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Cracking skulls in Walatiki Temple!

Written by Team WildStar on March 20, 2014

We love PvP but we understand that smashing skulls isn’t for everybody. After all, not everybody gets the white-hot thrill that comes from chasing down an enemy player, having a desperate battle to the edge of your health bar, only to stand over their limp, weak, corpse as the ultimate victor laughing maniacally!

MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*ahem*

Even if you’re not a PvP Fanatic, Battlegrounds are a great way to quickly and effortlessly jump into a match and smash some faces, as well as score some Prestige (our PvP currency) and bragging rights. They also add an objective to the battle, so you don’t need to be the best player-killer in the world to help your team.

In WildStar, you’ll have two Battlegrounds to play in (with more coming post-launch) and today we’re going to be talking about the design goals behind our first one, along with the changes we've making to it during beta.

Walatiki Temple

Get ready for mirth and mayhem in Walatiki Temple, where two teams try to obtain ancient relics while battling to the death! Buried deep in the jungles of Nexus, the mysterious Walatiki Temple holds a number of magical Moodie masks, infused with the arcane powers of the diminutive Nexus natives. As each team searches the temple to find these valuable relics, they will have to fight the opposing team on its rickety wooden walkways and rune-etched walls. It's Archaeology 101 - to the death!

Walatiki Temple is the first Battleground you’ll unlock (at level 6) and is a play on the classic “Capture the Flag” game type. If you’re not familiar with Capture the Flag (or CTF), two teams compete for control over an object (in this case a Moodie Mask) that they need to bring back to their base to score a point. In our map type, whomever carries the mask is also at a bit of a disadvantage (slower movement, unable to sprint, and using movement abilities like Leap or Pounce causes you to drop the mask).

Walatiki differs from the usual CTF gameplay in a couple of ways. Each team begins with one mask already in their base, with “neutral” masks spawning over time in the central area. Players can also *steal* masks from the enemy base and bring them back to their base! These two elements not only enhance defensive play, but also require players to consider the larger game field and not focus only on one or two areas.

Near the start of beta, the game actually started with no Moodie Masks in play, forcing both teams to rush the middle and wait for the first neutral mask to spawn. It was through extremely helpful beta feedback that we decided to give each team a Mask at the beginning, to allow each team to make a decision on their early game tactics rather than just zerging the first mask spawn. It’s pretty satisfying to let the enemy team grab the first mask, only to have a pair of stealthed Stalkers steal it shortly afterwards.

On the topic of beta feedback, a lot of our testers made strong arguments that the map of Walatiki itself needed some improvements. Initially, we didn’t think we would be able to make significant changes in time, but thanks to some hard-work and extra hours from the PvP Team we’ve added in a number of new features that should address the issues they raised.

One of the main concerns from our testers was that Walatiki Temple was too small, and didn’t provide enough tactical routes for scoring and stealing masks. Here’s a list of some of the changes Beta Players will see in Walatiki fairly soon:

  • A second gate in each team’s spawn room provides another exit for players to use. Originally there was a teleporter that functioned as another exit but this wasn’t obvious enough.
  • The middle field has been flattened, which widens the “bowl” of Walatiki Temple and increases play space. The mask spawns have also been spread out and the Temple of Doom style rope bridges widened accordingly.
  • Line of Sight-blocking terrain (trees, rocks etc) has been scattered throughout the map (including inside bases) to provide ways to break up key combat areas and provide somewhere to run/dash for to help avoid telegraphs.
  • Finally, tunnels leading from each mask room to the “outer rim” of the Temple have been added. These provide different options for both stealing and scoring masks. You can see one of the tunnel exteriors below:

That’s it for Walatiki Temple! Next week we'll cover the second battleground, known as the Halls of the Bloodsworn. Here's a little tease to tide you over:

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