All you need to know about Wayfinder before its Early Access

This pretty fresh and ambitious free-to-play hack 'n slash action-adventure set in a rich fantasy world is about to release in Early Access on PC and PlayStation, and in this interview Airship Syndicate's Steve Madureira talks about its lore, its open world, its random dungeons, its social aspect, and more.

Audio transcription

"We're at Summer Game Fest Play Days Day 2, and one of the games I've just played a little bit is Wayfinder.
And it seems like a rather dynamic and varied and open-ended sort of action, hack-and-slash, open-world, shared-world game.
So, first of all, what is a Wayfinder?
Sure, so Wayfinders are basically like the heroes in the world."

"All of the Wayfinders actually perished defending the world against the Gloom in the past, and you're actually brought back as an Echo.
So what you're playing is an Echo of someone who existed in the past.
And kind of like how, you know, in the Spider-Verse you have Miles Morales and Peter Parker, both Spider-Man, but they're each their own unique person."

"And so you can be playing Windgrave and someone else is playing Windgrave, but it's your Windgrave.
And you can customize them, you know, you're your own person, your choices are your own.
What weapons you use, how you upgrade your abilities, how you look, there's lots of cosmetic options.
And so, yeah, the Wayfinders are brought back into Skylight, it's the last bastion of humanity."

"It's the only place that hasn't been taken by the Gloom, and you're kind of working to light beacons and take back the world from the Gloom.
Alright, and to do that, there's several things you can do, right?
From what I've played, I got the impression that there are three main elements to the game.
Like the way you explore the open world, then the dungeons, which are randomly generated, and then the social aspect."

"So let's sort of describe these three main aspects, or if there is any other that I didn't mention.
Yeah, so like you were saying, there's overland areas, which are big open world areas.
You'll see other players out there doing quests, finding world bosses, doing events that spawn in the world, exploring, finding secrets.
You can find dungeon entrances there."

"Then the dungeons themselves, we call Lost Zones.
It's basically an area of the world that the Gloom is taking over, and you're going in there and destroying the Gloom anchors and trying to take back the area.
It's randomly generated each time the Gloom is manipulating reality as you go in.
And those will be instanced dungeons with three players."

"You can play most of the content in the game solo or with others.
The game will tune itself based on the number of players.
There are some activities that do require a group, but we have matchmaking to make sure that there's people around for that as well.
So we're trying to make sure that there's something for everybody, whether you like to be alone in a crowd or always playing with others."

"And then there's the social aspect with housing, which also affects the character progression.
Yeah, so Skylight is the big social hub.
So you'll see other players around there, NPCs to talk to, get quests, do crafting, buy items.
And then housing is another big aspect of the game."

"So when we launch, we're going to have apartments.
So it'll be an interior space that you can decorate, hang out with friends.
And the housing is actually another paper doll and a way to increase the power of your characters also.
You'll be able to find rare artifacts you can place in your house that you can activate powers on."

"And the bigger your house, the more powers you can activate.
You'll also be able to find things like trophies that like animate, do fun things, pets for your house.
Some of the trophies you'll be able to interact with.
Like, for example, a trickster is this entity in the world."

"And he might show up in a dungeon and have like games of chance, like a trickster chest that you can open.
And you might be able to place one in your house if you're lucky to find one.
And you can like get a free roll every day on it, that kind of thing.
Or skeleton keys, which you can find in the overworld to open chests and dungeons."

"You might be able to have like a plaque on your wall that spits out a key once a day.
So there's definitely other things other than just cosmetic.
We will be eventually launching neighborhoods.
So you'll have an instance neighborhood where you can have a house next to a friend."

"Take a look at how they're decorating their house.
We want to have ways that you can have a slot for artifacts.
Your friend can leave an artifact in a house to power you up.
We want to do stuff like neighborhood events and community events in the neighborhood to level up your neighborhood."

"And eventually guild housing and all of that.
So from what I've played and the things I could do with the character, it seemed to me pretty agile.
You have several abilities that you can choose.
Sort of an abilities wheel that you select and then you deliver your blow."

"So what can you tell us about the different types of characters and the abilities that players can choose from?
So every character has their own unique play style.
They have unique abilities. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
You'll be able to upgrade abilities as you play and kind of change how they function."

"Weapons are also like their own characters.
You level them up and they'll gain power.
And every weapon comes with a unique ability as well.
And any character can use any weapon."

"So you can mix and match and use daggers on your Windgrave who normally starts with a sword and shield.
But your other friend has a two-handed weapon so you know they're going to be guard breaking enemies as well.
You can swap to daggers and just rely on that big DPS.
So really based on your play style you can use a rifle if you're more into ranged play but you like Windgrave's abilities."

"So a lot of customization for characters there.
And you mentioned earlier that the game for now supports up to three players together.
Is that a figure that you want to change in the future?
Is the game ready, the design of the missions and stuff ready to host more players working together?
So in the instance dungeons and bosses those right now are tuned for up to three people."

"In the overlands right now we have some world bosses in the game that are balanced for more like ten people at once.
So if we already have some in the overlands you'll be with lots of other players.
We do plan on adding raids later which will also have more than three people.
Okay and Wayfinder is finding its way to PlayStation and PC this year if I'm correct."

"With both cross-platform and cross-save features.
Right yeah so we're going to Early Access this summer and that'll be on PC and PlayStation platforms.
And you'll be able to get into Early Access with one of the various founders packs which we'll be talking more about in the future.
And perhaps it will also find its way to other platforms in the future?
Yes in the future they will but for Early Access period which will be a couple of seasons that will be PC and PlayStation."

"It's going to be free to play?
Yes that's right we'll be going free to play.
How's the monetization of the game works? Is it all cosmetics or are you using other models?
Yeah so we're being published by Digital Extremes and they have a lot of experience with Warframe."

"It's well regarded as a free and fair game and we're definitely leaning into their expertise in that regard.
Anything that comes with power you can earn in the game.
So we want to make sure that there's you know no paywalls to like actually blocking off content.
So there'll be a lot of cosmetic stuff."

"We have our own take on a battle pass that we're going to be revealing more info on soon.
And seasons will be coming with new character, new weapons each season.
We'll be pushing the story forward there's a core story you'll be progressing through.
We'll be adding new areas including new overlands, new dungeons, new hunts, live events, lots of stuff."

"Like I said we're going to be adding new progression systems we have on the roadmap.
Planning out far in the future like neighborhoods, adding archetype levels and ways that incentives to play multiple characters.
And even like you can craft a character.
You can buy a character and get access to it sooner but there's incentive to craft the character multiple times for power."

"You can't buy a character multiple times and skip that.
So you know if you buy a character it's level one you need to play it.
We don't want people to buy out of the fun and like we want to respect people's time.
Yeah and just have fun playing the game."

"Looking forward to playing Wayfinder later this year.
Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you.
Enjoy the show.
Thank you."

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