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How the Players Guided PVP Design

Christina Gonzalez Posted:
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Now that the veil has been lifted from WildStar’s PvP and endgame content, we know that there’s a variety of ways in which players will be able to compete with one another. Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Warplots all open up to players at different stages of the game and can even be enjoyed as a leveling experience. We were able to sit down last week with Lead PvP Designer Jen Gordy and Battlegrounds Designer Kevin Lee at the Carbine press event to chat a little about the PvP systems, what’s available to players, and some of how players helped inspire design decisions.

In a game centered around over the top visuals and big set pieces, there’s some serious competition brewing. Knowing that the audience the game is likely to attract and going after are the gamers who appreciate having options for both competitive leveling and competition for recognition. Carbine is set to fully support a season system with leaderboards and loot and  and any eSport meta or developments that might result. PvP is fun and it’s an integral part of the game, and not merely at level cap.

MMORPG.com: So many things about this game are huge - the size, the scale, the options. What is the PvP trajectory like? We talked about this a little bit in our overview, but I asked for a rundown that gives the full picture behind the options.

Kevin Lee: “You can start PvP at level 6. It used to be level 3, but you only had three abilities and that was [limited], so we decided to let you get used to the combat a little through PvE and at level 6 we’re going to throw you into the deep end of the water and you can start Battlegrounds.

So from Battlegrounds, you can continue your PvP leveling experience through those alone. So we have Walatiki Temple and our level 15 Battleground, Halls of the Bloodsworn.”

The starter PvP experience, Walatiki Temple, is intended to give players a bit of fun and challenge while still letting them get used to the game’s combat system. So picking a familiar scheme, a variation on capture the flag, and putting a WildStar spin on it was the right idea for players. Halls of the Bloodsworn extends the match times, bumps up the challenge, and expects a little more from players. Then, at level 30, players can decide if they want to move onto the open Arenas.

Jen Gordy: “The Arena system, in previous games, always seemed like a closed, very hard to get into system. I really wanted to bring the open arena style in. So you can join as a group, you can join solo, you’ll be gear normalized because of the rallies we have in place. And it’s just a way for you to get over the hump of ‘okay, you’re not going to lose any ratings, so let’s get in and see what a match is all about’.”

And if they like it, that will help ease players into the competition at level 50 when they can move onto the rated options or even choose to stay in the more casual format. Though, at 50, your matches will change to compete with those in your own group and start including gear score.

The open systems add an element that is “designed to ease the on-ramp” and get players to try out the content and get used to it, rather than simply throw it all at them at 50. They hope the effect is less overwhelming on some players than some games that do save these types of experiences for level cap.

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Christina Gonzalez