I have not played an MMO, a proper MMO, in years. City of Heroes was, to this date, the first and last MMO I ever played. It was wonderful -- a game filled with like-minded people living out their superhero fantasies, taking down villains, defending the helpless, righting wrongs and kicking bottom. I fashioned myself an electrical demi-god who could fly, and for just over a year I was blissfully happy and never really saw the sun.
I have a rather addictive personality, you see. And City of Heroes claimed me utterly.
I don't mean that in a particularly destructive sense, I wasn't playing all through the night every day of the week. But these were formative years, after all, and in the end I felt I needed to be doing other things too. Truth be told, I've been slightly scared to return to any MMO since I stopped playing half a decade ago.
My gaming habits have changed too, or rather become more pronounced. I'm a huge advocate for gaming as a storytelling medium, and above all else I adore the feeling of being immersed in a narrative. That doesn't have to mean an intricately-wrought plotline as such, but rather intelligent design, detailed, engrossing world building, and well-crafted characters. Systems matter too, and I've never been hugely found of the MMO genre's insistence on copying WoW -- a game I never found to be particularly appealing in form or function.
But it's more than that: I cherish singleplayer experiences far more than I do multiplayer ones. That's not to say I don't love the immediacy of pick-up-and-play multiplayer offerings like Halo, and who can resist the allure of an evening of pizza and beer and Mario Kart or FIFA or Street Fighter? But I tend to prefer my RPGs without the MMO- prefix, generally leaning towards the comfort and escapism of a Bethesda or BioWare or Square title than Blizzard or NCsoft.
But Carl has told me that this is wrong, that my personal bias against MMOs is rubbish, and that there are games out there now that are pushing boundaries and extending hands to lost sons and daughters. There are now MMOs for those of us who don't really go in for MMOs. And WildStar, supposedly, is one of them.
It's a sci-fi Western. With space cowboys. And I'll be the first to admit, since we caught up with it at Gamescom back in 2011, it's been looking fantastic.
So here we are with WildStar: The N00b, and I am the noob in question. If you want technical insight and a detailed breakdown filled with knowledgeable anecdotes about the game's development history and lots of useful information about how WildStar is shaping up, go watch Carl's videos and read up on the pieces he's written. They've been awesome, and a huge reason as to why I'm now breaking my MMO hiatus.
If you want to laugh at the ineptitude of a man who's been out of the MMO game for far too long and perhaps get a take on WildStar from a genre newcomer's perspective, well, you're in the right place.
And yes, there will be crossovers. Eventually. Once I work out what the hell I'm supposed to be doing.