Mar 8, 2013
Senior PvP Systems Designer, Jen Gordy, and Lead Combat Systems Designer, Chris Lynch, answer community questions about PvP in WildStar!
Today the guys at Carbine Studios decided to shake things up and surprise us all with some new details about PvP in their upcoming MMORPG, WildStar Online. Senior Community Manager extraordinaire, David Bass, added a new blog post on the official WildStar site outlining the full details.
Previously, via a #WSUplink on Twitter the WildStar Team solicited feedback from players on PvP. They asked the question, “What are your biggest frustrations with PvP?” Based on the feedback given, the three main topics they covered today were:
- The value of gear over skill in PvP, including rewarding for playing rather than playing well.
- Unease about crowd control mechanics and the feeling of helplessness due to stunlocks and/or the opposing team’s strategy.
- The feeling that Battlegrounds typically feel too static after a while.
Jen Gordy, Senior PvP Systems Designer at Carbine Studios, dove right into the topic sharing some pretty awesome tidbits about PvP in WildStar and what players can expect. More specifically, she had this to say:
“In WildStar, we want player skill in PvP combat to enable access to the best rewards that PvP will offer. To meet that goal, players will have an individual Elo rating (similar to League of Legends) for each PvP feature (Battlegrounds, Arena, Warplot PvP) that is used as a representation of player skill. The rating will be used for matching, as well as to determine access for buying higher quality gear and other types of rewards.
The end result: As they get higher ratings, skilled players will filter to the top, opening up new gear options to stay competitive with players of similar ratings. New players to the game will start at the bottom and will be matched to players who are also starting out or are still learning the ropes.
If you’re not in a competitive mood or are trying out PvP for the first time and don’t want to throw off your rating, you can participate in “open” play, where you are matched with other players based on your gear.
In regards to your thoughts on the “static” feeling of standard PvP battlegrounds, the WildStar PvP team likes applying that WildStar flavor to our PvP maps. For us, this means that we take the standard PvP game types and identify ways to enhance objectives and roles to better suit WildStar’s combat and mobility mechanics.
So, using a Capture the Flag (Battleground) example, we feel that the “grab and capture” mechanic itself was a little simplistic and we wanted to shake things up a little. Defenders also had a very simple role: keep the potential carriers away from the flag or run them down before they got out of the base.
In WildStar, a Capture the Flag map works a bit differently. A neutral flag spawns in mid-map (rather than each team having 1 flag to grab and capture for each “round”). Let’s pretend that you’ve nabbed the flag and you’re bringing it to your base to capture it. You run into your capture area, the flag is “planted” in the ground. The score: Your Team 1 – Enemy Team 0.
After a few seconds, a new neutral flag spawns mid-map to fight over. An enemy player sneaks into your base and STEALS your planted flag! Where the heck are your defenders? He makes it over to his base and while your team was running around with pants on fire, the enemy managed to also nab the neutral flag as well. The score: Your Team 0 – Enemy Team 2. Interested yet?
“WildStar Flavor” also means giving you choices. This is where Warplot PvP shines. In Warplot PvP, Warparties (formal guild-like structures – you can be in a Warparty and you can be in a guild!) will be able to own large plots of land in which they can add modifications to build up their base. The Warparty can then queue up for Warplot PvP and be matched against similarly skilled/built-out opponents. Warparty players will be able to damage and destroy modifications, repair their own modifications, and lay down mines, traps, and much more. There’s nothing static about that!”
Lead Combat Systems Designer, Chris Lynch, also got in on the fun. He spoke specifically to bullet point number 2 above – the helplessness of being stunlocked in PvP – and made mention of some pretty cool systems that Carbine Studios is adding into WildStar to help out with that! He said:
“Many of our developers have experienced the same frustrations with crowd control that you all expressed in your comments. That is why we have spent a good bit of time coming up with ways to prevent this from happening in WildStar.
Our first solution to this is a system we call “Interrupt Armor”. In this system, players and creatures can receive buffs that add Interrupt Armor counters to their character. These Interrupt Armor counters act as Crowd Control absorbers. Each Crowd Control spell will have a power associated with it, if this power is less than the current amount of counters on a player or creature, the value of the Interrupt Armor is dropped by that value and the Crowd Control is not applied. If the Crowd Control power reduces the Interrupt Counters to 0, the Crowd Control effect will be applied. This system has the added bonus of opening up new possibilities for raid and dungeon boss design, as we can use Interrupt Armor on these bosses in different ways to encourage new strategies from players.
Our follow-up solution to these frustrations is something we call “Breakout Gameplay”. We view crowd control as a prison, and we wanted to make sure that anytime you are in this prison you have some type of gameplay that lets you “breakout.” Using this design philosophy, we are able to take a wide variety of the crowd control states that MMO players are all-too-familiar with and update them to a system that provides a more interactive and less frustrating experience. We were also able to come up with a few crowd control states that you may not have seen that we find to be very fun. We’ll dive into detail about some examples of Breakout Gameplay in a future update. Thanks for your feedback!”
Personally, I am not a huge PvP’er when it comes to MMOs. However, what I am reading here is making me rethink that with WildStar. The proof will be in the pudding for sure, but this has definitely peaked my interest even more in a game I am already very excited about! Some of these systems, like Warplots and Warparties, sound amazing!
What are your thoughts on PvP in WildStar Online? Let us know in the comments below or talk about it on our forums!
Tags: Arenas, Battlegrounds, Breakout Gameplay, Capture The Flag, Carbine Studios, Chris Lynch, David Bass, Elo, Interrupt Armor, Jen Gordy, MMO, MMORPG, NC Soft, PC, PvP, Warparties, Warparty, Warplot PvP, Warplots, WildStar