With enthusiasm for Carbine Studios’ long-awaited MMORPG WildStar on the rise, it was no surprise to hear endless cheering from the crowd throughout its dedicated PAX East panel.
Titled “$#!& Just Got Real,” the panel consisted of a team of six Carbine employees: Stephan Frost, Chris Lynch, Joe Piepiora, Chad Moore, Jeremy Gaffney, and Jen Gourdy.
“What sets WildStar apart from other MMOs?” was the main objective reiterated by the team throughout their fifty-five minute time slot.
The answer is impressive and multi-faceted.
WildStar Is Prepared For The “Elder Game”
In what Jeremy Gaffney, President of Carbine Studios, calls “the elder game,” WildStar comes equipped with multitudes of content directly developed for level-capped players.
With two level 50+ zones, Carbine Studios aims to keep players engaged not just through the agonizing phase of leveling, but also after reaching the cap. To keep players entertained, WildStar will come equipped with standard daily and weekly quests. However, much like Guild Wars 2, there will also be plenty of public world events.
There will content for every type player
WildStar has “different, cool things to be doing no matter what your gameplay style is.” -Jeremy Gaffney
According to Gaffney, 60-65% of MMO players in the United States and Europe play their games solo. To accommodate for every type of player, WildStar has incorporated solo quests, events, and even a story line specifically for contenders who prefer to adventure alone.
All Of The PvP Belongs To WildStar
Jen Gourdy, Lead PvP Designer, had the crowd in an uproar as she explained the ins and outs of what’s to come for WildStar’s PvP elements.
Much like the infamous PvP servers of World of Warcraft, WildStar will feature Open World PvP where players are encouraged to meet and duel each other. However, the competition doesn’t end there.
Open to players at level 6, battlegrounds will grant experience and prestige, in-game currency, upon completion. Bonuses can be earned by winning and completing objectives, and all players will be “rallied,” or boosted to the max level of the bracket to promote fair fights.
Walatiki Temple, one of two mentioned during the panel, was a variant of capture of the flag requiring players to capture five Moodie Masks to win the game. You can choose to defend your mask, fight to capture the neutral mask, or valiantly steal masks from your opponent.
Halls of the Bloodswarn, an attack and defend variant, calls for players to capture points to win. Continuing with the theme of choice, players must decide to cap the primary point to win the game, or the secondary point to grant bonuses and buffs to his/her team.
Named “The Slaughterdome,” the small team competitive arena includes 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 modes. Players may join the queue solo or as a team, and each match will include multiple objects for line of sight control.
The main difference between WildStar arenas and most other general setups is that each team will have a shared amount of lives. For example, a 3v3 team will have six lives shared between all teammates, and a team wins once all six have been exhausted.
“Your favorite food wrapped in a 6-pack of beer… wrapped inside another 6-pack of beer”
Perhaps the most anticipated topic of the panel was the 40v40 massacre called “War Plots.” Rather than hashing out details, Carbine Studios debuted a video today detailing the content much better than I could myself:
Itemization and Reward Systems
Joe Piepiora, Social Systems Lead, took the floor to resolve every player’s favorite question– how to top charts.
Piepiora began by clarifying that if players want first-rate gear, he/she will have to dive head first into the action. For epics, or purples, players can take a swing at the 20 person (not man) raid, Genetic Archives. For legendaries, oranges or as Piepiora repeatedly exclaimed the “crème de la crème” of gear, players will have to take on brutal 40 person raids.
To add yet another curveball to the land of MMOs, items after level 15 in WildStar have the ability to randomly roll rune slots. Not only do runes now contain set bonuses instead of the items themselves, but items in WildStar are similar to Diablo in that the stats will be different each time the item is dropped.
As if Carbine hadn’t differentiated itself enough, it introduced imbuement. Some items will be dropped with optional quests attached that raise the item’s stats upon completion.
Once a character is capped, players will begin to collect Elder Gems. Elder Gems can be grinded by gaining experience or completing content, and can be used to buy armor, items, mount customization and more.
In order to prevent player advantage, there’s a 140 per week cap on the amount one can earn through the experience bar alone. Raid gear is available to purchase, but only if the player has the achievement confirming he/she has slain the boss that drops the item, therefore requiring players to be engaged in the content.
Reluctant as first to discuss these power weapons, Piepiora quickly gained enthusiasm once he started discussing Artifacts, the most powerful weapons available to the game.
These stunning armaments are only available through the hardest content, which includes defeating two 40 person raid bosses at the same time.
Proving that Carbine Studios is a classy establishment, the colors associated with the gear ranked purple, orange, pink.
“Obviously The Most Important”– The Lore
Chad Moore, Lead Narrative Designer, spent a considerable amount of time getting ridiculed for his love of the storyline. However, he spoke to relate to lore enthusiasts around the world by detailing a solo-player quest line.
The hyper-advanced race Eldan has disappeared from Nexus, and your job is to figure out why. This multi-stage, long-ranged quest includes five separate instances featuring Drusera, a mysterious ghost woman.
This content will be periodically released, and will be “solo-able,” becoming WildStar’s loose version of a campaign.
With combat being the most stressed topic of the panel, the team explained “the Telegraph system.” The difference between WildStar and other popular MMORPGs is that the areas you can’t step in are now highlighted on the floor.
Rather than just avoiding the fire, each fight incorporates a puzzle that demands players to be dynamic. With the ability to double jump and tumble forward and backward, players will be forced to learn a whole new style of combat for the upcoming game.
Chris Lynch, Lead Combat Designer, warned that PvE will contain “very hardcore” content that WildStar will begin preparing you for at level 1. Rather than trash mobs, WildStar introduces “base population,” which Lynch stressed is NOT a boring grind.
Each mob will also be a puzzle, spawning a mini boss which drops loot. This way players will continue to be entertained throughout the entirety of the game.
To Wrap It All Up…
Carbine Studios aims to differentiate WildStar from any other MMORPG you’ve ever played previously.
By including a drastically different combat system, captivating aspects at every corner, and a system where skill directly correlates to the quality of your gear (ahem, Blizzard) WildStar aims to transform your MMO experience completely.
Considering WildStar was created by a team of former Blizzard employees, it’s no wonder the game picks up where certain others obviously lack.
You can watch the entire PAX East presentation here.
You can pre-order Wildstar for the June 3rd release here.