originals\ May 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Movement and combat foundations in WildStar with developers Chris Lynch and Hugh Shelton


Earlier, we took a quick gander at the movement system in WildStar. From dashing, to jumping, to DOUBLE jumping – movement is truly the foundation and the core of WildStar's combat. Whether you're WSAD crawling, sprinting, double jumping, or avoiding robot-frog lasers, WildStar holds nothing back. After talking to Carbine combat developers Chris Lynch and Hugh Shelton, I become more enlightened about both movement and combat in the game.

Dashing is a quick roll, slide, leap, volley, jump… you end safely in a location near where you started. Unlike some other MMO titles, the dash move doesn’t make you invulnerable for the process. Think of it, literally, like you are ‘dashing’ out of the way of harm. This titan of brisk locomotion gets you from point A to point B before the s@#$ hits the fan – or your character. You use dash to dodge an incoming advertised attack by a baddie.

Your characters have two ‘dash tokens.’ Each time you dash a cooldown starts, which, when done, will return that token. If you use two tokens in rapid succession you’ll have to wait for that cooldown to return to dash once again. Certain classes will have ways to unlock a fabled third token later on in the game. So, from a strategic standpoint, don’t blow your dash-load early. Time them out and use them at key moments; like when trying to live over dying. Living will always be the better of the two options.

WildStar - WASD

All the races and classes have the same dash range. Sure, different races will have quasi-different animations in getting from A to B, but they are all the same distances.

Dashing isn’t the only means of mean mobility though. Classes will have displacement abilities such as transforming into a rainbow-trailed deer to dodge or generally just get you elsewhere. Different paths (such as explorer) will send you to places that will require a bit of platforming and skill.

On the topic of platforming, double jumping is doubly better than single jumping. This skill, which has unlimited usage, allows you to both explore and fight in ways unique to MMOs. Combat often relies on ‘line of sight’ mechanics. When you can literally just take a leap over a wall, suddenly those spell casters or gun-wielding zealots don’t have such a murderous edge when it comes to PvP. You melee types can use corners and unique tactics to close the gap and shred their faces off. OR, if you are one of those range types – why not get somewhere nice and high to rain death upon those fools below you. WildStar brings options.

The last morsel of mouth-watering movement comes from the sprinting department. All characters will have the ability to sprint, which you can do as long as you have some juice remaining in your sprint-o-meter. When it runs out, you start walking again. You need to wait for it to fill up to sprint again. As the DevSpeak video says, if there wasn’t a sprint meter, it would just be running. The term sprinting indicates that it is a short burst and not a constant thing. For instance, if it were me sprinting, it would last about two seconds.

WildStar - Dashing

Let’s switch the conversation to something more combat-focused now. WildStar is embracing the ‘holy trinity’ to full effect. (The holy trinity, in an MMO, means your standard tank, healer, and DPS combo when it comes to instances/dungeons/raids.) I’ve seen MMOs try to avoid this trope, and they just didn’t feel right. If it works, keep it.

WildStar has also revealed one of the tricks it has up its sleeve. Every class in the game will have a support role and a DPS role – EVERY class. So there won’t be those selfish rogues or mages that just have to figure out HOW they want to put the pointy end into mobs and nothing else.

Look, we all know the more DPS you have in your group, the faster bosses go down, but it’s time to be more of a team player, you savages. It’s about time you pick up a shield and off-tank, help peel to save those healers, and, hell, maybe even become one of those healers you depend on for the sweet, sweet green numbers. WildStar will strongly encourage you to not be a selfish a-hole. You know who I’m talking to.

So yeah, off-tanking. There will be an aggro and threat system as expected. Tank-like characters will be able to piss off the mobs and make them want to split their faces instead of the dudes behind them who are either stabbing their back, shooting them in the back of the head, or perhaps a little of column A and a little of column B. So if you’re that guy/gal who likes to wear the big, shiny heavy armor, lead the charge, control group dynamics, be a punching bag, and have a healer as a best friend – rest assured, you can tank all the things.       

WildStar - Sprinting

After watching the dev videos and speaking with Chris Lynch and Hugh Shelton about the very foundations of movement and combat, it has become clear to me that WildStar is going to have a lot to offer. You’d have a reaaaaaaally bad MMO without movement, and pretty boring one without combat. Each MMO seems to build off the shoulders of the ones before them. From what I’ve seen thus far, WildStar is not only adapting this Newton philosophy, but adding a fresh, unique, artistic, and hilarious look to the MMORPG genre. I love that the game isn’t taking itself too seriously while still offering amazing, highly desired content.

I don’t care how many time the WildStar devs Rick Roll me, I’m on board.  

About The Author
Andrew Clouther Human, historian, teacher, writer, reviewer, gamer, League of Pralay, Persona fanboy, and GameZone paragon - no super powers as of yet. Message me on the Twitters: @AndrewC_GZ
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