Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Burden of Destiny: The Luminai

First of all, I wish to show off this amazing commission portrait I had done of Agent Hawkens by the very talented Bloodraptor! You can find their commission page on WSRP here!

100% Dominion Style Badassery


And without further ado, let us discuss the Luminai!

To behold the grace and elegance of the Luminai is a great honor. Not only are they the powerful and courageous leaders of the Dominion, they are something even far grander. They are the physical embodiment of the our blood pact with the Eldan, the promise that we are their chosen to inherit the galaxy. From our glorious Emperor to the grand houses beside him, the Luminai are our hope and faith in our future.
The Luminai. Upper echelon and holy leaders of Cassian society and the Empire itself. This week's WildStar Wednesday gave us a spectacular look into Dominion lore and, thanks to the encouragement of the folk over at WSRP, I am going to share my thoughts on the lore, the impact is has on Cassian roleplay and some further ideas and speculation. And at my side today, lending his own knowledge, is none other than the Highborn Agent Hawkens.

Luminai resemble tall, powerful, idealized versions of their human cousins, but with facial features that clearly delineate their alien ancestry. Often dressed in ornate robes and wearing ornamental masks, they are a formidable and intimidating presence when seen in public.

To begin with, a little history. Roughly two thousand years ago (See Meet the Cassian article), and following an impressive period of rapid technological growth, the Mechari arrived on planet Cassus with a proposal from their masters: The Glorious Eldan. They demanded that the legendary swordmaiden Tresayne Toria journey with them to the planet Nexus in exchange for greats gifts to the Cassian people. If they were to refuse, however, consequences would be dire. Displaying her great courage and devotion to her people, Tresayne left with a select few, never to be seen again.

Some time after, in the year 1 AE, the Cassians were finally rewarded for their sacrifice with the arrival of Dominus the Half-Blood. Half-Cassian and half-Eldan, he represented the promise of the Eldan themselves, returning with the Mechari and a wealth of technology. Upon his arrival, he gave the rallying cry to join under his rule and to become the most powerful Empire in the galaxy together. It is stated that he was blessed with the strength and courageousness of his legenday mother and that he was beloved by his people, gaining their unanimous support and establishing the Dominion.

So this sections shows a couple of interesting bits about the Cassian people: 

Women are clearly respected amongst the Cassians

  • One, they were clearly a powerful race even before the presence of the Luminai. Gifted already with brilliant minds for technology, they gained the favor of the Eldan by impressing the Mechari enough to report on their rapid elevation in the galaxy. Add to that the lore behind their settling of Cassus (Shade's Eve) and you have yourself a courageous race of survivors whos sheer tenacity pushed them through horrific tragedy into the chosen of the Eldan themselves.
  • Two. Though every example of the Emperors has been male, the original 'leader' of the Cassians was The Swordmaiden. This shows that they do not discriminate by gender. The “Meet the Dominion” video also clearly shows a Cassian woman leading a military team who appears intimidating enough to send a soldier into line by her look alone. I imagine it is safe to assume that Cassians are treated the same in their society regardless of their gender!
  • Three. Swordmaiden. To me this title seems important. Perhaps it was just simply her title, but looking further into Draken lore, we find that the Luminai Emperor Azrion the Conqueror bested High Clanlord Zhur in combat with a description of “The duel was fierce and brutal, and the swords of the two combatants were soon stained with blood.” To me this might signify that the Cassians have a long standing tradition of great swordsmasters. Perhaps these weapons were simply the favored of their wielders, but there is also chance that sword fighting is an honored style of combat amongst the Cassian people. Perhaps all nobleborn Cassian are required to learn the art of the sword in honor of Tresayne. It could be an interesting tradition, for certain!

Now that we have a bit of history, I am going to delve a little deeper into the posts from the WildStar Wednesday article itself, beginning with the legacy of Dominus.

Like most Luminai, Dominus was extremely long lived and ruled the Dominion for almost three centuries. He died peacefully in the year 292 AE, leaving the empire to his firstborn son Azrion. The other children of Dominus - now known as the Scions - founded the Great Houses of the Luminai and helped their brother lead the Dominion into the future.

-So from here we see that the Luminai live for quite some time which leads to some other interesting ideas. First of all, we can probably consider it safe to assume that if the half-Eldan hybrid Dominus lived for roughly three centuries, then the Eldan themselves can live for even longer still, perhaps doubling this life span or even more!

Long life can also lead to other things, such as patience and the ambition for long-term goals. Without perhaps all the severity, I imagine the lead Scions of the Great Houses to be something akin to the Sith Darths of the Star Wars universes. With a longer life span to pursue their agendas, they could afford to move their playing pieces slowly, setting up great schemes and goals that could take many decades and perhaps even centuries to realize. This could even further enforce their separation from the rest of Cassian society, putting the Luminai as clever beings of unfathomable foresight.

One should not presume the minds of the Luminai. They are a law unto themselves...

-Dominus was said to have died peacefully. With his reign having been stated to being unanimously agreed upon and having been beloved by his people, it is safe to say that his rule was a complete success without opposition, strife or civil war. Though the outlook may shift from ruler to ruler, the general outlook of most of the Cassian race towards their Emperor is most like favorable.

-Dominus left the Empire to his firstborn son, Azrion and his other children found the Great Houses. Hmm...are all Emperors chosen as the firstborn of their predecessor? Also the fact that the other children aided their brother in ruling signifies that there was an amicable relation between the Houses to begin with.

Chad Moore also gave us a nice little tidbit here over on WSRP last night. When a community member mused that Dominus must have married a Cassian woman (being the only Luminai in existence himself), Chad stepped in and added this:
“The person who you are asking about may or may not be named Olyssia Zin.”

At least at this time, there was only one half-blood Luminai in existence at the time (as far as we know) which most likely resulted in children bearing a lesser degree of Eldan blood.

On to the next section!

In 1376 AE, in the wake of the Eldan's purported ascension to godhood, the reigning emperor Jarec of House Azrion delivered the Vigilant Declaration. This document, which officially deified the Eldan, united the empire under one faith. It also included the Ancestral Decree, a set of laws meant to preserve the Luminai's sacred Eldan blood. This decree also established a set of rules for Luminai marriages and reproduction within and between the Great Houses, all of which are still followed to this day.

The controversial Vigilant Declaration also led to an unexpected class and racial divide between highborn and lowborn Cassians. Highborn Cassians were those who could trace their lineage to the one or more of the Great Luminai houses, and therefore had trace amounts of Eldan blood in their veins. Lowborn Cassians could not. This divide among Cassian humans still exists today, and continues to serve as the foundation for many Dominion social and political systems.

-in the wake of the Eldan's purported ascension to godhood” So this is an interesting piece. Purported means “alleged; supposed ; rumored” and “in the wake” denotes that there was some sort of assumed ascension to godhood of the Eldan before the Empire deified them and rallied under one faith. I wonder, what exactly does this mean? Did the Eldan keep in contact through the Mechari or other means during the reign of Dominus? Is this part of the great mystery of the Eldan? That they apparently ascended and we now have no idea where they are? Or was this simply the result of watching their living promise walk amongst the Cassian people for roughly 300 years?

-Jarec of House Azrion: Does this mean all of the Great Houses were named after the brood of Dominus? i.e. No House Nova or something like that. Also, we have the name of our third Emperor: Jarec, presumably Azrion's firstborn son.

-The Vigilant Declaration: Though this officially deified the Eldan, there is a good chance that many of the Cassian people already revered them as the Gods of the Galaxy. Having been united under one rule, the Empire was now also united under one faith. This would also be a powerful tool to use. Under a united faith, the promise of the Eldan of a starspanning Empire also becomes a religious mandate and gives extra purpose to the Dominion's actions.

-The Ancestral Decree: The rules created for marriage and breeding between the Luminai. In order to preserve the Eldan blood from eventually disappearing, the Luminai would have to adhere to a strict set of rules. This may sound rude, unfortunate and even cruel but this is part of that “destiny is a heavy burden” deal. The Luminai are blessed by their bloodline but this does not take away their duty to the Empire as a whole. Their very existence is embodiment of the Eldan's promise. For them to fade into obscurity would be unfathomable and could even lead to breaking the spirit of their people.

So marriage and reproduction is limited to within or between the Great Houses and most likely never outside of them. The Great Houses themselves are ruled by the Luminai and any that are not direct Luminai are most likely Highborn Cassian with the closest lineages to the Luminai themselves. Genetics are very interesting and it would actually be possible that, if the percentage of Eldan blood could be know and with some very precise and complicated tracking, there could be Luminai with even more Eldan blood than Dominus himself. Though more likely, the highest traces of Eldan blood are found and combined to maintain Luminai that are at least very close to 50% Eldan. I imagine if this is the case then any Highborn Cassian allowed to marry a Luminai to help continue the bloodline would be extremely honored. If at all possible, Luminai would most likely marry only other Luminai, but for the sake of genetic diversity, they would need to branch out into more of the gene pool now and again.

-Highborn and Lowborn Cassians- Probably one of the most important editions to those that will be roleplaying Cassians. Those that can trace their bloodline to a Great House can claim in the bloodpact of the Eldan and are elevated in their society. It is very likely that these Highborns enjoy exclusive or near-exclusive rights in their society such as positions of leadership in the military, offices of power in politics or even exclusive trading and business rights in the economy. Lowborns are those who cannot trace their lineage to the Luminai which has clearly led into a rift in the society between the two. There is more I wish to add here that pertains towards Cassian roleplay, but I will get to that in a little bit!

Political intrigue amongst the Luminai is commonplace


Despite their nearly unchecked power within the Dominion, the Luminai are a relatively small population of individuals who are rarely seen beyond the confines of their family houses. Considered by many to be deities themselves, and surrounded by unimaginable wealth and power, the Luminai exist in a realm undreamed of by most Dominion citizens.
Like any exclusive and isolated group that maintains frequent contact, they have developed their own ways of communicating and interacting with each other. These include formalities and rituals observed in public and in private, phrases and gestures known only to them, and of course the ongoing struggle to gain wealth, power and influence. As would be expected, the struggles between the Great Houses can often be deadly, often involving deception, machinations and murder.

-Remember, once again, that the Luminai are the living, breathing promise of the Eldan themselves. It is no surprise that they themselves be deified as part Gods. With long lives and bodies of alien and elegant beauty they must seem quite wondrous to the rest of the Cassian people. It is also unsurprising that they, over time, begin to keep more to themselves. In part this is the natural progression of such a situation. Who best to understand the Luminai, than other Luminai?

-Further fortification of their differences and religious prowess would be found in further isolation through their own methods of communication and rituals. But even more interesting are the struggles between the Houses. Perhaps this indicates that the Emperor is not always chosen by direct descendant of the current Emperor, but by a consensus amongst the Great Houses to elect one of their members to rule over the Dominion. This would certainly lead to bitter struggling to gain favor amongst the Houses, or to crush rivals before they have too much time to grow.

-This also indicates potential upheaval in the Cassian society. Much like the struggle of the Sith interfered in the goals of their Empire with their own selfish desires, do the Luminai sometimes get in the way of the purpose of the Dominion?


The current emperor, Myrcalus the Vindicator, took the throne by force after the dark reign of Vorios the False nearly brought the empire to ruin. To many in the Dominion, he is known as "Dominus Reborn". His physical resemblance to Dominus is undeniable, and many also believe he possesses the same strength, courage and indomitable spirit as his illustrious ancestor. In the wake of the discovery of Nexus, Emperor Myrcalus has sworn that he will bring the homeworld of his ancestors under Dominion control, and lead the empire into a radiant new age of galactic supremacy.

-This highlights one of the biggest things I love about the purpose of the Dominion. Their travel to Nexus is not an act of brutality for chasing down the Exiles. This is their home by blood rights. Part of the Eldan themselves flows through the heart of the Empire, giving them claim to the land of their gods and their forefathers.

-We also know our current Emperor: Myrcalus the Vindicator.


Phew, so, sorry about all that text, but those are my further thoughts based on the article we received yesterday! From here now, I would like to talk a bit more about how to apply this into those interested in Cassian roleplay!

Carbine isn't shy about showing off the arrogance of the Cassians, such as this screen from the demo at PAX East 2013. So why should you not enjoy the same?


Taking into consideration what we just learned in terms of the Luminai and Cassian society, think on these things when you create your very own Cassian for the world of WildStar:

1)Is your Cassian a Highborn or a Lowborn?
-The Luminai are an npc race and with so very few of them in existence in the Empire, it is unlikely that any playing character will be one. (At the very least you wouldn't have the model for it) So this means that most player characters will be High or Lowborn Cassians.
-Chad Moore has confirmed that only the Luminai have Houses. Therefore if you see nobility amongst the other Highborn Cassian, you are most likely looking strictly at family names.
-Keep in mind that if you wish for a strong aristocratic family line, that the Cassian society seems to strongly favor those who contribute to the whole of the Empire. Powerful families most likely own a business or have political powers.

The Hawkens family pride themselves on their strength in innovative military engineering. When I was old enough to help, I followed my mother and father through their workshops and testing labs, learning the intricacies that brought strength and pride to our family line.

-Not all minds are alike! Although the Cassians are arrogant as a whole in their pride of being the chosen of the Eldan, that does not mean all Cassians are horribly rude and terrible people. One can have arrogance and still be good. A Highborn Cassian may not necessarily look down upon Lowborns in a cruel fashion but as a part of their society that has existed for as long as they can remember. However, keep in mind a Cassian does not have to ignore their pride just to avoid sounding like a pompous jerk. That's part of the fun of being a Cassian.

You are simply better than everyone else.

Err right, umm...something like that.

This reminds me of a part in one of the Diadem books by John Peel. At one point in time, one of the characters compliments a unicorn on how beautiful they looked. To which the unicorn replied “I know.” What struck me, however, was how the author explained the tone of the unicorn was. She had agreed as though the person had told her that the sun would rise or that it was bright. It was simply a fact of life. Nothing more, nothing less.

We are the Chosen of the Eldan themselves. Their promise still walks among us, as a reminder of our union over two thousand years ago. We were chosen because we were clever and strong. Because we were an indomitable people. The blood of our Gods mingle with our own. Truly the Cassian are a marvelous people to behold!

I think Hawkens pretty much sums it all up there.

-Lowborn Cassians are not necessarily upset with their lot in life. I saw a lot of discussion on this the other night and I especially wanted to point this out. Just as in medieval times, not all peasants hated their lords, neither do all Lowborn lament at their position in Cassian society. In awe of the Luminai and their glory, these are the most like of people to be adamant in their faith. And as such, they probably view the Luminai as gods and the Highborn as clearly elevated people in their society. Regardless of their place, all ultimately serve the glory of the Dominion as a whole. The Lowborn are still a part of the might of the Empire and will still reap the rewards of their conquest. Although there will certainly be those who see injustice in this system, there will be plenty who serve with a fervent passion.

-It was not said that Lowborn Cassians cannot hold higher positions in Cassian society short of actual nobility. From what we have seen thus far, it is ultimately the service to the Empire that matters. So whereas Lowborns may encounter more trouble or resistance in rising to higher positions, that does not mean it is impossible for them to do so.

2)What does your Cassian do?
-It takes all sorts to run an Empire. Someone needs to be there on the front line and someone needs to make sure the troops arrive where they need to. Someone needs to plant and harvest the crops to feed their people and some need to ensure the protection of the Empire itself. Some need to build ships, housing or recreation while still others must make the decisions that the lives of so many others will rely on. Your class alone does not need to be the only factor in who your character is. Don't be afraid to be creative!

-Though the Cassian rally under the call of the Emperor as a whole, that does not mean there is no dissent. From Brightland's rebellion when a more draconian set of rules were put into effect to the burning ofArboria, there are many things that the average citizen of the Empire would not wholly appreciate. But keep in mind, this society has been running like this for centuries. Many generations have been born, bred and raised to the service of the Empire and most are quite proud of it.

I am a loyal servant of the Empire. I serve something greater then myself. Through my loyalty, the glory of the Dominion is my own. My honor. My duty. My life.

-As with all societies like this, there are traitors and those who question their lot in life. Keep in mind that the ICI (and others) watches not just the threats that lie outside the Empire's borders, but those that lie within as well. Dissidents are tolerated as much as those who spurn the Empire's generous offer. They are a poison that must be culled before it spreads and weakens the strength of the Dominion. So choose your path careful and watch your back.

4)Views on the Other Races
-Cassians are elegant, snarky and arrogant. They have well earned their place in the galaxy and they are certainly not shy about letting others know it. Though not all Cassians are the same, don't be afraid to play up a bit of a snobbish attitude around other non-Cassians. Keep in mind, however, not just the feelings of other players (don't overdo it!) but also the fact that Cassians do not appear to necessarily hate or otherwise shun the other races of the Dominion. They might still think themselves the best, but they do not readily disregard the strength of the Draken or the skill of the Mechari.

-Cassians most likely have a bitter hatred or resentment towards the Exiles, especially the humans. As the humans are the descendents of those Cassians that once broke away from the fold, they hold an extra special place of resentment to their once allies. For the Aurin, however, there may be some who feel some pity towards the ravaging of Arboria. For Granok, there may be hatred and begrudging respect for the destruction of their emissaries but also for their skill with picking up alien tech.

-A current Cassian traitor will most likely be hated above all else. They have actively forsaken the glory of the Empire. Disgusting.

Keep in mind that the Empire seeks to unite the foolish and the wayward beneath the wings of the Empire. A chance for the other races of the galaxy to join in glorious service to the Dominion. Those that follow will experience the Golden Age of our ascension such as the galaxy has never seen before. Those that do not will perish beneath our might so they may never lead any astray. The will of the Eldan is absolute and we march to their holy mandate.

This does not mean that we kill needlessly. I do not slaughter every single Exile I meet on the principal of our differences. Though it may be sorely tempting sometimes.

If we arrive in paradise only to find it empty, it will be a hollow victory indeed...

Besides, how can you resist that charming smile? ;)

So as you can see, the Cassians are a unique and rewarding race to play. The edition of the Luminai and the lore of themselves and their Great Houses as well as the impact of their Eldan blood on Cassian society has answered many questions and started many more. Who exactly were the Eldan and where have they gone? Why did they choose the Cassian race to bear their legacy? What ever happened to the Swordmaiden?

You can be sure that Carbine has some excellent stories lined up for us to explore and discover in the amazing world of WildStar.

To close, I'd like to add this last part from Chad Moore and my reply in the WSRP forums:

“'s really inspiring to see you guys talk about WildStar's lore on this site. My team has spent a lot of time crafting our universe, and it's great to see everyone here so invested. Thank you!


And thank you! This is the raw fuel for our work. Your creative genius becomes the clay in which we shape our stories and our adventures. Thank you and your team for giving us something amazing and special to work with!


As always, thank you for stopping by dear readers. If you have any questions, comments, topic suggestions or just want to bug Hawkens, drop me a line at or come visit myself and the rest of the awesome WSRP community on our enjin site. You can find me there as Johne.

Hope to see you around!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Devspeak: Paths


Well the big recent news is actually what this new blog is a part of. Not that long ago, Carbine released a revamped paged on their website about their path systems, finally delving in deep with all paths and giving us just one more thing to be super excited about. If you haven't yet, check out their new page here!

It starts off with an amazingly clever and humorous video of none other then the brutal and quite attractive Agent Voxine of the ICI detailing the path system to a bunch of very nervous looking Dominion folk. This is a gorgeously animated video and great fun to watch. Also, let it be noted that the preview shot on the page marks it as “A WildStar Flick.” Perhaps this means more to come in the future!

The sharp teeth and almost mandible like facial parts give this Agent a very intimidating form, to say nothing of her personality!
I asked Agent Hawkens if he could lend us anymore insight into this clever Mechari, but he has soundly refused.

That would be classified information. Let alone the fact your pathetic minds could hardly fathom the complexity and brilliance of one of the Eldan's creations.

Right so...uh...say hello to your new team of adventurers!

Which one of these guys do you relate best to?

And be sure to check out the rest of the path breakdowns and some Q&A with Agent Voxine at the bottom of the page!

Oh! And in other news, I am now a proud moderator of WSRP! I am very excited to work alongside Ender, Patrician, Renaise and Evion alongside our excellent community and am very happy to be part of the team! If you ever want to stop by and say hello (which I highly recommend you visit WSRP and all the cool peeps there!) you can find me under the name of Johne!

Hope to see you around!

So welcome back once again to another glorious edition of DevSpeak. Voiced by the talented Design Producer Stephen Frost, this particular episode has given us the ultimate in-depth review on one of the most impressive parts of WildStar: The Path System.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, here's the video!

As usual, I have frame-by-framed through the whole disclaimer. Enjoy.

No peanuts? Hmmm, how about beta invites for all instead ;P?

So now that bit of humor is out of the way, let's talk about one of the most interesting and innovative systems to hit MMO gaming in some time: The Path System.

One of the most exciting features of WildStar is the edition of a system that allows players to further specialize their Nexus experience with additional content, questing and challenges that best fit their preferred styles when playing MMOs.

What exactly does this mean? Well think about yourself and/or your friends and think about what you like to do best in MMOs? Do you just like wandering around, challenging yourself on tough fights and brutal monsters or do you prefer to search every nook and cranny of the map in search of hidden treasure or a rare mob? Perhaps you played something like Star Wars: The Old Republic and loved collecting the codex bits to learn more about the world around you or perhaps you just really like helping out others and providing support to your community.

The path system is designed to cater towards these aspects of gaming by directly rewarding you for doing the things you like to do. By providing unique missions, challenges and perks, this aspect of the game also helps to make each character just a little bit more unique, both with your own personal experience and when playing alongside others.

I personally love this idea. I mean, let me once again stress that WildStar is going to not only cater to those extra little things you like to do when you play, but they are also going to REWARD you for these things as well!

That was actually one thing that made me a little sad in WoW and SW:ToR. I loved the worlds and zones so much, but I was rarely rewarded for my intricate exploration beyond a few small things here and there. And forget getting to help out the community much. Beyond trying to be patient in general chat or constantly being afraid that if I stepped in to help someone with a fight I would accidentally killsteal or piss them off, I always felt that there was little reason for me to do anything more than hiss defensively when other players crossed my path.

Wait, we're actually being encouraged to be friendly?

The path system will be something that you will pick upon your character's creation and is a permanent feature, just like your class. There are currently four paths expected at launch right now: Settler, Soldier, Scientist and Explorer. (too bad there's no good 'S' word for exploring!) Although I want to say that a previous video/post mentioned that they are considering more for the future.

These will add new missions and challenges for you that are unique for your path. You can join in on other player's path missions in what Carbine likes to call “Crossing Paths.” However this won't be quite like having it yourself, so it is still encouraged to try out each one. You do not have to participate in this path content, as it is optional and not needed to level, but personally I feel it would be silly to leave behind such an awesome edition to the game. Your rewards come in the form of special abilities, loot, costumes and cash.

So each one of these paths then features unique missions that fit their target audience. I am going to post a listing of the descriptions from the site, for your perusal, plus some discussion on each one. Here we go!


Do you enjoy breathtaking vistas?

-This is for the intrepid adventurer who has a wanderlust to visit each and every nook and cranny of the world around them. Do you like climbing to the top of every mountain, just to see the breathtaking view? Do you like racing from point to point, showing off your expert knowledge of the lay of the land? Do you like finding hidden coves full or treasure or secret pathways hidden from those who never think to look? Then this is the path for you!

Tucked away from the beaten path, such treasures lie to be found by those keen of eye.

  • Cartography- Making maps has never been more fun... or more dangerous! Travel into the untamed wilds of Nexus and chart territory for your faction.
  • Expedition- The uncharted frontier awaits! Strike out into the great unknown, making sure to explore every last inch of the map. Cowards need not apply.
  • Scavenger Hunt- Ancient artifacts? Check. Remote, inaccessible locations? Check. Fearless exploreres who laugh in the face of danger? Oh yeah.
  • Surveillance- Get your secret agent on! There's a war out there and you need to set up remote surveillance devices to keep an eye on the enemy.
  • Exploration- Nexus is chock full of secret places, and you'll find every one! Use a combination of technology and agility to access hidden locations!
  • Operations- Exploring isn't just about climbing mountains. Sometimes you gotta' gear up, buckle down and get a job done. Skills definitely pay the bills.
  • Staking Claim- Nexus ain't big enough for everyone, and second place sucks. So get out there, plant your flag and claim this planet for your allies.
  • Tracking- Ready to hunt? Track enemies, creatures and strange anomalies through the unforgiving terrain of planet Nexus. Epic rewards? You know it.
It looks as though some quests will involve puzzles to solve. (Text pulled from the other screenshots)


Delve straight into the mysterious of the world around you!

-This is for those who have a natural curiosity about everything around them. Ever wonder how that ancient ruin came to be and why it has lain in disarray? Curious how those creatures thrive or of the medicinal properties of the local flora? Enjoy fixing things and running tests with your trusty scan bot? Or do you just like poking things you know you shouldn't? Then this is the path for you!

Scientists come complete with their very own scanbot buddy!

  • Analysis- Time to put that big brain of yours to work! Whether it's a bug-eyed monster or the enemy's databanks, it's up to you to scan it.
  • Biology- Nexus is home to the craziest critters this side of the Fringe! You and your trusty scanbot better get crakin'.
  • Catalog- Knowledge is power. Which is good, because Nexus has a lot of knowledge that needs to be collected and catalogued. Time to power up!
  • Archeology- The Eldan left behind a whole planet full of awesome. So start scanning those relics, robots, and radical machines!
  • Botany- Studying plants on Nexus is cool. Especially when those plants are trying to chew your face off. Stopping to smell the flowers? Not recommended.
  • Chemistry- Nexus is full of exotic materials and alien compounds just waiting to be studied. Are some of them rediculously dangerous? No doubt about it.
  • Field Study- Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of hostile alien lifeforms? Yo do. Study behavior patterns among the natives. And try not to get killed.

Uncover and unlock secret rooms!


For those who like violence and lots of it. Oh, and looking badass in the process!

-This is for those strong of heart and limb. Fearless warriors ready and willing to throw themselves into the fray for the good of their people and carve a place for themselves on Nexus. Do you get a thrill from the heat of battle? Eager to try out experimental weaponry or take part in daring rescue operations? Are you a fierce assassin, stalking the shadows to take out key targets or perhaps a demolitions expert, who loves to make things go boom? Then this is the path for you!

Try out tons of new "toys" like this flamethrower here!

  • Assassination- Ever dreamed of being a hit man? Channel your inner assassin as you track down targets, put them in your sights, and rack up the body counts!
  • Rescue Op: Listen up, Soldier! We have civilians that have been taken hostage by the enemy and we need you to get 'em out of there! Are we clear? Get moving!
  • Demolition- Most problems can be solved with the right amount of explosives. Blow stuff up using bombs, grenades and other weapons of mass destruction. BOOM!
  • SWAT- SWAT: Special Weapons And Tactics. Know what it really means? Shiny new toys! Test advanced military hardware on your foes. Mercy? Not part of the equation.
  • Holdout-Conquer- Are you ready to lock, load and start taking care of business? Defend you territory against waves of hostile enemies. No guts, no glory!
  • Holdout-First Strike- Hit 'em hard, and hit 'em fast. Strike you targets and destroy them before they call in reinforcements, then back in the glow of your badassitude!
  • Holdout-Security- No one likes a thief. That's where you come in. Defend your loot against dirty underhanded criminals, and crack some skulls with the hammer of justice!
  • Holdout-Protect- Being a hero ain't easy...but it's time to step up. Defend allies against incoming waves of hostiles, ensuring they survive another day!

Powerful enemies shall fall before your might! Mwahahaha!


Just look at all the awesome things you could build!

-This is for those who enjoy helping out others around them. Brave frontiersmen who put their blood, sweat and tears into paving the way for their people to follow. Do you enjoy building? How about building the settlements, buildings, outposts, vehicle stops and all sorts of other goodies once only thought as stationary, pre-determined NPC posts? How cool it this? Want to build some sick rides for your team? Maybe a cozy fire to gather around and tell stories or even some awesome editions to your house? Then this is the path for you!

Create your own vendoring stations for yourself and others!


  • Expansion- That town ain't going to improve itself. So step up, strap on a toolbelt, and get to work building things that make everyone's life a little easier.
  • Supply Cache- Who has time to sit around and wait for vital supplies to show up on a platter? Put on those boots and bring home the bacon!
  • Civil Defense- Town guards can handle the small stuff. But when the biggest, meanest monsters on Nexus come a-knockin', you'll step up and save the day!
  • Infrastructure- Are you ready for some serious real estate development? Then do your civic duty and build hospitals, taverns and spaceports for your friends and allies.
  • Public Service- Some people just don't have the grit an backbone to get the job done. Good thing you do. Achieve tasks for the greater good, and get rewarded for it.

You can even add secret quest givers with rare loot!

So as you can see, these paths are well thought out, interesting and full of exciting missions and rewards! They add so much flavor and personality to your playstyle that we just haven't quite seen before.

Oh and remember that “Crossing Paths” we spoke of earlier? This isn't so exclusive that you cannot enjoy this with your friends! Team up with other path bearers and share in the fun! Explorers can guide their friends through secret tunnels, soldiers can offer waves of tough fights for awesome loot, explorers can teach their friends about the secrets of the land and your settler friend can build you a sweet ride to get back to town on. The same classes can ever help each other, if I understood the video correctly. Explorers can race each other and settlers can even help each other build.

Heading home together on some stylish rides!

More than just an awesome system, the Path feature shows some very in-depth thinking on the side of Carbine. They are looking not just to make a fun game, but a rewarding and exciting experience for many of us who have been playing MMOs and other games for years. (And new players as well, of course) They are taking into consideration trends and ideas and making them into valued parts of their game, from housing to active combat and now specialized systems to tune to your style of play.

Don't even get me started on the endless potential this provides with roleplaying, so many opportunities to now act out and show some of the awesome abilities we have been writing about for ages and so much more creative ideas to pull from!

And of course, these videos are always full of gorgeous sneak peeks into the amazing world of WildStar.

Until next time!

P.S. The hype train isn't done yet. Don't forget to check here later today for another awesome reveal!


Oh and Solomon King had asked a question last blog for Hawkens, so here's the Agent himself:

"Say Hawkens, what do you do in your down time when you're not advancing the glorious destiny of the Dominion through the all seeing eye of the ICI?"

Well it is refreshing to see /someone/ has a bit of respect for the might of the Empire. As for my down time? Well, there is a bit of it, I suppose between operations. I enjoy working on experimental weaponry and armoring and usually have many different odds and ends scattered all over my workbench in my private suite for modifications to my gear. I would not rate myself amongst the professionals who work tirelessly for these new inventions for the Dominion, but it is an enjoyable pastime. I also program and-

Hawkens...those aren't really "down time" activities. Those sound more like a job/

Hmph. Life is too short to not take seriously. If my pastime aids my job performance, all the more the better. But if you absolutely /must/ know something less busy...then I suppose I actually like cooking and animals. And do not even think of smirking at me. I can find you and wipe that stupid little grin off your pathetic face before you even know I am there!

Relax Hawkens. I am sure they are quite greatful for the insight into your life.

Can we move on now? I have work to do.

Of course. Well Solomon, I hope that answered your question! And as always for the rest of you, my dear readers, feel free to drop me a line with suggestions, ideas or more questions for Hawkens! (Or free free to send him cooking magazines and recipes. I know he would love those!)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting Started


The second wave of beta went live this past Wednesday, congratulations to all who got in! Make sure to give it your best! Also, if you want some tips on beta, check out my article here.

For those of you who did not get in, don't worry the fun isn't quite over yet. As originally explained in this article here, there will be a stress test weekend coming up in the near future. This will net another 15,000 or so invites for this weekend and the invites should arrive a bit before that weekend. Anyone who participates in this event will then also be rewarded with a more official beta invite. Good luck to everyone on that!

Oh, and this little bit released from Carbine here: what does it mean? We don't know yet. Could mean new classes are about to be released! What do you think?


Also there is a fun adventure thread going on in WSRP called Waypoint Down. It details the escapades of a group of Exiles and their struggles in making themselves a settlement outpost against the brutal Nexus wilderness, criminal elements and one very scowling Cassian who came along to the wrong place at the wrong time ;P A dozen or so roleplayers are participating under the impressively organized thread by our very own Sushi. I recommend to go check it out sometime if you would like to see an example of some good forum rp.


This blog topic was from Ceridwen, who sent me a shout a little while ago asking this:

I have always been curious about Roleplaying and the Wildstar RP community looks robust and exciting but haven't been able to take my first step in. No one I know personally RPs and I'm nervous about joining a RP guild or site without have dipped my toes in a little before. 

What I'm wondering is if you could write a post in which you explain how to get into RP (having little to no prior experience) for those of us who are interested but not sure where to start or how it works.”

First of all, this is an EXCELLENT topic Ceridwen and I have actually had quite a few people ask me about this since. So for today I will do my best to explain how to get started in roleplaying, especially with WildStar.

WildStar is an excellent place to get started with RP, in my opinion. A great new IP with a great community!

1)The Basics:

Why Roleplay?

So to begin, we start with a few important questions before you get started.. What is roleplaying?

Role-playing refers to the changing of one's behavior to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role.

In terms of roleplaying within the MMORPG community it refers to creating a virtual avatar and formulating a personality, job, speech pattern, background, etc for this character and playing them out as though you were them. Then, in turn, acting these characters out with others both in-character and potentially out of character as well or even with non player characters.

So why roleplay?

This was actually my first blog topic. I recommend that you take a peek at it here if you'd like a little more in-depth discussion. But I'll have Hawkens here repeat his conclusions:

Again? Can they not just go read for themselves?

Hawkens! We are being helpful!

Hmph. Fine. I believe I stated “Limitless Potential.”

Limitless potential! That's it! You can do SO much with the creative tool of roleplaying. And that's really what it is. Despite some of the more unsavory definitions the ignorant might portray us as, we are not insane sickos. We are all creative artists and this medium is our tool: our paintbrush or blob of clay. And the best part is that there are so few restrictions with this tool. Most of the limits lie only within our own imagination, leaving us free to explore and create with wild abandon. Limitless potential.

Consider Your Medium

      This?                        or                      This?

Are you playing a pen and paper game or an mmorpg? While the differences are not tremendous, there are some things to consider. For instance in an mmo you have the advantage of a physical avatar. Whereas in a pen and paper game you have the advantage of describing whatever you wish without the limitations of the character creator.

For the purposes of this blog we are discussing getting started with WildStar roleplay. This defines the systems you can use for character creation, races and lore. Though this slightly limits some of the things you can do with your character, it also provides so much more. Physically moving and animating your character is so very rewarding. Having them walk around, drive, fight and interact with others is one of the most powerful aspects of mmo roleplaying.

This also means that you can let some of the game decide certain aspects of your roleplay. Perhaps you get a mount or pet in game? You can work it into your story! Or perhaps you can roleplay as your character slowly and lovingly builds and decorates their own domicile.

Personally I just find having this attachment to your character, even when you are just randomly farming crafting goods or exploring is also fun. It makes the game mean just a little more and it's sometimes fun to make up little stories in your head while you wander around.

Make Your Character

Just like the character creator, there are steps to go through when starting a new creation!

This will be the avatar of your creative genius. The clay of creation waiting for you to mold and give the breath of life. Now that you have decided that you wish to roleplay and that you wish to specifically roleplay in WildStar, you need to create your first character.
I've found that simple 'character sheets' are the best to use when you start off. There are some with many, many questions that are great activities for further fleshing out your character, but too much when you begin with can be very overwhelming.

I am actually going to pull the character sheet from WSRP in for this one complete with a brief walkthroughs with each section. It's short, sweet and covers all the basics for a good start on a character.

Credit to Ender of WSRP for this excellent piece! Here's the link. I HIGHLY recommend to stop by and fill our forums with your characters! And if you would like to see some examples, check out the section for the Exiles and the Dominion!

Name: What is your character called? Do they have any nicknames?

Species: Is your character a purebred Cassian, a savage  uncultivated Draken or an efficient, no-nonsense Mechari? Is your character a stubborn (definitely not inbred) human, an unbreakable Granok or a fierce tail-hugging Aurin?
Gender: Male, female or anything in between.
Age: How old are they? How old do they appear?

Class: How does your character dominate the Exiles or lay waste to the creatures of Nexus? How does your character defend themself against the Dominion or the dangers of the Nexus?
Path: Is your character a kill, explorer, socialiser or collector?

Overview: Give us an elevator pitch of your character

Physical Description: What does your character look like? Skin color? Hair color? How is their build? Do they have any scars or physical marks?

Aesthetics: What is your character's taste? Do they like colors, or do they always wear black? Do they love jewelry? How do they prefer to keep their hair or massive and impressive beard?

Personality Profile: Describe you character's personality. Are they an optimist or a cynical loner? Do they have a temper, or are they like a mother to everyone they meet? What are their positive and negative personality traits?

History: What has your character been through until now? What shaped them to be who and what they are?

Talents and Weaknesses: What are your character's strong and weak points? Are there areas they are specifically skilled in or have particular knowledge about? Is there something your character struggles with?

Motivations and goals: Goals can help, giving your character a purpose to work towards. What do they strive for, both in the long and short term

Honestly I was going to go through and point out each section, but Ender really outlined them perfectly here. However I do want to stress one important point. It is okay not to finish this!
Also if you would like some more ideas, check out this nice thread of WildStar lore links from Starspun!

Not everyone knows exactly who their character will be from day one. And even if you think you do, they can change and grow in unexpected ways. So if you need to leave a few things blank or just want to see what comes to you later, that's fine. Don't sweat it. The basics are just here to help you get started. Keep in mind, though, the more thought you give to it, the easier time you will have roleplaying them!

2)Getting Started 

Finding Roleplay

Climb one mountain, defy gravity and leap through the crazy tech hoop, then you will find the sacred realm of the roleplayers...
This is honestly one of the hardest parts when you are beginning for the very first time. Sometimes it is difficult even for veteran roleplayers moving to a new medium or group. It really requires a lot of patience and courage on the part of the player really.

Now there is really nothing you should be worried about. Most roleplayers are friendly enough to their own and for every rude player you can typically find dozens of wonderful people out there. But there is always a bit of nervousness of whether your character will be accepted or understood where you are going.

Sad to say, there is no magic fix for this. If you want to roleplay you are going to have to be willing to take that first step. But I do have some advice that might help a bit.

-Be proactive
    Find a community that is active in RP for your medium. I personally recommend WSRP for WildStar. This is a phenomenal site frequented by some absolutely fantastic people. I really cannot rave about them enough. They are welcoming, friendly, willing to help, fun etc etc. They are awesome. The end.

-Get to know people
    It is much easier to play with people you know than total strangers. Find the introductions threads and say hello. Poke you head into the chat and speak with others now and then. Post your words and opinions in other threads. These are great ways to slowly piece together a personality over time. Oh and the best way? Post your character and read over others. Leave them with a compliment and maybe some constructive criticism or suggestions. Our characters are our pride and joy. Having someone take a look over our hard work is one of the greatest joys of rp and a good way to make friends!

-Be patient
    Not everyone will dive into rp with you right away. Sometimes a new face can make people a little tentative. It is nothing personally against you and you MUST remember that. Sometimes people have been burned badly by past rp and not knowing who you are throwing your character in can make some uncomfortable. And with no better way to put it, those who have rp'd longer are typically better at it. They have practiced, grown, refined and shaped their style over time. Sometimes playing with someone new is difficult as they learn and grow and evolve too. Don't take it as an insult. Take it as a challenge. It also helps when you get to know people and talk to them. Friends on the forums are much easier to play with then strangers!

-Be honest
    Let people know if you are new and wanting to find some people for advice or a chance to roleplay. Though some may be a little cautious, you will find most will be very excited to talk to you about it and there are usually quite a few opportunities to get started in the different threads on the forums. Roleplayers more often then not, greatly enjoy new and enthusiastic people looking to join alongside us.

In the end, finding roleplay can just be hit and miss. Sometimes you will find in easily and there will be tons of people looking to hang out and have fun. And sometimes you will find there is a dry spell of rp and no one wants to play much or they all seem to be doing something else. That's just part of the deal. Once WildStar launches, it will be easier to find rp with guilds, active environments and the ability to just walk up to others (forum rp isn't for everyone) So just hang in there and be patient. Have fun with the journey and good things will come!

The Do's and Don'ts

Stay respectful of others or prepare for some diplomacy that is no laughing matter!

Now that you've found somewhere to roleplay there is some unspoken etiquette that I think is only fair to share. Most of it is just common sense, but not always. These are good things to keep in mind when you play with others and will help make sure everyone feels appreciated.

-Be respectful
    These characters are other people's creations. And they are run by real living and breathing people behind that digital avatar. Be respectful of their opinions, emotions and their enjoyment of the game. This does not mean do not ever disagree or never hold conflict roleplay. This means do not take their character and dictate their actions on your terms without their permission. This means do not insult them and use poor criticism for their efforts. This means if they ask you to stop something, you STOP. At the end of the day we are all people trying to have fun. Remember this and respect that.

-Be humble and be realistic
    Does this mean never boast about your character or never speak highly of them? Not at all! What is does mean is don't always talk about your character as though no one else's matters. And be reasonable. While you might think your character is the greatest thing to come since sliced bread, not everyone will share that. And it is rude and often times uncomfortable to be told that you are expected to be enamored by someone's character. This also works when you are describing your character's abilities. Be reasonable. If our characters could all do everything all the time, what need would there be for other people? No one can do everything and everyone specializes in some fashion. While you may wish to be poetic in the descriptions, be realistic. In combat, characters take hits and wounds. Sometimes you lose (which can be a good thing! Check out my article on that here) And sometimes other characters will be more important than you for a bit. It's okay! When people work together, everyone gets a chance to shine and be “cool” It's also just plain nice. Perhaps your character is a decent hacker but is also an extremely good marksman. Your other teammate is also a good hacker, but a complete wimp in combat. This could be a wonderful opportunity to let them do the hacking even though you know you are good at it and letting them feel useful. Instead you can take the opportunity to work on the battlefield and let the hacker give you some intel.

-Be willing to learn
    Part of the pleasure of playing with others in roleplay is the fact that you never quite know what you will get next. This means that you will always see new and exciting things that will challenge your skills as a roleplayer. These are the things that help shape and change, not only how our character learns and grows, but how we learn and grow as roleplayers. But only if you are willing to do so. Be mindful when people offer you ideas or constructive criticism. Don't let them be rude and bully you. No one gets to tell you how to play. But that doesn't mean their ideas should hold no weight to you. Just take them with a grain of salt. You never know who will end up helping you to learn and grow in your roleplay!

3)The Future!

Much like that new trail in the horizon, the future in your rp can hold many wondrous surprises!


It never hurts to think of the future of your roleplay. Having a loose long-term plan can help a lot with not just your roleplaying but can also be a fun thing to look forwards to. So keep these things in mind when you are looking to get started but don't worry, you don't have to rush into these things!

    These are excellent places to find a community to play with. Guilds are collections of people who unify under a specific goal and work together to achieve it. Whether they be for PvE and raiding or PvP and warplots or many other ideas, they can be very rewarding to be a part of. Roleplaying guilds tend to have a theme for their rp, such as 'military based' or 'mercenaries' or even 'tribal clan.' These will give you an idea of what they are about and are meant to appeal to certain player's roleplaying styles who are looking for these types of things. So feel free to take the time and do a little research.

    The big thing to keep in mind that guilds are a commitment. This does not mean you can never leave or that you must be active at all times or else...only bad guilds will be rude to you like that. But it does mean that if you don't really feel like it, don't join. Don't waste others' times and effort just so you can get a little dungeon help. Be polite and be honest with them if your schedule is busy and most people will work with you.

Character Relationships
    Not everyone will end up in these, but for those who do, a word of advice : relationships, even virtual ones, take commitment. This means do not gun for someone or agree to these rp roles if you do not intend to follow through. Don't be afraid to end it if it is no longer fun or you just don't have the time, be honest about it, but don't ignore it either. Also remember that a relationship in-game is not a relationship out of game. You are not dating that person even if you character is dating their character. That is a separation you should consider and if you do not like it, don't play a relationship. On the flip side two talented roleplayers working together can make for some fantastic relationship roleplay that can be very rewarding!

    And while we are on the subject, a quick sidetrack into something most people don't like to talk about: ERP.  ERP or erotic roleplay is for those wishing for their characters to interact in a sexual nature. Before we get any further I want to point this out. This is perfectly okay. It really is. It's a part of human nature and not evil. If you want to do this and your rp partner is okay with this, then all the power to you! HOWEVER! ERP is between you and your partner(s) and not the rest of the community. Keep your private moments to yourself and respect that others don't want to hear/see it. Post your rp in private or party chat and be polite. There are enough people out there that assume that all roleplayers are horribly nasty perverts who only want to talk/play sex. This is hardly true and is so frustrating to be shunned for being a roleplayer because others immediately think ERP. If you wish to participate be respectful of others and keep it to yourself.


When you begin roleplaying, you open the door to a lot of potential fun and adventure. I have made so many wonderful friends and told the most fantastic stories throughout my years of roleplaying. Sometimes it grinds to a halt or sometimes bad things happen, people move on or plot lines end. But the nice thing to know is that there are always more opportunities just around the bend. You just have to be willing to look.

Be open, be malleable and watch as your characters take on real personalities and emotions. You might be surprised that what you begin with looks far different than what you end with!

And prepare for the day you finally set your feet upon Nexus!

This is just small bit of advice simply for getting started. I have much more detail I could go into for Character Creation, Guilds or many other subjects and if you want to hear one of these sooner rather then later, feel free to drop me a line! Otherwise I will get to them in time.

For now I do have these posts that you might find interesting:

Otherwise above all else, if you enter the world of roleplay with an open mind and remember that you are there to have fun, you will!

Hope this helps!

As always, feel free to ping me here, on enjin, twitter or my email if you have any ideas or topics you would like me to talk about! I love hearing from you guys <3 (And so does Hawkens, even if he won't admit it)

In fact, I think Hawkens might be a little put out that no one has asked him anything yet... wink