I'm currently re-installing Wildstar [official site]. Well, sort of. I'm installing the public test realm so I can go investigate the sci-fi western MMO's new zone, Arcterra. It's very blue and I wanted to do a screenshot tour. While that happens (and while I try to stream a Dota 2 tournament and thus the process takes even longer) I am reading the blog to find out what Arcterra actually is* as well as catching up on some changes to PvP.
If you'd prefer to avoid spoilers you should probably stop reading now given the Arcterra region is a continuation of the game's story so far.
That said I'm not up to date with where the story is right now so, as far as I'm concerned, Arcterra is about searching a previously unknown continent for a McGuffin. For the more current among you this is about seeking the Vault of the Archon in the chill of a new land.
There are new quests, new factions and new rewards plus a progression bar which you fill up again and again to earn rewards.
Senior story designer, Gary Astleford added a bit more info about dynamic events and group activities:
"There are Dynamic Events constantly taking place across the zone, and they include a wide variety of activities—from uncovering mysterious things buried in the ice to rescuing a Lopp caravan stuck in the snow. There’s also difficult group content to tackle as 2-player bosses wander the region. As players roam around defeating the 2-player bosses, a tracker for the zone progresses until 5-player bosses begin to spawn. And as the 5-player bosses are destroyed, the tracker will eventually fill and spawn powerful 20-player bosses—offering players of any group size the ability to contribute to a zone-wide boss-killing smorgasbord, and their powerful and rare rewards."
I really loved Wildstar when it came out, but I drifted away as everyone I'd been playing with left. I've completely forgotten all the lore by this point and I'm not sure how behind I will be in terms of levels and gear and so on but there's something about ice worlds which tempt me back in every single time. Mostly it's because they tend to be very pretty.
With regard to PvP, the gist of the news is that the PvP servers are now rather sparse so Carbine are moving everyone onto the two PvE servers - Entity for North America and Jabbit for Europe. All characters will be automatically transferred as part of the mandatory migration on 16 March, but you can do it yourself using a free transfer which they explain in greater detail on the forums.
Game director, Chad Moore explains the decision thus:
"By bringing everyone together, we can help ensure everyone has access to active in-game communities, robust economies, and plenty of opportunities to play (or do battle) with other players on Nexus. And that by offering broader availability of open world PvP objectives (and rewards) we can actively increase the likelihood that players will engage in PvP combat while questing and playing."
Now I will continue waiting for the PTR. London internet is truly a miserable thing.
*It occurs to me that doing this the other way round might have been the more sensible option.