After having the chance to talk with Carbine Studios' Jeremy Gaffney on their recently announced MMO WildStar, and they come back with an interview in which Jeremy, among other things, talks about how long the development cycle for the title has been so far, the races and factions, players interaction, phasing and more. Here's a sampling:
Massively: How long has WildStar been in development?
Jeremy Gaffney: Carbine originally started back in 2004 but was really in R&D mode for the first several years: laying out tools and client technology, working toward our eventual art style, etc. WildStar in its current form has been in development for roughly four years.
Is the gameplay going to veer toward a more action-based setup or a somewhat more traditional scheme?
As with many things, we're a blend. Our combat is a bit more action-based, but there's a core framework there that is pretty traditional. We try to build our combat around a cycle we call "Recognize, React, and Reward" -- we present you with a series of events during combat that you must realize are happening and figure out a correct way to handle, and if you do, we make sure there's a reward (extra damage, extra XP, etc.). We then build more complex events in over time and add more simultaneous events to handle at once; this makes combat pretty engaging and lets us handle things so that a new player might survive each battle, but a skilled player can really maximize the rewards out of each battle, with his skill rewarded even in low-level combat. Is it more action-based? Partly -- but really it's a combination of player skill and character skill.
Is WildStar aimed at being a more open sandbox environment or more of a directed game?
It's a directed sandbox. We layer all sorts of content in an area and then give a main storyline so that you have a direction if and when you want it. It's that whole let-players-play-how-they-like thing. In particular, we seed in AI ecology (monsters feeding on each other, seeking shade under the trees, etc.) and dynamic events (usually in the form of player-made discoveries) in most areas to keep it varied and interesting.