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WildStar: Social Systems Detailed

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 23,041MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

This week's WildStar Wednesday features a behind the scenes look at the social systems that will ship with the game. Designer Victoria Dollbaum gives her unique perspective on the hows and whys the team utilized when considering how to create the systems that encourage player interaction.

Social systems are entirely opt-in, that's important for you to know. My intent is to provide systems that you want to participate in, and that you're sufficiently rewarded for choosing to participate. There are those of you out there that are so fundamentally against systems such as housing. It's a common player worry that these systems can take away from the development time of other features such as combat or content. Let me ease your worries in that I am strictly a Social Designer, so all of my love and attention goes into providing you guilds and housing and other crucial social features without interrupting the development of all those other features that are essential to you.

Read the full article on the WildStar site.



  • ReizlaReizla 3,887Member Uncommon

    No fun movie? *is sad*

    Will read full article after dinner. Love to learn how they'd 'opt-in' a social system...

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  • SaydienSaydien StuttgartPosts: 266Member

    While I do like the incentives described in that article I still can't help wishing for some more informations before being excited in any way. There are people that seriously claim GW2 would encourage being social with what I strongly disagree. So before I will read more about those other systems beside the housing I'll consider that article as hollow claims that have yet to be proven with substantial data.

    Still I personally am glad that a woman is in charge of that stuff and I wish her the best of luck with it.

  • VesaviusVesavius Posts: 7,825Member Uncommon
    Wildstar is a sleeper hit I think. I mean, it won't be a *** killer or anything, but it will do well by all looks, on a Rift kind of level.
  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon

    I guess I've never understood the drive to grant incentives for being social. Players either are social or they aren't. Some people just want to do their own thing within the framework of a persistant world while others feel the need to chat with everyone and won't take two steps without some form of group. Dangling juicy rewards for socializing feels to me like your mom making you play with the neighbor kids. In the end, the developer that does this risks alienating the person who is doesn't want to be part of a herd.

    I've been interested in Wildstar since it was announced, but the fact that they have someone who describes themselves as "an avid MMO player and guild master" leaves me a little cold. At my age, I don't want or need someone encouraging me to "make new friends". We're not all middle-schoolers. To my mind, relationships should be organic, not something that has to be encouraged and incentivized.

    Yes, I know they're claiming that you can play solo if you want, but the undertext seems to suggest that being in a guild is SO much better! Ugh!

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgPosts: 6,185Member Epic

    Wildstar moves up another notch on my watchlist...


    Nice to see a game being built with socialization as one of the integral parts of the game. MMO's have neglected this greatly in recent years, with guild functionality often being added "sometime after launch", and in many cases that "sometime" was after 50% of the initial players had already left.


    However, I think one of the major reasons why socialization has all but vanished from recent MMO's is that most people don't expect to play the game for very long, so why bother to make friends ? Either those new friends or you will probably be gone in 4 to 6 weeks. In a modern MMO, you only really "need" a guild if you want to raid. Virtually everything else can be done solo all the way to level-cap, and level-cap is only a month or so of gameplay on average.


    It would be nice if Wildstar can keep players engaged for longer than the "standard 2 months", else all those socialization incentives will largely be ignored.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,526Member Uncommon

    social realms are extremely important. however, it's all worthless if it doesn't bring any type of muscle or benefit to the core game.

    Having a Player House is fine.

    Having a Player House that you and a few friends can turn into a popular shopping mall for adventures is fantastic.

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  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Posts: 7,062Member Epic
    Lots of fluffy words that sound nice. Would like to hear about what systems they plan to add to make this all happen.

    Wanna try SWToR? Or have not played in a few months. Please click my refer a friend link below and you get rewards as well.

  • CatibrieCatibrie Posts: 63Member Uncommon
    My husband wants us to try this game but I have to say the housing really is the first thing about this game that makes me want to try it. I really miss EQ2.
  • NadiaNadia Topsham, MainePosts: 11,866Member Uncommon

    im looking forward to playing this mmo next year


  • JabasJabas Caldas da RainhaPosts: 1,240Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Lots of fluffy words that sound nice. Would like to hear about what systems they plan to add to make this all happen.


    i didnt see any "Social Systems Detailed".


    I dont like the art style of this game, but i can live with that if i like some "key" features of the game like "social system".

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 5,845Member Epic
    I am starting to develope some interest in this game.

  • ReizlaReizla 3,887Member Uncommon

    Among experienced MMO players, there's a lot of nostalgia surrounding the older MMOs because the social systems they offered, provided, and forced upon players were vastly different than the systems found in current MMORPGs. These systems inspired loyalty, friendship, fear, hatred, camaraderie, competitiveness, pride, jealousy, adventure, love, sadness, and other powerful feelings in players. Somewhere along the way, MMOs have pared themselves down to a few basic social tools (chat, guilds, grouping) and a primary game type (solo play and questing) that no longer inspires those powerful feelings. Players overall are less involved, physically and emotionally, in the games they are playing.

    Now, I know that the older MMOs can be brutal. The reason that players were so social is because they waited 3 hours for a boss to spawn. They had the time to socialize and get to know each other. We're not going to be giving you grindy, time sink tasks in order to make you socialize. Instead, we'll give you the tools and the incentives to meet your fellow players, join them in their adventures, and hopefully make some lasting friendships (or enemies!). We want the feeling of old school MMOs without the brutal punishments that those same MMOs often doled out if you didn't want to play their way. We offer the carrot, not the stick.

    This part does sound promising. One thing though... I thought WildStar would be a fixed-faction MMO, but reading this it almost feels like a FFA PvP MMO like L2 and EVE...

    You'll be able to store and receive buffs, show off raid kills in your trophy room, and even have quick access to a dungeon or a raid. Is there a holiday event going on? You can definitely participate in the event in the open world of Nexus, but you can also find special housing specific events and rewards right on your property.

    WildStar is all about playing your way. You can choose to play solo. You can choose to not have a house. You can choose to make your housing property entirely private. You can also choose to be social, and connect with your friends properties (or even the ones that don't want a home of their own!).

    And this is such a contradiction on the earlier social system statement... Though I do get the drift what place housing will take in WildStar.

    I'm really starting to become extremely curious about how WildStar will look when it's released...

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  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,610Member Uncommon

    "Social Systems Detailed"???

    All she said was that it is important to her and she cant wait to tell us about it in the future......

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 2,106Member Uncommon

    I'm interested simply for the fact that she was a former FFXI Linkshell leader.

    That in of itself was a full time job.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    I have to admit,  I had exactly zero interest in this game until reading this article and finding out they have a designer dedicated to social features.  That changed the whole ball game for me.  This is getting very close to that "hybrid" (theme park / sandbox) game we've all been talking about.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,575Member Uncommon

    Yeah not much really detailed in the article.  Just a marketing thing I guess.


    I agree though that with proper attention, you can foster more socialization in a game by design.  Drawing from my own real life experience, I tend to be goal driven and rather quiet generally, until you put me in a situation like work where socializing is extremely integral to my job.  Then I'm very social.  

  • nomssnomss albany, NYPosts: 1,468Member Uncommon
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