I don’t think that you can argue that Wildstar is aimed straight for WoW players in general and ex-WoW players in particular. They are really trying to amp up the nostalgia with their implementation of 40 man raiding at the endgame. Check out this Devspeak video about raiding:
40 man raids. Attunement quests. Its all there and its all straight from Vanilla WoW.
I can appreciate this. There are thousands of players who long for a return to the old days of World of Warcraft. Look at any MMO forum and you will find them. Hell, I am one of them. I loved Vanilla WoW. I think WoW has lost something in its search for the casual player.
But I am not sure what they have lost is something Wildstar has found.
I loved the 40 man raids in Vanilla WoW. I enjoyed the attunement quests and the fact that raiding was available to just a few players and not every Tom, Dick and Harry out there. I loved that players who raided had all the purples and were truly more powerful than the the rank and file dungeon running players. Even when I was not one of the raiders, I thought that was cool. Hardest content, far and away the best gear. That made sense to me and it was good. But, its not what I miss from Vanilla WoW. It also might not be what others miss from Vanilla WoW and that might be a problem for Wildstar.
What I miss from Vanilla WoW….what others might miss from Vanilla WoW….is the community and that is something that Wildstar has not accounted for. What made Vanilla WoW magical wasn’t the 40 man raids, it wasn’t the attunement quests and it wasn’t a small segment of the population being elite in purples. It was the community. The guilds and the server. The alliances and the rivalries. That was why Vanilla WoW was awesome. That is why many players want it back and Carbine has not accounted for that.
Cross server technology is what killed it Vanilla WoW for me. Before cross server I knew almost every player on my server. Horde and Alliance. I would go in a dungeon and I already knew all the players. I knew the good tanks from the poor. The phenomenal healers from the mundane. The nice guys from the douchebags. I entered a battleground and I could look across the battlefield and know immediately how difficult the battle would be because I knew all the Horde players I was fighting against.
No one sit in the main cities and queued up for dungeons or raids or arenas because there was no queue. We head out into the world and walked to the dungeons and, on PvP servers, fought the opposite side along the way. The entrance to dungeons were magical because there was always other players to fight as we waited for our group to assemble.
Call me crazy but I think that is why many players look at Vanilla WoW wistfully. Not because of raids and attunement quests but because of the community. Wildstar gives you all the mechanics of Vanilla WoW but completely leaves out the soul of it. The community.
I would really like to see Carbine try an experiment. I would love to see them create two servers….let’s call them “Community Servers”….one PvE and the other PvP. These servers would be identical to normal Wildstar servers but for a couple of differences:
- No cross realm anything. Wanna go to a dungeon? Build a group. Same for raids. Battlegrounds consist of players from your server only.
- No insta-travel to dungeons. After the group forms, they must travel to the dungeon entrance and enter. They can use summoning spells but some players must be at the entrance.
I fully understand that many players would not like this. They may have a limited play time and not have the time to look for a group the old fashioned way. They may not care about having a community and just want to get into a dungeon or battleground as fast as possible. I get that, I really do, but I think there are a lot of people who are like me and just miss that sense of community that old WoW had. Who misses knowing every player on the server. Who misses the huge fights in Blackrock Mountain as you gather your raid to go into BWL or your group to go into LBRS. For those players, the community servers would be a god send.
And the greatest thing about it? If it didn’t work, if not enough players rolled on the community servers, they could easily be merged into other servers. No harm, no foul.
I have played a lot of Wildstar since last beta weekend and through this open beta. I appreciate a lot of what Carbine is trying to do. I like their idea of raids and having a 40 mans again will be really cool. I am still not sold on the telegraphs but there is no doubt that Carbine has made a nice MMO. It is probably the most complete themepark we have ever seen, surpassing Rift in its amount and depth of content. But I worry that the community aspect will suffer, just like every other MMO recently. I worry that convenience is killing off community. That is great for a lot of player but its not so great for me.