Friday, October 23, 2015

WildStar Casual Friday with Steven Engle for PVP

A Forward

So I wrote most of this last Friday (the 16th) but never finished it, as I started feeling under the weather. It was originally going to be posted over at QueueTimes, but I don't feel it's timely, now, especially since Notes from Nexus also put out a summary of the stream with Meerkat, and there was a second stream Monday with Caydiem on Shade's Eve (which I slept through because I've been fighting an evil cold). And today there was a new Casual Friday stream.

However, since it was mostly written, I wanted to post it. So I'm posting it here. Hopefully folks'll get some use out of it. And if not, eh. It's my blog, and I want to post it. So there. Silly illnesses interfering with hobbies.

The Article

“I love scumbagging people.” - Steven “Meerkat” Engle, October 16, 2015 

The focus of Friday’s show, according to DD, was to get “Steven killed in PVP repeatedly”. Steve had a lower level character he wanted to level some through PVP, so logged into a level seven spellslinger that he hadn’t played since the F2P launch, and commented that he was “really going to get pummelled”.

DD and Steven briefly reminded Twitch viewers that it was a double Prestige weekend from the 15th to the 18th of October, and that is why they were doing PVP on the stream. In Steve’s first match, he got the first death, which was a suicide. He exclaimed, “I prevented them from having the satisfaction of killing me!”

The questions started rolling in, and included the following:

Q: How balanced do you feel PVP is right now?
A: Steve thinks that they’ve struck up a good balance in PVP. There’s still a few classes that could use a little bit of work because they may be a bit too bursty, and there’s thoughts that healing is still a little on the odd side because players run out of focus so quickly before they get geared. However, after getting gear, players think that healers may be a little bit too OP.

Q: Are there any plans on an account-wide option for cash shop purchases?
A: It was discussed that there are plans, but they’re unsure when it will happen. The team is currently assessing how things are moving in regards to the cash shop, and then they will address that feedback as they move further into F2P.

Q: Steven, what’s your favorite class to play in PVP and why?
A: Steven immediately answered Engineer, because “I worked on it!”. He said it was the most fun for him because he liked the mechanics behind it. He likes the 30-70 In the Zone idea, dodge rolling, and he mentioned he kind of needs to constantly being able to do stuff and that the Engineer plays well with this mentality. He commented that, “constant jumping around and doing stuff is my thing.”

Q: How much PVP gear does a Stalker tank need before they feel like a tank?
A: Steven explained it was a combination of appropriate iLvl gear and then on top of the gear you want to build defensive stats as well via your LAS and AMPs (which we learned stands for Advanced Modification Protocols). He also suggested checking out the forums because there are some, “awesome community members” to help players overcome adversity in certain circumstances.

Q: How easy is to start obtaining Season 2 gear?
A: All a player needs is Prestige, so you can run battlegrounds (and do contracts) to get Prestige. The Reward Bags are full of things that will help out towards getting that, and it’s “pretty quick”. Steven continued that most of the Season 2 gear was roughly in the 2k Prestige range for purchasing, so it was pretty easy to get into. The big parts of PVP gear and improvements are filling it up with runes. He also added that class rune sets are available out of PVP bags.

Q: Can one level though PVP?
A: Steven said that you can level exclusively through PVP to level 50. His team is very interested in PVP, and while they do enjoy the PVE content, they enjoy “just melting face” and have leveled almost exclusively that way.

Q: When you get a higher rating in arena, will there be rewards other than just the hoverboard?
A: Steven mentioned that he and TT (Time Travel) have been discussing what they are going to do for Season 2 and 3 in regards to what's going to happen, and the reward structure. Season 2 rating allows access to costumes you can purchase. Gear progression has been replaced with the costumes because developers felt that, "just because you're better at the game shouldn't make you better again," and that your "skill should speak for itself".

Q: Will there be smaller group battlegrounds?
A: Steven commented that it isn't int he plan right now, as there are 5v5 arenas that fit into that niche, but if it makes sense later on, they may look into it.

Q: Are there plans for any Warplot special rewards?
A: It was mentioned that Time Travel is the one that owns Warplots, so he'd be the one to ask. Steven knows that TT wants to do things with Warplots, but he himself doesn't know when any of TT's changes may come.

Q: Why the PVP? Why can’t we all just get along?
A: DD exclaimed,  "We can’t get along!" Both DD and Steven came up with an analogy, describe it as being like a gladiator: you have to have that release! You have to hit someone with a sword, or shoot them with a gun.

Q: What is stronger--higher tier PVP gear or the highest tier crafted gear?
A: Steven mentioned that it depends on the situation. PVP gear is by far the best in instanced PVP, however, in open world PVP it'll be much closer and you might do some mixing and matching depending on where you are.

Q: Does the Halloween event have any PVP aspects to it?
A: DD chimed in that she doesn't believe there are any PVP aspects tot he event, but that you can look cool in PVP from the stuff you can get from the event.

Q: Are there going to be more cosmetic rewards? It's easy to get Season 2 PVP gear and only have to spend Prestige on Rune crafting stuff.
A: There will be rating gated cosmetics coming, "I believe Soon™". These items haven't been put up yet because Season 2 hasn’t started.

Q: Why are armor and stats shared despite gear being light, medium, or heavy?
A: Steven said that armor is proportional to armor-type, but it was intentionally done to keep people on even ground so developers know where base power and surviabilty is at and to put how you (the player) play(s) in a more important role, such as runing or your LAS.

Q: Does PVP really seem balanced? Some classes seem more OP!
A: It was mentioned that it is always an ongoing process, but generally, if there is something that seems really strong, there is usually a counter out there that someone has figured out. Sometimes that counter isn't always the most fun to play at the time. Steven elaborated that nobody wants to dig their heels in and stick it out with those counter plays, but sometimes it's the only way at the time. The developers will, however, address things if they become an issue.

Q: Can we obtain PVP trophies in the form of decor?
A: Steven said that the developers have talked about that, and might have been a Hildogen idea, so he might be able to talk about it, but there were definitely ideas around it just nothing definitive.

Q: Are there plans to adjust matchmaking so low-rated/ new players aren't going against veterans?
A: Matchmaking will be receiving a couple of fixes, but generally in rated the system tries to match on personal rating which isn’t really seen (it’s something on the back end). The system tries to match based on that, however there were some bugs found that they're trying to address so matchmaking should get better soon.

Q: Is there a World PVP Zone/Map in the works?
A: There is not currently a world pvp zone in the works. The developers are concentrating on getting instanced PVP in a really good state first and foremost, and after that there are people that want to work on world objectives. It just happens to be on the backburner right now. There are things like Warplots that the developers want to get to a better spot, first.

Q: Will premades get their own queues so they don’t smash PUGs?
A: Steven provided an "unpopular answer"--not right now. It would be splitting up the population, making it "un-fun" for one group or the other.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you see with PVP?
A: Steven shared that it is generally trying to keep everything in line with the vision of the classes and how they perform in PVE, while still keeping a relative balance in PVP. Classes like Spellslingers and Stalkers, for example, are complained about for burstiness in PVP which is a pain, and on the flipside, it works well in PVE content.

Q: Which PVP game do you want to see in WildStar?
A: Steven really wants to see a death match! "Last man (or woman) standing!"

Q: Will we get flying mounts?
A: DD let us know it was a thing a long time ago and it got axed, because we have teleporters and quick travel methods.

Q: Will we get space battles between Exiles and Dominion for PVP?
A: Steven said it was kind of a Pappy question, because he himself was unsure if there were space battles in the lore. He commented that if the developers ever do implement something like that, it's going to be Him versus Pappy in a Space Battle and he (Steven) will crush Pappy.

Q: Are there any plans for more quests for PVP at Elder Game for rewards?
A: DD and Steven commented that it is probably something they will look into it for leveling up, because it's something that's currently lacking in the area as-is. The developers as a whole are trying to tweak numbers on experience to make PVP feel better for leveling and that might help.

DD asked Steven for any last thoughts he wanted to leave us with, or fun things he's working on that he can talk about. Steven replied that he's excited for the updates to stalker tank, and is excited about getting them in better spot for PVE. He's also excited about the future of arenas and creating an award system which he "can’t quite talk about yet".


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