How WildStar Breaks the Button-Mashing Mold with New Abilities

| 26 Sep 2013 13:00
WildStar Abilities 2

The Press and Hold ability mechanic has got to be the one that the devs are most excited about, or it's at least the one that they're the most excited to use. Press and Hold abilities work for as long as you continue to hold the button or until some hard cap has been hit (maximum duration, drained resources, etc. This is on an ability-by-ability basis). Press and Hold abilities are some of the most visceral actions in WildStar because, "It creates a personal connection to the action, and to the game", explained Lynch. "They feel good to use." Abilities such as Whirlwind look especially exciting, allowing players to fly around the screen and drive the action directly through their input.

The final type of ability mechanic is Ability Charges. Similarly to Rapid Tap, Ability Charges allow a player to use a single ability multiple times before it goes on cooldown, but without the time limit. Players can space out their use of the charges over time, or dump them all at once onto a vulnerable target, creating opportunities for critical decision making and tactical gameplay. Ability Charges will be used for all kinds of skills, from high-damage abilities, to heals, to crowd control.

WildStar will also feature a number of non-combat abilities, things like Slow Fall or Water Walking that will be useful for a person to have, but not necessarily the button you want to be pushing when facing down a raid boss. These kinds of skills won't necessarily be tied to a player's class, and will likely come from other systems such as Paths, special quests, or Gadgets.


Gadgets are one of the two things that I was most excited to hear about during the Q&A because it's a combination of my two favorite things in MMORPGS: loot and new abilities. Gadgets are a new type of equipable gear that will add a new skill to your action bar, and will be used for all aspects of WildStar. Gadgets are a permanent addition to your character for as long as they're equipped, and will grant access to unique skills that cannot be obtained via classes or paths. Players will also get temporary abilities from all kinds of other sources, such as path abilities or special abilities for a specific quest or region. Carbine has made it clear already that they're interested in giving players access to all kinds of abilities, and that players builds are meant to be a form of customization, not a power structure that players have to follow.

Speaking of character customization, that brings me to the other big thing that really thrilled me during the WildStar Q&A. Though the developers were hesitant to release any details, they talked about two new systems that are coming to the game, the Ability Tree, and Advanced Modification Protocols (AMPS for short). The Ability Tree is a place where players can invest points in order to upgrade their existing abilities. These points will be acquired as a character levels up, and will upgrade and increase the functionality of already owned abilities.

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categories: 3d, fantasy
categories: 3d, fantasy