Monday, August 24, 2015

Home At Last! : WildStar

After binaryzero and Angelnorn's comments and clarifications on yesterday's housing items mini-rant, I resorted to google to get the full picture. On the official forums I found this irate response from decorators, going back to when the numbers were first added to the item descriptions.

Tar and feather stocks seemed to be trending sharply upwards until Carbine Social Systems Lead Enki arrived with the ice cream and back-rubs:

That was over a year ago though and the "display bug" is still with us. I imagine everyone playing is so used to it by now that no-one even notices it any more but, what with the re-launching the game to a whole new audience thing, I wonder whether someone might not want to take another look at getting that fix done.

Putting that behind me, this morning I worked through a boatload of Zone Episodes in the Celestion storyline, all of which were pretty entertaining, in the hope and expectation of hitting level fourteen some time today. Combat as a Soldier continues on as before - simple, bludgeoning, successful and satisfying - and so far leveling in WildStar seems remarkably close to how I like it.

Cut scenes are not WildStar's strongest suit and that's being generous. This one was a real anticlimax.

Filling out two full levels from twelve to fourteen took around three hours; a very comfortable pace, fast enough to feel like I was making good progress but still slow enough to appreciate the effort required. Loot drops were unusually well-judged. Random drops from mobs should feel satisfying or even exciting to receive; it's the life-blood of a good leveling game and Carbine seem to understand that. I got several good upgrades that way. With those and some decent quest rewards character advancement seemed just about right.

So, it was fun, but as soon as the ginormous Level Up for fourteen flashed across the screen I abandoned all pretense of following the plot and jumped in a taxi to Thayd. After a whistle-stop tour of the highlights and hot-spots on a hoverbike courtesy of Tour Guide Jakke my next stop was the Protostar Housing of the Future exhibit and thence to my very own house in the sky.

Not so much a house as an island it transpires. Naturally, it was night-time when I teleported in, although that just might have made the whole thing look even more spectacular. It's certainly a very generous parcel of land, even if it does look a bit overgrown and untended right now. I wonder if you can fall off the edge?

Anyone got a ride-on mower for sale?

I have to say, I'm a bit puzzled that the Protostar Corporation are handing these things out for free. They don't seem like the altruistic kind. Still, never look a gift house in the loft, that's my motto. I imagine they'll be making plenty of money off me from that on-site company store anyway.

The housing management and decorating interfaces are reasonably intuitive if a tad busy. I could have done with a warning that FabKits aren't re-locatable once placed. I already had two nice ones from Challenge rewards and I certainly wouldn't have put the meteor crater slap up against the shardspire if I'd known they were going to be there permanently.

You didn't think this through, did you?

Fortunately, I have a suspicious nature, so after I'd made that mistake, instead of just trying to move them I googled to check whether it was safe. It's not. As this thread makes clear, FabKits are classed as consumables. You can't get them back once placed. You can only delete them. Those two will just have to stay where they are, for now, at least until I get duplicates.

I knew there'd be a catch...
The potential for creativity looks to be enormous. The system is a clever meld of hooks for big-ticket items like the FabKits and houses alongside freeform building and decorating using Decor items. Again, it seems quite close to the kind of housing model I'd come up with, given a free hand.

For some reason, possibly lore, there doesn't seem to be a Mordesh racial house. Houses are also faction locked so my choice was one of the other three Exile races - Human, Aurin or Granok. The Aurin bunny house is too twee even for me (I didn't realize that was even possible but apparently I do have some standards) so it came down to either Human or Granok.

I'd have liked the option to tour them both before buying but if it exists I couldn't find it so I plumped for the Human house and it's okay. Reminds me of the wood elf housing in Kelethin. It's really just one room with no windows but it's a nice shape and very tall inside. It should look cosy once I get some lighting installed.

At least they gave me a bed. Are you listening DBG?

A nice bonus to having the towering shardspire looming over my property is that I can use the jumping buff that comes with it to double-jump onto the roof of my house. I might be able to plant a roof-garden up there. Maybe I'll build a fire escape in case I do find another canyon FabKit and move the spire to the other side of the island.

I could make that my next project. Or, more likely, I'll get back to killing and plundering my way across Nexus and only get to visit my pied-à-ciel on brief furloughs back in Thayd. Unless there's some way you can access your house from anywhere as you can in EQ2? That would be most welcome.

Either way I've got somewhere to hang my hat. Now I just need a hat.


  1. You absolutely can access your house from anywhere. It is basically a global teleport in, then port back to where you came from. I'd love to tell you how, but I forget exactly. I'm sure someone here will put the particulars in.

    1. I had to google to find the answer which turns out to be that there's a great big blue button with a picture of a house on it right next to the combat bar. It's amazing how these things become invisible when you don't know what you're looking for. No wonder tutorials come with such enormous pop-up windows - it's about the only way you can be sure of people seeing them!

  2. Lovely to read about your impressions of the game. I would highly recommend touring other houses, which you can do from your plot. The creativity of some people amazed me!

    1. I'll be doing that. It was always a fun thing to do in EQ2.


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