6 major MMORPG launch days revisited

wildstar plans

One of the neat things about having a long-running blog is that it inadvertently turns into a historical document chronicling major events. In this case, Bio Break has been around since 2008, and I’ve gone through several major MMO launches since then. I thought it might be fun to look up the day one (or day two) posts talking about those experiences to reshare them with you.

Guild Wars 2 (August 2012)

“Guild Wars 2.  Is incredible.

“Playing it live feels so much different than beta, and I’m so glad I have a character to actually invest in.  But even more than that, this is just a game that exists to wow you left and right.  I’m sure that there are those who have become immune to in-game beauty and details, and only see the numbers and min-maxing, but that’s missing the point here.  It’s a game where I felt fully justified to spend the first hour just gawking around like a tourist instead of killing things, and I’m forever going off the beaten track to explore.”

WildStar (June 2014)

“As you may have heard/experienced, it was anything but a smooth beginning.  Due to a purported DDoS attack and a kajillion people trying to cram through the login servers at the same time, we simply could not log into the game.  We got to know the little running hamster, the theme music, and our account passwords very well, however.  It was 4:15 before I could log in, and by then going back to sleep wasn’t much of an option.”

RIFT (February 2011)

“All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the game performance.  No crashes for me, and everything flowed just smoothly.  I did roll a Dwarf Bard, and I’m pretty pleased with the choice.  I’m a Medieval Guitar Hero and proud of it, baby!  I splashed in a bit of Riftstalker for the teleportation spell — being able to jump ahead 25 feet every so often is a ton of fun, as well as a helpful escape button if I got over my head.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic (December 2011)

“On a lark I tried to see if I could log in at 6:30, and lo and behold I could.  Servers were up about ten minutes after that, and I began the process of reserving the eight character names I picked out.  When I finally logged in, it was to a ghost town — not a single soul in the zone, not a single voice on the chat screen, nothing.  I’m not saying I was the first in game, but it almost felt like it.”

Champions Online (September 2009)

“Framerate issues notwithstanding, I had a great time last night.  It was fun to see a lot of friends in the game (and the @name system is growing on me, for sure).  I even spent a bit of time learning the ropes of the crafting system, which is pretty useful — you can make your own inventory bags, which is certainly useful.”

Neverwinter (April 2013)

“While the character creator is really skimpy and the Foundry reportedly in shambles, the core game itself looks fantastic and is pretty fun to play.  It’s more action/arcade-like than a traditional MMO, but for some reason it works here.”

WildStar and the Art of Movement


Sorry WildStar fans, I don’t have a huge return-to-WildStar post for you today. I’m still sort of in the process of reloading all of my stable of MMOs and chortling with glee that they actually run right on this computer. But I do have plans to explore Arcterra with my Engineer, so stay tuned on that front.

What I did want to comment on today that even spending a few minutes with my character here reminded me of one of my hands-down favorite aspects of WildStar: Its freedom of movement. Character just handle so great in this game, from the double-jumps to the tight controls while you’re making course corrections in mid-air. Even the running animations are spot-on. Little things, but when you go from game to game, you do notice how one MMO handles like a truck and another like a sports car.

WildStar, you be the sports car.

WildStar: Taking internal temperature


Sir! Corporal Yeti Yesterday, reporting for duty, sir!

My gradual plan to create a wide body of MMOs to dip in and out of according to whim while concentrating on my two main ones is coming along, although it’s been slowed by my recent computer problems. Until that gets fixed, I’ve given up the comfort of my cushy computer chair for a hard kitchen bench — and a wonderfully wide, spacious table — as I use my laptop. Got to say, for a machine that’s pushing four years now, this laptop has held up admirably well not only as a work device, but as an occasional gaming platform. I think I spent $600 or less on it, and it came with an AMD card in it and enough specs to keep most MMOs operating rather smoothly.

Anyway, one of the games that won’t run well at all on this rig is The Secret World, so as I patched up FFXIV’s 3.2, I looked at what else I had installed here. WildStar came to attention, so I logged in and made a new character over on the Dominion side. Might as well see what life is like on the other side of the fence, eh?

I don’t think I was quite prepared for the deluge of stuff that was due my new character. Between the pre-order and deluxe edition stuff, all of the daily rewards that I had been faithfully getting for the last few months, the first anniversary rewards, the subscriber rewards, and now the $1 Humble Bundle package, it took me a full ten minutes just to get everything squared away.

I have to say, that Humble Bundle pack is awesome for the price. The extra money and bag space is great for right out the gate, the hoverboard is sweet (and has flair!), and I will never say no to housing decor. But perhaps the best part was getting teleportation to my housing plot right from the start instead of having to wait until level 14.


Dance! Dance to the giant taco! Dance, I say!

While I spent time setting up my character and a basic house, I didn’t get too far in my adventures through Levian Bay. I think I was doing that thing where you’ve previously burned (or browned) out on a game and was taking some sort of internal temperature to see if enough time has gone by to renew my interest. Alas, it wasn’t quite. I think I’m going to leave WildStar alone for a bit — at least until the next urge strikes me.

After all, where else will I be able to make a house with giant tacos?

WildStar: The Mystery Shack and SkyMall


My current big project on my WildStar housing plot is to pay homage to the great Gravity Falls by creating a replica of the iconic Mystery Shack. This is much, much easier thought of than done. I’m working off a few pictures of the house, and let me say that it’s not going to be the easiest structure to replicate. It has a sharply sloping roof, an L-shaped floor plan, two stories, and lots of lettering.

Actually, the lettering is the part I haven’t been able to crack yet. I need to figure out something I can use to spell out large letters on the sign. After all, it’s not as though WildStar hands you giant alphabet decor.

I’ve been making good progress, at least for me. I laid out the floor (which is raised, half on blocks and half with pillars), added the cellar doors, and constructed the front entranceway. Another issue is that the Mystery Shack in the show is a log cabin — and WildStar doesn’t have straight, clean logs to work with. So I’m fudging a bit by using 2x4s, but I have a plan to “enhance” them later on.

I was proud to get the A-frame done, complete with the triangle window at the top. WildStar doesn’t have triangle glass yet, so I had to make a frame with wood and turn a square pane a bit to fit.

The side is coming along too. The windows of the Mystery Shack have a diamond pattern to them, so I was able to replicate that with overlapping framed glass. I’ll have to hide the top of that glass somehow — hopefully the roof — and doing the same on the smaller side window might be out of the question.

The roof might be the hardest part. There’s nothing I could find to work as green shingles, so right now I’m going to shrink exile flooring, overlap it to give it an uneven look, and then plop some grass on top. We’ll see.

There’s a lot, lot more to be done before I can get to even decorating it, but I’m excited about the possibilities.


Protostar’s Winterfest kicked off yesterday, so I made sure to check that out. The decorations, once again, are fantastic — I hardly recognized Thayd as I ran around it. Even for a heartless corporate approach to the holidays, it sure is cheery and Christmasy. There were dailies to do, including another bout of visiting neighbors’ plots (this time to sing into mics), and some rewards that are interesting but not quite as exciting as spooky Halloween ones.

I also ran the skymall dungeon. It’s a fantastic setpiece with a lot of inventive encounters, from dousing flaming gifts to avoiding malfunctioning robots to blowing up gifts just because. On the downside, it’s pretty long (WildStar’s instance design skews this way, unfortunately), not very strong on combat, and ultimately wasn’t that lucrative for me. For 50 or so minutes of effort, I got two head bows (one-shot consumables) and some cash to spend in the holiday store. WildStar really needs to be more free with the loot with holiday dungeons. This is kind of pathetic.

I’ll give it a go for a few more days and see what I want to buy, but most of my interest right now is in building my shack. I would love to have a structure on my plot that is truly visit-worthy.

WildStar: Ding 50 (again)!


Well lookit that: A second level 50 in WildStar. It didn’t take more than an hour of questing in Malgrave before I tipped my Medic over the finish line, enjoying a shower of fireworks and self-satisfaction in the process.

She’s still got a long way to go before settling into the endgame routine, and that’s fine with me. At least now I can work on getting more AMP and ability points while fattening my coffers.