WildStar & ESO: 2014 AAA MMOGs with Big News Today

WS_2015-01_Looking_Ahead_02One bit of news is official, the other is unofficial and certainly rumor. We’ll go with the rumor from an unsubstantiated source first and that is this; The Elder Scrolls Online is no longer investigating a free-to-play transition, but fully preparing to make the business model change. Reports from retail sources across the globe are seeing boxed copies of TESO removed from shelves. In late 2014, Bethesda removed long-term subscription options under the guise that players haven’t opted for them. On the other hand, the company gave out hundreds, maybe thousands of copies for free during QuakeCon 2014.

The official information for WildStar gives new light to the MMORPG’s future after a series of layoffs and departures that have put some, including this blogger, on eggshells. Not to worry, says game director Mike Donatelli in a new community update. The post details three pillars of focus for the first half of 2015.

  1. Listen to player feedback to make gameplay more fun and “less grindy”
  2. Support a multitude of play styles, not just the hardcore or solo, newbs or end game
  3. “Invest in, enhance and grow [the] game”

The state of the game address continues to specify the team’s current plans to meet these goals. We’ll see a training dungeon added for newbies and an earlier introduction to group play, an “upper level” dungeon for the more experienced, LFG enhancements and the oft-discussed 20-man edition of the rarely played 40-man Datascape raid.

Now, nothing about the Elder Scrolls Online has managed to interest me at any point in time. A free-to-play version won’t make any difference. WildStar, on the other hand, sounds promising. However, I can’t help but notice so many games making pure solo a strong option, which simply removes the massive multiplayer aspect out of the whole genre!

A topic for another day.