Wildstar Wednesday this week started with a Twitter message on Tuesday suggesting players check their spam filters for any mass mailings that could have gotten tangled up in error. Then today simply a picture of the development team (goodness there are a lot of you) with the head line "It has begun!" written overhead. While professional gaming news sites have managed to turn this into multiple news articles I was struggling for how I'd stretch this into a full post. Would I speculate on what they mean exactly by "worth 1000 words?" did 1000 invites go out? Is beta going to last for exactly 1000 hours placing Wildstar's official release date at the end of June?
Thankfully there was more to come...
That came via Wildstar Central. There is another Developer sponsored thread on their forums today, this one started by Primus. You may remember Primus from the Circuit Board Crafting teaser that was posted on the official site last week. He mentioned that the community would have the opportunity to help choose some new item slots, and this is it.
In the starting post Primus gives us a ton of details on the evolution of itemization in Wildstar. Game design is interesting to me so I found this information fascinating. Originally they had paper doll slots which included all the MMO standards. They decided that rings and necklaces were not really in theme for the sci-fi world of Wildstar. They removed them and streamlined itemization, convinced that the juggling of circuits would add the complexity needed. What they found was, especially during the leveling process, they had to repeat item slots too frequently and this marginalized the excitement felt when getting a replacement since it was such a minor improvement.
The plan is to add back in four item slots to the paper doll. They have come up with 3 strong candidates but they want the community to help develop the forth.
The goal is to create more item diversity and adjust the competition dynamics for item drops. Currently all items are restricted by armor type or weapon type making them very class specific. The removed non-theme slots were universal, which allowed stalkers and warriors, or Espers and Spellslingers to compete over item drops that matched their stat goals but without armor restrictions.
A list of guidelines is provided. Primarily no new art assets (it will not be a visible item on the character model) It also can't include new systems be developed, but he does mention that the existing spell system is quite flexible and could be used to create item effects...but also the new slot should not take space on the action bar.
One example is given of an item slot that the team has created: Weapon Attachment. This is an item that augments your equipped weapon by providing additional attack power and an extra weapon special ability slot.
Unfortunately that leaves the remaining two slots a mystery, requiring some guess work when coming up with suggestions. Additionally the stat system itself in Wildstar is not fully known so that adds additional complication. The community has not disappointed though. The conversation at Wildstar Central is a hoot. Head over to the thread and chime in with your ideas or your support for other players' ideas. Speaking of support, did I mention someone suggested underwear?