Thursday, 20 August 2015

Taxi To The Financial Zone : WildStar

When I chose the name for this blog I had some quasi-situationist fancy that I'd write about nothing but bags, boxes and banks (which would have been a pretty good alternative blog title, come to think of it). Luckily I realized that, like most situationist pranks, it was an idea better imagined than executed . Still, I am fascinated by inventory space in games and I do consider inventory management to be content in and of itself.

Prior to playing WildStar I think the game I played, at least for more than a session or two,  that had the most restrictive inventory was Allods. Back in beta I seem to remember working with just one bag that held about twenty items, for about fifteen levels. Maybe it was fewer. Items, that is, not levels.

Allods, however, was a free-to-play title from the start and selling inventory space for real money is a commonplace and entirely legitimate way for F2P operators to earn a living and keep the servers running. It's hardly surprising space was at a premium. WildStar, at least for a little while longer, is a subscription game. I'm scratching my head trying to think of another subscription MMO that both starts you off with so little bag space and appears to be set on keeping it that way.

The basic starter backpack has sixteen slots. You also get a Tradeskill Bag, into which all your crafting mats go automatically. Not sure how voluminous that is - I haven't found much to go in it yet.  Then there's a separate inventory for quest items. Maybe sixteen slots doesn't sound that bad....


As a rule it takes an appreciable while in most MMOs before bag space becomes an issue. Often there's an extra small bag or two early on as a quest reward. Sometimes monsters drop them. They tend to be one of the earliest items you can craft. And even so I can usually get through a few play sessions before having to think about the options. So far I've seen nothing like that at all in WildStar. I guess that could be because I skipped the entire starting zone.

Last night, at level seven, I didn't only run out of bag space, I ran out of things I was willing to sell or destroy to make space to pick up more things to sell or destroy, which was what I'd been doing for the two levels before that. The only vendor I could find willing to sell me a bag was offering one that added two spaces. Two spaces! That's not a bag. That's barely a purse.

I told her to keep her measly 2-slotter and flounced off in a huff. Didn't actually occur to me that perhaps I could have bought several of the things and expanded my bag by six or eight slots. Which it turns out you can. Bit late now.

I wanted to keep all the armor and weapons I'd outgrown because I don't yet understand (read: haven't bothered to find out) how the appearance/cosmetic system works. What with those and things I couldn't throw away because I didn't quite grok what they were for yet I found myself in a bit of a quandary.

The obvious thing to do would be to bank everything but that meant finding a bank and the guards at Woodhaven didn't seem to know of one. (Turns out banks are accessible only in capital cities for some stupid 2004-era rose-tinted nostalgia/deeply immersive, hardcore, roleplay-friendly reason). Fortunately, even though I didn't know that at the time, I remembered seeing a sign for financial services when I was wandering around Thayd the day before, so I got a taxi (at some considerable expense) and went back there.

Once I'd done that and knocked off a couple of challenges (one of which gave me a purple
quality house item, which I'm sure will look just dandy, when I have a house) I just about had time to get a taxi back to Woodhaven before it was time to go to bed.

I'm increasingly aware that there's one whole heck of a lot that I don't understand about WildStar and by that I mean the real basics - like how the inventory, appearance and crafting systems work, for example. It seems a bit pointless to dig into it now, though, when quite probably a lot's going to change when the F2P conversion arrives.

Maybe I should just go play on the F2P beta server and learn the new ropes instead. Hmm. That's an idea...

4 comments:

  1. Something about the end of your article really caught my attention:

    "there's one whole heck of a lot that I don't understand about WildStar"

    I actually really enjoy when that happens in a game that I'm excited and motivated to play. I am one of those people that actually really enjoys figuring things out about a game, even if they are basics. Feels really rewarding when you figure it all out.

    Can't remember about the inventory from my first foray in Wildstar, but man that sounds annoying if you are already out of space so early on :(

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    1. Me too. I love not really knowing what's going on but being interested enough to want to find out. I've actively avoided doing much digging into WS yet because I wasn't really planning on playing seriously until the conversion. No point learning a whole new set of mechanics just before they all disappear. It seems I am playing though so that plan hasn't quite worked out...

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  2. From what I remember, the easiest way to expand inventory early was to do some of the challenges that appear along the way. Some of these had a 4 or 6 slot bag (which, yes you can get 4 or 5 of if I remember correctly) as a possible reward which will more than double the early inventory.

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    1. I wonder if there's a limit to how many 2-slot expanders you can apply? Because they cost about 2s each while the bigger ones cost much more. I bought two and got 4 slots. I might buy a few more and see what happens.

      Not seen a bag reward from a challenge yet but I've only done a handful.

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