Editor’s note (2014/08/06): MuffinMan just announced that they are making changes that are almost identical to what I had suggested as Option C below. Way to go Carbine!
Like many #WildStar players, I am a huge fan of the game’s combat system but believe the 50 PVP system is horribly flawed.
Here are the major issues with WildStar’s PVP system:
- The gear scales too much between blue unrated, 1500 rated, and 1800 rated gear. The stat differentials from blue->1500 and from 1500->1800 are quite significant, to the point where a 1800-geared player will vastly outperform a comparably-skilled blue-geared player. That is, 1800 gear is a faceroll advantage
- The matchmaking (MM) system pairs blue-geared players up against 1500- and 1800-geared players
- You tend to lose more rating from a loss than what you gain from a win. There are plenty of people who have noticed this. I average about 14-15 rating per win, about 22-23 rating per loss. To maintain a break-even rating, I have to win ~60% of my matches. To raise your rating at a meaningful rate, you need to win the majority of your matches. Given that the overall win/loss ratio for the population has to be 50/50 (it’s actually worse, I’ll talk about this in a moment), this means that a lot of players will be losing rating the more they participate in rated PVP. The ELO rating change calculations seem borked
About the 1st and 2nd points above, I sum up the gear differentials this way:
- blue gear = elementary school kid
- blue gear + full runes = middle schooler
- 1500 gear = high schooler
- 1500 gear + full runes = college student
- 1800 gear = adult
- 1800 gear + full runes = King Leonidas of Sparta. You know, this guy:
About the 3rd point above, the win/loss ratio has to less than .500 on a global scale. Why? Some players on the losing side in an RBG bail during the match, and this creates a vicious cycle where the losing side is short-handed, and then unfortunate players get sucked into the match, not knowing that it’s already ongoing. Therefore, the win rewards 10 players on the winning side, but more than 10 players may be credited with a loss, especially in a faceroll loss where the bailout rate is high. This week, I dropped I lost 45 points from 2 losses where I joined mid-match and our side was getting stomped. This is the reason I stay in losing matches until they finish (unless I have to log for RL reasons) – I don’t want to hurt the rating of another player of my faction who got sucked into the match in-progress by my selfishly leaving.
I can anticipate what the response will be from some players: just get 1800 gear, it’s not that hard.
The issue with obtaining 1800 gear or even 1500 gear at this point in the game:
- Class imbalance is still poor. Warriors and DPS Slingers are the meta, even with some of the recent Warrior nerfs. If you aren’t either of those classes or playing with carries on those classes, the PVP experience is rather painful
- It’s harder now to get to 1500 and 1800 than it was previously. Players who reached 1500 (RBG or Arena) or 1800 (Arena) within the first few weeks post-launch did not have to face a high density of 1800-geared players. That is no longer the case. Actually, the July 3rd patch widened the MM in terms of rating spread:
- (PvP) Improved matching for Rated Battlegrounds and Rated Arenas by increasing the amount of rating points per search interval and by increasing the max spread of rating used. This means roughly, that players should see an overall decrease in queue times when attempting to match players/teams of disparate ratings.
If you are in a guild or friends with people who are 1800, especially Warriors and DPS Spellslingers, you can benefit from them carrying you. On the flip side, if your friends and guildees aren’t 1800 or even 1500-geared, you are actually penalized for grouping with them because as a premade you will likely face a premade from the other side, and if they have geared players your team is going to struggle.
I experienced this after hitting 50 in early July and then working my way to 1500 RBG rating with my “Melee Mage” Esper. I soloed my way up to 1471 rating within 3 days of reaching 50.
I had the (incorrect) impression at the time that getting to 1500 wouldn’t be that difficult, but looking back I think I had an unusual win streak to get to 1471. Over the next 6 days my rating yo-yo’d until I finally reached 1500.
On my journey to 1500, in <Pharos> we had only 1 active 1500-geared player, a superb tank Stalker named Sinovia (now on Pergo). The more guildees I grouped with, the higher our loss %, because most of them were in blue gear, and our premade was getting matched against geared premades. This is the first time I’ve ever played PVP where grouping with baseline-PVP-geared guildees in battlegrounds is discouraged by how the game mechanics work :(
I can also anticipate that some folks will say: the upcoming progressive rating requirements for gear will help the PVP situation!
Actually, my projection is that it won’t meaningfully help players who are blue-geared, unless they are already at 1250+ rating before the patch. Here’s why:
- The % of players with purple gear (1500 or 1800) who rune their gear is going to be higher than the % of players with blue gear who rune their gear. The mentality of some players (not me) is “I’m not going to run my blue gear because I’ll replace it soon.” This is probably true for people getting carried by 1800s. But for the rest of the player base, not runing blue gear is going to put them at a significant stats disadvantage relative to purple players, and keep in mind, you need to win a majority of matches to steadily increase your rating
- There are plenty of (competent) players well under 1200 rating now, because of everything described above. Take a player at 1000 rating. Getting to 1250 would require winning ~18 matches straight, or having a 70%+ win rate over a longer stretch of matches. So while it’s nice that the fruit is lower, without being carried, it’s still too high for many players at sub-1200 ratings to reach up and grab
Keep in mind, I’m not talking about my situation. I’m not one to give up easily, and despite the unfriendly game mechanics, I’ve worked my way up to ~1700 RBG rating soloing or grouping with 1-2 guildees:
That said, I’ve been talking to folks inside and outside my guild, and there are plenty of competent players would can’t get to 1500 because of the factors described above.
Thanks to the PVP sytem, I’ll continue to end up in situations like the following screenie from this morning, where my 2-man group ends up facing a 7+ person premade with 1800 gear. My guildee Sinovia happened to start watching Blunt’s stream when the score was 3-3. Sure, we made them work for it, but they had a faceroll advantage due to gear differentials:
The kicker of the above screenshot was the loss dinged my rating by 20 points. Minus 20 points for a loss against that premade with that gear? That’s just silly! Sinovia said in their next queue pop they commented that “Taugrim’s not here” so at least I’m getting respect from my opponents. LOL.
By the way, I know things would be easier for me (and my guildees) if I just relented and rolled a Warrior or DPS Spellslinger. But games should never be about having to play the FOTM to be viable.
Granted, the upcoming patch changes should help DPS Stalker and DPS Esper in PVP. But the real culprits – gear differentials, crappy MM, crappy ELO calculations – will still be there.
My 2 cents on how to fix this: as always I advocate a skill-based PVP environment, so skill is the primary determining factor in PVP outcomes, not gear. It’s the healthiest for the game and provides the best experience for the players. The problem right now with WildStar PVP looks like this:
gear > class > skill
This is bass ackward, especially for a game that positions itself as being highly skill-based.
In my opinion, Carbine didn’t learn from WoW’s journey with PVP. WoW PVP became much more skill-based in Cataclysm, when rating requirements were completely dropped from T1 gear, so that players could acquire the same gear as anyone else, and since gear differentials were low to none, skill was the primary determinant in PVP outcomes. Blizzard later even dropped the stats upgrade in the T2 weapons, so T2 gear is a strictly cosmetic reward. Ratings in WoW are a reflection of performance – not what upgraded gear you can acquire – and that’s exactly how it should be.
If you’re truly skilled and playing a functional spec, you shouldn’t need better gear. Better players (on FOTM classes) + better gear = faceroll.
I hope Carbine sorts this out. I really do. I completely passed on a lot of games after GW2 – FFXIV, Neverwinter, ESO – because I knew those games wouldn’t appeal to me for a meaningful timeframe. I adore WildStar, but as a diehard PVP fan I’m finding the endgame PVP to be a big turnoff to me, my guildees, and the community. WildStar PVP was a blast from 6-49, not so much at 50.
As Tom Cruise said in Days of Thunder: I want to lose to a better driver, not a better car. That’s how it should be.
There are multiple ways this could be addressed.
OPTION A: LESSEN THE GEAR DIFFERENTIALS BETWEEN THE TIERS
E.g. if the current 1800 gear was actually more like the 1500 gear in terms of stats, and the current 1500 somewhere between blues and what it is now, gear would not be that much of a factor in driving PVP outcomes, and skill would shine moreso than now.
OPTION B: LEAVE THE SYSTEM AS-IS, BUT ADD 1800 GEAR TO RBGs
Wouldn’t solve the gear differentials issue, but would at least provide another option to players.
OPTION C: LESSEN THE GEAR DIFFERENTIALS, ADD 1800 GEAR TO RBGs
Option A and Option B could be combined to lessening gear differentials and adding 1800 gear to RBGs.
Option C is my recommended option, because it lessens the impact of gear and allows skill to shine, and it still provides gear progression for those who really care about that (i.e. people other than me).
OPTION D: FOLLOW THE WOW MODEL: HIGHER-RATED GEAR IS STRICTLY COSMETIC
This is letting everyone be able to acquire gear with the same stats, regardless of rating.
The longest-tenured progression MMORPG, WoW, has had strictly cosmetic gear at higher ratings for several years in PVP.
There are plenty of people who wouldn’t be OK with this, since they need progression to enjoy PVP, and/or they want to faceroll undergeared opponents.
So I didn’t realize there is another huge incentive to some 1800 players who are playing carry classes (esp DPS Slinger and Warrior) to continue to defend the system as-is: they make a 50 plat to boost a player to 1800 in 2v2.
This not only rewards the carrier with huge income – it screws up the economy, and it creates a pay-to-win environment.
I didn’t realize how much of a thing this was, but I heard about it when grouped with players from Pergo for RBGs last night. Some players have accumulated over 1000 plat (yes, 1k plat) from boosting on Pergo.
UPDATE 3 (2014/08/06):
MuffinMan posted this last night:
The gear gaps are being closed. The intent is to make it so skilled players in blues will still be competitive with players in Tier 2 sets (1800’s). We will be making following changes:
- The PvP blue set will be boosted to the current Tier 1 set
- The Tier 2 set will remain the same
- The Tier 1 set will be boosted to bridge the gap between blues and Tier 2.
- This change is targeted to be pushed out in the next few weeks.
Making Tier 2 Gear obtainable in Rated Battlegrounds:
I would also like to make Tier 2 pvp gear obtainable in Rated Battlegrounds. This is another change that will require approval and again, I will provide updates when I am able.
WAY TO GO CARBINE (with the voiceover)
I think he means that the 1500 gear is getting buffed to somewhere between where it is now and the current 1800 gear, and that the blue gear is getting buffed to the current 1500 gear.
The solution MuffinMan proposed is almost identical to what I described above as Option C, which was the option I recommended.
I am so psyched that they are going with a solution that makes PVP more skill-based, and still supports gear progression for those who want it.
A deathspiral rating system in a game with several tiers of gear… wow, that’s just horrible. How would a kid playing his first mmo learn how to pvp? He could never gear up.
A very interresting and depressing read… is this a deal breaker for you? It might be for me. Because the combat ill prob end up lvling more
characters through pvp and abonfoning them at cap if they don’t change this system. I hope carbine reads this and reconsiders.
Sorry for the bad spelling and grammar.
Well, it’s discouraging to say the least.
I’m concerned that Carbine is conflating making a game “hard” with unnecessary gear differentials.
PVP is “hard’ by definition because players are intelligent, adaptive, and skilled, relative to PVE mobs and boss fights which are scripted.
There is no reason to throw gear differentials into the mix, especially the largest I’ve seen in the endgame PVP of any MMORPG I’ve played to date.
This is or has already been a deal breaker for some players. There has either been a high unsub rate on Pago on Dominion, players have re-rolled, or players have transferred (which costs $20 USD).
While this may be for other reasons than the game’s PVP, what I do know is that Legion’s Way was full a month ago and I see a handful of players there now during primetime.
If the game loses critical mass, I won’t stick around. I did that with WAR for 9 months after most players had quit and it was depressing. And waiting for long queue pops sucks.
Very well written Taugrim. My thoughts exactly. I’ve been having a hell of a time with PvP. Even worse is how well the 1800 weapons are for PvE content.
Having the best PvE raiding weapon come from 1800 PvP rating increases the demand for boosting and win trading significantly. Carbine’s official policy is that boosting and paying for boosting is within the rules. They see it as a player to player paid service.
People get paid 50 plat to carry someone to get their BiS weapon. A large number of those people pay for that by buying CREDD from Carbine.
At some point you have to ask yourself if this was set up this way via incompetence or was it intentional.
This is exactly my question.
I happened to hear this same thing from players on Pergo that I was grouped with for RBGs last night.
I had no idea this was such a “thing” – but some people are making insane amounts of in-game currency from it (e.g. over 1000 plat), and they have maxed their Ability and AMP points because they can afford it.
I better understand why some players are defending the system as-is – they are profitting massively from it.
I’m not as suspecting as you, but there is no doubt Carbine makes income from the boosting. The question is, does that offset the loss of player revenue from discouraged players? I doubt it.
So I don’t think this is an intentional policy by Carbine.
Agree 100% – I already abandoned my lvl 50 Medic (Bazzle) for the time being until their next PvP drop to see if things improve. The amount of win trading in arenas with no penalty is killing this game. Sure anyone can get 1800 gear in a very, very, quick timeline but that is not fun imo. Unfortunately a majority don’t think the same way and win trade to stomp people for “lulz” in BGs.
I’ve been wondering where you were, you’re on my friend’s list :|
Also agree completely. So how can we voice this to the devs? Forum posts and chats during their live streams? I would like to hear that they at least acknowledge these concerns.
That would be one way. However judging by their current presence on the forums and reddit i have to assume they know already.
Yes, I’m certainly not the first person to express these concerns.
I had heard the endgame PVP had issues prior to my reaching level cap, but I wanted to wait until I had spent meaningful time at 50 before publishing my thoughts.
Many people have complained about the wintrading and MMR tanking for carrying, but devs claim no rules are being broken. This is the reason why rbgs are overpopulated by 1800 gear. They have paid or cheated to get it. I earned 1800 in 2s and my teammate and I had to win 95% of our games to rank up because the rating tankers would only give us +6 for a win and -40 for a loss.
If you got there legit, props to you.
A lot of people are exploiting and using the excuse “everyone else does it”
It is the people tanking to exploit their rating which causes the problem of you getting little for wins and taking a ton for losses. This can also be done in RBGs.
And, the thing is… Carbine actually condones this.
In this thread someone is looking for someone to boost them. A forum mod MOVES the thread to the guy’s server forum in order to help him find a booster. They condone boosting. They turn a blind eye to the boosters tanking their rating to manipulate and exploit the rating system. to make the boosting easier.
Also, consider the fact that when some of the people involved in this win trading and boosting directly asked (because Carbine actually listens to these people) the Carbine lead PvP developer if any of this was going to be punished he told them NO.
He told the people abusing the system the worst that it would not get punished and this was many weeks ago. That is a green light to cheat early and cheat often. And be sure to cheat as much as you can before they fix the problem. Cheaters prosper.
And, of course, Carbine benefits in the short term as people buy CREDD to pay for a boost to get the best PvP AND PvE weapon available at the moment.
The more you know, the more it will end up disgusting you. As I mentioned before, these guys talk directly to the lead PvP developer and also usually have another developer in their channel where they have conversations such as the one below.
What they are talking about there is what the lead PvP developer’s response was when asked if any of the people who have win traded or tanked ratings to boost will get punished.
His answer to them, the very people who have been win trading and boosting is no. And tis is from nearly a month ago, so you can imagine what they’ve been up to since, right?
The lead PvP developer basically gave these guys and people like them the green light to do this as much as possible before any changes to the system in drop 2.
[18:09] but anyways
[18:09] i just asked muffinman
[18:09] if wintraders will get banned come drop 2
[18:09] he seemed to imply that they wont this time but any trading in the future will be heavily looked into
[18:09] time to trade hard
[18:35] also they are not resetting rating
[18:35] he told me
[18:35] or banning anyone
[18:36] for win trading
[18:36] was like they wont do something like that
[18:36] Eh, I don’t see why they would
[18:36] Even if they did
[18:36] yea no shit
[18:36] It would be like a 3 day ban
[18:36] boohoo, whatever
[18:36] I boosted so many kids
[18:36] rich now
[18:36] I wouldn’t care lol.
[18:36] what what
[18:36] in our pvp circle
[18:36] of 100 players
[18:37] there is maybe 8 that havent
[18:37] no shit
[18:37] my guild is rich
[18:37] been on the receiving or giving end of a boost
[18:37] people have like 500 plat each
[18:37] credd is still 4plat
[18:37] subbed for life
If you want to see how bad it really is, take a look at the logs I’ve posted in the following thread on the official forum.
These logs are from a chatroom that many of the closed beta testers use who were 1800 rated before you even got to level 50. A Carbine developer also is frequently in this chat channel with them..
“] you cant ban my account for something that broke ToS on another account”
lol this asshole.
I agree it’s a problem but I disagree that the coming patch won’t change things. Maybe I’m being optimistic but here’s my thoughts on some of your points (sorry for lack of formatting, your textbox doesn’t let me expand or use bullets so I’m writing this in notepad and copying over):
1The gear scales too much…
The gear does scale a good bit but it’s not as simple as to say that the comparison people are feeling is just blue unrated to 1500 and then from 1500 to 1800. There’s a lot of things at play here:
a. PvE gear matters too much with the current PvP stat system.
A lot of people just generally say “blue gear” or “1800 gear” but the best geared PvP players are only using ~4 slots of 1800 PvP gear (best ones being Weapon, Shoulders and Helm) and the rest is crafted stuff. Granted there’s a bunch of people who are using full 1800 gear but they have way less potential than someone who mixed in crafted gear. Some examples:
I’m on the PTR right now in full blues with full AP runes I’d have ~1778 AP.
1800 gear on a SS with best AP runes possible I’d be at 2390 AP.
Right now, on my 3-days lvl-50 SS with crafted gear and only 3 pieces of blue PvP gear I have 2284 AP and I haven’t put a single rune in my damage gear yet. I even have specials running like 29 to all stats when my shields are high, 22% faster dash regen (that’s more than 3 AMPs worth) and 12% movement speed on dash, and 11 AP/SP on crit, stacking 3 times. And I don’t have runes in my stuff because I can craft even better ones with optimal AP runes, just gotta keep trying. If I had 1800 gear in my weapon, helm and shoulders and good runes I’d probably be close to 2800 AP.
You’ve probably noticed that sometimes you see an 1800 Warrior attacking you and they’re just not as effective as other ones. Skill plays a part, certainly, but I expect a lot of it is actually just improper mixing of PvE gear as well.
Why is that relevant? Well, there’s a ton of people that are queueing with 5-14 PvP pieces. And that’s reasonable since if you want to PvP and you hear there’s PvP gear you’re probably gonna grab it. They’re just gimping themselves by doing that though. This is the major thing that’ll be fixed with the new PvP stats system that I think will massively aid the feeling of being in blues since it’ll narrow the possible range from blue PvP gear to top-end crafted gear with runes + some 1800 gear down to just the spectrum of PvP gear.
b. People in lower end gear are less likely to rune, and rune properly.
This is along the lines of the first point but it’s a bit off. The game doesn’t really message to you how important it is to rune your gear; it does the opposite if anything. You’re told how to rune at lvl 15 and then it’s too expensive to be worth doing on leveling gear so you ignore it entirely.
Look in our own guild, there’s been multiple people who we’ve had to really push to rune their gear. It’s always “I’ll do it when I get better gear” and these are people who’re usually sitting on tons of plat. They just don’t feel like it’s worth it or don’t want to think about it too much.
Then there’s people who get that they should mix in some PvE gear, but don’t think about the runes so they buy random stuff off the AH that has terrible runes because it’s cheap, never thinking about why it’s cheap. I’ve made a decent amount of money just selling off the reject items I don’t want as I keep recrafting to get my own good rune slot gear.
Really this is just a messaging thing though; people need to be taught that if you actually rune your gear you’ll do tremendously better. Healers especially just get so much focus out of that focus regen set.
Overall this next patch will do a few things. PvP stats change will make PvP gear viable which is much more easily attainable than crafted stuff.
TTK will increase as damage drops. PvP Defense being a good stat (no DR) means people will stack it and damage will go down as people switch to PvP gear from the crafted stuff (less AP and the PvP Power just counters the PvP Defense people are getting).
Changes to healing with PvP Power will lower healing across the board by a significant amount (more than 25% nerf). Medic Reboot/Probes nerfs will help make them less tanky.
Class balance changes will greatly help Esper and Stalker. Medic changes will help a bit but there’s apparently more on the way. Warriors/Engineers will stay strong but switching to PvP gear will hurt their AP stacking (which they benefited from the most) and lower their damage. Slingers are getting telegraph nerfs that raise their skill cap a bit.
Wow that ended up a lot longer than it looked in notepad lol.
I forgot to mention as far as matchmaking goes, it’s a weird situation since I think they’re matchmaking off your RBG rating and lots of those people in 1800+ gear don’t have terribly high RBG rating. A lot of the time I think the reason we’re losing as much as we are is that the highly geared people we do lose to have low rating compared to us. And the wins are VS people who don’t have as much gear and are maybe not as high rating.
Fact is, most people who’re playing today (as opposed to a month ago and hopefully as opposed to after the next patch) who’re getting geared are people who’re getting carried through Arena. They then just go back to RBGs to stomp on people.
As a mostly unrelated sidenote, I want to just say that I totally didn’t just roll “fotm” classes despite having a 50 Warrior and Slinger. I rolled warrior since nobody in the guild rolled it and I want to heal on my slinger which is like the opposite of fotm. It’s closer to the flavor that you sorta want to like but you end up just going with Vanilla (esper) instead =p
You’re probably right.
If the gear differentials between T0, T1, and T2 weren’t so big, it wouldn’t really matter though.
Yea I know :)
You’re an exceptional player and will do well on any class you play.
I hope I am wrong :)
Understood and agreed.
I thought about speaking to that, but it would have made for a much more confusing article.
When I say “1500 gear” I mean ~4 slots of 1500 gear including the ones you mentioned. I happen to use a 5th PVP gear piece but that’s because of the rune slots and I wanted to get 12/12 Spellweaver and 11/15 Sight Before Sight bonuses.
I and you are not the type of people who create a situation where we need to be carried. We gear up properly (or learn how to over time) and try to max what we have to work with.
This will be a good thing. TTK is so short now against 1800-geared players that they have a wide margin of error whereas 1500s or blues do not.
I see most of those things related more to class balance changes, although as you pointed out to me on Mumble the PVP stats change will hurt Wars/Engis maybe moreso than others.
Class balancing is hard. I see minimizing gear gaps between tiers as a simpler problem to solve. E.g. if the current 1800 gear was actually more like the 1500 gear in terms of stats, and the current 1500 somewhere between blues and what it is now, gear would not be that much of a factor in driving PVP outcomes, and skill would shine moreso than now.
I can get up to 1750ish AP on my warrior in blue gear with rune stacking and consumables. This is typically more than warriors in 1500ish gear (who aren’t doing the same) and not that far behind someone in 1800 gear. But, you also have to factor in survivability and other factors. They also have more strikethrough, more crit chance about 4K more HP and, of course, much higher PvP offense and defense.
So, while they are not a huge distance ahead offensively they are defensively. When you take both into account it is a significant advantage.
Also, the reason why one warrior will hurt you and another won’t has nothing to do with skill and it has everything to do with RNG. A warrior doesn’t blow someone up without crits. Crits in this game, and on the warrior, can do over 2 times the damage of a non crit.
It is RNG.
I mean there’s a lot of factors involved with RNG when warriors are fighting obviously. I have a 50 one myself and have mixed 1500/crafted gear and you’re right between crits and Rampage resets it feels very RNG at times whether I can drop a non-squishy quickly.
What I was referring to with the bit about some warriors who hurt badly and others who don’t is actually repeated experience fighting specific players. There’s a few I see regularly in BGs who just don’t put on the pressure that others who appear to also be in 1800 gear (as much as I can tell visually; I see the sword, the shoulders and the helm) and those players just feel like they’re on a level below the ones that I am consistently worried about.
You’re correct about the defensive stats giving an advantage but I was talking more to the offensive ability to burst down groups very quickly. Like when you have that initial fight in Walatiki and your team is just wiped in seconds; that’s not RNG, it’s coordinated application of superior gear. Against some teams we can recover after the shellshock and outplay them through the match but it’s a big morale hit and gives a big advantage at the beginning.
I’m skeptical that is an overall nerf to medics, depends on the numbers. I never got to endgame, but I would have much rather taken more damage reduction than throughput on my medic. When healing through burst damage, it seemed like getting off 2 abilities was far more important than getting off one powerful heal.
Mainly it was just a matter of cleansing off the healing debuffs before cycling into your normal rotation. I was already prioritizing protection probes over healing probes as a way to deal with it.
Oh, and also forgot… higher armor. People tend to only look at AP when there is a lot more to consider.
I have been debating whether to get this game. Now I will definitely be waiting a bit longer to see how this turns out.
It’s a fantastic game overall, and good PVE game, if you can stomach how the attunement process is.
The PVP from 6-49 is incredible.
If the endgame system gets re-worked, this game is a gem.
I gave up on PVP back in Nov 2013, in beta, and I don’t think they’ll ever be able to fix it with the backbone they have in play, or the rating system, or really just with the telegraph system and how it affects pvp play in general… that and I’ve carefully watched every dev decision, and they don’t inspire confidence. Their talk is one thing, but the actions are what’s made me question the game’s future.
The PVE is what made me quit though. It has some perks and generally good design, but the attunement process is really not stomachable, and I was on the more hardcore side of semi-hardcore, and it’s also the only thing to do at endgame (housing really, really doesn’t count, as I’m a solo dungeon runner when not raiding, which isn’t possible with PUGs in WS, period). People were also selling attunement runs, there were also the exploits used for the early attunements, and then there’s inability to do anything solo but maybe farm at endgame, all really just ruined the entire game for me. But considering it drove even me off, I can’t see casual players sticking with WS much longer.
I actually somewhat agree, that if they reworked a lot of the endgame, it could be really, really good. But after watching and playing and observing for a while, I’m 110% positive that either a) the correct changes will never be made or b) they will come far too late, and only after the devs believe they were wrong. Such a shame, but it really feels like they didn’t pay attention to the innovations other mmos did. That and their engine is in-house custom, so I have doubts as to whether they even can change some of the larger backbone issues I noticed.
Well, I followed you in Rift, left around the 1.4 or 1.5 era, but prior to that your advice was invaluable, and I hope they do fix stuff that you’ve pointed out in WS, but otherwise, thanks for the introduction to WoT, it’s become my new favorite, and in part that’s thanks to your mentions and articles on it.
I definitely agree in regards to WoT. I got hooked to it because of Taugrim’s articles and videos.
Good read and one of the main reasons I have pretty much stopped playing Wildstar. Compounded by the issue that leveling/questing is entirely too boring for me that I can’t bring myself to level other classes, which is something I normally enjoy in an MMO.
I feel like there is a lot wrong with the game currently, in spite of having a combat system that I absolutely adore. I can see a lot of the issues being fixed over time but in its current incarnation I can’t bring myself to log back in.
Another well written review and easily understood even for someone who isn’t even playing Wildstar. I was mildly entertaining but but after this review I doubt i’ll be leaving world of tanks. Sure, WoT has it’s problems but at least it is highly skill based which I love.
WoT has gold ammo, but compared to WildStar it is much more skill-based.
WildStar has awesome action combat mechanics, but the PVP system creates an environment that de-emphasizes skill heavily.
You came very close to nailing this without actually understanding why the ELO system isn’t working in this environment. The ELO calculations, themselves, are fine. The methods used to exploit the gear discrepancies and the ELO ratings were not planned for. I would also HIGHLY recommend you spend time on the PTR. Your analytic mind and quality feedback would be invaluable.
I can understand your frustrations, but Carbine has already given statements on PVP gear discrepancy, revamping the rune system, class balance (in one way or another), developing controls to avoid rating tankers, and others. They admitted there was no clause in the ToS that protected against players selling in game services rendered for in game currency, but several have stated how they do not agree, support or want to further allow rating tanking as a means of providing carries to the gear.
Your levelheadedness and generally impeccable insight has been betrayed in this article by your frustration. Carbine has had PTR patches for Sabotage Drop 2 marked as release candidates up for a few days. If they actually manage to provide most of the systems and changes they have planned, even within 1-4 months, then they are far ahead of other developer studios for turn-around time on fixing major issues to a complex system like PVP.
Stiff upper lip. Eye of the Tiger.
Get in there and give ’em hell.
I wouldn’t be too sure of this.
I have lost to highly-geared premades, with people trying to get to over 2k RBG ratingd on their side (per streams), and still lost 20+ points in a match.
I work a full-time job and don’t spend time on PTRs.
I don’t believe my feedback would be meaningfully considered, so I don’t invest my valuable free time.
What statements? I haven’t seen anything recently aside from:
– decision to make gear requirement progressive (still useless for most people as I wrote above)
– decision to make rune slots RNG on PVP gear
Really? I felt what I wrote was reasonably objective.
I wrote the article because it was time – I had seen enough over several weeks to come to solid conclusions on the state of PVP at endgame.
I didn’t say Carbine was dumb, game was failing, hyperbolic stuff, etc. That would be unconstructive, which really isn’t me.
That may be objectively true, but it will be too late to matter.
WildStar is already gaining a bad reputation for its instanced PVP, on-par with what Illum was for SWTOR World PVP.
The thing I have difficulty understanding is why Carbine implemented such huge gear gaps between blue, 1500, and 1800. Anyone spending some time in PVP would be able to tell you gear is faceroll, and since gear is gated, it makes for a lousy experience for the people without the gear.
PTR isn’t solving for the majority of issues I raised.
Aside from that, I already posted multiple solutions above. If devs are paying attention, they’ll have seen the Reddit thread and dialogue about this, and I shared my suggestions there too.
If you are not concerned with character advancement currently (you have attained the level of gear that you want from the live PVP progression), then your play time spent in the PTR is still a progression of skill and knowledge of the class(es) and mechanic changes. Not all benefits are necessarily tangible. Furthermore, you simply playing on the PTR generates useful data that can be used towards balance and tweaks. Obviously, I can respect your free choice to play when and how you please. I, too, am a working professional and a gamer.
As for PVP gear and gearing in general, that’s not easy. Off-hand, I don’t recall every detail or specific source to cite (a problem that I have with Carbine’s methods of sharing information). Through a mix of interaction with developers in the PTR, social media outlets and forums posts here’s the list that I roughly assembled:
1. PVP rune slots are changing to be generated randomly; however, they are going to be setting fixed numbers for rune slots based on item quality. Furthermore, they intend to rebalance things so that rune types are more viable/attractive across the board for all classes and specs. Finally, I think that, even in the current season with Drop 2, PVP defense will become a much more attractive option (given the changes to the way PVP stats work).
2. PVP gear tier staggering is more powerful given the higher value of PVP defense.
3. PVP gear (and this one was VERY hard to track down,… apologies for not posting it directly) *should* be receiving a stat allocation pass to reduce the penalty for having a major PVP item with 0 main stats (such as something that provides AP or SP). This evens out the curve for increases in both survivability and damage/healing output.
These won’t solve all of the issues, and I agree wholeheartedly with your positted position on the rate at which PVP gear scales between tiers. I also concur with your assertion that skill>class>gear is the best way to handle a level playing field.
As for ELO, I went through a similar phase… until I started asking around and poking at the formula. You may (or may not) be shocked that the RBG players (especially for premades) are also tanking their ratings to ridiculously low (sub 500) numbers for the same reason: lowering the team’s average rating to pull teams with lower gear scores and lower ratings. It has not become as prevalent (yet) as it is in arenas, where these drastic ELO differences have caused insane degrees of rating turbulence in the provisional brackets. I have had multiple arena partners, all of whom were gladiators or multi-glads from WoW (maybe not complete parity of skill to Wildstar, but still a strong indicator) that could not naturally break 1500. I have personally made the climb to just shy of 1500 6 times now only to lose 200-300 rating in handful of losses to an uber-tanked carry team. Granted, most carries are not highly skilled (as more and more poorly skilled but well geared carries enter the system), but someone with both skill and gear is perfectly capable of taking down good players with poor gear in a 1v2. As I have said before… I don’t mind losing to a better skilled and geared opponent, but I do mind losing 40+ rating because they have abused the system for profit. ELO systems are easily abused with no controls or regulation of the actions of competitors.
Given that a lot of the developers worked on vanilla WoW and TBC, I feel as you do that they seem to be repeating history rather than taking notes from their progeny. I think that 4-6 years ago, Wildstar in its current state would not have been received so critically, but many other games and MMOs have taken great strides forward to balance PVP as closely as possible.
Finally, a little clarity on my previous post. I did not intend offense, and I have enjoyed following your coverage of games I have played for a very long time. More accurately, I suppose some of the context and prose of this article seemed, to me, to fall short of what I have come to expect from you. Your objective analysis was still of a far higher caliber than most, but I wonder (especially after reading other comments for other followers) that you haven’t caused more damage to the reputation of the PVP. Naysayers and trolls alike flock to articles like this and brandish them in links around the community as “proof” or “evidence” that the game is failing. I don’t think your intentions would align with theirs, but that won’t stop them. I, personally, am guarded and somewhat defensive of the game because I enjoy it so much, but I wish I could be more openly critical without adding fuel to the flame war.
I have yet to reach a point in any game – including this one – where I have all the things I think I need on my main characters.
E.g. I’m farming for rune mats and prestige between now on the patch, which is supposed to drop maybe today or tomorrow.
This is one of those things that may not be live for a while. The rune RNG shouldn’t be implemented until the rune system is re-worked.
RNG runes without RNG re-work would cause churn for players. And not everyone actually wants RNG – although harder-core player seem to favor it.
This is likely the reason the gain/loss makes doesn’t correlate to equipped gear.
I’ll update my article with clarifying comments.
Either way, it’s still “broken” from a user experience perspective – whether it’s the formula calculation itself (maybe not the culprit) or the simple fact that the ratings are easily manipulated for the benefit of manipulators but to the detriment of their opponents – in terms of how many points a team wins or loses.
Difficult to say.
Every game I played between 2008-2010 hemorrhaged subs in the first 3 months (WAR, Aion, etc), so I don’t think the playerbase was any less forgiving.
The gaming community is a hard lot :)
An honest opinion may be positive or it may be constructive.
I consider what I wrote constructive criticism, backed by intentional thought. I also provided a few salient updates to my post to both contextualize it and provide solutions worth considering.
I wouldn’t bother even writing an article like this if I didn’t care about the game. I’ve already invested dozens of hours writing guides and making videos, and I *only* do this for games I care about.
This article is definitely, and some trolls may point to what I wrote as justification of criticism of the game. That being said, a lot of people have told me that they agree – that is, they had a pre-formed opinion separate from mine which happens to align with mine.
To the extent anyone cares about what I think – community and devs alike – I want to be clear what I think and why. And I wait til I’ve seen enough to feel that my opinion is credible.
BTW, I didn’t even touch on Arenas, which are pathetic ATM :(
Totally hear you about this.
I think you’re talking about Arena, but I found RBGs to be similarly challenging.
I wanted to naturally reach 1500, i.e. on my own or at most with the help of one 1500 player (Sinovia the Stalker tank in my guild). That is, I didn’t want to be carried by 1800 players.
I didn’t ding 50 until July, and I started running RBGs around the time when the patch was released that widened the matchmaking for ratings, both of which made for a rather difficult environment. I had to fully rune my blue gear for it to seem even feasible. After almost a week of daily RBGs, I finally cracked 1500. I broke 1450 about 5 times prior to actually breaking 1500.
In short, getting to 1500 RBG rating without being carried was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a PVP game. It was harder than:
– Getting to 2900 Super Unicum for last 1k battles in WoT without any gold ammo
– Getting to 2k in 2v2 and 3v3 with an “underpowered” comp in WoW Cata
It’s simply ridiculous. I know most players can’t get to 1500 without boosting, or without playing DPS SS or Warrior.
So I am not at all surprised to hear that you know WoW gladiators who could not naturally break 1500.
1800 carries make too much of a difference. Sinovia transferred over the Pergo and has been building friends there, and with the help of some 1800s we *easily* carried about 5 of our guildees this week to 1500. Four of them spent much of July trying to get there just with our guildees, with only 2 of us active with 1500 gear, and they couldn’t do it.
As a final note, I want to say THANK YOU for providing feedback to me.
I didn’t take offense at what you wrote. I sometimes think that readers:
1. put too much weight on me identifying or fixing things
2. put too much weight on how much influence I have on the gaming community
Re: #1 above, I can’t scale my time to do this, and even if I could, it would mean other areas of my life taking a hit.
Re: #2 above, I know there are people who value my content and what I have to say. That said, it’s hard for me to gauge influence. There are plenty of gamers who have a much larger following than I do, and what they say probably influences the community much more than I do. Also keep in mind I wasn’t around for much of WildStar Beta, so for WildStar specifically I my “footprint” is probably not large.
I may have judged too harshly, but trying to maintain a voice of civility and patience in the forums has been wearing on me (spitting into the wind, I suppose).
Your analysis of the situation and mine were very close, but with my emphasis on arena and yours on RBGs (given our backgrounds).
When you say you runed your blues… did you refer to the attribute runes, or did you invest heavily in the augmented fragment rune sets? I really hate to drop so much plat on something.
Also, I have been keeping an eye out for you in practice grounds. I was able to face off against you once (Vykingbeast@Widow) and we went 1-1. Honor demands that we one day settle this before the gods and men.
Finally, the Nexus report today covered a lot of game balance. Should you get the chance, I’d check it out.
I hear you.
The WildStar sub-Reddit has been noticing the extent of negativity too.
I started a thread today discussing being positive:
I did General Set (augmented) Runes and PVP Runes. Specifically that means Spellweaver and Sight Before Sight.
Yes, it was expensive.
After I realized that getting to 1500 in RBGs was no joke, especially considering we didn’t have any 1800 carries in my guild, I made the commitment to min-max what I had to try to get to 1500.
I wanted to do it by the end of the 2nd week of July, while it was hard, to prove to myself that it could be done on a non-carry class (Esper) without having carries helping me. My guildee Sinovia definitely helped as a skilled 1500 Stalker, but it wasn’t like we were facerolling with 1800s in our premade.
Your name looks familiar.
I’ll keep an eye out for you :)
I won’t get a chance to watch it but Dulfy posted cliff notes:
Stalker, soon to be Esper (in no small part because you paved the way for a lot of my concerns, and because I feel that in the coming months the meta will shift and Espers will be in a fantastic spot).
Also, again, the Nexus Report today was fantastic (and your ganking fail video was featured at the end).
I will warn you, though, that when we meet again… I have since obtained a fully runed 1500 gear. I will not be easy meat…
Looking forward to it :)
Hmm are you a dev trying to get Taugrim to work for free for WS… ?
Well, I am smart enough to know that even if I were to spend a lot of time on the PTR, write up detailed reports for the devs, etc, there is no guarantee that my feedback would be meaningfully considered in any kind of serious design discussion.
I have worked as a professional consultant for years, providing guidance topics ranging from software development to organizational design to innovation to operations to strategy, etc. One of the things you learn is that people have to seek you out intentionally for feedback or guidance, or they won’t meaningfully value what you have to say. Especially if you are giving them feedback about what they are doing.
They will listen to you on stuff that is quite literally broken but not on design or management decisions. I don’t think you can get upset at the gear thing because you (we) knew what we were getting well ahead of time. It was known it had an arena system with gated gear.
What’s harder to swallow is they just don’t seem to want to punish people who exploit the system. This has the direct effect of rewarding cheaters and punishing honest players and that is just not something I’m willing to tolerate.
It bothers me too that the only people who benefit from the system are those who already have the gear, those who already have the gear and are making a killing in selling carries, and those who pay a ginormous amount of in-game currency (which may be tied to RL currency to acquire) to get boosted.
I know you are Ed, it seems David R did not. I really wish the devs would listen this time though.
Well D2 did not rectify the system and it has made the gap between the PvP haves, gear wise, and have not’s worse. Here is a post from one of the Devs, in response to a 1800 geared player speaking on the current damage he’s doing after the D2 drop.
This is why they should’ve adjusted the PvP Offense and Defense as well as armor to match on all 3 tiers of gear and just slightly increased the stats incremental per piece and added a ruin slot so at 1800 you end at 4 and T0 has 2. But Wildstar seems destined to have a small player base that is not inclusive to new players.
It’s really too bad they went this route because players will unsub with this PvP model and go to one that is more inclusive and allows more people to be competitive. Carbine has hurt themselves immensely choosing this path, they widened the queue range to shorten queue times allowing 1800 tankers and non tankers to get matched against new players where they stand no chance.
If Carbine would’ve smacked down the boosting and enforced staying at your rating 1800 queues would pop faster. Instead of letting them make 1lk plat so not only do they have a large gear advantage they also have max AMP points and Ability points.
The community has essentially cannibalized itself and stunted the growth of the PvP side of the game which given past history, it will not recover from.
For a little perspective, I did rush to 50 on my medic, because of the beta 2.0 UI patch nerfs to Medics DPS was not an option so I went shield surge healer, found a warrior and plowed up to 1800 playing against equal geared players it was fun although it was cheesy but it in now way means I am better player then those trying now. The current implementation does not allow new players to have the same experience and it is really a shame. I rerolled because I dont like my medic as much and all my friends bailed, now its hard to find a 3s or 5s team and most people in 2s want you to be an SS or Warrior or Stalker with 1500 or 1800 gear to carry them.
That said, thank you Taugrim, I have enjoyed your videos and posts from Rift to SWTOR to GW2. While I may not always agree. I always respect and appreciate that you have always presented your thoughts in a concise, and constructive manner sharing input and creating unique builds and encouraging others to try them.
Anyway I have strayed off topic, back the point about D2 here is the post that initiated my response. I hope that they will see the flaws in the system and quickly address them but the time it took them to get D2 out and make changes to PvP Gear that they knew was broken in beta it’s hard to believe they will make any other changes with any urgency.
Here is the original post (https://forums.wildstar-online.com/forums/index.php?/topic/103830-soooo-carbine-did-you-mess-up-damage-scaling/)
Posted Today, 03:44 AM
“So, previous understanding was that this patch would LOWER damage.
My SS now on average crits for 20k on a CS on light armor, and somewhere between 15k-18k on everything else.
Am I missing something?
Wearing full pvp gear with finesse/AP runes for set bonuses etc etc w/e…………….
This isn’t fun, I literally can one shot anything in the game. I feel like the instanced v open world scaling is happening where open world damage is being brought into instances. Theres NO way that in instance I should be able to hit that hard.
Just a few minutes ago hit ATK (Legit of Pergo) for a 20k CS then 11k Assassinate. In an arena. lol ”
Carbine Studios Staff
Posted Today, 07:57 AM
“On PTR, most people were using the same gear. So PvP Power vs PvP Defense would have most likely been a relative wash, which yields an overall damage decrease.
If you are facing someone with equal levels of Defense in Instanced areas, the damage will be reduced to 85%. In Open World the base target is 100% at equal levels.
If your PvP Power Rating>their PvP Defense Rating, damage dealt increases against that foe. (If you outgear them then that number can exceed 100%)
If you aren’t running full PvP gear and rune for PvP stats, it’s possible to find yourself against someone that has stacked PvP Power stat and can hit you for more than 100% of normal damage.”
This was foreseeable and I believe quite a few people warned that a new PvPo and PvPd system could actually increase effective burst damage and further the gap between different gear levels.
This is what I don’t understand about having different levels of gear for PvP from a development viewpoint. It makes balancing the game much more difficult.
GW2 had it right with respect to separating PvE and PvP completely.
And GW2 has a serious competitive pvp community? This has everything to do with people and community much more than it does game tech and gear (which ofc matters aswell). But unfortunately the competitive pvp’ers dont play MMO’s anymore, they play MOBAs. So now you have the PvE’ers who expect that PvP should behave like PvE. And there is little or no focus given to progress as a player.
There was a very competitive community in WvW. You had groups running 15, groups running 10, groups running 5, and solo and duo players. You knew who the good players and the good groups were and there was a lot of rivalry.
sPvP failed because the game mode was boring. The combat was good and keeping gear out of it as much as they did was a success for WvW. I bet you sPvP would have been more successful if they had just went with something more along the lines of arena deathmatch.
The community isn’t the issue.
GW2 lost its PVP community for good within 3 months of launch for 2 very simple reasons:
1. the e-Sports functionality that AN had talked about pre-launch never materialized. No spectator mode, no ladder, etc
2. sPvP was an isolated sandbox from the rest of the entire game. You couldn’t level in sPvP nor get gear or any reward that had any relevance with the rest of the game
I actually stopped sPvP after about a month because I was never going to hit level cap and get geared for WvW.
That was GW2’s big mistake – making it such that when you sPvP’d you were falling behind in the rest of the game.
Yes, this would have been a better way to implement PVP stats.
RIFT as you may recall eventually landed on that solution, i.e. normalizing the PVP stats across tiers:
I agree, and this was why I wrote this article.
I wanted to be clear that I think the PVP gear implementation is very broken.
It’s not the community’s fault per se – players will take advantage of whatever they can take advantage of.
Grats on getting to 1800!
I agree the implementation is very unfriendly to new players / alts / slow levelers (of which I fall into the 3rd category).
I appreciate your kind words :)
And here’s a video of showing an 1800 SS vaporizes an 1800 Esper in 3 seconds:
It’s disappointing, frankly.
Many players were hoping TTK would increase with the patch, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s actually gone down for burst classes such as SS.
“You tend to lose more rating from a loss than what you gain from a win.”
There is nothing wrong with this. If you win against bad people and you lose against bad people. Then that is the outcome.
You seem unaware of what’s actually happening.
1800 geared players have been intentionally tanking their ratings to get faster queue pops and to carry others.
So their rating may be 1000, but their gear is 1800, and when you lose to them, you lose a lot of rating. It’s an easily exploitable system.
Except sometimes “bad people” are not exactly bad people but rating tankers decked in 1800 gear that know very well how to play. Please read the article before commenting.
So the reason you quit on Guild Wars 2 was because of Ascended Gear(grindy but a side grade at best and not anywhere in the same universe as the gap described here) and yet you willingly go into a game where it was obvious that gear was going to be a factor? If you left Guild Wars 2 because it got boring or everyone of your friends was moving on then fine. However, its confusing to my mind how you made leaving Guild Wars 2 about Ascended gear and yet this game is much, much worse.
You are confusing two different things:
1. amount of grind needed to earn gear
2. stats differentials on gear
These are not the same thing.
Aside from that, I prefer W* combat over GW2 for these reasons:
1. GW2 is a hybrid of action combat. Some abilities auto-target. W* telegraphs is a better implementation of action combat
2. I hate that you can’t configure weapon abilities in the order you want in GW2
3. I hate that you are stuck with the built-in abilities for a given weapon
#2 and #3 make GW2 combat feel like the player has to mold themselves to the game, instead of being able to mold the game to the player.
If you prefer GW2, you prefer GW2. I don’t care. I play games that I like, and I don’t waste time on games that I no longer enjoy.
The soft-targeting/action combat of GW2 is better at compensating for latency and the telegraph system of WS still has some pretty bad hit registration bugs where stuff misses when it should hit or hits when it should miss. That said, if it is working well then I’d prefer WS’s combat system over any other that I’ve played. However, missing a kick when the guy is dead in my telegraph is not cool. :P
The way they limited how you could set up your binds in GW2 was annoying. For example, having a gap closer on 2 on one weapon but 4 on another weapon was annoying when people who bind try to keep similar functionality on the same keybind.
The reason I left GW2 is because there have been no new classes and no new weaponsets, so there has been nothing new to learn for a very long time.
Would you say the PvP endgame is acceptable for new players with this new update? I’m contemplating dipping my feet into W*, but I’m really turned off by the extreme gear differential.
My guess/hope is that many of the glaring issues will be fixed within 8 weeks.
It took me about a month to level to 50, playing a few hours a day and taking me time.
So if you buy the game now, level at about the same pace, by the time you hit level cap things will be in much better shape on live or at least on the PTR.
I love the combat system and feel of the game, which is why I’m still playing it.
Buy the game :)
The #WildStar PVP gear system changes proposed by @DevMuffinMan are *exactly* what I had recommended :
This is so freaking huge.
Incredibly happy :)
Those proposals do look really promising (except that I hate HP inflation >:| ). Still, I’m going to play it safe and wait a *couple* more weeks to see if he updates again with concrete details/ETAs for all of that.
Caved and bought :3
I’ll be bolstering the Pago population after my SSD arrives this weekend!
If you’re on Dominion, give me a shout in-game.
You’re joining the game at a pretty good time IMO, despite all the skeptics. Endgame PVP is going to be a in a good state with all the changes.