Phillip Chan Talks About WildStar’s Tradeskill System

by on February 6, 2014

When it comes to a brand new MMO, there are a few kinds of players. The players who are interested in end-game content, the players who are interested in playing mostly on their own, becoming a skilled crafter and famous (or infamous) on their server, and the players who care about both of those things.

If you’ve ever listened to an episode of Ding!, then you’ll know that I’m the type of player who likes to sit back, stick on a podcast and go out gathering materials for my next big project. With that in mind, you’ll be able to understand why I was already excited with what WildStar had promised to bring to the crafting table, but we were lucky enough to listen in on a recent Q&A with WildStar’s System Designer, Phillip Chan, where we got some more information about the whole tradeskill system; including some stuff which makes me (and hopefully you) even more excited about the upcoming MMO.

Firstly, there will be two types of crafting, Co-ordinate Crafting and Circuitboard Crafting. The first of these two methods allows the player to use a graph to craft by using additives to move the point along the graph in order to create different items as well as discovering new ones. For example, if the user wants to craft a standard healing potion, then the point on the graph for performing that relatively simple task may be at 0,0 (zero on the X co-ordinate, and zero on the Y co-ordinate), however, there will be the possibility to include additives to the recipe which moves the point along the graph. Perhaps there’s a heal-over-time potion at 3,5 or an even more superior healing potion at 7,2. There might even be something you’ve never seen before at -2,4 and you’re going to have to use the additives in order to move the point to that position before you’re able to craft it.

The second main crafting method, Circuitboard Crafting, allows the player to add microchips onto the schematic of an item in order to affect the stats that will be imbued onto the item once it’s crafted. Now, you may think that you’ll be able to get away with just sticking the maximum amount of microchips on there and be done with it, but the developers have thought of that too. The more microchips you add to the schematic, the more into a state called ‘Overcharge’ you’ll be. The more into ‘Overcharge’ you are, the more likely the crafting is to fail. This is a risk/reward system – similar to how, in Co-Ordinate Crafting, you may be unlucky enough to add additives to a recipe but not find anything, losing those materials in the process – where your ‘Overcharged’ item will have amazing stats if you’re able to craft it, but the more ‘Overcharged’ it is, the more likely it is to fail in being made. It’s up to the player to decide whether it’s worth the risk.

There are various ways that Carbine Studios have managed to make crafting fun too, as well as allowing those people who want to concentrate on crafting instead of end-game content to become well-known on their server. The Tech Trees and Talent Trees serve as a reward system for persevering with your chosen craft, with the Tech Tree giving you small, instant reward, quests for completing tasks and the Talent Tree allowing you to unlock crafting related buffs such as increased stats on an item, or a decreased chance to fail.

Gathering itself almost feels like a quest too. WildStar uses the tried-and-tested node system, where your character will go out into the world, find a node for a particular material and then mine it to get the items you need for your crafting. However, as with almost everything in WildStar, there’s a twist. While you’re gathering your materials, there’s always going to be a chance for that node to be a part of a larger animal, one that will get up and start running around the moment you try and gather from it. It might even be something that will attack you for trying to gather your precious materials from its face. During the Q&A it was mentioned that one of these events is a giant worm that appears when you try and gather from it, a worm that often requires multiple people in order to take it down. Most people might run away when this happens, but if you’re skilled enough (or you’re playing with a group) and you manage to take it down, you’ll be treated to a micro-instance filled with mining nodes that you’re given a short timer in which to just go wild.

Sounds appealing doesn’t it?

There are a hell of a lot of things about WildStar that I’m excited about, and tradeskills was already one of them, but after this recent information I’m starting to feel like the release of WildStar can’t come soon enough. Are you excited for the release? What do you think about tradeskills in MMOs? Will you be concentrating on WildStar’s end-game content, its tradeskills or both? Let us know how you feel in the comments below.