Wayfinder dev interview talks about characters, items, endgame and more

Wayfinder got a lot of details and plans outlined in an interview. They touch on various topics, such as characters, endgames and more.

Wayfinder dev interview talks about characters, items, endgame and more

Games publication MMORPG recently sat down with developers Airship Syndicate for an exclusive interview. The team was represented by CEO Joe Madureira, Design Director Steve Madureira, Marketing Director AJ Lasaracina and President Ryan Stefanelli. Overall, the conversation was quite lengthy. The team addressed many things that players will likely have in mind as they get into the upcoming MMO.

So sit back, upload your favorite character and settle into Skylight in comfort. We have a ton to take care of!

Salute the trailblazers

Wayfinder’s story is usable and good for what it needs to accomplish. We are trailblazers, heroes of diverse origins who have taken up arms to defend the land of Evenor from ancient evils. The Wayfinders themselves are already given characters. Players can expect to experience character-specific plots and stories for each character.

However, the exact execution of these story threads is still being tested. Story Beats can appear in instances when you visit specific locations in a character’s story. Or just a place can bring back memories of the past that are worth remembering.

These instanced bits can also allow each character to interact with each other, especially if they’ve previously had a relationship. Maybe then we could shed some light on why the serious Wingrave would team up with the mysterious Kyros. Also, there will be quests associated with them, but they won’t be dropped all at once to protect the interests of the game’s players. Instead, it will be released in a seasonal period.

Much like Destiny 2, the idea is to do activities like expeditions and hunts that are so engaging that you’ll want to keep participating by switching between the characters you’ve recently unlocked.

Change the “Massive” to “Massively Multiplayer”.

Wayfinder is advertised as an MMO, but its meat focuses mostly on the instanced areas reserved for parties and matchmaking. So the question is, exactly how many players can walk around the open spaces at once?

Which zone am I conquering today

Which zone am I conquering today

Based on testing Airship Syndicate has been conducting over the past few months, Skylight, which is the main hub, can hold up to 40 people in one instance. The number is based on the most comfortable balance between stability and interoperability.

For larger activities, the developers still decide on the maximum number of players. This will likely depend on how they set up enemy respawn timers. Unlike classic MMOs, where 30+ people take part in long-running events, Wayfinder’s action genre allows you to wipe out dozens of enemies fairly quickly.

In addition, the team is investigating improving the implementation of an overworld. This will likely be similar to Destiny 2, where planets are populated with a plethora of enemies and events.

According to Ryan Stefano, President of the Airship Syndicate, “We want people to see each other as often as the game allows, whether it’s due to technical or artistic limitations.” This is a good way to go, especially as we realized during the closed beta that world design could evolve to make areas feel more alive.

Echoes, scaling and everything in between

In addition to the standard weapons and accessories, Wayfinder lets you collect loot known as Echos. You can think of Echoes essentially as mods. Each has their own stats, rarities, and abilities. Special promotions can even be triggered under certain conditions. The team makes it so that lower level areas that contain special creatures are still valuable to every player, whether their level is high or not. This is especially important when a player is trying to top up their Echo capacities to gain more power.

Lost Zones, for example, won’t be too easy for high-level players. The difficulty will be adjusted accordingly, so it’s not possible to one-shot down every monster there is. Although you naturally feel strong, encounters will not be a cakewalk. This leaves a certain challenge. However, it remains to be seen if random events will make it to the cut to complicate the encounter, but that would certainly be interesting to see.

With the full launch of Wayfinder, Echoes will remain available to all Wayfinders. There will be no character specific mods from the start. But Airship Syndicate has plans to potentially create mods that will further enhance a class’ abilities. For now, you’ll have to be content with simply honing your skills, as we experienced in the closed beta. But back then there was no way to respect the points already invested.

The Wayfinder monetization model

Monetization is perhaps one of the most interesting topics for any new game. This is especially true for a free-to-play MMO like Wayfinder. It’s a plus that Digital Extremes is the publisher, because maybe their model will find its way into this action title. They are known (along with Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile) for developing a fair monetization model for a completely free game.

First off, there will be no lootbox or gatcha system. The team wants to avoid players feeling like they aren’t getting what they paid for, which is an unfortunate side effect of random loot boxes.

There will be an awakening system that will allow you to recreate the same character over and over again to increase their power. Players cannot repeatedly purchase the same character from the shop. You can only “buy” characters if you don’t already own them. This is so you actually spend time waking up your wayfinder, not just leveling up with your wallet.

Also, as expected, there will be an in-game cosmetics shop. However, it is not yet confirmed if you can earn the in-game currency or if you can earn these cosmetics in other ways as rewards.

A character study

Things will get pretty boring if players would be limited to the current 6 characters by the end of time. Therefore, Airship Syndicate plans to release a new Wayfinder every 3 months. But it’s worth noting that new weapon types will be less common than new Wayfinders. Instead, variants of existing weapon classes will appear more frequently as the game updates.

It's Wayfinder Genji!

It’s Wayfinder Genji!

In addition, there will be archetype levels and talents that correspond to the characters you play. These features were not present in the latest beta. Now, groups of characters belong to specific archetypes, meaning that leveling up increases the level of that particular archetype. According to design director Steve Madureira, “For example, let’s say you start with Wingrave and max it out, you now have two talent points for all your Warmasters. Then there is the concept of cross-archetype talents. When you fully master a tree with one archetype, you actually unlock a special talent in your other archetypes.

We are now in the final

Wayfinder’s endgame plan is reminiscent of Destiny 2’s. Especially in the sense that you get access to new zones. This will pave the way for chasing a higher level cap, searching for new weapons and echoes, and even playing higher difficulty dungeons. Of course, the main story will still be part of the journey.

endgame activities

endgame activities

In addition, there will be a housing system that will not only be of a cosmetic nature. Aside from mentioning that its “slots are powered by power”, not much is known about what we can expect here since it wasn’t part of the beta. Maybe we’ll get some global passives, or even a consolidated Forge system in one place.

Search for the signpost

Wayfinder recently ended one of its closed betas. If you want to get our first thoughts on the game, check out our Wayfinder Closed Beta Impressions. Next thing on the agenda would be the game’s Early Access sometime this May. In the meantime, be sure to visit our Wayfinder wiki to learn more about the game. Keep an eye out for various Wayfinder guides and builds to make the most of your time in the game.

Other new additions include The Last Spell, a hybrid turn-based tactical tower defense RPG, and the new Wild Hearts update brings new Kemono, abilities, and more.

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