Mar 292014

Wildstar Warfront


Welcome to Wildstar Warfront, bringing you news, opinions, and advice for PvP in Wildstar!

Today’s battle plan: learn what the developers have planned in Wildstar from the Reddit PvP AMA for the Gear and Itemization. Also, check out the articles from the last couple of days on Battlegrounds and Arenas! Let’s jump in!


Gear and Itemization

Q: 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?

A: 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.

Standard fare, moving on.

Q: 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?

A: 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.

How I have always understood PvP stats is: if you are a PvPer, you have as much as possible, and you are on equal footing with other players with the same amount of stats (i.e. the Offense and Defense stats cancel out). If you are not a PvPer, then you are at a disadvantage against PvPers.

Q: 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?

A: 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.

This is an interesting problem right now in the game, so I am glad they are making this change. Basically, there are only a few points of PvP offense/defense on a PvP item, which makes me tempted to use PvE pieces. This is the opposite of what they want. A large gap needs to be present between PvP and PvE items, both ways you look at it. PvP gear and PvE gear should not be very useful in the other’s field.

Q: Many people are incredibly butthurt upset with the recent change to PvP offense/defense on gear. The biggest fear is that any gear earned through PvE will be neigh useless in a battleground. In a PvP setting, what would the true damage difference be between a gear equivalent PvE geared player vs their PvP geared counterpart (Assuming they just sat there slugging it out with the same abilities).

I have been led to believe that the absolute top end PvP gear will be from Warplots. While I think his is fantastic game type I am curious as to why it would come from Warplots vs the highest Arena echelon. I believe getting such a large force assembled and working together deserves fantastic gear and definitely above the average arena player. But it is my belief that PvP with the largest focus on individual skill should reward the BIS PvP gear.

A: 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.

Good. PvE gear SHOULD be almost useless in PvP. Why? Because if you even make it viable then you get the problems SWTOR had when people were wearing level 45 crafted BLUES in RANKED ARENAS instead of the PvP gear to game the system.

Q: For people who will like mostly PVP how are you gonna do the gear progression in PVP?

A: 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.

As of now, you can skip to the second tier because you can gain rating as you leveled. I got the pistols right away because I had accumulated 1500 rating through leveling to 50. After this next patch, they will be changing it so rated games start at level 50, which will give a broader base of players and a reason to do unrated BGs until you get the base set of gear. The downside is you have to go through all the tiers.

Q: what benefits do you see with pvp specific stats?

A: 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.

Wow, so they actually know the difference between PvP balance and PvE balance! Good to know! Some MMOs don’t…

Q: Will PvP gear get more interesting item specials like PvE/crafted gear has? It seems like the recent plans to rebalance the super powerful item specials and changes to PvP offense/defense rating will at least make PvP gear better than PvE gear in PvP but my concern is that it’s not as fun/interesting.

Also can you give any examples of PvP runesets?

A: 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).

I am somewhat worried that the gear will become best-in-slot, so I hope they expand this runecrafting thing and make it so it really does allow you to customize your gear for your playstyle.

Q: 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?

A: 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.

I had honestly never thought about it in these terms, but it makes sense that rating would be a combo of gear and skill. Awesome! I’m on board!

Q: Other than gear, what cool things can be earned in pvp?

A: There are several Housing Décor 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.

So very happy about this. I bought a Dueling Arena plug for my house that I really enjoyed (though it is a bit small for a Spellslinger). You could only get it for ~3000 Prestige if I remember correctly.

Q: Are there any pieces of gear that will have click abilities?

A: Our Gadget item slot is just that. They are all clickable abilities that give you various temporary buffs, deal damage, heal, restore shields, etc.

I love that they didn’t tie this to certain gear. It is a separate item, allowing you to enjoy stat upgrades while keeping a neat clicky that you like.


What do you think about these questions and answers? Any questions that you think I might be able to answer? Let me know both of these things in the comments below!

  One Response to “Wildstar Warfront: Reddit PvP AMA – Gear and Itemization”

  1. I think this may be the first time I have encountered a dev team for PvP in an MMO where I felt like they seriously and competently approached how PvP is going to work in their game. I remember that before SWTOR launched many of the topics Bioware would discuss regarding PvP seemed so vague and inexperienced. There was always a “well, what about this, and what about this?” going through my mind. Everything I have read here shows that real thought has gone into PvP for Wildstar. From gear itemization to mechanics to rewards – I feel like there’s an experienced team at Carbine who knows MMO PvP and is dedicated to making it as strong an addition to Wildstar as PvE will be. It’s all very encouraging, and I am very optimistic about it. A very grateful hats-off to Jen Gordy and the rest of the crew at Carbine.

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