One of the bigger Quality of Life changes coming to WildStar in Drop 5, INVASION: Nexus, is the whole new set of character customization features and collectible non-combat pets. We caught up with Carbine's Lead Systems Designer Joe Piepiora to chat about the new vanity pets and overhauled wardrobe function. Here's what he had to say.
MMORPG: Currently, it looks like pets are purely a collection thing. Is there anything more to it, and do you have plans to expand their role in the future? How does it line up with your original plan for pets?
Joe Piepiora: Right now Companion pets are serving as a collection-focused feature. They’ve been a highly requested feature since WildStar’s launch so we’re very excited to get them into the game. We have always had interesting ideas to differentiate WildStar pets from pets in other games and are considering ways of expanding them in the future.
For now we’re content to continue to release new and interesting pets for players to search for throughout WildStar.
MMORPG: What's the split of ways to collect pets in Nexus? Which one do you think will be the rarest, and why?
JP: There are pets to be found in all corners of WildStar from quests, achievements, shiphands, adventures, dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, arenas, warplots, world bosses, rare drops throughout the world, from vendors and from contracts!
I think the rarest pets will be the ones that drop infrequently in various zones. For example: The Fungus Encrusted Snoglug can only be found by killing powerful creatures called Primes in Wilderrun, and then only rarely. I imagine he’ll be slightly more popular now that I’ve outed him, but he’ll still be a good deal rarer than a Skeech Beastlord which has a chance to drop out of PVP reward bags.
MMORPG: The change to styles and costumes is incredibly welcome. Any plans to allow players to share styles, like a guild uniform?
JP: We set out to give players as much power in customizing outfits as we could manage and I think we’re on the right track. We’re really happy with the feedback so far. We’ve even managed to adjust the capacity for stored equipment visuals from 250 to 350 based on some concerns that players had. We’ll continue to revise and improve the feature as time goes on.
We don’t have any plans for a guild uniform or costume sharing system yet. It’s an interesting idea!
MMORPG: Does this put the Protostar Appearance Modificators out of a job?
JP: No, the Appearance Modificator is still very much a robust and important part of the glamor economy. He’s the one who allows players to change their hairstyles, eye colors, noses. You know… all that stuff.
MMORPG: Will the dye unlocks be account wide, or just per character? If the latter, are there plans to take it account wide? If no, why not? If the wardrobe is account wide, we'd hope the dyes are too.
JP: We’ve got our eye on making dyes account bound and you can expect it sometime in the future. We considered holding the whole system back until a future patch in order to get account-wide dyes in place but decided against it.
MMORPG: With 54 pets, that keeps people busy collecting for a while. Will there be achievements and ways to display them in your housing plot by chance?
JP: Not at the moment but this is something we’re discussing. We’re definitely excited at the notion of placing pets you’ve collected on your housing property somewhere.
Here’s an interesting housing factoid: Creatures on your housing property don’t consider player-placed décor when they’re determining where they are allowed to walk. Simply slapping pets down as creatures and letting them roam around a bit isn’t an option. We have some ideas on how to get pets on player properties and will likely be adding it in a future update.