Arenas are another option for PvP, and they’re just as they sound. Get in there and fight for supremacy. Open Arenas become unlocked at level 30, giving you plenty of time to lay through them before cap. Rated Arenas open up once you hit 50 (along with Warplots) However, there’s a clever twist awaiting players in Arenas: Team Respawn. Your team shares a respawn counter, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. This should help take the heat off of some of the individuals who might be squishier or just less skilled, as everyone shares a respawn pool, but when things get down to the wire, there will be some definite strategy involved in utilizing this feature to the max. There will be a timer in deciding if you will respawn and when you spawn, so if your healer comes in dead after you, it might be wise to forfeit your own spawn to give your team the best chance. This aspect of Arenas adds a promising bit of strategy and challenge. Some might find it frustrating to share a spawn pool and not be able to continue over and over, but there are some safeguards to keep things fun involved.
WildStar has something called Interrupt Armor, which means that you have to take care and peel away this before you can CC someone (or some creature). That means you won’t be seeing someone get endlessly CCed and unable to participate. It also means that crowd control won’t work in a way some are used to and that both healers and support players will be moving around along with everyone else. In many games, it can be frustrating, especially as a newbie, to get frozen, followed by a stun, followed by a root, and then dead before you have a chance to even try to fight back, so this system helps some players while offering additional challenge to the advanced PvPers. Additionally, if you’ve been hit by the same type of CC power a couple of times, you’ll be temporarily immune to it. No more stunlocking someone to death.
So, what’s awaiting you at the end of all of this competition? There’s full Battlegrounds armor to be obtained, as well as level 50 sets, so gear is obviously something the devs have prepared for. And there are many options from all aspects of PvP as well as Raids. Players who can earn these PvP sets might find themselves looking pretty cool. There is PvP gear for the different specializations classes can have, as I found after our demo. I found Support and DPS Stalker gear in my inventory. You can pick what looks cooler or if you specialize, what’s more functional for your class. Having picked up some rather nasty looking claws, it’s definitely one incentive to get in there and kick some behind on the other faction.
So what if you’re a class that isn’t going to be shredding down all the enemies in sight? Perhaps you’re a healer or playing a support role? Rewards will be earned based upon a system that takes that into account, so staying in range of your team is a good idea, as healers and anyone else in a certain range will share credit for kills. Assists, killing blows, how many control points you capture, and other stats will also factor into your loot drop.
And should you want to level in PvP, you won’t be gimped on being able to buy gear or anything you need. You’ll earn Prestige, which is the PvP currency of the game, which can be used to keep yourself armored as you level, as well as gold and loot drops.
Most PvP queues will, in fact, be cross-realm, and this will let players begin to stretch themselves into competitive mode in multiple ways, and from multiple backgrounds. Want to level in PvP? Cool, after level 6 you can do just that all the way to cap, with your gear needs taken care of and some money thrown your way too. If you want to try your hand at open Arenas and Battlegrounds before moving onto rated ones, complete with an ELO system, seasons, and matchmaking? They’ve got players covered. Carbine is aiming to have a seasons system complete with rewards for those that want to jump into the rated PvP options beginning at launch.
Christina Gonzalez / Christina is a freelancer and contributor to MMORPG.com, where she writes the community-focused Social Hub column. You will also find her contributions at RTSGuru. Follow her on Twitter: @c_gonzalez