Maybe it's due to the rise of MOBA games, but any MMO I play now has to have a strong PvP element. Luckily, in addition to deep content for raiders and soloers, Carbine Studios' WildStar caters to players of every walk of life. So, PvPers need not worry. WildStar introduces PvP early on in the game, and it has equal importance in Elder game. Jen Gordy and Kevin Lee, WildStar's PvP gurus, walked us through everything.
Battlegrounds and Leveling to 50
First off, PvP opens up to players at level 6 with the Battleground “Walatiki Temple.” Walatiki Temple is a capture the flag-type match, except instead of flags you're capturing masks. The first team to capture five masks wins, but the catch is that you have to defend the masks you've already captured, because the enemy team can steal them. So you have to strike the balance between offense and defense if you're going to win. When I played this, my team was up 4-1. Then we had a couple of masks stolen and ended up losing 5-4.
One of the good things about Battlegrounds is that you can level to 50 just by PvPing if you want to. You won't have to worry about falling behind on gold or gear either. You'll receive loot bags, gold, XP, and Prestige – the PvP currency that you can use to buy PvP-specific gear – from PvP matches. And to make PvP more dependent on skill rather than gear, everyone's gear and stats are normalized up until level 50. At that point, players get matched by gearscore.
For each group of levels, PvP gear will be available for purchase, making PvP a very viable alternative path to leveling up. If you're a healer or tank, WildStar also has you covered in PvP. You can still help out your team and not focus on getting kills, because everyone in range of a kill gets credit for it. While getting the killing blow yields a little more XP, all kills you help towards will net you XP.
Another type of Battlegrounds match that we didn't get to experience is Halls of the Bloodsworn. It's a match where you capture and hold points in order to win. When you have more players than the other team in the capture area, you'll be able to capture points more quickly. Again, a balance between attacking and defending will be the key to success.
Here's where things get a little more serious. Players are able to start queuing up for Arena matches at level 30. While these aren't rated matches, you will still get loot bags, XP, gold and Prestige. However, Arena-specific rewards are level gated.
In arenas, two teams will go against each other, with each team sharing a pool of team respawns. Once a team's respawn count is depleted, players on that team will not be able to respawn (obviously). The first team to deplete their enemies' respawn pool and kill them off for good wins.
Rated arena matches start at level 50, and use an Elo rating system to match up players. This is one option for Elder game PvP, and Carbine Studios hinted at mechanics being in place to have Arena seasons that yield rewards.
Here's the meat and potatoes of the PvP meal. To explain Warplots, I first have to explain what a Warparty is. A Warparty is a group of 40 players that act as a sort of PvP guild. Don't get me wrong, it's not really a guild. It's a completely separate entity. Still, you should consider your Warparty to be your PvP family/team for Warplots. In a Warparty, there is the founder who can then assign ranks and permissions to different members of that Warparty. A Warparty also has a Warplot, and according to your rank/permission in the Warparty, you can upgrade and edit the Warplot to have different defenses.
A Warplot is your PvP battleground – a huge customizable fortress. Like how housing operates, there are a number of different sockets for your Warplot, with multiple plugs/defenses that can be upgraded in-match. While each match is its own battle, damage to your Warplot and its defenses persist from match to match. So when a plug gets destroyed, a player with a high enough rank can repair it during the match, or you can wait until after the match.
You use Warcoins to repair and buy new plugs for your Warplot, which you get from playing matches, but that's not the only way to get plugs. Dungeons and raids can also drop these plugs. Boss plugs allow you to summon that boss and have it defend your Warplot or attack the enemy's Warplot. If both teams have a Boss fighting for them, they can fight each other. Other defenses I've experienced are toxic mazes that poison you, swarms of bugs that hurt you, and upgradeable units.
There are two ways to win a Warplot match. The first is to invade the enemy Warplot and destroy their two generators (which have a ton of health and defenses along the way). The other way to win is through energy attrition (the enemy running out of energy). This happens by controlling energy points in the middle ground of the map between the two teams' Warplots, which will take energy away from the enemy. While kills take away from energy as well, there is a cost of your Warplot's plugs that will drain energy. So keep that in mind when choosing your strategy and planning your defenses.
If you're not in a Warparty but still want to experience Warplots, you can queue up as a solo mercenary and get matched into a Warparty that doesn't have enough members. While the Warcoins you earn will be given to the Warparty you played with (since it's not a player currency), you'll still get Prestige and all those fixings. Also, the queue for these matches shouldn't be that bad, because there is a cross-realm queue for PvP matches, and Warplots matches can be Exiles v Exiles, Dominion v Dominion, and Exile v Dominion.
There's a ton of PvP content in WildStar, both in the Elder game and throughout the leveling process. Having another means of leveling and acquiring gear adds just another layer to the onion that is WildStar. But keep in mind, if you want the best PvP gear that WildStar has to offer, you'll have to play Warplots. Warplots and Arena give the best gear, with Battlegrounds below that. There's also an open-world rivalry system in WildStar, but Carbine Studios didn't talk about that too much.