Why WildStar needs stat refactoring and which stats are on the way out

WildStar has a major stat rebalancing patch on the way — in fact, it’s so major that it needs a whole new term: stat refactoring. In a new dev blog published this morning, Carbine Lead Combat Designer Steven “Meerkat” Engle explains that primary stats and stats that derive into secondary stats, including Brutality, Finesse, Insight, Tech, Grit, and Moxie, are all set for execution; the studio further plans to run all stats though a balance pass and and adjust the ilevel power curve. The revamped system is intended to add clarity, interest, and consistency to the stat system.

Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti spoke to Meerkat about some of the impending changes; read on for the interview and some new screenshots too.

Massively Overpowered: Will there be extensive tooltips or other in-game references to help further understand how the new stats function?

Carbine’s Steven Engle: There will be tooltips in the character panel to explain all of the new stats. We’ve worked on making them short and concise, because accessibility was a key driving factor in the decision to revamp the stats in the first place. But like everything, it’s also something we want to look toward player feedback with so we can improve the feature if needed.

Why wasn’t the confusing nature of stat names identified and dealt with back in the development/beta period?

Originally, stat names were chosen that way to add to the uniqueness of WildStar. Honestly, there weren’t any other games out there with stats like Finesse and Moxie, that was uniquely ours. What we didn’t anticipate, and what we eventually learned once the game was out in the wild and being touched by so many players, is that those cute names were really confusing to players. So now, based on player comments and feedback from some of our internal team members, we’re reworking the stats in WildStar to be more understandable by just about any type of player.

Will players log in after these changes to find that their hard-earned gear and runes have depreciated in power?

We’ve tried very hard to keep it all relatively the same; balancing the experience so that players will feel familiar with how their characters play but still feel that the system has improved overall was a key goal of ours during this process. Although, we no longer support the former 40 man versions of Datascape gear.

What will happen to currently socketed assault power runes?

All runes will be un-socketed from items, and then replacement tokens will be mailed to the player. We’ve set up vendors with all the new runes and you’ll be able to get whichever runes you’d like.

Thank you for your time.

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Cosmic Cleric
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Cosmic Cleric

Skyewauker deekay_zero How does your new to the game friend catch up then?  Or are you saying they would have to be taken through all of the previous raids to get to the raid you’re at?

Cosmic Cleric
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Cosmic Cleric

Craywulf Actually, I think this time a tree in the forest is just a tree in the forest.
You may be right though, they may try to sneak in nerfs as part of the stat refactoring, but they’re honestly (IMHO) trying to remove confusion in the stats the player needs to know about/use.

Cosmic Cleric
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Cosmic Cleric

Esoteric Coyote “I think the only issue with the stat names were they were often something different for each class.” 
When I played Wildstar, I had to keep an image up on my second monitor that was a chart of each class and what stat’s they needed/benefited from, and in particular the conversion of the same stat name and what stat benefit it actually gives.  Was a pain.

Cosmic Cleric
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Cosmic Cleric

Sinaptic One person’s “click bait” is another person’s “informative article”.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

deekay_zero Skyewauker I am of the opposite mind.  I think attunements and progression are sorely needed.  I think they could remove some steps though.  They went full on Onyxia attunement mode.  They should rework the attunement so its more of a “are you ready” type keying instead of the current meaningless crap.  Something like this :

1 : Complete 2 Veteran Shiphands with gold or better
2 : Complete 4 veteran dungeons with gold or better
3 : Kill 1 level appropriate World bosses

Thats all you need really.   All of the in betweens and the key you need for the 2nd raid are pointless.

I hate catch up mechanics.  I really do.  Its one of the reasons WoW became a huge turnoff for me.  I hate putting in hard work and 4 months down the line, a friend of mine I did Recruit-a-friend with has better gear in 2 days.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

dorn2 Skyewauker FFXIV got it right.  A lot of their hard modes are just 8 man versions of their 4 man content.   They make the duty finder a requirement and it worked out amazingly.

Mallein
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Mallein

xk_tweets deekay_zero Koolthulu “the pendulum swings (often too far) towards making the game easier and more accessible.”
This point succinctly explains why I am decidedly uneasy about what is to come. How much Wildstar will remain, after they’re done? 
Had I sufficient belief that Carbine knew what it was doing with the game’s positioning and outreach, then I’d be much less apprehensive. That’s not a quality I’ve been able to attribute to them, from their handling of Wildstar, however. Have they done enough to inspire confidence?

Mallein
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Mallein

Koolthulu exactly. I’m just glad seeing someone else raise that point as that part of the interview raised an eyebrow, over the point of sincerity of that response.

Mallein
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Mallein

deekay_zero karmamule I don’t understand why that hasn’t already happened, for how surely minor an effort it would take – but how it might affect/enhance a percentage of players’ time with the game for the better.

Mallein
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Mallein

deekay_zero Pandalulz oh my. I remember just picking the one I liked the sound of, and stacking it. I only had a very rudimentary understanding of how Wildstar’s own-brand stats related to the ones to which I was accustomed. But, I had all that stat I could find.

Sinaptic
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Sinaptic

An actual good article on Massively what is going on here?

Getting tired of the cheer leading anet or click bait SC stuff?

Going back to why people funded you? Are you ok massively I think something must be wrong with you.

TheJewishMerp
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TheJewishMerp

It’s actually nice to see constructive discussions about Wildstar these days.

Kaloth
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Kaloth

Esoteric Coyote I agree. It was just one more thing that put me off the game. If a stat is going to give crit, it damn well needs to do it regardless of what class I’m playing.
That said, I really enjoyed the ‘flavour’ that the stat names brought to the game. Something different so it’s not just another generic MMO.

dorn2
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dorn2

Skyewauker 
From what I’ve seen 10 isn’t all that much better.  SWTOR went with 8 and even that didn’t work.

It’s time to give high end dungeons a chance.  Why does every new tier have to be a raid tier?  Just once let’s see how popular a high end dungeon tier would be.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

I think the only issue with the stat names were they were often something different for each class.  That’s what confused the hell out of me.  I’d play one character and learn “Okay Moxie gives crit, crit is good”, then I play an esper and it doesn’t give crit, it gives assault power, and I’d get super confused. That is my issue.  I don’t care if they name crit Moxie, it’s cute in my opinion.  I do mind if they make every stat do something completely different for each class.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz sray155 Yeah, in games and music, there’s a little bit of a sliding scale there instead of binary boolean values.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz sray155 Yeah, but it’s a subgenre.  Like Soundgarden is grunge, and falls under alt-rock, but Radiohead also falls under alt-rock and I wouldn’t call them grunge.  In the same way that Call of Duty and World of Warcraft are both online multiplayer games, but only one is officially an MMORPG.  I can think of a million alt-rock bands, but not very many that I’d call grunge.

kericstiq
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kericstiq

Polyanna I don’t think you are talking about the stat names anymore ^^

Wildstar really did learn though.. and in just 1 year too

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

sray155 Man, I’m having the hardest time trying to remember grunge bands, and I mean, that was pretty much high school for me too.  But my mind pretty much goes straight from the classic rock I listened to in middle school and then jumps to alternative, blocking out everything in between, which I guess is really because it was high school.

sray155
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sray155

Rift = Silverchair
Eve Online = Alice In Chains
Let’s keep going with this.

sray155
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sray155

Too true. It really further highlights the need to stop trying to build “one size fits all” MMORPGs.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Stat refactoring….a marketing term for NERF!

RicharddeLeonIII
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RicharddeLeonIII

Skyewauker As casual as I am, rather than a max 10 I would rather they make the scalable from 10 to 40 man.  There is something to be said for enjoying 40man runs.  Part of me misses the double 72 man Vex Thal raids I used to do in EQ1.

sray155
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sray155

I guess my overall point about Wildstar is that while people complain about the differences, I believe that it is the similarities to everything else are what really cause its issues.

Estranged
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Estranged

deekay_zero Estranged breetoplay Serrenity Pandalulz bryanjturner

Once you are brainwashed by MS, going Activision is easy.  LOL

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

bryanjturner Hello I am Blizzard General Counsel. Please have a seat

sray155
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sray155

There’s nothing “wrong” with Wildstar: it’s a good game. But… there’s nothing there that isn’t already available in something else on the market, and that leaves very little truly unique left: a cartoony appearance that I love but is considered highly off putting, and a combat system that has a fairly steep learning curve for group content; neither one is likely to be endearing to a large audience. It’s still built around a solo oriented leveling experience followed by raid/PvP or GTGO cupcake; non-raiders are still second class citizens, and endgame progression is still entirely vertical. Wildstar is a good game, but so many of the differences that people point out are just saying “but the trees are all oak”; which is true, but it’s still just another forest.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz bryanjturner The Chromecast is pretty crappy for PC to TV streaming in my experience.  It only really seems to work well when it’s pulling the signal straight from the internet and can handle its own buffering and speed throttling and whatnot.  The wife uses it once in a while to watch streaming video from CBS’ webpage and her Beachbody workouts on Chrome and it tends to hang a lot and loses audio sync.  But at the same time, a box dedicated to Steam and only Steam seems even more pointless.
With the Shield, can you just stream your desktop or whatever else, that would make it infinitely more useful, having the WHOLE PC usable from a remote location vs just with games?

Estranged
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Estranged

deekay_zero breetoplay Serrenity Pandalulz bryanjturner Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Microsoft has had this locked down for a LONG time.  “Just good enough” to ship.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

sray155 Lol for the analogy.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz bryanjturner Apparently I missed the announcement of the Link altogether and just thought it was a tiny steambox that I didn’t care about instead of a first-party product.  Whoops, but still uninterested even realizing the truth.

goettel
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goettel

Just for the record: The Kingdom of Loathing has had a Moxie stat since 2003.
Otherwise: carry on, they’ll come.

sray155
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sray155

The sad contradiction here for Wildstar is that the more accessible they make it, the less unique it becomes. The tragic part about that is that it really, really needs to be more accessible, and yets also needs to do more to be different than every other “WoW clone” out there. In my opinion, this only serves to highlight how derivative the game is; and that in turn is going to make the game seem like a cartoony clone of TERA and/or Neverwinter once it hits Steam this fall.
If this was the 1990s and MMORPGs were grunge bands, WoW would be Nirvana; TERA would be Pearl Jam; SWTOR would be Stone Temple Pilots; which leaves Wildstar to be Candlebox. And Candlebox is not a band you want to be.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz bryanjturner At this point, the only thing I really consider to be a full on Valve physical product is the controller, and that’s taken such an absurdly long time to get to the point where it looks almost just like an XBox controller anyway.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

I wish they would lower raid sizes to 10 man max.  Would make the game a ton more accessible end game wise.

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz bryanjturner I actually forget they’re even in the physical product space now, since they’ve been in the “when it’s done…” zone for so long.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Serrenity Pandalulz bryanjturner Gotta give that one to Pathfinder – “minimum viable product.” Hehe.
And GW2: “When it’s ready!”

xk_tweets
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xk_tweets

deekay_zero Koolthulu 
“but alt of the full time testers were extremely active on the forums and
shouted it down, and these are the people that it was evident from the
outside of the NDA CBT from about just over a year before launch that
carbine was pandering changes to the game for, both pve and pvp, and
listening to to the exclusion of the less organized, less rabid and less
time invested in game and on the beta/fansite forums people saying this
is weird and confusing and not clear.”
Honestly, that’s been my experience with most MMOs. Over time, as the devs develop relationships (which are almost always with the vocal, hardcore players who are always there and pushing), development starts catering to those players. WildStar just somehow STARTED at that point.
(To be fair, there is then eventually a point where the devs realize that having a tiny hardcore base of players is contrary to the idea of making money (especially in a subscription model) and the pendulum swings (often too far) towards making the game easier and more accessible.)

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

deekay_zero Pandalulz bryanjturner Valve would have to admit they were working on something in the first place though.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

Pandalulz bryanjturner I think Blizzard went with a new one, “When we have the bare minimum….”

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

bryanjturner I thought Blizzard had, “When it’s done…”  :P

bryanjturner
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bryanjturner

You can’t use soon it’s already trade marked by Blizzard, they’ll sue us into the ground!

pkudude99
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pkudude99

Quoting my own blog post after a couple of hours spent in the WS open beta:
“the fact that I couldn’t understand my stats and the tooltips for them didn’t say anything other than “this gives you 0.37% increase” which wasn’t really helpful, and well…. ”

Yeah, didn’t buy, didn’t play.  Once it goes F2P, I may give it another look, but my initial impression was pretty bad, so even F2P might not be enough to get me to be a tourist.  We’ll see when the time comes.

bryanjturner
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bryanjturner

Did this game go free to play yet, if not when is the date?

wild_abyss
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wild_abyss

Pandalulz Yes! I actually love the names and wish they were staying. Just make what they do consistent.

blackparrot89
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blackparrot89

So what Carbine had to hit rock bottom to find some common sense? It shows once more that the original devs where living in a bubble and stood further away from its playerbase then any other game in history.

Oh irony considering their moto  ” the devs are listening “

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

The thing that made it goofy, I don’t think was the cute names though. It was the fact that the stats did something different for EVERY single class.  I mean in something like WoW, Strength has the same effect on each class across the board.  It may be useless for some, but at least you know what it’s supposed to do and why to avoid it.  In Wildstar, every time I’d find new gear, I’d have to open my character sheet and hang over the tooltip to remember what stat I needed, and then god forbid I logged out and played a different class, I’d have to recheck all over again.

karmamule
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karmamule

They should have the same guy who announces leveling up do a special announcement for the first time you log in after this refactoring:

“Oh s&#t cupcake, EVERYTHING you know HAS CHANGED!!!!!”   :-D

anatheod
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anatheod

as a new lvl-50 i dont really mind the change. My gear is fairly rubbish and i doubt it ll make any difference in the end. I am more interested in the new stats they will introduce.

wolfyseyes
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wolfyseyes

I’m very happy with how they’re handling pre-socketed items. Being given a like for like return on those runes is smart. I am really curious if runes will allow for playstyle customization or will simply just be to improve base stats. I always felt like jard item stats should improve base numbers while socketing is where you go to tweak gear to your playstyle.

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