Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wildstar Journal - Day 7

As reported yesterday, I found that there was a good profit margin in doing refined power cores, buying the materials at the commodities broker and selling the power cores there. So I pushed heavily into that market. That significantly lowered the prices and profit, but I ended up with 40 gold (four times the cost of a mount). Fortunately buying, crafting, and selling doesn't take too much time, so I spent most of that session doing quests with my esper alt.

The reason I was playing my esper is that I noticed that his rest xp were low. In fact, after playing him for a while and using up his rest xp, I found he didn't gain ANY rest xp over night. Strange, the information I had about rest xp was that you get *some* everywhere, twice the number if you are in your capital city, and between three and four times the number in your house, depending on decor. In any case, it seemed worth it to level up the alt to get to level 14 and be able to park him in his house when not needed. In this session I made it from level 11 to 13, so this goal is getting close.

In the process I observed another weird thing: In Wildstar you don't get a talent tree, but you get AMP points. And to get to the higher levels of AMP abilities, you need to find those skill AMPs as a drop or buy them from a vendor. And it turns out that the distribution of the AMPs you can find is seriously skewed. My warrior is swimming in AMPs. My esper can't find any AMPs for the assault branch of the AMP talent tree. That is reflected also in auction house prices, there are hundreds of those warrior AMPs for cheap in the AH, while the esper assault AMPs are not available, or have a single one in the AH for 10 to 100 gold.

Besides the random drops, you can get AMPs from vendors. So I looked up the AMPs I needed for my esper. Bad luck, there aren't any assault AMPs in the zone I'm in. I would need to switch to the other newbie zone and grind reputation to buy one of them there. A second one is in the capital, but only sold for prestige points, the PvP currency, in spite of not being a PvP-specific AMP. And the other three are in much higher level zones. So in the end I decided I couldn't put my points in the assault tree as I wanted, and went for the utility tree instead. The support tree (healing) is useless for soloing.

Hmmm... restricted skill trees (e.g. if Esper assault skills turn out to be deliberately hard to get) seem like a potentially interesting concept. Also a dangerous one, if monetised...
Assuming that AMP imbalance is intentional and not just bad itemization is giving Wildstar an awful lot of credit. Have they said this somewhere? I don't buy it. When I played in beta, it was clear there were huge imbalances in the crafting economy, for example. Here Tobold is still making good money from a specific combination of crafting, but I suspect most crafting remains a large money sink.

It bugs me that the game has apparently spent a huge amount of attention on end game content without getting the leveling basics right, such as economy and AMP availability.
Tobold may have got in quickly to a market that will soon be saturated. crafing in most games has niches for the quick, or those prepared to wait for an annual event or similar.

As for the putative difference in availability for different lines, I doubt it too - but I think it's an interesting concept from a game mechanical point of view.
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