Sometimes when I stop playing an MMO, I feel a little bashful saying so on the blog lest it be turned against me (“Ha, you used to like this game!”) or wielded as a weapon in the “Proof This Game Sucks” Olympics (est. 1997). But all of that is wrapped up in caring a little too much what other people think of me and my game time, which is weirdly narcissistic and not confident to tell the truth.
So my six-plus-one month subscription ran out on WildStar and I decided not to resub.
There’s a lot of factors that went into the decision, but I’m confident that it’s the right one for me right now. Basically, I’m not playing it enough at the moment to justify a sub and I’m ready for a break from its exhausting combat system. Really, I just about love everything in this game other than its combat, which I gradually realized when comparing my current experiences in WildStar to those in RIFT and SWTOR. Too many telegraphs, too long of fights, too much hopping around.
But there will be a lot I’ll miss, starting with my guild and going on to the wonderful housing system, the delightfully wonky world, and not having seen any content past Farside. The last is really my fault; I’m kicking myself that I had to be all “the grass is greener with this class” and rerolled too many times, as I could have seen most all of the solo game by now.
Of course, it’s never a goodbye (unless NCsoft shutters it, which that studio would never, ever do? Right?). It’s an “until later.” Like most experienced MMO gamers, I fully expect to see a free- or buy-to-play transition announced within a few months. NCsoft doesn’t run strong on sub-only games, especially in the west, and it’s invested too much not to try. A switch to either business model would open up the possibility for continued play on my own time, not on a subscription’s, and I wouldn’t object to that.
For now, it feels like a good move. I have enough to play as it is and there’s plenty more I want to try. WildStar was a, erm, wild ride for 2014 — not necessarily the game I was hoping to get, but overall pretty engaging. I will continue to root for its success and comeback, if so slightly hypocritically from the sidelines.