Time for your weekly dose of WildStar News!
Let’s start with the biggest news of the week… Beta Key Giveaways!!!
Yeah, you read that right.. the first beta key giveaways are underway. Carbine has teamed up with some WildStar fan sites, to allow you the opportunity to win a beta key! Now, because there are some…unsavory folks out there who may try and scam you out of your personal information…and not give you a key… Carbine has posted an official list of the sites participating in the giveaway. Head over here, to view the list…then go try and get a key!
Official news from Carbine this week, was centered around the Guild System. We got a shiny page describing the basics of the system. Guilds in WildStar will be able to have all the ‘standard’ stuff (Guild banks, customizable ranks, optional guild tax, etc). Plus, they’ll have the WildStar twist to guilds as well (because, really… if the news was ‘our guilds are just like everyone else’s, it’d boring).
We get Holomarks:
IN WILDSTAR, GUILDS WILL BE ABLE TO CREATE A HOLOMARK: A HOLOGRAPHIC EMBLEM PROJECTED IN THE AIR AROUND, OR ABOVE THE CHARACTER. YOU CAN SET THE VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF THE LOGO (WE’VE GOT 65 INNER AND 65 OUTER DESIGNS AT LAUNCH, WHICH MEANS AROUND 4225 POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS AT LAUNCH), AND THEN EACH PLAYER CAN DECIDE WHERE THEY WANT TO DISPLAY IT ON THEIR CHARACTER. SNAZZY!
This is, essentially, a guild tabard..but, done very differently. The 4,225 possible combinations of elements (at launch), should reduce the chances of multiple guilds on the same server, having the same Holomark. Which is good, because how many times did you see a guild tabard in WoW that had the identical image as 3, or 4 other guilds. The added benefit to it being a holomark, and not a tabard, is also that it won’t cover up whatever armor/costume piece your character is wearing.
In a shot at the “blindly invite everyone you see that is unguided, but never actually play together’ type of guilds.. Carbine has added some…encouragement for you to actually… play with your guildies! (Shocking right?!?! I mean, who wants to play with their guilds!)
This incentive comes in the form of Guild Influence, which can only be raised by grouping with your guildies, and playing the game with them.
WITH WILDSTAR, WE WANT GUILDS TO WANT TO PLAY TOGETHER, AND WE’RE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO INCENTIVIZE THAT THROUGH A GUILD CURRENCY KNOWN AS INFLUENCE.
So, now we have this guild currency… what is it good for? Influence can be spent in 3 major categories:
- Guild unlocks (including additional bank vaults and player summoning)
- Guild-wide buffs
- Consumable guild items
The buffs are things like boosts to experience gain, reputation gain, etc. Under this system, it looks like a small guild that plays together should be able to unlock just as many ‘perks’ as a guild of 500 people who rarely group together.
Jeremy Gaffney swung by the WildStar subreddit to provide a ‘state of the beta’ (that, should be appearing in some fashion on the official site soon too).
Here’s a quick version at least (yeah, we should do an official one, I agree, I’ll send this to Scooter):
Just did a big update (37 pages o patch notes if I recall). This was from our work in December, so it’s a 4 week update minus 2 weeks from most folks from holiday break.
- Doing a polish pass on the 15-35 content
- Polishing some of the 35-50 areas (which aren’t enabled yet for the CBT testers)
- Rebalancing class abilities across PVE and PVP (pretty good number of changes there, generally based on feedback or the data mining we’ve done)
- Bunch of new itemization in various areas
A ton more. Did we release those patch notes? I forget.
The other thing we added in the last patch (NOT in the patch notes) was about 6 different crash bugs (due to the way we did QA testing over the holiday break, we added in about 50 new QA testers and for various technical reasons this basically disguised a bunch of crash logs which we normally fix during the staging period before a build goes live; it was a combination of adding new QA folks and the fact that some of our technical guys were on the holiday break. Sorta ironic that adding testers added crashers, but there ya go)
So I believe as of right now, the crashers are licked, folks are back testing/playing more stably. The crashes sucked for about a week or so though, so that was a pain for the guys fixing and the beta folks.
Current things we’re currently looking at internally (based on implementation schedule, data, board feedback, or just playing and saying “we could do that better”) – these aren’t guaranteed to be in next update (or any if we find blockers) but are things we’re either working on or discussing:
- UI updates (we got some great new guys on our UI team) on many/most UIs, especially the obviously-placeholder ones
- Extending the cap to 50 for next update
- High level economies across the various elder content (level 50 playspaces, vet dungeons, raids, warplots, arenas, new content additions post launch)
Batting around ideas to help small-group play:
- a lot of people like playing in/near small groups, and some quests are set up well for it/some aren’t – we are fixing those
- Fighting in the outside world as a small group is often too trivial (some few monsters and challenges are aimed towards it, and but 2 or 3 people fighting a mob tuned for 1 person is awful easy). That sounds tricky to fix, but we actually have some ideas. Some of those might also make for some interesting variation in killing quests (something we aim for is to reduce kill grindiness whenever we can) But we’ll see, that’s all in discussion. Not guaranteed to go in, but Donatelli is examining.
So in net: Personally I’m relatively happy with where we’re at. Lot of pro and con feedback on the boards about some of the above issues (and others) but it feels IMO like a pretty healthy set of discussions and I love the team’s pace of new additions and polishing existing content right now.
Carbine is also seeking WildStar fan art submissions for possible featuring on their Social Media pages:
And that’s it for your Nexian News Wrap-up for this week!