Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Tagwildstar

The Extinction of the MMORPG

A few nights ago, I was playing Wildstar with my committed leveling buddy. We had just arrived at Malgrave, the zone where players on the Exile side spend their last ten levels. After collecting twenty cacti from sun-scorched dunes and reducing a species of space bears to nigh-extinction, I couldn’t help but make a offhand remark. “Man, this feels a lot like World of Warcraft.” This...

WildStar Weflections: Payment Models and MMOnogamy

Carbine Studios caused ripples last month when they finally announced the payment model for their upcoming sci-fi MMO, WildStar. Gaming pundits and prophets alike were caught off guard by the revelation that the game would require a monthly subscription rather than being free-to-play. Few things are as divisive among gamers as payment models. Some advocate downloadable content and online passes...

WildStar Weflections: Pitfalls and Hurdles

WildStar is my most anticipated game of 2013. Although there are a number of MMOs on my radar, WildStar is the only one that seems to possess that magic combination of innovation and rock solid production value I look for. Still, I worry. WildStar isn’t special. It’s not going to be ushered down from the heavens on its launch date, heralded by a cherubic chorus of angels. The game is...

Games to Watch in 2013

I apologize for the lateness of this blog post. My computer of six years died last weekend, and I’ve been scrambling to recover my data to my laptop and arrange a proper viking funeral. Despite beginning on a personal sour note, I see 2013 as a year of hopefulness. After a sluggish end to 2012, there is a deluge of compelling PC titles set for release in the year of the snake. I’d...

WildStar Weflections: New Races, New Videos, and More!

The last thing anyone could accuse WildStar of being is boring. Since the game’s announcement at Gamescom 2011, developer Carbine Studios has trickled a steady stream of tantalizing details about their upcoming MMO to their eager fans. This has included a comprehensive AMA session on Reddit by WildStar‘s executive producer Jeremy Gaffney as well as a charming trailer describing the...

WildStar Weflections: The Nexus Housing Initiative

Ah, player housing. Of all the wonderful trinkets promised to us during an MMO’s development cycle, player housing is the most often to be cast to the wayside. Even World of Warcraft, a game that found the time to include a fully functional replica of Plants vs Zombies in their past expansion, has never followed through on adding this feature. Newer games scoff at the premise, deeming housing a...

Wildstar Weflections: How to Market Your MMO

There’s a grand total of two MMOs in development that I hold the slightest interest in: Guild Wars 2 and WildStar. While the former is a sequel to an established MMO franchise, the latter is a lesser known foray into the genre. I’ve maintained a peripheral interest in WildStar since the game’s announcement at GamesCom 2011, but recent events have thrust it back into my field of vision. WildStar...

Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer