Like Junkies Nation on Facebook Follow Junkies Nation on Twitter Subscribe to the Junkies Nation RSS Feed
HOME NEWS MMORPG GAMING MOBA GEEK CULTURE

Jeremy Gaffney Q&A Session Regarding M30 Patch Notes [Transcript]

By on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:41 am, in News, WildStar  |  Comments: 2 comments

wildstar devtracker copy

As you’ve probably read, Jeremy Gaffney did a Q&A Session on Wildstar-Central last night where he answered a ton of community questions based on the leaked patch notes. It was a pretty awesome reaction from a studio that we’ve not seen before. What we’ve done is boil down the Q&A session for you so you can read it line for line. But if you want to see the discussion as it grows, make sure you head over to the WTC forums for the full community reaction.

Keep reading for the transcript.

Hi, as many of you know, we had a leak of our beta patch notes a few days ago and some feedback on how forum feedback, etc. Beta’s going well, so that doesn’t particularly suck for us, honestly.

But it doesn’t seem fair to the sites (like Wildstar Central) that are being good guys and keeping discussions on NDA-breaking material off their forums to lose traffic to sites that aren’t as ethical.

So what we’ll do in general is to focus our devs to post preferentially on the sites that help enforce our NDA.

So, here’s our patch notes released officially without NDA. We won’t always respond to leaks in this fashion. In fact, we don’t like leaks and will be using our particular set of skills to make life a nightmare for leakers like that.

Having said all that, in return for having enforced the NDA here, enjoy and I’ll make an effort to drop by this thread over the next few days and respond to questions coming from the notes (not everything, we gotta keep some stuff secret )

First off ,sorry to hear about the leak but a great way to deal with it!

It looks like settlers are going to get the ability to put up turrets. Is that on fixed locations where a plug in is installed ? I’m asking because any settler info is awesome but couldn’t figure out how this fit in.

Thank you again!

Well, we’re not really complaining too hard about a leak that says “the game is well polished” and “the forums are overwhelmingly positive” but I’m sure we’ll get negative leaks at some point as well, that’s life.

Settlers have some things that are plug-based (i.e. fixed locations, pretty themepark-y) and some things that are free-placeable (pretty sandbox-y). I actually don’t recall off of hand which the turrets in the notes are; there’s enough content in the game that probably both kinds might be somewhere.

I think the only real thing that stuck out for me was the reduction in the limited action set from 9 to 7. I think there were already concerns from some of us coming from games where we have (and use) dozens of abilities. Games like The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 went down a limited path and it really dumbed down the complexity of the combat system and made combat thoroughly unrewarding.

I guess what I’m trying to ask is this a temporary thing? Are you experimenting with different setups? Or have the more ‘casual’ players already started complaining of having too much to keep track of?

This came up on a reddit thread earlier, here’s a clipped up copypasta as it’s a good question:

Beta for us isn’t about taking a completed game and just using it to build hype, it’s about having unbiased (well, randomly biased) players in the game giving us feedback on pretty much everything.

Class abilities are separate from temp powers, usable items, path abilities, and a few other ability types we’ve been proposing. In the notes, we were actually making room for more of the non-class abilities like Path abilities (charged jetpacks for explorers, weapons needing field tests for soldiers, etc.)

The total number of combat-usable abilities will generally stay in the range that a highly skilled player without custom hardware (30 button mouse or macro keyboard or w/e) can comfortably use so there isn’t too much requirement at the top end for custom hardware on raids etc.

The number of noncombat or precombat abilities will likely rise as there is no particular need to restrict them for balance.

“The Quest Log has been polished and is now 46% prettier.”

Isnt that too pretty?

You must not have seen the old Quest Log

How long did it take you to decide to go public with it and who was the loudest voice in favor of it? Pat them and yourself on the back because I find this yet another example of the connection you’re enabling between community and developer.

Troy and I talked about yesterday AM and decided to do it. There was no dissension as I’m in charge of Carbine overall and he’s in charge of community, so there’s no one to argue with, so we just do it.

It would have been deployed yesterday and we would have looked supercool but he had to get on a plane to London for the EU Arkship yesterday afternoon. As it was he was talking with the heads of Wildstar Central and other Good Guy sites ASAP.

Its nice to see all of the changes to class abilities, it really shows you guys are open to feedback directly on the skills and not dead set on “this skill is perfect”

Sure, this is a dev-based beta (we need to see systems with lots of players around), not a marketing beta (i.e. a hype-building exercise or showing off the final product). As it is our later stage marketing betas will still involve getting player feedback and responding to it, because that’s what we’ll do after launch too. That’s the value of going to a frequent patch schedule (GW2 is doing some similar stuff, unrelated to us).

Does this mean if I’m in say Algoroc and I want to check out the layout of Northern Wilds in more detail or zoom in on some party members over in that zone I won’t be able to?

Do Suit Modes for the stalker take an ability slot or do all stalkers have access to them similar to the stances that Warriors in WoW have?

Haven’t happened to use the scroll wheel in the CBT build or play a stalker so I can’t say (sorry, honest answer! If I think about it while playing later I’ll check it out)

Is this a “hold down the button to charge” type tier system or do you select a tier to put on your bar?

The former. Feels pretty good in practice

Has there been any concern about settler structures being used to grief other players?, for example erecting structures around critical NPCs, or to block paths. Perhaps you have already taken measures to ensure this is not a problem.

Most of the stuff that has major collision is plug-based (i.e. fixed placement) for just this reason (also we can change terrain on plugs which lets us do more fun stuff). Most of the freeplaceable stuff has limited collision or can’t be spawned near other settler placeables, preventing overspamming or blocking.

I won’t talk a ton of details on settlers so we can save that for exclusive reveals later which gets us phat news coverage which gets us users which gets us money which gets us alcohol, which is an overall priority at Carbine.

That said, is there any hope we could get a video or two of some Spellslinger combat? The ones I’ve found are older, and only last from 5-8 minutes. I played the demo at PAX, but I’d like to see more of how the class plays – especially with the abilities changed and added.

I’ll see what we can do. Maybe we can invite “Worst Youtube” into the beta :/

(side note, bummer for the TESO guys on the leaks there – we have friends on that team (and personally I’m a Skyrim fan) and that kinda thing sucks.

May be too much to ask, but I’m curious… what factors prompted changing the Spellslinger’s Support Stat from Magic to Will?

EDIT: And along with the the apparent ‘addition’ of mana to the class?

Properly balancing the utility of stats across classes so that all have hopefully some value and yet some are more valuable than others (it’s a balancing act)

Question then…Would the larger action set facilitate having more than one passive active at a time or will it always only be 1 passive, 1 path and the remainder changeable slots??

All being mucked with right now, so even if I gave a correct answer it’d probably change when we respond to CBT1 feedback in CBT2 and CBT3.

Hi Jeremy, I’d like to start by thanking you for being so open, it’s a refreshing relief from the false promises and general silence from a certain other MMO’s developers.

On a related note (the relation is totally justifiable in my head, though I won’t take you through that train of thoughts), while you’re here, will Autralians be included in the closed beta (at any period), or shall I stop getting excited every time I see an unread email? That goes for any country outside of America/EU that probably won’t get their own servers.

We intend to eventually include all habitable countries into various phases of beta, and also Australia.

We won’t necessarily colocate servers in all areas though (sometimes we’ll be testing latency). Our intent is not to exclude, though. Mostly we’ll be removing current restrictions if nothing else.

A note: later stages of beta are about two things: Hitting new peak concurrency ratings (to see what systems break) and building hype (well, all stages are also about feedback). We weren’t really trying to build hype up yet, just get enough buzz to have a well-populated beta (hype comes later). So we accidentally got 220K+ beta applicants. Woops.

So sorry for disappointments on not being in this early stage beta, we weren’t trying to hook you in – doing so was “friendly fire”. We only were shooting for like 20K applicants, that would have been fine for now.

When we do things later like, I don’t know, buy our first ad or actually spend money on the hype machine, things will presumably get really crazy. We’ll try to do well by our early adopters.

Don’t let that stop anyone from going out and revving up the hype with us, though: let’s send this puppy viral.

What was the turn around on these patch notes? Are they from changes from the time since you started the Beta?

If that is the case: that is an impressive turn around on bugs!

That particular set of patch notes is 8 weeks of work, and in the notes are only the things that are player-facing (3 zones right now, and 4 classes, etc.). The dev version of the patch notes is 124 single-spaced pages and looks like this:

Paths

  • PASS FX-43148 – Scavenger hunts now display objective arrows for the closest clue area, rather than a single large radius for the entire mission.
  • PASS FX-54300 – Fixed a bug where Settler “bat-signals” were not always appearing in all phases.
  • · Cannot test (tools: Ravel) FX-19953 – Added a method for design to call back all Settler improvements.
  • Cannot test (tools: Path Editor) FX-19938 – Settler hub payoffs will now have a minimum time that they remain available after being unlocked.
  • PASS FX-39674 – The UI will now tell Settlers which improvements must be built to unlock secondary improvements.
  • PASS FX-53948 – Settler depots now appear on the minimap when they are nearby.
  • PASS FX-42564 – Settler Infrastructure scaffolding now has collision and a knockback when the building begins.

With pass/fail notes from QA, internal asset tracking numbers, and then the human readable version. So picture 100-something more pages of all that. We remove internal tools stuff and the areas that aren’t accessible in beta (most of it right now, we’ve enabled like 20-something hours of content)

We’re now on 5 week milestones, but the team has grown and the machine is more efficient so probably it’s about the same amount of changes now in a 5 week window, but we’ll see. CBT2 build locks next week as I recall, then CBT3 work begins. Some fixes we hotfix into CBT1 immediately, some goes into CBT2, many are queued for CBT3. We have a group called the Rapid Response Team which makes the call on what gets in at what stage.

“Public Events now have summary screens available once completed, showing stats for everyone who participated, as well as rewards earned.”

Awesome feature.

“Fixed a bug that was causing the ability to reduce threat rather than generate threat.”

General question about threat, how big a role do you envision it playing in group content? More of a “its there but I don’t really have to pay attention to it” mechanic, or more tightly tuned to where its a big part of gameplay?

I’ll speak to this philosophically: If it’s a big part of the gameplay it’ll be part of the default UI (at least when you’re in a group/raid). The exact role of it is being tuned as we do more elder game tests.

Funny I didn’t plan on reading the patch notes till after I saw this Q&A… Carbine playing it smooth as always. But back to the matter at hand:

Is this so you can right click to use your class specific ability or is it the general ‘auto-attack’. If this is the latter does it have a CD associated with it? Kinda like attack speed that is generally tied in that type of combat.

Is architect a name of a profession?

Right click: This is embarrassing re: the right click adds, but I actually didn’t notice it in my most recent playsessions because I have been using the main abilities, and past gameplay has trained me into playing that way. That’s part of why we will keep adding new beta testers without a lot of play history – f’rinstance our F&F guys really didn’t like slowing down the XP curve necessarily, but the new CBT players didn’t (so far) consider it slow at all because they didn’t have the previous context. That’s why you need a steady stream of new folks.

Architect: Unrevealed at this time, see previous comment on reveals/press/users/money/alcohol.

OH! That reminds me. There’s this raging debate you might be able to put a rest too.

Will /say, /yell, /emote be able to communicate between Exiles and dominion? Is it something you guys are even considering playing around with? Or are you taking the WoW method and just having everybody (immersion breakingly given NPCs won’t have the same barriers) sound like gibberish to members of the opposite faction?

Up to our PVP team. I’ve argued in the past that it’s not gibberish, but rather turns into random insults about your parentage. But I don’t always win the arguments

Interesting stuff!

I really like how Carbine is communicating with the community. It bodes well for launch and the inevitable balancing act that will eventually come.

Only I question I have is in relation to the “auto-attack” – is this just filler required because it’s very easy to have every ability on cooldown (an issue I’ve run into in GW2 frequently)?

Thanks!

No, I’m very rarely on cooldown. We observed many players mashing away on the button as if expecting something to happen during our usability tests, and you should usually bow to what users try to do instead of forcing your gameplay style on them.

(side note: the combat team knows more than I do on this, and may have other reasons. If they decide to post on this somewhere and we appear to be in disagreement, they’re right and I’m wrong (this will always hold if I’m contradicted by a member of my team closer to a part of the game than I am, and should really be my .sig))

But having seen the tests and the resulting changes I believe this is the reason.

dit: also an idea we came up with here was you could borrow from city of heroes and put in a toggle in the social settings right? “Interfaction Chat: Turns on /say, /yell, and /emote so you can understand the Exile/Dominion Scum”. City of Heroes/Villains apparently did that. If you’re going to put in the block ANYWAY, wouldn’t it be relatively simple to slip in a toggle for it? Have it default to the “not talking” mode and be locked in that position if in a pvp situation.

As ex-Executive Producer of City of Heroes, I’m a fan. But really up to the sub-teams, not me.

You (and other posters) are correct about it being a social issue as well as a PVP one. There are ramifications to both however, and I don’t know the final answer.

Few questions. For the new “auto-attack,” am I correct in reading that as “filler skill” as in something with no (other than global) CD, consumes no resources, weak skill to be used when all else is on CD? If this is on RMB, can we not use RMB to turn the camera and character at the same time like in WoW? Can it be moved to elsewhere on a user by user basis?

Not patch note related, but beta related: In the new TB video from yesterday there was mention that “we are currently in closed beta” and that a few thousand more invites were going out in April. This really confuses me since he says in part one that this was recorded at PAX, during which you were not in closed beta. Can you clarify that comment? Was that just a slip of the tongue and you meant internal testing and the “few thousand” invites was the waves we’ve already seen or is that actual correct current info somehow given weeks in advance of it becoming true?

I suspect he meant Friends and Family and got confused. We had a go/no go call between PAX and the CBT1 deployment on whether we were going to go live on the April date or wait until a May deployment, so he could easily have been wrong on the few thousand invites in April too.

Frosty (the guy in the interview) is generally super-clued and is also the voice of our DevSpeak videos. If you haven’t seen the DevSpeak housing video (the one with the chalk marks, not the Protostar one), I recommend checking it out. So we won’t hurt him too hard.

I think we as players often forget how much work we do not see. It is great that you put that in perspective. I personally think that this much more open approach that you have taken from day 1 with your fans will really pay off for you in the long run.

When you have a rapidly increasing number of games available, gaining a loyal following is becoming more and more important. I really think that you are on a winning approach.

I am actually a spambot constructed by our marketing team to feign being a 20-year development veteran. Your input has been recorded.

So how exactly are you measuring our enthusiam? By us posting on this forums? Or… what? And what about PCs specs? When I signed up for beta, there were not sections for scanning our pcs specs.

Not accusing or anything, I’m genuinely curious, and wondering if you can/are allowed to answer. ^_^

I don’t know how we’re handling beta submissions w/o PC specs, that’s a Troy thang and he’s out of town in Brighton right now doing Arkship EU.

The best way to measure enthusiasm for a title is probably beta signups overall (unless you mean measure the enthusiasm of a single poster). There are lots of folks now who just move from beta to beta without much intent to become long-term members of a game community though, so even that is an imperfect metric.

We’re kinda honored that our community has begun to take off before we’ve really done much publicly – after all we did Gamescom/PAX prime like 2 years ago and then a thang at PAX East, and that’s like it for public events. Despite that we’ve attracted a remarkably non-jaded group of interested folks and the MMO press has been super supportive (with quite solid previews in an industry and overall playerbase that has a lot of “meh” attitude towards games in development). We haven’t really intended for it to take off quite yet, as we’d rather spike it up not too long pre-launch and we have some pretty good competition in the hopper.

Thus so many reveals (features, classes, paths, elder game goodies, yadda) still to come, assuming we can make it through beta w/o too much leakage, heh.

Just want to echo other’s comments and say that I think your communication with the community is great! You guys are doing a stand up job of talking to people and keeping them informed and interested, even when information gets out that you may not have wanted the public to see just yet. In fact, some of the best communication I have seen of an MMO Developer and I’ve been through this song and dance more times than I would like to admit…

I see that there is quite a lot of information on the Settler Path in the patch notes. Anything you can or would like to talk about? I’d say that I am interested in the mention of the Scout, Sheriff and Mayor missions specifically.

*whistles innocently re: Settler*

The stuff we’ve mentioned publicly: They build up quest hubs: improving ones that already exist and creating new ones, especially near tougher outdoor content. Their quests and rewards tend to be social based – the one we refer to most often as being a great example is a free-placeable campfire that buffs players; every player that uses it gets a benefit, and the settler gets Path XP.

So the better a place you can find to place it, the more players you help, and the more Path XP you get. Which is a very interesting puzzle for players to solve; if there is a guide to the best places, those get overpopulated and now new areas (dynamic events, etc.) become the “optimal” spots. Also incenting players with better rewards for helping other players should make the world a bit better place to be in, as a second order effect.

Double parentheses!

Thanks for the reply – in relation to being on cooldown and Limited Action Sets: are the slots restricted by action slot “type” so that you end up with only 1-2 abilities that have long cool downs?

Nope, not at the moment. Something we’re pinging players for feedback on is how much freedom to allow folks to make sets that could end up ‘gimping’ you.

On AC1 (actually COH as well) we called this the “Jumping Jimmy” effect – do you allow a player to put every skill point they ever get into the Jump skill, so they can’t fight worth a damn but enter low earth orbit if they try to hop a fence? That’s the shorthand reason for why to have a class- or well-organized skill-system: to appropriately limit Jumping Jimmies.

Removing too much of the Jumping Jimmy effect removes some awesome emergent gameplay. Not removing enough means that your average user has to troll the web to find the optimal combinations rather than it being obvious enough through normal gameplay.

Really cool that you guys are doing this. I tried not to read too much of the leaked patch notes before because I was too jelly of the people in the test (though I did take a tiny peak admittedly ) but I’m gonna check them out now.

Because its so cool to see, I was wondering if you guys would be willing to do this more often. Not so much release a whole set of patch notes but update the community on any major game design or philosophy changes you guys undergo based on feedback. Its fun watching how a MMO changes over time and it gives us fans a visible history of some of the development changes pre-launch.

We’ll publicly release patch notes throughout the beta process. One thing that makes us rock (I’m so modest) is we update the out of the game often and quickly. So why not show it off? Also, to keep future patch note leaks from happening we’d have to do some sort of a canary trap in the patch notes to find out who was leaking them and that sounds like a pain in the ass and time better spent on working on the game.

We are spending the effort to restrict future leaks on other stuff though. People messing with our reveal structure prevent us from doing exclusives with press which reduces fans, purchases, money, alcohol as mentioned above. It’s not quite that simple, but it’s what fits in a forum post

You mentioned in an earlier post in this thread that there were 220k+ beta signups. Can you make any comments about the size of the current beta or the estimated/planned/best guessed/most recently speculated size of CB2/CB3 or is that strictly hush hush? Also, what is this about tech trees for trade skills? Come to think of it, what ever came of that community uplink about trade skills? never saw the uplink analysis for it.

Well, based on the response we’ve gotten we’ll up the amounts somewhat. I can’t really give a schedule because we kind of rationally add the number of people we need to test the content as it goes live, keep the concurrency numbers rising, get the buzz going as we get further through beta, and more. And if we goof something up we’ll put the numbers on hold while we fix the goofup. So even if I gave you (or our competitors) our exact plans it’s not as useful as one might think.

As someone who likes to jump a LOT, i would like to jump into orbit for the cost of my combat skills.

yeah, I bounce around like a crack monkey during normal running around/fighting/etc. It’s a disease, I’m like That Guy in the raid who won’t stop bouncing around.

I…I want to jump into low earth (or nexus) orbit. Can I play the Jimmy class?

No, but true story: I was in that area in Algoroc with the Loftite (blue floating crystals which project a low-gravity zone). I was a scientist (who can study those crystals to double the jump height). I found a discovery which created a 2x jump buff on me. I did some other damn thing which further modded my jump height (forget which) – and then I jumped on a mine in the loftite field which apparently used the jump numbers to figure out how high it sent me, because it blew me up to the cloud layer and the safe fall buff faded by the time I came back down…leaving me to splat to my death on the top of the mountains. Totally rad.

Seriously, that’s the benefit of the layered content stuff when we’ve done it well in an area, the random small stuff all adds together into something you couldn’t really expect, or you figure out some combo to feel really smart when you pull it off (test a grenade as a solider on a monkey in Deradune as part of a quest, near a huntress to get rep, and simultaneously complete a speed kill challenge, for instance).

there was a (10man) raid in Rift that had a boss fight where you had to jump so you didn’t take damage at certain points

Yeah (spoiler alert) we’ll do a video reveal in a few weeks that will highlight some of this kind of thang…

What about the out of combat heal rate? As it reads in the patch notes the higher level you get, the longer it’s going to take to fully heal up after a fight. Any plans to change this to a consistent number across all levels (a la SWtoR)?

out of combat heal rate will likely be level-dependent because you probably don’t want lowbies depending on potions/out of combat heal skills or items and you probably do want highbies to do so. Also, don’t forget shields and health regenerate at different rates so if you want a low-downtime playstyle than emphasizing shields over HP is a win. Until you meet someone with something that avoids/disrupts shields

I noticed this note about death and resurrection:

This touches upon something I’ve been wondering for a while: Does this confirm that there is a resurrection ability of some form, or is there an entirely different system involved (ala GW2)? Is it possible for you to elaborate on this whole dance of death, resurrection and who gets to do it and how?

Res is something we’ve mucked with enough times that my response will probably be wrong in the next patch, heh. Not dodging the question but it’s one of the things we’re after beta feedback on is the right level of punitiveness of death – too little is as bad as too much (death should matter but not make you ragekeyboardintomonitor)

Not really a question regarding the patch notes, but more of the testing methods for raids. Will you be handling this with in house testing, open testing or bringing in top guilds to test along with devs ?.

Im pretty excited bout the 40 man raiding

Bringing in top- and other-level guilds. You pretty much gotta.

Oh that’s perfect then! I’m the perfect beta tester for you guys. I’ll happily consent to multiple lobotomies that wipe my memory if it means I can get in! Priorities, folks! Priorities!

Hell, that would meet the requirements for becoming executive staff.

I love how open you guys have been with the community, thank you so much for taking the time to do these kind of Q&As.

I saw that the leveling XP curve was slowed down. Do you have a target number of hours to level-cap in mind? I’ve been very dissapointed with how short the leveling experience has been in most recently released MMOs, so I’m always happy to see things tuned in the other direction.

We just want it to feel fun, we don’t care how many hours it takes. If you’re not feeling grind, it’s good. It’s not like Portal wasn’t fun even though it was short, and if they had padded it it IMO would have stunk.

For us the current levelling curve is something like 150-175 hours if you’re dedicated, but honestly that might change an any direction based on how fun it is during beta.

I actually think our kill counts etc. are a bit low because personally I’m not bored fighting in an area by the time quests are gently urging me out of that. We were super worried about grindyness but combat has become fun enough that I personally wouldn’t notice (or would prefer since I’m not “done” yet) higher numbers of stuff to kill. But that’s all gonna be based on beta feedback, honestly.

Oh will mounts have any kind of weapons? Im a big helicopter kind of guy will we be able to rain down hot death? even if it doesn’t even if its some buffs or something cool like that.

Mount reveals will be coming…

You mean I won’t be able to powerlevel to 50 in under 50 hours?

Someone pinch me please. I must be dreaming. This can’t be real life….

So Jeremy has talked about our layered content in numerous interviews. This top-down approach to design really allows us to cram a ton of diverse content into any given playspace. You can rest assured that the road to 50 is heftier than 50 hours.

WHY MUST THE SIREN CALL OF THE SCIENTIST CALL ME SO!

Also question about the encyclopedia? It’s been said everyone can access everything in it regardless of class or path, but that scientists get “more”? How does that work?

Full scientist reveals are coming. Did anything get leaked in the patch notes? I’ll try to answer questions on those…

WHOA WHOA WHOA!!!! Jeremy! I knew you worked with CoH, but you…you were a proponent of ED?!? How dare you ruin my perma-double Hasten and mega HO builds! ED made the glorious pre-I5 days of Hami Raids die because people couldn’t just squish every HO in their build!

Next you’re going to tell me you helped change Controllers to where I could only have one pet out at a time…you monsters! I guess an army of 30+ fire imps soloing every AV out there was too much!

I say all of this in jest. Though there is some “Aww really?” to it, I could care less because I knew there were balance issues.

But one of my favorite things with CoH was the ease of teammate finding. Will it be just as easy in Wildstar?

Haha, I only take credit for good stuff in CoH. Everything else was Someone Else.

Any direct dev impact I had was pre-launch (sidekick system, influencing the class system etc.) and remember, Cryptic did all the heavy lifting, not NC (we mostly funded stuff) so 99% of praise goes to them.

We’re trying to make finding teammates easy, but to still listen to the current raging debates on what is TOO easy or removes too much gameplay (raid finding, communities not forming on a server because of too much cross-server gameplay vs. shorter queue times, etc. etc.)

This question is more of a question about the actual beta notes itself, rather than a specific point. I haven’t received a beta invite so I wouldn’t know, but involving the changes to gameplay like this, it raises a question or two.

What class is what role?

I know it was mentioned about keeping the Tank/DPS/Healer aspect in the game there, but what classes are ideally designed for what role? (If you wanna sneak a hint about what the unnamed classes are ideal for too, that’d be even cooler. If not, oh well. ) I’ve watched most of the videos I can find, and there is a lot of “guess work” done on whats to come, but the only thing I’ve seen really is that Warriors will have a skillset/talent tree/style/whatever to tank with, and I’m pretty sure I remember a recent video saying the “main healer” wasn’t out yet.

If its too much to reveal, I got it. I’m just trying to figure out how open-ended other classes are to being a “legit raid tank” or whatnot.

(Community: If I’m missed a thread that has info on this, show me the way! I don’t think I’ve missed any if there was any hard evidence. )

Our rough philosophy is that different fights in a raid may have different optimal tanks, etc. so it’s not like there is one “optimal tank” for all cookie-cutter raid fights. We’ll see how well we execute on that (raids are in baby stages right now and will really continue to be so until we get in some guilds of hardcore raiders to truly test them)

So we’ll try to stick to that. I saw the same videos you did, and despite what Donatelli said (he starts speakin’ crazy stuff when he’s drunk) the Esper for instance should be as viable of a raid healer as a .

Will there be Racial Skills? like in WoW because it could affect raids like in WoW everyone went to Horde over Alliance due to stats

We have a very clever solution to this that unfortunately isn’t in the patch notes

Actually I mentioned this in public but never saw it picked up: The costs of things in the Elder Advancement system (to be revealed later) is influenced by your race choice. So stuff you’d think would be natural to the Granok is much cheaper, requiring less elder advancement, while stuff you’d associate with, well, smarter races is more expensive.

This way you can’t permanently gimp yourself by a choice you made when you had the lowest information you’ll ever have in the game (creating your first character) – but you can set yourself up with a little more work required for PvP or elder PvE optimality.

Re: You mean I won’t be able to powerlevel to 50 in under 50 hours?

Someone pinch me please. I must be dreaming. This can’t be real life….

Re: So Jeremy has talked about our layered content in numerous interviews. This top-down approach to design really allows us to cram a ton of diverse content into any given playspace. You can rest assured that the road to 50 is heftier than 50 hours.

Yeah, some day eventually players will figure out the super-optimal way to level cap and shrink the hours down, but to date even the QA guys and gals can’t get close to that and they play all the freakin’ time.

Only reason we’ll shrink the hours down is if it ends up feeling grindy somewhere, but our content guys are making tons of pretty varied content pretty quickly, and simultaneously polishing existing content for the next phases of beta, so I doubt we’d have to resort to that. Having combat be inherently fun helps a ton too, which has only improved as we went to the freeform combat system since announcement (go combat/encounters folks).

In the patch notes there was mention of some problems with scaling on the housing items that had to be resolved by limiting the size that various housing items could be scaled. Do you happen to know what exactly was going on and how it might impact how housing plays out in later beta stages on to launch?

Sure, nothing prevented you from taking a stuffed animal doll and expanding it to the size of the planet, which caused some…interesting side effects. It was amusing but we figured we should fix that before it went to Real Players in CBT.

This just made milk come out my nose from laughing, that sounds insanely awesome, lol. Is that still in the game hopefully?

AFAIK, yep. I haven’t seen the jump buff discovery for a while, but that’s why they are random.

Thanks! That’s a pretty insightful answer actually. I like the idea of having more than just “Find warrior, tank search done.” Dunno if you were ever familiar with this game, but an old MMO called Ragnarok Online had a stat system in place that allowed you to kind of build how you wanted, and certain classes/builds were better at beating certain MVP Bosses(in the first couple years of its lifespan that is.) I always thought that the idea of situational awareness/roles was the most active way to incorporate multiple players and playstyles, and letting the players skill and creativity show through. I’m hella glad this isn’t so binary.

It kind of lets players play a “niche role” for themselves if they want. And thats flippin’ sweet. Especially since all I wanna do is tank. Yay for not being pigeon-holed!

Ragnarok: lots of good stuff in there.

Actually I think EQ also handled it really well, though I don’t know they ever got recognition for it.

In EQ, you needed a healer, a tank, DPS, and a crowd controller. Pretty basic. Without any one of these you couldn’t do a dungeon.

But you also pretty much needed secondary skills – for instance, you needed a snarer (monsters would run off and pull the dungeon if not snared). But snaring wasn’t reserved for tanks, dps, or healers or whatever – the ranger could snare and was DPS (or offtank). The druid could snare and heal. Etc.

And there were lots of these – you needed mana regen (bards or enchanters pretty much). And an escape spell (get out of the dungeon and avoid a wipe) – wizards or druids. And this meant that in a raid group or a dungeon group a variety of classes could fill the slots you needed, and the last slot usually had a “perfect” answer and some imperfect – if you needed a healer and a snare spell, you wanted a druid, but might get away with a bard who could kind of do both, or whatever.

I’ll have gotten a few of the classes wrong (last played a decade or so ago) – but the concept was great, and it meant they could have 18+ classes all of which were viable because they could fill gaps not just amongst the trinity (quadrology for them, as CC was needed) but also by providing various combos of the support spells.

I dunno if that gameplay was emergent or designed, but IMO it was an awfully elegant way of handling group formation, which other MMOs never really emulated (and we aren’t emulating that either, as it requires a lot of classes to work and we put a ton of work in per class – we do custom animations and effects per class, as well as across different racial skeletons, which means doing 18 classes isn’t something we’ll do for launch). Them’s the tradeoffs you make, so different solutions for us for class design.

Anyways, respect to the EQ designers, I always thought that was a particularly elegant solution to the trinity and I’ve never seen it called out before.

OK, that wasn’t in the patch notes but you suckered me in.

Shoot, I forgot the most important question.

You mentioned at PAX that exterior decorations have to be put in specific spots to avoid pathing issues. What happens if you get trapped in an interior? Like, what if you log out in someone’s house, then they re-arrange things while you’re gone? Do you have to use your Pocket D transporter equivalent or do you automatically get bumped elsewhere when you log-in?

Joe will probably answer this better than me since he’s on Social, but my understanding is you can always hearth to your house from someone else’s to avoid exactly this issue.

We don’t want your house to be like a Sims swimming pool where you remove the ladder to watch your neighbors starve and drown. Though that is fricking hysterical.

We’ve discussed before that you have a housing recall ability available to you. If somehow you were to become trapped in an unscrupulous friends home you could easily use that to escape to safety. I’d probably steer clear of your would-be kidnappers home moving forward though.

Dang, I hope I didn’t miss all the QnA.

What motivated you to change Cotton into Canvas? That one stuck out as weird to me. Is it because Nexus doesn’t have a cotton plant?

I have no earthly idea (which wasn’t supposed to be a pun but maybe that’s the answer, as you guess.) The econ guys would know.

What are “Milestones”?

Unannounced. The UI is still rough so we’ll be iterating it a bit but they should be cool.

Why’d you remove the minimum range on Leap? One of my favorite things to do at PAX East was to kick guys out of the range and leap after them. I was looking forward to finding different ways to combine snares/roots/knockbacks and leaps.

It was sometimes quite annoying to be just on the edge of the range. It might return, or we might scale damage to be more the further you leap, which would gently incent the same behavior.

Oooh, good feedback btw. You can still do all those combos.

Are Work Orders what I think they are? Quests that give XP for crafted items?

Dammit, those were in there too? Yeah, something like that

Who does and does not wear shields?

Shields for us are like Borderlands shields, not like 300 shields – i.e. effectively extra health that regens faster than Real Health.

Hi there! Thanks a bunch for answering our questions.

I have to ask: what’s the reasoning behind taking away the cooldown of so many Esper abilities? I’m really excited about the class itself so any scrap of information would be very appreciated! :>

The Esper class lead would know more than I do…I do know that some power balancing was being looked at because the spells with cast bars are a bit harder to cast in Wildstar than in many games because there’s so much movement in combat. So they should be more powerful or have less restrictions in compensation.

Also in testing we noticed that some players would constantly leap out of enemy telegraphs mid-cast meaning they never did damage, ran out of stamina, and died a lot. So a few tweaks are being made to make that less common (it was a pretty natural player behavior to “punish” so harshly). But the combat guys know for realz.

Will there be shields that dps or heals take to increase dmg or other aspects other than just a extra chunk to their health?

Unannounced, and the ones in PAX didn’t. But yes, down the road.

(re: why 7 abilities?)

Is this done so that you can’t make a proper hybrid or do you simply wish to force players to use an even smaller amount of abilities?

It was done to make room for more combat-usable abilities from other sources (paths, for instance). It was only class abilities that were reduced.

In general we’ll try to allow you to use as many abilties as a skilled player can comfortably handle while strafing/dodging/etc. without a 30-button mouse or programmable keyboard or other custom hardware. We don’t want such to be required hardware for the end game.

ON TOPIC: I did also come up with a specific question in the beta notes. I dunno if you’d be the man to ask about it or whatnot, or if this is the place for it, but I figured I’d ask anyways. From what I can see, the higher a mob, the harder to kill via their crit chance/crit deterrence. Is there a general level difference that is meant to deter players from going into higher level areas? (Example: I think WoW’s is 6 levels higher and lower before they are worthless to kill/fight.) And/Or will this affect EXP gains? I ask because, as an old Ragnarok player, I liked challenging myself in difficult areas to recieve higher rewards.

Thanks again for replying to everyone in the forums.

My understanding it that it’s a sliding scale with a higher range as you level up – but I haven’t dug into the math recently. I believe it’s more like +-4 levels as a rule, little less at the beginning, little more at the end. But Behrens (our lead system designer) or our combat guys would have a real answer (if they’re reading, feel free to chime in)

We actually try to reward you for taking on tougher fights, while not making the optimal way to play be to have higher level people powerlevel you. So all the numbers involved get juggled to that end.

Thank you for the answer! I’ve only seen a few of the Esper animations, but I’m loving them – I could look at Blade Dance all day. Hopefully it’ll look as gracious on a human as it does on an Aurin.

Yeah, we generally do custom animations per race, so it should look as good but maybe not as graceful. It looks especially good on the .

(Side note: It’s pretty late in the game that we move animations across the races, because it’d be extra work if we changed the base spells and the whole point of the betas is to change stuff. So there are placeholder animations in sometimes for various races for a while that probably get less over time. It’s also why at shows we have usually one race and one gender available per class is to save potential overhead on polish time. Which then confuses people who think only Aurin females exist or can be Espers. But what can ya do?)

Urg just woke up ! You saved my day amazing team!

Would you mind telling me if there are attunements ? I love those in vanilla so much for instance finally being able to enter mc ! Ah fond memories!

As mentioned in the patch notes, attunements are…not mentioned in the patch notes

Oh, another question in regards to the spellslinger’s charged shot ability: It mentions 4 levels of damage/CD depending on how long it’s held. I was wondering if you could comment on the thought process for abilities like this. Namely, are they meant to effectively be the last charge level and the intermediate charge levels are more a way to compensate you if you have to move half way through the cast (so enemy telegraphs don’t screw you too hard) or are they exercises in stressing player timing (i.e. don’t accidentally stop it in the wrong charge stage, but don’t wait too long and create down time)? Also, do skills like that automatically fire when they reach their last charge stage or do they just sit there at max power until you let off the key (seems more likely if the intent is to stress timing rather than lighten the penalty for movement)?

Actually, the first part of this is a pretty good summary really (compensation if you have to dodge). But the class guys are free to muck with the basics on a per-class or even a per spell basis.

Most abilities I’ve seen fire at max power automatically but a class designer might have a good reason to do it the other ways.

There’s enough going on in combat that we try to not get too demanding of exact player timing (base dodging/interrupting/environmental hazards/taking advantage of vulnerability moments causes lots of reinforcement of that and it might become an unsolvable puzzle with too much.) Similarly we don’t really do a super ton of long, hardcoded optimal ability rotations – trying to do that in an active fight is usually an exercise in frustration, like trying to enter a PIN code in an ATM while riverdancing while a monster is eating your face.

I don’t have an answer, but I think that we should be able to hold fully charged heals, so that allies have a chance to get within the AoE before unleashing. Sure the healer would waste time waiting around, but it’s better than whiffing a big heal.

Yeah, that’s a good example of where what I said would actually suck. Also holding down a key will generally show the telegraph of the spell to your raid/groupmates so it wouldn’t jibe well in that case. In general our combat guys have good answers to the specifics, or change spells to be less frustrating.

SPEAK FRIEND AND DISQUS WITH US

ARCHIVES