Thursday, July 4, 2013

Turning with Time: Happy Foundation Day and Beyond!


This week's WildStar Wednesday featured an exciting look into the add-on systems for WildStar and what exactly goes into them. Featuring the very talented and amazing Packetdancer! Keep your eyes peeled for a blog on this topic soon! If you haven't read it yet, check it out here!

Also woke up a few days ago to this gem from WSRP's Kinder Egg, an incredibly talented artist who's style reminds me a bit of YoshitakaAmano's works! Thanks Kinder <3 

Hawkens is far too serious to party...

First and foremost, Happy Foundation Day fellow loyal citizens of the glorious Dominion! (...and I /suppose/ Happy Starfall for all you Exile folk ;p )

Featured in a WildStar Wednesday exactly one year ago, Starfall and Foundation Day were announced by Carbine along with a little lore behind each event. It also showcased a feature in MMORPGs that I find very important: Seasonal Events.

Whether echoing real life holidays or made-up events, Seasonal Events help breathe an extra bit of “life” into the turning of time within an MMORPG. As an effective bridge to gap the distance between real life and the fantastic digital worlds we play in, seasonal events provide something we can relate to and look forwards to in a long-term sense.

Take for instance, World of Warcraft, who's seasonal events strongly echo traditional holidays. In spring we have Noblegarden (complete with bunnies and colored egg hunts) and in winter we have the Feast of Winter Veil which features reindeer, gifts and Greatfather Winter. During these events, major cities and other outposts in the game are decorated with related revelry. Special NPCs can be seen chatting around towns and there are special gifts and prizes you can obtain by participating in quests and other activities made just for these events!

Left: An Orc decked out for Noblegarden. Right: Two players showing off their reindeer mounts! (screens from here and here, respectively)

Sure these events were often rather silly and usually did not fit well with the lore of the overarching story, but they were FUN! They were something new and different to play around with for awhile that made the world of the game just that little bit more interesting. I remember the first time I saw the fireworks go off in WoW many years back and I was completely in awe. A game that recognized real life events and did special things for them? Amazing!

It was very enjoyable to watch them grow and shape over the years, adding more awards, achievements and even special seasonal bosses! And not to mention all the other fun mini-games and activities, such as ram-racing! It was actually sort of fun doing the temporary dailies to earn the event tokens to buy special outfits, items and even mounts! ( I LOVED collecting mounts, you have no idea <,< )

The Brewfest event Kodo mount! (image found here)

Star Wars: The Old Republic tried a slightly different approach, selling special seasonal items for their Life Day 'event' in their cash shop without actually adding it to the world itself. Although I didn't mind purchasing seasonal items here, I was a little disappointed in not seeing the event in-game.

The Life Day Bundle in the Cartel Shop on SW:ToR (image found here)

See, to me the events go just a little bit deeper. Sure they are fun and they can be a BLAST to roleplay in, but they represent something bigger. By providing events similar to real life holidays, these games give off an extra sense of...oh, how to put it...longevity! You see a bigger picture than what you are going to do when you log in tomorrow, instead seeing events months ahead of time. You don't exactly need to be so excited that you just can't wait to start Valentine's dailies to acknowledge the idea that, when this real world event happens, there will also be a gaming equivalent for the most part. The world you enjoy begins to last outside when you are on, creating a sort of entity of its own. And a world that feels alive and exciting and changing is always fun to return to time and time again!

I really hope that by showcasing events such as Foundation Day/Starfall and Shade's Eve that Carbine intends to do even more seasonal events for Nexus! I would love to see special outfits/costumes, weapons, housing items and mounts both in-game and maybe some cash shop items as well! To me, this would not only be fun, but also represent the longevity and long-time commitment to the game as a whole. Plus they are just plain fun to roleplay in.

Here's hoping to see some fireworks with you in Nexus next year my friends!

Gaius Caster watches the fireworks at Starfall (art by Evion)


  1. I gotta say, events are very important to me in MMOs. They keep me logging in even years later, just to see things and gain achievements and get special treats that are once a year only.

    What I like so much about WildStar events is... from what we've seen so far, they are lore based. Exile Independence is so PERFECT! Dominion "Foundation Day" is just perfection, it totally fits their lore. Parades and such in the streets of the capitol for the Dominion? Games on the Exile side? I'm just so excited.

    Not to mention Shades Eve. Shades Eve lore is actually CREEPY, but totally based on an in game story and possible legend. I just hope every holiday is woven into the lore and world so well.

    1. I agree completely! I absolutely fell in love with the deep and dark concept of Shade's Eve (Not because it had to do with Cassians too or anything ;p ) and I love that it exists as a holiday in the lore. I would be wonderful to see a whole slew of lore-based holidays!

      Not only will they have some unique and interesting associations, but they will also add more immersion to the world, more lore and more roleplaying options as well!