Everything We Know About Wayfinder
What is Wayfinder & Release Date
Wayfinder is a free-to-play, character-based, action-MMO set for early access on PlayStation 5 and PC in Spring of 2023 with the full release in late 2023 for consoles and PC. The game will support full cross-platform play, and is a totally new and original game being developed by Airship Syndicate.
You’ll get to choose form a variety of characters. Each character has their own unique playstyle and abilities. They each harness their own power to defend against the enemies that are out to destroy their world.
You can fully customize your adventures in Wayfinder. This makes each adventure a unique experience. Players can explore dungeons, battle enemies, hunt beasts, and gather crafting materials for weapons, housing, augments and more. Obtaining these things is incredibly important for strengthening your character and pushing back the hostile force in the game: the Gloom.
Wayfinder is being developed by Airship Syndicate, the developers that brought you Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, and Darksiders Genesis. All titles they have released to date have great reviews on steam, and overall have been very well received and popular games.
Airship Syndicate is in collaboration with Digital Extremes, the publisher of Wayfinder. Digital Extremes is the developer of the popular game, Warframe. They are working very closely with Airship on Wayfinder and are providing insight for the game’s development. Digital Extremes brings years of experience and knowledge when it comes to creating vast, story-rich online worlds.
Story and Game Trailer
The Precursors have slain the celestial Architects and the world is being consumed by the Gloom. Reality is breaking down. A dark energy is spreading across the land, shrouding it in corruption and ultimately collapsing reality into chaos. Reavers and brigands fight over the ruins, and deep within the shadows the Precursors hunt the last of the gods.
The apocalypse is over. The great battle was lost and the world is dying. Reality is collapsing, and brigands and looters fight over the scraps that have been left behind. But for the survivors, you are their last hope. You are a Wayfinder.
The combat pacing will be similar to Darksiders games. It’s described by the developers as being on a spectrum of Dark Souls to Monster Hunter to Devil May Cry, it’s somewhere in the middle.
The game plays much closer to a 3rd person action game than a traditional MMO, for example there’s no tab targeting or a hot bar. Because it’s a character-based game the characters all feel different to play once they’re out in the world.
All characters can equip all weapon types further augmenting how you play. If you prefer the slower methodical method that rewards good doge timing and big crits, you can do that. If you prefer a faster paced action game where you’re dodging in an out of combat you can do that too.
Mixing and matching allows the gameplay to change and fundamentally feel like a different action game depending on your preferred playstyle.
In Wayfinder you will get to choose which character you play. Each character is fully voice acted with a storied past and share connections with the other characters in the game. You will learn about each Wayfinder both inside and outside of the game.
You can switch between characters at will, and all of your progress is saved. It’s encouraged to play multiple Wayfinders in order to unlock account wide bonuses and mastery points.
You can customize both the look of your character, and how it plays. Players will be able to choose which weapon to use, which mods to apply, and what talents to augment your powers and abilities with.
Characters are obtainable via crafting as well as outright purchase. There aren’t any loot boxes or gacha to get characters. There will also be a system in which Wayfinders can unlock additional power through Awakening. This will increase their max level, increasing their overall power, echo capacity, echo slots, and equitable item level. This can only be done via crafting additional characters and can not be bought.
At launch there will be 5 different Wayfinders to choose from:
A templar clad in spell-forged armor and sustained by his faith in the Architects. He’s a natural leader and true champion, always ready to defend the innocent and to smite the forces of evil. Wingrave excels at close combat. He specializes in supporting allies, summoning shields of light and healing his allies even as he calls down divine judgement on his enemies.
Wingrave is the least complex Wayfinder to play, making him an ideal choice for beginners. Wingrave can be considered a support class. He can heal and shield himself and allies, making him a great addition to any squad.
Swift and precise, Silo makes every shot count. Born into a family of smugglers, he spent his life running under the radar and challenging tyrants. Now he’s using those same skills to fight the Gloom. Silo loves long odds, and switches easily between melee and ranged combat. He is at his best when he embraces this versatility, and has a host of tactical tools. He can distract his foes with illusions, slow them with oil, or burn them with fire, potentially setting off deadly chain reactions.
Silo is a well rounded Wayfinder and beginner friendly. His playstyle is not overly complex. He has a damage over time abilities and crowd control options in his kit.
Niss is kin to the shadows, and darkness serves as her weapon and her cloak. She is one of the Deep Eldren, an ancient people who now serve the malevolent Precursors. When Niss and her clan challenged the Precursors, her family was wiped out and Niss escaped into exile.
Deadly and swift, Niss cares little for humanity. But she has sworn to destroy the Precursors, and the Seekers can help her take her revenge. Niss is an Eldren Shadow Dancer, and is at her best when she’s in motion. She dances around her enemies, defending herself with a cloak of shadows and striking them down with spectral blades.
You can think of Niss as the tradional Rogue Archetype in an MMO. Niss is complex character to play, and may take some time to master. She is very mobile and heavily geared towards dealing damage.
Before the Gloom swallowed the warrior, Senja was the greatest gladiator in the history of the Imperial Arena. She is the last of the Iron Sisters, a league of warriors from the distant Dominion of the Seven Winds, and she smites her enemies with both storm and steel.
Senja loves to put on a show. She delights in close combat, and can use her affinity for the storm to drag her enemies close or blast them across the battlefield in a burst of lightning.
Senja could be classified as more of a brawler / tank class. She can taunt enemies, buff allies, and has some crown control options. She is fairly complex to play, and may take some time to master.
Arcane power flows through Kyros, and he can unleash this force to devastate his enemies. He’s the last survivor of a forgotten civilization, a wizard who transformed his flesh into pure mystical energy. Though his people are long lost, he’s sworn to keep the Gloom from destroying the world that remains.
While he prefers to avoid close combat, Kyros wields tremendous mystical power. He can scatter foes with blasts of raw energy, form arcane shields, and crush enemies with a massive shockwave.
Kyros is the Mage Wayfinder you may be looking for. He is fairly simple to play, and geared heavily towards dealing damage. Most of his abilities are geared toward area of effect, allowing him to damage multiple enemies at a time.
Venomess was announced at Pax East in March 2023. Not much is known about the character at this time. However, Venomess’s weapon of choice is a sniper rifle, and like all other Wayfinder’s she will have a signature weapon. Hers is called Nightshade.
She is seen in the trailer activating a device on her wrist and then quickly dashing around, almost teleporting. Which leads to the assumption that she will also have high mobility.
There’s also a segment of the trailer showcasing some bad blood between Venomness and Niss. The developers stated during the Pax panel that Venomess and Niss have a shared past. They are both part of a mission that goes terribly wrong, and players will learn more about that relationship as season 1 unfolds.
You can watch the official Venomess trailer below:
In Wayfinder, the world has been overtaken by the Gloom, and as a Wayfinder, you’re one of the few powerful enough to push it back. To cease the Gloom’s devastating spread, you’ll be entering areas called Lost Zones on Expeditions. Everything the Gloom touches dissolves into chaos and in turn this means that no two adventures into the Lost Zones are the same.
The world of Evenor offers endless exploration opportunities for players to make each session a unique and exciting adventure. The foundation of the gameplay focuses on character advancement through hunting specific enemies and gathering specialized crafting components to make you and your friends stronger.
Wayfinder consists of open world areas, dungeons within those, and social spaces where large numbers of players can gather.
Social Spaces (Towns)
Currently, there is one town in Wayfinder called Skylight. In Skylight you can accept quests, access the gloomsphere, and craft weapons and items.
The gloomsphere in Skylight is accessible at any time. This is where you go to travel into the lost zones to begin an expedition or a hunt. While in the open world you can discover additional expeditions that you can enter from the location in the open world. However, once you discover that location it can then be accessed via the gloomsphere in Skylight.
While at the gloomsphere you will the recommended power rating for a particular expedition or hunt, and can apply imbuements to add additional mutators throughout the instance.
In the open world areas you will see other players running around and performing various tasks within the open world like fighting monsters, completing quests, world bosses, discovering locations, participating in public events, and discovering the entrances to the Lost Zones.
There are various areas within each open world zone with varying types and levels of monsters, loot, and points of interest.
There are currently two open world zones confirmed from recent beta footage, with more likely in the works.
The Lost Zones are the instanced dungeons in Wayfinder. They are procedurally generated to provide endless challenges. Players can utilize the gloom dagger to customize the experience for each expedition which will dictate the enemies you encounter and the loot that you will find.
You can access these areas at the gloomsphere in Skylight or at their location in the open world. Once you discover a new location it will be unlocked and you can then access it from the gloomsphere in town.
There are two types of lost zones: expeditions and hunts. Expeditions are the instanced procedurally generated dungeons. You will want to kill all the enemies and thoroughly explore these areas for maximum rewards.
Hunts are boss fights. You can just run straight to the arena in these areas and begin the fight. There’s no need to explore the area.
Expeditions and hunts both offer varying types of loot including echoes, wayfinder parts, gold, weapon parts, crafting ingredients, and more.
The player housing in Wayfinder comes in the form of apartments. They will be something that is more than just a social space. They’ll be important to your core play experience and act as a second “paper doll” of sorts where you can upgrade and augment your power.
In Wayfinder you will progress via several different methods. You will level up your Wayfinders, weapons, apply echoes to those, and utilize affinities to boost the power of your equipped items.
As you take out monsters and complete quests you will receive experience. That experience will go towards the Wayfinder you are currently playing. Once you have enough experience that particular Wayfinder will level up. This will increase you power rating and give you additional echo slots.
Each weapon has a level associated with it as well. You will level up your weapons much like you do your Wayfinder. For example, if you’re on a level 30 Wingrave you can utilize a level 2 sword and shield. As you fight enemies that sword and shield will level up independently of your currently equipped Wayfinder or any other weapon.
As you level your weapon it will get more powerful, and you will unlock additional echo slots on that item as well.
The following weapons have been spotted in beta gameplay:
- Sword and Shield
- 2-Handed Sword
- 2-Handed Axe
- 2-Handed Mace
- 2-Handed Scythe
- Dual Wield Daggers
As you level up in Wayfinder you will earn Affinity points. You can use the affinity points to upgrade your choice of 3 different affinities – Instinct, Discipline, and Focus. This will then increase the associated stats your currently equipped weapon and accessories by a bonus multiplier.
For example, if you have an accessory with attributes linked to the affinity Instinct and you increase your Instinct Affinity then this will increase the power of that accessory. This is because that accessory has attributes linked to the Instinct Affinity.
Echoes are items that you can obtain via killing and looting monsters. Each echo is named and comes with predetermined attributes or bonuses associated with the echo. You can slot an echo into your Wayfinder, weapon, or accessory to enhance specific attributes and increase you power rating. Each slot has a specific Echo type (A, B, C, D, E), and slotting an echo of the same type reduces the cost, allowing you to slow more and better echoes in total.
Echoes come in different rarities as well. As you obtain excess echoes you can combine them into your echo of choice to enhance the power of a particular echo.
Echoes can be fused together to increase their power. They come with different levels, rarities and ranks (stars), so you will want to obtain the best possible echo for a slot and rank it up via fusing lower quality echoes into them.
Wayfinder is a PvE game. While PVP hasn’t yet been ruled out, the primary focus is currently only on the PvE elements of the game.
The developers have stated that they are open to PvP in the future but want to make sure it’s implemented correctly and not just an afterthought if they decide to go that route.
Group / Solo Play
You will be able to play the game solo, however, a lot of the game’s more challenging content will require friends to help you.
The group size in Wayfinder is set to 3. This is due to a few different factors. The developers wanted the readability to be easier since the game’s camera is more akin to a 3rd person action game than a traditional MMO. When you have more than that, the abilities and attacks become very hard to read.
Also, 3 players allow each person to have a very clear role in the group when adventuring with their friends. In the future it’s possible that the group size will be expanded for certain end-game content.
Season 1 was confirmed to be releasing with early access sometime in May of 2023. Seasons are how the game will tell stories, be themed around specific characters, have new cosmetics, events, and more. A new season is expected to release roughly once every 3 months. Each season will be introduced by a cinematic featuring a new Wayfinder. The cinematics will initially be outside of the game and released on the Wayfinder Youtube channel. Other information surrounding the Wayfinder’s and their lore will be found inside and outside of the game.
Wayfinder season 1 is going to be titled “Gloom Break,” and will be centered around Venomess. Another way seasons are going to be introduced is via Wayfinder’s unique battlepass.
Each new season is going to come with a battlepass. It was confirmed during the Pax panel that each battlepass will include the new Wayfinder that’s introduced with the new season. This was implemented so that players don’t have to decide whether or not to purchase the new battle pass, or purchase the new Wayfinder.
It was also confirmed that the battlepass will not expire. However, you must purcahse the battlepass within the season or you will not be able to purchase it again. But, if you did purchase it when it was available it will never expire. You will be able to explore / progress it at your leisure at any point into the future. You will be able to pick and choose when you have a particular battle pass active. This will allow players to work towards the battlepass at their own pace.
The battlepass UI is set up like a mini board game. Instead of leveling through the battlepass, you will earn keys as you progress through the content. Each key will unlock one of the nodes. You will need to work your way down each node in order to gather the rewards associated with that node. The number of nodes per battlepass is likely to fluctuate based on the theme of each season. However, you can expect roughly 100 nodes to progress within each Wayfinder battlepass.
The are some adventure elements to the system as well. For example, as you progress you may discover a switch that you can flip that’s next to one of the nodes you unlock that will drop a gate and let you progress into a new direction or possibly even reveal a secret.
Beta Preview & Video Round-Up
- Massively: Interview: The Wayfinder team on group size, customization, monetization, and more
- GamingNexus: Online action RPG Wayfinder shares extended look at gameplay
- MMOBomb: Taking A Hands On Look At Wayfinder And What All This New MMORPG Has To Offer
- PushSquare: Online Action RPG Wayfinder Shows Promise in PS5, PS4 Gameplay Trailer
- IGN: Wayfinder Looks to Reconnect With the Spirit of MMOs Past
- SportsSkeeda: Wayfinder preview – A gorgeous, fun action MMO coming this Spring
- MMORPG.com: Wayfinder Interview: Talking Monetization, End Game and Player Counts with Airship Syndicate
- PCGamesN: Wayfinder microtransactions will be a “fun twist” on Warframe’s
- RockPaperShotgun: MMO-ish RPG Wayfinder is full of promise, but I just can’t get excited about it
- Fextralife: Wayfinder Closed Beta Impressions
- ForceGaming: Wayfinder: NEW MMO With Huge Potential! (Gameplay, Open World, Dungeons)
- Black Oni: Wayfinder Exclusive Behind Closed Doors Dev Interview
- MMOByte: Wayfinder First Impressions | New 2023 MMO Closed Beta
- TacticalPotato: I Played The New Free MMO Wayfinder – First Impressions & Gameplay – What To Expect
- IGN: Wayfinder Looks to Reconnect With the Spirit of MMOs Past
- Fextralife: Wayfinder Gameplay Impressions Closed Beta – PC, PS5, Xbox, Classes, and MORE!
Beta Sign-Up & Wayfinder Release Date
If you’re interested in Wayfinder you can sign up for the Beta here. The dates for Early access have not been detailed as of yet, but here are the dates we know so far.
UPCOMING BETA SCHEDULE
December 13th 2022 – First Wayfinder Test – PC Only (COMPLETED)
January 2023 – Second Wayfinder Test – PlayStation 5 and PC (COMPLETED)
Early 2023 – Wayfinder Closed Beta – PlayStation 5 and PC
May 24th, 2023 – Wayfinder Closed beta 2 PlayStation 5 and PC
Summer 2023 – Early Access – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC
Late 2023? – Full Launch – Free to Play on Consoles and PC