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Hands-on with WildStar

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PvP and Warplots

PvP is yet another system design and built from the start instead of tacked on after launch.  I’ve played it, and it’s awesome.  PvP comes in four flavors: open world, Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Warplots.  Arenas are deathmatches that you can begin entering once you are level 30, with solo and group queue options.  Battlegrounds have specific game types like capture the flag and control point based gameplay.  They begin at level 6 and 15 respectively.  Player levels are normalized for the match (pre-level 50).

XP is earned during all PvP types, so you could theoretically level from 6 to 50 purely by PvPing.  How will you stay geared you ask?  By earning and cashing in Prestige earned in the matches you play.  Once you hit level 50, the option for ranked play becomes available.  It uses an ELO system to match similarly ranked players and offers its own set of unique gear rewards.

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Then there are Warplots, a massive battle between two fortresses with 40 players per side.  Players can organize into Warparties, which are the equivalent of guild raiding party, but kept separate from your guild.  This allows smaller guilds to join up together to form a full Warparty.  You can also queue for a Warplot as a solo player and get temporarily assigned to an existing Warparty.

Before the Warplot battle begins, the Warparty builds out their fortress.  This uses the same type of interface as housing with sockets and plugs.  Except in these cases you are socketing things like a poison maze or a monster spawner.  The culminating plug we all saw was the ability to socket and summon a raid boss.  Ridiculously cool, but very hard to earn that plug, as you might have guessed, you need to have defeated the raid boss and any other requirements to earn the right to purchase that plug.

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With plugs and defences in place, the Warplot can begin.  There are two ways to win a Warplot, destroy the two power generators inside the enemy fortress walls (offensive victory), or you can win by taking and holding the most objects while defending your people and assets (defensive victory). See, each team has an energy bar that depletes throughout the match, and the speed at which it decays is a result of other small objectives and skirmishes on the battlefield.

We didn’t have quite enough for a 40 vs 40 Warplot, but we ran one with what we had.  One big takeaway is that communication is going to be key.  You can only do so well just picking fights here and there.  You need great coordination to take on a large map and hit the objectives as a team.  I’m super excited about what a fully trained Warparty could do once the game goes live.