WildStar: Winter Beta Is Coming!

Good news WildStar fans: the winter beta testing is just a month away! I am definitely hoping to be part of the beta for WildStar so I’m able to provide feedback. It was interesting to me that a good number of MMORPGs weren’t on the list of “Have you played this/beta tested this game?” I’m not sure how Ultima Online is more important to their requirements than Neverwinter or Marvel Heroes or Path of Exiles, etc., but it’s eclectic and even includes old-timer goodies such as Asheron’s Call and Meridian 59.


Exciting times are upon us here at Carbine. The team has had their heads down for the last few months powering through development of WildStar, and things are shaping up really nicely. The remaining months of 2013 are going to be really big for us, and we’ve got a ton of great things planned, so this week we thought we’d give you a little taste of what’s in store for the WildStar community.

WILDSTAR LIVESTREAMS

So many of you have been asking when you can see more gameplay, more developers, more more more. A lucky few of you may have stumbled on our little livestream test we ran this past weekend. We’ve got a bit more work to do, but in the next few weeks you should expect to start seeing regular livestreams from the Carbine team. And we won’t just be showing off stuff you’ve already seen: expect to see new content, new classes, new reveals, and lots of WildStar gameplay over the coming months on a regular basis. We’ll chat with the developers YOU want to talk to, play the content YOU want to see, and answer all most of your questions live! Want to get involved? Follow our channel on Twitch and get notified whenever we go live.

For those who miss any live episodes, expect to see previous broadcasts up on Twitch and YouTube the following week to catch up on what you missed.

http://www.twitch.tv//wildstar/c/3145566

CLASS TIME

Probably the second-most common question we get asked these days is “When will we hear about those last two classes?” The answer, of course, is soon. But starting next week, we’re going to be initiating one of our biggest info drops yet which will roll out over the rest of 2013.

Classes have changed, evolved, and progressed since we first revealed them, so before we get to the new classes we thought it’d be great to reintroduce the old ones in an informative way, and showcase each of the unique mechanics, strategies, and designs of WildStar’s classes. Each reveal (or re-reveal) will be accompanied by new webpages, developer interviews, and livestreams to answer any questions you have about that class. All of these reveals and information drops will lead up to one big moment in December:

WINTER BETA

I’m sure most of you skipped down to this part after reading the article’s title. Yes, we’re just about ready to start up the Winter Beta for WildStar. We’ll be inviting tons of people, new and old, to check out the changes to WildStar, give us feedback, and play through the content to make sure we’re ready for launch in Spring 2014.

We’ll be sending out a survey to all of our beta applicants in the next few weeks. Be sure to fill it out as accurately as possible if you want to increase your chances of getting invited. Haven’t applied yet? Now’s your chance if you want to be included in our Winter Beta!

WRAP-UP

We know the last few months have been a little rough for fans of WildStar. There hasn’t been enough juicy info to dig through, and we’ve been leaving the devs alone to let them get their game systems in a beta-ready place. But guess what? Time’s up, and now we go big. Get ready to be drowned inWildStar details from now through launch. What do you want to hear more about? Let us know through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, WildStar fansites, and any other place you can think of. As you know by now, the Devs are listening!

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WildStar: Dominion Arkship Destiny

This week’s update walks us through the “jewel of the Dominion Fleet”, the Arkship Destiny!

I’m particularly interested in the juice bar and massage services. I wonder how much extra that package costs?


Be a part of History! Sign up today to go to Nexus, homeworld of the gods!

After a comparatively brief series of evaluations, you may be selected as one of the Dominion’s best and brightest citizens, allowing you to serve as a chosen representative of the Emperor! If chosen, you will make the journey to Nexus, embarking on the Arkship Destiny – the jewel of the Dominion Fleet!

The Destiny was designed to meet every need of the discerning Dominion traveler. You will enjoy your journey through the stars safely within a well-appointed cryopod! Scented air capsules, exciting cryosleep adventures, and functional electrical stimulation will keep your mind and body in tip-top shape during the voyage to Nexus.

Upon your arrival in planetary orbit, you will be awakened by an appointed Dominion representative. Your personal representative will evaluate your post-cryosleep state and recommend treatments to get your blood pumping prior to your departure to the planet’s surface. As you await embarkation aboard one of the Destiny’s luxurious shuttles, refresh yourself at the complementary juice bar and take advantage of our masseuse services*.

*Juice Bar and Masseuse Services not available for all Dominion citizens. Inquire about upgrading your Destiny reservation package today!

As a loyal citizen of the Dominion, it will be your duty to spread the word of the Vigilant Church to any species you may encounter upon the planet Nexus. To aid you in your divine obligations, the Destiny is fully-appointed with a beautiful, full-service church to see to your every spiritual need.

The Destiny is your chance to rub elbows with the Dominion’s greatest celebrities while cruising the galaxy in style! Such notables as Artemis Zin and Toric Antevian have already reserved their spots aboard the Destiny. Where else will you find yourself able to mingle with the most glamorous citizens in the Dominion?

Aboard the Destiny, we offer a wide variety of physical and mental training workshops to better prepare you to fulfill your dreams of a brighter future. Many activities are available to further your mastery of your chosen Path. Soldiers, Scientists, Explorers, and Settlers will all find challenges tailor-made for them aboard this ship of wonder!

Each citizen is equipped with a complementary datachron and taught its basic functions. Your datachron will be invaluable as you navigate the uncharted wilds of Nexus and interact with the mysterious cultures you are sure to encounter there!

Experienced citizens who have already completed at least one Service Contract on Nexus can optionally choose to be dropped directly onto the planet’s surface. But why would you want to, given all that Destiny has to offer?

Are you ready to embark upon the greatest adventure of your life? Act now to reserve your spot aboard the Destiny! No credit? No problem! See your district’s appointed Citizen Evaluator about a Service Contract today!

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!

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: 10 Fantastic Things You Should Know (WildstarCore.de)

Thanks to Google Translate, here are 10 quick things you should know about WildStar from the WildstarCore.de dev interview.

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  1. Expected launch is “Spring 2014” with open beta starting about a month prior.
  2. Leveling from 1 to the cap of 50 should take ~150 hours. (Closed beta has taken ~250 hours to cap and devs want to lower that.)
  3. No flying mounts at launch, but maybe someday.
  4. PVP will offer a “spectator mode”, though it may not be in by launch.
  5. CREDD will be available in the free market and players determine how much gold it will cost.
  6. As 60% of players often go solo, devs are making sure there is great solo content (as well as group and raid content).
  7. There will be player-made flasks/potions needed for raiding offering ways for solo, crafting, and group activities to overlap.
  8. Players who pre-order will receive some advantages (early access; maybe items).
  9. The game mechanic of “mentoring” or “de-leveling” is in place. Players can drop their level to meet that of their friends.
  10. Crafting will offer depth: job-specific trees, permanent decisions, very rare discoverable recipes and more.

WildStar: DevSpeak – Crowd Control

WildStar has updated their DevSpeak page with a new video about how they take Crowd Control effects and turn them on their head during combat. The transcription below is something I whipped up.

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Welcome to WildStar. This is DevSpeak. This is our disclaimer. Not sure what this is. Order up!

In this episode, we’re gonna take another little look inside the WildStar combat sandwich. We’ve shown the meat and the bread, Movement and Aiming; now it’s time for the cheese: Crowd Control.

Crowd Control are attacks that disable enemies: stuns, knockdowns, sleep…that kinda thing. Now, players have a love-hate relationship with crowd control. After all, using CC on an enemy can be undeniably satisfying. But there are few game systems that can be as keyboard-breaking, table-flipping, monitor-smashingly frustrating as being the victim of crowd control.

That being said, CC is a fundamental part of MMO gameplay. It adds variety to the kinds of abilities you can use, expanding player choice beyond just damage and healing. CC also forces players to react and improvise, using abilities in ways they might not always predict.

So, with that in mind, we’ve been working hard to avoid CC’s major flaw: losing control of your character. Nobody likes watching helplessly as their character gets beat on.

Our answer to this is a system we call Breakout Gameplay.

Thanks to this system, when you get hit with CC, you’re not helpless – but it’s on you to counter. Alright, here’s an example.

Take “disarm”. An enemy hits you with a disarm and for five seconds you can’t use your weapon attacks, right? Pretty standard. Well, in WildStar, disarm actually shoots your weapon out into the gamespace. All you gotta do is run over and grab it. Of course, in the heat of combat, this can be challenging.

Now, taking disarm as a prototype, we’ve applied this concept to just about all crowd control in WildStar. Let’s say you get stunned. Whoa there. Spam your F key quick enough and you can shake it off. Get knocked down…use a dash charge to roll back to your feet. Disorient actually rearranges your movement controls. What the s@!T? Left is up and down is <scream>.

Blind is a cool one. Because of free-form targeting, you can still use all your abilities. Nice job. You just healed a tree.

Tether is a new type of CC. Need to escape? Not so fast. Better hurry up and bust that anchor. Homie’s lookin’ to kill you.

We’ve also reworked how CC affects bosses. Instead of just making them immune to CC, we’ve given then what we call Interupt Armor. What this means is, you and your buddies can actually work together to stun this mofo.

Well, that’s all the time I have for now. Keep an eye out for more DevSpeak. What comes after the bread, meat, and cheese? How ’bout some special sauce?

WildStar: Business Model Announced = Sub or C.R.E.D.D.

Hearing the business model means WildStar is that much closer to launch! This looks like the best of both worlds for players of all kinds. Either you can subscribe for a monthly fee or you can pay your subscription dues using C.R.E.D.D. you can purchase with in-game gold. Sounds perfect.

UPDATE: Added subscriber pricing at the bottom of this post, thanks to TenTonHammer’s post. If you pay for a year, your price per month drops to $10.99! That’s a $48/year savings over paying month to month. Wow.

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I’ve got two big-ticket things to talk about this week: our anticipated launch date shift and our business model.

Hopefully you saw last week’s State of the Beta blog post by our Design Director (and Beta Pope) Mike Donatelli, so you know we’ve got some big changes in store for WildStar.  We’ve been watching and listening to the outstanding feedback from our Beta community over the last few months and right now, with the changes planned, we’re projecting a Spring 2014 launch. Over the coming months, we’ll also dive into some of the smaller (but just as important) changes we’ve been planning in reaction to beta feedback we’ve seen, so you know what to expect when we ramp up beta again later this year.  Our number one commitment is quality; we think that having a ton of fun, polished content and deep top-level gameplay is a big chunk of what separates the big boys from the also-rans in the online business.

Now, let’s talk about the WildStar business model. Have a seat and let’s talk this through.

The short-form is this: We’ve decided to go with two major options at launch for how you can play the game. We figure at this point in the biz, most players are pretty passionate about what models they will or won’t play – so why not provide options?

First thing’s first: you buy WildStar (either via a box or downloading) – this will give you 30 days of free gameplay. After that, you have two options to play, or pay, for your game time.

Option 1: Monthly subscription

Option 2: C.R.E.D.D.

A monthly subscription is pretty standard fare – you probably know what that’s all about.  Subscribe, and every month you pay for another 30 days of game time.  Straightforward.

But some people don’t like subscriptions. Maybe they just want to play for free, maybe they’ve been burned by a subscription game before and dislike the model.  OK, we hear you – for you guys we have C.R.E.D.D.

This is an item that can be purchased online at the WildStar website, and can then be bought and sold with other players in-game.  This trading happens via the Commodities Exchange – basically a stock market that lets you trade C.R.E.D.D. to other players for earned in-game gold.

So for those of you who don’t want to pay a subscription fee: you can use your first month of gameplay to earn gold while playing WildStar. When the next month comes around, instead of paying the monthly subscription fee, you can use gold earned in-game to purchase C.R.E.D.D. from other players on the CX. Boom, you cash in a C.R.E.D.D for a month of game time. You can continue this cycle over & over again, enabling you to “play to pay” for WildStar.

So that sounds good – but what about those players who don’t have as much time as they’d like to play WildStar, but want a little extra in-game gold? Those folks can purchase C.R.E.D.D. online from our store and trade it on the CX for gold: basically trading their extra cash to help another player play for free in return for a pile of gold. We see this as a safe and secure way for players who want to buy gold to have a way of getting some in-game cash without funding gold farming outfits and all the hacking and scamming that can entail.

We’ve put together a handy guide and collection of Frequently Asked Questions regarding our Biz Model, which you’ll find here. Like all things WildStar, your feedback is crucial to refining and defining the FAQ information found at that link, so we’ll provide regular updates to that page throughout this process, letting you know when we’ve added important information.

We’re at Gamescom this week and will be at PAX at the end of the month, and we’d love to continue the conversation there if you want to come visit us! Check out all the details here to see where and when you can find us.

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The breakdown looks like this:

WildStar Digital and Retail Prices

Standard Box $59.99 €44.99 £34.99

WildStar Subscription Pricing

Subscription Cost Per Month ($) Cost Per Month (€) Cost Per Month (£)
1 Month 14.99 12.99 8.99
3 Months 13.99 11.99 8.49
6 Months 12.99 10.99 7.99
12 Months 10.99 9.99 6.99

WildStar Subscription Total Price Per Time Period

Subscription Total Cost ($) Total Cost (€) Total Cost (£)
1 Month 14.99 12.99 8.99
3 Months 41.97 35.97 25.47
6 Months 77.94 65.94 47.94
12 Months 131.88 119.88 83.88

WildStar: State of the Beta

While I’m glad to see the WildStar dev team seriously addressing major gameplay issues (that have been leaked by closed beta testers for months now), it’s a bit concerning that for all their “next gen action combat”, they ignored some of the fundamental group, XP earning, questing, and overall gameplay issues. It also sounds like the betas are on hold for further fixes and will resume “sometime later this year”. Given they’re expecting to launch in 2013, me thinks they need to investigate whether that can even stay on track with how many other issues are still affecting gameplay. Most players want a release pushed back if the game’s not ready for primetime.

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WILDSTAR WEDNESDAY: STATE OF THE BETA

During each phase of beta, I try to make a big post to the testers about the feedback we’ve received and the things we were doing to address it. Based off the feedback we’ve seen in CBT2 and CBT3, we’ve decided to make some big changes to address the hottest topics we’ve been seeing, both from our beta testers as well as from outside sources (Yes, that means you, guy who comments on all the leaks). We wanted to take some time to communicate those changes to our wider community as well, to bring you into our plans a little earlier than usual to give an idea of how we react to feedback. There are two main areas we are working on updating:

There’s no “player choice” involved in character progression

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.

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.

Mob tagging and shared quest credit are not emblematic of a modern MMO.

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 is this change? Well, it comprises two major shifts in design:

  1. We are going to remove numerical quest objectives from the game (i.e. “Kill X Vinds” and “Collect X Sentient Veggies”) and instead introduce a “quest completion bar.” For kill quests, this bar will increment the player’s quest progress in relation to the amount of XP earned. For other quests, this bar will simply increment in set amounts for each completed interaction. This helps improve the system in the following ways:
    • By basing quest completion off XP gains, players can now choose to go after larger targets or smaller targets and earn quest progress appropriate for those choices. While killing harder things is slower, you will earn more quest progress for it. Those who prefer to fight easy things will kill faster, but progress more slowly for it.
    • This approach also helps groups stay on target for leveling progression. Even though groups will destroy creatures much faster, they will need to kill more in order for each player to earn the credit needed to complete the quest objective.
  2. By making this change, we have the opportunity to remove mob tagging, with regards to XP, from the game. XP gained per mob death will generally be based on the amount of damage a player contributes to that kill. This will still encourage players to group (where they would get full XP credit for the kill rather than a percentage), but also encourages players to help out a passerby in the open world in order to receive a comparable XP reward.
  3. One of the concerns that came up repeatedly from the beta community was how we would account for pure-support characters with this new system? The simple answer is that we expect players will group with other players, as they do in the current system. The longer answer is that by speccing your character to play a pure-support role, to the exclusion of all damage-dealing abilities, you are building a role meant to work in conjunction with other players. Grouping will remain the primary method for this. That being said, we are investigating ways to make grouping much easier to do. We want grouping to be useful enough to our players that they not avoid it out of convenience, so anything we introduce to simplify the act of grouping will build on that intention.
  4. Another concern that’s come up is the question of “in-group” rewards. That is, once your support character joins a group, he’ll still get less XP than his DPS brethren. This is not the case now, and it will not be the case in the future. XP distribution in a group is already based on the amount of damage the group does to a target, and is shared among all members of the group. Your class and spec do not matter.
  5. Our current plan is to have some minimum threshold of damage that needs to be done before credit can be earned. This is an example of a design challenge for us, because we have to find the right damage threshold, where we catch most of the people who are using cherry-tapping to take advantage of other players, while catching as few legitimate players as possible.

Wow, that was a lot to go through, and that’s only a few of the major things we’ve been tracking from our beta test. As you can see, we’re making some complex system changes to the game based on the huge amount of feedback we received during the first three phases of beta. Now the teams are going to be putting their heads down and work on implementing the changes we talked about above as well as lots of other changes in preparation for the next phase of beta, which will start later this year.

We want to extend a huge thanks to the beta testers from CBT1 through 3, as well as all the Stress Testers who’ve helped push our servers to their limit so far. We’ll be starting back up later this year, and will make sure we both invite our old testers back to see the changes as well as bring new testers into the fold to get us some great new first impressions. We’ll be back before you know it!

WildStar: Meet the Mordesh

The WildStar Q&A is a follow-up to the two new races announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. This Q&A is with Dr. Victor Lazarin and makes me continue to wish I was in the closed beta!

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Q: Hello, Dr. Lazarin. Thanks for talking with us today. Is this for me?
A: It is.

Q: Oh. What am I supposed to do with it?
A: As it is a liquid, I would recommend you imbibe it.

Q: Hmmm. It has kind of a chalky undertaste. Is this a traditional Mordesh beverage?
A: Not exactly.

Q:  Well, it’s the thought that counts. So you’re a Mordesh. From what I hear, you guys are pretty skilled at alchemy.
A: Indeed.

Q: So you can do things like turn lead into gold?
A: Lead into gold? Laughable.

Q: I know! I can’t believe anyone’s stupid enough to still consider that possible…
A: We mastered such child’s play millennia ago. While the focus of my own labors is somewhat singular, my colleagues keep themselves diverted with decanting corporeity, the liquefaction of algorithmic adjacency, as well as more complex various concoctions far beyond your ability to comprehend.

Q: That’s probably an understatement.  So what’s it like being a space zombie?
A: “Space zombie” is a preposterous pejorative. Statistically we occupy far more time planetside.

Q: What about the zombie part?
A: Do I appear to you an abomination with an appetite for the living?

Q: Well…yes?
A: My proclivities do not run in that vein, I assure you. Any interests I have in removing your skull and applying my attentions to your brain are purely clinical.

Q: Whew! That’s a load off of my mind.  But just to be clear, you guys weren’t always this…hideous and disgusting? If you’ll pardon the expression.
A:  We are no longer quite as majestic as we once were.

Q: So what happened?
A: We were formerly a more visually advantageous race. But although we enjoyed long lifespans, we were fervently fascinated by the figure of death, flagrantly flaunting its finality. My goal was to forever free us from its yoke. To preserve those dear to us who might still be saved.

Q: And your solution?
A: I created the Everlife Elixir.

Q: Which was supposed to grant you eternal life?
A: Your power to perceive the obvious is truly impressive.

Q: Thanks! But it didn’t work out exactly as planned?
A: No. Instead it cursed us with the Contagion.

Q: And turned you all into space zombies?
A: Correct. Of course, it did technically cease the aging process. To that extent my experiment was a success.

Q: I guess there’s a silver lining in everything. Does looking corpselike make it hard to date?  Or do you just wear a lot of extra cologne?
A: The Contagion prevents procreation. I had hopes that the Vitalus Serum would have restored us in this capacity, but it did not.

Q: Vitalus Serum. That’s the blue goo in those segments of your limbs? What exactly does it do?
A: Vitalus moderates the madness and its attendant…appetites.

Q: What happens if you don’t have it?
A: I go mad and aggressively attack the nearest organism. Naturally.

Q: Oh. But interviewers don’t count, right?
A: You are an organism, are you not?

Q: Let’s move on. When your Elixir backfired, the Dominion quarantined your planet Grismara and left the survivors to die. Are you bitter?
A: The serious scientist does not allow sentiment to seep into his study. If a subject is infected, he simply and carefully slices the tumor free from the patient, freeing the rest of the organism from having to suffer its delusions of grandeur in the name of prophetic destiny.

Q: Noted. Thanks for your time, Dr. Lazarin. Good luck with finding your cure.
A: Your attentions are appreciated, as is your assistance.

Q: Thanks. Wait, what?
A: I took the liberty of testing my latest tincture on you.

Q: Uh. When was this?
A: Your beverage.

Q: What did you give me?
A: Assuming my proportions were correct, in moments you will be experiencing pan-dimensional synoptic enhancement, enabling you to simultaneously see in eight spectra and thirty-eight dimensions. I suggest exercising caution, however. The inhabitants can see you as well.

Q:  Ha, you had me going there for a sec – AAARRGGHHH!!!  The HORROR!  I CAN SEE TOO MUCH!!!!
A: Solvent successful.

WildStar: Meet the Chua

The WildStar devs certainly have been doing a stellar job conveying to the player community the sense of humor and fun they’re hoping the game actually delivers on at launch. Here’s the introduction Q&A for the Chua.

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Q: Thanks for finding the time to speak with us today, Mondo Zax. I know you don’t usually do interviews.
A: Don’t like interviews. Questions annoy Mondo. Things die when Mondo gets annoyed.

Q: Good to know. You’re a Chua, right? Tell me about that.
A: Chua best inventors in galaxy. Make stuff to make empire more powerful. Using science!

Q: You Chua are also quite notorious for your… sense of humor?
A: Yes! Chua like making people laugh.

Q: Really? I’ve heard that victims of your pranks suffer a 68% fatality rate.
A: Lies! Fatality rates for pranks NEVER less than 79%!

Q: Didn’t mean to sell you short. Can you give me an example of one of your pranks?
A: Certainly. Reporter asks nosy questions. Mondo straps reporter with explosives. Mondo laughs.

Q: Let’s talk more about you specifically. What was your childhood like?
A: Mondo’s childhood very difficult. Smallest of twelve siblings. Siblings treated Mondo badly.

Q: I see. You weren’t on good terms with them?
A: Excellent terms! Once they were gone…

Q: Right. Rumor has it they all disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
A: “Unexplained.” Not “mysterious.”

Q: Care to comment further?
A: Sure. You remind Mondo of his siblings. Gives Mondo ideas…

Q: Ahem. Moving on. You, um, overcame all these…obstacles…and became renowned for your mechanical ingenuity. And then the Dominion decided to give you a job?
A: Yes! Made Mondo Chief Technologist of DRED.

Q: DRED? What’s that?
A: Hmmm. Mondo could tell you. But much more efficient to kill you and forget you asked question.

Q: Err, that sounds rather extreme…
A: Mondo only kidding! About the forgetting part.

Q: Is DRED, uh, short for something?
A: Dominion Research and Experimentation Division. Top secret. Unlimited funding. Makes deadly technology for empire.

Q: So basically you sit around and dream up new and exciting ways to blow stuff up?
A: Not always. Only some things explode.

Q: What else do you make?
A: Skeletal vaporizers. Defoliant sprinklers. Tank melters. Death beds. Human cannons. Attack-o-lanterns. And many, many more.

Q: Like the Planet Reapers you designed to ravage Arboria?
A: Arboria? Arboria…ah, yes! Planet 45658b. High mineral content. Mildly useful.

Q: Did you feel bad about the populace you dispossessed?
A: Populace?

Q: The Aurin? They lived there.
A: You mean Treegazers? Barely sentient. Extinction best solution.

Q: Some say the Planet Reapers are the most horrifying machines ever invented.
A: Flattery appreciated! But those just prototypes. Working on bigger model. More fuel-efficient. Runs on prisoners of war.

Q: Hm. Well, hope that works out for you. Tragically, looks like we’re out of time. Thanks again for speaking with us, Mondo. Wait…what’s that thing in your hand?
A: Organ Immolator.

Q: Really? Awesome! What does it do?
A: Superheats internal organs of victims.

Q: Hold on…why are you pointing it at me?
A: Field test.

Q: Actually, being subjected to scientific experiments is no longer in my contract…
A: Hold still. Might hurt a bit.

Q: Uh. No, wait…please…ARRRGGGHHHHH! MY PANCREAS! IT BUUURRRNNNSSS!
A: Interviews fun! Can’t wait for next time.

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