In the second of our WildStar Guild Spotlight series, we've chosen Europe's ever popular "Immortalis Noctis". Similarly to The Unnamed Immortalist Noctis (or IN as they're known) are also choosing Dominion. Due to some of the parallels between the guilds we decided to ask Ico and Chaos (IN's overlords) the same questions to see how their answers and opinions on WildStar differed.
Ten Ton Hammer: Immortalis Noctis (I.N) has been playing MMOG’s together for many years. Why choose Wildstar?
Ico: As a guild we’ve bounced between a fair few MMO’s over the years, but most of our players, myself included, will say that World of Warcraft staple MMO in their pre-I.N days. Since leaving WoW we’ve been searching for an MMO with an equally in-depth content offering, especially with regards to the end-game, or ‘elder game’ as we’re now calling it!
Our previous MMO’s have all followed the same trend, crazy activity for the first month then the inevitable abandonment by players as they hit max level and realise they’ve got to wait 50+ days for the next content patch! That’s where WildStar comes in, for the first time in years we’ve found a MMO where the focus of the developers is both to provide a lot of Elder game options from launch and to make that content challenging! From Warplots to Raiding, WildStar is the first new MMO to offer such a wide array of content.
Chaos: Because Ico told me to. Oh and hoverboards!
Ten Ton Hammer: Having played most of what the genre has to offer, what do you think WildStar’s long term prospects are?
Ico: I genuinely think WildStar could be one the few MMO’s that goes the distance. From a player perspective many MMO’s start off brilliantly, only to start falling apart as your character approaches the higher level content. Whilst I have some issues with WildStar’s questing systems, the world of Nexus has some amazingly designed zones and the challenge offered to the player continues to step up as you progress higher.
Surviving the first month is vital however, Carbine have to stay on top of feedback and keep people hyped for the post launch content patches, as well as actually releasing that content fairly sharpish of course! Aion died for us because once past the grind-fest of getting to max level, it had an extremely stale meta with long patch cycles due to the the East/West localisation. With WildStar Carbine seem to be pointed in the right direction, the Gaffer himself has stated that the fastest way to burn a big stack of money is to make a MMO with no elder game content!
Chaos: After having experienced several MMO launches now I’m a bit more reluctant to jump on the hype train than I used to be. That being said, Carbine do seem to know what they are doing and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they are going to give us some impressive end-game content and actually keep it up with frequent content updates.
Ten Ton Hammer: For individuals who have yet to play WildStar, why do you think a guilds are important in this game?
Ico: If you want to do the larger headcount content, you’re going to want a guild, that’s just how it is in MMO’s! If anyone has seen some of the WildStar raiding streams, the onus is on the individual to not die, but success comes from organised and clear communication. That communication and greater structure is what guilds (should) offer, from pre-planning on a forum, to running their own VoIP server for comms.
In game however WildStar also offers some really cool amenities to further guilds ingame, such as a guild bank, taxes and buffs. So even if you’re not going for the elder game content, there’s a lot of bonuses one can get from participating in a guild. Hell, guilds even have their own currency for unlocking and activating those amenities which actually gives you a reason (if you needed one) to play with your guildies.
A guild should be something that a player wants to be apart of though. Members in most longer standing guilds play a lot of games together, regardless of whether or not the guild is a multi-gaming community or focussed on one game at a time like I.N is. It’s all about finding a guild that’s the right fit for you, and sometimes that means starting one of your own!
Chaos: Personally I’m a fairly end game oriented player and I cannot see any way anyone can fully enjoy that end game experience without a strong, friendly guild to rely on. When I was younger I played some MMO’s without a guild and I couldn’t even bring myself to reach max level. The social aspect and friendly competition you get from a good guild makes me want to actually play the best I can and work towards beating end game content.
Ten Ton Hammer: Where end game content is concerned, how do you feel about WildStar? Do you think Battlegrounds, Warplots or Raiding is going to provide enough of a lifespan?
Ico: As I understand it, Warplots are still under heavy feedback for pacing/bug fixing and general balancing. They’re a completely fresh idea however, and if they launch in working order, there’s a huge amount of content alone there. It will rest upon Warparties (normally guilds) to discover and test all the possible tactics and counters, then actually gain the required Warplot rating and prestige points to buy Warplot PvP gear.
The rest of the elder game is equally as massive however, as I mentioned earlier the array of launch ready content is pretty staggering. Many games can launch with a tonne of content however and still fall short. With Guild Wars 2’s launch dungeons for example, players had 8 dungeons available, each with 3 or 4 explorable paths, but with no gear treadmill to work your way through them and unbalanced reward paths, players just figured out which set they wanted (for looks) and then speed ran the fastest route through the explorable. Carbine seem to of put a lot of thought into replayability, and WildStar is packed with mechanics like requiring set amount of runs for certain pieces of loot via Elder Gem farming, or actually putting a skill barrier in front of an item such as Arena rating or requiring a Gold Medal from a certain dungeon.
The other part that will aid in the longevity of WildStar’s content is it’s difficulty. We’ve already heard the devs talk/brag about just how brutal the 40man Datascape raid is, we’ve even got Anlath betting he’ll wear a dress if anyone clears it in the launch month! Challenge is something I’ve watched degrade in multiplayer games over the years, vague quest text about a box under a fallen tree stump has been replaced with pinpoint navigation arrows, statistics have become simpler and content has become more forgiving of mistakes. The problem with this is that if the game is too easy, players will get bored and leave, if Carbine can withstand the cries of “nerf this” and “it’s too hard” that we’re already seeing, WildStar will keep players hooked. After all, nobody likes getting beaten by an AI script. Combine that with Carbine’s philosophy of regular content filled patches, and yes I think WildStar’s content can stand the test of time.
Chaos: I certainly hope so. From what I’ve read and heard Carbine seems to be putting a lot of effort in giving us plenty of varied end game content. I’m also just going to follow Ico here and sincerely hope that Carbine isn’t going to dumb down the content because the majority of the playerbase is begging for nerfs because they can’t clear it on the first try. They’ve already mentioned they won’t be doing this, at least for a decent amount of time, but we’ll have to see if they actually keep their word. If they do keep it and the raiding is indeed as hard as they say it is I think we’ll be looking at a very decent lifespan for end game content and it should keep us busy until the first content patch.
Ten Ton Hammer: If you could point out the best and worst that WildStar has to offer, what would it be?
Ico: World questing content is my major gripe with WildStar, I could rant for pages on how it’s just not as spectacular as the rest of the game, but at it’s core I just feel that the questing doesn’t do the story of WildStar justice, information is presented in an easy to miss manner and the quests follow the age-old archetype of “Go here, kill this, fetch a mouldy book”. My counter to this though is that I don’t really play MMO’s for their questing. If I wanted a hugely character involved story, I’d go play a single player RPG. WildStar’s strong suite is what we’ve been discussing so far, its repeatable content, both elder and levelling.
Chaos: Best: Hoverboards! Worst: Not having a hoverboard yet.
Ico: You’re far too obsessed with hoverboards dude.
Ten Ton Hammer: What’s the guilds overall opinion on WildStar’s PvP?
Ico: Jolly good fun for the whole family. As long as you stay away from the faction camp guards…
My experiences with max level PvP so far have been a bit hit and miss, but a lot of that is down to the limited hours I’ve been putting into WS (trying to save something for launch at least) and the terrible state of my character’s gear!
Ten Ton Hammer: Why do you think I.N has been so successful for so long?
Ico: We’re successful?! When? How? What?
In seriousness though, I think the reason we’ve kept a core group of players and still appeal to fresh faces is because we outline what we are from the get go, and we stick to it. The guild has a document dubbed as our manifesto that we wrote back in ‘09 and we’ve never strayed from it. Other than that I like to think we’re very much an internally focussed guild. Personally I don’t care if we’re number 1 or number 20 on the server leaderboards, as long as my players are pushing themselves in raids and still having a good time doing it, I’m happy.
Chaos: Because of my outgoing and sociable character.
Ico: I don’t think sarcasm carries too well over text Chaos...
Ten Ton Hammer: How do you feel about Carbine’s guild support and in-game infrastructure? What would you like to see to make leading a guild easier?
Ico: The aforementioned buffs/bank tabs system covers all the functional boxes I want from guild buffs. Additional features I’d like to see implemented would be officer notes for each player on the guild roster screen, adjustable taxes and finally a sneak peak at what sort of external API access we’re going to get to query the WildStar servers for guild info etc!
Chaos: Not particularly guild related but I am also mostly looking forward to the API.
Ten Ton Hammer: You chose not to primarily pursue Elder Scrolls Online: why is that?
Ico: WildStar caught our attention (as a guild) first would be my go to point. In fact it was a random steam message out of the blue from one of our core members (Azzer), that started off our reformation for WildStar! More personally however, ESO just doesn’t appeal to me, I enjoy the sheer pace and mobility of WildStar’s combat, whilst ESO appears to be far more traditional.
Chaos: I’m a fairly big TES fan and obviously I was excited at the announcement but also pretty worried that it just wouldn’t have the seem feel that I love from the previous game and after having played the beta for a bit that worry was indeed justified. While I’m not saying TES:O is a bad game at all it’s just not the game for me personally.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are you currently recruiting and if so, what sets you apart from other guilds?
Ico: We are recruiting for pre-release WildStar! Our roster is currently ~50 Raiding/Warplotting (is that a thing?) members, however with interest drop-outs and changing circumstances that number will remain quite fluid until a few weeks post launch. As for what sets us apart, I’m not so sure, but I think the fact that we’re very clear about what we are and what we do from the get go is a big plus. We’re here to have fun and chat ridiculous amounts of trash at each other, but we also about rising to any challenge our chosen game might throw at us.
Immortalis Noctis are a European Dominion Guild focused on PvP and Raiding whom are currently recruiting. We'd like to thank them for taking the time out to answer our questions.
Do you want your guild in the spotlight? Drop me an email at lewisb[at]tentonhammer.com or via Twitter @Persistentworld