I tried to play Wildstar at Rezzed, which had the least pushy crowds of any convention I’ve been at. Nevertheless, I didn’t manage to get onto the bank of PCs. The players there were curled over the keyboards in the manner of a lion protecting a delicious carcass. I’d approach, there’d be a low growl that I first felt then heard, then my throat would be casually swiped from my neck and the player would return to Carbine’s world. Thankfully the Surgeon Simulator booth was pretty close, and a quick graft restored my larynx. But the Wildstar players did seem particularly engrossed. A less slashy environment to experience the game was the Rezzed developer session, which I’ve embedded below.
This is the first concentrated chunk I’ve seen. It looks like the Guild Wars 2 developers were given the WoW toolset, which means it’s another step on the road to making the damn genre more fun and accessible, but also retains a lot of the genre’s ticks for those that want it to feel familiar. I am fascinated by this new wave of MMOs being built by frustrated players of older MMOs. The frontier stuff does seem to push the game into interesting areas, with the builder-class upgrading structures to add a high-level quest giver, and adding player-built fast-travel stations. It’s taking the spread of the players across the world and giving it a purpose.