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Do paths enhance or restrict your gameplay?

Discussion in 'WildStar Classes & Paths' started by Sorn, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Sorn

    Sorn New Cupcake

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    Paths, as a concept, sound amazing, and the content being developed for them also sounds amazing. I mean, how cool is it to get to explore out-of-the-way areas and discover new things, or build structures for others to use? Very! I love every bit of it... except the exclusionary choice.

    Is it really necessary to provide this content via a path system where one must select one of four paths? Remember, one's path makes up approximately 20% (1 / 5) of one's content. Some simple math shows that the four paths combined then make up 50% ( 4 / 8 = 1 / 2) of the game's total content. Basically, 50% of the game's total content is for every single player to experience, regardless of path, whereas the other 50% depends on one's path. This means that each character gets to fully experience at most 62.5% ( 5 / 8) of the game's total content, plus whatever bits one gets from teaming up with the other paths.

    Now, obviously you simply need to make four characters and you can then see 100% of the game's content - problem solved! Of course, you will see that same 50% of the content on each character, unless you change factions, in which case you will see the same 50% twice. Suddenly that solution is not so ideal.

    My point is that all of this content could simply be part of the game without the path system. The only reason this path system exists is to provide guided content suited to one's playstyle, but the players themselves can sort that out. If I could do all of the content the four paths provide on one character, I would not necessarily choose to. That decision is being taken from me. If I pick Soldier that is it - I am a Soldier, through and through. I could very well want the Explorer and Scientist content, too, and not the Settler content, and if I had access to all of it I would choose accordingly. It would be nice to be able to pick and choose everything I wanted.

    The only real positive aspect of this exclusion of content based on path is more interdependence, where because I am, say, a Scientist, I need a Settler to build something for me so I can conduct some research. This sounds all well and good, but only for so long. Has anyone ever seen what happens to pretty much every MMOG within a year or two of release? The low level areas empty, so anything that requires interdependence becomes a pain in the butt to do. It may be simple to find the paths you need at release, but later on that is simply content you will not see.

    As for replayability, I do not think forced replayability counts for much. If I have to make three other characters to see the other 37.5% of the game my first character was not allowed to fully experience, that is just busy work. I want to replay the game because it is so awesome (and I hope it will be), not because I must.

    Anyway, like I said, the content sounds great, I just feel the delivery of the content is unnecessarily restrictive and gets in the way of players truly doing what they want to, which, oddly enough, is the purported benefit of the path system!
  2. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    The path content is not exclusive at all. It doesn't limit you. In the PAX 2012 video found elsewhere on this forum (go find it!) they answered that very specific question. If you are grouped together with a Scientist and an Explorer, the Explorer can discover a cave entrance. That is something what only an Explorer can do. But inside the cave there is content for every path. The Scientists is able to examine an unique herb or something that resides in the cave or maybe the Settler finds a rare material he needs to upgrade the Trade Post or something.

    You raise an important question though. What happens after a couple of years when the beginners area's are deserted? What happens if you don't have an Explorer around that discover that cave entrance? There is no way to see that cave content then. I'm sure Carbine has a solution for it, which we will find out when they release more game information.
  3. Tiktak

    Tiktak Cupcake-About-Town

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    For a start, you don't -need- to see 100% of the games content. (I for one will probably never make a settler or soldier alt, those paths don't really interest me as much as the scientist or explorer.)

    A new player soloing without being a member of a guild, yeah, I can see that being a problem, if they want to see everything on one character... If their part of a half way decent guild it won't be. I'm sure some friendly guildies would love to help out a new player.
  4. Zap-Robo

    Zap-Robo Administrator • King Cupcake

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    Interesting concept. Of course, this theory is predilected upon the fact that Carbine have not added on an extra 50% more content than they would otherwise with any other MMO. I have nothing to back up my theory, but I rather think that might be true - there is still the main quest plots all the way through the zones, with the Paths just adding extra layers to that.

    And as others have said, you can team up with another Path and experience their content - anyone can fight the mobs from a Soldiers Holdout, climb the secret path that an Explorer finds, use the facilities a Settler builds or benefit from the (presumed) buffs/debuffs a Scientist can levy.

    As to abandoned zones, this is a function of gating zones by level - having a linear path. What if Carbine layer higher level content over lower level zones? We've already seen this in fact - such as the Focus of Air in Galeras, and the Annihilator in Algoroc. If that known high level content remains present in those zones, then you're going to always have access to/visibility of other players at level cap.
  5. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Super Cupcake

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    I would love elder game content in lower level zones. The only things we've seen so far though are the giant robot (raid) and Focus of Air (dungeon). I hope we get elder game quests and crafting in those lower level zones as well.

    If that is the case, I'm a happy bunny wolf.
  6. Kirathis

    Kirathis Cupcake-About-Town

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    First off, is anyone else disturbed by Black Wolf the "happy bunny"? ;)

    Secondly, I would love to have high level stuff in a low level area....so long as said high level stuff does not occasionally come out to stomp a mud hole in said lower levels. Fel Reaver anyone?

    I am personally having a hard time deciding what path I want to take. I am a bit of a hybrid player so I do not usually fall into one specific path. I also wonder how the settler will continue to work. Do the first players to reach an area settle it, leaving new players to only do upkeep? I probably have just not read enough about it yet but that has been a question on my mind for awhile.
  7. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    I certainly strive to see 100% of the non-raid world and certainly hope that is achievable.

    Yes, too many MMOs have you move from zone to zone with nothing left to do in the previous zones once you "outlevel" the area. I would love to see mixed content as long as there is a way to avoid danger at lower levels.
  8. Chrilin

    Chrilin Cupcake-About-Town

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    I am a little concerned with the settler path for this very reason. Carbine has stated that the settler will institute improvements like fp's, training stations and the like. They have also stated that there will be decay if those improvements are not maintained. So if the areas empty out there will be no improvements to the leveling zones after awhile. Hence missing content.

    If zap is right then it would solve some of the problems with not being able to find people for some of the bonus content (I.E. teaming up with an explorer to get to hidden scientist content).

    Carbine will really have to do this right to pull it off. Unfortunately, the impression I get from seeing the Annihilator in Algoroc is that's it's more of an introduction to elder game content than an actual part of the zone. Same thing for the Focus of Air, it's a entrance to the raid more than an interactive part of the zone. Like Zap though I have absolutely no proof... it's strictly my impression.

    I hated that swtor made leveling an alt end game content. It was a terrible idea and just further defined the lack of content in that game. Fortunately (once again no empirical proof) I do not believe WS is going to do this.
  9. Chrilin

    Chrilin Cupcake-About-Town

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    First nah he's a softie lol.:)

    Second.... Yep it's a really cool thing and it will keep the zones alive long after launch. I enjoyed the Fell Reaver, mainly because I had friends that never watched for him and got stomped. I loved hearing about that over vent.:eek:
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  10. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think Carbine can work around these issues if they did become issues, I mean there may be more than just the one route to the Explorer 'exclusive' cave entrance. Maybe the loftite would give an alternative way to get to the entrance for example. Im all for players having to interact to get to the content but maybe the secret stone which shifts to reveal a staircase could be operated by a scientist who had sought the relevant NPC's and maybe picked up a relevant artifact, longer path but achievable. (Yeah I know what exclusive means LOL)

    Personally I dont think it will be an issue, I think the mechanics of Wildstar will keep a constant stream of newbies coming for a long time. Does make you realise though the importance of the ingame communications, there will need to be some sort of bulletin board for groups seeking scientist etc etc. MiZTiiX's thread on scaling down brings some relevance to this thread too I think.

    May be better if we can have 3 or 4 pets, lets call them companions who are trained in the relevant skills sets and then .........oh no maybe not that would be SWTOR again hey LOL
  11. WildZhen

    WildZhen Cupcake-About-Town

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    Okay I get the point about the "we cannot see 100% of the content" which by the way is good because it will keep player busy.

    Guys do not forget, and for that I will take a recent example Guild wars 2 was out the 28 of August, if I remember correctly the first level 80 was a french (yayy french geek rock) guy who did it in 32 hours (before the game was officialy launch!!!!! pre launch was something like the 25th) now obviously Gw2 content is and will be different from WS but many people ended up 80 really fast and then what happened they played it and still play it like D3 farming at level 80. The game content and focus of GW2 might be different but the problem will be the same 100m run for 80 at launch by some hardcores.

    Now if I followed your calculation they would have gone to max level in GW by....doing 62.5% of game content and then they will realize men let's redo it and try different paths and the games goes on. What I mean is for people enjoying the game the more paths the better (though I hope they will not put 10 paths lol) because it gives you time and content to enjoy the game which has been lacking badly in recent mmo's imo specially the content part.

    For your second argument about what happens after a year, I will take another example one that everyone knows Wow. Wow's solution for low level zones was to change the zones make them more attractive to players put some new quests (not that interesting imo) but they worked around it. Now did they do it well is up for debate and not the topic (XD). If it takes us one year to go through 100% ( or 62.5 for each different toon) content with interdependence of paths still around than thank god. Most games (MMO) are done in two months and thousand of people are waiting for raid/next expansion and starting to feel like there is nothing to do. For me interdependances will make the game more group/guild focus which is no bad,
    if you play a mmorpg because you want to play alone just play the witcher no one will bother you imo.

    (it's a you in general no focus on anyone lol had to make sure I didn't shock ppl too much I'm zen after all XD)
  12. Tiktak

    Tiktak Cupcake-About-Town

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    Even in WoW the only way to see 100% of the games content was with Alts. You needed a minimum of 2. 1 Alliance, 1 Horde. And you can solo the levelling content and the lower level dungeons upto a point.

    In WildStar it will be the same: 1 Exiles, 1 Dominion. But you'll have to group with people to see the path content. Your main choice is what Path you want to use yourself.

    And even then, you just need to hang around a soldier holdout or quest hub area to see Soldier and Settler content, since I get the impression their stuff is very public quest style al la W:AoR and GW2
  13. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Yes, I realize it will be with different characters. I saw a lot of the WoW world even on 1 char and got the achievement for seeing all the zones. I died a lot of course do to having to run into guarded places. However, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to get to, if at all, on one side or the other.
  14. pseudo

    pseudo Podcaster

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    I think Soren makes some great points in his OP. There is definitely a certain amount of trepidation tied to the class system, especially since no one player is going to dig their given profession throughout (I am 90% sure I'll be playing as a scientist for my first toon, but I also really want to fight tough monsters). I think this is something that the developers are working towards illucidating more. The profession system is, honestly, still a somewhat nebulous thing. There's a purported 50% of content locked behind the quincunx of profession trees, but whether that total is actually 50% has yet to be seen (pun intended).

    In the end, I don't think we're going to see hard and fast profession bifurcation in the content and if we do, I don't think the specifically locked content will be nearly that high.

    MMOs have this weird sort of give and take to appease. Current MMO design seems to hinge on the theory that they have to make content available to a lot of people, while also trying to make that content feel special to the player. It's not something that I necessarily agree with, but it's where we're at and it's where it seems WildStar is heading. I don't know much about how profession implementation into the story line, but I can imagine that there will be a lot of similar content provided to the player in different ways depending on the path they chose.
  15. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

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    Ugh, don't think so, I pick one side and stick to it, unless it like SWTOR only has a few classes to choose from and class stories is the main attraction.

    Being unable to trade between factions and share banking space/ingame mail with opposit faction characters it would mean having a set of all professions on boths sides etc. Unless there is a real ID or guild chat access from all factions alts feature I do not see it as attractive social wise either.
  16. coryhart

    coryhart New Cupcake

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    Personally I think it should depend on class, an explorer shouldn't have to go back to a zone he has already mapped just to map more stuff so that wouldn't make since, however a settler or a scientist might need to go back to get somewhere he has been before to get a material that he needs for a structure, at the same time i don't think you should be able to fill in every area on the map without an explorer, the game is obviously going to require teamwork for some of the higher level content with the way they are doing it. A mercenary would hire a guide, a scientist would need some type of firepower to support his endeavors and also a guide and a group would need shelters built along the way, idealy its something that you do with a group so I'm hoping that there will be a guild structure in the game and in that case if you have good guild members and good recruiting your guildies will be in low level areas recruiting and helping new members along the way.
  17. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

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    I loved the fel reaver, am about to go there again with my mother, her first time and her situational awareness is challenged. I have absolutely no intention of warning her :roflamo: / :devilish:

    Despite the grumbling over the fel reaver, it is the part of Hellfire Peninsula that people remembers first, when talking about the zone. For good or worse, Hellfire Peninsula would have left nothing for the memory without the fel reaver stumping on one self or someone telling about it - again - in zone chat.
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  18. Kirathis

    Kirathis Cupcake-About-Town

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    You are so evil! ;) Your poor mother LOL!

    Yeah, that is true. Honestly, once you knew about them, avoiding the Fel Reavers was not that difficult. I just simply used it as an example most could relate to. Something that minor is not a big deal. However, double or triple the amount of them wandering around and it would have been. I would just like to avoid something like that happening in Wildstar if they put high level stuff in lower level zones.
  19. Sarcan

    Sarcan Cupcake

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    Unfortunately for Fel Reavers, they had no staying power. As the game progresses and levels were increased, they became very easy to solo. Which cheapened the whole experience that they gave you the first time you came across them or the sense of achievement the first time you got a group together to actually defeat one.

    I love coming back to lower level zones for different reasons and the paths can facilitate that. Just don't cheapen the content as in the above example. An epic experience should stay epic. Changing a zone to much changes the newbie experience and now you have a division between old player and new player memories of how and what the zone did for you. Adding new content to the zone is quite a bit different than changing the zone.

    Back on OP, paths need to be distinct. If you can do everything in game with every path, then there is no reason for paths. That being said, the standard content of the game and some of the features accessible to individual paths should be accessible regardless of Path Choice. It needs to be clear in certain areas that it a taste of a certain other paths over another (with these tastes available both in and out of a group with someone of the other path). The reason for this is to help you decide if you really are on the right path for your play style. Without a hint, taste, example of everything, you may or may not have roll the right path that fits you and thus feel jaded and never truly enjoy the game to the fullest.

    Re-playability is really a separate topic. As a confirmed atloholic in most games, the class of the character and its abilities usually has more to do with rolling alts than the content you play through. The addition of paths and unique content for the paths, not just unique storyline and class mechanics adds to not takes away form the desire to roll alts.

    TSW has no need for alts unless you want to run a different faction for the story. Not very replay friendly, but with enough going on in game, there really isn't a need to replay anything.

    WoW had class mechanics and faction as its only draw to alts and re-playability. Though I played every class and faction in WoW, it had more to do with crafting than anything else. Some classes I really enjoyed, others I played just to try them and have a crafting bot.

    SWToR has Class mechanics and story (Faction Based). Though you could roll alts to play through new story and the mechanics were different, the world really didn't encourage re-play and SWTOR fell on its face for me in this aspect. I had absolutely no desire to roll an alt even though they rewarded you for doing so.

    With Wildstar having Paths (Content), Class Mechanics and Story, the potential for re-playability is much higher in my eyes. However with paths helping to focus on you play style, the desire to alt may not be needed and thus eliminating re-playability for some. Time will tell and I for one really look forward to how they handle it.

    Being happy with my path and play style is more important than seeing every piece of content for me. As long as there a no limitations on collectables and achievements based on path choice, unique content is good.

    That's my wooden nickle anyways....
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  20. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

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    Heck you guys get deep into this at times (and thats good to see with the wealth of experience) I was going to reply 'Enhance' but I guess I should expand a bit :) LOL
    My playstyle is typically with the one class through to cap and then switching factions through to cap, but thats hinged on whether faction is exclusive to each other (like SWTOR) or guilds can comprise multi factions. Yes I get the idea that opposite factions shouldnt mingle but with Wildstar it would be nice to be able to trade across factions and stay in the same guild for example.
    Im sure some hardcore raiders and pvp'ers wouldnt agree with that but the social element of the game matters more to me personally. Hey and we all know that underworld deals go on in reality too, so from an RP perspective its nice to be a mostly good guy with some dealings with the 'other' side. I think that allows more flexibility for Rp'ers to develop their own character.
    Back to paths, so yes they do enhance I think as they give you a baseline to work from and allow most of us, who dont have a wonderously agile imagination, to immerse ourselves into our character more, just so long as other things like faction, trading etc allow us to 'customize' the final result. I dont mind replaying an alt if thats the only way to see other content.

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