At 10pm GMT on the 28th November Wildstar’s servers closed for good, to the despair of its remaining community. No one can deny that Wildstar had a troubled development and an equally blighted existence. It battled through a bug infested launch, massive population drops and a lack of any real investment, post launch. Wildstar certainly had its issues, and few would dispute that. It was initially geared towards the very niche player base of hard core raiders. As such, casuals, with the numbers needed to sustain the game, on hitting max level quickly found they had little to do, causing a sharp population drop. Many attempts were made to rectify this with content added and raid attunements simplified, but despite a couple of relaunches on Steam and as Free to Play, Wildstar ultimately failed to attain the glory, it in many ways deserved.

For all Wildstar’s issues, many players will remember it for its potential and character. Wildstar had what many regard as the best player housing system of any MMO. A fact which attracted the devotion of its core player base and kept many coming back across its four-year lifespan. It also had one of the best combat systems in a MMORPG. The telegraph and dodge based combat system, led to a much more exciting and active form of gameplay than any other MMORPG I’ve played before or since. Another thing that Wildstar had in its favour, particularly in the latter half of its life, is its community which really were a kind and friendly lot. If you ask a Wildstar player what they’ll miss the most then the community will certainly be at the top of most player’s list. The game really did become a home for those that chose to stick it out through its many troubles and the community became a family.

Whether NCsoft was ultimately justified of their action in suddenly shutting the developer Carbine and then closing the game severs, is a rather contentious topic. Rumours have been circulating, for a while, about serious management issues throughout the development and live support of the title. There were many accounts of employees’ contracts being terminated for little to no reason, other than a managers personal dislike, and of the loss of the early IP features when a lead developer left the project, forcing a swift redesign of the whole game.

The reports would indicate that many of the game’s shining features, such as hoverboarding and the double jump exploration, made it into the game despite rather than because of Carbines management team. Reports would indicate that Wildstar fell afoul of an overly controlling management team that stifled good ideas and dictated a poor and confused development strategy. That Wildstar emerged the niche gem it was, was likely down to the hard work and devotion of its employees and not its management, who risked their jobs to bring many of the game’s best features to life against the will of the management team.

Few would disagree that Wildstar was a one of a kind MMORPG. A fact that is especially distressing for those players left adrift by the games closure, as a replacement is impossible to find. Many have setup home on Final Fantasy 14, due to its decent housing and its slightly more basic use of telegraphing in its combat. The EU server Ragnarok has a guild established for Ex Wildstar players with many already having joined. Many players will, likely, also have returned to World of Warcraft, although with that game going through a very rough expansion, it’s unlikely many will stay there long. Other options are Elder Scrolls Online, Guild Wars 2, Warframe.

For me, I’ll remember Wildstar as a game that deserved more support than it was ultimately given. There is little doubt that with the right development/ management team, this title could have achieved so much more. While many would say that with its four-year lifespan and numerous relaunches, Wildstar had its chance to shine. However, with the drastic cut in its development team at its original launch and subsequent cuts, in the years following, it’s hard to see how a turnaround would ultimately have been possible with the barebone resources that were left.

I invested a substantial amount of time and money into Wildstar, over its lifetime, with a continues subscription from launch to the day they were frozen. Even with the game now gone and my characters and housing plots lost to the data void, I don’t regret that investment. I feel pride in the fact that I supported Wildstar for as long as I possibly could and I cherish the memories I forged there. I’ll leave you with the conga line that formed in the final minutes of game’s, EU, life which really brought a smile to my face before the network connection message brought the game to a final end. Wildstar, you shall be missed.