WildStar: The Bloodfeast Begins

Carbine's Closed Beta Test 3 delivers a big bag of PvP goodness.

For WildStar’s PvP fanatics, their day has finally arrived. Carbine has taken the wraps off Closed Beta Test 3: Ready to Rumble, ushering in cross-faction battlegrounds and open-world PvP. After two tests that featured exclusively Exile and then Dominion content, this will be the first time the two factions go head-to-head.

Alongside arena PvP and the existing Walatiki Temple battleground, players will be able to duke it out in the new Halls of the Bloodsworn and settle scores in the Whitevale contested PvP zone. The latest beta phase also introduces rated battlegrounds and arenas, enabling gladiators to check their ranking against other bloodthirsty warriors

It’s likely to be the Halls of the Bloodsworn where most PvP attention is likely to be focused in this patch. This all-new ‘Hold the Line’ battleground consists of three rooms, which each contain a control point. Your objective is to capture all three within a 20 minute time period, while your opposition does everything it can to hold you back or slow you down.  Grab all three or hit the time limit, and the teams swap around. But while the fastest team wins the game, the XP and the new Prestige point PvP currency, side rooms will offer secondary capture points with bonus winnings.

Indeed, while you’ll be able to pick up Prestige for killing other players and emerging victorious in matches, the rewards you can buy with it are not yet implemented. Carbine promise that it’ll be arriving soon, providing beta testers with gear specifically statted for PvP combat.

For those who want to level purely through PvP, the patch notes also highlight how that will work. Characters can dive into the capture-the-mask goodness of Walakiki Temple from level 3, while Halls of the Bloodsworn opens up at level 15. Arenas – both 2v2 and 3v3 – remain locked until the new level cap of 36. Levelling up should be fairly consistent as well, with XP and money rewards scaling with character level.

It’ll also provide Carbine with their first glimpse at world PvP in action, as both factions rush to the Whitevale contested zone.  The developer expects testers to come up with several ingenious ganking and griefing techniques, but asks that players don’t overdo it.

It’s not just PvP testers who have new content to look forward to – the new zone of Farside opens up as part of CBT3. Situated off-planet on a previously-unknown moonbase, we can probably look forward to a large amount of low gravity fun.

While the two existing dungeons of Stormtalon’s Lair and the Ruins of Kel Voreth have been nudged up to be a solid level 20 experience, a previously unknown instance also slipped into the patch notes. Named Skullcano, the notes from Carbine offer little additional information about the place, except to suggest that it may contain slavers or mercenaries of some kind. It also seems to contain four bosses, named Stew Shaman Tugga, Thunderfoot, Bosun Octog and Mordechai Redmoon.

Along with a host of dungeon tweaks, votekicking has also been added to the dungeon Group Finder tool. The dungeon leader can also invite players to fill the vacated slots instead of waiting on the tool to auto-fill them. Interestingly, a player can be in a party and dungeon group – and can talk to both while running through the instance.

Further social systems have also made it into the latest beta. Friends are just the beginning, with potential friends having to give their approval for inclusion on your list. Had a great instance run with a bunch of people you don’t know? The Suggested Friends feature will help to find those people you came into contact with. WildStar also supports a more sinister Rivals list, allowing you to keep tabs on those villains of the opposing faction or duelists from your own side.

Housing continues to be updated – it’s now possible to tag people as Neighbors to grant access to your plot of land in the sky, or Roommates to allow them to tweak the interior of your home. It’s also now possible to provide open access to everyone, or to lock your plot down to only those on the list. 60 new housing plugs have also been added to support those weird and wacky designs.

The character classes themselves have seen a number of updates in CBT3, whether it’s tuning and tweaking or completely new abilities being added. But while the designers continue to update and refine each class, one change stood out – all classes will be able to resurrect when out of combat. This also removes the need to spend one of your precious Limited Action Slots on the ability

In an unusual move, character tradeskills will also have a talent system. Although it’s not yet fully implemented, these talents will apparently be earned by completing parts of the tradeskill tech tree, and can be used to unlock bonuses for tradeskills. But while incomplete, it does seem to indicate that crafters will be able to individualize themselves beyond picking a profession to master. With the new Commodities Exchange being the first piece of a full-on Auction House later, crafters certainly have a lot to discover.

Running at over 21 pages, the patch notes show that almost every aspect of the game has been touched, with these being just the highlights. They’re also worth reading in more detail, particularly if you’re interested in how the individual classes are shaping up. And don’t forget to sign up for the beta if you’re interested in trying it all for yourself!

Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor




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