Wildstar Nexus Report Class Balance and PvP Livestream Q&A Notes

Wildstar Nexus Report Class Balance and PvP Livestream Q&A with Lead Class Designer Hugh Sheldon

Twitch Link: http://www.twitch.tv/wildstar/b/552469243

Q: Why won’t you balance PvE and PvP separately

  • It is hard to manage two databases of abilities. You need twice as many designers and players need to learn two sets of abilities. It is a different thought process and ideology that we don’t follow

Q: Any intention on making player rotation more complex other than pressing buttons as they come off off cooldown

  • You can already see that on some of our classes like Engineer. We have elements of that in all the classes but it is not where we want it to be on all the classes.

Q: What are you going to do with spellslinger burst issues like Charged Shot/Assassinate

  • Spellslinger is really good with burst but T8 Charged Shot is too strong, we will be tuning it down a bit. We are currently working on it but don’t want to just take it away without giving something back.

Q: Medic healer actuator gain being looked at?

  • Healer side does need more access to build actuator. We are looking at different abilities/amps to make it better.

Q: What do the devs look at when balancing classes? Do you feel like you are screwing over another class when you balance?

  • Spellslinger, for example, is doing really strong in battlegrounds since launch. However, it doesn’t mean that they are doing well in PvE. We are looking to toning back spellslinger cone range with the upcoming Drop 2 so this will affect them a lot more in mass scale PvP than in PvE

Q: Timeline on when warrior tank changes coming?

  • Not in Sabotage Drop, but there is a chance in Drop 3 and definitely by Drop 4.

Q: Any new info on item stats customization? i.e. items favoring spellslingers over espers and support items having assault power.

  • We are aware of this issue, and issue where everyone is going for assault power. This is why crafted items are so popular right now.

Q: Warrior getting some sort of self healing (health, not shield)?

  • Warrior get shield healing as their niche. Stalkers get lifesteal and engineers get absorbs. It is possible warriors will get health healing in the future.

Q: Plans to add a spectator mode to arenas? Also custom arenas?

  • Something we want to get in, just a matter of time.

Q: Are you looking at electrocute not hitting people in PvP?

  • It is a latency issue and our engineers are looking into it. If you play arenas, the hit registration is really good due to less players.

Q: How to justify incoming change to Impale (up to 2 targets) and how will you balance it in the future?

  • Neutralize should be the superior ability in AoE since it hits 5 targets instead of two. In PvE you usually get a group of 3 etc. We are trying to bring up stalkers to competitive grounds with other classes.

Q: Why do you guys wait so long to patch things you fixed long time ago?

  • Need time to test out the changes before patching it. New code may interact badly with old code and throw everything off (i.e. reverse Jenga).

Q: What makes one class stronger than the other class when they are all supposed to be balanced?

  • People are saying one class is more powerful here, there etc. We could have a perfectly balanced game if everything is same across the board. Certain classes are stronger in certain gametypes but sometimes there is gear discrepancy as well.

Q: Will PvP gear have equal rune slots to PvE? (i..e PvE gadgets have 4 slots, PvP gadgets have 0 slots)

  • I am not sure what the plans are for the runes on PvP gear

Q: Why when balancing you do nerf instead of buffing other classes?

  • When one class is stronger than others, why buff up the other classes when you can just nerf one. We are looking at things that are sticking out – too strong or too weak.

Q: Can you give us a big picture/road map on the future of Wildstar’s PvP?

  • That is a great question, probably for Kevin Lee. There is the PvP offense/defense changes coming with Drop 2. You could hit the softcap for PvP offense/defense very easily with just 3 pieces of gear. So players use 3-4 pieces of PvP gear and then use PvE gear for everything else. Right now if you have more PvP offense than opponent’s PvP defense, it doesn’t give you much damage bonus. We are adjusting it so that softcap is hard to reach (i..e need to have a full set + rune gear to reach it). We are also making it so that PvP gear does more damage to those that don’t have PvP gear. PvP Offense will now also affect healing and those without PvP Offense will get reduced healing.

Q: Are you guys looking at changing tiers for SS since they are lacking in healing?

  • We are looking at these changes across all classes such as increasing telegraph width or having a heal hitting two targets instead of one.

Q: Thoughts about near future? More AMPs, abilities etc?

  • We are looking at revising abilities and AMPs that are lackster. We can introduce more AMPs and ability points in the future and that can change things pretty dramatically for players.

Q: Overhauling medic AMPs/ability tiers? What about medic single target DPS.

  • Gamma Rays now hits 3 targets but DPS increase was questionable. We made it to hit only two targets and do a bit more damage.

Q: Will Esper heals see a rebalance? I would love to use more than 3-4 heals.

  • We do not like the idea that players are locked into a set of abilities. We will continue to improve the viability of other abilities.

Q: How big is the class balancing team currently?

  • We have a class team, not a class balancing team. We have a lead for each class. This class team have a lot of experience with spells. We also work on updating item specials and helping spell setup for other teams.

Q: Any plans to add additional classes in the game?

  • No hints

Q: Esper DPS was made more mobile a bit ago? Will healy esper get the same treatment?

  • Healing Esper is fairly mobile right now, especially with the current LAS being used for healing but yes we will look at all the abilities and either make them mobile or leave it as it is. Some other changes in the future are to reward you for being stationary without forcing you to be stationary for examples.

Q: What is your current metric on current balance? Does your metric show that medics are the last in single DPS category?

  • We have a buff incoming for medic single target DPS in drop 2. There are certain classes in raids topping the meters. These classes usually have stances. We are adjusting assault power across all classes to make them equal and nerfing stances so they do not scale as well as they do currently. This will happen in the future and undergoing a lot of testing right now.

Q: Stalker tanks are nerfed next patch because of PvP but this does not do anything in PvP, only nerfing threat generation in PvE

  • We will be taking a look at it, we don’t think this will affect threat generation in PvE.

Q: When can bug class fixes such as BoT AI for Engineers?

  • Always, especially with big patches. We have a fairly substantial bot AI change that was completed and undergoing testing

Q: How do you counterbalance players attracted to FOTM without wanting to disappoint the greater body of players with nerfs

  • We are just trying to fix the balance issues and not thinking in those terms

Q: Queues for BGs at higher ratings are longer. When are you going to enable crossfaction to stimulate PvP?

  • Better question for Kevin Lee

Q: AMP reset for free when Sabotage Drop goes alive?

  • No free reset but we are looking to adjust the fees for the AMP reset in a later patch

Q: When are you adding the race change service?

  • Probably not for a while, don’t hold your breath

Q: Adding abilities as time goes on in order to vary up the gameplay?

  • It is not in the near future but something for the post future.

Q: Any ETA on adjusting underperforming abilites and AMPs?

  • This is an ongoing process

Q: What precuations do you take to make sure every class is equal?

  • We use metrics, watch streams, play game etc. Using everything available to us.
  • Ianpact

    Thank you for the write up. =)

  • Actiondan

    Thanks, Dulfy!

  • Vox

    Thanks for your WS updates Dulfy! Great game.

  • Nabaro

    Thank you so much!

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