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Carbine
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 06/03/14)  | Pub:NCSoft
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
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Herald of Loremageddon

By Gareth Harmer on October 23, 2014 | Columns | Comments

Herald of Loremageddon

A lull seems to have descended over WildStar. The recent Megaserver deployment fired off a frenzy of activity, with players rushing to log in and bag a new name. The grand unification has certainly helped boost populations, but it’s also a prelude to the main event: Drop 3-4. Due sometime in mid-November, Carbine’s upcoming patch contains several highly anticipated updates.

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Those desperate for an early peak of The Defile and Journey to Omnicore-1 might not have long to wait – in a forum post, Director of Operations Craig “Cougar” Turner suggested that the update might hit the PTR as early as this coming weekend. If anything, this should ensure that all those changes get plenty of time in front of players before being pushed live. It’ll also be our first glimpse of Carbine’s enhanced QA process since switching to a quarterly patch cycle.

But the real meat of this week has to be WildStar’s Loremageddon. Back in September, Creative Director Chad “Pappy” Moore asked players to submit questions on any and all aspects of WildStar’s lore, and promising answers from him and the rest of Carbine’s narrative team. Even better, Moore added that the responses would also be used to enrich WildStar’s existing in-game lore.

After sorting and sifting through a stack of queries, the first in a series of articles have now been published, covering both Aurin and Mechari races. The idea is that, over time, the series will grow into an in-depth compendium of WildStar lore. From the look of these first two installments, there’s certainly enough rich, detailed information for the game’s lorehounds to chew over. Personally, I’m hoping that it inspires a new legion of fan-ficton writers to craft stories in Carbine’s universe.

While on the subject of answering questions, Community Manager Tony Rey announced last week that Carbine’s weekly Nexus Report show would be taking a back seat, instead being brought back for special occasions when the studio has significant news to share. In its place is Zero to Fifty, an installment of livestreamed gameplay with a developer sitting in to answer questions. The first episode is already up and archived, with Lead Narrative Writer Cory Herndon answering questions. It also means that there’s now an opportunity for the community to fill the void with weekly news shows of their own. There are already a couple of regular video roundups and podcasts that chew through various goings on, and it’s possible that these could grow given the extra room.

The wider WildStar community has also been very vocal about the recent Megaserver deployment. For some it’s been a huge boon, like the massive PvP event that took place in Farside on Warhound last week. Not wanting to be outdone, EU players are planning something similar over on Jabbit this Saturday. Having Megaservers certainly makes organizing community events much easier, and it’s something that the community team on both sides of the Atlantic have said they’re keen to support.

That said, the Megaserver changes haven’t worked out for everyone. Server transfers were available both before and after the switch, with several guilds choosing to switch from PvP to PvE realms. According to reports from some players, the EU PvP realm Luminai has been left deserted as a result, although Carbine maintain that all four megaservers have a healthy population. That said, it’s also likely that PvP players are waiting for Drop 3-4 to go live in mid-November before making a full return, or possibly delaying until January for the new Ice Box arena and endgame item revamp.

And, to me at least, that’s how WildStar feels right now. There’s certainly a hive of new activity on the Megaservers, and I’ve been using the time before Drop 3-4 to complete the current endgame zones of Grimvault and Blighthaven, as well as work on a few alts. But there’s also that nagging feeling of sitting in stasis, waiting for either November or January for things to start ramping up. I just hope that the freshly-blended community can fill that gap with an avalanche of events over the upcoming Holiday season, possibly with the aid of some virtual loot bags from Carbine.

Gareth Harmer / When he's not blasting or fireballing his way through a virtual world, Gareth "Gazimoff" Harmer can be found dissecting the mechanics of online games. Chua at heart, he's also our resident columnist for all things WildStar.