One of the most exciting and innovative features coming to WildStar is the Paths system, which allows players to choose what type of side-content they prefer. A character's path is chosen during character creation, and is a permanent aspect of that character, such as race or class.
Paths are a major form of side-content in the game, offering tons of completely optional content geared towards a player's preferred play style. This style can be determined by taking the Bartle Test, a 30 question quiz that reads into a player's preferences for online gaming.
The Four Types
Bartle suggests that there are four core types of players who partake in MMOs, on a two-axis spectrum of playstyle preferences. Though a single player may have a draw towards each of the four motivations, often there is a single motivation that spurs the others, such as an Achiever's desire to explore the whole map for the sake of completion.
Achievers set goals for themselves in game, and make it their duty to complete them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Typically this includes accumulating rare or powerful treasures, holding high in-game status, or accomplishing nigh-impossible tasks.
Socializers prefer to spend their time in the company of their friends and fellow players. These players prefer to role-play, or engage with their friends more than interact with the game itself.
As the name would suggestKillers play MMOs to kill things. They are engaged by having gripping combat, and most enjoy the liberal application of powerful weapons into their foes, most often other players.
Explorers seek to know and understand as much as they can about the game world. These players seek to know hidden secrets, uncover knowledge, and be a source of information for others around them.
Bartle Types in WildStar
In WildStar, Bartle types get taken to the next level, being implemented directly into the gameplay. Once a player has selected their path, they will receive content exclusive to that path throughout the game. Path content is completely optional, and only a player of the selected path can partake in that content, unless they are grouped with another player using crossing paths. The fact that a player can choose a different path for each character also dramatically increases the replay value of WildStar, and offers compelling motivation for players to work in groups. Paths in WildStar are designed to give each player a more fulfilling experience that includes their favorite types of content, whether it be secret knowledge hidden in closed off areas, or killing waves of enemies followed by a unique boss encounter. For more information on each of the unique content that each path presents, or to compare Bartle types with WildStar's paths, check out the section on Paths. A brief account of each path is detailed below.
The Explorer path focuses on map exploration and platforming. The Explorer path gains unique access to secret locations, and is tasked with challenges such as reaching the tops of mountains, climbing jumping puzzles, and completing scavenger hunts that will take her far and wide across the surface of Nexus.
The Scientist path concentrates on completionism, understanding the game world, and finding things that are a secret to everybody. The Scientist gains access to a customizable scan bot, and spends their time discovering the secrets of Nexus. Scientists gain access to hidden lore, blocked off Eldan ruins, and special events like reactivating ancient AI to provide buffs and offer advice.
The Settler prefers social engagement with other players, and utilizing multi-player features. The Settler in WildStar can literally build buildings, creating buff stations, quest givers, and vendors with rare loot. The Settler is everyone's best friend, and can dramatically improve the quality of life for players around her.
The Soldier path is meant for players who love to kill enemies in games. The Soldier gets access to unique weapons, huge fights, and unique boss battles that will test her reflexes, cunning, and mechanical skill.