WildStar: Reimagining Ancient Game Mechanics
may be lighthearted and humorous at its core,
but it’s clear that Carbine has every intention of making
this a full-fledged
MMO with all the trimmings. We still may not have a release date,
but as the development team at Carbine Studios plugs away at the game,
community team continues to feed us bits and pieces of information.
Devspeak videos they’ve provided to the public are
certainly entertaining, but they’re also informative for
those that look beyond
the quick laughs. Despite what the hype of the marketing team would
believe, WildStar isn't reinventing the wheel or even adding any
systems… or is it?
WildStar is full of subtle changes and differences from what players have become accustomed to and I think most gamers are ready for something different. Taken individually, the game mechanics so far appear to be nothing new. Mobile spell casting? Seen it. Dodge mechanics? Seen ‘em. What about crowd control? Yep, seen that too. While I don’t think any of this is truly new, that doesn’t mean we’re not seeing some new spins put on each of these.
take a look at some of the new mechanics the
development team has talked about. First up? Crowd control. I am,
doubt or exaggeration, a huge proponent of the need for proper crowd
MMOs. For groups to succeed in EverQuest, it was a mandatory skill.
depended on your Enchanter for mezzing, your Druid for animal charms,
character that filled the role of off-tank, you *had* to be able to
movements and actions of multiple adversaries.
the years, this skill (and even its inclusions in
games) has been going the way of the dodo. Crowd control these days
making sure the tank is able to agro everything in an area and keep
beating on his (or her) armor. I won’t lie – it
drives me crazy. I miss the
days of the teamwork that used to be required to handle large pulls.
isn’t going back to a system that old, but they are doing
something very new in
terms of controlling those around you.
Along with players having multiple methods of CCing a mob (stun, sleep, knockdown, etc.), they’re also making sure you have a chance to not lose control of your own character. There’s nothing as frustrating as getting hit with a stun and having to stand there as your character gets beat to a bloody pulp. With their new system, your character will always have an opportunity to get of the proverbial jail, depending on the situation at hand. Dazed characters will be able to fast-tap a key to break the stun. Disarmed characters can run to where their weapon flew off to. Blinded characters can still cast, but they may miss. These ideas, along with some others detailed in an earlier Devspeak video will give combat and crowd control a very welcome facelift.
up? Ability mechanics. Even though it’s not
something completely new, I’m a fan of how their aiming
system is currently
looking. One of the big changes from what players are used to is the
cast while moving. This isn’t a new concept, but when
combined with the rest of
the combat system, it is something that’s going to be very
refreshing to MMO
veterans as well as newbies. Unlike other implementations
we’ve seen of this
from past games (such as Vanguard: Saga of Heroes), players will be
cast most of their abilities while moving at full speed. This even
most charging spells.
something new that I can’t think of any game
trying it before – charging spells no longer have to get to
full charge to be
used. We’ve seen that the battlefield is clearly going to be
making a standard charge spell mechanic frustrating at best, and
at worst. With this new system, players will be able to use their
abilities without the fear of them being completely wasted if they
have to dodge out of the way of an incoming attack.
game is still in a closed beta state, but I think it
may be something new and exciting not because of each individual
because of the way each system interlinks and depends on the others.
months ago, I talked about the
importance of interlinking game mechanics.
EverQuest did a brilliant job of
it and while I think it’s too soon to tell, the WildStar team
may well be on
the verge of something special as well.