WildStar’s Core Softens as they shrink the ‘Quit Wall’

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Remember the “WildStar is super hardcore bringing back the old school attunement and they won’t back down!” mentality? Remember when I called B.S. on that one? Turns out I was completely right that within a matter of months WildStar would begin the process of casualization and reducing the barriers to entry into their end-game. [Patch Notes]

The first steps they are taking are to reduce the requirements for attunement. Now all it takes is simply doing the bosses instead of having to achieve a certain rank on them or do it in a certain amount of time. The previous requirements were ridiculous, and just thinking about them was the easiest way for most people to just quit. I did.

I’m coining another phrase guys: Quit Walls. Carbine built a massive quit wall. People reach the wall and they quit. It’s a natural breaking point where Carbine essentially gave players permission to quit their game if they couldn’t climb over and reach the other side of the content. The quit wall was a really nice way of saying, “Remember what you did from 1-50? None of that matters. Climb our quit wall or GTFO.” I’ll write an entire blog post on this soon.

I’ll say it again: You CAN NOT build a game around “hardcore” raiding anymore! Not even World of WarCraft was designed to be that way when it launched in 2004. Even today, the “hardcore” raiders are a very, very small percent of WoW’s overall player population. The themepark model started with WoW, evolved into a raiding model, then devolved back into an accessible themepark model. If you’re going to release a generic themepark MMO, at least do so following the template that won’t lead you to closing servers.

WildStar will go F2P. There’s nothing Carbine can do to recover from the players they lost. All they can do now is slow the bleeding and one day go F2P to entice an entirely different group of people to spend money when no one else finds the game fun enough to pay monthly for it.


  • I personally think trying to combine action combat with hardcore raiding is a bigger issue than attunements. It’s absolutely exhausting.

  • “You CAN NOT build a game around “hardcore” raiding anymore! ”

    What a novel thought. I mean, no one else out there has been saying this, at all.

  • @Ald: Yep. I’ve written ad nauseum about how vulgar those “skill shot” or “telegraph” abilities are. I hate “active combat” with a burning passion.

    @Mr. Defied: I know, right?

  • @Blargh: WoW managed it for a while. For a long time the game was built entirely around working up to that end-game. They had an awesome transition too. That focus shifted more toward a true themepark though.

  • They did exactly what they set out to do. They wanted Wild Star’s release to be relevant. Making it extremely hard put a lot of big name you-tubers/Twitchers front and center in the eye of a lot of viewers, and it was hyped to the max. What they didn’t expect was just how pointless all of that was. They wanted the game to be hard, to challenge a small group of players and give them a pedestal to stand on saying “I was world first” and it took us more than x days to obtain! This got Wildstar’s name out there, but the game was not designed for the hardcore-casual player. Those who got to 50 within a week or two and didn’t have a huge support network of people to group with. Those people were setup to fail. Sure you could try your luck at the pugs but when you had people that would leave after your first death, the game quickly became pointless. Developers thought “casuals can just level while the hardcore go to raids” and just left them hanging. You had to be in a guild dedicated to hardcore raiding or GTFO, and everyone did. They will be FTP before Christmas.

    Want to make the game for hardcore players? fine, but if you want to make any money you need to put in something for those filthy casuals to do that isn’t dialys or pvp.

    Oh and that game had a metric f’ ton of bugs and UI problems that didn’t help it either If you played it like I did without mods god help you… they also had an extremely over complicated crafting system, and a broken AH and economy, and buggy quests, and solo centrist leveling style, and overly complicated gear system, and did i mention the shitty UI, and broken pvp, and…

  • “I’m coining another phrase guys: Quit Walls.”

    I think there already exists a term in the gaming dev community for this, but I can’t remember. I think I read about it in an article about predatory F2P models. If I can find it I’ll share. 😉

  • I loved Wildstar’s combat, music, art direction, sound effects, movement controls, the lore, the world, the housing, everything. I really, really loved Wildstar.

    Then I got to level 50. Sorry, but my core is pretty soft. I hit their ‘Quit Wall” hard. It’s a shame because I seriously loved this game and would like to support it, but I’m simply not interested in the hardcore PvE raiding agenda at all. So I quit.

    It’s been said to death already, but Carbine targeted the wrong audience here from the beginning. Sadly this was all very predictable and they only have themselves to blame.

  • @Gankatron: Dangit… I hope it’s not already a thing. It’s perfect for explaining this phenomenon.

    @Fidjit: I saw the Quit Wall and it made the quest grind unbearable. Sometimes I can push through stuff I don’t enjoy if I see greener grass. If I can’t see past it then i lose all desire to continue.

  • It’s was so easily predictable. They had to soften the requirements at some point to sustain the game, everyone and their mother knew that.

    I still wish them the best though. They have a very good base, the game is actually fun on many aspects. They need however to adapt the game enough so the playerbase can grow big enough for them to make money.

  • If anyone wants to estimate the total audience for a game focused on hardcore raiding, the population of the EQ Progression Servers would probably be a good starting point. I don’t think it’s a very large number.

  • You definitely called it. Sad this will effect the behind the scenes people who keep the game going. The ones who called the shot should have thought better on this.

  • Whether or not the concept of “quit walls” is already a thing, Quit Wall is a great term for it.

  • I am not even sure Wildstar will last long enough to get to the F2P stage, NCSoft doesn’t exactly have a good history of support for under-performing MMO’s.

    Wildstar’s issues aren’t even just related to the long attunement chains, they seem to break something every time they push out a patch, they are alienating the remaining player base with their poor quality control.

    They have an uphill battle I think to get the game back on track and WoD will be coming out in a couple months so they don’t have a lot of time to get things straightened out.

  • @Jenks no it wasn’t..but wow and EQ also built an immersive and huge virtual world for the rest of the people (those who don’t aim at the so called “endgame”). It took me 3+ months to level 1 character in vanilla wow and I was playing every day.

    And the world was beautiful and immersive not looney toons on space. I did not played EQ but from what I know you needed much more time to level than vanilla wow.. Also the world had replayability, it wasn’t a linear themepark leveling experience…

    When you build a linear leveling game that last 2 weeks and then you have the “endgame” for the hardcore what do you expect?