Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
The Free-to-Play release of the sci-fi MMORPG, WildStar, is only a few days away from going live. The people at Carbine Studios have been releasing a metric crap ton of information on the main WildStar website. The WildStar Twitch channel has a live countdown. As September 29th draws ever closer, I am itching to get my hands on the game again. For today’s post, I’d like to discuss some important changes coming with the free-to-play launch. Let’s discuss Combat Stats, Runes, and Crafting.
The Massive Stat Revamp
One of the changes that has interested me the most is the redesign to the combat stats. Gone are the days when I could be excited to equip Moxie gear to my Warrior, which boosted both my Critical Hit chance and Critical Severity. For the Free-to-Play update, the combat design team at Carbine Studios has sought to streamline this aspect of combat, in hopes of making it easier to understand, and much easier to use. Let’s review what has changed.
Removing the Primary Stats
The six primary stats (Brutality, Moxie, Finesse, Tech, Insight, and Grit) are being removed from the game. Due, in part, to the terms used to identify the primary stats, the developers found that their stat system was not the easiest to understand for some players. Unlike the traditional tropes of Strength and Intelligence, that one might see in every other MMORPG ever, terms like Brutality and Moxie allowed the developers to modify what the primary stats provided to each class. This created a unique environment where there wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be any competition for gear except between characters of the same class. However, this also led to a significant level of inconsistency that the developers now seek to rectify.
The New Core Stats
As part of the main change to itemization, several recognizable stats are now classified as the Core Stats. These core stats are Assault Power, Support Power, Armor, Health, Shield Max, and, unfortunately, PvP Power and PvP Defense. Any time an item would provide a bonus to these core stats, they will appear in big, bold letters just like Assault Power and Armor have done since launch. However, the values are likely to be much higher than they once were due to the loss of the six primary stats and the milestone bonuses they once provided.
All the Secondary Stats You Could Ask For
All of the previous secondary stats, such as Critical Hit and Armor Pierce and Cooldown Reduction, are staying, but there are a lot more being added in the Free-to-Play update. I shall not go into the entire list of new secondary stats, but for those of you saddened by the loss of Multistrike coming with Legion, World of Warcraft’s next expansion, you’ll be able to get your fix in WildStar. Additionally, there are a few stats, like Life Steal, that can now be earned through gear.
Everything is Runed!
A necessary change to be made, primarily due to the revamp of the combat stats, is a redesign to the Runes and accompanying Runecrafting hobby. The changes here are less drastic, and follow the same logic (tee hee) that WildStar’s combat systems should be easy to understand at a glance. Let’s review.
A Place for Everything
Each of the new stats have been divided among the different rune types. For instance, Critical Hit can be found on Fire runes, and Armor can be found on Earth runes. This change is intended make it easier for players to figure out what stat options they have available based on what runes are on their items. Additionally, there are some stats that can only be acquired through runes.
Fusion runes and Fusion slots are no longer a unique type of rune, and are now a culmination, or fusion, of all other elemental rune types. This allows players to place Fusion runes into any elemental rune slot, and place any other rune into a Fusion slot. This should make it easier for players to customize their gear, and make it less necessary to reroll runes on their equipment (hopefully).
Runes Are Not Set in Stone — Right?
Rune sets have been streamlined, and the amount of power required to complete them has been truncated. Players no longer have to worry about completing rune sets across all of their different items. Rune sets have been redesigned to be completed within a single item. Additionally, players can craft stronger runes that allow them to unlock more bonuses within a rune set with fewer runes.
Rebuilding Gear Crafting Tradeskills
The final major change we’ll discuss is the change being made to the tradeskills that craft weapons and armor. The tradeskills have been reconstructed so that they are in line with the changes made to combat stats. They even make use of the elemental categories used by runes to determine the kind of stats that can appear on gear.
Freedom to Build… Sorta
One of the major changes to crafting comes from the greater freedom to customize gear. Players are now able to choose exactly which stats appear on the items they craft, but there is a catch. Each of the sockets used to determine the stats on an item are based on the same elemental organization used by runes. So, if players wants to create an item with Critical Hit, the activated craft would need to have a Fire socket. Granted, players can set Critical Hit into a non-Fire socket, but the chance to fail the craft is increased.
Players no longer have to spend a couple minutes crafting every single item. When a craft is started, the stats on the item are set to full, and randomly chosen to match the sockets in the crafting window. The only thing that players have to do in order to complete a craft is select the power core to use, which will determine the power of the item crafted. These changes were made for players who want to quickly craft the items for work orders. The ability to raise the strength of the stats on a crafted item is still present for those players who don’t mind a little extra risk for a potentially great reward.
I am looking forward to testing out some of the new stats, and new possible stat compositions that will become available in the Free-to-Play update. I wasn’t really a fan of how WildStar handled their itemization before. I especially dislike the fact that they retained the needless PvP stats. However, I am hoping that their lingering presence will not hinder gear in the same way that they have since launch. Before, PvP Power and PvP Defense took away a lot of power from more compelling stats like Critical Severity. Acquiring the base PvP gear was incredibly simple, but not enticing in the least because of the way the PvP stats were implemented.
When I last played WildStar, I didn’t get too heavily invested in Runecrafting, nor had I spent much time customizing my gear with runes. Granted, my character had very little money, and each rune slot after the first had to be unlocked. So, my ability to effectively utilize runes was hindered in that way. I am excited to spend more time with this mechanic once I can get back into the game.
Before I let my account lapse, I spent a good amount of time working to level my tradeskill. I managed to progress up to the Research Level, but had not yet begun to acquire any of the early raid-level crafting schematics. I am worried that the implementation of the primal sockets will create a bit more randomization in crafting than I enjoy, but the new talents have some ways of circumventing the randomness. I hope it will be enough.
Are you excited for the Free-to-Play release of WildStar? What changes or new features do you want to explore? How many Protostar clones does it take to change a lightbulb? Join the discussion below.
For the three blog posts related to each of these changes, click the following links to the main WildStar news articles.
— Deep Dive: Combat Stat Revamp
— Crafting Improvements in Free-to-Play
— Deep Dive: Improving Runes
If you haven’t visited my Twitch channel yet, I am planning to stream a lot of WildStar once the Free-to-Play patch goes live (on September 29th). I don’t have a set schedule currently, but I try to stream Wednesdays and Fridays each week.
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If you have any questions for me, or have some ideas for topics you’d like me to cover, you can leave a comment below or head over to my shiny semi-new-ish Contact page.
Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you’ll be back for the next one.
War Fist out.