A new chapter is on the horizon as WildStar reveals details of its first game update.
WildStar’s first patch is on the Horizon and it’s looking to be big one. As players are either making their way to level 50 or already trying to figure out how to stop the deadly threat that has been unleashed upon Planet Nexus, the next page in the epic journey gets revealed.
Get ready for the Strain Ultra Drop!
As you may have guessed from the video, the Strain is running rampant in this next patch, and it’ll be up to the players to ward against the Entity and his corrupted army. ZAM's Managing Editor, Ann Hosler, and VP of Technology, Michael Ender, received the chance to speak with Carbine’s President, Jeremy Gaffney, regarding the upcoming patch at this year’s E3 convention. Jeremy talked about the overall theme of this latest patch and what players can expect to counter in the new zone of Blighthaven, one of the two additional zones that will be released with the Ultra Drop.
“The strain is like this virus that’s basically taking over the planet. The Entity is like one of the big bad guys and he’s using it to infect this area. And so half of this area’s controlled by Drusera and half is controlled by the Strain. What we do in the upper level zones is there’s a lot of solo content because of that 60% [of solo players] and then what we do is we [make] the monsters get tougher and tougher so you get more and more interesting telegraphs and all that while you fight them. Then we mix in a lot 2-man and 5-person content as well. So by the time you’re fighting even solo mobs here, we have what would probably be raid, kind of, mechanics in many games because it’s taking the action combat up there.
“We do a lot of 2-person stuff and 5-person stuff throughout the zone encouraging you to move from solo, where here’s one creature and maybe it’s beneficial to fight this thing in a small group, and well now you have three people and you might as well do the five man because there’s better rewards. And once you’ve done the 5-person now there’s a public event as well with 20-person content. And most of our Elder zones are set up in this way.”
On that note Jeremy mentioned there would be a sort of “open world-mini dungeon” in an area called, The Nursery, in Blighthaven. This mini dungeon would be designed with 5-player groups in mind and has its own set of rooms, mechanics and a boss at the end.
“It’s kind of like an EverQuest style dungeon. It’s open-world but it’s kind of dungeon-based. Each room is set up with its own set of mechanics. We don’t like having fatigue set in when you see the same biome over and over again. So each room has its own environmental hazards, different monsters to fight and you're gathering up primal energy basically with your group because the more of it you gather up, you can [then use it] to take down the main bosses defenses to be able to go kick butt in the main boss room.”
Further into the zone players will enter the Grove of Hope, a large area controlled by Drusera where a 20 player event kicks off. Players will be tasked with defending a mystical tree, created by the Genesis Prime herself, in order to prevent The Strain from corrupting it.
“Your defending the main tree in basically tower defense style.
“You get hordes of minions, such as the hero killer who seeks out players and intentionally tries to attack them and it take a bunch of players to take him down. There’s also the Juggernaut who just runs towards the tree and ignores all of the defenses.”
Both the five person and 20-person events have multiple phases that can vary, depending if the players successfully complete them—or die trying.
“One thing we do is advance the world story as we’re going. You learn [some] about Drusera and the Entity through leveling content, and then you see some if it in the level 50 zones, and now more of it gets introduced each month about what’s going on with that. In this case you start discovering what the relationship is and the conflict is between Drusera and the Entity for the first time over the course of the zone.”
If you’ve hit level 50 already and have experienced the daily zone of the Crimson Isles, then the new Zone, Northern Wastes, should be pretty familiar to you. This new post-cap play space offers new daily and group quests as it tells the story of what has happened in the Northern Wilds after Exile players left the zone at the early levels.
Lastly, along with the new patch comes a handful of in-game items for players to obtain by participating in the open world content including:
- A Strain Hoverboard
- Strain Mount Customization Items
- Additional Strain-themed Housing Items
- A Strain-themed Costume Set and Emote
- New Dyes
On top of that, roughly 1,100 bug fixes will be making their way into this patch along with:
- Updates to the UI
- Commodities Exchange and Auction House updates
- Quest tuning in various zones
- ...and more!
The first WildStar content update is looking to be pretty epic, and while we don’t have a set release date for it, we’re told by Carbine’s Design Producer, Stephan Frost, to expect it no later than July 3rd.
For more WildStar news, information and updates, keep it locked to ZAM.
I’ll see you on Nexus!
Corey “Cyglaive” Jenkins
Follow Corey on Twitter @Cyglaive