This past weekend played host to the first of many official fan events, known collectively as Arkship. This Arkship may seem strange at first glance, since you haven’t seen many details being shared about what went on at the event. What’s unusual about Arkship is that we intentionally placed the entire event under NDA. While this might sound counter-intuitive, the true goal of Arkship was not to get lots of people playing our game and talking about it, but rather to get focused feedback on many of our (unannounced) game systems, while allowing our team to talk openly with attendees about WildStar. By putting the whole event under NDA, our studio didn’t have to worry about watching what they were saying, and could engage in an open dialogue with the attendees about WildStar and ways to improve the current game.
Just because the attendees were under an NDA doesn’t mean that we were! Read on for a breakdown of the entire event, and learn how you might be able to attend a future Arkship event.
The night before Arkship kicked off was a small meeting for some of our current (and potentially future) fansite partners. We strongly feel that fansites are core to any community, and we wanted to bring some folks in to discuss the types of support and opportunities we planned to give. We know there are a lot of people out there considering starting up a fansite, podcast, or blog about WildStar, and if you haven’t spoken with us yet, we encourage you to reach out to the Community team via our Twitter or Facebook so we can chat about these opportunities!
Arkship officially kicked off on Saturday with a surprise appearance by Protostar CEO P. T. Rotostar (played brilliantly by Carbine writer and Protostar voice talent Cory Herndon).
Community Director Troy Hewitt happily paid $438 to take a photo with P.T. Rotostar.
After officially introducing the Carbine team, he handed things off to Jeremy Gaffney and Chad Moore who reviewed WildStar for those less familiar with the game. We also showed them a preview of an upcoming video from our Cinematics team, and we were pleased to hear lots of laughter (not just from the Carbine team, mind you) filling the room. You can look forward to that video later in March.
With introductions out of the way, the attendees broke into panel sessions. Each of our panels were created by the various teams here at Carbine, and covered various features like Housing, PvP, Elder Game, and UI Addons. Our goal in these sessions was to get specific feedback on our plans for each feature before the general public sees them, and to better understand what our community’s expectations are for WildStar so that we can blow them out of the water. Our team was beyond excited to share all the content they’ve been working on, and we received tons of great feedback from the fans on the wider community’s behalf. We are pretty sure we saw some of the team sneak out early on Saturday to make sure the notes got written down and that any new work was planned out for the devs.
In addition to the panels, we made sure the attendees got plenty of time to play around in Deradune. We encouraged them to share their opinions on their play experiences.
Saturday night wrapped up with a party, complete with karaoke (including our attempt to withhold swag unless Azzuri performed “Call Me Maybe”), a photobooth (photos of which you can find on Facebook) and a fierce battle against Metal Maw.
After many valiant deaths, our team of fans and developers took down the vicious Metal Maw.
The tired (and possibly hungover) attendees woke up early Sunday morning to see the remainder of our panels, including a feedback session specific to the Deradune demo the attendees played. We learned a ton about what they liked and didn’t in Deradune, and as everyone left to catch their flights, we returned to the studio confident in what changes and tweaks we had to make to make WildStar even better.
Since Sunday, the entire studio has been abuzz with stories of Arkship, feedback they received, and plans for the future. This was the team’s first opportunity to interact directly with the fans, and we couldn’t have been more excited to talk face-to-face with people about our plans for WildStar. The question has been the same across the whole team: When is the next Arkship? We’re already planning for it, this time hosted in the UK, to get even more eyes (and hands) on WildStar. We’ll have more details about the next event in the coming months.
So what’s the best way to get invited to a future Arkship? It’s pretty simple: be a contributing community member! We’re making sure to bring the most passionate fans who can provide insightful feedback, so get involved in a fansite, on Facebook, or in our WildStar Uplinks. See you next time the Arkship lands!