WildStar Wednesday: Introduction to Economy

Written by David "Scooter" Bass on August 15, 2012

This week, we'd like to introduce you to our Economy team. The team works on a lot more than you might think, but it's best if we let Jeremy explain it himself:

My name is Jeremy Wood, and I'm the programmer and team lead for the Economy Team. Econ handles everything in the world of items, from obtaining and trading them to customizing your gear.

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.

On top of all that, player gear will also be visually customizable. Players will be able to dye all of their gear using three different colors per item, resulting in tens of thousands of potential color combinations for each item in the game. Not every color will be easy to attain, of course, so if you want to look the best, we're going to make you earn it. We will also have a costume system, further allowing players to define their own look. In WildStar, every player will be able to showcase their own unique style, making cookie-cutter characters a relic of the past.

That's just a brief look at our philosophies on the Economy team, but we're really interested to hear what you have to say. The Community team tells me I'm going to be doing a Q&A next week in response to your questions, so send any questions you have to us via Facebook or Twitter, and we'll answer a few next week.

Big thanks to Jeremy for sharing his thoughts on WildStar's economy. Make sure you send in your questions for next week!

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