If you were concerned there might be a slowdown in WildStar news, now that the last class was getting it’s turn… you’d be wrong. In addition to being the week of the Engineer… there was also a limited drop in the NDA for the media (real media, not me). Let’s talk all things Engineer first, then we’ll talk about the NDA drop, okay?
Engineer week started, as all class weeks have, with the DevSpeak:
Quick notes from the DevSpeak:
The disclaimer this week, reminds us that we should not give the WildStar dev team with sports cars, cookies, World Cup tickets, Star Wars film props, or a Soda Fountain. So, please call and cancel that order for 300 pounds of cookies delivered by Ferrari.
- The Engineer is a heavy armor wearing, ranged tank class…. with Bots, and gadgets.
- It’s a pet class, but doesn’t play like a pet class.
- Class Features are:
- Heavy Armor
- Exo Suit (innate ability)
- Has DPS, CC, Tank, and Healing bots.
The shiny new Engineer page, tells us that the race breakdown for Engineers is:
So, a fairly even distribution there. Little surprised that the pug sized Chua will be wandering around in Heavy armor, but hey.. it worked for Gnomes in WoW..so why not?
The Engineer AMA over on Reddit brought us some good Q&A, here’s my favorites:
Q: Plans to add customization for Engineer bots? (colors, names, skins, etc..)
A: (Disclaimer: Bot customization kinda falls outside of the Class Design Team department since that requires Art and UI support) We have definitely talked about that sort of thing here at the studio. But for launch, I can’t say for sure. Someday I do hope I can give my Bruiser Bot a scarf and glasses …
Q: As a long ranged class (in contrast to the short-mid ranged Medic) with heavy armour, what trade-offs does the Engineer have in exchange for his “safety”?
A: When trying to max out your DPS as an Engineer, you’re going to want to be in your “ExoSuit: Eradication Mode.” This mode sacrifices a large amount of your survivability to increase your outgoing damage. Also, all of your cast time abilities slow your movement by 30%. This means you won’t be able to kite quite as well as some of the other ranged classes.
Q: If Warriors are the archetypal “mitigation tanks” and Stalkers the “avoidance tanks”, then what niche will the Engineer fill? – will a skilled engineer for example be swapping threat from himself to the Bruiser Bot to mitigate spikes in damage?
A: I wouldn’t go so far as to say Warriors are just “Mitigation Tanks” or that Stalkers are just “Avoidance Tanks.” Both of those classes excel at those to gameplay styles, but they have a lot more to them as can be seen through the DevSpeaks/Livestreams/Class Pages. So as for the Engineer, they are ranged tanks with a bunch of mitigation, bots for distraction, they pack a number of group utility abilities, plus more that you can see in this weekend’s Livestream!
Q: How will the engineer be able to control his bots to prevent them from dying in raids?
A: We have a ground targeted “go to location”. Once used you pick a spot using your mouse cursor to command your bots to move to the location. Beyond that, we are still doing raid testing and tracking how well the bots stay alive and perform in those raid environments. Based on those results we may look to raising survivability through health or mitigation adjustments. We are taking it slow with the changes because we want the bots to be fun in all situations.
Q: Good evening! I would like to know how the healing bot works, i’ve saw it works with hots but it heals for a percentage? it does only that? Thanks
A: The Repair Bot, once summoned, gives you access to “Shield Restore”. The ability “Shield Restore” is granted on your action bar and replaces the Repair Bot summoning ability, while the Repair Bot is alive. Now that you have your Repair Bot summoned, you can command it to attack a single target or command it to use “Shield Restore” by using the action bar ability. Using the “Shield Restore” causes the Repair Bot channels a Shield Capacity restore to allies in an area around it. The Shield Capacity restore scales with Support Power on the bot and the bot inherits their stats from the Engineer. And I love quotations because that ability name could change in the future.
Q: I really liked the look of the gun in the class drop trailer, it seemed much different then anything we saw the engineer using in any other footage though, it looked like a shotgun rather than a launcher. Do these smaller weapons exist for the engineer? Is it race based?
A: There are a ton of new launcher models going in every day and there is a huge amount of variety in how they look. I don’t believe we have any race-specific models at this time.
Be sure to read the full AMA when you have time, since there is some good information in there.
Saturday brought us the Engineer Livestream. The stream is currently archived on Twitch if you haven’t seen it yet. Part 1 is here, and part 2 is here.
Here’s the notes I took, including some of the Q&A that occurred during the stream.
- Stalker Livestream is not forgotten, it will be happening early next year (they’re going to be taking a break for the Holidays).
- Hugh has been “photobombing” some of the media who have been live streaming this week.. he’s been having fun dropping in and playing with people.
- We got introduced to Steven Ingle the Engineer’s class designer (and the guy who will be playing the Engineer for today’s stream).
- The Engineer will have a little lower DPS than a SpellSlinger or Esper, due to having heavy armor to help them soak more damage.
- We got a peek at one of the ‘ship hand’ missions.. it looked fun. The ship they were on had obviously been damaged, they had to run around fixing holes in the hull.
- Bots have a 15 second cool down before being resummoned after they go boom.
- Target Acquisition/Tactical Strike.. marks mobs you hit with it (very narrow area).. mobs are subject to heavy damage strike at the end (Orbital Bombardment!)
- Most Engineer abilities seem to have a max range of 20-25 meters.
- Engineer class innate ability is the Exosuit! (Improves damage output for DPS, increases damage reduction for Tanks).
- Once bot is summoned, that key on your action bar tells the bot to use it’s main attack
- Showing off a botless build now. Engineer viable with/without bots
- Sprinting/dashing will stop charge/release spells from charging.
2v2 PvP Time..our hero the Engineer is working with a Medic, against a Warrior/SpellSlinger team. Steven is currently using a tank build on the Engineer, to show PvP is viable in that setup.
- Warrior/SpellSlinger took round 1. We did get to see the ‘blind CC’ being used agains the Engineer.. whole screen went mostly black..neat way of implementing it.
- Our Heroes came back with a vengeance, and handily took round 2. They took round 3 as well.. everyone else started fighting while Steven was trying to switch the Engineer’s action set to a be a botless build and show off the taunts.
- 4th round went to the villainous Warrior/SpellSlinger team..though it was incredibly close.
After the PvP showcasing, they headed off to a dungeon. We’re getting a look at a different dungeon from the previous streams, today we got to see Kel’Voreth.
- There is a bone trap mechanic in the first area, that is really neat. When someone (player, NPC, or mob) gets too close, the trap activates, holds whoever it got, and does some damage to them as well. Can be used to kill ‘weaker’ mobs.
- They mentioned that there are too many active abilities on the bar currently, for purposes of the livestream, they added more to have a good variety of skills to show off.
- Showed a different area of the dungeon, with laser beams moving around the floor.. pulled mobs through the beams, they got damaged. Pay attention, use the environment against your enemies!
We got a brief overview of the AMP system:
- Customize your character, make it a bit more unique
- increase stats
- unlock abilities
- unlock proc events
Available at level 6, gain an AMP point a level after that, more during Elder game.
They currently have 1000 different spell files (including various tiers) to balance/manage.
Here’s the Q&A I wrote down during the stream:
Q: Engineers seem less mobile than other classes, for dps that don’t get benefits from being tanky, what skills are available to control a fight, or gain breathing room
A: Can cast on the move, heavy armor lets it soak some of that extra damage, urgent withdrawal
Q: Does Bruiser Bot’s taunt work on players?
A: Yes, Taunts in W* mean taunted does reduced damage to all players except whoever did the taunt..same applies to bruiser
Q: PvP escapes?
A: Urgent Withdrawal
Q: Downsides/limitations of Exo suit use
A: Pretty awesome right now.. not much down side. Innates getting things added to balance more.. Exosuit will reduce speed by 30%
Q: Bots controllable by player? or do their own thing?
Q: Bots healable.buffable? can they tank in a group?
A: Not in a dungeon (kinda distract mobs for a little), dungeon bosses especially will tear through a bot
Q: Ranged tank..boss positioning meelee/dps
A: DPS needs to be aware of where the tank is.
Q: Will the engineer rely on constant kiting or can they take a hit as well as a warrior?
A: Heavy armor, they don’t need to kite, can soak up the hits.
Q: Will engineer have a bigger shield than other tanks?
A: By default, no.. possibly with AMP
Q: Range increase?
A: Not currently via AMP or Tier
Q: 2 engineers in pvp group, stack taunts to reduce damage to each other, and everyone else?
A: Some taunts will stack, some won’t.
Q: Can bots be healed by other classes, shown on raid UI?
A: Not shown on default raid UI. Healers can heal them. Heals are prioritized to players over Bots.
That covers the Engineer reveal (no more [REDACTED] at all now, class wise!). But, that wasn’t all the of the news from WildStar this week! Carbine set us up to have a very WildStar Holiday season…
We got a new Comic “The B Team” featuring the Bots for a, as yet, unnamed Engineer. Episode 1 introduces us to our cast of Bots (Tank, Arty, 4K, and the new guy, known only as ‘Kid’ so far).
And, the Big, Big, Big, news for the week… Carbine held a media event last week in San Francisco (and London). The folks invited to those events (a mixture of ‘real’ media, and fan sites) have had the NDA dropped! For Levels 1-15 ONLY. They can talk about them, they can stream them, they can write weird fan fiction about them… whatever they want!
For everyone that is NOT one of the above groups… The NDA is still in place. I found this post over on Reddit reminding people of that (ironically, using what appears to be a leaked post from the beta forums to do so).
Having gone through this a couple times before, I know a press embargo lift can be a little confusing for beta testers. This post should hopefully clear up a couple common questions and concerns about it for everyone in the beta!
Has the WildStar NDA been lifted? No, the NDA is still in effect. You may not discuss, stream, post images and video, or share any information about the content that you’ve experienced in beta.
So why can some website talk about the game? Last week we held press events in San Francisco and London to show off the game to press, and allowed them to play the level 1-15 experience in order to post game previews beginning today (December 12th). The press were also granted limited access to the beta in order to continue playing for more coverage. Some outlets have been granted permission to livestream the game as well, however these are limited in scope and do not include everyone.
What can a beta tester talk about publicly now? Anything you see covered in press articles can be discussed, however you must still keep your involvement in the beta a secret. Feel free to share your excitement for WildStar, watch livestreams, discuss the things that are now public, etc, but make sure you’re not leaking anything directly from the beta!
When will the NDA be lifted/when can I talk about my game experiences publicly? We’ll let you know when this happens, but I think it’s safe to say that the plan is to lift the NDA early next year. We want to ensure there is plenty of time between the NDA lifting and launch for everyone to get hyped up about WildStar, preorder the game, and join us for beta!
Hopefully this clears up the most common questions, but if you have any additional ones, let us know!
So, if you’re in the Beta.. be mindful of that NDA! Don’t assume because these media/fan sites got permission to, that you can too!
WildStar Fans has done a GREAT job putting together a list of links covering everything that’s come out from the limited NDA drop. Rather than try and compete with that list… I’m just going to link it here.. it’s got everything I was able to find on it anyway. So, go HERE for the mega list of levels 1-15 coverage!
I will tell you that my favorite tidbit released so far, is gameskinny’s footage of the character generation for all races/classes. I’ve never heard of them before.. but these videos seem pretty well done, and do a good job showing off the current options.
So…that’s the crazy, news filled week in Nexus. There is no shortage of game related information out there now.. All 6 classes have been revealed, so it’s time to start planning what you’re going to play! I’ll be rolling an Aurin SpellSlinger, though I haven’t decided on a path yet..
What about you Cupcake, what are you gonna do?
Oh yeah! We also got to see a Lizard mount via the WildStar Vine feed.
Ok..I think that’s it…for real now… see you next week! If you need more WildStar goodness before then.. Make sure you’re checking out WildCast.. the MOGNation WildStar Podcast!