WildStar developers Carbine have released their 2015 roadmap for the game, which includes better preparing lower level players for combat and offering news types of challenge across playstyles and group sizes.
Towards the end of 2014, Carbine's product director, Mike Donatelli, admitted that players complaining about the release of buggy content led the team to focus on improving the quality of their output – that's why the MMO's Hallowe'en and Christmas events got shelved. From the most recent blog post by Donatelli, it sounds like they've expanded that focus slightly to include improving the diversity of their new content too.
Here's their list of what you can broadly expect for the first half of 2015:
- We will be adding lots of solo and group content to the game, including new Shiphands, Adventures and dungeons.
- We are focusing on revamping our customization systems and adding new ways for players to add personality to their characters.
- We are improving the Elder game experience, offering players lots of opportunities to find new and exciting loot!
For more specific information we can turn to the next update on the horizon, The Protogames Initiative which is intended to include:
- Protogames Academy – a training dungeon to prepare lower level players for telegraphs, interrupt armor, and boss mechanics.
- Ultimate Protogames – an exciting new dungeon for upper level players.
- They Came from Fragment Zero! – a level 6 shiphand that introduces players to group gameplay at a much earlier level.
- LFG upgrades – currently, some shiphands, adventures, and dungeons are intentionally hidden or need to be unlocked. Unfortunately, this keeps many players out of the content. Moving forward, all of this content will be added to an expanded LFG tool.
- Datascape 20 – the 40-person dungeon wasn’t getting played as often as we hoped. Not only was the content challenging, but roster management was painful. In the next update we will lower the player requirement down to 20.
Beyond that point Carbine are working on a new 20-player raid, a contracts system which sounds like a way of offering shorter missions or objectives to peck at, and tweaks to the levelling, fighting and reward systems.
I keep intending to return to WildStar as I really enjoyed it when I played it for RPS last year. The reason I left was a combination of the free time I had available diminishing and that many of the people I liked playing with didn't stay. The reason I haven't dipped back in is that there's a mental barrier when a subscription cost is involved and I can't predict how much free time I'll end up with in a given month. That said, I know Tom Mayo ventured back in recently and I was excited to read that it had rekindled his enthusiasm for the game.
The Protogames Initiative is currently on the Public Test Realm so if you're a WildStar player and curious about the changes you should be able to play about with them now.