This series will attempt to provide opinions on the currently known information on PvP in Wildstar. Most of this information comes from the Reddit PvP AMA, but some of the info will be from other sources, to which we will provide links. Today, we are covering Combat, including tanks and healers, Crowd Control, Breakout Play and more! Hit the jump for the discussion!
The first big reveal is the role of tanks in pvp. It has become a late fashion for tanks to actually have a job to do in pvp besides be flag carriers, and it’s exciting! I love the taunt and guard mechanic in SWTOR and I can’t wait to see what all they do in Wildstar. They divulged 3 basic abilities for tanks: taunt, pull, and tether. The first two we are pretty familiar with. Taunt lowers the damage output of the target against everyone but the tank that taunted, and pull yanks the unwitting scum off his feet and to yours. Tether, however, is new and I am thrilled. I liken it to placing a car-barkaholic dog on a chain and having cars drive past him. Now this works two ways. I can now keep the enemy burst dps away from my healer and keep them alive better, or (the one I like better) tether the poor squishy and lay waste to him as he tugs at his leash! Ok that was a little morbid…moving on.
Overall, this is exactly what I expected from PvP Lead Designer Jen Gordy, since she worked at Mythic, which houses Dark Age of Camelot where I believe the taunt/guard mechanic originated. The ability for tanks to protect their fellows in PvP is novel and should be copied everywhere possible. Tether is a new trick, one that I cannot wait to try.
Healing actually looks to have some true variety to it. I love how players just have so many options. As a healer you can use the more telegraphed heals where you actually have to aim it or you can do the traditional target and cast heals. You can mix and match as well. I think this is really cool and can’t wait to roll with a skilled healer (because that just ain’t me; rushing headlong into a fight as heals doesn’t work too well).
PvP healing will not be for the faint-of-heart! The truly excellent healers will make full use of their targeted heals, creating mayhem wherever they are. It will also require those who are being healed to have some modicum of situational awareness. Really in-sync and talented teams will be worlds better than the rabble.
Crowd control abilities were also a topic of major concern in the Uplink Analysis and on Reddit. Once again, I’m impressed. The Carbine crew is really handling this with some flare. They are going to implementing what they call the “breakout system.” This means if you are rooted, you can hack away at whatever is on your feet (ya know, like a normal person would do). If you are disarmed, you run and pick up your weapon (ya know, like a normal person would do). If you are stunned, you shake you head to clear it up (ya know, like a normal person would d…seeing the pattern?). It sounds really neat, and I can’t wait to see it in pvp.
The “breakout system” will be revolutionary in PvP and PvE both. Combining breakout play with “interrupt armor” mentioned in both the Reddit AMA and the Uplink Analysis, CC will have to be very strategic. It won’t be stun-o-rific like in some games. Also, the limited action set will require you to make meaningful tradeoffs to obtain potent CC, as doing so will require you to give up other useful skills.
The last thing about combat I wanted to talk about is the smoothness. I was glad someone had the forethought to ask the question because it is important. They made a valid point that in most action oriented games once you begin an action you are stuck in the animation and it can feel clunky. Now having not played the game myself (I wasn’t part of the team yet when they went to Arkship), I have no way to back up what the dev said, but he reports, as does the rest of the Wildstar Radio crew, that its very smooth and players shouldn’t notice the normal problems. I hope that’s right…it could kill this game for me otherwise.
Having actually played the game, I can say that it is very smooth…on the machines we used. They were very good quality machines, so I hope this smoothness translates to less-than-optimal setups.
That is all for this segment, check back next time for our discussion on Rating and Gear!