Future Plans for PvP in WildStar

Carbine's Lead Designer Brett Scheinert aka Timetravel published an article regarding the future plans for PvP in WildStar. Since Content Drop #4 will not contain that many PvP changes, we can expect a ton of adjustments and improvements later this year.
By kinae on Jan 31, 2015 at 12:11 PM
PvP in WildStar had a very hard time since the beginning. Bots, Win-Trading, Balancing-Problems, bad Itemization, crazy queue times and many other problems prevented PvP players to really enjoy the bloody battle between the Dominion and the Exiles.

Within the first few months after release, and after even the PvP focused Drop #2 was not able to fix some of the biggest problems, many ambitious but frustrated PvP players left the game. Although Carbine was able to fix the one or other problem over time, it never was the same again and especially the long queue times sustained until today.

It's time to reanimate PvP in WildStar. Brett Scheinert aka Timetravel, Lead Designer for WildStar, now published a detailed list of future plans for PvP in WildStar. Since Content Drop #4 is very focused on PvE content and Itemization, PvP Fans will have to wait a couple of months, but at least there are many promising adjustments on the horizon.

Take a look at what awaits us in 2015.

Future Plans for PvP in WildStar
PvP is a big part of MMOs and engages players who love the thrill of intense combat against the most dangerous foes of all - their fellow gamers. We want to make sure the exciting competition of arena seasons and the organized teamwork of battlegrounds and warplots are an essential part of WildStar. With 2015 underway, it’s time to talk about our PvP plans for WildStar throughout the year. The team believes it is crucial to give our PvP Community a chance to share their input. We hope that you take some time to look over these planned changes and tell us what you think. Steven “Meerkat” Engle, Brett “Timetravel” Scheinert, and other WildStar developers will be participating in a player-organized Town Hall on February 3rd. If you want to ask any questions based on these plans, or give your feedback, please make sure you check out the details here.

We sincerely appreciate all the feedback our players have already given us on PvP and we’re eager to hear more. So, let’s take a look at the year ahead.

In our next game update, The Protogames Initiative, we will be adding:

  • Daily PvP quests that provide players with a variety of PvP related goals to achieve.

  • New PvP weekly quests that are accomplished over the course of an entire week.

  • Random-queue bonuses that reward players every time they use the ‘random’ queue option.

While these additions will not directly affect the balance or playstyle within PvP, we feel they should provide players with more incentives to participate in PvP on a regular basis.

Coming later in 2015:

Please keep in mind that future updates are still a work in progress and susceptible to change due to testing and player feedback.

  • The End of PvP Season 1

    • PvP Season 2 will launch some time later, once we make needed adjustments and improvements to systems and PvP gear.

  • Same-Faction Battlegrounds

    • Exile and Dominion teams will be able to practice their PvP skills against teams of their own faction. Let the Exile vs. Exile and Dominion vs. Dominion battles begin!

  • PvP Contracts

    • The upcoming Contracts feature keeps gameplay fast, rewarding, and fun. We'll talk more about how Contracts affect PvP in a future update.

  • Gear Changes

    • The current “Blue” PvP set will be available by spending gold instead of Prestige.

    • The rating requirements will be removed from all PvP gear, allowing players to save up Prestige for the current 1800 rating gear.

  • New Prestige Purchases

    • Resource bags might let you spend Prestige to purchase a bag that gives out a selection of random rune fragments, or perhaps the same thing for elemental signs.

    • Additional AMP/Ability Points

      • We are planning to increase the current cap on Prestige and allow players to work their way towards a full set of AMP and Ability points - solely through PvP.

  • Gear Normalization (Rallying) in Instanced PvP

    • In PvP, instances will rally all players to the same item level, which will be around the current 1800 PvP Rating gear.

    • As PvP gear has PvP Offense/Defense, it will often be far stronger than equivalent PvE gear. However, Legendary PvE gear advantages will likely be greatly reduced.

Coming Before the End of 2015:

  • We will kick off PvP Season 2 and introduce a new gear set that includes:

    • A brand new set of PvP gear that can be purchased with Prestige. Imbuements will then offer ways to gradually improve that gear through PvP play.

    • This set will have the same number of rune slots available as equivalent PvE gear.

    • This gear will likely be a higher item level than the current 1800 rating gear, and so the rally-point will be adjusted to match.

    • Rating-gated cosmetic gear will enable players to truly display their inner badass.

These are just some of the changes we are considering for future updates aimed at ensuring a fun, compelling, and smooth PvP experience for everyone. These plans are all subject to change. If we find (or enough people tell us) that these plans will not have a significant positive impact on PvP in WildStar, we'll revise them.

As a note, we have not included detail on any class changes in this overview. However, we understand that many players have feedback with regards to class performance, and we are listening. This is an ongoing process and something we will continue to monitor and adjust as necessary.

If you have any questions based on what we’ve discussed here, then please let us know in the forums, or join us for the PvP Town Hall.

See you in the battlegrounds!

Beside the official posting, Timetravel was also very busy answering various questions regarding the upcoming PvP adjustments.
Eclips sagte:
1- The End of PvP Season 1
2 - Same-Faction Battlegrounds
3 - Gear Changes (Blue to Gold, Epic to Prestige. You should probably roll this one out asap.)
4 - New Prestige Purchases
5 - Gear Normalization

6 - Leaderboards?
7 - End of Season Rewards?
8 - Guild influence for pvpers?

1 - It'll be with a drop. And isn't in 1.2.0
2 - The Exile-Dominion faction imbalance is being pretty heavily exaggerated. There are more exile players, but the gap isn't nearly as large as folks seem to think.
3 and 4 - Pushing to get these in a patch instead of drop. *fingers crossed*
5 - I wanted to clarify this so y'all can give us feedback. The current plan is have everyone rally *down* in ilvl to the same point, but not rally *up*. The goal is that players will have a small amount of easy progression (buy your gear, start working on imbuements, etc). To provide a made-up example: if 1800 gear is ilvl 100, then folks in ilvl 150 Datascape gear would be rallied down to 100, but a fresh 50 in ilvl 50 greens would not be rallied up to 100.
6 - Have been discussed. Is a huge task for the web team, so no eta or announcements.
7 - They'll exist.
8 - Discussed both this and the rate of xp/g earnings in pvp with Meerkat. Both are too low. The latter we're looking into changing. The former we'd like to change as well but will actually require some engineering time because of some strangeness in how Guild influence is earned.

Ticon sagte:
4. 'Rallying'??? isnt this the same thing as 'Qeueing'?...i mean isnt this supposed to be implemented upon launch. am i missing something with 'Rallying'?

It's semantics. In 14-29 battlegrounds you are rallied up to 29.
If you ran normal stormtalon with a group through LFG, you would be rallied down 20.

It's our system for artificially adjusting the lvl of a player.

Ticon sagte:
thank you for the explanation so, onve again my example: if a group of 1800's are matched with 1600s and some 1800s= will the 1600 be bumped upto 1800?

The rallying is per-player, not per-group.
So if the rally-point was ilvl 100 and your group had ilvls of 5, 100, 125, 80, 9001
Then after entering the PvP instance your group would be rallied to: 5, 100, 100, 80, 100.

Loud1337 sagte:
How is rallying going to work / help? Is there any purpose to get top tier PVP gear if it gets normalized with everyone?

I am confused by the amount of people being happy while also asking them to remove PVP and making it cosmetic. Personally, I would never PVP if it were purely cosmetic and I know many other PVPers would as well. I enjoy the struggle and seeing my character become stronger. PVP is the same as PVE in my mind, you start at the bottom and work your way up. The gap may be large atm and itemization for PVP can be worked, but I am against normalization to an extent.

I think PVE should be normalized too because it is not fair that the guy that has been raiding for 4+ months has better gear than I (raiding for 2 weeks)!

(Current plans, things can change, etc etc)

The rally point is going to be set to the ilvl of the top PvP gear--so it does not change when you enter an instance. The rallying helps prevent PvE raid gear from being best-in-slot in PvP.

In PvE you are not competing with that other player who has been raiding for 4+ months longer than you. You are competing against the encounters along with your friends--and we have done our best to balance those encounters around the level of gear we expect to you have when encountering them for the first time.

For PvP, you have a valid point, but we decided--with the help of the feedback from players--that avoiding vertical character progression (more gear, more stats, more boom boom) in PvP makes the competitive aspects of it far more compelling. Folks who really enjoy PvP want to lose bc they got badly outplayed--not because their opponent had over 9000 more [stat that really matters] than them. Because of that we are going to move towards creating a much more even playing field at the top of the PvP totem pole in order to encourage more skill-based play.

That said, we are fully aware that players will need rewards to chase to keep participating and we will be creating and offering those. They simply will be far less focused on vertical power growth. An easy example: the next season's rating-gated gear will be a cosmetic-only set.

Eclips sagte:
Also I hate to be splitting hairs here, because you're doing a great job, but you've just mentioned something: the season 2 gear will be cosmetic. In the post it states that there will be a power gap and perhaps a new rally point. What do you think about that?

I'll clarify this a bit. (pending changes, things are still in development, etc etc) The current plan is that those would be two different sets of gear:
Set 1 - Easy to obtain. No rating requirements. Lots of work to power up via imbuements, etc.
Set 2 - Rating-gated. Cosmetic only.

Eclips sagte:
What about RNG slots? Will you finally be ridding us of the monstrosity that is runeslot itemization and the massive gear gap it causes?
I don't think we all want 45/12 PvP runesets. Or to pay 2.5 plat + to reroll double logics or triple airs etc. That works for pve because that stuff drops in PvE. Its awful for PvP, 5 omni slots pls

We'll look into it. Likely, the new PvP gear for season 2 would have fixed runeslots similar to the new PvE gear in drop 1.2.0.
The layout used for the new PvE gear (for legendary stuff at least) is:
- 2 omni
- 1 good rune
- 1 ok rune
- 1 bad rune

Elo'naa sagte:
1 - What will happen about rating checks for instanced PvP? We used to have this and then it was taken out I believe because the participation rate was too low?
2 - Also, something that was suggested was level locking characters, so you wouldn't outlevel the 14-29 bracket. Any chance we get that?

1 - Gearscore and ELO are different things. Rated instances still use ELO ratings to determine your opponents. For practice grounds, we effectively uncapped the gearscore range--which is why players in Datascape gear can now be potentially matched up against fresh 50s in greens.

2 - It's been discussed, but nothing to announce.
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