WildStar Wednesday: Introduction to Economy

16 Aug 2012

Economy is a rather important subject in the MMO genre, so it's understandable that the Carbine team would dedicate one of their WildStar Wednesday angle to that, with the help of economy team lead Jeremy Wood. Here's a snippet on the aims of the team and how they tie up with itemization:
Our purpose is to provide players with meaningful rewards for their various acts of valor in WildStar, to give them interesting customization choices, and to maintain a healthy and robust economy for players to trade their wares. I would like to take a little time to share with you our goals and philosophies, and give you a glimpse into our plans for making WildStar stand out from the crowd.

Items have always been a big carrot for drawing MMO players into new content. The drive to get the best gear in the game, or to get that rare vanity item to show off to your friends, is often what keeps players interested in a game for the long haul. To that end, we have numerous game systems with which to reward players of varied gameplay tastes. There are the obvious, of course: questing, dungeon crawling, crafting, achievements, PvP, etc. On top of that, we have more unique systems to utilize, such as player paths and challenges. Our goal is to leverage all of these features to provide players of all tastes with interesting and powerful rewards, rather than to pigeon-hole our players into the "real game" if they want to collect powerful items.

One of the keys to achieving that goal is to make items more interesting and varied. To that end, we have created an item system that supports complex and powerful modification. Most items in the game are potentially modifiable, and often the best items you can get will require components from various other sources in order to unlock their maximum potential. We aim to have enough complexity that there will never be one "best" helm, but instead many equally viable modifications of different helms to choose from based on your own preferences and play style. This all ties in heavily with our crafting system as well, which as a result is far more interesting than the simple items in/item out that we are all used to.