It seems that there are quite a number of important updates coming to WildStar in the near future. On the Public Test Realm there have been a number of balancing changes, new areas have been added, and rune slots have been modified. On the official forums there’s been an announcement regarding Megaservers, which should help put the community back together, and at PAX Prime new information was provided about The Defile, solo-player content, and the mysteries of Nexus.
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
Last week massive server mergers were announced by Carbine Studios on the WildStar forums. Essentially, all realms will be merged into one PvP and one PvE realm per Data Center. This means that there will be thousands of active players on each server and WildStar players will once again get that MMO experience that many servers have been lacking. For those of you not familiar with the issues facing Nexus, or lucky enough to be on a heavily populated server, I discussed several game breaking issues with low server populations a few weeks ago.
In an official announcement from Carbine: “Going the Megaserver route means that we vastly increase server capacity allowing for greater critical mass of our player base, resulting in more people, more groups, more activity and more raids… more of everything that makes WildStar so fun. The Megaservers and their increased player capacity will give fans more options to group up and enjoy WildStar with friends and other players for a long time to come.”
It seems that Carbine finally heard our complaints with the paid server transfers and are going to rectify the situation by merging everyone onto one main server. They’ve admitted the initial launch rush is over and that the number of current active servers is a bit too high for the actual population of players. Once the merge happens all characters and equipment will be transferred to each region’s PvE or PvP server. Character last names will also be introduced to avoid duplicates, but only one guild with the same name will be allowed with the oldest active guild getting name priority.
Unfortunately there’s still no projected date for these server mergers and Carbine is still working on their “Megaserver technology,” but those of you who are too impatient to wait can transfer to a higher population server right now, free of charge. Those unlucky enough to have recently paid for a transfer might also be eligible for a refund via a support ticket. Region locks will obviously still apply because all server transfers are going to be region/data center based. Additionally, all Realm First Achievements will be kept as a permanent record, but new realm achievements will be available.
THE JOURNEY TO OMNI CORE 1
While at PAX Prime I had the chance to sit down with Stephan Frost and learn a little about the upcoming content patch including The Defile and The Journey to Omni Core 1. It’s possible not all of the information was clearly conveyed, so I spoke with Creative Director Chad Moore to provide a little more insight into the upcoming content. The Journey to Omni Core 1 is a solo instanced experience that does have tiered rewards, but it’s not designed to be on par with veteran dungeons.
“It is not designed to be on the same level of challenge as a dungeon or raid. When we talked about developing the content that’s inside The Journey to Omni Core 1 it was designed specifically for players who really want to dig into the story. We didn’t necessarily go about creating it to be a replacement for dungeons or raids for solo players,” said Moore.
It’s designed in line with the Drusera instances, but it’s not being considered part of them. Instead it’s a higher class of solo instance that begins the first chapter of the Nexus Saga. The initial WildStar storyline involves discovering the mysteries of the Eldan and why they disappeared, and that story culminates at the Lightspire in the new Defile content. The next storyline is going to have players discover a new danger on Nexus and The Journey to Omni Core 1 is the first step in resolving the problem.
“The player is basically the hero and working with Drusera, and other iconic characters in their factions, to solve this problem that’s threatening the universe.”
So this might not be a “solo dungeon,” but it’s going to be the closest thing we’ve seen so far. There are going to be multiple paths to take, similar to the adventures, with different collectible rewards only available on each path respectively.
“We basically have upped the ante on how we tell that story. We have full voice overs, super-detailed and high resolution cinematic. Obviously we have branching content. It’s basically content like the Drusera instances at a higher level of quality and compellingness.”
There’s already quite a bit of new content planned for the Nexus Saga that we couldn’t go into detail about, but it’s going to expand the single-player experience in WildStar and adapt to how players feel regarding the content.
“As we get further along into the story and we get feedback from the players, if there are other things that they think would make the content more compelling we would probably add it in there.”
MAJOR CHANGES ON THE HORIZON
In addition to all the big stuff, like zones, dungeons and megaservers, there are also a ton of smaller content changes already on the test realm. One of the most dramatic to gameplay is probably going to be the rune optimization. Many rune slots will now have additional options and players can even re-roll poor slots or add an additional slot (for a price). Assault Power is also planned to be streamlined across all classes, meaning warriors shouldn’t have 1800 AP while Espers have 3300. This creates a lot of potential issues with balancing and many talents are planned to be nerfed to deal with this. With all this content on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see what drops first and the impact it’s going to have on the game.Related: Carbine Studios, Column, Megaserver, MMORPG, Sci-Fi, The Nexus Times, Update, Wildstar