WildStar’s Economic Game

WildStar’s Economic Game

Economy

What is “economy?” Simply put, it is the management of resources. Economics is therefore the study of how resources are distributed. In order to build an economic plan for an online game, we need to determine what the resources are, where they come from, and who gets them.

 

However, online games like WildStar come with an extra resource distribution problem that we don’t find in the real world: the only natural way for resources to leave the game is for players to leave the game, which is something we actively work against with every design decision we make! Therefore we have to include in our plans various ways to rob… er, creatively redistribute… resources that players earn in the game.

You may ask, “But why are you trying to take my stuff back?!” Well, there are two answers: an obvious one and a not-so-obvious one.

Inflation

The obvious answer is inflation. Inflation is basically when your money (the trade medium) buys you less stuff over time. Not only is it rough on an active player, it can be a total deal-breaker to players who may want to return to a game after taking a break.

By way of illustration, let us imagine that you are your great (for some of you, great-great) grandparents. You save $240 for a brand new Model-T, but then you are cryogenically frozen for a hundred years because you forgot to pay your subscription fee. When you are unfrozen a century later, you find that the $240 you worked so hard to save up can now barely buy a single tire. You can see how this would be very upsetting and you may wonder why you even bothered playing “life” again.

“Wow, that’s no good!” you might say, and you’d be right. Just as in real-life, inflation is a problem faced by online worlds. “But, where does inflation in online games come from?” you might wonder. In the case of online games, inflation happens because games create money out of nothing, unlike banks which create money as an abstraction of production and debt. “Create money out of thin air? That’s crazy!” At first glance, this is somewhat true, but it is okay. The reason why we continue to do it this way, and have these kinds of inflation problems in our online games, is because of Dungeons & Dragons.

Wait. What? Dungeons & Dragons? What does Dungeons & Dragons have to do with anything?

D&D is the great old grand-daddy of all role-playing games. You see its influence in every role-playing game there is, including WildStar. In D&D, you basically killed things and took their stuff. Often, there would be treasure lying about in some musty dungeon just waiting for the mass-murderer adventurer to liberate it by excessive violence. Ever since then, we players have come to expect bags of currency (the trade medium) to fly out of anything we hit with a sword like some sort of piñata. And, while this is kind of strange, it’s also a lot of fun! I like piñatas; you do too.

So, one challenge we face in creating online economies is preserving this fun experience while preventing the loot piñata from ruining everyone’s fun when everything costs an astronomical sum of money. And that, basically, is one of the two reasons why we try to take back some of the stuff given out.

“So what is the other reason you mentioned?” I’m glad you asked!

Fun

Buying stuff is fun, or at least it can be depending upon what you are shopping for. But what is fun? Raph Koster, a well-known MMO designer, has written about the concept of fun at length in a book called A Theory of Fun for Game Design, which is worth reading, even if you don’t agree with everything in it. In the book, he explains that fun is a byproduct of learning and mastering something, which makes a lot of sense.

Basically, we as designers already know that earning resources is a fun experience. However, because we need to tame inflation, we must also find a way to make using resources fun. Our goal is to turn the use and reacquisition of resources (especially currency) into a way fun and interesting way to learn about economics. We want the players to learn about resource management by making meaningful choices about things they have earned in the game.

And we really do want you to make meaningful choices. We want to give you enough currency that you can have some of things that you want, but not everything. You will need to make choices about how you spend your money according to what is important to you. You will need to plan to purchase things by saving or through the magic of capitalism and the markets. When you master saving your money, or master using the markets to fulfill other people’s desires, you will have had fun in the process because you’ve learned.

We also want to make sure that when you have to make a choice, it is based on what you, the player, feels is most important. Therefore, the choices cannot be too obvious or too enmeshed in critical needs. For example, in the real world there really isn’t much choice between eating and buying a box of Magic: The Gathering cards (unless you are me in 1994). Item repair, for example, doesn’t offer much in the way of choice, so it shouldn’t be an impactful, painful thing. We will get into this particular money sink later, but it is a very handy and fair money sink to have.

An optional money sink is something like housing or in-place resurrection. You don’t need a house in order to get to the end game, nor do you need to resurrect in the same spot. Careful budgeting and creative use of the auction system are skills that will get you better housing items and let you resurrect in place more often. Making these things so cheap that everyone can do them also robs you of the chance to have fun learning to manage money, so they cost more.

So, to sum up, the second reason why we want to take back your stuff is because that facilitates the creation of fun through learning about and mastery of the economy.

Resource Fonts

We have several ways for adventurers to forcefully reallocate resources in the game:

Monster Killin’ – The cornerstone of science-fiction and fantasy RPGs is the wholesale slaughter of monsters and taking their stuff. This stuff is in the form of money, junk loot, and the “good” stuff. For our purposes, we can also call this “money”, “stuff that will become money imminently”, and “money sinks disguised as good stuff”

Not Monster Killin’ – These are your quests, challenges, adventures, dungeons, and the like. Players tend to not like to get “junk” for this stuff, so instead we give them money and “the good stuff.” Sometimes they get junk disguised as the “good” stuff (that’s a secret, don’t tell anyone).

Free Stuff – This stuff is just lying around waiting for someone to pick it up (discoveries and gathering trade skills). Discoveries only exist because they are fun. Gathering exists because it is advanced fun.

In a perfect world, none of these fonts would give out money. You would have to find a buyer for everything you find and exchange it to another player for an I.O.U. called “money”. We don’t do that because, again, it’s not fun. It’s a science-fiction game, and one of the fantasies it supports is getting richer as you get better at the game. Thanks, Gary and Dave!  Aw heck, while we are at it we can blame John, too, for the dwarvish hoard under Erebor that started this whole idea of free money just sitting around waiting to be grabbed in the first place.

Resource Sinks

So now that we are printing money like crazy so that the players can feel like they are getting richer, how do we get it back? As you know, we find all sorts of ways to steal it back from you. In the process, we literally try to make paying taxes fun. This task is impossible, but game designers are also a little bit insane.

I read a blog post recently where people were discussing resource sinks and whether or not they were necessary. They are, because without them inflation would kill trading and we would then lose a convenient way of acquiring items. Also, for WildStar, we depend upon player trading for creating a complete gear makeup for their characters.

Repair and Training – Repairing your items is a basic resource sink. It is a good one because it scales with a character’s income level. As you get more expensive gear and gain access to bigger piles of treasure, your cost to maintain the gear also increases. When I mentioned the “good” stuff being a disguised money sink, this is what I was talking about. Training is another scaling money sink, which is why we use it. These types of expenses work quite well as a resource drain and free up some economic space for us to do more fun things. Most importantly, these types of drains are very fair, because they increase as your ability to pay increases.

Trading Fees / Taxes – Our “good” stuff is even a money sink when it isn’t being used. When you put items up for trade, we take a small portion of the trade. When the seller creates money on the auction house, that money is just coming from another player. The aggregate total held by all players on the server is actually reduced by the amount of the fee, for every transaction. The only way the “good” item actually generates money in the economy is when it is sold to a vendor. All other times it is stagnant or a money sink.

Barefaced Money Grab – Some stuff is so awesome that it is hard to imagine being an adventurer without it. These are mounts, mansions, or other things that make others say “You ever take it off any sweet jumps?” These are adjustment points in a player’s expected money pool. We expect players to learn to plan for these life events. If you don’t plan, well, there is always the auction house, or just having to save up for them after everyone else has theirs.

Optional Expenses – These are things that are optional. We consider this to be “money play” – the decision-making game play with currency. These are things like: resurrection in place, quick travel, item salvaging, and item selling rates. The player gets to make these decisions based upon their resources on hand, and what they expect to spend money on in the near future.

Planning for the Future

Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, said in On Strategy that “no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond first contact with the main hostile force.”

A better way to put Moltke’s words, for our purposes, might be to say that “no design survives first contact with the real world.” This economic plan is no different. It will have to adapt after we release the game and as we introduce new content. Naturally, players will expect bigger rewards with the new things to do that are just now on the horizon, and with them will come even more expensive things. This is all a balancing act meant to regulate the supply of currency available to everyone for trading. This is the real purpose of gold. The money sinks we put in place have to match the amount of currency that the game generates almost exactly. Almost. There still needs to be a little bit extra left over for trading, but how much?

The amount of money left over for use in trading is a fluctuating value, but the goal is to have it remain consistent with the aggregate amount of gameplay time invested by all of the players on a given server. For example, we could say that one hour of “played” time should translate into an imaginary currency unit called a “Bull.” If we add up the number of Bulls on a server, then it should have roughly the same amount of played time on active characters. If we have considerably fewer Bulls than we expect, then we are charging too much for the money sinks. If we have considerably more, then we are giving away too much stuff or have an exploit.

I hope this brief overview of WildStar’s economy has been entertaining. We hope to give the players plenty of things to do with the currency you find, and have a good time spending it, hoarding it, or swindling it from each other. Thank you for your time!

 

 

 

 

 

WildStar Wednesday: Stress Test Postmortem

WildStar Wednesday: Stress Test Postmortem

Troy “Aether” Hewitt here, Community Director for WildStar. As you know, we had our first stress test where we asked you to break things, and wow – did you ever. This event, which we are now officially calling “Stress Test Part One: The Stressening”, uncovered some extremely important data for us. The good news? We’ve got lots of information to work with. Gigs upon gigs of data to parse, crunch, evaluate and replicate.

Given that today we are running Stress Test Part II: The Stress Continues, we wanted to share an inside look at what happened the last time we took a ride down this particular rabbit hole.

Here are some key discoveries:

  • For some reason, one instance of the Crimson Isle had as many as 400 players placed on it.  This is bad, because that instance is meant to cap at 20 players (We instance our starting zones for a better new player experience).  But it’s good, because we’ve already fixed that bug.
  • Sentinel, which is our server monitoring tool, was misrepresenting the names of some players, making it hard for us to see who you actually were while you were logged in. That’s bad, but it’s also good because we were able to diagnose that issue, and a fix is in the works.
  • And the big issue: We are capping out at 10 Mb a second out of our gateway machine. The Gateway machine is so named because it is the gateway between you, and all of our servers. With the information we gathered on Friday, we will be running forensic tests until we can identify if this is a hardware or software issue. Then, we fix it.

 

Craig Turner, our Live Producer, was the ringmaster for this important milestone in our development project. Here’s what he had to say:

Within 2 minutes of flipping the switch to turn the stress test on, I was literally running through the hallways at the office. There was not going to be a slow ramp up of users, oh no. We were at critical mass almost immediately. It was awesome.

What wasn’t awesome is that we broke in a way we weren’t prepared for. We had some contingency plans in place to make things playable should we have fallen over in the spots we thought were fragile, but as things tend to happen with new systems; we didn’t know what we didn’t know. The great thing is, is this is exactly what the Stress Test was intending to accomplish. We needed to see what was going to break in new and interesting ways so that we can prevent those problems in the future.

I’m looking forward to the additional Stress Test windows so that we can break new things! Ultimately though, I’m looking forward to the time that the Community Team once again forgets my name. When that happens, it’ll be because stability isn’t an issue and everything is running along smoothly. The only way we get to that point though, is with your help and tolerance in participating in more of these tests.

 

David “Scooter” Bass, our Senior Community Manager, was at the communications helm, making sure everyone was updated on what was going on. Here’s his take on the WildStar stress test:

For our first stress test, the Community team had a few commitments we made to ourselves (and to the stress testers):

  • Setting proper expectations. Too many gamers are used to the usual “STRESS TEST WEEKEND WOOOOOO!” hype, and the problem was that we needed to do an actual stress test… one where we kept adding more and more players until something broke so that we could see where our weaknesses were. We did a lot of communication on this beforehand, and it seemed to work pretty well… the majority of active stress testers were well aware that things were not going to work, and weren’t too bummed out when they didn’t. I’m sure the promise of a future beta invite to those who put up with the unpleasantness helped too…
  • Updating the community regularly. This is tough when you’ve got people in three offices across the country tracking issues, but we wanted to commit, at the very least, to posting every half-hour (if not more often) with an update. Most of the time, these were pretty basic updates of “Still no updates, but people are looking into it!” but that commitment to constantly staying in communication with people, especially during what proved to be a frustrating gameplay experience, is what we feel really creates strong communication between players and the team.
  • Making things fun. When you’ve got an unplayable game and 15,000 people waiting to play it… what do you do? Turns out our answer to that is “go a little nuts.” While the Community, Customer Service, and Live teams were waiting to hear back from our engineers and server programmers about what they’d found, we may have gone a little crazy. COMMUNITY SECRET: We like to call Craig’s two videos “A Descent Into Madness.”

During the actual test, we set up an impromptu “War Room” (which was really just me moving over to sit near our Live Producer Craig Turner and our Game Support Manager David Crossley so we could all yell things out at each other). It’s amazing how being in the same room as people helps improve communication a thousand-fold, but it allowed us to respond to Support tickets faster, post on the forums more often, and get more immediate gameplay feedback across all three disciplines. At one point, fans were asking us to set up a webcam, but sadly it would’ve shown an empty room as we ran around getting more information.

 

As I’m sure Craig will attest to, we obtained some invaluable data from the stress test that we never could have found otherwise, so even though we are sorry most people didn’t get a chance to play, we’re excited to run something like this again in the future!

So in closing, thank you. Thank you for suffering through this, thank you for providing us with incredibly invaluable data, and thank you to everyone that has been so supportive of both our efforts, and their stress test compatriots.

Remember, there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in our stress test events, as well as the longer-term WildStar beta. So keep the faith!

See you on Nexus!

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WildStar Wednesday: Game Jam

WildStar Wednesday: Game Jam

We’d like to give you a glimpse inside the mad, mad world of game design here at Carbine Studios.  In a typical week our designers work anywhere from 40 to 60 hours.  They are hard at work doing all manners of different tasks: tightening up graphics on level three, planning out enemy placement and pull puzzles, crafting entertaining quests, developing path missions, bringing towns to life with flavorful vignettes.  That’s our week. On the weekends though, from time to time, we like to jam, we like to  Game Jam!

A Game Jam is a chance for we designers to stretch our legs creatively.  It is an opportunity for us to try designing new things, things that we may not get a chance to handle in our day-to-day routine.  We come in on a Saturday with a broad task at hand, and spend the next 8 hours working in small teams to create something fun and playable from start to finish.

Game Jams are also a chance for our artists and programmers to contribute with their specialized skill sets.  Artists get requests from design teams and quickly create amazing props, sculpt terrain, light dungeons or complete a dizzying array of tasks that improve the visual quality of Wildstar. Programmers help tackle complicated engine-related issues tackle any bugs that suddenly crop up as design is rapidly pushing our tools to the limit.

So why do we Game Jam? (PROTIP: Game Jam may be considered a verb for the remainder of this article.)  As designers, we focus on very specific roles.  Sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side.  The Game Jam lets us see how green that grass really is.  It also offers an opportunity to improve our skill set as designers.  If you haven’t made a dungeon boss but want to try, Game Jams provides our designers an opportunity to test out ideas in a safe and collaborative environment.  It also allows our designers to focus on getting to the fun fast.  A Game Jam lasts about 8 hours, so you have to nail the core design quickly and use the tools at your disposal efficiently.  At the end of the Game Jam, the participants come away with a new respect for what they can do in a limited amount of time and some pretty impressive work.

Each Game Jam we try to tackle something different.  We strive to ensure that a Game Jam isn’t just: “Hey, come in and do your normal work, but on a weekend!”  We want to try our hands at tasks we normally wouldn’t attempt because it is not part of our day-to-day jobs.

Let’s look at Expeditions. Expeditions are scaled dungeons available via your housing plot. The scope of an Expedition is constrained, amounting to roughly 15 minutes of concentrated gameplay.  The story is on the minimal side, the content is devoid of exterior context, there are no quests and the playable space is relatively small. It’s quite a different beast than the typical content piece which focuses on telling a fairly grand story that lasts hours, spans large swaths of terrain and involves fighting numerous different creatures along the way.

At the outset of Game Jam (Proper Noun also permitted… PROTIP) the group of folk that are here, break into small teams and begin brainstorming.  There are no ideas that are off limits.  They pick a setting, a gameplay hook and then they are off! For the next 7 hours they are Game Jamming, working diligently to bring their crazy ideas to life. Requests are made of art for tweaks, programming for support, lore for writing assistance. The Game Jammening (Also legit.) ceases briefly as we devour pizza, but almost immediately resumes.  As hours pass we begin watching the clock more closely and then the cutting begins. Everyone is quiet, working with extreme purpose.  Producers roam around making sure everyone is okay, because it is rarely this quiet in a game studio. They are quickly dismissed; time is at a premium as the clock ticks down.

When all Game Jamming is over for the day, food, libations and games are our rewards.  Some head out to party, some stay in to play board games and some need to be pried away from their work.

We came, we saw, we Game Jammed.

Jammily yours,

Carbine Developers

 

 

 

 

WildStar Wednesday: Main Events Calendar

WildStar Wednesday: Main Events Calendar

Ready to Party?

It seems like everywhere you turn, there are people talking about WildStar. You name it, we’ve had question about it. Of all the questions we get, (aside from the constant chant for beta keys), people want to know whether we are going to be running the convention circuit. So far this year, we’ve attended the Role Play Convention in Germany and Dreamhack in Sweden.

We’ve attended PAX East, and held two separate Arkship events, one here in sunny Southern So-Cal, and another for our European friends in Brighton, UK.

So sure, we’ve been busy, but you ain’t seen nothing yet!

I can officially confirm that we will be dragging a large group of Carbine Dev Team members to the following 2013 events:

Gamescom 2013: Cologne, Germany 22.-25.08.2013

For those of you who aren’t familiar, gamescom is held in Cologne, Germany, and is one of the largest collections of gamer fanatics in the world. I just took a look at the design specs for our booth, and let me tell you- it’s going to blow your mind. Not to mention the content we are creating just for this event. It will include super-sexy new announcements, hands-on gameplay with content you’ve never seen before, and a whole host of special events that will give our fans from Germany and the rest of the world  the opportunity to spend quality time with the WildStar development team. We are finalizing our stage plans and offsite event opportunities, so more on that to come.

PAX Prime: SEATTLE, WA AUG 30-SEP 2, 2013

Now if you haven’t heard of PAX, you may need to… spend more time on your computer. If PAX East was any indication, this year promises to be an AMAZING show for us. Like Gamescom, we have packed our schedule with wall-to-wall activities, and of course hands-on gameplay of only the freshest WildStar content. This includes Developer Panels, amazing offsite activities, and something I’m particularly excited about: We will be hosting the very first Beta Tester only panel at our booth, giving you the chance to ask (almost) all the questions you have about what it’s like to work with the development team as a WildStar beta tester. Content questions? Game mechanics? You name it, they will most certainly probably be able to perhaps say something about it. Like Gamescom, we are working to finalize all of our events, which includes a very special secret giveaway, around PAX Prime. We’ve got so much to share, they had to add another day to the event to show it all! (Ok, they didn’t consult us on that one, but we are taking credit anyway).

There are a lot of other event plans to share with you in the coming days, but were just a little too early in the planning process to say much more. You know how planning events go; it can be downright Comi-Cal.

So that’s it for now, friends. We promise to keep you apprised of our progress moving forward. In the meantime, where are you headed this convention season? Could you stop by the WildStar Facebook page and drop us a line?

Enjoy, won’t you?

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WildStar Uplink Analysis: Money Sinks

WildStar Uplink Analysis: Money Sinks

This time, Charles “Bull” Durham took more of a one on one approach to answering questions. That’s his style and we dig it!

 

cecilandblues: my concerns are about resources and crafting. I hope to see Tier1-TierMAX materials all relevant and interconnected

I hope Warplots create a churn that involves materials from all tiers and vocations of crafting. More EVE less WoW

As long as people create new characters, the leveling-tier resources will be valuable. We do not have any plans to upgrade leveling-tier resources to endgame resources. It does make some sense to do it from a simulation standpoint. However, if we increase the demand for the leveling-tier resources by always making them relevant, then they will perhaps become too scarce for the people who need them to level. I personally prefer Eve Online style resource distribution, but that is a game whose play experience is driven largely by the acquisition of and trade in the various resources. In WildStar, the resources are always more thematically tied to a player’s practical progression through the game, growing with the player. Since a WildStar player can’t just “move over to the next asteroid belt” when high level players remove all of the resources from the area, we set up a system where high level players don’t really need the stuff.

 

Essaltap: Creating a weekly lottery system for optional expenses, with a chance to win equipment/mounts for example

From an economic standpoint, I love lotteries because they’d be an extra money sink. The extra money sink means I could reduce the costs of, say, item repair and the economy would remain balanced. However, gambling is not welcome in all regions and can create animosity. Consequently, while we have thought about lotteries and similar systems, we are unlikely to have features like this at launch.

 

Mark_Mahoon: In my opinion repair costs is somewhat demotivating. Most MMOs overcharge on repair costs.

We’ve talked before about how adding sinks is the counterbalance to the awesome of getting the treasure hoard. If I take away repair costs, I have to charge more for something else, or I have to take away the piñata of awesome. Repair has the benefit of being one of the few money sinks that directly relates to money-earning activities.  Since these activities are ones in which any player can participate, repair is therefore the fairest sinks. I don’t see it going away any time soon!

 

Yakzan: I would like to know how they’d balance the convenience of the AH mechanic while creating face-to-face interactions with sellers.

Outside of being able to circumvent the auction house fees through direct trade, there aren’t any incentives for face-to-face interaction. Forcing players to do a face-to-face transaction slows the flow of goods, slowing the economy and increasing the overall tedium to the game. Therefore, we won’t be doing storefront style interactions.

What tools will players get to have their say in the economy? Thinking crafter advertisements, player shops/vendors, etc.

There will not be specific player shops or advertising outside of announcements in chat. While it is exciting to have your own storefront, it forces players to visit your storefront in some way, which creates a huge barrier for your customers to overcome. In addition, there is a significant amount of server overhead. In the end, everyone loses, which is why you don’t see it in modern MMOs anymore. Since there is no storefront to visit, in-world advertising then becomes far less necessary than if storefronts were available

 

Atomics1911: Take extra hard measure to curb the RMT market to hold down inflation.

As long as people are willing to spend real money to get in-game money, there will be an RMT market. RMT is a nuisance, but it is one that design should expect to manage while in development. A key part of this is identifying the situations where currency/items can be easily created, and limiting the potential for these situations to be exploited by the gold farmers. The best defense against RMT is for us devs to be diligent about how we put content in the game, and for our community to be partners with us by identifying and reporting problems when they’re discovered.

 

TyranadeP: Crafting should give the same status as raiding. Hence top level should be hard to obtain. unique recipes etc

Elder Game crafting is hard and requires tenacity. We’re not ready to go into more detail about those systems yet, however. Look for more information regarding Elder Game crafting in the future.

 

Gazimoff: I’d like to know the balance between NPC items, lootables and craftables – how much econ can players control?

Players must acquire items from all available sources in order to end up with the best gear makeup possible. In a way, you have total control over this, and the quality of what you end up with will be pretty closely related to how you spend your time in game. Crafters are given great power as they will always be making things that will be needed by players as they grow. No one source will be the only place to go for the best stuff.

 

Anhrez: What if you ‘earned’ skill points spent during crafting to influence the outcome? Earned thru work orders, raiding, Warplots pvp?

We already have a couple of different ways of affecting the crafting outcome and quality. Adding more permutations at this point might lead to exploitable situations. However, there are many more tie-ins between crafting and other activities to come! Economic PvPers will be pleased.

If no play shops how about player work order boards? Looking for chainsword?

Work order boards were on the, um, drawing board. There are technical issues with it that could lead to players trolling each other so it is on the back-burner for right now.

 

unindel: Also sinks are needed but don’t make travel costs scale harshly with level. I should want to move around the world

Travel costs are based on the level of the area, not the level of the player. Generally speaking, it is balanced so that the travel costs in that area are proportional to the amount of cash that can be generated by an area. We are thinking about alternative travel pricing schemes in the Economy office, so this might change.

 

MasonTMatchak: Concerned about training costs. Hope to not have to save money just to train – should have enough when I need it

You will have enough to train when you need it. Part of the fun of economic gameplay is to understand when you need to conserve your resources. In the real world, there are a great many people who do not conserve resources and rely upon banks in order to cover their shortfall, in exchange for a fee. In our game, all you’d have to do is delete your character to shirk your debts. So, at least in the game we have to learn how to save our money.

 

BeryllineBea: So, my main concern is whether those costs will be reasonable, so I won’t go broke just from trying something new. In another game, travel costs plus repair costs made it very hard for me to run dungeons with friends.

We will be keeping an eye on repair costs, but proper planning and successful raiding should net you more money than you will need for travel and repair. Again, these sinks must be in place to balance the “Jackpot!!!” feeling you’ll get now and then when getting the phat lewtz. You can’t have one without the other or else the economy will break. If you find that you are running out of money constantly there may be some potential sources of cash that you could tap for more income, so ask around and see what you can find!

 

GrdPa: A virtual casino would be very appropriated in WildStar I guess. With little games, quirky games. Rewards could be useless rewards but everybody wants, thanks to the rarety ! It could also regulate the depopulation due to housing

This is on the list of things that we would like to have, but we need to bring you all a solid core game experience first. To that end, we’re talking with the social team about what we can do with it.

Welcome to CBT3: Ready to Rumble!

Welcome to CBT3: Ready to Rumble!

Another week, another milestone. Team WildStar has been itching for the chance to get some faction on faction action going since we started beta, so we’re excited about this round of beta. It’s going to be our first opportunity to test out what PvP on Nexus looks like outside of Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Warplots. We’re expecting to see some big fights in and around Whitevale and Farside. While our more curious testers are likely going to find bugs/exploits/issues with the PvP ruleset, we’re pretty confident in the beta community’s professionalism so far and expect to see a great play experience on both sides of the fence. Play nicely!

Here are the latest internal patch notes (in English) for our Closed Beta 3 test. As usual, these are being provided without context, and plenty of spoilers of unannounced content follow, so read at your own risk.

Patch Highlights

  • The beta level cap has been raised to 36.
  • Existing characters have been wiped to allow both factions the chance to level equally.
  • Both Exile and Dominion factions are now available for play! Flag yourself for PvP and go nuts in the open world!
    • PLEASE NOTE: This is our first time testing out dual-faction gameplay. Expect many testers to discover effective griefing methods during this beta phase. Please ensure that you get the data you need, report the issue, and then move on. Let’s make sure both factions have an equally enjoyable time in CBT3!
  • New Zone: Farside. Travel off-planet to a newly established base on one of the moons of Nexus!
  • New Battleground: Halls of the Bloodsworn.
  • Rated Battlegrounds and Arenas have been opened for testing. Who will come out on top? Time to find out!

General

  • Fixed an issue where achievement points were displaying as zero after logout.
  • Challenges now all have a cooldown of 30 minutes.
  • Challenges now award XP, coin, and reputation as each tier threshold is achieved.  As you might expect, Gold awards more than silver, which awards more than bronze.
  • Holo-Crypts in Forbidden Zones are no longer valid places at which to resurrect.
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to be transferred to another continent when waking at the nearest Holo-Crypt.
  • The launcher now prevents PCs from going to sleep while in the middle of patching.
  • Players can now file support tickets in-game by using /ticket. For now, we still encourage you to email [email protected] for faster response times.
  • Fixed an issue where mounting along a shoreline would create an unusable mount next to the player.
  • We’ve added some extra support and fixes to the Adaptive Creature system:
    • Group Creature Participant Levels – Creatures that are 5-man, 20-man, and 40-man will behave normally up to 5/20/40 players respectively, and then begin scaling.
    • NPC Participant Count – NPCs on adaptive creature hate lists will only affect other NPC’s damage. This is most present on defend holdouts, where friendly NPCs help out.
    • Interrupt Armor Scaling – As more and more players fight an adaptive creature, the creature will begin to gain more and more interrupt armor.
  • Settler:
    • Fixed an issue where Settler Resources were not dropping off of kills.
    • Fixed an issue where Settler infrastructures would decay faster than they should.
    • Settler build windows no longer remain open when leaving the depot.
    • Settler Campfires no longer always spawn directly in front of the player.
    • Settler Resources that drop off creatures now have their own piñata icons.
  • Scientist:
    • Fixed an issue where a Scanbot’s name would not persist through logout.
    • Scientist Scanbots are now immune to all CC.
  • Votekicking has been added to group functionality.
    • Players can type /votekick <name> to initiate a vote. You can also target the player and just type /votekick, too!
    • Other party members will be able to vote to kick the member from their instance.
    • If the votekick succeeds, the player will be removed from the instance and the party will be placed into the replacement queue.
  • Group Finder groups now have a designated group leader. The group leader can invite players into the group if there are empty spots due to players leaving, however they have no ability to kick or set other types of permissions (loot, instance).
  • Group Finder will now be initiated when players drop from a dungeon/adventure group.
  • Adding support for players leaving instance. Providing UI for player to teleport back into instance.
  • If a player leaves a group due to being offline, they are no longer stuck in an invisible party.
  • Parties formed outside of instances are now remembered and stored if a player solo queues through the Group Finder.
  • A solo player in a Battleground can still communicate with his open-world party via /party (/p), and can talk to his Battleground party via /instance (or /i).
  • After leaving the instance, the player will rejoin his party in the open world.

 

Social

  • Friends List
    • Add favorite people from your faction to the list to spy on them and keep an eye on there whereabouts.
    • Friend requests must be approved by the person you’re attempting to add. Click the lock button in the upper left of the Friends UI in order to enable/disable friend requests.
  • Rivals List
    • Rivals may be added from either faction.
    • Anyone on your Rivals List can be marked in the open world with a unique visual representation. Use this to track down nemeses of the opposite faction, or duel with one of your favorite friends!
  • Ignore List
    • Add naughty Nexians to your Ignore list in order to make sure you never hear from them.
  • Suggested Friends
    • This list is automatically generated as you interact with other players in the open world. Accidentally left the dungeon run before friending the tank? Pop-up this list to find them again!
  • Mail now costs 50c per letter, with an additional 50c per item attached to the message.
  • Players can now choose between sending messages that will arrive instantly, in an hour, or the next day. The faster you want a message to arrive, the more expensive that message becomes!
  • Clicking another player’s name in chat to whisper them now properly ignores “From” and “To”.
  • Players are no longer automatically kicked from a group when camping.
  • Fixed an issue where mailed items would still be visible in the message even after they had been placed into inventory.
  • Characters can once again be rotated in the Character Panel window.
  • Removed some chat spam when /commands caused errors.
  • Receiving invites to multiple Circles at once will no longer cause the first invite window to break.
  • NPC Voiceovers will now keep track of which lines you’ve heard most recently and rotate through their options more thoroughly.
  • All Social windows now properly report which players are online.
  • Chat passwords now have a 25-character limit. As opposed to the 5,000 character limit it had previously.

Housing

  • Neighbors are now available!
    • Add players as neighbors to allow them to visit your house whenever they’d like.
    • Upgrade your neighbor to a Roommate to allow them to have permission to decorate your house interior.
    • Visit random players’ housing plots if they have marked their plot as Public (All plots are currently Public by default). This feature can be found in the bottom-right of the Neighbors UI (in the Social Panel).
    • Mark your plot as Private (Lock in the upper-left of the Neighbors UI) if you do not wish to receive visits from random players.
  • A new 1×2 plot has been added to your Housing plot. The other plots have been moved a little to accommodate the new plot.
  • All races’ housing models are now available (with remodel options). Housing model availability is faction-restricted.
  • Over 60 new housing plugs have been added!
  • Décor can now be deleted from within the Housing Crate, or within the Advanced Controls for an item.
  • We’ve made minor ease of use adjustments to the décor gizmo, including adding the ability to hold down right-click to rotate the camera without deselecting the prop you’re attempting to adjust.
  • Fixed an issue where rezzing while in Housing would place you on another players’ Housing plot.
  • Fixed an issue where the Housing Escape button doesn’t work when you first receive your house.
  • Fixed lag that was occurring after placing more than 100 décor items.
  • Fixed an issue where camping on your housing plot would put your house into an unusable state.
  • Fixed an issue where changing the interior wallpaper of your house and then buying a new house would break things.
  • “Landscaping the Sky”: Bombs now knock players backwards based on the bomb’s relative location to the player, rather than the player’s facing.

Content

NORTHERN WILDS

  • Exile players can now backtrack to Northern Wilds by taking the same ship that brought them to Tremor Ridge in Algoroc.
  • Only participants of the public event will now complete the Ultrabot Destroyer Achievement in Northern Wilds.

DERADUNE

  • Eldan Identification – Fixed an issue that could get the quest stuck in a bad state if players exited during the first objective.

GALERAS

  • Challenge “Dominion Datachrons” – Added Groundswell Demolitionist and Groundswell Sapper to the target group. Also fixed the directional arrow for this challenge, and converted items collected to “virtual items”.
  • Stickpaw will no longer break when stunned.

WHITEVALE

  • Fixed an issue where certain factions would resurrect further away than intended in parts of Whitevale.
  • Elemental Origins – Added directional arrows once inside the location.
  • Achievement: Eldan Defense Protocol – No longer has placeholder text.
  • Bug Sweep: Dialog window on turn-in no longer calls players “##={player.name} not found! =##”. Unless that happens to be your name, we suppose.
  • Bug Sweep: Corrected player response during turn-in to make sense.
  • Last Man Standing: “More info” dialog has been changed to make sense.
  • Striking at the Snake: Fixed an issue where the quest was not updating on activation of the Bunker Door.
  • Breaking and Entering: Can now be properly restarted if it was failed the first time.
  • The Emissary: Fixed an issue with Agent Boyd being un-activatable if the player logs out during his vignette.
  • Krazog’s Gutpunch Brew: Creatures that drop Krazog’s Gutpunch Brew are now properly marked as quest targets.
  • Spying on the Spies: ICI Scout Reports are now virtual items.
  • Peculiar Flora: Whitespring Pincers have had their levels reduced so they’re not 4-5 levels higher than players.
  • The identity of Gnash the Colossus has been stolen, and has thus been renamed to Hagus the Colossus.
  • Unsafe Working Conditions: The extraneous cast bar has been removed for Flow Control Panels.
  • Escape from Junction Snowshadow: Players can now reenter Avra’s Lair if they happen to have logged out before completing the quest.
  • Fixed the Frostbite Sunfish so it no longer wanders out of the lake.
  • Demolitions Disposal: Sunderstone Proximity Mines are now properly marked as quest targets.
  • Challenge: Augmented Tissue Samples – Added silver and gold reward tiers.
  • Painting a Picture: Added quest direction arrows and indicator locations.
  • Eldan Neurotoxin is properly removed from players if they die and resurrect at a Holo-Crypt.
  • Finding Frozen Fuzzies: Warriors no longer hold their swords while using the Thawing Laser.
  • Finding Frozen Fuzzies: Unacclimated animals are now marked as quest objectives.
  • Bot’s Eye View: Truthbound Sentinels should no longer show up as quest objectives.
  • The Ascendant Champion: Players will now teleport to the correct location when using the Teleporter (rather than being spawned inside a prop).
  • Where Have All the Groomsmen Gone – Players can no longer deal damage to flavor NPCs.
  • The Squirg threat bar is now removed when leaving the Squirg Outbreak area.
  • Cave of the Dead: Tightened up the graphics of the Squirg explosion.

ALGOROC

  • Finish Him: Quest now properly advances after using the escape pod.
  • Miner Yeti Report: Minimap indicators no longer appear in the wrong location.
  • Challenge: Grimstone Butcher: Diggers and Manglers now count towards the challenge.
  • Players can once again enter and exit Exo-Lab 14 freely.
  • Fixed an issue where Algoroc’s exploration would get stuck at 99%.

AURORIA

  • Greystone Earthragers in Greystone Cavern will no longer spawn on top of each other.
  • Merchant Koko in Auroria now actually has things to sell.
  • Redsnout the Ravenous will now cast telegraphs spells in combat.
  • Poxbrew Enclave: Players who fail to enter the correct code now properly blocks players from entering.
  • Challenge: Blackheart Annihilator: Text now properly refers to groups rather than members.
  • Challenge: Longear Thrashing: The time allotted for has been increased to ten minutes. The gold tier has been set to 15 kills.
  • Extreme Prejudice: Matria Segrey now has a proper quest objective icon on her.
  • Datacube: Dark Ruminations has been moved out of a rock.
  • Cragroach Dredgers in Cragroach Caver will now spawn faster to avoid quest bottlenecks.
  • The Ground Beneath Your Feet: Fixed an issue that made the Terminite Eggs unable to be killed.
  • Researcher Hekkel’s voice is now consistent for all of his quests.
  • XT-9 Element Augment Complex is no longer a Forbidden Zone.
  • Collegium Under Attack: This breadcrumb quest has been removed as a requirement for the Episode achievement.
  • Post Palerock: Quest arrows now point to the proper location.
  • Exanite Examination: Quest arrows now point to the proper locations.
  • Colonel Trillos now has a consistent voice when you accept and turn-in quests.

Economy

  • Fixed a large number of item name and flavor text typos/issues.
  • Fixed many item icon and display bugs.
  • Fixed a few rare items which spawned with no stats attached to them.
  • The Tradeskill Talent UI has been added to the game. Please note this is just a UI currently and not a fully functioning system. A basic outline of the system is explained below so you can play around with it, but please do not report bugs with the system until the full system is added in the future.
    • Players earn talent points by completing elements of their Tradeskill Tech tree (marked with stars in the UI).
    • Talent points can be spent to unlock bonuses for tradeskills, and will also be able to be respec’d.
    • Some talents have tooltips attached to them, but these talents may not function as described. We’ll make an announcement once the system is fully implemented!
  • Cloth Drop Rates have been addressed!
    • Tailors have received a new schematic at each tier level that allows them to convert uncommon drops for common Cloth.
    • Apparel Salvaging gives more cloth now.
    • Cloth drops are now more consistent from salvaging light armor.
  • Salvaging Updates:
    • Armor and weapons will always give at least one crafting material when salvaged.
    • Trash loot is no longer salvageable.
    • Salvage Criticals can drop new Power Amps and Dual Stat Chips.
  • Tradeskill Dropping has been replaced with Tradeskill Swapping. Players who visit the Tradeskill Trainer and select a new Tradeskill will be given the option to swap a current Tradeskill out for a new one. This will cost various amounts of money, depending on the Tradeskill you are switching from as well as the tier reached.
  • Tradeskill Hubs have been spawned and populated in Illium and Farside.
  • Work Order Updates:
    • Work Orders have been added for all tradeskills in Illium and Farside.
    • Fixed a bunch of work order text bugs.
    • Work Orders are now repeatable on a daily basis.
    • Added directional arrows for work order turn-ins.
    • Trainer Tullio should now accept quest turn-ins for Whitevale Dominion work orders.
  • Coordinate Crafting updates:
    • Coordinate crafting sessions will now persist after a disconnect or server crash.
    • Coordinate Crafting Additives have been removed from the world and are solely purchased and used through the coordinate crafting UI.
  • Tradeskill NPCs are now unkillable by players of the opposite faction.
  • Achievements in the Tech Tree that previously read “Complete the Above…” or “Complete the following…” are now updated to accurately say “Complete the preceding…”
  • Novice Armorer Tech Tree has been shuffled around a bit.
  • “Crafting Your First Light Armor” quest now has a quest arrow.
  • High Density Layering Tech in the Apprentice Tailor Tech Tree has been moved over one box.
  • Fixed an issue in Galeras where Assistant Wandersprout suffered from random bouts of narcolepsy
  • Tooltips on Tradeskill Resources have been fixed and now reference the U-Craft Vendbots.
  • All Medishots and Boosts that referred to old stat names have been updated to the new stat names.
  • Outfitter Power Management at the Journeyman, Artisan, and Expert levels now explicitly state that Power Amps must be extracted from medium armor.
  • Trauma Dispersion Tech now tracks items salvaged instead of items crafted.
  • Removed duplicate items from the Drink-O-Matic in the housing area.
  • Changed the lower level BBQ pit ore requirement from Titanium to Platinum.
  • New cooking recipes have been secretly added to Algoroc and Whitevale as rewards, drops, and more. Good luck finding them all!
  • The Commodities Exchange is open for business! The commodities exchange is a part of the auction house that is used to buy and sell commodities such as crafting materials, hobby materials, consumables, and microchips.
    • The Commodities Exchange (half of the future Auction House) has been added to Illium and Thayd.
    • Some locations can have a Commodities Exchange built as a Settler upgrade.
    • Many items have been recategorized so that they show up in the proper place in the Commodities Exchange.
  • Changed the way money drops to be a flatter distribution with a rare bonus drop of extra cash.
  • Coins in the loot piñata will now pop out in multiple single coins, rather than stacks.
  • Coins in the loot piñata can now be picked up by running over them.
  • Made crafting additives for the Technologist much cheaper.
  • Crafting additives are no longer dropped or sold in stores.
  • Fixed a bug where vendors could become unresponsive after walking away from them without closing the UI.
  • Added support for right-clicking to move items in or out of the bank.
  • Items marked as Unique now work as intended.

UI

  • Advanced Video Options are now available to tweak your game’s performance and quality.
  • Raid Frame Updates
    • Raid members can now be added to a “tear-off frame” for tracking specific raid members (and target-of-target functionality).
    • New Buff and Debuff display added.
    • Basic group options integrated into the display.
    • Columns can now be resized by width/length.
  • A new target menu (right click an enemy’s nameplate) adds an option for “Assist” to friendly targets, Alternate Target, and Target-of-Target.
  • Expanded the registration panel and error fields in Circles to account for longer names, and added name check validation so invalid names can’t be sent.
  • New color picker added to Houston that references our color constants and virtual colors, new set of virtual colors added for UI use to start unifying our interfaces.
  • The Datachron is now open by default when entering the Housing plot.
  • Awesome target marker icons have been added. Marking targets can currently be done while in a party either by typing /setmarker [1-9] or by keybinding the functions. Marking through the UI coming soon!
  • Death UI: The resurrect timer now shows tenths of a second.
  • Fixed a bug preventing text floaters from showing when in first-person.

Combat

General

  • The Limited Action Set (LAS) has been expanded to 8 abilities (up from 7).
    • 2 slots now unlock at level 1, and another slot unlocks every level up to level 7.
  • All classes are now able to resurrect allies when out of combat by right-clicking on the player’s body.
    • Related to this, resurrect abilities no longer need to be slotted in the LAS to be used.
  • Creature AI has been re-evaluated and a number of backend changes have been made. Most of these changes will not be immediately visible, however this will allow us to better balance game difficulty across the board in the future.
  • All item specials have received a balance pass and are now either gated by a random percent chance to proc, an internal proc cooldown, or a combination of both. This is to prevent situations where certain milestones (or ability chips) were procing too frequently.
    • Additionally many items specials will now only proc off of direct damage/healing rather than DoT’s and HoT’s.
  • Enemies no longer turn towards you when stunned. (This was most obvious when a Stalker opened combat with a stun from stealth.)
  • Creatures will now aggro less often if you are of a much higher level than the creature.
  • Healing in combat no longer causes the healer to be stuck in combat.
  • Added a check for LAS slots to ensure players may never cast abilities that are not in their LAS bar.
  • Breaking out of an NPC crowd control abilities early will no longer interrupt the NPC’s cast.
  • Dying due to falling damage will no longer put you in a bad location.
  • When accepting a Caster Resurrect, players now resurrect at the caster’s location when they cast the spell. (This allows a caster to logout and not get the dead player stuck.)

Esper

  • Blade Dance
    • The area in which the damage is dealt is now more accurate to the telegraph shape.
    • Fixed a bug that was allowing Blade Dance to hit more than 5 enemies.
    • Blade Dance is now interrupted by other spell casting.
    • Reduced the duration to 3 seconds down from 5 seconds.
    • No longer a Focus Consumer, this now immediately grants 1 Focus Point at the start of the cast and another once it completes.
  • Bolster
    • Now Generates a Focus Point at the start of the cast.
    • Now ignores the Global Cooldown.
    • Now has 2 Ability Charges.
    • Can now stack up to two times.
    • Increased the Mana cost to 40 (up from 25).
    • Increased the heal to 32% Support Power each tick, up from 25%.
  • Concentrated Blade
    • Now ignores the global cooldown and does not trigger it.
  • Collective Will
    • This has been swapped for Mental Boon.
    • Instantly heals the caster and 4 party members within 25 meters. The amount of healing done is increased per Focus Point spent. Consumes all Focus Points.
  • Crush
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
  • Dislodge Essence
    • New Ability: Level 34 – Hits the closest enemy within a line ahead of the caster, dealing [100% Support Power] damage every 3 seconds for 6 seconds. Each time the enemy takes damage from this spell, 3 of the caster’s allies within 8m of the enemy have [100% Support Power] health restored. Generates a Focus Point if used in combat.
  • Fade Out
    • No longer drops threat.
  • Haunt
    • Reduced the cast time to 1.25 seconds (down from 1.5 seconds).
  • Incapacitate
    • New ability – Deals [85% Assault Power] damage to the 3 closest enemies in a line ahead of the caster and Subdues them for 10 seconds.
  • Mirage
    • New icon!
    • Increased the cast time to 1.25 seconds (up from 1 second).
    • Reduced the Mana cost to 80, down from 100.
  • Phantasmal Armor
    • When the Absorption effect has ended the interrupt armor is now removed.
  • Phantom Swarm
    • Increased the hit points on the Phantoms by 250%.
    • Increased the cooldown to 12 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
    • Increased the damage dealt to 55% Assault Power (up from 50%).
  • Projected Spirit
    • No longer builds a Focus Point.
  • Shockwave
    • Reduced Shockwaves Snare to 40% (down from 50%).
    • Increased the duration to 8 seconds (up from 6 seconds).
  • Soothe
    • Now generates a Focus Point instantly.
  • Spectral Frenzy
    • Increased the cast time to 1.25 seconds (up from 1 second).
    • Increased the damage by 15%.
  • Telekinetic Strike
    • Now Snares movement speed by 40% (down from 60%).
    • Added an 8 second Cooldown.
    • Increased the cast time to 2 seconds (up from 1.5 seconds).
    • Increased the damage to 180% Assault Power (up from 90% Assault Power).
  • Telekinetic Storm
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • This has been made in to a Freeform Targeted spell that will explode at the first target it hits or at the end of the telegraph length if no target is hit.

Stalker

  • General
    • Suit Power should no longer be listed as Adrenaline in tooltips.
  • Stealth
    • The Algoroc Loftite Buff no longer breaks the Stalker out of Stealth.
    • Housing buffs should no longer break the Stalker out of Stealth.
    • If you enter Stealth while Partial Stealth is active, Partial Stealth is consumed and its cooldown is reset.
  • Milestones
    • The Stalker’s Tech Tier 5 Milestone “Last Stand” is now fully implemented. If the Stalker were to take damage that would kill him he becomes invulnerable for 4 seconds and regenerates 250% Technology per second for 4 seconds.
    • Fixed a bug that was causing Blood Rush to target invalid nearby enemies and tag them.
    • The Stalker’s Tech Tier 2 Milestone “Don’t Call it a Comeback” is now summoned when the Stalker takes damage that would put him below 35% health.
    • The damage done from “Don’t Call it a Comeback” is now based off of Technology.
  • Analyze Weakness
    • Any Support ability that would deal damage now properly procs the damage from Analyze Weakness.
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • Reduced the Suit Power Regen duration to 4 seconds (down from 8).
    • Increased the regeneration rate to 75% (up from 50%) for the Stealth Bonus.
  • Clone
    • Vortex Sweep now properly interrupts enemy creature’s telegraphs.
    • The damage done on the Clone abilities now matches the amount listed in the tooltip.
    • The Clone’s pounce no longer ignores Line of Sight.
  • Collapse
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
  • Emergency Stealth
    • New Ability – The Stalker dashes backward and Stealths, removing all current threat. This Stealth can’t be broken by damage but has a limited duration.
  • False Retreat
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • Now deals 88% Support and 88% Assault power in damage instead of 175% Support Power.
  • Frenzy
    • Fixed a bug that was causing Frenzy to drain twice the intended amount of Suit Power.
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • The Deflect Chance is now a flat 20% increase and no longer scales off the Stalker’s Support Power.
    • Increased the Range to 8 meters (up from 6 meters).
  • Maelstrom
    • New Ability – Spin wildly throwing disks at the 5 closest enemies within 10 meters, dealing 50% Support Power in damage and taunting for 9 seconds.
  • Nano Field
    • Reduced the range to 8m (down from 10m).
    • New Stealth Bonus: Restores shields when used.
    • Will now properly trigger the Global Cooldown on the second press.
  • Neutralize
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • The Disarm has been changed to a Subdue.
    • Increased the range to 6 meters (up from 5 meters).
    • Increased the cooldown to 20 seconds (up from 8).
  • Overload
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • Now has a From Behind effect that makes each tick of the DoT critically hit.
    • Phlebotomizing Missile
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • Now has a From Behind effect that applies a debuff which increases the damage your target takes by 5%.
    • Increased the healing reduction to 50% (up from 40%).
    • Decreased the range to 15 meters (down from 25 meters).
  • Pounce
    • When in Stealth, Pounce properly highlights the ability (to show the available Stealth Bonus).
    • This has been switched to a Freeform Targeted ability. The Stalker will Pounce to the 1st enemy struck, and if no enemy is hit the Stalker will travel the full distance.
    • Reduced the width to 3 meters (down from 4 meters).
  • Quick Slash
    • No longer generates Suit Power when the Stalker doesn’t hit an enemy.
  • Razor Disk
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • Now applies a 15% armor debuff to targets that are hit.
    • Now has a Stealth Bonus that increases the duration of the debuff to 10 seconds.
  • Reaver
    • Reduced the Taunt duration to 4 seconds (down from 8 seconds).
    • Added a 25 Suit Power cost.
    • Now has a Stealth bonus that gives a Support Power buff and increases the Taunt duration to 8 seconds.
  • Staggering Strike
    • This ability no longer ignores Line of Sight.
    • The Stealth Bonus has been switched to a From Behind positional bonus.
  • Tether Mine
    • Now scales with both Support and Assault Power. The explosion deals 20% Assault and 20% Support Power each tick, down from 50% Assault power.
    • Increased the mine duration to 45 seconds.
    • Increased the recharge time to 45 seconds.
  • Whiplash
    • Reduced the Suit Power generation to 10 (down from 12).
    • Now reduces enemies’ Physical, Tech and Magic defenses by 5% per stack.
    • Reduced the range to 8 meters (down from 10 meters).

Warrior

  • General
    • All Kinetic Cell consuming abilities now either consume 1-2 Kinetic Cells or 2-3 Kinetic Cells. This means that certain abilities can be used with a single cell but are more powerful when used with two cells. In general all 2-3 Cell consumers have higher burst damage than 1-2 cell consumers to account for the additional build time.
    • Fixed a bug that was causing the Unfair Advantage Milestone to not fire.
    • Reduced the height of Leap by half, to prevent issues where players could leap onto the pillars in the arena.
    • Fixed a bug with “To the Pain” that was causing players to be un-killable with 1 health.
  • Breaching Strikes
    • New Ability. This has replaced Charged Strike as the alternate spammer for the DPS spec. Using this ability will deal damage to enemies in a frontal cone twice and will debuff the Armor of enemies.
    • Augmented Blade (formerly Unrelenting Shout)
    • This will now auto fire when you reach the max charged time.
    • The duration of the heal debuff was reduced to 8 seconds (down from 10).
    • The cooldown now increases if the ability is charged: 6 second base CD, 12 seconds fully charged.
  • Charged Strike
    • This ability has been redesigned to be a high impact builder with a short cooldown. This is particularly useful to use when you want to generate a lot of Kinetic Energy or to initiate encounters.
    • The range was reduced to 6 meters, now hits enemies in a cone and auto fires at max charge time.
    • The damage done is now 70% when tapping the ability, 170% at the first charge, and 205% Assault Power fully charged.
    • This also now generates 50, 100, and 150 Kinetic Energy for the respective tiers.
  • Plasma Saw
    • This ability was redesigned to no longer be a Cell consumer but rather a medium impact builder with a short cooldown.  The goal was to provide some abilities to break up the the Relentless Strikes spam and this ability can be used to finish building a half full Cell and apply decent burst damage.
    • This now deals 100% Assault Power damage plus 20% Assault power damage every second for 8 seconds and has an 8 second cooldown. This also builds 50 Kinetic Energy.
  • Wallop
    • This no longer disarms enemies, instead it applies a debuff that reduces the Strikethrough chance of enemies.
    • To compensate for this change the cooldown has been reduced to 10 seconds (down from 45 seconds).
  • Savage Strikes
    • This is now a 1-2 cell consumer and no longer has Rapid Tap functionality, no longer scales the player, and no longer applies a damage aura. Instead this ability has been repurposed as a more simplified burst damage ability that is specifically useful when there are 3 or less enemies or when you are facing low health and or vulnerable enemies.
    • Deals 80% Assault Power damage twice at 1 Cell.
    • Deals 160% Assault Power damage twice at 2 Cells.
  • Whirlwind
    • Now consumes 2-3 Kinetic Cells.
    • Deals 54% Assault Power damage every half second at 2 Cells.
    • Deals 75% Assault Power damage every half second at 3 Cells.
  • Kick
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
  • Cannon Volley
    • New Ability! This ability is an alternate spammer for the Tank spec. It is a short cast time cannon shot that shoots enemies in a line. The ability can be pressed twice more instantly to fire off two additional shots.
    • Guarded Strikes (formerly Menacing Strikes)
    • This ability no longer generates Kinetic Energy at a faster pace than Relentless Strikes.
    • Additionally this ability now applies a stacking Armor buff to the Warrior.
    • The range was reduced to 8 meters (down from 10).
  • Plasma Blast
    • Fixed an issue that was preventing Kinetic Energy from being built if you only hit targets farther than melee range.
    • The cooldown for this ability has been reduced to 12 seconds (down from 20).
  • Bolstering Strike
    • This is a 1-2 Cell consumer.
    • The range has been increased the range to 8 meters (up from 6).
    • This no longer restores Shield Capacity per target hit.
    • The amount of Shields restored regardless of targets hit has been increased but will now only restore Shields if an enemy is hit by the ability.
    • Now hits 5 targets instead of 3.
    • Now does the following:
      • 1 Cell: 125% Support Power Damage and 100% Support Power Shield Restore.
      • 2 Cells: 200% Support Power Damage and 160% Support Power Shield Restore.
  • Defense Grid
    • This is a 2-3 Cell consumer.
    • The damage reduction values have been modified and allies of the Warrior will receive the same damage reduction buff that the Warrior receives.
    • Now reduces damage the following values:
      • 1 Cell: 30% Reduced Damage.
      • 2 Cells: 50% Reduced Damage.
  • Plasma Wall
    • New Ability! This is a 2-3 Cell consumer.
    • This ability functions similarly to Whirlwind in that it will deal damage to enemies every half second while the button is held down. Plasma Wall however only deals damage to enemies in a frontal arc in front of the Warrior.
    • Additionally the Warrior gains a damage reduction buff while Plasma Wall is active, however if the Warrior is attacked twice from behind the buff is lost.
  • Emergency Reserves
    • The tooltip now correctly displays how much Interrupt Armor is granted.
  • Plasma Shield
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
    • Interrupt gained reduced to 3 (down from 5).
  • Plasma Pulse
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
  • Flash Bang
    • This ability is no longer a targeted ability and will instead blind enemies in a circle offset 12 meters ahead of the Warrior.
    • The duration of the blind effect has been reduced to 5 seconds (down from 8).
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
  • Plasma Whip
    • This ability is no longer a targeted ability and will instead pull the two closest enemies in a line.
    • This no longer shares a cooldown with Leap.
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
    • Now deals Support Power damage rather than Assault Power.
  • Relentless Strikes
    • This now deals slightly more damage, 60% Assault Power per strike (up from 50%).
  • Leap
    • This ability is no longer a targeted ability and will instead leap the warrior forward 20 meters forward or to the nearest enemy, knocking them down.
    • With either method when the Warrior lands they will deal AE damage.
    • The cooldown of this ability has been reduced to 25 seconds (down from 30) and no longer shares a cooldown with Plasma Whip.
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
  • Atomic Spear
    • This ability has been redesigned to be a medium impact builder with a short cooldown.
    • This now hits enemies in an 8 meter cone and snares all enemies hit with a cooldown of 10 seconds.
  • Bum Rush
    • No longer generates Kinetic Energy.
  • Unstoppable Force
    • New Ability! This ability breaks the Warrior free from all CC effects and grants immunity to CC effects for 5 seconds.
    • This ability ignores GCD and has a 60 second cooldown.

Spellslinger

  • Milestones
    • Milestones have been updated so they work correctly on initial application and login.
    • Homeward Bound
      • This milestone is now fully implemented.
    • Sprinter
      • Proc time decreased to 4.0 seconds (down from 6.0 seconds).
    • Stolen Breath
      • Now only affects targets actively casting instead of applying at all times.
  • Affinity (formerly Focus Target)
    • Now available at level 34 (up from level 20).
  • Arcane Infusion
    • Now triggers the Global Cooldown.
  • Call the Void
    • Now triggers the Global Cooldown.
  • Cone of Frost
    • Root no longer has a chance to break on damage.
  • Gather Mana
    • New Ability!
    • Restores 150 mana after a 2.0 second cast, but causes all healing done by the caster to be reduced by 50% for 4.0 seconds.
    • Available at level 20.
  • Healing Torrent
    • Reduced the number of cast tiers from 5 to 2.
    • Mana cost increase per tier is now 20 (up from 6).
  • Mobile Fire (formerly Precision Fire)
    • Now fires 3 shots instead of a long charge up to a single shot.
    • Telegraph narrowed and double damage area removed.
    • Now increases player movement speed by 25% (up from 15%) but only during the ability’s 1.0 second channel time.
  • Rapid Fire
    • Damage increased slightly from .233 to .24 for each shot.
  • Spatial Shift
    • Now available at level 22 (up from level 14).
    • Cooldown increased from 30.0 seconds to 40.0 seconds.
  • True Shot
    • Now available at level 14 (down from level 22).
    • Icon now properly indicates the spell cannot be cast while moving.
  • Vitality Burst
    • Icon now properly indicates the spell cannot be cast while moving.
  • Void Slip
    • Absorption effect has been removed.
    • Cooldown reduced from 120.0 seconds to 60.0 seconds.

PvP

General

  • Players who enter Battlegrounds/Arenas while mounted will now be properly dismounted.
  • Added spell prereq and cooldowns to Wobbly Bastard Bitter Ale to address a PvP griefing mechanic.
  • Removed same faction vs. same faction matching for Battlegrounds, so we can get some faction rivalry going. GO EXILES AND/OR DOMINION!
  • PvP matches with team size 5 and under will now show the team in a group frame instead of a raid frame.
  • Increased the match notification message timeout from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

Ratings

  • The default PvP player rating is now 1200.
  • Reduced the acceptable threshold for player/team matching. If there are no players/teams within an acceptable ratings range for the player/team to be matched against, the team will not be matched and remain in queue until an opponent, who is within the threshold, arrives in the queue.
  • Ratings for Arena teams are now visible in Group Finder, when clicking on your team under the My Arena Team and Info section in the Arenas dropdown.
  • The character’s personal Arena rating is now visible in Group Finder (in italics under the team name) under the My Arena Team and Info section in the Arenas dropdown.
  • The character’s personal Battleground rating is now visible in the Battlegrounds dropdown in Group Finder.

Prestige

  • Prestige, WildStar’s PvP currency, is now in the game. You can see your Prestige total by clicking on the currency section of your Inventory. Currently, there is nothing to purchase using Prestige, so please be patient with us while we generate PvP rewards!
  • Prestige is capped at 5000. Players who hit the cap will not be able to earn any more Prestige.
  • Prestige is now gained when killing another player.
  • Players will now receive Prestige upon match completion.
  • Winning team members will now receive bonus Prestige upon match completion.

Arena

  • 2v2 and 3v3 Arenas are now available for testing at level 36!
  • 3v3 Arenas have been changed to level 36 to reflect the new beta level cap.
  • Added VO for defeat/win.
  • Arena team captains who decline invites will no longer lose the ability to queue the team.
  • Arena matches with 0 respawns remaining will no longer be open to exploits to stall the match.

Battlegrounds

General

  • Added scaling XP rewards for match participation and match win for all Battlegrounds.
  • Added scaling money rewards for all Battlegrounds.
  • Increased the amount of experience granted for Battleground objectives.
  • The unrated Battleground brackets have been adjusted. The new brackets for this round of beta are:
    • 3-14 (Walatiki Temple)
    • 15-24 (Walatiki Temple and Halls of the Bloodsworn)
    • 25-36 (Walatiki Temple and Halls of the Bloodsworn)

 

Rated Battlegrounds

  • Rated Battlegrounds have been added! For testing purposes, no brackets are being used for Rated Battlegrounds in this round of beta. Players can queue at the following levels (and will be matched based on their individual rating):
    • Walatiki Temple: 3-36
    • Halls of the Bloodsworn: 15-36
  • To queue in a Rated Battleground, open Group Finder, choose “Rated Battlegrounds” from the dropdown, choose an available game, and click on the “Join the Fight” button.

Halls of the Bloodsworn

  • NEW BATTLEGROUND: Halls of the Bloodsworn!
    • This is a “Hold the Line” attack/defend style Battleground, with two teams taking turns attempting to capture or defend points on the map.
    • Each of the three rooms in the Hall has a primary control point and two secondaries. Control of the secondary control points provides a capture bonus for the attacking team or removes the attackers capture bonus for the defending team.
    • When the game starts, the attacking team has 20 minutes to capture all three primary control points.
      • If the attackers fail to capture all three points in the allotted time, the second round begins and the teams switch roles. The new attacking team must capture more control points than the defenders, or have captured the same amount of control points faster than the defenders to win.
      • If the attackers capture all three points, the second round begins and the teams switch roles. The new attacking team must capture all three points faster than the defenders.
    • Halls of the Bloodsworn first unlocks at level 15, and is available up through the level cap.
  • Players capturing secondary control points will receive Prestige and XP when the point is captured.
  • All players on a team will receive a small XP and prestige reward when the primary control points are captured.

Walatiki Temple

  • “Moodie Jungle” has been renamed to “Walatiki Temple”.
  • Increased the powerup respawn timer from 30-45 seconds to 30-60 seconds.
  • Increased the neutral mask spawn timer from every 10-ish seconds to 15-ish seconds.
  • Fleshed out achievements for capturing and stealing masks. There are now additional achievements to encourage more capturing/stealing after the first achievement is completed.
  • Added a Meta Moodie achievement for players who capture a mask while wearing Tamolo’s mask.
  • Added teleporters in each spawn room to provide an additional exit in case of spawn camping. The teleporters have a 20 second cast time.
  • Removed collision on plants.
  • Mask carriers and players assisting the carrier (within 20m at time of capture) will receive Prestige when the mask is captured.

Group Finder

General

  • Kel Voreth and Stormtalon are now only visible in Group Finder once the player reaches level 20.
  • Parties formed outside of instances are now remembered and stored if a player solo queues through the Group Finder.
    • A solo player in a Battleground can still communicate with his open-world party via /party (/p), and can talk to his Battleground party via /instance (or /i).
    • After leaving the instance, the player will rejoin his party in the open world.
  • (Dungeons Only) Group Finder groups now have a designated group leader. The group leader can invite players into the group if there are empty spots due to players leaving, however they have no ability to kick or set other types of permissions (loot, instance).
  • (Dungeons Only) Players are now able to leave a dungeon instance while in a Group Finder group. To teleport back to the instance, open Group Finder and click the “Teleport to Instance” button.

Finding Replacements in Dungeons

  • Group Finder can now be initiated to find replacements by the group leader when players drop from a dungeon group.
  • Players have the ability to change their role before queuing for replacements.

Votekicking in Dungeons

  • Votekicking has been added to group functionality.
  • Players can type /votekick <name> to initiate a vote. (You can also target the player and just type /votekick, too!)
  • Other party members will be able to vote to kick the member from their instance.
  • If the votekick succeeds, the player will be removed from the instance and the party will be placed into the replacement queue.

Dungeons

Stormtalon

  • The initial Pell pull no longer drops loot.
  • Creature base levels have been raised to 20.
  • Spore Coating should now properly proc on enemies after collecting Corrupted Stem Samples.
  • Stormtalon now correctly pauses until the cinematic is finished before starting the fight.
  • Aethros’ Interrupt Armor has been reduced to 2 (down from 3) during his Tempest.
  • Thundercall Acolytes should no longer return to neutral after leaving the instance and returning.

Skullcano

  • Fixed an issue where the Skullcano map would not always properly display
  • Creature base levels have been raised to 35.
  • Stew-Shaman Tugga
    • Increased health.
    • Molten Rain – damage reduced.
    • Blast Force – damage increased.
    • Arcane Bolt – damage reduced.
    • Devour Flesh – healing reduced.
    • Instead of Disarming, Tugga will Subdue players.
    • Magma Totems no longer regenerate health in combat.
    • No longer receives a Damage and Scale buff from Devour Flesh.
    • Tugga’s default size has been increased.
    • Moved a creature group farther away from Stew-Shaman Tugga.
  • Thunderfoot
    • Increased health.
    • Swipe – damage increased.
    • Swipe’s auto-attack damage numbers should no longer display 1.4 seconds after the damage is taken.
    • Spore Cloud – damage increased by 100%.
    • Players can now avoid the Seismic Tremor by jumping at the proper time.
  • Bosun Octog
    • Increased health.
    • Swipe – damage reduced.
    • Monkey Drop Pod – damage increased.
    • Added encounter wall to the fight.
    • Reduced the number of ink shield phases from 3 to 2.
    • Reduced the number and spawn rate of squirgs during the Ink Shield phase by 50%.
    • Squirgs in the dance phase now apply blind instead of disorient.
    • Scab now correctly flies away when the encounter begins.
  • Mordechai Redmoon
    • Increased health.
    • Cross Shot – damage increased.
    • Combustion – damage increased.
    • Turrets properly despawn when Mordechai is defeated.
    • Raised the Terraformer beam to discourage players from trying to jump it.
    • Made the Molten Gold puddles jumpable.
  • Redmoon Gold Guardian
    • Cleave should now actually do damage.
  • Redmoon Quartermaster (renamed to Quartermaster Gruh)
    • Kneecap – damage reduced.
    • Now will always spawn.
    • This optional objective is always available (not randomly selected).
    • Doubled his health (in the 200k range now) so he feels more like a miniboss.
  • Molten Chasm Path
    • Laveka should no longer be floating above her platforms.
  • Skullcano has music now!
  • Improved spawn spacing, density, and patrol paths.
  • Mushroom hazards in act 1 are no longer susceptible to any forms of CC.
  • Redmoon Jailor
    • The “Enslave” Spell is now single-target (Telegraph has been removed).
  • Redmoon Prisoners now use a simple Telegraph attack.
  • Redmoon Gold Hoarder
    • The “Debilitating Barrage” debuffs will now be more obvious: added a slow effect, visual effects, and places you in combat.
  • Redmoon Medic has been renamed to Redmoon Necromancer.
  • Freed prisoners now run the correct way when released.
  • Redmoon Marauders can no longer damage prisoners.

 

Kel Voreth

  • Mobs walking up ramps should no longer path through terrain.
  • All creature levels have been raised to 20.
  • Grond
    • Increased Grond’s hit radius to match his character model.
    • Players should no longer be able to pull Grond before his wave.
  • Slavemaster Drokk
    • Added a boss encounter wall.
  • Blinded Kel Voreth Slavers now correctly use their telegraphs.
  • Enslaved Augmentors should now use their telegraphs.
  • Forgemaster Trogun
    • Players can now jump over the Seismic Stomp ground fields.
    • Moved the journal next to Trogun off the anvil (where it was nigh-unreachable).
    • Switched Trogun’s ‘clobber’ to use the correct wound animation.
    • Trogun’s Hammer of Wrath no longer causes NPCs (Pets, Scanbots, etc.) to be Disarmed.
    • Added a boss encounter wall.

Audio

  • Whitevale: Turned down the music volume in Redmoon’s Dockyard.
  • Fixed the Character Creation music so it no longer skips when loading into the game world.
  • Northern Wilds’ cinematics now have voiceover.
  • Voiceover for challenges, achievements, and mission discoveries no longer play on top of each other.
  • Voiceovers will no longer interrupt themselves when clicking through dialogue, so that you can listen to the whole line while moving forward with quest prompts.

WildStar Uplink Analysis: How do you plan to use your house?

WildStar Uplink Analysis: How do you plan to use your house?

WildStar Uplink is a bi-weekly conversation we hold with our fans about MMO design, philosophy, and news. The main goal of these conversations is to gauge how important certain issues are to the WildStar community. More than just a simple conversation, we ask questions about topics that are important, and we share your responses with the development team directly. Want to participate? Follow @Team_WildStar on Twitter for the weekly question, participate using #WSuplink, and keep an eye on the community team (CRB_AtreidCRB_Aether, and CRB_Scooter) to interact with us throughout the discussions.

 

This Uplink topic was: Player Housing is something we’re very excited about, but how do you plan to use your house on Nexus? Let’s take a look at some of your many tweets!

But before this, we could not pass up on this timely coincidence:

Zilvoran: Going to build a rowsdower plushie fort in it, because Rowsdowers and forts are cool.

Meanwhile in the studio, one of our Devs was creating this (we cannot show you the outside of the house but it was meant to protect that shrine :))

coreycrimzen: As a guild leader I want to make my house the “go to” spot for guild hangouts and meet ups on raid night 🙂

Toph_Monster: Social gathering for guild, social gathering for friends, place to craft and such, and a great RP hub!

Chief_Sarcan: let’s not forget the crazy bbq parties. Didn’t you say you had the inside scoop on the Protostar Beer Distributor?

babycorn81: Farm living is the life for me! Excited about all you can do not only with your house but land as well!

mrpixelcrash: My house will have a hunting lodge interior, with some alchemy lab “secret” areas. Embarrassing amounts of time in the garden, too

MassFragg: social hang out for the guild mates! Raid portals, crafting tables, mining and farming nodes, you name it!

NicciFlowers: I’m thinking a dance studio for one character’s house, maybe a toy store for another!

Zanzibuster: I would love to trick out my pad like a Wild West saloon and have it open to all comers. Hoping for a giant mirror

Warslyfe :Think trophy room in Predator 2, but less smoke machine… and more alcohol!

UNDERZZZZZ: Aside from being my own pad. I want all PVE related conveniences for my house. But will they be necessary to be competitive?

Lsyn: As a Mechari I will use my house as a torture room. I will also organize parties there.

GregoireHRCA: Huhuhu… Like a good member of Dominion I will exhibit my multiples trophies and show off my superiority!!!

Myno29: My House? Some awesome place when it comes to Space-party BBQ!

ATipiak: A Pantheon to honour our creators the Eldans.

GilgameshD: I will organize illegal fighting tournament to earn tons of cash or maybe just fish like an old man.

roga9869: An high-tech and contemporary house, filled with heads I will display as trophies.

Marchebrume: Crafting and gathering resources, but if it’s possible to also have puzzle jump or a maze, I’d really like that too!

 

Housing being the realm of our Social Systems team, who would better answer your questions (or rather statements) than the Social Systems Team Lead, Joseph Piepiora? And so, listen what he has to say about this topic:

The one message we get loud and clear from our fans is this: “We love housing!” It would be easy to sit back, shining our knuckles on our smoking jackets whilst simultaneously patting ourselves on the back. “Next feature!” We’d proclaim, pushing Player Housing aside, never to be examined again. Damn, that would be so easy.

That doesn’t ever seem to happen though as the social systems team is pretty hyper about housing. We talk about it every day, whether it’s an engineer bringing forward a tool improvement, an artist showing off some new decor or a designer working on fresh gameplay for a plug. Were we not able to work on housing in Wildstar I think we’d be the ones exchanging ideas on forums about the stuff we want in MMO housing.

Player housing means a lot of things to different people. As you can see above though, there are some basic trends. Players demand agency in the customization and decoration of their homes. This shouldn’t serve as much of a surprise to anyone, but I want to call it out. It’s our goal to ensure that if you want to build something unique that it’s within your grasp. We regularly review our décor schedule to determine whether or not we have enough options for different types of props. I had a meeting about flatware last week. We get pretty granular with this stuff, sometimes.

Players also want to know that their home can serve as a hub for their friends and guildmates. Whether they’re coming for the amenities, in order to engage in some plug challenges or just to chat we are working hard to make that easy. This conversation affects all parts of housing. Now that we’ve included our first pass of neighbors in beta, we’ll be reviewing the feedback and make tweaks where necessary to make this a totally viable option.

If you’ve been following housing closely, you’re probably aware of many of the features of the system already. What then can I use this time for but to tell you brand new things? Well, brand new to you. I mean… we’ve known about these things for a while. I’m ruining this, I’m sorry.

First, let’s get some neat housing customization stuff out of the way. We’ve recently added a new option to housing, interior and exterior lighting customization! Now, we’ve had lamps, torches and other sundry devices for some time, they cast shadows and such, but we’ve never allowed home owners to customize the ambient lighting of a house. Now we can, on a room by room basis. As an example, check out my ritual nook, it’s using our very dark ambience.

Now I’ve made mention of Expeditions in passing in a couple of places on the webz, but now I’d like to show you a picture of one. For the uninitiated, an Expedition is a type of plug that you can put on your property that connects to a scaled group instance. The one I have pictured below is the Graylight Grapplefest, a notorious fight club. In it the players are tasked with defeating foes inside the spotlights in order to get the maximum points per kill. Winners are awarded with Renown and unique housing trophies.

When we create housing content we’re really looking bring you and your friends together. We don’t necessarily want to keep you here forever though, there’s an awfully enormous Nexus for you to explore after all! That said we typically aim our Expeditions to be about twenty minutes in length, serving as a challenging bite-sized encounter.

I mentioned Renown above, it’s a social currency we use. It’s awarded whenever a player completes content on their housing property or groups up with others to complete content anywhere in the game. In this way we provide players who don’t enjoy grouping a method of generating renown on their housing property, but also incent them to take that step to try out a group here and there. Renown is used to purchase a variety of housing-related items, as well as some other interesting rewards.

Why do emphasize content as well as cosmetic customization options? In general we want you to feel like housing is not just a place you go to drop off your newest collectable and then ignore. We want you to be interested in things on your housing property, and to feel like there are a variety of unique rewards to earn through housing.

We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of positive feedback on what we’ve shown already. The fans have spoken, and they’re passionate about housing. You want to carve out a home on Nexus, you want to decorate it however you want with as few restrictions placed upon you as we can manage. You want to reap the benefits of the time you invest with your property. You want interesting and unique gameplay. You want amenities, but you don’t want them to feel mandatory in order to see progress in either PVE or PVP. These are the things we’re bearing in mind as we continue our work.

In summary: I assure you, we’re listening.

 

Bitwise and Packetdancer talk WildStar UI Add-ons

Bitwise and Packetdancer talk WildStar UI Add-ons

Jon “Bitwise” Wiesman is the UI Architect of Apollo and the Lead Client Engineer for WildStar. He’s also the Nicest Guy at Carbine, and the Black Rowsdower of Carbine, titles which he has given himself while everyone else just smiles and nods.

Hello, WildStar fans! It’s been an exciting couple months here at Carbine as we are finally seeing actual players in our closed beta. But as fun as it is to make MMOs, the real excitement is seeing other people play them. All our hard work has finally been paying off as we watch our beta testers swarm all over Nexus.

Even so, two weeks ago was especially exciting for those of us on the UI team, because we were paid a visit by our very first beta Addon creator. For those of you who have been following WildStar, you know that UI customization/modification is one of the key features that we think is essential to WildStar’s success. We are so committed to this philosophy that we are including a fully-featured Addon development tool with every installation of WildStar. The UI engine, called Apollo, and that tool, called Houston, not only allow you to easily create your own Addons to extend WildStar’s UI, but it also gives players full access to all of the Carbine-authored source code, and even allows players to completely replace our UI with their own.

Development on Houston is still ongoing, and the documentation for it is sparse, but when it came time to release CBT1 to our first round of beta testers, it was important to me that we included what we had, so that we could get it out to our beta testers ASAP. We didn’t draw too much attention to it, but we suspected (and hoped) that at least some of our first beta testers would find it and start experimenting.

My hopes were confirmed (and surpassed) when, within about five hours of the release of CBT1, a tester named PacketDancer uploaded the very first WildStar user-created Addon to our forums. That first Addon was called YoGuRT, which stood for Your GRoup Tool, and it added a basic friends list to the game (at the time, ours was still very much a work-in-progress). PacketDancer has gone on to become one of our most prolific Addon developers, uploading Addons like Journalism, Eventuality, RocketPig, and even a role-playing library called RPCore. She has taken a leadership role on the forums, helping out other Addon developers with their questions and even documenting some of the less obvious API libraries in Apollo.

Because this feature is so important to us, we wanted to do more than just say nice things to PacketDancer on our forum, so we invited her to come down and spend a couple days with us here at the Carbine fun ranch. It was a real treat for me personally to meet someone who was as excited about making Addons as I was about making it possible. PacketDancer didn’t waste the opportunity, providing me with a long list of features and changes that she would like to see in Apollo, and even sharing some of her plans for future Addons.

Those of you who have read my previous WildStar Wednesday post or heard my interview on Mog Nation’s WildCast know how passionate I am about the idea of Addons for MMORPGs. What I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for the last seven years is that this idea of democratizing (that word’s much easier to write than say!) the ability to modify the game, coupled with an active community of both modders and users, brings huge added value to the entire game experience. As Addon developers upload their Addons to the community, we will see all sorts of wild and crazy and brilliant ideas (some of which will be awful!) and eventually the best of those ideas will rise to the top and may even become integrated with the base UI. It will make the game better for everyone, even those who never want to bother with installing Addons themselves.

In just a few short weeks of our closed beta, we have already seen evidence that supports this theory. The community has been fantastic, not only uploading all sorts of great Addons, but vetting those Addons, listing them, and even supporting the other Addon authors in how to make their Addons better. It really is the realization of a vision for us here at Carbine, and for me personally. I am so excited and humbled by what the community has already done, and even more excited about what they will accomplish post-launch, which is coming up in [REDACTED]! (I tease!)

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve got to get back to making this game so even more people can play it and make cool Addons for it. If you’d like to chat more, you can follow me on twitter @jonwiesman.