this second honeymood period wears off, it’ll leave behind healthier population that’s more upbeat about the game as it is and its prospects for the future.
Plus, we’ll have a double event in October — the hoverboard grand prix and Shade’s Eve. If I do not get that DeLorean hoverboard, I will have to create a real one to mask my tears.
I have a checklist of things I’ll be wanting to do once free-to-play hits:
- Cancel my subscription and enjoy the four free months of sub-level access
- Comb through the cash shop, see what I’ll want to save up for
- Claim all of my loyalty (cosmic) rewards
- Buy a Cassian house for my housing plot and start fixing it up
- Check my challenge rewards on my older characters to see what I might have won
- Start on architecture crafting with my Medic
- Go back and do that new early Drusera dungeon (Alpha Sanctum)
- Continue to level up as normal with my Medic and earn that money!
I can’t wait. The patch sounds great from reports from the test server, but it could be undercut by a botched launch. Test that hardware and software like crazy, Carbine!