At ArkShip 2013 I talked with devs about warplots more than any other thing. I mentioned previously about making sure to sit with Jen Gordy, Carbine’s PvP Lead, who has had a lot of experience developing Warhammer Online’s RvR and Lord of the Rings Online PvP . The substance of those conversations are unfortunately under NDA.
“Well, stakes not high enough for you? Then some of you and your most bloodthirsty friends should double-down and buy a warplot. Then outfit with enough firepower to blow a hole in the space-time continuum. When your death fortress is complete, go to war against your enemies, and earn rewards so epic your head will explode like a supernova. Boom.”
(Source: What is WildStar?)
Let me paint a picture of the genre. Arena gameplay is prevalent in MMOs, especially with World of Warcraft, and WildStar will have arena-style PvP anyway. Objective-based instanced PvP (WildStar calls them “battlegrounds”) is also in plenty of MMOs. In Guild Wars 2 for example, they only have control point battlegrounds with their instanced PvP.
This leads me to about as close as I can get to talking about warplots without breaking the NDA. The Guild Wars 1 PvP gem was GvG (guild vs. guild) battles. Guild Wars 1 GvG was at one end of the GvG-style spectrum, having completely instanced, balanced play. For some reason ArenaNet took leave of that space in Guild Wars 2 anyway. Age of Conan has battle keeps which are on the other end of that GvG-style spectrum because they were very persistent. These battle keeps also had lots of restrictive rules on amount, playtime, etc., and might now be a “dead” system.
This leaves a lot of room for a great GvG-style PvP mode in the MMO space. RvR-style (realm vs. realm) PvP seems to be in current fashion, and between Warhammer Online, The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, and the upcoming The Elder Scrolls Online (with whatever they are doing). RvR-style PvP space is going to be saturated. WildStar can go far in creating a great PvP community based on a PvP mode with little MMO saturation.
Outside of raiding, there’s one other activity that Donatelli shared some details on – flying fortresses. Using the same system that’s been built to provide player housing, Guilds will be able to build massive platforms in the sky, then send them to battle against other top guilds. It doesn’t end at just unlocking the feature either, as Donatelli explained how you’ll be able to convert your fortress into a floating platform of death.
“Go throughout the world, play all the content, collect the 18 pieces you need to build a helicopter pad so that helicopter’s fly off and strafe the enemy stronghold. If a player wants to hoard points and then use that for orbital strikes, then they can do whatever they want. That is all that is, that is two enormous groups of players, creating their own fortress and fighting against someone else’s fortress and it’s however they want to do it.” We’ve also heard rumors of being able to capture raid bosses and use them as cannon fodder against your enemies.
(Source: WildStar: Raiding Reborn?)
I have been waiting and waiting for Carbine to publicly release more info on warplots so that I could talk more about them. After that new trailer, I couldn’t wait any longer. I think that Carbine is aiming for a great, less-saturated PvP niche, and making warplots a truly unique GvG-style PvP mode. The proof is still going to be in the pudding, but I think they are on a great track.