When you talk about a MMORPG being successful you have to compare it to the only succesfull MMORPG which is WoW. Either you like it or not you have to admint that it did something that nobody else has done after them. Everything that I am going to talk about is in regard of the westerm MMORPG community and market. In Asia and especially in South Korea where 2 out of 3 people are gamers, where they treat their professional gamers like superstars and where NCSoft was born, things are so different that their standards don't apply here in the West. Games like Lineage, Lineage 2, Tera, Aion, etc, are judged of how they performed here in the West. The thing is that WoW came out when the MMORPG industry was way different than it is today. Games back then were way more hardcore and unforgiving towards the player. Despite the fact that Vanilla WoW was more hardcore than WoW is today, it was still way more casual that the rest of the games of it's time and it kind of invented handholding. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, it revolutionized the whole leveling process and made it way more accessible towards the masses while still retaining the fun factor. It was the next logical step in the MMORPG's evolution and if Blizzard hadn't done it somebody else would have. It took a whole genre of games that were catered towards a small hardcore percentage of the gaming community and managed to make it appealing to the whole of it. Now the problem with WoW is that it has stalled for the past 5-6 years, it hasn't done anything groundbreaking to renew itself. Every two years it releases the same template of an expansion (new race or class, higher level cap, and another series of raids and gear tiers). It pulled in the large casual crowds but also the hardcore gamers, with the years it has shorten the gap between them. The casual gamer of 2014 is way more experienced than the casual gamer of 2004-2005, but WoW for the sake of subscriptions is still getting dumbed down. They did it in the past and it succeeded but it won't ever succeed again because they "transformed" the whole MMORPG playerbase. The other problem with WoW is that it has grown old, even if it innovates itself it will still be the equivalent of the action figures that you played with as a kid, at some point you grow out of them. They had this successful business model that worked perfectly for them and they managed to earn colossal profits, they find that trying to tinker and change the formula of their game too drastically is way too risky. And I understand that from a business perspective. Blizzard wants profits. So why risk innovating and spending resourses for research and development on WoW and either keep it alive for another 2-3 more short years or on the other hand kill it before it's time. Blizzard knows that doing nothing different than before will still make them money while WoW is slowly dieing. In 2003 there where like 8 MMORPGS you could chose from, after years of watching Blizzard thrive, other companies also wanted to dip their hands in the honeypot, around 30 to 50 MMORPGS came out in 2013 of which only 2-3 where probably made by large companies. Most of them die months after release. They have ALL taken stuff from WoW (the same way WoW took from EQ and small stuff from other MMORPGS through the years), they have all tried to put in some minor innovation and they have all failed. Others try to go down the opposite path, to be nothing like WoW and they also fail miserably. Don't get me started on GW2, I could rant on everything that went wrong with it for hours, both game-wise and playerbase-expectation-wise. I know that games like Rift still have a large amount of active players but their numbers are nothing in front of the 7 million subscribers that WoW still has. Players through the years, after playing their first MMORPG and after playing another ten games following that first one, have been let down, while acquiring small "exotic" tastes from the huge variety of MMORPGS that they have sampled. They are each looking for an MMORPG that will lure them in and fill them with awe just like their first one did, and simultaneously satify their other preferences that other MMORPGS provided them with in a mix-and-match kind of way. Another thing that WoW didn't have to put up with back in the day is that marketing was way more easier back then. It had only a handful of competitors, the only fanboys it had to put up with were a small amount of EQ fanboys to todays standards, it didn't have to be tagged as a WoW-killer and live up to that name, it couldn't even be called a WoW-clone, you didn't have thousands of gaming sites and bloggers and streams reviewing the game for you. The whole MMORPG community in 2014 has been disappointed again and again after trying new games which has led to a new phenomenon of gigantic proportions, players tend to research everything about a game not only before they buy it but before it is even released. This has led to HYPES, they can be positive or they can be negative, they can make a game or they can break it to a point of no return. ======================================================================= TL;DR: If WoW wasn't the first mainstream and succesfull MMORPG to set the bar there would have been another MMORPG. The key is to satisfy all types of players, PVPers, raiders, soloers, crafters, roleplayers, hardcore guilds, lore fanatics, but to also draw in the crowd of first-timers. Not to only draw them in but to keep them playing by having fun. The next MMORPG-king will have to manage to put up with a whole lot of competition and thrive against them, with better gameplay and with better marketing. It will also have to maintain a positive hype around it's name not only before release but also for a long time after the majority of players have reached endgame. Now I am finally going to talk about Wildstar and my personal view around it. I fall into the the type of 2-3 hours on weekdays and 10-12 hours on the weekend type of player, I enjoy raiding, pvp, soloing and crafting. I have played most of the big MMORPGS in the last 8 years since I got into this genre of gaming. I first heard about Wildstar a couple of months back, not anything actually about the game but only that it was published by NCSoft. The problem is that I have a history with NCSoft. Lineage 2 being my first MMORPG (which I loved at first) that is way too hardcore. WoW was my second one which I loved but it was a difficult transition for me coming from a Korean grinder with an open pvp-pk system full of politics and drama. I later bought into the Aion hype which I thought at the time was an amalgamation of L2 and WoW, I was wrong. Aion was a cool game, different from anything else at the time, it never actually met up to it's promises, time limited flying combat sucks and it was still a korean grinder. After that I spent a couple of years jumping from L2 to WoW back and forth, I stumbled upon Rift and DCUO because I was looking for a satisfying game that kind of felt like WoW. I bought Tera which is another korean game with cool graphics and a new type of action fighting system but with . I later bought again into another hype which was the whole GW2 story which I won't be commenting on. After that I spent 2 years jumping MMORPG-ships and researching and googling for a game that I might actually enjoy again. So naturaly I thought that Wildstar would be another korean grinder with cartoony WoW graphics or just another GW2-type-story. Wildstar is the first game for which, although it hasn't even been released yet, I have done research upon it and have googled stuff about it and have spent hours upon hours of watching streams of it's first goddamn 15 levels, and have tried to put together what endgame will be like with the whole Elder system. I have learned that the actual developer of the game is Carbine, NCSoft is just the publisher, a group of people that left WoW 8 years ago and didn't want to have anything to do with it (probably because of issues with where the game was going and I believe that we all saw in the last couple of years what Carbine already knew would happen). I also found out that Carbine is very picky about it's employees and that it sought out to get the best of the best to get the job done. Wildstar has been in development for 6 to 7 years just so they could code their own engine to run the game, to research and learn about what players really want, taking parts from other games that worked and adapting them to their own style, tinkering with them, adding new stuff, taking well-researched and planned risks but risks nonetheless. Wildstar is their baby and I can see that they are really trying to make the best game possible and that they are actually putting together the formula for the first true WoW-killer, and I know that NCSoft can also see that. One of the reasons GW2 sucked so badly was because NCSoft rushed ArenaNet to get the game "ready". I believe that NCSoft is seeing the actualy potential Wildstar can have if they let Carbine "do their thing". Which is another reason Wildstar wasn't heard of until a year ago, they didn't want to get the hype going on from too early and they didn't want other companies to be properly prepared for when the bomb drops. Wildstar is going to be released at the prime of the playerbase's hype and they will manage to steal alot of players from other games aswell. What they also have going for them is that Blizzard-fanboys now have to wait until 2016-2018 until Blizzard's "Titan" project emerges because the whole development process for the game up until now has been scrapped. At the moment I am waiting for a beta-key to fall into my hands so I can actually try the game. In theory, Wildstar up until now, has satisfied everything on my checklist of what I expect from a game that I want to play, and also everything else from the checklist of what I believe a game needs to be well-rounded and successful. I am still a college student with not that much money to spare so hopefully, as I have heard, I will be able to try out the game when open beta starts one month before Wildstar's actual release. I really hope this game meets up to all of our expectations, but from getting burned in the past I suggest that you all also get a taste of the game in Open Beta before buying it. Just remeber that WoW didn't get 13 million subscribers in a day or even in a month, it took them some time. Judge Wildstar by how much you will enjoy playing it. If you really love it, stay faithful to it and sooner or later the subscribers will come. If everything goes well it will either be the new MMORPG-king and the first true WoW-killer, or at least it will split the market down the middle which I also find to be a tremendous accomplishment.