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Changes coming to Datascape

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#1 CRB_Timetravel

  • Carbine Studios Staff

Posted 14 November 2014 - 08:59 AM

We are re-balancing Datascape to be a 20-player raid instance instead of its current 40-player size.

This is, obviously, a big change and will frustrate and excite players to varying degrees. I would like to take the time to explain some of the reasoning behind this decision.

We spoke to a number of raiding guilds--including all of the ones at that time who had experience within Datascape. The feedback across the board listed the extreme pressure that the 'roster boss' put upon those guilds, and the (in our opinion) excessive amount of additional stress it required simply to maintain a stable 40-player raid roster.

Our analytics shows that the player buy-in (number of players attempting the raid) is too low and that the player turnover (players who entered, then left and did not return) is much too high.

This change should greatly help in addressing 'roster boss,' player buy-in, and player turnover rate without losing the epic experience of defeating some of the most challenging encounters in the market. Making this change will also allow us to improve the experience in several additional ways:

  • Combat - Our combat system functions much more cleanly in a smaller 20-player raid environment. We feel that it has been extremely successful in Genetic Archives. Reducing the number of players in Datascape to match Genetic Archives allows the encounters and rooms and mechanics to be much cleaner, clearer, and enjoyable for players.
  • FPS - More people means more load, and a 40-player raid further restricted the pool of players with machines that were capable of running the content as smoothly as we’d like. Reducing the player count will greatly reduce the load on players' connections and computers, helping out quite a bit for a number of rooms and encounters within Datascape.
  • Future Content - With a consistent raid size, it allows us to streamline our future content and no longer split it among varying raid sizes. This will allow future zones to have more clearly defined places in the progression, and avoid the disconnect that can arise when attempting to compare raids of different sizes.
  • Guild Management - Running a guild is a lot of work. Having two separate raid sizes forced many guilds to attempt to rapidly expand from 20 to 40 players after finishing Genetic Archives, additionally causing the work required to manage that many people to increase exponentially. Having our raid sizes be consistent across all zones will create a clear expectation and balance for players and guilds that they can plan and build around.
  • Testing - It is very difficult not just for players, but also for us to assemble 40 people to test these encounters. This has made it very difficult for us to adequately test many of these encounters internally. Reducing the size will allow us to balance, tune, and bug-fix our encounters much more effectively.

Finally, I'd like to make a couple more points that deserve clarification and answer a few questions that are surely incoming:

When is this happening?
Currently we are planning to convert Datascape to its 20-player version with our 1.2.0 patch.
It will be available on PTR in its 20-player iteration as soon as the next drop arrives there, and we would greatly appreciate all help players are willing to offer in testing it!

Additionally, we created a PTR-only version of the raid's teleporter to allow groups to jump to any room in the instance and test it without having to progress naturally through the zone.

Are the encounters being nerfed?
No, they are not.
Some aspects may feel easier to handle because of the reduced player count, but none of the encounters are being reduced in difficulty.

Will the 40 still be available?
No, it will not. Existing achievements earned in the 40-player will be converted to Galactic Hotshot achievements.
The 40-player version will remain available until Datascape-20 goes live.

Will the gear be changing?
UPDATE:  I'm actually going to edit this section. J-Tal's team is doing a huge amount of work on the item-progression within the game that will go live with 1.2.0 along with this change. In that light, yes, the itemization will be changing. However, Datascape will continue to drop the best PvE items in the game.
The number of items that drop per kill will be reduced to match the new raid size--you can expect it to drop about the same number of items per boss/miniboss as Genetic Archives.

Any questions that weren't answered?
Please post in this thread and I will answer as many as I can. I will also update this post with the questions and answers as I go.

Thank you all for playing and for giving us so much feedback, so many amazing wipes, and some amazing boss kills!

Edited by Timetravel, 14 November 2014 - 10:26 AM.

Multiplayer Systems Lead (Expeditions, Adventures, Dungeons, Raids, Battlegrounds, Warplots)

#2 intrinsc

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:06 AM

Will this mean 40man is finally dead forever in Wildstar?

#3 Cercie

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:05 AM

While I feel for the guilds that have been running this as a 40 man, I am super stoked! I had no desire to build up to a 40 man roster for this. I also had no expectation this would be re-done to a 20 man, so I had pretty much written it off for something my guild would see. I'M SO EXCITED NOW!!!!!


Thank you, TT <3

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#4 CunningLinguist

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:09 AM

I'm sure we'll have a small flurry of upset people (if a few people are good to their word that they'll quit if this happened, we'll lose some of our forum trolls! so win/win!), but this change was badly needed, and I'm very happy to see it coming!

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#5 Ryūko

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:10 AM

After months of trying, we are finally managing to form 40 man Datascape raids without big issues.


That being said... this is absolutely amazing, I am not upset one bit and can't wait for it.

Ryuko Matoi - Stalker 

Equilibrium - Jabbit (now finally raiding Datascape!)

#6 Niliana Bloodbound

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:15 AM

While I'm not upset, I'm a little bit sad to never see 40 man content with my guild. We're a casual nooblord (according to someone on reddit) guild and we are close to 3/6 GA, but we probably wouldn't have seen DS until next year. We'll have to make adjustments to our roster probably (we have about 45 attuned now and 30 raid ready), but I think this is a great decision for the longterm of the game we all love.


Thanks for letting us know, TT!

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#7 Jerodar

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:18 AM

Is the 1.2.0 patch the one coming in January/February (usually called drop 4)?

(Exiles -Jabbit - EU)

#8 Neurophenomenology

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:17 AM

This is really good news :) But I would have prefer, to be for 25-30 man instead of 20 man!


At least the performance issues will be reduced down drastically, and ppl can react better to certain mechanics...

At the moment, some DS bosses runs worst then a Warplot match or Thayd at peak times!



But again :) I really like this change, can't wait!

#9 Nikindu

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:20 AM

I hate you now TT. Couldn't you at least keep the 40 man version?

Miku Hatsune, Tank Warrior 9/9 DS Eugenified



#10 Ignore

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:23 AM

Stupid decision.

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#11 VicVanMeter

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:26 AM

Wonder if any of the guilds tied at 7/9 will clear Avatus 40-man before this change hits.


I can't say I have an opinion one way or another on this.  I don't raid.

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Since thou and I sigh one another's breath,
Whoe'er sighs most is cruellest, and hastes the other's death.  
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#12 Risor

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:23 AM

No, I simply do not agree with this decision. Just expressing my opinion.

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#13 Greenkitten

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:25 AM

Sad day. I don't really understand why you don't keep the 40-man in the game and just add the 20-man Datascape as a separate option?


I was enjoying the 40-man raid, I find it really strange to just take that away from us.

#14 ikillyouheal

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:26 AM

Finally!!! praise the lord (Timetravel)!

Best news ever!

#15 Guest_Spythe_*

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:27 AM

Smart move and what most of the original 40man raiders wanted. Adding 20 additional people doesn't enhance or bring anything to the table. It just takes away

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#16 Godofal

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:27 AM

What are the plans for the current DS? There are some fights that are overtuned and unkillable. Will they be fixed, allowing for current 40man raid groups to get to and kill avatus, before the switch to 20man?


I'm kinda bummed, 40man raiding is awesome, but it makes sense with the number of people seeing the content.

#17 Rundo

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:31 AM

Sad sad day....


Don't get me wrong, I truly believe this is the best decision, and will solve a lot of problems, but my guild was finally ready to start 40 man raiding, and now this... and i was so looking forward to start 40 man raiding xD




Though i do feel that they are making a mistake converting DS into 20 man. They should just leave it as it is and focus all their attention on a new 20 man raid.

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#18 Bazeleel

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:31 AM

Wonderful to see this change Timetravel!

#19 SlyJeff

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:31 AM

I didn't even expect to be in DS and I didn't think this would happen.


But now that it has, I have to admit I'm feeling pretty happy about it. Because now I know there will be a long road of content ahead of me. This gives me renewed enthusiasm toward raiding. Now if we could just defeat the roster boss for 20 people . . . haha!

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#20 Nyoro~

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 09:37 AM

Well done TT. Now just need to add Raid Finder and this game will be on par with the rest of the AAA mmos.