Tuesday, February 12, 2013

High Roads and Low Roads.

Taking a bit of a hit this week on exercise. I have dramatically reduced my soda intake, which has helped, but I feel like I did not exercise as hard I should have this last week. I'm not pushing hard on the cardio days, and bad weather and work stress has resulted in evening naps the last two days, missing out on a full cycle of work outs. The scale tells me that I have stayed even this week, around 223-224lbs, which could be better. I am going to have to step up to longer cardio work outs. I should be down there for an hour a day, and I have had the time to build up the stamina needed to do so. So that's my goal for this week.

Now let's talk about paths in Wildstar.

This was a topic that for some reason didn't appear in the blogs in a way that encouraged me to make it a headline. This system sets Wildstar apart from other games with an extra layer of player identity. There is not a ton of information available on the full depth of the paths, but the basics are there.

The first layer of character creation is going to be selecting a Race. Currently there are 3 races revealed for the Exiles faction. You'll see examples of them in the reveal trailer, or in the character profile interviews I covered over the last 3 days. These are the Human, the Aurin and the Granok.

The next layer, as in most MMORPG's, is class selection. There are currently 3 classes confirmed for Wildstar, also featured in the reveal trailer. The Warrior, who do standard warrior things, swords, shields, some technology and possible implications of guns in the Granok interview feature. The Esper is the caster class, throwing energy weapons around, and other awesome things. It appears to be psionics based, which is why they are called E S P ers. And the third class we've seen is the Spell Slinger, a dual pistol wielder who fires elemental attacks and super hadokens according to the trailer.

Your class determines how you do things, the Path you choose will largely determine what you do.

This is an interesting way to differentiate alternate characters. Instead of just altering the way that you do damage as you do the same content as you did on a primary character, a path will allow you to travel through the same world experiencing content that previously was all but invisible to you on a different path. This will make Alternate Characters far more engaging if that is something you are interested in. There is a fine value for a player who is married to their main character too. This allows you to define yourself more deeply, and in a way that allows you to focus on the content that most excites you.

There are four paths revealed originally at Gamescom in 2011, they are the Soldier, the Explorer, the Scientist and the Settler. Of these 4, settler has the least information because none of the stars of the trailer belong to this path.

From how this has been presented so far the best way to imagine how these paths differ is to imagine that you approach a small quest hub area that doesn't have a ton of things to do. An explorer  arriving at this hub may get a pop up alerting them to a near by jumping puzzle that leads to a secret area that they are able to open up for other players to access. The Soldier could get a pop up informing them of attacking enemy forces who are threatening the outpost, that may lead to hunting and killing the leader of this NPC force. The scientist could get a notice that there is an artifact at the outpost that needs to be examined. The Settler, finally, could be given the objective to help fortify the outpost, possibly upgrade their buildings so they are better able to defend themselves.

You can see how these paths intertwine. The scientist could find more artifacts to research in the secret area uncovered by the explorer, The Soldier could have to defend  this area from enemy incursion, and the settler could be responsible for fortifying the area making the soldier's job easier and giving breathing room for the Explorer and Scientists to do their jobs. In the end, this could unlock something at the outpost that all players benefit from. In the end everyone experienced the same content, but their role was not as simple s Tank, healer, DPS, and coming through a few months later on a different character could give you an entirely different experience.

There is more information coming out about all of these paths now in the present, so head on over to the Wildstar main page if you'd like a better understanding of how these paths differ and how they define your character.

This is one of the big things that sets Wildstar apart from other MMO's on the market, and the first that I've talked about that is system based. There are others that I have briefly seen that I look forward to digging deeper into as the weeks progress.

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