WildStar PvP AMA recap

wildstar PVP
Today, WildStar subreddit hosted WildStar PvP AMA, where PvP team answered questions about Arenas & Battlegrounds. CRB_Bardic – Jen Gordy, PvP Systems Lead, CRB_KevinLee – Kevin Lee, PvP Systems Designer, and CRB_JTal – Jeff Tallon, Itemization Designer, shared additional information about Battleground and Arena design, maps, philosophies, ratings, and PvP progression. We’ve summarized some of the most interesting answers, just in case you missed anything.
How do you intend to address the problem of very large/wide AoE telegraphs which deal high damage being naturally strong in PvP, without gimping the classes which use them in PvE, where the size of the telegraph isn’t really a big deal?
We have been introducing line of sight blocking structures to help you break up some of these massive fights. The new props added into Walatiki and Halls are to address this. Much of this comes down to map design when you have this type of combat system. We’re taking a lot of our learning with us for future game types.

Does J-Tal have a decimal point in the wrong place on your PvP stat changes, or are you actually putting 50 times as much PvP Def/Off on gear?
The decimal point is in the right place. It is a pretty significant change, but one that we felt we needed to do. PvP stats, at the time, were not performing anywhere near where we wanted them. With some internal number crunching, we found that we were very far off our target numbers and adjusted as such.
World PvP Objectives: Any plans for post launch? Keeps or territory control or something? I’ve already seen the “we’ll see where people pvp first” replies, got anything solid in the planning stages at all?
We can’t disclose our post launch plans yet, as we’re still refining said plan! Keep your eyes peeled though. We may have updates for you when we get closer to launch.
The Third Battleground: How long will it take to get this in after launch?
That out of the way, our third battleground has been tested internally pretty thoroughly and we’re enjoying the heck out of it. We hope you’ll like it too 🙂
Cross Faction Chat (/say, /yell): Any chance to enable this on pvp servers?
As for cross faction chat, the current implementation is staying (no communication across factions). However, we do value your feedback on it – we’ve had many discussions internally on this topic.
How will the ratings and gearscore work together? Say I have a rating of 1300 in the 2v2 arena, will I meet another 2-man group that’s 1300 rating too, and they just essentially outgears the living hell out of me?
Gearscore matching is not applied in the Rated Arena and Rated Battleground environments. Ultimately, your rating becomes a combination of gear and skill. As you’re becoming more successful in the rated matches, you’ll get access to gear. The new gear may give you a boost towards attaining higher rating.
How does stat normalization work in BGs? For example in the 6-14 bracket, is everyone’s stat basically just brought up to the stats that a level 14 would have (minus all the gear) and any stats added onto that is basically coming from your gear?
In Battlegrounds, the rallying system treats the character as it is the max level of the bracket (so for 6-14 Walatiki, you’re considered level 14) for the purposes of scaling base attributes, health, player abilities, and gear. All stats on items are scaled with the player’s level, through adjustments in the item’s available power. This is so we preserve your stat distribution on your gear while keeping power level appropriate.
What is exactly pvp offensive and pvp defensive stats. Like how significant is it to have that +5 pvp offense/defense then no pvp offense/defense at all? Are there some numbers to see how the pvp offense/defense is calculated?
PvP Defense: provides a percentage based mitigation against player sourced damage. Players have a natural amount of PvP defense before item bonuses are calculated in. PvP Offense: counters a percentage of the target’s PvP Defense. This is basically a form of PvP strikethrough.
My most pressing concern is the AMP and LAS system and its negative affect on PVP. Do you guys plan on changing the system at all to allow PVPers to get access to the points/skills without forcing them into PVE?
We have changed our Battleground loot bags! With the next update, you’ll have a chance to receive non-PvP amps from those bags.
Are there any game modes for battlegrounds that you looked at that didn’t quite make the cut, or are there any game types that are being considered down the road?
We actually had 21 designs for battleground gameplay. CRB_KevinLee was very busy early in WildStar development! Some of these had grey map layouts (and several versions of them). Only a few made it to the actual prototyping stage.
The ones we ended up choosing for launch (which evolved into Walatiki and Halls) were ones that we had in a scripted and playtest-able stage with a couple of different map layouts. We’ve set aside a few other gameplay designs from the pool to use post launch. Those designs have been or will be adjusted based on player demand/desire as well.
For Arena’s, how long would an ‘ideal match’ last for among similarly skilled and geared players?
For Arenas, the match times in beta have been around 5-6 minutes long, on average. In general, we feel this is a pretty good average duration! There have been matches that stretch almost to the end of the match limit (30 minutes), but it hasn’t been a common occurrence.
What kind of incentives do you plan to put in place to encourage players to participate in large scale WPvP? Will there be any incentive to raid capital cities of the opposing faction?
For open world PvP, we intentionally did not place much emphasis on open world PvP since we wanted to find where players naturally gravitated and what PvE content encouraged fighting. Post launch, we’ll take this knowledge to potentially enhance these areas.
Do you have any plans to restrict the creation of characters to ‘one faction only’ on PVP realms?
On PvP ruleset realms, we DO currently restrict creation to one faction.
Is the prestige reward rate equal in all three PvP types? For example, if I spend 1 hour playing battlegrounds will I earn the same amount of prestige as if I had spent an hour doing arenas or warplots?
We’ve recently rebalanced the reward rate for Prestige and other PvP rewards from instanced PvP matches. The goal is that Battlegrounds with longer average match times will give more rewards and those with shorter average match times will give less rewards so that, on average, you will get the same amount of rewards over time regardless of which PvP match you participate in.
So is MOBA battleground a future idea? What other sort of unique ideas, like SWTOR huttball, would you guys like to implement (like not that you will).
I can’t go into specifics about future BG’s, but I can tell you that we do draw inspiration from many different games/genres (like MOBA’s). The intent, of course, is to continue to deliver battlegrounds with unique mechanics and “twists” on old favorites.
What will be the difference between PvP gear and PvE? Will PvP gear be viable for PvE or will we need to invest in two sets?
PvP gear uses two PvP stats: PvP Defense and PvP Offense. Defense reduces the damage you take from other players and Offense penetrates your target’s Defense. 50% of the item budget goes to these two stats. Because of this, PvP gear can be used in PvE but will be at a significant disadvantage (50% stats) compared to Veteran quality or Raid quality gear. Alternatively, PvE gear can be used in PvP but will also be at a significant disadvantage compared to PvP gear. You will likely want to acquire two sets of gear if you wish to be competitive in both aspects of the game.
For people who will like mostly PVP how are you gonna do the gear progression in PVP?
Our gear progression for PvP is as follows: When you reach level 50, there is a Dungeon-quality Blue set for each class (faction specific) that you can purchase right away with our PvP currency, Prestige. The next tier of PvP gear is a Veteran-quality Epic set for each class (also faction specific), you will need both Prestige and personal Rating in either Rated Battlegrounds, Arenas (any bracket), or Warplots. The final tier of PvP gear is a Raid-quality Epic set (again, for each class/faction specific), you will need both Prestige and a high personal Rating in either Rated Arenas or Warplots.
What benefits do you see with pvp specific stats?
PvP stats allow us to easily and quickly tweak PvP balance from an itemization standpoint without causing collateral damage to PvE itemization and balance. It also allows us to keep PvP item progression in-line with PvE item progression without having them bleed into each other or have issues where PvP gear is better than Raiding gear or vice versa. PvP gear will be better for PvP and PvE gear will be better for PvE.
Will PvP gear get more interesting item specials like PvE/crafted gear has? Also can you give any examples of PvP runesets?
Yes. We have plans to add several new PvP and crafting specific item specials in the future. I’ve already made some headway in this regard with the addition of PvP-specific Rune Sets. The Engineer PvP Rune Set is based around your class innate ExoSuit ability. While this ability is active, you have a chance on Hit to increase both your Crit and Deflect ratings for a short time. We’ve really worked on making the PvP Rune Sets give bonuses for both a DPS spec and a Support (Tank/Healer) spec for each class. Each PvP Rune Set will have one bonus that is focused on DPS (in this case, a Crit Buff) and one bonus that is focused on the Support role for that class (Deflect Buff).
Other than gear, what cool things can be earned in pvp?
There are several Housing Decor items that can only be acquired through PvP. There are several new PvP-only Rune Sets (although, you could argue that is part of your gear). I’ve recently updated the reward bags at the end of the match to also include rolling on normal World Loot tables (which includes several cool things like Costumes, AMPs, very rare Epic quality PvE gear, crafting recipes, and more!) Many of these items are tradable/auctionable.
Are there any pieces of gear that will have click abilities?
Our Gadget item slot is just that. They are all clickable abilities that give you various temporary buffs, deal damage, heal, restore shields, etc.
For the ratings is there a separate rating system for BGs and Arenas or is it all under one rating? In addition, are there normal and ranked rating systems or just ranked?
Each system has it’s own rating. So you’ll have:

  • Personal Battleground Rating
  • Personal 2v2 Arena Rating, Team 2v2 Arena Rating
  • Personal 3v3 Arena Rating, Team 3v3 Arena Rating
  • Personal 5v5 Arena Rating, Team 5v5 Arena Rating
  • Personal Warparty Rating, Team Warparty Rating

What do I need to do in order to play on the US server as a resident of the UK?
Apologies for all the confusion last week, as well as the mixed messaging. Things were moving really quickly as you can imagine, and we didn’t have all the information in one place. To answer your question: You will need to purchase a US version of the game through a US retailer. Unfortunately the NCSOFT website doesn’t support the ability to purchase the game outside of your region, so we have to point you to 3rd-party retailers if you want to play in a region that’s not your current one.
Support can only help you out if you’re trying to redeem the NA version of the game and your account tells you it has an error. They’ll be able to fix the account so that the key can be redeemed, but they can’t change the region of the key itself.
In a PvP setting, what would the true damage difference be between a gear equivalent PvE geared player vs their PvP geared counterpart
The damage difference can vary based on the tier. At the top tier, the true damage difference between a fully geared PvP player and a fully geared PvE player (when attacking each other) is close to 65%. It is a pretty significant difference. The highest tier of PvP gear is available from both Warplots and Arenas.
Any chance for a low gravity PvP map where you jump alot higher? You could put all sorts of jumping areas in it to make it challenging for people to move around.
I actually prototyped a low gravity battleground a few years ago and what I found out is that low gravity is awful for PvP. It didn’t lend itself well to combat … or moving in general.
Why did you go with the ‘Team Revive Pool’ instead of the standard Arena format of one life per player?
I initially prototyped the life pool as part of a bg and later applied it to the arena to account for the fact that our kill times were very short (this was before the class team started balancing for pvp). Because the kill times were so short, we couldn’t get any meaningful playtest geared toward getting map feedback. After it was added we found that the life pool added a lot of interesting elements and allowed more tactical arena play.
Is there only the one map for Arena? If yes, why?
Yes. What I can say is that I have been working on post launch Arena’s/BG’s content for a few months, so fear not.
Do you track duels won / lost?
We track it for an achievement, but it is not a statistic you see anywhere else.
Will there be leaderboards?
The team really wants to do this, however we are limited by resources and time. So it won’t be in by launch, but would love to get it in game post-launch.
What do you think it is that delineates Wildstar’s PvP from other MMO PvP systems? What makes Wildstar’s “special”?
I think our combat system is the major bit that makes WildStar PvP awesome. Telegraph play and movement (double jumping, dashing, sprinting) play a major part in how we design WildStar PvP experiences. It’s also really fun – clashes feel frenetic (aiming, movement) and combat requires more skill than in other MMOs. I also like our limited action system. The choices when going into Arena feel more deliberate and strategic (working with your teammates to complement abilities).
How do you plan on keeping open world pvp functional while keeping gear discretion? Swtor had an issue where pvp stats did not apply in open world. How do you have this setup?
PvP stats function in both instance PvP and the open world.