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Topics - Nightsong
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« on: April 04, 2013, 03:47:12 PM »
Last week, all of us were on planes traveling back to California during the normal Uplink time, so we asked Mike Joseph from WildStar Fans to step in and host the Uplink for us! Mike delivered with a great question about MMO communities, one we were more than excited to tackle:
What does it mean to have a "healthy community" for an MMO?
joseph_foran: Having systems accessible while in-game, even stuff like forums/ladders/armory, to keep players in-game & connected to each other.
Kafziet: A healthy community for me means no bots to flood the chat. Nothing ruins conversation like 500 "BUY GOLD HERE" messages.
Tacomagamefan: Helpful in building community to have incentives for players to group & make new friends during leveling.
Gazimoff: Generally, a healthy community is one where players are engaged with each-other in a positive & constructive manner. This positivity can be proactive help, fan creations, encouragement and advice when starting new projects. Conversely, a negative community is filled with toxic elements - hate speech/insults, destructive criticism, etc. There's also the inclusive versus exclusive, welcoming newcomers versus ridiculing noobs.
WildstarHub: A healthy MMO community supports each other, helps newbies, answers questions, shares great sites. Cooperation!
Guideborn: A healthy community requires moderation. Trolls are rampant in online gaming and must not be allowed to survive in WildStar.
MaximlianNYC: A healthy MMO community is able to convey the wishes of the players to the devs without being belligerent and rude.
Bringstrom: A healthy community is where most posts on the forum, and most messages in chat, are positive, fun and helpful instead of trolling.
NudAresk: A healthy community gives recognition to respectful/helpful players and invites new members. It encourages growth (in trolls too).
bleh_linh: A healthy community consists of people you can have fun around and connect with. A lot of helping and chatting should take place!
LFlutterfire: Friends, camaraderie, healthy competition, rational and sane discussion, working to improve the game, and the community itself.
PaulBProgrammer: A healthy MMO community focuses more on uniqueness and utility for each individual than it does on huge QTYs of players.
coatsy35: Healthy community is one that doesn't have a large portion of the player base suffering from a sense of entitlement.
Elthic: A good community is one that has little to no turnover, if I keep bumping into the same faces, I'm going to want to play with them
Lionscar: A fierce no-tolerance policy on hatespeech and sexism of any kind makes a grand community.
NexusWeekly: Rivalries, stand outs, frequent server events and chat channels knee-deep in gamers willing to answer questions.
hotshot25120: I would like to see community working together instead of destroying each other.
Kriptosporidium: The ingredients for a healthy community are limited griefing tools, good moderators and being lucky enough to have cool players.
hotshot25120: When everyone share the same goal, I would like to see some server event where everyone need to work together to unlock things.
3seed: A healthy community builds itself up instead of tears itself down: connects, engages, communicates.
ahamling27: A healthy community not only helps the uninitiated, they go out of their way to make newbs feel welcome.
Optimisticnerd: A healthy community is an environment where people feel welcomed, yet there is also a good amount of friendly competition.
another_ending: A healthy community shares a passion for the game and a desire to add something to it. A healthy community laughs together.
Arakas: A healthy Com. is Developer Created, but Player Driven. Scaffolding comes to mind. How about non-combat-based faction challenges.
Shablevski: "what does it mean to have a healthy community?" A community that cooperates with one another yet respects competition.
DmoneyMiles: A healthy MMO community gives players a reason to be nice and help each other out.
Tastyonionsoup: A healthy community is one that is aware of its flaws, and strives for improvement without conforming members.
Arakas: A healthy community has common goals, in/famous members that are facilitated by ingame mechanics (Guild/PvP/Raid Rankings).
Let's start off by stating what you already know: healthy in-game communities are the lifeblood of an MMORPG. Without an in-game community, you just have a MORPG. Or an ORPG. Or maybe just a G. The question we face, as a Community team, is how much of this should be driven by the developers, and how much is driven by the players? When we look at other MMO communities, there's a huge amount of variance on that front. We think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Our favorite example of a community defining itself is the WildStar Central community, the oldest WildStar community out there right now. As WildStar has become more popular, their community has grown exponentially, and the usual challenges of any MMO community have arisen. That includes all the MMO community characters you’ve grown to love: a dash of troll, a pinch of naysayer, a heaping helping of mega-super fans, served with the occasional misinformation wrapped around a cacophony of beta requests. In keeping with our commitment to take the conversation to the community, we do spend our fair share of time talking with the WildStar Central community, but our efforts have focused on communicating important details, while letting that community police itself. The work that WildStar Central has done to build a vibrant community extends beyond the people that stop by their forums. Their collaborative spirit has helped many a new WildStar community site grow and prosper, which is just the way we like it.
Recently, we hosted an AMA on Reddit about Combat and PvP, where it was revealed that we'd have a Group Finder that worked solely cross-server. As any veteran MMO player might expect, this reveal caused no small amount of hubbub across the entire fansite community. The conversations were extremely constructive, polite, and thoughtful, which served as true inspiration for us to take your thoughts and concerns to a continued the conversation amongst the development team. As we’ve said in the past, the dev team's primary goal is to remove barriers to entry for both social connections and experiencing new content. In tandem with those efforts, our goal as a Community team is to remove barriers to creating micro-communities that form in games, whether that's an individual's reputation or a server's identity as a whole.
So after some brainstorming, we believe we've come up with the appropriate solution: At launch, our Group Finder will include a checkbox to allow you to only group with players from your own server. Players who are willing to submit to a longer wait using Group Finder will be placed with people from their own servers when looking to tackle Dungeons, Adventures, and unrated Battlegrounds. (Ranked Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Warplots will still only be available cross-server, to allow for proper rating-based matchmaking.)
We think this solution strikes the proper balance between our needs and the players' needs, and the usual refrain of allowing players to play the way they want to play factored in heavily into this decision. But even more so, this is an example of the kind of interaction we will continue to build on.
The devs are listening!
Troy, Loic, and David
« on: April 03, 2013, 07:36:18 PM »
What is WildStar? - Arenas
The PvP developer approach to PvP content is very similar to how WildStar PvE developers approach PvE content. We want to provide play opportunities for many types of players, which includes offering different PvP Elder Game options.
The Arena Elder Game aims itself at players who thrive on challenging skill play, a competitive environment, and small team tactical play. This Elder Game type also lends itself well to (future!) development of tournaments/e-sport systems, which deepens attachment to the challenge and progression of the Arena system.
Arena Gameplay in WildStar
WildStar will have 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 Arena match sizes. Arena teams will be formal teams (a team is created in order to play in matches that earn your team rating points). Players can belong to one team for each match size.
One of the biggest differences you’ll see in WildStar Arena gameplay is that our Arena match is not a single elimination match. Each team shares a set amount of respawns (based on the match size). To win an Arena match, your team must get the opposing team to use all of their respawns and then defeat any remaining living opponents.
You’ve found the seedy underworld of Nexus in the dingy engine room of a Marauder ship. The floor and walls are littered with bottles, beer cans, and broken weapons. Metal pillars sprout from the center of the Arena floor, venting steam. You can see spectators behind the grating. They are eyeing you as they make their wagers. Cameras rove around the room, waiting to record the action.
Do note, the game screenshots are showing the game off on very low graphical settings.
Also, the screenshots with the UI are not the final version of the UI.
« on: April 03, 2013, 01:49:01 PM »
"After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles."
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:48:21 PM »
WildStar Uplink is a bi-weekly conversation we hold with our fans about MMO design, philosophy, and news. The main goal of these conversations is to gauge how important certain issues are to the WildStar community. More than just a simple conversation, we ask questions about topics that are important, and we share your responses with the development team directly. Want to participate? Follow @Team_WildStar on Twitter for the weekly question, participate using #WSuplink, and keep an eye on the community team (CRB_Atreid, CRB_Aether, and CRB_Scooter) to interact with us throughout the discussions.
This week, it was back to basics with a seemingly simple question for the community:
What is the purpose of a guild in MMOs?
After the shock of such a simple question wore off, you all provided tons of great answers from guilds of all preferences and experiences:
Wildstar_Nexus: The point of a guild is to co-operate and help each other no matter the level. Having activities, in-game and player run events help achieve this goal. It helps having big events that everyone can be invovled in, low or high levels
Yakzan: A social construct within MMOs where groups of similar makeup can organize and associate with. Facilitated by chat channels, etc.
CVSpence: To provide formal structure to friends and likeminded players in order to maximize their time together
Bramhendriks: Several reasons I guess, but the biggest for me is creating a small social community to play the game with.
Jar_Nod: 1) To enable a group of players to achieve greater success through the sum of their parts. 2) To provide sanctuary from PuGs...
OniOnidra: Guilds in MMO are a feature to group players with same affinity and to give them content to make together.
qn2Quid: Hang out with friends, meet new people, socialize, play together, help eachother out, organize groups, raids and other events
malagaj: It's community. Getting friends and like minded people to play the same place. Having fun and share it. A pilar of the game.
real_lethality: Primarily, guilds should facilitate the means for a group to progress as a unit through various game systems. (1/3)
BlackBigBang: Guilds are great places to share same goals and points of views. We also can play together in the best ambience !
KatarynaWS: make friends,guidance for newbies,work together to kill stuff, a group of like-minded people working towards a goal
Cefyru: the purpose of a guild is to link people who want to play together, share their game time and give them various common goals.
Guideborn: Guilds are about networking with players with similar goals and interests. It's a much wider circle of friendship and teamwork.
Gazimoff: Guilds are there to be the greatest source of joy in a game. Unfortunately, they also cause the most upset.
Threethumbed: To me guilds were never really about being social, as most guild chats are generally pretty silent. Instead I've always seen guilds as teams competing for renown. People striving to be a team that makes players say: “Wow, I want to be one of them!”
coatsy35: A place to create friendships with like minded people and have fun achieving common goals.
cecilandblues: Guilds should serve as a social staging point for acomplishing greater goals in the game.
WSRoleplay: To help evolve the game and its world therein, to push its limits and expand them beyond the code and system.
burch_adam: to provide a pool of "trustworthy" and "reliable" people to help complete the MMO mandated group content.
Scottbetweeting: Guilds give players their own customized reputation to send into the game's many conflicts. The more guild mechanics the merrier.
WildStarfanatic: To unify players and make a community were it's easy to find good groups instead of PUGs. Yay guilds!
MasonTMatchak: To ensure that a group of people who want to play together, for whatever reason, can play together. Simple as that.
It's pretty clear that players see guilds as the central social hub for what you care most about, whether that's raiding, PvP, roleplaying, or anything else you can think of! We agree that guilds are a great way to form a group of like-minded people to engage with the content you most prefer in an MMO. But we all know that no player is entirely single-minded in terms of the content they want to engage in, or the types of people they want to socialize with. In addition to guilds, we're designing additional features that allow people to form guild-like social connections within a game.
These days, gamers are in so many various circles of friends, but guilds aren't necessarily the right place to support all of those different types of people at once. And while guilds always have been the main type of social group in MMOs, we also think we can better support your various social circles in WildStar, with a feature we call "Circles". Circles are separate from guilds, but include similar features, such as private chat channels, group rosters, name tags, and so on. So you can be a part of your hardcore raiding guild, while still keeping in touch with the Esper Mad Healz Circle, Roleplaying Circle, and "Arrested Development" Circle, all at the same time. Currently, players can be members of one guild and five circles at the same time, though of course this may change as we get feedback during beta.
It is this kind of feedback that will help us evolve our guild tools throughout the feedback process as well. In fact, we’re so committed to the importance of guilds, we’re going to have a dedicated phase of our beta testing devoted to bringing guilds in to help us evaluate and improve our guild tools. Our approach to focusing on a feature, bringing you in to put it through its paces, and then iterating on that feature based on your feedback is the cornerstone of our beta and development efforts.
We're really excited about being able to provide meaningful ways for our community to build deep social connections in our game world, and features like Guilds and Circles are crucial to that effort. It's really important to us that we remove all those barriers to being able to find and join the social groups you want to interact with (and protection from those you want to avoid), allowing you to engage more easily. We're looking forward to hearing feedback on these systems as we add more of you to beta over the coming months, but feel free to share your thoughts via Twitter/Facebook/Fansites as well.
« on: March 29, 2013, 07:45:25 PM »
War between the Alliances rages across Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online, and the province of Cyrodiil is the site of the fiercest battles. Control of the Imperial City could turn the tides of the conflict, and each Alliance is keenly aware of its importance. Find out how you’ll be able to aid your Alliance as it vies for the Ruby Throne.Towns
You’ll be able to help push your Alliance towards victory in Cyrodiil in a variety of ways (not just through defeating other players), and we want to shed some more light on the details in this two-part article. In this first installment, we’ll discuss the various activities you can participate in while in Cyrodiil, Campaigns and how they work, and the kinds of rewards you’ll earn. Let’s get started!
Several towns in Cyrodiil, like Cheydinhal and Bruma, are home to citizens eager for protection and assistance as the war threatens to destroy their homes and ravage their land. Desperate, they’ll accept help from any Alliance, and they’re willing to pay. The citizens of towns in Cyrodiil are neutral towards player characters, but guards from the Alliance that holds nearby keeps will patrol the streets.Crafting Resources
You’ll be able to complete repeatable quests for all the towns in Cyrodiil. Each town faces its own challenges; for example, Imperial forces still occupy the northern portions of Cheydinhal, and the citizens need your help to drive them out. Help the townspeople, and you’ll be rewarded with gold and experience.
The vast province of Cyrodiil, from its fertile farmland to snowy mountains, is rich in resources prized by craftsmen. As you explore the diverse landscape, you’ll discover sought-after resources and materials to use in crafting. There are valuable materials that can only be obtained in Cyrodiil, and players of any level will be able to forage for them. Keep in mind that Cyrodiil is very large—if you prefer to avoid battles with other players, it will be easy to find materials far from keeps and other large conflicts. Crafting tables will be available in safe areas near the entrances to Cyrodiil.Guild Quests
Both the Mages Guild and the Fighters Guild have interests in Cyrodiil. Assisting them in their efforts by braving the volatile area will allow you to increase your standing in each guild. You can advance in the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild in your home Alliance or in Cyrodiil.Ruins and Caves
Molag Bal is attempting to pull Tamriel into his Oblivion plane of Coldharbour using diabolical constructs called Dark Anchors. If you can defeat his minions and find a way to banish the Anchors clawing into Cyrodiil’s soil, the Fighters Guild will reward you.
Long-lost books of lore are at risk as war cuts a fiery swath across Cyrodiil. The Mages Guild is determined to recover and protect as many of these tomes as possible, and you will gain their favor if you can return the priceless books.
Caves, crumbling towers, and Ayleid ruins dot the landscape in Cyrodiil. Locations like these are known to contain valuable treasures, but they’re often protected by brigands (or much worse). If you choose to delve into the depths in the pursuit of gold or glory, be prepared! Even if you can defeat the inhabitants and their dangerous leaders, you’ll always have to be on your guard for explorers from the other Alliances who seek the same treasures. Though it’s possible to tackle these challenges on your own, it’s always a good idea to bring two or more allies, especially with the threat of attacks by enemy players. Campaigns
A Campaign consists of a group of players battling for control of Cyrodiil for a set period of time—think months, not days or weeks. Multiple Campaigns in Cyrodiil occur at the same time. You’ll be assigned to a Campaign based on several factors, like your Alliance, Campaign populations, and your guild(s). However, you’ll be able to visit Campaigns in order to join your friends for an evening, or join a new one (but at a cost of Alliance Points or gold). Rewards
During a Campaign, your Alliance’s performance will affect bonuses players can receive across the game (not just in Cyrodiil). Campaign scores, which you’ll be able to view, are evaluated constantly in order to encourage competition all the way down to the last seconds. Campaigns can last for a month or longer, giving everyone a chance to pitch in for the war effort.
If you choose to participate in the ongoing battle in Cyrodiil, you’ll be awarded with Alliance Points, experience, and gold. You can use Alliance Points to purchase armor and weapons or to advance in several skill lines specific to Cyrodiil. These skill lines will allow you to become a more powerful fighter, a greater leader, or an expert in warfare.
Even though your allies can always use more troops on the battlefield, you don’t have to participate in Cyrodiil to reap its rewards. Your Alliance’s performance in a Campaign can earn the whole Alliance bonuses to gold and experience, boosts in combat, Alliance Points, and more.
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:42:49 PM »
WildStar infuses amazing stylized art with the latest technology to create a stunning visual experience. Set on a wondrous alien world, WildStar delivers a wild and mysterious adventure among the ruins of an advanced civilization - allowing you to play the way you want to play while experiencing an unprecedented level of exploration and discovery!KICK ASS AND TAKE NAMES!
Planet Nexus ain't for the faint of heart, so strap on your boots, charge your lasers, and sharpen your swords! Choose from one of many unique classes, using skill-based abilities and combat mechanics to defeat a stunning array of the most dangerous creatures and enemies in the galaxy. Looking for an even bigger challenge? Then jump into PvP battlegrounds, dungeons and epic raids, putting your combat skills to the ultimate test!EXPLORE A NEW HOMEWORLD!
Nexus is one of the most mysterious and dangerous planets in the entire universe, and you just decided to make it your new home. On the plus side, there are ancient ruins, mystical forests and unexplored moons just waiting to be conquered! On the down side, most of those places are inhabited by cybernetically-enhanced monstrosities, frightening beasts and hostile alien races! The fun never ends!FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS!
Dive into the most visually stunning game in the history of the universe! With a completely unique and timeless art style, WildStar is infused with an unforgettable personality that is all its own. Chock full of super cool characters, awe-inspiring environments, and hair-raising boss monsters, WildStar smacks you with eyepopping visual variety at every turn. Now all you have to do is avoid becoming the galaxy's best-looking corpse!KICK ADVENTURE IN THE FACE!
Quests? We don't just have quests...we've got deep, multi-layered content, guaranteeing that your adventure on Nexus is bursting at the seams with fun and surprises. Battles with giant killer robots? Check. Timed challenges to kill deadly alien organisms? Check. Discovering powerful ancient technology that will melt your frickin' face? Double check. And the best part? The greater the risk, the greater the loot!PLEDGE YOUR ALLIANCE!
On the wild and dangerous frontiers of Nexus, you better pick a side if you want to survive! Want to crush your enemies in a bloodbath of imperial conquest? Then swear to the Dominion, a powerful interstellar empire who has claimed Nexus for its own! Or maybe you're a born rebel who ain't takin' orders from anyone? Then the Exiles - a rogue alliance of mercenaries, refugees and renegades - is the faction for you!CHOOSE YOUR PATH!
Remember! This is your adventure, so pick a Path and play the way you wanna play! Along with your class, you can choose to be a Soldier, Scientist, Settler or Explorer - each with its own unique content and special rewards designed to fit your particular playstyle. So whether you're planting a flag, building a starport, climbing a mountain, or studying weird extra-terrestrial critters, your Path creates a unique experience that is all your own!STAKE YER CLAIM!
Grab your plot, plant a flag, and crack open a beer. This place is yours, you found it, you built it, and you'll be damned if anyone is gonna take it from you!WHAT THE ...?!
Hold on a second. Nexus was supposed to be the lost planet of the Eldan...but they ain't here, and it's now up to you to figure out what happened to them. Lucky for you, they left behind lots of clues. Unlucky for you, most of the clues will demolish, dissect, or vaporize you. So go on, gear-up, and start searching - the truth is out there, if you figure out a way to survive!
« on: March 27, 2013, 03:07:43 PM »
Anyone know of any gameplay footage of The Elder Scrolls Online from PAX? So far, every video I have seen people upload has been taken down by ZeniMax with no real reason.
Only reason I'm asking is because I want to see some footage of the game being played by actual players and not something the developers have put together.
« on: March 26, 2013, 10:48:02 AM »
So now that PAX is over, we have gotten a bit more info on how the endgame is structured for TESO.
There are no raids, after all – "That's not Elder Scrolls," says Game Director Matt Firor
There will be no adventure zones at launch
Players who reach the level cap and beat all of their Faction’s PvE quests will have the chance to pick a new Faction’s area to venture through, this is called 50+ and 50++ content. You only get to pick one new faction at a time. If you beat the Ebonheart Pact zone’s you then can choose Daggerfall Covenant or Aldmeri Dominion zones to quest in next. After you beat either of those you can move on to the third zone. These new zones will have much better loot than your original zone and the third zone you choose will have the best loot.
With 50+ and 50++ content you will not see enemy players while exploring enemy faction territories, only NPCs.
Dungeons have Hard Modes, these are essential extended versions of previous dungeons. Players who beat a dungeon earlier in the game will have a chance to go back and visit new areas of that dungeon. These new areas are extensions of the previous dungeon’s story so the higher your level the more of the story and lore you’ll get access to.
Three way Alliance War in Cyrodiil (based on the DAoC structure).So from those quotes, endgame consists of the following:
- 4 man dungeons (with both a normal and hard mode)
- 50+ and 50++ content via the exploration of the other faction territories
- Three way PvP in CyrodiilDo you feel that the above three endgame options are enough for TESO at launch or is it going to drive people away?
« on: March 22, 2013, 02:41:35 PM »
The Halon Ring
Finding the planet Nexus hasn't always been a major problem, but actually getting to land is another story. The Halon Ring is a series of satellites in high orbit that have only one function: shooting down literally anything that comes close to the planet. While it's stopped preventing anyone from landing, that doesn't mean the combination defense network and debris field isn't still pretty darn interesting.Crimson Isle
The Halon Ring is a zone in the 40-ish range, not quite at the apex but getting close. It's a dark place aesthetically, filled with gutted ships, unearthly light sources, and plenty of junk still crashing down to the surface. Some of those crashing objects are meteors, some are ships, and all of them tie into the game's dynamic events.
Of course, the first wrinkle players need to deal with is the fact that the zone is a lower-gravity environment, which means that players jump higher but slower at the same time. This creates a very different flow in combat because you're no longer able to dodge as if you were on the planet's surface. I saw this as the team showed off one of the dynamic events involving a new object crashing to the surface... a vending machine.
This isn't your ordinary vending machine. Well, unless your definition of "ordinary vending machine" includes having it unfold arms and legs and then try to kill you, which raises several questions about the vending machines you encounter on a regular basis. This also served as a great opportunity to show off the game's combat, which looked responsive and quick.
After the fight against the Vend-o-bot, we took a brief tour through the rest of the starship graveyard, filled with undead creatures composed of former crew members and pirates looking to scavenge a few valuable bits off the ships. Pirates are a constant threat on the Halon Ring, which looks as if it'll be full of intriguing and novel challenges for veteran players.
Of course, all the awesome high-end content in the world doesn't matter if the early game isn't cool enough to make you care. So our next stop was the Crimson Isle, which is an area that new Draken players will be tasked with infiltrating. It's a nice place, evoking memories of the Utah landscape, right down to the enormous forcefield preventing the Dominion army from landing.Housing
Wait, that's not in Utah. That's in Arizona.
At any rate, players will be tasked with getting into the region, shutting down the force field, and then escaping via a stolen Exile ship. This qualifies as the "starter" experience for Draken. It also features high-flying orbital strike devices and minefields surrounding the area, giving players an early introduction to the way that the environment affects combat patterns.
For example, at first, you see the circles indicating orbital targeting and you want to avoid them. Then you start learning how to dodge them if they catch you. Then you start stepping in to lure a strike down, pull an enemy into the blast radius, and dodge out just before the fire of heaven rains down. It's a different twist on combat, and it leads to a more distinct combat experience.
Equally diverting are the path opportunities. I got to see an Explorer opportunity near the forcefield controls, sending the player character running into a tunnel searching for a beacon location. After a few twists, the main meat of the region was shown to be a game of hot-and-cold looking for the beacon location while rocks steadily fell from the ceiling. No combat, but still a challenge for an explorer-focused player. I was told that anywhere between 25-30% of the content in any given zone is meant for specific paths, ensuring that two characters will play through the same zone in different ways.
The zone as a whole also shows off the fundamental philosophy that players should be fighting cool stuff even in the start of the game. In the Crimson Isle you fight an enormous space football player, assault an Exile base, and wind up dealing with an enormous robot embedded in a cliff face that will hopefully help you kill your enemies rather than killing you. It's got the sense of a late-game zone, but it's part of the introduction.
Last but most certainly not least, we took a look at the game's housing system, which is already progressing nicely. We started out with a short video explaining the gist of how housing works -- players can pick up their house starting at level 6 by plunking down a bit of money at your local Protostar representative. Needless to say, Protostar has sold you a plot that's not entirely what was advertised, but once you murder the vicious critters infesting the region, you can get into the business of making your house beautiful.
There are two sides to designing your home area: the indoors and the outdoors. Outdoor decoration has two components. You've got decorations, which can be turned around and placed on pre-defined "hooks" all around the building surfaces and the landscape. Then you have "plugs," functional modules that add something special to your house once they're placed into one of the plot's "sockets."
Plugs have a variety of functions, many of which are based upon what it is you want to do. Like to craft? Build a crafting station. Like to raid? Build a personal raid portal. Need ore? Build a mine. Many of these plugs also come with daily quests once they finish building, as well as certain buffs for players who make use of them. And they're not limited to just one player, either.
Give other players permission to enter your house, and you can both reap benefits. Have to stay out of the game for a week? Your friends can harvest your garden and get some extra resources as a result. It's similar to social games in spirit, with plenty of opportunity for players to work together for mutual gan.
The rewards extend to the inside of your house as well. At the moment, the main benefit comes in the form of rested experience. Logging out in your house gets you more rested experience. If your house is nicer, you get even more. Nicer refers to fairly standard creature comforts -- nicer things, more lighting, and so forth. Veterans of The Sims will have no trouble understanding the core mechanics.
Indoors, the game abandons the hook system in favor of freeform placement, sizing, and arrangement. The development team is looking into letting players give others design permissions, so you can pay someone else to make your house look beautiful. I got to witness the developers building a makeshift loft out of a series of bookcases just as an example of how flexible the system actually is. Players can also change tiling, wallpapers, surfaces, and so forth -- everything you need to make your home feel like, well, home.
Some of the things you can add to your home plot come with challenges, but they're not mandatory challenges. They're meant to be fun optional additions, not additional chores. Build a hedge maze and you can get rare spawns to fight, but you aren't going to log into your home to find that you absolutely must deal with several rampaging beasts in your face.
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:14:28 AM »
Curious what you all think and if you agree or disagree with the author of the article.
If you ever have the desire for a guide on how to instantly ruin 3 faction MMO PvP, and guarantee no chance of it ever recovering from a shallow and meaningless themepark experience, The Elder Scrolls Online appears to be writing the book. Yeah, that’s harsh, but I’m shocked more people aren’t saying something. Here’s what I’ve learned from various media who were able to see the game in action. Personally, I hope they have it all wrong, and if they do someone speak up.
Since there is only one “mega server”, Cyrodiil (the PvP zone) will be split into multiple instances to accommodate population. Players are assigned a campaign when they create their character (or reach level 10 or something). The campaigns are apparently NOT integrated in any way (I thought they were). There’s really no way you can spin that to sound good to anyone who knows something about open-world persistent RvR.
Problem: There’s no true sense of permanence or achieving a victory when you duplicate a zone. Even if you call them “permanent instances,” even if they are technically open all the time and mimic servers, nothing is ultimately hinging on your campaign. “How’s Ebonheart Pact doing in your campaign? We’re losing. Oh you should transfer over to campaign B since we’re totally dominating here!”
Problem: Developers getting involved in who is winning? HANDS OFF the battlefield! That’s the entire point of having three factions: let the battlefield balance itself. So not only are there population caps on the battlefield and multiple instances, but the developers can choose to, at their discretion, help the people losing side by giving them more players.
« on: March 21, 2013, 07:34:58 PM »
This was posted over at mmorpg.com and I wanted to repost it here...
1) How to get access to other factions: In order to actually go into another factions territories a players must be cap at lvl 50 and have completed all your alliances pve content (faction completion basically). Once done you will have the choice to pick a zone of the opposing faction to enter. Once that zone is complete, you will be given another opportunity to pick another zone to venture into.
2) But I don’t want to see that Scum in my land! You won’t: If you have your faction completed and want to enter another faction’s territory, you are basically joining the PVE elitist club. When you are in another faction’s territory you will ONLY see players of your faction and the other players you see are ones that have also done the faction completion pre requisite in your realm.
3) No agitators and race mixers here: When you are leveling up and going about your business in your land, at no point will you see anyone from the opposing faction. No one gets flagged for pvp or anything like that. Like I stated before, enemies exploring your territory will be in a “their faction only” copy of it. Really this is just to appease people who only want to explore the game without sacrificing the segregation of the factions.
4) PvPers won’t even notice: If you are like me and don’t care too much about faction completion, you will probably forget that this feature even exists; you will be locked to your faction, never seeing anyone from the opposing faction except in the AvA zone. You won’t see an orc with his pants off at your supermarket.
As a note, I bolded bullet point #2 for a reason. There is conflicting information from the developers of ESO. Bullet point #2 comes from a very recent interview with ZeniMax where they said exactly that. However, earlier, Paul Sage said that once you hit level 50 and journey to the territories of the other factions you can group up.
Basically all this confirms is that PvP is confined to the Alliance War in Cyrodiil and has zero place in any of the faction territories.
« on: March 20, 2013, 09:32:44 AM »
What is WildStar? - Raids
So we’re a bit old-school. Big ass raids. Tough raids. Raids you have to earn your way into beating, and raids that aren’t made so your grandma can make it through. Sure, we can make things easier over time - but only if there are new challenges to give a tough time to the hardest of the hardcore.
And we want to be new-school, and then graduate from that and use the learning to design a yet newer school. Dynamic content. Competitive weekly challenges based on the dynamic changes during the week. Epic rewards weekly for being the best or the fastest on your server or worldwide.
Adapting to WildStar Combat
WildStar's combat is heavily focused on free-form targeting, telegraphs, and player movement. While familiar to most, this is a new approach to combat in many ways and has both forced and allowed us to structure our encounter design around it. The encounters will often be familiar to players - we're not shying away from the idea of tanks and healers, for instance - but the encounters will also play out in fresh and exciting ways. The telegraph system, both for players and NPCs, creates an exciting amount of movement and positioning throughout. This, to me, makes the fights exceptionally engaging - I love fights that keep me on my toes, no matter what role I'm filling.
These mechanics also scale well from solo to group all the way up to raid combat, as an increasing number of players also increases the number of varied (and devilishly punishing) obstacles that we can implement. With our amazing artists and programmers, even the room you're standing in can become a part of the epic nature of some of the encounters.
Week to Week (and Fight to Fight) Variance
Raids are never intended to be one-shot content. Our goal, and the goal of most raid content, is provide extremely challenging repeatable content for players to enjoy and battle against over an extended period of days, weeks, or months. One of the design goals we've had since the beginning, which Jeremy and Mike Donatelli have both talked about in interviews, is to work our hardest to keep that content fresh. The zone and encounters should remain familiar from week to week but also offer enough variance to feel fresh as well. We've worked hard to incorporate that in many ways within our instances, from 5-man dungeons all the way up through the biggest 40-man raids. We want players to look forward to the instance each week, not dread a slog through 'repetitive' content just to improve their +2 Sword of Boss-slaying to +3.
Dungeon layouts, encounter composition, individual abilities, inherently random events, progression paths within an instance…we've really tried to push the number of ways to keep things fresh as much as possible. Our class system also allows us to create encounters with a very different raid composition required to face it without crippling the raids--our players will be able to modify their roles and abilities quickly and easily while not in combat, giving each encounter the freedom to be different from each other.
I touched on this briefly in the last section, but some of the big draws raid content has for many of our employees are the sheer challenges they present, the achievement felt upon defeating an extremely difficult encounter, and feeling of progression through such hard instances. (Also, totally off topic, but "many of our employees" is no exaggeration. We set up a brainstorming meeting a long time ago with the basic premise of "What do y'all want to see in our Raid content?" and asked for only folks who considered themselves experienced raiders to attend. I, uh, I'm pretty sure half the company signed up and attended - opinions in tow - for the meeting.) Challenging content and the joy it can bring is something that many folks here are very passionate about, and we really want to bring that sort of meta gameplay to all of our players. Jeremy has talked about rankings and weekly challenges before as something we'll have - on top of the difficult and rewarding content for our PvE-focused players.
The last point on this topic, is to not assume that raids will be "the endgame" as is the case in many MMOs. It is simply "an endgame." For players who don't love this sort of content, there will be many other avenues and heaps of other Elder game content that will not require a player to set a foot inside a 20- or 40-man instance. But I'm a raider at heart, so I'm really looking forward to gifting you all with the most enjoyable wipes I can manage!
« on: March 20, 2013, 09:30:23 AM »
As we head into Beta, lots of people still want to know: What is this WildStar game? Why should I care about it? Is it nutritional? Will my dog enjoy it? Well, we can't promise to answer all of those questions, but we're pretty sure we've covered the basics in this video. Enjoy!
« on: March 19, 2013, 11:02:22 AM »
Put this in it's own thread so it doesn't get lost amongst all the preview information...First Person View:
Yes, it is in. To stop all the rumors and silly press assumptions: it is in. We were shown a great video of how it looks. It looks like Elder Scrolls, and the skills and weapons came across the screen really clear. I will say this about first person: I don’t know how it will translate into PvP. In the open world AvA system, you are constantly going to want to look over your shoulder. You need that third person view to see what is coming in behind you and on the sides. It may just be a risk to go first-person, when you could miss out in this tactical advantage.Exploring the Whole Wide World:
First-person view has always been a staple of Elder Scrolls and it should be really great to go through all of the PvE content in that format. The team is set on building a great RPG game and this definitely adds to it. Spells worked well and we got to see the dual-wielding maces beat down some skeletons in a graveyard. Also, we saw how skills work like the Dragon Knight’s chain throw (Get Over Here!) attack. It ran smoothly and Matt said that they are still polishing the graphics and making sure it runs well for launch. So rest your fears, you will be able to run around in Elder Scrolls Online with a first-person view.
Another new announcement came from the team about exploring the whole world of the game. For a while, it sounded like you could only explore the faction that you had joined at the beginning of the game. So the Ebonhearts would only explore Skyrim and so on. This has now been changed. Players who complete all of the PvE in their zone will now get the chance to unlock another zone at Level 50. Therefore, Ebonheart players can explore the content of the Daggerfall Covenant or the Aldmeri Dominion at Level 50. Once you make the choice the entire zone opens up to your character to explore. Matt did say that the loot you will get in the other zones will be really good, and after finishing the 2nd, you unlock the third. When you unlock the third zone that will give some of the best loot in the game.
The new zones are set up to play with level 50+ content. So it does present some great challenges to a player. Matt also explained that you can go back to zones very easily with the Wayshrines on the map. They definitely made travel quick and easy in the game. So once you have explored an area, being able to return and move around will go much quicker.
As a player I am happy to hear that these zones will be open to everyone. In the interview Matt said that we did not want players to miss out on 2/3’s of out game. So we wanted to open it to everyone. As a Daggerfall Orc I cannot wait to adventure through Ebonheart and Aldmeri. This really does open the whole world of PvE to players and gives them chances for some great loot in the game without having to focus on raids or AvA if they just want to explore.
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