Wildstar going Free to Play, Pay to Win?

Now, I'm coming at this with outdated information, so I'm hoping someone who currently plays can enlighten me if this is still the case...

I got an email from Wildstar informing me it's going Free to Play, with 'you purchased the box' and 'monthly sub' tier bonuses. overall it was looking pretty much the same as Tera's transition model, which worked out pretty well for them. My brain hit a full stop, though, when I got to 'Circuit Board Crafting', -15% overcharge risk.

For those not familiar, crafted gear can be 'overcharged' during crafting, but it runs a risk of failing the craft and losing the materials. Success rewards higher stat totals than the default. On top of this, many of the flat out best weapons/gear in the game are made via circuit board crafting from recipies droping in raids...or at least they were when I left. That's where I'm seeking information, is this still the case? If so, it seems heavy on the 'and now pay to win' with sub characters being able to just flat out craft better top end gear than free players.

I really liked this game's world, but oi...it just feels like they seek out the poor decisions...

It's NCSoft.

This is the same company that, no offense but its kind of true, decided to put its resources and backing behind Wildstar rather then bringing Blade and Soul to the west earlier and now that Black Desert is possibly on the horizon, has to play catch up to play with the big kids at the park.

This is NCSoft.

The same developer that refused to update the page, on which is launched announcements for BnS, for 2-3 years, hid the year markers so no one would know and, beating the pile of ruined, rotten flesh that could have at one time been called a horse but is now so beaten that its flesh has become a drinkable soup, shut down city of heroes.

The poor decisions are to be expected. Sorry about the game.

I'm not sure how these companies fuck this up so easily. Buy to play models seem to be the way of the future for successful MMO's (for now at least). GW2 made a killing with this model and many others have adopted it since with decent results. ESO's a good example of a game that bounced back when it shifted into that model, and offers vanity items for sale in its in-game store. Convenience boosts (like extra XP) are honestly fair game in my book so long as the base experience isn't made worse for it (like things taking stupidly long/being super grindy otherwise).

Angelblaze:
It's NCSoft.

This is the same company that, no offense but its kind of true, decided to put its resources and backing behind Wildstar rather then bringing Blade and Soul to the west earlier and now that Black Desert is possibly on the horizon, has to play catch up to play with the big kids at the park.

This is NCSoft.

The same developer that refused to update the page, on which is launched announcements for BnS, for 2-3 years, hid the year markers so no one would know and, beating the pile of ruined, rotten flesh that could have at one time been called a horse but is now so beaten that its flesh has become a drinkable soup, shut down city of heroes.

The poor decisions are to be expected. Sorry about the game.

At first, I was actually wondering exactly what game we were talking about and why it seems like such a bad decision. Then, I found out this is NC Soft. Everything said here is true. I vowed never to pay them any more money after they shut down City of Heroes and basically gave me 120 bucks worth of paperweights that were once installation disks. (two copies for two accounts of CoH and the ultimate preorder whatever edition of City of Villains )What makes matters worse was the CoH was making a profit. It wasn't a lot, but they were in the green. Shut it down anyway.

Man, I miss that game...

Call me ignorant, but I always wanted to play this game and I knew at some point it will get a F2P make-over.
But I am not so hype to care if I must pay to enjoy later the game.
In other words, I will start playing Wildstar and if I reach the point of "Pay to Win" formula, then I will stop playing.

Does it even matter? A subscription MMO going F2P is in its final death throes. Wildstar is doing worse than City of Heroes did when it was shut down. The only updates you can expect are blatant P2W features designed to squeeze as much money as they can out of the game before they have to shut it down.

To clarify, NC Soft is the publisher. The developer is Carbine Studios, which was famously founded by former Blizzard employees. However, I have it on good authority (i.e. unsubstantiated rumors that came down the Teamspeak grapevine) that the people in charge of the actual game design came from 38 Studios, which famously went bankrupt months after their game's release when they defaulted on a loan from the State of Rhode Island. It would certainly go a long way toward explaining the bad design decisions that led to the Wildstar's failure.

Finally, just for your amusement: In the weeks before this announcement was made, one of the last moderators at r/Wildstar was deleting any thread discussing the game going F2P. Just couldn't come to grips with it, I guess.

Nirallus:
Does it even matter? A subscription MMO going F2P is in its final death throes.

Errr, not really. Not saying Wildstar is long for this world, considering the lukewarm at best reception it gets, but going F2P isn't exactly a death sentence. TERA online seems to be doing better now than it ever did as a p2p, The Secret World still has a decent playerbase despite no one really talking about it, SW:TOR is still kicking, ect.
In a market where just about everyone who cares about MMOs is already subscribed to WoW and/or EvE and not keen on picking up another monthly wallet lamprey going B2P or F2P may be the best survival option out there. Companies just need to be careful because if the F2P implementation is transparently bullshit people won't bite.

OT: Might give it another shot to see if Carbine screwed the pooch again, but even for the price of free I'm not sure I feel like slogging through the bog standard me-too WoW knockoff mechanics and aggressively boring starting zones.

Does that whole "action combat" thing kick in at higher levels? because as far as I forced myself to play it was the same "stand still and alternate pressing 1 & 2 and try not to fall asleep" as low level WoW questing. Although at least in WoW you unlock some selection of abilities relatively fast, whereas in Wildstar I remember thinking it was gonna be a looooong time before I got much in my hotbar. Admittedly that could just be faulty memory due to not playing since a few weeks after launch.

Angelblaze:
Black Desert

._.

I had no idea that was even a thing. I've been waiting for Blade and Soul for forever, so the recent news on that was nice...but Black Desert looks...looks quite lovely.

Odds are good that I'll wind up being able to play B&S for, like, a year+ before that one even comes out though.

LostGryphon:

Angelblaze:
Black Desert

._.

I had no idea that was even a thing. I've been waiting for Blade and Soul for forever, so the recent news on that was nice...but Black Desert looks...looks quite lovely.

Odds are good that I'll wind up being able to play B&S for, like, a year+ before that one even comes out though.

Yeah, unfortunately the game apparently re-invented itself to hit a 'casual' market.

See here: http://black-desert.com/interviews/black-desert-revelation-an-honest-to-god-interview-with-pearl-abyss-on-the-status-quo-of-black-desert/

I could go on for years as to why this is, but meh....don't read the comments.

Angelblaze:

Yeah, unfortunately the game apparently re-invented itself to hit a 'casual' market.

See here: http://black-desert.com/interviews/black-desert-revelation-an-honest-to-god-interview-with-pearl-abyss-on-the-status-quo-of-black-desert/

I could go on for years as to why this is, but meh....don't read the comments.

Oh, I, um- hmm.

Well, that sucks.

Blade & Soul with more Tera and occasional FFXIV it is then, I suppose.

According to what I've read on the Wildstar website, in the FAQ about the conversion, this won't be a Buy to Play game, it will in fact be a -true- Free to Play. Don't know if that will stick by the time they drop subscriptions, but there you go. As for if this will make the game Pay to Win, I'm not ready to rule that verdict myself, either. Again, from the description on the website, it sounds like all content, gameplay and game services/mechanics will be available to free players, just on a lower scale than subscribers. Well, maybe with one exception, that being you have to pay to create a guild. But other than that, nothing else seems like it's slated to be completely locked off from people who don't want to pay; they just aren't going to have as much of the same services as others: fewer auction slots, smaller player housing, etc. I haven't heard about the devs planning to lock out any classes, create a leveling wall that requires payment to unlock, make any skills or class abilities available only through payment or anything of that nature. The gear issue might seem a little unfair, but as long as free players have a reasonable chance of acquiring the gear in some way, whether its loot drops or crafting, then I wouldn't call it Pay to Win. I guess my point is they've got to offer people who are willing to continue subscribing -something- to reward them for their extra patronage; otherwise what would be the point of still subscribing? (And no, a few exclusive vanity items wouldn't be enough. That's a one-time reward for a recurring effort, the continued subscribers deserve something recurring in return.)

Expect a certain amount of gambling/predatory FTP elements, as this is NCSoft/Nexon we're talking about. They have a terrible reputation and not without cause.

Also, don't expect a particularly good game. Wildstar is an odd duck. A lot of the design ethos that went into it is startlingly regressive. It seems stuck in the Burning Crusade era of MMO design, where excessive time gating and "raid or die" was the dominant philosophy. It's an absolutely shit game for the casual MMO fan, or the roleplayer, or the PvP fan, or anyone who doesn't want extremely demanding twitch raiding. It also runs badly even on state of the art rigs and shows signs everywhere of unfocused, questionable design decisions. Half-implemented systems, poorly thought out game play elements, undercooked world building. List goes on and on.

FTP will briefly re-invigorate it, but the game slumped to 1.5% of NCSoft's revenue. Make no mistake...its neck is squarely on the chopping block, and this is a last gasp effort to revive it.

I'm going to try it out. I'm probably not going to like it though unless they have made some real changes on their game direction.

From what I've seen in promo material and other videos, I really like the art design, the humor and the setting. I'm interested in the character development paths. But the "HARCORE RAIDING RETURNS!!! NO CASUALS!!!! BRAAAHHHHH!!!" attitude I got from the developers describing their game really turned me off. I got burnt out on raiding a long time ago, so I never picked it up. Once it goes F2P I'll try it out.

 

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