I had a chance to join other members of the press to take on the community in a media vs. community throw down on WildStar’s PTR to view the latest addition, Daggerstone Pass. Now other members of the media report that they’re alright at the game, but let me confess that I spend most of the time from when I wake up until I go to bed in WildStar’s battlegrounds, so I consider myself somewhat of an enthusiast. However, on the PTR, there was a major issue of gear disparity, which prevented the game from playing naturally. We, as a group, still had fun, but the experience was peppered with the sting of defeat.
Sabotage or Daggerstone Pass is essentially a remake of World of Warcraft’s Isle of Conquest mixed with SWTOR’s Alderran (except you can directly attack the spaceships). You have two fortresses facing each other, and three nodes in the center. Take the nodes in the center to do direct damage to the enemy’s fusion core or walk into their base and punch the fusion core with your very own fists - the choice is up to you.
Compared to Walatiki Temple and Halls of the Bloodsworn, it’s a bit simpler. You only need to either hold 2 of the 3 nodes, or be able to do some massive damage to their fusion core to win. This makes organization a breeze, at least from my standpoint, and should make it a bit easier for groups of random players to have fun.
I don’t specifically have a ton of comments about the battleground. I only got about an hour of solid playtime in and it was pretty much with everyone’s faces in the mud, but one comment is that I’m not a huge fan of the click to flip mechanic in the battlegrounds. It seems that it gives the attacking players favor, because they don’t have to focus on keeping someone off of the node. You lose a lot of DPS every time someone has to interrupt someone on a node, and then they’re still going to get it because the cast time is so short and not everyone can watch it 24/7.
With that said, the new battleground is fast and chaotic. Fast is the keyword here - something that Walatiki and Bloodsworn do not have. The health is going to deplete no matter what, unless no one can switch any of the nodes in the center and no one beats on the fusion core, the end is going to come and it’s going to come fast, which a lot of players will appreciate.
That’s not to say the other BGs drag on or anything, but there can be some pretty tough situations in Walatiki where the timer is ticking down and you’re going to run out of time before anything happens because the mask in the middle keeps dropping and everything just sort of isn’t going right for either side. Here, there is a timer, and there is momentum, and you need to keep those things in check.
Really, I see this being a BG that you win or lose within the first five minutes. The first team to hold all three, or hold two for a substantial amount of time, is going to have a strong lead and breaking that lead is going to be tough. It’s not going to be like Walatiki where you can just steal a mask and capture a mask in the middle and make 3:1 turn into 2:3 in an instance. The only scenarios that’s going to happen in is if you can get a really good wipe right at the respawn timer, so the enemy team is down for 20 seconds and you get that free time to smash on the fusion core.
The entire experience was fun and enjoyable, I must say. If you’re into WildStar’s PvP then I would say it’s safe to get excited for the upcoming update, another battleground will help make things a bit more varied and hopefully it’ll rotate in the random queue quite a bit so everyone can have a go at it. Look for the new BG to arrive in the coming weeks.