Monday, November 25, 2013

System Changes - Telegraphs

I hope everyone had a great Sunday. I know I did. My parents are back from a 2 month long cruise, celebrating their retirement in style. It's good to have them close to home again. Today I have a few urgent errands to run and appointments to make. I would like to thank my doctor for finding a place in his schedule before my insurance expires. While the rest of you are scrambling for deals this Friday I will be enjoying a cold fingered ball groping compliments of my former employer. Once these tasks are check off the list I'm headed down to the gym for a spin on the elliptical. I would love to take a bike ride in this crisp fall weather, but some cockbag went through our underground parking and cleared out everyone's bikes from their ceiling hooks about month ago. What is the going rate for bikes at a pawn shop these days?

[Error: thrilling and witty transition not found.] 

We've had three great live streams showcasing the Warrior, the Esper and the Spellslinger. While these original three Wildstar classes have had the spotlight there are some major improvements to the stage. Today I'd like to talk about the updates to telegraphs.

The general idea of telegraphs are well known: red spot bad! If you stand in the red spaces you take damage you could have avoided. It was a simple and effective tool, one that is present in most modern MMO's to some degree. GW2 uses faint red circles, FFXIV uses slightly more opaque red circles, WoW uses a combination of red circles and dust clouds. The selling point of Wildstar's active combat was that these telegraphs are complex and dynamic requiring moment to moment gameplay, especially when engaging multiple targets. In the several months of silence Carbine has added features to their telegraphs to address some community concerns.


Pro Tip: Twitch Recording is higher quality than YouTube render
As the image above shows you'll be able to adjust the opacity of all of the different types of telegraphs for those concerned that all they will be seeing is red shapes everywhere. They also addressed in this same segment of the Warrior Livestream that they are working on colorblind options including the ability to alter the colors of the telegraphs and to alter them in some way so that they are identifiable to players with colorblindness.

Cast Times!

You failed me jiffy-bot!
Telegraphs now initially display faded and fill in from caster to edges to show when the damage will occur, allowing for precision dodges and providing needed information to players who are mid-cast of an ability of their own. As shown with the Esper ability Blade Dance when it is a channeled effect the faded portion is in the center and the telegraph fills in to the caster to show when the effect will end. This is a fantastic improvement to the combat in Wildstar. Having this additional timed data fed to the player from the battlefield and not from a UI element (cast bar over unit frame) keeps the player in that moment and should improve the connection they have to the combat.

Moar Telegraphs!

3 mobs, 3 different telegraphs all at once.
From what they've said and shown on the live streams more of the creatures in the world use telegraphs, use them more often, and use a wider variety. This can only be a good thing. The more enemies telegraph the more the game is about skillfully evading and maneuvering and less about your raw stats surviving auto attacks. It makes tackling high challenges possible.

Extended Vulnerability!

When you interrupt a telegraph in PVE the target becomes vulnerable, indicated by their health bar turning purple. This effect has been moved from a novelty in the previous beta build to a lynch pin of combat. As explained in the live streams they have extended the duration of the "moment of opportunity" (moo apparently) to 5 seconds and significantly increated the damage taken while vulnerable.

What do you think of the enhancements to telegraphs? Do you think they will create the moment to moment gameplay that you crave? Are you worried that the whimsical flavor of the game will be drown out in red filters? Are you concerned about retinal damage caused by staring at red circles all day? ... oh, that last not serious comment bait statement got me thinking! Note to self: suggest Wildstar/Gunnar Optiks cross promo.

No comments:

Post a Comment