WildStar taking you on a new path?

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WildStar is a new MMORPG that is currently in open beta (you can sign up here) and seems to be offering a new mechanism for gameplay.  Beyond race and class, they have a special system called path.

The goal behind paths is to let the individual player get more of the content that they personally enjoy.  So while everyone will have to go run around doing certain quests and killing enemies as usual, the unique paths will give the player access to specific content.

The four paths are explorer, scientist, fighter and settler.  These are based on the work of Dr. Richard Bartle, who found four types of players when studying video game psychology.  As such, each path focuses on these personality types to a certain degree.

The explorer gains access to all kinds of hidden areas through exploration.  This means that they can find different areas, as well as do those missions where you have to get from point A to point B in a set time.  

The scientist is more interested in the planet and lore – using a scanner bot, the scientist also explores different areas and uncovers the meanings behind landmarks and the environment.  Oh, and with enough path XP can also scan the enemies more efficiently to understand how best to kill them.

The fighter likes to kill things, and therefore gets all kinds of experimental weapons, as well as hold outs.  Not to mention all kinds of mobs and bosses – lots of them.

The settler likes to build things, to take the wilds.  So they get to build buff stations, camp fires and all kinds of structures – they even get path XP when other players use their buildings.

You can see a pretty nicely done video where the dev explains all this here

Or you can watch an irritating video that vaguely explains it.

 I am not won over by WildStar – their game looks like someone watched the Borderlands 2 trailer and decided to make a game of their own.  I’m not interested in yet another MMO.  That said… I actually really like this idea of paths.  I generally play rogue characters (rogues do it from behind – or far away), but it would be nice to be a special kind of rogue who builds things.  Or scans things. I wouldn’t mind seeing this is my next non-MMO RPG.

 What do you think?  Awesome mechanic, or yet another gimmick?

Last Updated: May 23, 2013

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