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!)


  1. Sexploring. There you have a word for exploration with an S in it.

    Seriously though, that was a good blog entry!

    1. Hmmm, well I suppose it sort of work... ;P

      Thanks much, glad you enjoyed!