Wildstar – Interview with Stephan Frost

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Wildstar is an upcoming fantasy MMORPG that places the player on the recently discovered planet Nexus where two factions, the Exiles and the Dominion, are in war with each other, hoping to gain control of the lost technology from The Eldan who have mysteriously disappeared from the planet. I had a chance to sit down with Game Design Producer for Wildstar, Stephan Frost, during the Wildstar press event in Amsterdam.

wildstar logo

The focus of the press event was the Warplots so let’s see what that is all about. When you’ve reached the Elder Game of Wildstar, you will gain access to the Warplots. These are massive 40v40 PvP battles where strategy is the main focus. You can buy your own warplot and build your fortress with tons of defensive and offensive systems, or you can join a warplot owned by someone else. The goal of these warplots is destroying your enemy power generators, the first one to destroy them all wins. Seems easy, right? It’s not! It wouldn’t be Wildstar if it wasn’t yet another hardcore mode with even more hardcore features. Not only will you be able to place defensive and offensive systems in your fortress, you can also capture dungeon and raid bosses which you can place on your own plot, or your enemy plot. What they do with it, is entirely up to them. If you want to see something even more hardcore, try placing your boss against their boss and let them battle it out.

But without further ado, let’s take a look at the interview.

Q: In certain areas that are heavily populated, doing the challenges can be a difficult task. Will the timers of the challenges change depending on the population of an area?

We’re going to keep them the way they are. I think that between now and launch our focus is optimization and post-launch content for everybody to download 28 days later, to have something for them. On challenges specifically, when you start getting to higher level stuff you might start needing groups to get them done faster. So it’s like let’s say, kill 50 things in like 3 minutes and you’re like how do I do that? You better group up with people to finish them. But the bronze awards or the silver awards you should be able to achieve at the very least. We also have pressure timers so after a certain amount of creatures start dying, the population should start going back up.

Q: Let’s talk about the housing system. Did you find inspiration from other games such as Ultima Online or did you come up with the housing system completely from scratch?

I think you can never have a game that doesn’t have some inspiration from other games like Star Wars Galaxy and Ultima Online, they all have great housing systems. I think we looked at those things and said, what do they do correctly and than what do they do incorrectly, what can we take from those things and what can we do in a certain amount of time and all that fun stuff. The thing that I liked the most of our housing system is the more stuff you have in your house, the more rested XP you get, so you level faster. We also have an end game currency that replaces leveling. So you get that currency by hitting levels, so you don’t go to 51 you just hit to 50 and then start gaining currency by leveling.


Q: Games like Wildstar requires new content every once in a while. Are you planning to work with expansions in the future or will you release new content through patches or even both?

Every month we will have new content for players. That can be new zones, new PvP arena’s or battlegrounds, it could be housing content. It could be a myriad of things because we want players to stick around. It’s not going to be like, ‘Wait a year for us to release an expansion.’ as I said earlier, when people hit cap and there’s nothing to do they just leave. So we consistently have things to entertain people and keep them interested. You’ll see in month one we have a huge patch and that’s because we want to keep entertaining our players. I think the majority of people will not be able to get through all the content we have. I’m saying the majority because I know there are going to be some people who will go through it in 3 days.

Q: Some players prefer to make twinks, for both PvP and PvE. Will there be an option to stop gaining XP in the near future?

What we do is a mentoring, or leveling system, that allows you to kind of stay in that region. For example there are battlegrounds that are technically from level 6 to 15 so they bring you back down to that level but you’re allowed to maintain your abilities. So it’s not like you have some hardcore dude that goes like ‘Oh I’m going to start a new character so I can keep doing this over and over again’, we auto level you down to that sequence while you maintain your abilities. You’ll still probably do a little better than the dude who just got there because you will have more abilities that make you more badass but that kind of helps mediate some pressure.

Q: A big part of the end game, or Elder Game content exists of public events where you will need to fight monsters, solve puzzles, bypass gauntlets and coordinate with other players. Will there be seasonal public events added to the Elder Game content?

We’re going to have holidays in the game, I don’t think we’ve really revealed when they’re coming online but you can probably guess as to when they are coming in the game for the most part. We will have public event-like content but you don’t have to be capped to experience this. We’re not really talking about it yet but just know that post-launch, it will come.


Q: You can capture bosses to put on your warplots, will they have the same mechanics as in the dungeons and raids?

No because the bosses on warplots are for 20 players and the dungeon bosses are for 5 players, so if we put a 5 person boss in a warplot, players will probably get through that really quickly but the mechanics are way different and way more hardcore than if they were in a dungeon with a 5 player group. Some of them are from raids and they have very similar mechanics but we had to change some mechanics. Mordechai Redmoon from Skullcano for example has a Terraformer Overload that is going off and you have to watch out for these beams that are going to come around and kill you but you can’t do that in a warplot because he doesn’t have a Terraformer with him so we had to make warplot specific ones that are 20 person bosses. They’re still very brutal and it’s kind of the idea of whether you summon your own boss to fight them or do I try to take them down to kill that boss so I don’t have to worry about it but in the meanwhile I have to worry about all the other players.

Q: Will you be able to move the warplot bosses once you’ve placed them?

When they spawn, they have a timer before they disappear and then they’ll just go away and have a cooldown. So you can decide if you want to put it in your own warplot of your enemies one. There is one person that is in charge of the warplot and they get to make the calls when it comes down to things like that, so it’s not like you’ll go ‘Hey, I’ll put my warplot boss down here’ and somebody else moves it for me. You can assign other people to make these calls as well if you want to but for the most part it’s up to the leader of the warplot.


Q: In the Veteran Tier you will need to attune yourself in order to move onto the raids. Will this attunement be account-wide or do you need to go through the attunement process with every character?

You know, I don’t know if we’ve said that all your character can have it or not but as of right now, as far as I know you will still need to do that for every character.

Q: The raid bosses rotate every week, will they have mechanics that change every so often as well?

In the Datascape, which is the 40 person raid, there is a room where you go in that has elementals. These elementals change their mechanics based off of what they’re paired up with so it’s a different fight when you have the elemental with water or the elemental with fire. When you combine all these things, it makes a totally different fight. Those are the ones that will change on a weekly basis.

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Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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