The most exciting Wildstar patch to date, and arguably the most important, has launched alongside of brand new PvP map, Daggerstone Pass, which puts the “battle” back in battlegrounds. Daggerstone Pass is a demolition style 15vs15 map with air strikes, bunkers and, best of all, bombs! We’ll get into the awesomeness that is DP a bit later on, but it’s not the only thing that makes this patch so amazing.
PVP IS FIXED… KIND OF
It seems that Carbine actually listened to the complaints about battleground and arena gear and has begun to fix the issue of its utter uselessness. Previously PvP power only reduced the damage reduction from PvP defense, therefore the returns were so low on PvP gear that more than a few pieces were a complete waste. Even worse yet is that PvP power had 0 effect on healing, which made only half the stats from the gear useful for those playing support roles.
Now gear has been completely revamped and reworked; PvP power now directly increases the healing and damage done to players instead of just reducing their reductions, which sounds ridiculous by the way. For those that play(ed) World of Warcraft, these stats basically work just like PvP Power and Resilience. The scaling has also been changed to minimize the amount of gains at lower PvP stats while also reducing diminishing returns for those with more pieces of gear. This means players with more gear are rewarded more than those that have less, which only makes sense.
This is a definitely a move in the right direction by Carbine, but it’s not quite perfect yet. In order to bring healing into the fold, they needed to reduce the base amount that healing does in general. The consensus from my healing guild mates is that they’ve gone too far these reductions and it’s currently impossible to out heal the damage done. This makes for a lot more killing on the battlefields, but it leaves the medics feeling a bit downtrodden. The scaling for damage also isn’t perfect yet either. Straight assault power and primary stats still do slightly more damage than PvP power, unless you’re in full 1800 rating arena gear, so there’s a damage tradeoff to gain a bit more survivability. Depending on the class, and player, it could be worth it, but it would be nice to see a slight buff to make PvP gear always the best gear for the job. However, the same could also be said about certain battleground and arena weapons, which overshadow nearly all of the veteran adventure or dungeon weapons.
LOTS OF CLASS CHANGES
Wow, so I don’t think I’ve seen changes this severe for some classes since Retribution Paladins first got buffed. Espers had some of the more interesting class changes; before they were a mostly stationary class, but now a few of their main skills allow for mobile casting. Unfortunately, it seems that Espers are still relatively underpowered for both damage and healing, but their party buffs are still strong enough to be useful during raids. Spellslingers had some bug fixes with Trigger Fingers, which should also see an increased drop rate, and now it only procs when it hits a target. True Shot damage has been increased and many have replaced Charged Shot with it. For a couple of days there was even an interesting bug that caused Wild Barrage to shoot 360 degrees, causing insane amounts of damage.
Engineers and Warriors were relatively untouched, although there was a slight hit to Warrior’s Rampage bringing it down from five to three targets. This reduced their PvP damage output and still leaves them in a weak spot for boss fights. Engineers still top the DPS charts in PvE, but are having a slightly harder time with PvP due to the damage increases and healing decreases. Medic damage has supposedly decreased, but they were never top tier damage dealers to begin with. Also, I might be a bit partial, Stalkers received some much needed, and fairly interesting, buffs this patch. Besides a page of bug fixes there was a huge buff to impale that increases the targets hit from one to two. This might not seem like much, but this now makes Impale more efficient than Neutralize when fighting less than four mobs, and in certain situations Stalkers can now almost instantly kill two players at the same time. The crying about Stalkers being “OP” can still be heard across Nexus.
The newest battleground is also the biggest, and in my opinion the most exciting PvP map so far (excluding Warplots). Walatiki Temple focuses on a single target (Moodie Masks) and Halls of the Bloodworn requires slight coordination with multiple control points, but Daggerstone Pass offers something on a much larger scale. DP is also the first battleground to allow the use of mounts and flexible objectives. There are three primary capture points: Mines, Bunker, and No Man’s Land, which all contain uplinks that provide occasional airstrikes to rain hell upon the enemy Fusion Core. These points are important, but aren’t necessarily essential to win.
This is where the importance of teamwork comes in. It’s best to have someone behind enemy lines to call out the enemy’s movement because it’ll be too late before you see it; the points are far enough apart that by the time a zerg of Exiles, or Dominion, arrives they’re generally going to overrun your position before backup arrives. Having eyes on the enemy’s bomb is also essential to allow the rest of your team to intercept the carriers before it’s too late.
In addition to airstrikes, bombs are also dropped periodically in front of each team’s base. Only members of that team can pick up the bomb, but once they do it’s fair game. This can lead to some interesting strategies, such as a team of stalkers waiting to gank unsuspecting bomb carriers and then using the enemy’s bombs against them. Detonating a bomb inside the enemy base does huge damage, while controlling uplinks does slow but consistent damage over time. This means that it’s both possible to win without using any bombs, or using only bombs, creating some interesting and unique strategies.
With all new things, however, there are bugs. It seems the cheating Exiles have currently found a way to infiltrate the Dominion starting area and spawn kill for days. This kind of eliminates any fun to be had, as instantly dying, then waiting 30 seconds to respawn and then getting one-shot again is aggravating to say the least.
ANOTHER SOLID PATCH
I have yet to be disappointed by a major Wildstar content patch. Carbine is putting out content at a very steady pace that has been beneficial for the game and the community. They really are listening to the player base and trying to give us what we want, even though there might be a few bugs attached. But enough with all the chitchat, there are bosses to down, bombs to detonate, and Fusion Cores to explode. Until next time…Related: MMORPG, Sci-Fi, The Nexus Times, Update, Wildstar