Resources and Winning
Each side has two generators that are some of the more direct ways of winning. Attack enemy generators and deplete their energy. Since warplots require maintenance, each side’s energy drains slowly anyway. It’s up to you to drain it faster. A side can lose by attrition if its costs get too high or if its generators are destroyed. Nano-Pak pools provide nano energy that can be used for repairs, upgrades, and hey, to fire that superweapon of yours. Your meter starts at zero and if you can take nanopack nodes in the battlefield, you can also grab energy to power a victory via this method. Both of these also serve as soft match caps so that warplot matches don’t just go on endlessly.
To join a Warplot, you’ll have several queue options. Premade groups of 40 is the most obvious one, but you will also be able to queue up as a mercenary for any groups that are short. Warparties will earn both personal ratings and warparty ratings after the match. Personal reputation in Warparties ties directly to gear access, so even mercenaries will earn this, but unfortunately, any warcoins earned will go directly into the warparty’s bank, even if you’re not a regular member. Ratings will stand though.
If they like, players should be able to start their own parties with groups of around 10. Warparties can be custom-named, but you can’t challenge specific parties at launch, though this might change eventually. Rivalries do happen, and the team is open to multiple aspects of eSports developing. Lead PvP Designer Jen Gordy noted that should a meta begin to develop, then players would be encouraged.
Getting into the Action
We had the opportunity to try out Warplots during a demo in which two teams were plunked down into pre-made plots. Not getting the chance to customize things didn’t dampen anything, though my team soon discovered that we were missing one significant plug - our superweapon was nowhere to be found. So, even with a huge disadvantage, it was one big crazy fight as many of us launched right into the endgame content ready to explore it and test its limits. Grabbing a Chua ball mount wasn’t the best of ideas, as I managed to get my Stalker stuck under some stairs (helpful advice for you all!) but exploring around to see all the options was fun. Except the aforementioned landing in an enemy’s guard plug meant for at least three or four players.
Despite our distinct disadvantage (though lower maintenance cost - bright side!) we sent our holo boss into the enemy battlefield and valiantly drove off the other side from one of our generators, marking our greatest victory of that day. Only to totally get flattened. Purely until next time, however.
Warplots are a highly fun feature of WildStar, blending the over the top style with the rich customization of the housing system. While limited by certain scope, the customization options are still pretty vast, and it will be fun to see just what teams come up with in order to challenge other groups. It really does feel like raids and traditional PvP had a baby, and this should serve the endgame well.
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