Official Site: WildStar
Studio: Carbine Studios/NCsoft
Launch Date: June 3, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: F2P as of September 2015
Platform: PC

Perfect Ten: The MMOs with the most unclear futures in 2017

A little while back, I took a look at the healthiest games in the MMO space at this time. That was a nice, uplifting list, wasn't it? And all of those titles continue to do just fine, even if one or two might have had a few bits of shocking news along the way.

Unfortunately, this is not an industry in which health is assured. Games can be high-quality and beloved, but they can still be shut down by outside forces. And that's not counting games that just come out in the wrong time period or launch in an unrecoverable state.

That may sound grim, but we're already staring at the first two shutdowns of 2017 in the near future, and both of the titles being killed are surprises. One of them might have wound up on this list if it weren't being shut down, but at this point, it is. So let's look at the MMOs with the most unclear futures and start hoping for the best.

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Massively Overthinking: Tab-target vs. action combat in MMORPGs

Massively OP patron Duane is kicking the new year off right: with a brawl over combat types in MMOs.

"Tab-target, action, or hybrid combat, for many MMO gamers the combat system, regardless of whether it is a well-made, is a deal maker or breaker," he writes -- I like to imagine he wrote it with a mischievous glint in his eye. "What is the superior combat system, and why is it superior (please give examples)? Let the battle-lines be drawn!"

I posed his question to the MOP writers for this week's Overthinking. Here we go!

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Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online's Homestead player housing blew my mind

I usually like to bury my opinion behind a bit of measured fact-checking and the weight of opposing opinions, but Elder Scrolls Online hit all the right buttons for me with its new housing system. I have to sing its praises right now. Based on what I've seen on the public test server, Homestead will give us exactly what we are looking for in an MMO housing system.

Here comes the measured part: We won't really know exactly how the system will work in action until it hits live servers. Crafting and the horrid vendor system in ESO will likely make finding specific housing items unnecessarily difficult, but it's possible that it could be balanced by the crafting system and the Crown Store.

Despite some of the unknowns, I do really like what I've seen so far, and I'd like to give you my first impression of the Elder Scrolls Online housing system.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 99: Landmark goes into the dark

We're not yet a full week into the new year and we've already been delivered news of a major shutdown. In today's episode, Bree and Justin talk about the fallout of the Landmark announcement, the Hi-Rez Expo, and several major patches.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Carbine previews WildStar's Primal Matrix horizontal advancement, defends 'massive' scope

WildStar kicked off 2017 with a bang last week with the reveal of the Power of the Primal Matrix update, a "massive" endgame update that not only adds new endgame dungeon content but creates a complex character development system allowing character progression after level 50 -- essentially horizontal advancement.

Game Director Chad Moore and Community Coordinator Jonathan Brown led a stream on Friday giving a broad overview of the update's systems, lore, rewards scaling, content scaling, instancing, new classes abilities, and the new dungeon, though the pair promise future deep-dive videos that will explore them even more.

"There was a little bit of skepticism when the third [reveal] came out and said 'massive,'" Moore says. "I just wanted to say that I think we actually came through on that one." We're inclined to agree.

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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WildStar's next major update opens up new progression past the level cap

If you've been playing WildStar for a while, your character is probably at level 50. It's quite possible you have multiple characters at level 50, even. Next month, you'll be able to start making progress on those characters once again; the Power of the Primal Matrix update will add in the eponymous Primal Matrix, allowing players to unlock new nodes, new class abilities, and new stat boosts to become even more powerful than before in the post-50 game by collecting Primal Essence from all manner of content.

In addition, there will be even more opportunity to help out lower-level players; the game is adding in a new dungeon and a new expedition, along with a level-scaling system for existing dungeons below the cap. In short, everyone will have new levels to gain and new rewards to earn, and all of this should be arriving in February. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as we get closer to the date; for now, just be satisfied knowing that things are changing in a big way very soon.

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WildStar kicks off the Battle Chase on January 6

The Darkspur Cartel is not one of the player factions in WildStar. Strictly speaking, it has no skin in the game and doesn't care who wins in the war between the Exiles and the Dominion. But the Cartel actually does have a vested interest in the conflict and in making sure that nobody really wins; prolonging the fighting is good for business, and so the longer the battle goes on, the more profit there is to be made. Which sounds kind of grim, but it does segue nicely into the Battle Chase event starting up on January 6th.

Like many of the game's events, the Battle Chase event is all about earning up currency by taking part in specific activities. Take part in various Battlegrounds and you'll earn currency which can subsequently be exchanged for decor, outfits, and so forth. There will also be item crates for sale, one for each faction at varying times. The event runs until January 16th, so jump on in, start shooting your enemies, and make sure that the real winners in this war are the profiteers. (But in a patriotic way, we suppose.)


Global Chat: The Standing Stone standoff

Following the announcement of LOTRO and DDO's new studio and the subsequent cancellation of the Asheron's Call games, you can better believe that the MMO blogosphere was alight with conversations and opinions on the subject.

Aywren said that the move is a "win-win" for the two MMOs, while Contains Moderate Peril thought that it "raises a lot of questions." GamingSF is "optimistic," Endgame Viable thinks that updates will slow down going forward, The Ancient Gaming Noob considers it "momentous news," and Ravalation doesn't see the point in "doom-and-glooming."

Battle Priestess has some advice for Standing Stone: "Stay true to the Lord of the Rings source and lore and write amazing storylines and engaging quests. Keep developing beautiful landscapes. For the love of all that is holy, please update the character models and hairstyles. Be more transparent with your players and listen to the community."

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WildStar drops a late-year teaser

What's Carbine Studios hinting at? The WildStar developer dropped "a mysterious message" from Drusera, the game's iconic AI, on Twitter this past Friday. "You have the strength to do this. It's the reason I chose you," the character said before disappearing.

Could this be referring to next year's content? Check it out below and rev up the speculation engines in the comments!


Source: Twitter


MMO Year in Review: The Landmark and WildStar Steam parade (June 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Both Landmark and WildStar launched on Steam in June of this year, Landmark emerging out of early access for the very first time and WildStar hoping for a second wind on a new platform. Neither one quite got what they wanted.

Meanwhile, the world had a(nother) laugh at the MMO players' expense thanks to the Warcraft movie, Jack Emmert took up residence at Daybreak's Austin studio, and CSE opened up a satellite studio in Seattle to speed up work on Camelot Unchained.

Read on for the whole list!

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Massively OP's MMO guide to the Steam Winter Sale

Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.

Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We've compiled a huge list of all of the deals -- including discounts of up to 90% off! -- to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!

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MMO Year in Review: Carebear tears of Elyria (May 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Overwatch may have captured the attention of the mainstream gamer in May, but core MMORPG players had eyes on indie startup Soulbound Studios and its sandbox Chronicles of Elyria, which ran the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter of the year amid concerns over its PvP design and business model.

Meanwhile, the WoW legacy server battle raged on, and WildStar capped off a new patch with a series of downers, losing lead devs and clout alike.

Read on for the whole list!

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