WildStar Wednesday: Crossing the Streams

Carbine talks the ins and outs of WildStar's cross-server gameplay functions.

One of the many hurdles that MMO players face is knowing what server to roll on at launch since we all want to get in and play with our friends. That's what MMOs are about right? However, Along with the desire to play with your buddies usually comes the hanging feeling that, if you're late boarding the "everyone pile on one server" train, you'll end up getting left at the station. Well WildStar Wednesday is live and this week Carbine talks a little bit about how cross-realm features will help in this endeavor. It's ok to "cross the streams" guys - just this once.

Now Carbine gave us some previous insight as to how they wanted servers to work in WildStar back in April. This week they go into a bit more detail on what exactly you can and can't do cross-realm with your friends.

"First and foremost, you can talk to anyone across time and space… well ok, maybe not time… but certainly across realms.  To talk to anyone on another realm, all you have to do is include their realm name after an “at symbol” (@), so “/w CharacterName@RealmName Hello!” would allow you to speak to anyone online as if they were on the same realm as you.

The next thing you'd want to do with your friends is form a party with them.  This works similarly to chat whispers: you simply invite someone using their name & realm (“CharacterName@RealmName”) and they will get a party invite notification that they can accept.  All party chat is seen by everyone in the party, regardless of which realm they are on."

As mentioned previously, WildStar will include a group-finder for various instanced content (dungeons, battlegrounds, arenas, etc.). The group finder will also come with a toggle option that allows you to choose if you wish to include players from other servers in your group finder search. If you'd rather just play with people on your server, then simply un-check/toggle the option off.

Now with most systems, there are certain limitations that have to be put in place in order for them to function properly. In terms of WildStar's cross-realm grouping system, playing with people on other servers will be limited to instanced content.

"We sadly can’t allow you to explore the world as a whole with your friends; as the world would quickly become too crowded. But anytime you enter instanced content, whether through battlegrounds, dungeons, or arenas, your entire party will all be able to play together."

While this may come as a let-down to some, there are some good reasons for restrictions like this. One reason could be to help prevent a massive influx of server transfers to the server that ends up being the first to take down a difficult world-boss. Everyone wants to then transfer or visit that server to get a free boss kill, thus making players who are native to the server suffer from longer queue times and possibly added server instability. However, that's not to say we won't see some cross-server open world gameplay make its way to the game in the future once servers begin to stabilize.

The second set of restrictions being placed have to deal with item-trading. You won't be able to trade items to players who are from a different realm than you.

"There is also a limitation on being able to trade items. Because we feel the economy on every realm is very important to maintaining the economic stability of the realm, you cannot trade with your friends from other realms."

These restrictions may put a damper on a few players' spirits, but once you dig deep into the reasoning behind these decisions, then you might agree that it's probably the best way to go for the launch of a new MMO. No one wants to sit in town wondering why their "Legendary Sword of Monster Bashing" sells for only one silver.

All in all cross-realm gameplay is something we see more and more of in this era of MMOs and sounds like a great feature in WildStar. Get ready to group up and start kicking butt across planet Nexus with friends and new acquaintances alike. For more information on WildStar be sure to visit the official website and keep your browser locked to ZAM for the latest news updates.

See you on Nexus!

Corey "Crimzen" Jenkins

Follow me on Twitter @coreycrimzen

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