WildStar MMO Rewards Path-Based Character Development

| 23 May 2013 13:05
WildStar Scientist and Settler Path

Carbine Studios wants each WildStar player, regardless of class, to be rewarded for the play-style of their choosing.

Classes are a pretty big part of MMORPGs, but in the grand scheme of things, they don't dramatically alter gameplay. Whether you're a Healer or a Tank, you're still completing the same quests, fighting the same enemies, and earning experience points on the same pre-defined behaviors. Carbine Studios wanted to do things a little differently with WildStar, so it implemented a Path System that offers unique objectives and rewards for each class. According to producer Jeremy Gaffney, not only does this offer greater variety between characters, but lets each player develop however they choose, right up to the endgame level.

"Unless you're in the bulk of players you feel under-served all the time because games are built to appeal to as broad an audience as possible," Gaffney says. "So what we're trying to do is have a world where you get rewarded for playing your type of game in our world, rather than smacking you in the head and telling you you're playing it wrong."

What does this mean in practical terms? Suppose you're playing as a Settler, which is WildStar's social class. By following a Settler's path, players earn experience and rewards for assisting other players in their goals. One way to do this is building Campfires, which provides buffs to any character who stops at one. In turn, the Settler will receive additional experience bonuses for each player at a Campfire, fueling their own development. The same principle can be applied to each WildStar path, whether you're a lore-collecting Scientist, an adventurous Explorer, or the traditional "kill everything" Soldier.

The concept reminds me a bit of Team Fortress 2, where the varied play-styles and interactions of each class creates a more complex and engaging game world. In WildStar's case, paths sound like a great way to develop characters as well, although Gaffney notes that the system has a place in endgame content. "It turns out that Paths are a fundamental way people play games and our testers wanted more Path stuff and we listened," Gaffney explains. "We've been adding more Path content at the elder game level because players demanded it, and they were right of course."

Whatever path you prefer, players can register for WildStar's closed beta at the official website.

Source: Warcry

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Interesting. Perhaps there really will be innovation in MMO soon. I, for one, am happy for this change given my current dissapointment with Guild Wars 2.

Maybe also change the resources you spend in MMOs, I really hate using gold and the trading system in the new diablo 2-equse game(forgot the name) looks really good.

Wait a second...a game that rewards people for playing their class by giving XP for using their role-specific abilities?

I BET NO-ONE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE.

ResonanceSD:

I thought you were giving up on PC gaming, like, yesterday?

RE: MMO news, Guild Wars 2 is the current hot title, and it's ALREADY showing that it's ageing. They said they'd do the whole "class agnostic" gameplay style, and it failed.

Oh that's a given, but ill still mainly use PC for MMO games only like I always had with consoles for everything else. Less demanding and less wear and tare on my PC that way. XD

Jove:

Robetid:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

It sounds like a little more than that. In the case of the settler it seems like you gain experience for helping out other players by buffs and such instead of everyone just grinding mobs or doing the same old quest lines. Kinda how in Planetside 2 if youre the medic class you gain experience for healing people or if youre the engineer you gain xp for repairing things and resupplying other players. I think it is a pretty cool feature and isn't applied enough in games to progress based off of your classes strong points.

nodlimax:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

From what I understand you can't compare the class quests in SWTOR with the path missions. The class missions in SWTOR were basically the same stuff as the standard quests only with stories specifically related to the classes.

The path missions in Wildstart seem to be specifically made for how you want to play the game. The trailer showed some examples in this regard and it looks interesting.

In addition the path is something you select in addition to your base class. You could be a warrior and combine this with the settler path. You then go into an area clean up the enemies and build for you and your guild a base there with a bar and other stuff. At least this is what it sounds like. And based on what kind of path you have you get different mission types. I mean why would a settler go and assassinate someone, right?

I just hope they get it right...

Oh, well when you two put it that way, that sounds pretty cool.

I hope for this to succeed anyhow. I need a new main MMO timesink badly :(.

I thought you were giving up on PC gaming, like, yesterday?

RE: MMO news, Guild Wars 2 is the current hot title, and it's ALREADY showing that it's ageing. They said they'd do the whole "class agnostic" gameplay style, and it failed.

Robetid:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

It sounds like a little more than that. In the case of the settler it seems like you gain experience for helping out other players by buffs and such instead of everyone just grinding mobs or doing the same old quest lines. Kinda how in Planetside 2 if youre the medic class you gain experience for healing people or if youre the engineer you gain xp for repairing things and resupplying other players. I think it is a pretty cool feature and isn't applied enough in games to progress based off of your classes strong points.

nodlimax:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

From what I understand you can't compare the class quests in SWTOR with the path missions. The class missions in SWTOR were basically the same stuff as the standard quests only with stories specifically related to the classes.

The path missions in Wildstart seem to be specifically made for how you want to play the game. The trailer showed some examples in this regard and it looks interesting.

In addition the path is something you select in addition to your base class. You could be a warrior and combine this with the settler path. You then go into an area clean up the enemies and build for you and your guild a base there with a bar and other stuff. At least this is what it sounds like. And based on what kind of path you have you get different mission types. I mean why would a settler go and assassinate someone, right?

I just hope they get it right...

Oh, well when you two put it that way, that sounds pretty cool.

I hope for this to succeed anyhow. I need a new main MMO timesink badly :(.

VladG:

Desert Punk:
snip

Huh, so you could be a Settler Spellslinger or a... Warrior Warrior? 0.o

Warrior Soldier, yes. Or Warrior Settler, or any combination of class/path. Paths give you access to side content, based on what you like to do in an MMO - combat, exploration, lore or socialization.[/quote]

Wow, I am looking forward to this game even more now!

God I hope one of those two remaining classes is a 'pet' class like Warlock (WoW) or Mastermind (City of Heroes)

Desert Punk:
snip

Huh, so you could be a Settler Spellslinger or a... Warrior Warrior? 0.o[/quote]

Warrior Soldier, yes. Or Warrior Settler, or any combination of class/path. Paths give you access to side content, based on what you like to do in an MMO - combat, exploration, lore or socialization.

VladG:

Desert Punk:

Chessrook44:
Their description of the Settler makes me think of what I remember a certain class from early SWG was supposed to be like... and didn't people not like that?

Some people really liked it, the reason it annoyed people is because it was implemented badly, and they never really bothered to get it working well.

Edit: my friends and I went into SWG looking forward to setting up a bustling little town of our own, but it never panned out. And there were no 'classes' in SWG before they did their utterly retarded combat rebalance run, and that was one of the big factors in the games demise.

OT: I just thought and looked it up, what happened to their other classes? The Esper, The Stalker, and The Spellslinger?

I haven't heard anything about them lately... Did they scrap the more magic based folk?

Paths =/= Classes, they are 100% separate. And The Stalker, Esper and Spellslinger are still there as well as 2 unannounced classes.

Huh, so you could be a Settler Spellslinger or a... Warrior Warrior? 0.o

Desert Punk:

Chessrook44:
Their description of the Settler makes me think of what I remember a certain class from early SWG was supposed to be like... and didn't people not like that?

Some people really liked it, the reason it annoyed people is because it was implemented badly, and they never really bothered to get it working well.

Edit: my friends and I went into SWG looking forward to setting up a bustling little town of our own, but it never panned out. And there were no 'classes' in SWG before they did their utterly retarded combat rebalance run, and that was one of the big factors in the games demise.

OT: I just thought and looked it up, what happened to their other classes? The Esper, The Stalker, and The Spellslinger?

I haven't heard anything about them lately... Did they scrap the more magic based folk?

Paths =/= Classes, they are 100% separate. And The Stalker, Esper and Spellslinger are still there as well as 2 unannounced classes.

Chessrook44:
Their description of the Settler makes me think of what I remember a certain class from early SWG was supposed to be like... and didn't people not like that?

Some people really liked it, the reason it annoyed people is because it was implemented badly, and they never really bothered to get it working well.

Edit: my friends and I went into SWG looking forward to setting up a bustling little town of our own, but it never panned out. And there were no 'classes' in SWG before they did their utterly retarded combat rebalance run, and that was one of the big factors in the games demise.

OT: I just thought and looked it up, what happened to their other classes? The Esper, The Stalker, and The Spellslinger?

I haven't heard anything about them lately... Did they scrap the more magic based folk?

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

This is nothing like that. Paths are separate from class/race and story arc. Paths influence the kind of extra gameplay you will get to complement the standard MMO stuff. Soldiers get more combat, Explorers get to unlock hidden areas, Scientists get a lot of extra lore and completionist stuff (in very broad strokes).

Imagine it as a sort of secondary Class that gives you access to extra content relevant to that class.

Also you can share stuff with other Paths. Once an Explorer opens up a hidden area, others can access it. You can join a Soldier Holdout even if you aren't a Soldier, and so on.

Guild Wars 2 did something similar, but on a lesser scale, by rewarding activities like exploring (vistas), completing areas and so on.

Quite frankly I'm very much looking forward to playing this game, it looks awesome.

bliebblob:

Scientist and explorer sound reasonably appealing as well I guess, though the scientist very much hinges on if the world is actually all that interesting. Soldier though? Meh. Unless combat is devil may cry levels of awesome I don't see the appeal of bonus mob stomping.

and it's not, from what footage I've seen from TBs channel... Age of wushu is far more interactive when it comes to fighting anything. I'm not sure how the combat system actually works, but I know that when you use your skills, the enemy doesn't get knocked back. The feel of hitting something seems weak.

captcha - dream big.

I think the developers are doing that right now.

Their description of the Settler makes me think of what I remember a certain class from early SWG was supposed to be like... and didn't people not like that?

hickwarrior:

DVS BSTrD:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

It's not groundbreaking, it's just a notable feature in an upcoming MMO.

That's not really it. They're making content based on how players want to play the game. It's based on the BARTLE test. The thing is, they are already limiting it instead of making it more open. And to me, that makes it way less of a feature.

Maybe you don't like to explore anymore and just want to murder a ton of whatevers. Or, you'd like to find randomly generated caves and go do that.

Nope, you chose settler, so stick to that.

Then again, I've been hooked by age of wushu. So I'll stick to playing that.

This has come up before and the dev's defence is that you will get a taste of all "paths" but more of the one you chose. For example everyone will have an instanced customizable house, but only settlers will be able to build settlements in the open world. (Provided I didn't misread their marketing.) Being grouped up with someone of a different path will also let you join their path stuff though that's kind of a weak defence if you're an mmo loner like me.

I'm personally really interested in the settler stuff as I've been pining for a good housing system in an mmo. But their marketing describes settler as a path for those players who spend more time socializing and organizing than actually playing. In other words: guild leaders, general chat celebrities, etc. So I'm pretty skeptical: will I get anywhere as a loner settler with a limited time to spend on mmo's?

Scientist and explorer sound reasonably appealing as well I guess, though the scientist very much hinges on if the world is actually all that interesting. Soldier though? Meh. Unless combat is devil may cry levels of awesome I don't see the appeal of bonus mob stomping.

I want to do ALL the things, good thing I'm an altaholic.

The more I see about this game the more I like it, I started not too fussed by it and now it's a day one purchase for me.

This game looks awesome, I am totally going to go Settler

Okay, so the trailer with Cree Summer caught my attention earlier. Made me curious. This piece of news made me sign up for the beta, so I'll have a chance of seeing if it's something I want to invest in later.

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

Well, the SWTOR class stories still mostly revolve around "go there, kill that", and don't really give a crap about your playstyle. As a Trooper, I can be a healer, a damage dealer or a tank, but the story will always treat me like the Republic's personal hit(wo)man.

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

From what I understand you can't compare the class quests in SWTOR with the path missions. The class missions in SWTOR were basically the same stuff as the standard quests only with stories specifically related to the classes.

The path missions in Wildstart seem to be specifically made for how you want to play the game. The trailer showed some examples in this regard and it looks interesting.

In addition the path is something you select in addition to your base class. You could be a warrior and combine this with the settler path. You then go into an area clean up the enemies and build for you and your guild a base there with a bar and other stuff. At least this is what it sounds like. And based on what kind of path you have you get different mission types. I mean why would a settler go and assassinate someone, right?

I just hope they get it right...

DVS BSTrD:

Jove:
Didn't SWTOR do this already? Each class in that game had their own unique story and rewards. I'm not exactly sure what's so ground breaking about it here.

It's not groundbreaking, it's just a notable feature in an upcoming MMO.

That's not really it. They're making content based on how players want to play the game. It's based on the BARTLE test. The thing is, they are already limiting it instead of making it more open. And to me, that makes it way less of a feature.

Maybe you don't like to explore anymore and just want to murder a ton of whatevers. Or, you'd like to find randomly generated caves and go do that.

Nope, you chose settler, so stick to that.

Then again, I've been hooked by age of wushu. So I'll stick to playing that.

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