Wild West Online plans ‘soft relaunch’ to boost playerbase, says playable women are a ‘cosmetic feature’

    
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You can't play me!

The latest Wild West Online patch landed on July 5th, and it brings in some changes like a full Sheriffs vs. Outlaws faction setup and the ability to taunt your enemies. It’s also easier to customize your character’s appearance and several skill trees have been fixed to work correctly with the game’s current build. All good things for the people still playing the game, and all meant to feed into what is apparently a plan to relaunch the game entirely to be more of an online shooter and all that entails:

What this “relaunch” plan means for you – our existing players ? to be honest it doesn’t really gonna affect you much – it will for sure will bring new players to the game, as well as add more stuff to do in a game, making user experience more in line with it being PVP shooter game.

The developers go on to explain that quests will be removed from farmers, replaced with simply daily tasks that pop up as part of the interface, and farmers will become just another sort of vendor in the game world. You can read up the full plans for the “soft relaunch” now, although you have to dig a little bit to find out that the developers are working on adding playable women to the game but don’t consider it a very high priority because it’s “just a cosmetic feature.”

If you’ve forgotten, WWO launched out of early access in May in a state which appeared wildly unready for launch, with immediate negative reception. We’ve got a roundup just below if you’d like to catch up on the progress.

Source: Official Site (1, 2, 3)

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Sekkerhund

Original quote for context, since article writer conveniently bumped it ever so slightly askew:

“Female characters are coming, but with all honesty – this is pretty low on our priorities – it’s a cosmetic feature, not something that makes or breaks the game.

“Cosmetic feature” is just a game development term. They’re saying that implementing female characters is just a matter of creating and applying artwork to existing skeletal models, which isn’t difficult, but takes time and focus away from other areas of development. Generally, cosmetic issues, be it bugs or additional features, are considered “low priority” on the development “to-do list”. (Unfortunately, it sounds like there’s a lot of areas that they have to re-work, so I can’t fault their decision, even if I disagree with it.)

While, as players, we want and expect features ASAP, most of us forget, or don’t realize, that these games are entertainment businesses and require money, people and work-time to create the neat stuff that we see. Like any other development business, the work is prioritized into levels of “priorities”, so that they can plan an organized path of development and complete a finished product, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

That being said, I agree with comments re:”social tone-deafness”. While I believe that the developer made the comment in context of industry and not of misogynistic sexism, I often see developers making public comments that clearly illustrate a “disconnect” that they have with their players.

Developers, in general, really need to work on that. After all, they’re creating games for their players. Otherwise, what’s the point.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Wow. I so wanted this game to be a thing but I always had this nagging “something is not right here” that held back my purchase finger.

This cements it for me.

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Paragon Lost

“although you have to dig a little bit to find out that the developers are working on adding playable women to the game but don’t consider it a very high priority because it’s “just a cosmetic feature.”

(chuckle) Honestly, the social tone deafness of some companies is kinda surreal at times.

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Bryan Correll

Just rename it ‘Sausage Fest Online.’

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Sorenthaz

Doubt this’ll help their Mostly Negative reviews on Steam. For all intents and purposes initial response was a massive bomb.

And now they’re going to move away from the ‘MMO’ ambitions to just make it a PvP shooter? k.

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Nathan Aldana

going from competing with pvp sandbox mmos to competing with fortnite and overwatch seems like a suicidal plan but what do i know

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Nathan Aldana

“look, just because we launched mere months ago doesnt mean we cant relaunch already”

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Sorenthaz

Definitely doesn’t bode well for the “we swear we’re not associated with Sergey Titov” arguments.

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DeadlyAccurate

I was trying to remember his name earlier, because I had the same thought.

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NeoWolf

To be honest I don’t think they need to worry about offending women with these offhand comments…as I suspect they’ve already alienated ALL of them.

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Tom316

I don’t think 100 relaunches will help this game any. It launched half finished and still is half finished. I doubt 10 years will be enough time to change all that.

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Aldristavan

“Back in my day, female avatars were part of the props budget!”

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Cyclone Jack

“…playable women are a ‘cosmetic feature’.”

In a roundabout way, I’m calling this a brilliant move. I can see future games working with androgynous character models to begin with, just so they can say that their characters are both/neither male and/nor female, and then add more pronounced “Male” and “Female” cosmetic features later in development, or even as DLC. While it is absolutely absurd, its also equally brilliant in a weird, twisted way. (ps: I hate myself for putting this to paper, because I fully expect this to happen now)

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Glitch basically did this! Gender dimorphism was literally up to your cosmetic choices on top of a blank androgynous cartoon body hehe. It was actually really nice! Ofc, more reasonable for cartoons.