Hi everybody, the team from MMOGames got invited to attend a WildStar press event gathering in Amsterdam, for a small presentation, playtesting and an interview with the Game Design Producer of WildStar: Stephan Frost! I know, contain your jelly you guys.
While we were there, we had a short introduction with the presentation about what WildStar is, what their aim and focus was for the game, and what was coming to WildStar in the future. Stephan Frost (the guys who narrates the WildStar dev speak trailers) presented us the Warplots dev speak, and explained specific details that this new game feature will entail.
In essence, there are two win conditions in Warplots. One is collecting enough resources, and the other is destroying your enemies power core. The fun that comes with Warplots however, is players can customize the battlefield themselves. You can add traps, mines, death rays and all sorts of explosive hazards. Not only that, you can build robot factories that produce giant robots to fight for you. Last but not least, you can collect boss heads from boss encounters from other dungeons, raids or world bosses. These heads can also be bought for a certain price, so don’t worry about that one particular epic boss in that one impossible raid you will never defeat. These bosses come in many shapes, and forms, but they are represented digitally in Warplots. You can place them where ever you want, either defensive, or even offensive. Yes it’s even possible for the two opposing teams’ bosses to fight each other in the middle of the battleground! How awesome is that? What kind of boss you put in your Warplot, doesn’t really matter. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and we were assured no boss would be more overpowered than the other. For the dev speak video, check it out at the bottom of the page.
We have also been informed about raiding in WildStar. The devs have told us there will be 20 and 40 man raids coming to WildStar. These raid are primarily catered to the hardcore group. The top 5% of players who usually clear raids in other MMORPGs in less than a week, will find out that raids in WildStar, are tough as nails. They have tailor made raids to be really difficult, so they can please these hardcore groups of players who want and expect a real challenge in raids. The devs found out that, this hardcore group of players, are the ones who recruit other players to join WildStar. They are the ones who say: “Hey, this game is more difficult than I primarily assumed, this game is pretty challenging and fun, it’s definitely worth playing. I’ll tell all my friends and they’ll tell their friends to come and help us with completing the end-game content”. End game content is what makes player stick to the game, rather than the leveling and exploring the world experience. People expect that there are tons of things to do once they reach max level, instead of being disappointed by no end game content.
As for raids themselves, there will be plenty of of bosses and mini-bosses scattered throughout raids. Trash mobs inside raids, aren’t really trash, they are considered mini-minibosses in WildStar terms. They have their own set of tactics to defeat them and they largely stand out from one another. Another thing in WildStar raids, are that rooms themselves are challenging. An eye for environment is key, because rooms shift, floors disappear and death hazards and other traps are hidden too. Getting from point A to B, will be a challenge for the players. Another thing in raids, are the “spectacular failure” type events. Bosses, mobs, or other unfriendly environmental hazards, can produce nasty side-effects for players, which could cause them to wipe the whole raid. But, the devs made sure that these failures are delightfully funny to experience, that they add an extra flavor to the challenge, and that they’re just plain awesome to behold. Now, you may ask, what are all these hazards good for? Why should I go through all of this? Well my friend, people who do make it through these unimaginably difficult raids raids, are rewarded and showered with loot. For those who want that particular item from that particular boss but it never drops? No worries, players gain Elder Currency from defeating bosses, and with this currency you can buy items from bosses you have defeated before.
Another thing that came up in the presentation, were Artifact Items. These items are gained via bosses and other means, and these items are very special. For instance, you obtain a weapon which is an Artifact item, you can equip this weapon and start smashing down mobs, handing in quests or even go raiding with it. This special item will then proceed to level up, gaining more stats as you hand in more quests or slay monsters. This way, items can stay with you forever, so they don’t become obsolete when a content patch comes with new and better items. Stephan talked briefly about this matter, but didn’t go into too much details.
As for the interview, I was given a short amount of time to ask these six questions! Like I said early, the interview was with Stephan Frost, the Game Design Producer of WildStar. This is what he had to say:
Q: Hi Stephan, so nice to meet you! My name is Collin From MMOGames.com, and I would like to ask you a few questions. Here’s my first one, my first notion I got from WildStar was that it was going to be a PvE focused game. But as the development has progressed, I have noticed a lot of attention being thrown into the PvP side as well. With features like Warplots, battlegrounds and even arenas, I am a bit surprised. Not too long ago you guys even streamed a PvP AMA on Twitch. So my question is, are you guys going to be focusing on any form of eSports?
A:Hi Collin nice to meet you to! And yes, we have had a strong focus on PvE for WildStar. As you must have heard during the presentation, our current focus is on providing enough late game content for the hardcore dedicated players out there, so that we can build a name and consistent playerbase for our game. There will be plenty of PcPs (post-cap playspaces), public events and daily quests for players once they have reached their cap, and we will be only expanding on this after the game has been launched. As for PvP, we wanted to make sure that there was a good foothold to start things off with. As for eSports, we have focused primarily on launching the game first. eSports does sound cool, I know the PvP in WildStar does look fast-paced and flashy with all the chaotic telegraphs (skills) going on during epic duels. As you know, games like League of Legends have also delved into eSports, but they have spent a HUGE amount of time, effort and money to make that happen. We simply don’t have the resources yet to organize any eSports tournaments yet. So just to wrap things up, we are focusing on a smooth launch first.
Q: Okay thanks Stephan. For my second question, I was wondering, since Housing is such an immense feature in WildStar, are there any plans on making a Player Studio, similar to the one Sony uses for their games, like Everquest or Planetside 2? That being, players being able to create and sell their self-made virtual items to other players?
A: The idea of adding a Player Studio to WildStar has come to our attention. We have opted not to add this to our game. WildStar won’t support this because it resembles the Architect tradeskill too much. The Architect is able to create shapes FABkits, decor items for houses and Warplot deployables. Player Studio is perhaps something we can add in the future, if there is a strong housing item creation community that is willing to support the feature.
Q: And what about having a WildStar app? Where players can check Auction House stuff or an armory app similar to the one World of Warcraft uses?
A: Again, not really something that we have put a lot of attention to. We may someday in the future launch a WildStar app, something like a leaderboard app, or armory or auction house, but like I said earlier, successfully launching the game first is very important to us.
Q: As for the content updating schedule, I have read on the WildStar Reddit that you guys were planning to release new updates / patches every month. Is this correct? Will these updates be content updates or will these primarily be bug fixes, or balancing issues, with content updates having a longer waiting period before they are released?
A: Every month will be a content patch. We have scheduled this and made plans for this coming year. We didn’t want to release too much at launch, because when you release an MMORPG, it’s key to have a content plan so that there is something new to do every time you log into WildStar. Retention is key here, we are going for the long haul so we have already made up a plan what we will be releasing every month. And this could be anything, from new zones, new quests, new raids, new dungeons, new battlegrounds, you name it. Anything is possible, and we want to make sure the player keeps coming back, and has new stuff to explore when doing so. Like I said, retention is key.
Q: You guys have come up with a very cool payment model. The C.R.E.D.D. system works similar to the system EVE: Online uses called PLEX I believe. Do you think this is something other MMORPG creators will pick up once it has been successful? Was it ever an idea to go free-to-play in the first place?
A: First off, WildStar was never meant to be free-to-play. We believe that if a game is good enough, people are willing to play it, and pay for it. It is like Netflix or HBO. People expect good quality coming from our end, so we will deliver. WildStar is going to be a fun game that is going to be worth playing. It is a AAA quality game that is worth it’s subscription cost. As for the C.R.E.D.D. system, it rewards players who play the game a lot. They can play for free if they invest enough time per month, which is a pretty neat system if you think about it. If other MMORPGs will pick up on it? I’m not sure. If we are successful with this who knows!
Q: My final question is: Flying mounts. Are they coming to the game or not?
A: We have been asked about this before, and we will not be implementing flying mounts in the game. I know, it sounds weird. A sci-fi game with starships and whatnot cruising around, it just makes sense to add them. However, we believe that having no flying mounts means people have to travel by foot or ground mount, which makes them cross each other more frequently during game. People on flying mounts stay in the air, and never even get to see each other any more. This takes the adventure and social aspect out of the game. It is not that we are technically unable to add flying mounts. We have hacks now where you can make your character fly, so it is possible. Perhaps it is something we can implement in the future if we change our minds. But for now, ground mounts are the way to go!
That was all the time I had for my interview, believe me I had way more questions, but we were only allowed 10 minutes of interview time. Afterwards we had some time to playtest WildStar on their Alienware gaming rigs. We were able to try out the starting levels, or dive straight into some higher level 30 content. I tried out the level 30 content, I was pretty blown away about how much fun the combat was. I can’t wait for launch and get to max level ASAP. Next week we will show you the raiding dev speak that will enlighten some more details about raiding in WildStar in general.
If you’re still looking for a beta key, we hosted a giveaway here.
Here is the dev speak for Warplots:Related: Beta, Interview, MMO, Wildstar