The Defile Deep Dive

Written by Team WildStar on November 06, 2014

Following their adventures in Blighthaven, the Defile is our next zone for level-50 players to explore and further uncover the story of Nexus.

Where the good guys are fighting corruption to a standstill in Blighthaven, the Strain and their master are winning here in the Defile. Your efforts so far have been to build up your forces and prepare for what’s coming. But the Entity has found some new ways to up his game - including a corrupted Primal Focus and a giant monstrosity determined to breach the Lightspire.

To make matters worse, the Exiles and Dominion can’t help but give one another a tough time, even as hordes of creepy crawly corruption writhe and squirm around every corner.

Everything kicks off when Drusera brings down the exanite walls separating the Defile from the rest of Grimvault. From there, players will make their way to the Sonic Plaza to begin their questing experience.

“There’s a pretty cool Challenge that starts in Blighthaven and leads to the Defile called Resonance Runner. It combines movement mechanics and holographic rings so players who love racing will get a big kick out of it!”

- Justin Bartlett, Lead Content Designer

The Defile has a lot to offer all types of players, and the design team aims to provide challenging encounters, and rewards, for all content types.

Solo players will have tons of new quests, new lore and exciting new areas to unlock. This is where we really start to drill into the questions surrounding Nexus, Drusera and the Entity. The content included with this update marks the end of the prologue of the World Story of WildStar and begins the next chapter in the Nexus Saga.

Exploration is greatly encouraged within the Zone, there are plenty of hidden areas and side stories out there to discover. So if you happen to see a gigantic, gaping, Strain Maw that looks inviting enough to jump into, do it! You can bet there will be challenges and rewards for doing so.

We sat down with Lead Content Designer Justin Barlett along with Senior Content Designer Brian Berke and Content Designer Morgan Brown to learn how The Defile has been streamlined to provide players with a smoother experience;

“This is actually the thing we are most excited about. Many barriers of entry are being lowered (or crushed), the burden of knowledge is being lessened, optimization is more aggressive, and the polish is being… polished. Yeah, we still have the “hardcore” content for the players who seek it, but we also have a wealth of content for everyone else—the rest of that pie, you know? WildStar isn’t supposed to be an exclusionary game. The hardness of one’s core was never to be a qualifier. It’s a game made for gamers, by gamers. Period. That’s why we’re so excited about it. Inclusion and quality of life are huge for us. And even though it's a massive content drop, the Defile marks just the beginning of significant improvements across the WildStar universe for our players.”

The Black Focus is one way the Defile offers small group content in the open world. The Strain has corrupted an Eldan-made Primal Focus. Using that power to charge several terraformers tied to the primal elements, the Strain has begun to directly infect Nexus itself. Once the players take down the terraformers, they'll make their way to Koral the Defiler via a series of collapsing platforms. Koral is an open world boss for groups of five players with some cool mechanics tied to the primal powers.

Players who want to add unique items to their player house will definitely want to group up to defeat Koral!

The Defile’s Siege of the Lightspire event offers guilds or public event circles a lot more to do - a five-part, 20-person public event where Exiles and Dominion can join forces (temporarily of course) to aim their guns and spells at a common foe: the Dreadwatcher.

We asked the design team what they felt was the most enjoyable aspect of the Defile and they all agreed that Siege of the Lightspire was high on the list.

“…but that might be just because when we’d have internal 20-person playtests, people would be constantly shouting back and forth across the office at each other. It gets pretty intense!”

With the new zone comes new factions to impress. Exiles will be gaining reputation with the Champions of the Defile while Dominion players will be working for the Crusaders of the Defile

Below are some of the top rewards you can get from vendors tied to each faction.

Everything done in the zone will increase your reputation: questing, small-group content and large-scale content like Siege of the Lightspire. We’ll also have a set of new, rotating daily quests to keep those yearning for more action busy as well.

Need more info? Here’s some Dev Team Q&A to round things off.

Was there anything you learned while working on the Defile that you would apply to another zone in the future?

“Yeah! Come up with more exclusive housing rewards that are intrinsically tied to different content nuggets in a given zone, whether it’s solo or group. People love that stuff.”

If you could tell players anything about the Defile, what would it be?

A talking spider is never a good thing. That's really about it without giving too much away. NO. Wait. If you’re on a PvP server in the “Siege of the Lightspire” public event, and you see the other faction dominating an objective, try to get your faction to grab another objective instead of going after the other team. We like hilarious PvP explosions as much as the next person, but this strategy is the smart money, and it’s good for Nexus.”

Anything else you want to share about the Defile?

“The Defile’s been a long-time coming and we’re glad it’s finally in the players’ hands. The new zone has something for everyone who enjoys WildStar’s open-world content, or modular solo friendly instances. It rips down some walls, widens the road, and offers a tall, cool drink of choice for new and old WildStar players.”

A big thank you to Justin Bartlett, Brian Berke, and Morgan Brown for taking the time to answer our questions and give us a deeper insight into what’s coming in the Defile!

Don’t forget you can check out the Defile page right here for even more information on our next drop: Mystery of the Genesis Prime, which is coming to WildStar on the 11/11/2014!

If you’ve got some thoughts on our upcoming drop then feel free to discuss them with other players in our forums, message us on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or our Forums.

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