WildStar: Shiphand Missions Explained

This sounds like an interesting addition to overall game mechanics for WildStar. Basically, they’re repeatable, progressive, instanced quests (like a mini dungeon) that scale from 1-5 players so you can solo or bring friends. Definitely great that you’ll get to revisit these quests as your friends enjoy content for the first time and meet a harder challenge the more folks you bring to the party.


WILDSTAR WEDNESDAY: ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR SHIPHAND MISSIONS!

Hey, everyone!

I’m Kristen “Caydiem” DeMeza, Content Designer and a Zone Lead on WildStar. For this WildStar Wednesday, I’m here to talk to you about a special type of mission you’ll find throughout Nexus during your leveling experience: Shiphand Missions!

Throughout the sci-fi genre, one thing is plain: terrible things happen aboard spaceships. Alien invasions, rogue technologies, strange illnesses, rowsdowers stuck in the exhaust – whatever the crisis, flying through space is bound to get you in trouble. Now, we here at Carbine are huge sci-fi nerds ourselves, and since we’re putting together a sci-fi game, we wanted to bring those crazy ship experiences into play. When it’s time to make a shiphand, we get together to talk about major themes and particular moments that stood out in the sci-fi we know and love. Movies, TV shows, books, games, comics… we look at all sorts of things to find common threads among them all to draw upon. From there, we design out the mission, do a little story wranglin’, and end up with something uniquely WildStar.

You’ll find shiphands occasionally as you work your way across Nexus. A concerned pilot will be milling about by their away ship, seeking out pioneers to help them with some disaster that’s happened offworld. Take the quest, board their ship, and you’ll be whisked away to somewhere completely different to troubleshoot – which probably means literally shooting the trouble. Shiphands play like extended, sequential quests. You uncover the problems as you move through the ship and fix ‘em up. Shiphands have optional objectives if you want to go above and beyond, too – and that grateful Ekose captain at the end of the road will definitely take note of your efforts.

Leveling with friends? No problem! Shiphand missions are scalable from one to five players. Go it alone or bring in your posse; you can play it either way! And if you have a friend who hasn’t done it yet who wants a little company, you’re in luck – shiphands are repeatable. Some have random elements to spice up the experience of going back through, too. Shiphands are ideal for doing something a little more involved than a normal quest with a few friends. They’re not as challenging as dungeons or adventures; they’re just a fun vacation from Nexus for about 15-45 minutes of your time.

And those experiences vary wildly. You could end up on an asteroid, exploring the mystery behind the mining operation’s sudden silence. Another ship might take you to a space station where the whole crew has started hallucinating due to a laboratory accident – and it looks like they’re fresh out of gas masks. You may even find yourself an unwilling contestant on the Darkspur Cartel’s infamous bloodsport reality show, The Gauntlet!

It’s the goal of a shiphand mission to put you right in the thick of a classic sci-fi dilemma. If WildStar were a TV show, these shiphands would fit right in as episodes… but this time, you’re the star!

If you want to try out shiphands before WildStar’s released to the masses, sign up for beta and look for your friendly neighborhood Ekose captain and his ship – it’s patched and spaceworthy!

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WildStar: Devspeak – Ability Mechanics

WildStar launches a new video aimed at showing players can expect for skill mechanics. (I added a transcript of the video as well.)


CHECK OUT WILDSTAR’S LATEST DEVSPEAK: ABILITY MECHANICS!

Come check out the latest episode of DevSpeak, where we tell you how you, the player, control what your character can do. You will learn more about how WildStar deals with the traditional Instant, Cast time and Channel abilities.

You’ll discover what we mean by “needing our players to interact with their abilities in a much more reactive way”, so be sure to watch this new episode of Devspeak!

Come check out the latest episode of DevSpeak, where we tell you how you, the player, control what your character can do. You will learn more about how WildStar deals with the traditional Instant, Cast time and Channel abilities.
You’ll discover what we mean by “needing our players to interact with their abilities in a much more reactive way”, so be sure to watch this new episode of Devspeak!

Transcript:

Welcome to WildStar, this is DevSpeak. [Disclaimerthon].

In previous episodes, we talked about how moving and aiming combat is in WildStar. After all, combat is what you will be doing most often, so we want to make sure you are having fun out there.

We showed you Crowd Control, how breakout gameplay gives you a way to fight back when disabled. But before we start talking about Classes – and we can’t wait – we need to have a little chat about the special sauce in our combat sandwich. It’s the way you, as the player, control what your character can do. I’m talking about Ability Mechanics. In other words, how you interact with the game in order to use your abilities.

Now, in most MMOs, you’ve got your standard set: instant abilities, cast time, and channel. Instant, cast time, channel. Instant, cast time, channel. Hit the button, wait for it to do its thing, make a chicken sandwich.

In WildStar, we needed players to interact with their abilities in a much more reactive way because circumstances can change, quickly. That’s why, in addition to instant abilities, we’ve made the vast majority of our cast time and channel spells mobile. Whether you’re channeling and chasing or charging and fleeing. On top of that, we’ve added a whole suite of cast methods designed to be reactive. Like rapid tap. Wait until an enemy is vulnerable and *tap* *tap* *tap*. Once you activate it, you’ve only got a short window to get your hits in, so tap it while it counts.

Ability charges have multiple uses, but no time limit. So, fire off some steady damage and keep one in reserve. Or stun this poor chum and dump all your characters…yer dead!

Charge and Release has a more reactive take on cast time. You can hold the button to charge up, but if homie pulls a fast one, fire it off and change tactics. Might not do as much damage, but it won’t go to waste.

Press and Hold is a reactive channel and feels supremely gratifying. Hold the button, people start dying. Need to react to something Just let go and do your thing.

What this approach to ability mechanics does is take a combat system built on movement and aiming and adds reactive mobile casting and variety. ‘Cos being a healer, tank, or dps, we think everyone deserves to feel like a spider monkey ninja. If they want.

Now, we’ve covered almost all aspects of the WildStar combat sandwich. We’re almost ready to take a bite and get into classes. Until then, reach out to us. Let us know what you want to see in our combat system. As always, the devs are listening.

WildStar: Producer Says F2P Model Not Dead; F2P “Not A Magic Bullet” (PCGamesN.com)

It seems like such a waste of effort to have to explain why you’re NOT going Free 2 Play for a new AAA MMORPG.

Two years ago, the gaming community turned up their noses at F2P declaring an MMORPG had “failed” and was “worthless” if it swapped to that business model, let alone if that was the business model at launch. “Pay 2 Win” was freely associated with most every F2P game. Even now, there are quite a few MMORPGs that still have subscription models in some format: WoW, EVE, EverQuest II, RIFT (you can still subscribe for extras), TERA (same thing as RIFT), SWTOR (tons of bonuses for subscribing), FFXIV:ARR, and Elder Scrolls Online (launching next year), to name several.

I find it odd that gamers now expect F2P for AAA MMORPGs at launch? If it’s a good game, I have no issue subscribing for $15 a month. If it’s F2P and not P2W, I have no issues paying $15-$20 a month via cash shop items.

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Not Jeremy Gaffney.

We’ve talked a couple of times to Carbine Studios’ Jeremy Gaffney in the last few months. He’s currently promoting his promising subscription MMO, Wildstar, and on each occasion he’s made the same broad point: in the massively-multiplayer market, things are not necessarily as they seem.

“Games that look very successful in free-to-play may or may not be making profit,” he told us most recently. And then added, cryptically: “Games that look unsuccessful in subscription may actually be more profitable.”

“Different games with different business models work in a very different fashion,” he said of his new game’s chances in a bustling field. “If you look at City of Heroes [which Gaffney produced] compared to Guild Wars, it looks like City of Heroes is a smaller game.

“And it is, fewer people play City of Heroes, they peaked out at – I don’t know the numbers – something like 200,000. But 200,000 subscribers paying $15 a month, if you do the math, that makes about as much money as selling 6 million boxes, if they last long enough.”

Gaffney cited a “couple of reasons” for Carbine’s decision to steer clear of free-to-play for Wildstar. Both lie in the “variability” of the payment model.

“There’s variability as a player because you don’t know if you’re going to get sucked in and pay $1,000 a month, because some people do. As a publisher it’s a juggling act because most the games I’ve seen end up devolving to the point that 1 or 2% of the players are paying $100 or more a month and they’re actually funding most of the free players, which can be up to 70 – 80% playing completely for free.

“As a publisher [that variabililty] can be distracting because when you’re making money you never know when that’s going to go away. As a player it’s distracting because generally you have a very different experience if you’re playing for free – and if not, then why the hell pay?

“So free-to-play’s not a magic bullet.”

Instead, Carbine have adopted an Eve-like business model: CREDD. Players can buy CREDD items for real-world money from the developers, and trade them with a second group of players for in-game gold. This second group can then cash in their CREDD for game time and, if they’re earning enough gold, play the game for free indefinitely.

“A bunch of games have done similar systems,” said Gaffney on the system’s inspiration. “Eve’s is probably the most popular and the best known. So many people don’t know what PLEX is and so it’s tough to describe. It’s such an efficient way of taking players that want to pay a lot, who want to put extra money in the game, and then that directly funds other players game time and so it’s a lot more direct.

“So essentially one set of players create their time, [another] use money to pay for the sub, and it’s a win-win and it pisses off gold farmers because it’s a legal source of trading gold with other players and so gets in the way of gold farmers.

“And we like pissing off gold farmers, too.”

Hear hear. But what do you make of Gaffney’s assessment of the MMO market? This is a man who’s been around since Asheron’s Call, so tread respectfully.

WildStar: Final Two Races Revealed!

The time has come! WildStar has announced the final two races for launch: Chua and Mordeth. The Chua have alligned with the Dominion, while the Mordeth used to be part of the Dominion and are now part of the Exiles.

From IGN: “The Chua are, for all intents and purposes, evil hamsters who were allowed to join the Dominion after it was discovered they possess an uncanny grasp of science and mechanical engineering. This is balanced by their devious, competitive and slightly insane personality traits, which makes them rather a handful for the others in their faction.

The Mordesh, on the other hand, were once in league with the Dominion, until a miracle drug widely distributed throughout the planet turned them into walking undead fuelled by a cannibalistic rage. The newly-zombified race was left with no choice but to turn to the Exiles in order to survive the Dominion’s brutal quarantine processes, and it’s this allegiance that survives to this day.”

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New WildStar Flick

FEATURING KIT BRINNY AND MALVOLIO PORTIUS

WILDSTAR’S MOST TERRIFYING, GHASTLY AND REVOLTING SECRETS REVEALED!

Chua

Maniacal Brilliance

Ruthless Ingenuity

Nearly as brilliant as they are sociopathic, the Chua are mischievous inventors who develop advanced weapons and technology for the Dominion.
Science has never been more fun – or agonizing.

“NOT SMART TO LOOK DOWN ON CHUA”

Mordesh

Decaying Bodies

Terrifying Insight

Cursed with a degenerative disease, the Mordesh have come to Nexus to find a cure. Being a space zombie can be complicated. Unleashing dark and deadly disciplines on the Dominion? Not so much.

“WE BOLDLY BEND THE LAWS OF NATURE”

WildStar: Two Teasers In Time for Comic-Con?

Folks looking at the WildStar news feed have noticed today two new posters uploaded by the devs. Both have an “announcement” date of July 19th which is the beginning of the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con.

Current speculation (hopes?) circle around announcing either a new race or a new class. What do you think? I’m hoping we get several more teaser posters over the next few days so Comic-Con is ripe with new announcements!

WildStar: What Game Testers See Now

I’ve been interested in WildStar for a long while now, but this week’s WildStar Wednesday is pretty great. They provided about a four-minute video of what the level 6-10 content looks like for their current “Friends and Family” testing phase.

1. Tons of action combat. You freely move around, attack while moving, have clearly distinguishable mob and player AOE ground marks (even some unique AOE patterns like an X), etc.

2. Mob diversity. Even at these low levels, there are at least 10 different mobs showed.

3. Quest path diversity. The four paths (soldier, scientist, explorer, and settler) all seem to be interesting and offer players a truly unique way to experience identical content areas in completely different ways. In fact, all of the paths look viable and useful.

4. The game feels like Torchlight + WOW in a sci-fi arena and I am really digging it!

The original article is over here and this week’s video is just below. Enjoy!

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WILDSTAR WEDNESDAY: AN INSIDE LOOK AT WILDSTAR’S FRIENDS & FAMILY

Hello Everyone,

We promised you something a bit different this week, something that we’ve never shown before, and that’s what you get! Behold: The first video to show you what our Friends and Family testers are experiencing in WildStar! Over the next few weeks we’ll be gathering your reactions and questions, in tandem with visits to some of your favorite gaming website! We’ll be kicking things off over on Reddit, with an IAMA AMAA by Carbine’s own Executive Producer, Jeremy Gaffney!

Today’s video is just the tip of the iceberg! So keep your eyes on the WildStar headlines for more in-depth updates from your pals at Carbine Studios! Don’t forget to check out our WildStar Facebook page either!

WildStar: “We Can Fill the WOW Void”

Given how World of Warcraft has been THE juggernaut in the MMORPG arena for nearly a decade, it’s interesting to see other games now hopping on the “we’ll get their subscribers” bandwagon. While it’s true WOW lost a metric ton of subs this year already, the MMORPG market is incredibly saturated now and almost every big MMORPG in the West has gone F2P. Wildstar will have its work cut out for it in order to thrive in a highly competitive marketplace.

I’ve added a few screenies to the bottom of the article. Enjoy!

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Mechari 02

The team behind NCsoft’s new MMO Wildstar says it will win back gamers who have abandoned World of Warcraft.

Blizzard’s market-leading MMO lost 1.3m subscribers between February and April this year, and many other titles in the sector have been forced to adopt a free-to-play model to survive.

But Carbine Studios’ game design producer Stephan Frost says Wildstar’s unique structure will ensure it succeeds where other MMOs have failed.

“We’re making something that’s different,” he told MCV.

“We’re coming out at a time when WoW is losing subscribers and we can fill the void for people who want an MMO that’s deep, hardcore but also accessible to people.

“We’ve found through betas and trade shows that MMO players understand our game. They can see the improvements we’ve made and notice that this game is something pretty cool.”

Wildstar’s gameplay varies depending on class: soldiers will focus on combat, while explorers will be tasked with discovering new areas. The game is due this year.

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Original MCVUK.com Article

Wildstar’s Official Website

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