WildStar Adventures AMA Transcript
Last night Carbine took part in an ÂAdventure Ask Me AnythingÂ over on the WildStar Reddit. To save you the trouble, IÂve produced a transcript below.
Tamoketh: Will there be any way to know what Adventure paths were done before?
For example: Using the example given in the Flick, if I pick the Mechari head, would that be marked anywhere so that next time I run this Adventure I'd be able to check which choices I haven't made and explore those this time around?
Carbine: Weird, this wasn't the top answer by the time we left the AMA...sorry for missing it!
I just spoke with the team. While there isn't any native support for this in-game, the "Vote UI" is coded in Lua, so it is entirely possible that someone in the community could create an addon that does exactly that.
(If anyone in beta wants to make this right now, GO FOR IT!)
Sebastiansly: Good Afternoon,
You briefly mentioned something about a MOBA-style adventure. Many of us have played DotA, HoN, LoL, and DotA 2 etc. and enjoy the genre when not playing MMOs. Can you give us additional details on this adventure format? Is it currently only 5 vs AI? Are there any plans to implement a MOBA style PvP battle ground as well? That would be epic.
Carbine: We also have a number of MOBA fans here at Carbine. The adventure you're referencing is called War of the Wilds, and its been a popular favorite throughout the beta. It's strictly about 5 players facing down 5 AI champions, but the question of whether we might make a PvP version has come up a lot, both in the beta and within Carbine.
Hey, if enough players say they want it, who knows what could happen... :)
Larsoria: Do you have any plans to dissuade players from doing the adventure the same way because its faster ?
Carbine: We've put a lot of thought into preventing players from finding a fastest or easiest path through a given adventure and never deviating from it. The main reason not to do that is teh phat lootz. Each route or approach to a given adventure awards different loot as you face different bosses and conquer different content. You'll definitely gear up faster if you try different approaches each time.
Promethia: So the bosses in adventures have their own loot tables?
Carbine: In beta right now they don't, but we've changed our reward structure a lot based on player feedback. Bosses will start having set loot tables as of the next beta patch. Adventures also grant rewards at the end based on a medal tier players achieve as they're running the instance, and those draw from a pretty broad pool of possible items.
Strangelildedgrl: If composing your own group for an Adventure, do you want to go with a normal dungeon set up? (Tank, Heals, 3 x DPS) Or can all players run in DPS mode.
Carbine: Good question! For most adventures, you will want to set up your trinity of tank, healer, DPS. For our MOBA style adventure, War of the Wilds, you may need to rethink your group in terms of a MOBA style game; support, carry, tank, etc.
Hemming17: Do the available paths in an Adventure sometimes cross over?Say you decide not to go on a patrol with people you later have to save them because you didn't help then?
Carbine: Awesome question! The answer is yes, we have several instances of this happening throughout adventures. In the Malgrave Trail, you will run across the same Draken NPC in few places at different parts of his story-arc. Also, we try to include consequences for choosing a particular voting option over another where we can.
For example, in the Riot in the Void adventure, the first choice your group has to make is to decide to stop the prisoners from getting weapons, stop the maximum security esper prisoners from escaping, or stop a group of prisoners from gaining access.
Kjersgaard: Thanks for doing this guys! Can't wait to play. Are adventures meant to go alongside dungeons as an alternate way to gear up, with same item levels and whatnot?
Will adventures be expanded upon as much as dungeons or less?
This question applies to dungeons too, can you go into an adventure or dungeon without getting scaled down? In a lot of MMOs sometimes you want to go back and revisit something you skipped or might have missed but dont want to group for. Can you go solo a 20 adventure at lvl 50 if you want?
Carbine: Dungeons and adventures are meant to compliment each other. Some players will like one or the other, we hope many players like both. As far as item levels, that comparison only really comes into play when you hit the elder game. Once you do, you will in fact see similar quality loot dropping out of each.
It is possible to enter a dungeon or adventure instance without scaling your level down, it's a setting a group leader can choose when the group is zoning in to the instance.
Apoc1216: This is a question for Matt and Taylor; what are your favorite adventures so far, and why are they your favorite? Also, Cake or Pie?
Carbine (Azhrael): I would have to say my favorite adventure so far is War of the Wilds. Not only do I find the alternative style of gameplay fun, I also have a lot of time invested into the ChampionsÂ AI. The champions hold a special place in my heart.
AlsoÂ .horse-sized duckÂ in case anyone is wondering.
Carbine (Const): I love me some Malgrave Trail because I like the complexity and tremendous variance of it. It was also one of the first we worked on, and the first we were really happy with the results on after the first pass on the content.
Carbine (Scooter) Since you specifically left me out of this question... Malgrave Trail. :D
Honestly, when it was initially described to me it sounded like a standard escort quest but as soon as you jump into it you're suddenly managing your caravan's resources, defending them from invaders, making medicine to keep them healthy, rescuing kidnapped members, and so on and so on. Easily my favorite piece of group content in the entire game, I'd say.
Promethia: Will you be able to scale down your lvl to do adventures with lower lvl pals? If so, will you still gain lvl appropiate xp and loots?
Carbine: Yes, and in fact that is the default setting when you enter an adventure (or dungeon). The loot that drops will be of the adventure's actual level, and you'll definitely see better XP rewards out of higher level adventures.
Derails: Are adventures truly dynamic? Or are they "solvable" in that there is a particular solution that you/your party should know in order to get the maximum rewards?
Carbine: The lowest level adventures respond pretty predictably to player choice, but once you're past those introductory instances you've got a lot of different variance in the mix. One of our key goals is to make sure that a good group of players will always see better results from a solid strategy they cooked up in real time than one they read off the internet. We also spread out loot rewards across the various routes through the content to ensure that making the same choices every time isn't the way to go.
Adventures and dungeons will be similarly rewarding, and the expected time to complete isn't wildly different between them. As far as difficulty, dungeons and advenures are challenging in different ways. Dungeon content tends to stress a group's ability to cohere in combat, while adventure content rewards groups that communicate and strategize well on the fly.
Orinx: Does this mean the drop table changes based on past adventures you've taken, ie if you find an optimum path would you be punished by retracing your steps next time but finding less loot next time.
Carbine: Our main approach to the problem you bring up here is to spread different rewards across different routes through the content. Running an adventure five times in the same way is simply less rewarding than running it five times in five different ways.
Nadili: I know the current adventures are open world any plans to include Genetic Archives or Datascape as a possible future adventure for those who maybe don't raid.
Carbine: We're not quite ready to spill the beans on future adventure plans just yet, but we'll generally use any map we have a good idea for.
djcolbyz: In regards to adventures is there a penalty for leaving group early? And if so what kind of penalty are you thinking about putting in?
Carbine: The group finder itself penalizes players for leaving early with a debuff. That applies to anything that player queue for, including adventures, dungeons, PvP instances, etc.
Realsnozzyberryflavor: It seems the adventure concept will greatly increase replay-ability for leveling alts or repeating adventures. Will there be different adventure choices based on faction for even more variety
Carbine: We've generally avoided faction-specific choices, mostly for balance reasons (we don't want a case where the Dominion has an easier route through an instance, for example).
Each faction does have its own exclusive introductory adventure, however.
D43DR4: I'd love to be able to duo Adventures. Is there any scaling, or need I just manmode it with my SO? Is any scaling feature planned?
Carbine: Adventures are 5-man content. If you would like some appropriately scaled group content, you should check out our Shiphand missions!
itsZizx: When designing an adventure, is there anything in particular you look towards for inspiration...in terms of story or artistic design.
Carbine: Yes, and that answer is... everything! The adventure team is entirely composed of avid gamers. We look to games of all types and genres for ideas, solutions to problems, means of communication, all of it.
One of the key things we start with is this question: "Why is it fun to do this thing 10 times? 20?"
That question has been answered a lot of times by a lot of smart people, and we definitely pay attention to what everyone else is doing.
Conveir: Where did the idea of Adventures come from?
Carbine: We had access to all these awesome existing assets and maps, and we kept on coming up with cool and different things to do with them, but were limited by the zones being open-world content. The stuff we wanted to do couldnÂt exactly be classified as traditional dungeon content either, so we decided to just go for it and make this whole new category of instances.
Motku: Will different adventure pathings offer different rewards; if so will this reward be consistent to the path or from a random pool?
Jreffy: How are decisions/choices made between a group in an Adventure? If I group up with 4 other PUGs, who makes the call on which option we choose?
Is there a way to see what option your group-mates have taken, so you can all collectively decide which storyline more people haven't done yet?
Carbine: There's a voting UI in the game that comes up for y'all.
DissonantAccord: Where do veteran adventures fall in the spectrum of eldergame gearing? Is the gear obtained from it equal/better/worse (stat-wise) to the gear obtained from running a veteran dungeon?
(Slightly off-topic from Adventures, but ultimately a better way of asking the question I'm really getting at: Is there a direct/distinct eldergame gear progression at max level that leads up to being "raid ready". For instance in WoW, you hit max level and you have mostly high level quest rewards which are good enough to get you into max level dungeons which gear you up for heroic dungeons which gear you up for raids...is Wildstar going to have a similar path, and where do the different types of Eldergame content fit into that path?
Carbine: They fall pretty much right alongside veteran dungeons, and grant items of similar quality. There's some soft progression to the 5-man elder game, and there are both dungeon and adventure instances at each tier of that progression.
v1sper: Hi guys, nice of you doing an AMA!
How much replayability do you aim on Adventures having for endgame players?
Carbine: Four of the six launching adventures will have veteran difficulty modes that drop level 50 rewards. These modes will also have tougher fights and additional mechanics in place to take the challenge to the next level.
Each adventure accommodates a fair number of playthroughs without your group seeing the same content twice. Replayability is among our top priorities when we make adventure content!
Pythian_Blackhorn: Two questions here: Are different options in adventures tailored to be more difficult / have better rewards? Will the "elder game" difficulty of adventures have any differences outside of increased difficulty?
Carbine: Our approach to increasing the difficulty of veteran adventures definitely extends beyond the mobs hitting a little harder. We have additional mechanics in place for every veteran modes.
Pink-flying-pie: Are there any Mobility Changes coming for Espers? All other classes seem to be very mobile but (you know what I'm talking about not going into detail here NDA and stuff....)
Carbine: I can't really go into detail about class stuff here, we're just here to talk about Rampart.
Agitonii: Hi! Thanks for the question. Paths will only come into play in the higher level adventures. And even then, the path composition of your group won't have any run-making/breaking affects. We don't want to add the extra difficulty of getting that optimal group combination in.
I can give you an example of the effects you will see though! In The Malgrave Trail adventure, for every player you have in your group with a particular path, your caravan will receive a particular buff. This includes things like Your caravan moving slightly faster for every explorer you have, a percentage of the caravan becoming armed for every soldier, maximum supply stores being upgraded for every settler, and your caravanÂs max health being increased / starting supply of medicine for every scientist.
Incarne: Hope my questions get answered:
1) Will you guys try to deliver on time? Meaning have all the things you are showing right now (Adventures) at release. Had this problem with the devs behind GW2; showing all of these awesome things.. but just couldn't have it ready at release which was a huge disappointment.
2) Since you guys are allowing a wide variety of customization in this game, will there be options when it comes to skill animation customization? If so, will adventures and other content like challenges unlock some of these things?
3) Will the MOBA inspired adventure actually be players vs players, or PvE? (AWESOME IDEA BTW. Was hoping to hear something like this)
4) I love you guys and I love what I see so far, please don't let this game fail! This is my last hope on MMO games.
Carbine: I can address the first question, but the rest are outside my scope...
We generally do our best to stay away from talking about systems/content that don't actually exist yet. Anything you've seen publicly about the game (Adventures, Dungeons, livestreams, etc.) are all fully implemented in the game already. Our beta testers are able to play all the Adventures right now, and while there's plenty of bugfixing and balancing to be done before launch, the core content is done and in the game right now.
That should also help explain why we haven't talked much about, say, Raids and Warplots. They're certainly being worked on, but only recently have gotten into a state where they're in a good enough place to let beta testers try them out. So you should expect to see more info about both those systems in the coming months.
Rystet: How often will different Adventures be available.. every 5 or 10 levels? what is the plan?
Carbine: his info's actually up on the Adventures page on the site:
Hover over each of the icons on the specific Adventures near the bottom and you can see when each first unlocks!
Mathesosthos: The devspeak made it sound like it's all random. It is all random or are only the mission/mobs random in a static adventure zone?
Carbine: Player choice and strategy is a factor in each adventure, but most of them have some random elements as well to help keep the experience dynamic, even for a group that makes the same kinds of choices each time.
Kachuck: How big of a difference in time is there between choices in an Adventures?
How do you balance the challenges between roles? What I mean is if there is a bonus for collecting the most <$item>s then different roles have the option to stop what they are doing to loot things
Carbine: Time difference: Depends on the adventure (they are all pretty unique from each other)
Challenges between roles: Somehow I'm not parsing your question properly. Here's an example of what you're talking about: In Malgrave trail, stats are kept for your caravan's food, water, etc. Some random events cause fluctuations in these things (not unlike Oregon Trail back in the day).
Then maybe some of your group goes off trying to find a water source to raise your water level, or hunt some game to raise food, etc. based on your caravan's needs of the moment - or perhaps at the next trail split you all vote to go to the lake instead of the savannah area because water will be there and your water levels are low - the next run maybe you're starving and go the savannah route to find extra food.
K_theGood: How much time will an adventure last? If I need to get out in the middle of it, how woulda be the punishment (if any)?
Carbine: The time required for an Adventure run varies between 25min to over an hour. The higher level ones generally will take longer than the lower level ones.
Dejawon: Hello there. I got a question about the Tower Defense version of adventures, how exactly will that work? Like will you build towers as a settler? Or will you but stuff from NPC's? :) // Dennis.
Carbine: Paths like the Settler only really come into play in the level 45+ adventures.
The tower defense mechanic in the Siege of Tempest Refuge revolves around placement, defense, and upgrading of the group of Tempest Refuge GruntNPC's that you get at the beginning of the Adventure. Upgrades include things like anti mechanized infantry and sniping abilities
captainphatty: Will all adventure content be permanent, or can you foresee something like holiday adventures that come and go?Carbine: Most additions we are planning will be permanent. Some may be temporary; under current plans mostly around holidays as you imply. Adventures are enough work that they will tend to be permanent/recurring, I would imagine.