WildStar Wednesday: State Of The Beta

Big changes to WildStar’s player progression and questing systems are making their way to beta!

Feeling a bit out of the WildStar beta loop? Well fear not, because this week, in WildStar Wednesday, Carbine’s Lead Creative Designer, Mike Donatelli, addressed the community about the current state of the WildStar beta. Carbine is making some pretty significant changes to some key systems in the game from questing to character progression so let’s dive in and see what’s in store.

Player Choice And Character Progression

Mike Donatelli starts off by breaking down some of the feedback that players have been giving in terms of character progression; specifically the “Milestone” system in game.

“We’ve gone through two iterations of the Milestone system so far, but we never really spoke about it publicly because it wasn’t in a place we were happy with. The first version allowed you to slot passive abilities alongside your active abilities, but were tied to hitting certain stat thresholds to unlock them. The second version removed the “slotting” and simply unlocked more milestones as your stats increased. Long story short, the system was purely gear-based, and players didn’t like that their character had no progression on its own.”

For those who aren’t too familiar with what the Milestone system is, allow me to give you the simple version. Essentially the WildStar Milestone system allows your character to gain passive bonuses as you level up and gain higher stats. The Milestone system is broken down into different “perk trees” if you will, that correspond to the different main stats in game (Brutality, Grit, Finesse, Moxie, Insight, Tech). As you reach certain thresholds for a stat you will gain passive bonuses that synergize with what that stat does for your character.

For example, if I’m a character that focuses on DPS, then maybe I want brutality as one of my main stats. With the Milestone system, once I hit a certain number of that stat–let’s say 100 Brutality–then I’ll receive a passive bonus that may give me an added damage over time effect when I hit an enemy. If I’m playing a healing role, then I may want to hit certain thresholds in Insight which will most likely grant me passives that make my healing abilities stronger and more useful.

While the bonuses you get vary from class to class, they are automatically acquired once you’ve reached a specific stat threshold. And aside from leveling up, most stats acquired come from gear which, as Mike Donatelli stated, is where most of the players seemed to have an issue with the system, according to beta feedback.

Resultantly, it looks like the team at Carbine is upholding its “The devs are listening” assurance and has already completed a new Milestone system for the game based on player feedback.

“The Combat team has been working on a design of a new player progression system which allows you to customize your character’s development as you level through the game. It’s a little early to reveal any details about the new system, but the design of it has been completed and is moving on to the implementation stages.”

Killing the kill 10 rats quests

The next big system that seems to be getting a revamp is the current WildStar mob tagging and quest credit systems. Since the dawn of RPG’s the “Kill X of Y” quests have been prevalent in many questing systems across a wide-span of games throughout the genre. Well this next change Carbine intends to make will drastically change how questing works in WildStar.

“Our solution to this hotly debated topic is by far the biggest change we’ve got planned, and it will fundamentally change the entire quest system in our game. After taking a step back and evaluating our current questing system, we’ve come up with a redesign that we believe addresses the concerns our players have expressed about the current quest/tagging system while remaining true to the vision of WildStar.”

So what’s changing you ask? First, Carbine is removing all of the numerical quest objectives from the game and replacing them with a quest completion bar. Farewell to the “Kill X of Y quests” or the “collect X amount of animal butts quests.” With this new completion bar your quest progress will be based on the amount of XP that you earn while doing the quest. Killing bigger monsters–while slower–will fill your quest completion bar faster, due to them granting more XP than their smaller and easier counterparts.

Is this the death of all kill and Fed-Ex quests? Not exactly, but it does grant players a little more flexibility on how they go about completing the quest, rather than just killing the same monsters over and over again. According to Mike Donatelli, this approach should also help players who enjoy grouping together level together much easier. Since bars are filled up based on XP gained, each player’s bar who is in the party doing that quest, should fill up at roughly the same rate. No more going to hand in your animal hides and turning around only to find out that your buddies each still need 10 more.

Group rewards is another area that Carbine is looking at revamping a bit; making sure that even players who go full support/healing roles and have minimal damage abilities, will still be rewarded evenly while in a group.

Looking at these major changes to the game one can definitely assess that Carbine is looking at player feedback and taking this beta pretty seriously. I’d like to know what the community thinks of these changes and could this possibly push WildStar’s launch a bit farther back, possibly into 2014? Or do you still think they could still hit their original 2013 launch goal? Let us know in the comments below.

For more WildStar information be sure to visit its official website and keep your browser locked to ZAM for more WildStar news updates.

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