Do you know what’s fun? When games actively stop you from playing them with infuriating stun abilities. No wait, that’s not the fun part. The fun part is quitting out of those games in a despondent funk, then curling up into a ball and crying about MMO design. The latest Wildstar “DevSpeak” video is all about these crowd control effects and, as with many of the game’s planned systems, how the developers hope to make a more engaging variation of traditional mechanics.
I’m enjoying these videos. It’s nice to see developers talk their community through traditional genre systems, and explain how and why they’re planning to approach them. There’s not much to suggest Wildstar will be a dramatically different MMORPG, but what they’ve shown confirms that its creators are happy to shake-up the norm.
Carbine’s plan is to make crowd control status effects a more active experience for the targeted player. For example, instead of disabling your weapon, the disarm ability knocks it away from you. Run over and grab it, and you’ll be able to use it again. It’s an neat balance between negative penalty and proactive response. The other given examples sound less elegant. Confusion changes your direction controls, which suggests the team haven’t played that awful final section of Beyond Good and Evil.
Wildstar is due out next year. Its developers recently confirmed a monthly subscription, running alongside a “play-to-pay” model.
By now you can probably tell I am crazed crafter in all the MMO’s I play. This need to experiment in all things crafty is a reflection from my real life. I dabble with many mediums and processes to make gifts for my friends and family all year long. In my artsy travels I run across a lot of like minded people, but these people usually have more ‘complete’ skills than I do. I am a dabble in all and master of none. When I have an idea outside my ‘scope of skill’ I usually work on some sort of barter system or trade something for the end result. I am still making crocheted squares to off set some of the rowsdower/chompacabra felting work that was needed.
Ever since I heard the info about Wildstar I have been fascinated by the Path options, and it had been in the back of my mind to do some sort of custom coasters to celebrate Paths. In my first attempt I had thought ‘3D printing would be damn cool’ so working with my brother in law we created some engravings plans based on the path logos. Below is a quick screen shot of them. If anyone has access to a 3D printer at cost let me know! I’d trade you the .STL files for a few sets of them. Still think they would be fun to have around the house.
When redeemed, C.R.E.E.D. will add an extra month of game time to your account. There are two ways to obtain it: you can either buy it from other players using in-game gold at the Commodities Exchange (CX), or buy it directly from Carbine at the WildStar website where it will cost $19.99 / €16.99 / ￡11.99 – slightly more than a month’s subscription, which costs $14.99 / €12.99 / ￡8.99 (though discounts exist if you lock yourself in for longer periods). It can be stockpiled, and you can chain redemptions so you never have to pay a penny to play the game beyond buying the box.
A standard monthly subscription, or the use of an in-game item called “C.R.E.D.D.” to gain a month of game time.
At first glance, this seems incongruous. Why would you buy a month’s worth of game time for more than a month of game time is worth? The answer is because Carbine is trying to get a handle on one of the most persistent problems to blight MMOs: gold-selling.
In terms of why C.R.E.D.D. was chosen for the game, Carbine has explained it’s trying to appeal to two key types of player: The first is the individual who has a lot of time, but little money (think students, or teenagers). These guys will probably be wanting to buy C.R.E.D.D. on the CX as they’ll have the time to acquire in-game gold, so won’t have to spend any real money. The second type is the person with little time, but more disposable income (think people with jobs and/or families). They won’t have time to grind in-game gold, but they’re probably not going to miss the dime a day they’re spending on the game via subscription.
When it comes to the subscriptions on offer, it’s pretty familiar territory for anyone who’s played an MMO before. If you want one month, it’ll cost $14.99 / €12.99 / ￡8.99. Signing up for three months brings this down to $13.99 / €11.99 / ￡8.49 a month, while locking yourself in for six months takes it to $12.99 / €10.99 / ￡7.99 a month. The best deal is a year-long subscription, with each month costing $10.99 / €9.99 / ￡6.99.
What do you reckon? It’s similar to the system used in EVE in that there are various opportunities to pay for the game the way that works for you.
If you’re the victim of crowd control attacks in MMOs, generally you’re stuck in a fit of frustration for a few seconds. Blinds stop you from casting, stuns prevent you from moving, and disarms make to temporarily as dangerous as a particularly fluffy cat. Wildstar is different. If you get afflicted with a status ailment, you can shake it off. For example, a disarm in Wildstar will throw your weapon out of your hand onto the ground. Now rather than stand there and take a beating, just run over and pick it up. You may be blinded by a venom-spitting freak, but that doesn’t stop you from firing off a few spells. Sure you might heal something you didn’t intend to (a tree, perhaps) but at least you tried.
It may be going with the traditional subscription payment model, but that is about all that’s old school in Wildstar. Carbine Studios are really pushing their new MMO as a something new and innovative, and this video on how the game handles crowd control is further proof that this game has some seriously good design.
Wildstar’s approach to MMO combat is exactly what the genre has been crying out for. Even the bravest MMOs so far have felt exceedingly similar to World of Warcraft’s template, but it looks like this won’t be the case at all for Wildstar.
Wildstar launches Spring 2014, but if you’re raring to go right now, you could try and bag yourself a slot in the closed beta.
it merited only a footnote when the business model was announced, and it was easy to miss for all of the screaming between players who refused to listen to the other sorts of players, but WildStar isn’t aiming for a 2013 release any longer. Not that this is exactly a shock, of course; I said about a month ago that I would prefer to just be told that the game wouldn’t release until 2014, which already looked to be the case.
Whether or not I understand the fandom is irrelevant because it exists regardless. And I would not have advised the team at Carbine to launch in a window that’s anywhere near that game. Whatever its player retention looks like, it has an infinitely easier time out of the gate than a quirky and stylized game with an odd sense of humor and some weird mechanics.
So WildStar is now launching into the teeth of a big rival, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of big surprises left. It’s got two more classes (which might wind up mixing in cries of how it’s yet another class-based game) and an assortment of zones, but at this point would-be players know what to expect from the game for the most part. All that’s left are things like endgame content, and as I mentioned with recent columns, we’re not getting a terribly clear picture of that just yet.
Then again, I could be wrong and PAX could unveil how the game is doing away with classes entirely. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.
Here’s how it is: The world of Nexus can be a dangerous place for a tourist or a resident. If you’re going to venture into WildStar, you want to be prepared. That’s why Eliot Lefebvre brings you a shiny new installment of The Nexus Telegraph every week, giving you a good idea of what to expect from both the people and the environment. Keep your eyes peeled, and we’ll get you where you need to go.
Living in Style: WildStar Beta Houses
Now that our Housing system’s working pretty well, and our artists have created an amazing collection of props, we decided to put the call out to our beta testers to help create some amazing houses that we could show off to the public. Boy, did they deliver. Here’s a selection of our favorite houses that have won the contest for CBT2!
THE JUMP SCARE AWARD:
BEST LOFT SPACE:
BEST SPIRAL STAIRCASE:
MOST DELICIOUS BARBEQUE:
BEST BARTENDER (AND HAT):
BEST ARMS DEALER THIS SIDE OF THE FRINGE:
THE TOILET AWARD (’nuff said):
BEST THRONE ROOM:
THE HOUSECEPTION AWARD:
THE STAND-UP COMEDIAN AWARD:
THE WHAT-THE-HECK AWARD:
THE COOLEST CEILING AWARD:
THE CREEPIEST ROOM AWARD:
All these winners will be gifted the official Housing Trophy, sponsored by Protostar Corporation for use in future houses. Hopefully someone will fill up their shelves with trophies as beta goes on!
Congratulations to all the winners, and we’ll be back with more Housing contests in the future!