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In 2005, a group of grizzled veterans emerged bruised and beaten from the hell of Azeroth. They were injured of body but defiant of spirit. Together, the seventeen became known as Carbine and henceforth they operated under the sole mantra of creating “anything but WOW”.
United by the indignities suffered at Blizzard and energised by their hatred of Warcraft, the Carbine team proceeded to spend six years tinkering with engines. During this period of whirlwind productivity, NCsoft took a break from shutting down their most popular IPs, and acquired Carbine so that, some time in the future, they could shut down their least popular IP.
In 2011 Wildstar was announced at Gamescom. The hype train officially began its arduous journey towards Station Anti-Climax. “Hardcore” was the word and the word was “hardcore”, it was the response in interviews and the subject of advertising. At times it seemed the development team were suffering hardcore Tourette’s.
Finally, in 2014 the moment arrived, the long wait was over; and, battling a buggy UI and poor optimisation, the players flooded in.
Shortly after came the reviews.
Bill Murphy of this very site described it as a “polished, content rich experience that theme park MMO fans will go gaga over,” but tempered this view with the prophetic; “that doesn’t mean it will be loved by all.” He went on to use the following words: “about the size of a tweet”, “a real chore” and “sick”. The final score was 8.4.
Angry Joe said something about it, but I couldn’t bring myself to listen.
Metacritic gave it 82/100.
Then the exodus began. Nexus increasingly resembled a ghost town. There was news of lay-offs and down-sizing, and in August 2014, Jeremy Gaffney announced he was stepping down as President of Carbine Studios.
And here we are in 2016 with the launch on Steam. So what is next for Wildstar?