I want those housing posters! (aka What are WildStar’s Tales from Beyond the Fringe?)

As you’re questing in WildStar, you’ll find many different types of interactive items. Datacubes will play audio snippets of lore, journals will uncover entertaining stories about your current zone, and some items will start challenges. My favorite of the interactive items is the tablet known as Tales from Beyond the Fringe.

TALESThese TALES tablets can be found in almost every zone on Nexus. A book icon makes them easier to spot. Once you click on the first TALE in the series, an entry will open in your Lore menu that shows how many parts the series contains. When you’ve discovered all of the parts of a series, it will unlock that “Tale from Beyond the Fringe” story.

Tales from Beyond the Fringe Tales from Beyond the Fringe

Even better than the story (in my opinion), is the housing item that is also unlocked when you complete a TALE. Each one has an associated travel poster that can be purchased from the housing vendor on your housing plot. You can use these posters to decorate your house any way that you want! For example, I used some of mine as movie posters in my plushie movie theater.

Plushie movie theater

Plushies enjoying a night at the movies!

If you are working on collecting all of the TALES or looking for a specific poster for decorating purposes, check out my Tales from Beyond the Fringe guide (Exiles only so far). Have fun collecting!

Friday top five: My favorite things in WildStar

I’ve been playing WildStar for about six weeks, and I’m still enjoying the game immensely. I really see this as a game that I could play for quite some time, especially since Carbine seems to be dedicated to providing consistent content updates. My favorite things about WildStar aren’t really the big things like end-game content or storyline, but they are mostly the little things that come together to form a very fun experience.

1.  HOUSING!

If you’ve read my previous blogs and/or tweets, you probably know that I love WildStar’s housing! I knew in the beta that I would like housing, but I didn’t have the gold or time to experiment with it much. It has become my hobby and obsession! In other games, there isn’t much to do when you are between tasks or only have a few minutes to play. In WildStar, you can go to your housing plot and do some interior design, run a few challenges, collect gathering materials and crops, or visit neighbors to see their newest additions.

I could go on forever about housing (just ask my hubby)! I will say that WildStar has set the bar extremely high for other games, and it is going to be really tough to find a game that comes close to the richness of this player housing system.

WildStar housing

A view from the top of the moon tower on my esper’s “city block” house.

2. Challenges

ChallengesFrom your housing plot to the end-game daily questing zone, challenges can be found everywhere on Nexus, even scattered throughout the capital cities (see my post on the challenges of Thayd). I love that challenges are short, usually pretty easy to complete, and very rewarding. Want to grow your dye collection? Challenges can help. Looking for some items to get your house looking fabulous? Try running some challenges. Feeling a little lazy and don’t want to farm for tradeskill mats? Do a few challenges instead.

My favorite thing about challenges that I’ve recently discovered is how they are seamlessly woven into the end-game questing areas. I usually hate running dailies and can’t stand the monotony. In WildStar, I can complete challenges while I run the dailies and get even more great loot! For anyone who is an uber challenge nerd like me, the Challenger addon is a necessity.

3. Lightheartedness

I’m not a fan of  violent, angry games. My feeling is that there is enough violence in the real world, so I don’t need it in my virtual world. WildStar has it’s share of bad guys and violence, but it’s not a dark and twisty game. It has so many lighthearted moments in its story, characters, and artwork that I often find myself laughing out loud while I’m playing. The entire Lopp race is a good example.

I love that I can dye my clothing bright purple and ride a mount with a disco ball attached. Games are supposed to be fun, and being silly and laughing is fun! I can still take my toon out to kill some stuff and be a badass, but then I can come home to my Aurin bedroom to relax on my pillow pile. It’s all about balance.🙂

My settler "built" a concert for the Aurin girl band, Pumera Riot, on top of a building.

My settler “built” a concert for the Aurin girl band, Pumera Riot, on top of a building.

4. Loot explosion

In many MMOs, you have to click on a corpse to get your loot. In WildStar, your loot explodes out of the corpse into the air! The loot that you receive has a color glow based on its rarity. So if you receive an epic item, you’ll see a glowy purple item on the ground. To make it even more fun, when a blue-quality item or higher drops, you’ll hear a fun whoosh sound to notify you of the drop.

This might seem like a small thing, but I love my loot. I really enjoy watching the loot explosion after I kill things. And seeing a glowy purple piece of loot waiting for me is very exciting!

5. Carbine’s open communication

My last item on this list can’t be found in the game, but it greatly affects my enjoyment of WildStar. Carbine’s open and honest communication with their players is so refreshing and greatly appreciated by this subscriber. When they mess up, they are the first ones to say so and explain what happened. They tell us when to expect changes and content without being vague and dodgy. They answer questions and talk to players on social media. They have frequent livestreams, which provide a ton of information and let us see the people who are working on WildStar every day. I can’t say enough about my admiration for how Carbine is running this game!

Silver and gold, silver and gold (aka What is the capital city vendor buff?)

The economy of any MMO can be tricky to learn and extremely tough to master. This is especially true of a new game like WildStar that doesn’t have an abundance of resources to learn from yet. With new names for currency (plat anyone?), various points of sale (CX, AH, vendors, etc.), and so many  different types of currency (gold, renown, prestige, elder gems, crafting vouchers, CREDD), it’s easy to see where things might get confusing.

On my server, the prices on the commodities exchange (CX) haven’t quite normalized, and many people are selling items for less than the vendor sale price. For this reason, I sell a ton of stuff to the vendor. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get even more gold for your vendored items? You can!

If you are a settler, you can activate a settler buff in your capital city that will let everyone in the city sell items to vendors for 5% more and buy items from vendors for 5% less. It is called Thayd Vendor Discounts (Illium for Domnion) and applies the buff “Small Vendor Price Discount” to vendors. In Thayd, the settler resource depot can be find to the west of Fortune’s Ground.

Thayd Vendor Discounts

Small vendor price discount

You can easily tell if this vendor buff is active because the affected vendors have an explosion of gold coins over their heads.

Vendor buff

The vendor buff on my favorite vendor, Far-Trader Sawa.

So if you are a settler, try to activate this buff whenever you can. If you aren’t a settler, it’s okay, we can’t all be perfect.😉 Just find a friend who has chosen this master path or ask in zone chat for a friendly settler to assist.

Happy vendor selling!

Challenge begins! (aka The six challenges of Thayd)

Challenges are one of my favorite parts of WildStar. In the span of just a few minutes, you can complete a fun task that usually gives a pretty sweet reward! If you’ve spent time in the Exiles capital city, Thayd, you’ve probably stumbled upon at least one of the challenges. Thayd actually has SIX challenges, and each one can be repeated every 30 minutes!

First, let’s talk about the rewards for these challenges. Winning gold will give you 10x odds for the reward you want, silver is 4x, and bronze is 2x. All six challenges have the same set of reward choices (from left to right):

  • Rewards for Thayd challengesSatchel of Scavenged Supplies: Contains contains food, medishots and boosts, skill amps, and bags
  • Chest of Crafting Components: Contains a variety of crafting materials
  • Feretory of Fascinating Furnishings: Contains one housing decor item
  • Trunk of Tarnished Tints: Contains one dye for costumes

These challenges are quick and easy to complete and can provide supplemental income (by auctioning or selling the items), a way to furnish your housing plot, a chance to get pretty dye colors, or a method of farming mats for your tradeskill. I still do these challenges on my level 50 when I have a few minutes because of the great rewards.

Map of Thayd Challenges

This map of Thayd shows the starting point of all challenges.

We start this tour of challenges with Thayd Sprint. This challenge is started from Super Sprinter Annalia in Spaceport Horizon. She gives you two minutes to zoom to the southern part of the Thayd. Follow the blue arrows on the ground and be sure to use your sprint ability as much as possible. Without a mount, you’ll only be able to get bronze on this one (silver with a speed boost from a settler kiosk…thanks RainyDay for letting me know about this trick!), but it’s still doable. Gold can be achieved with just a basic speed ground mount.

Super Sprinter Annalia Follow the blue arrows

Next is Fortune’s Advertising, which starts just up the stairs from the end point of Thayd Sprint in Fortune’s Ground. The first time you run this challenge, it starts from Friendly Friend Advertiser Benai (an adorable Lopp). You’ll have two minutes to hand out ads to Galactic shoppers and browsers in Fortune’s Ground. Target these NPCs and use your “T” ability.  The key to gold in this challenge is finding large clumps of shoppers and browsers to minimize travel time. On subsequent attempts, you can start the challenge from your Challenge Log. I suggest finding a high population area of shoppers and starting there.

Friendly Friend Advertiser Benai Galactic shopper

Always wanted to pick up the trash of others? No? Well, you don’t have a choice in the next challenge. In One Exile’s Trash… you will be collecting cups, cans, and bottles that are in the Crooked Corners. The challenge starts when you pick up any item of Thayd Litter (subsequent attempts need to be started from the Challenge Log). This one is fairly easy to score gold, as long as there aren’t too many other players attempting it at the same time.

Thayd litter

Heading up to Walker’s Bluff, we’ll tackle the Diary Detritus Deliverance next. Is is a mouthful, but it’s another easy challenge. You start this one by picking up any Explorer Diary Page (say it with me now . . . subsequent attempts need to be started from the Challenge Log). Keep collecting pages until you hear the sweet words, “Gold Level Awarded!”

Explorer Diary Page

Now we venture to the shady Lair of the Black Hoods to start the Dance Dance Revolution challenge, Dan’s Dancer Evolution!, from the arcade console. I’m still not sure about the “proper way” to complete this challenge. One person in my server’s advice chat suggested that you need a degree from Julliard to figure it out. Luckily, there is a way to complete it. It’s not pretty, but you can mash all four keys at once. To quote Ferris Bueller, “It’s a little childish and stupid…”  But, hey, it gets the job done!

Dan's Dancer Evolution!

The last challenge in Thayd is Bursting Their Bubble. This one eluded me for quite some time, since I don’t visit Arborian Gardens often. I was able to track it down with my favorite WildStar database site, Jabbithole. If you’ve followed the order of the challenges so far, the easiest way to get to Arborian Gardens is to hop on the settler’s teleport in Fortune’s Ground. This challenge starts from Tender Kaira initially, and you know the drill for subsequent attempts.🙂 You’ll have three minutes to depressurize vind. Target the Thayd Vind and use your “T” ability. This challenge spans a fairly large area, so keep looking if you don’t spot the vind.

Tender Kaira Thayd Vind

Have fun tackling these Thayd challenges and enjoy the sweet loot!

Confessions of an altoholic (aka How I made my first plat in WildStar)

Hi, my name is Trin, and I’m an altoholic.

During WildStar’s first weeks of release, players spent hours on Nexus enjoying the game in a variety of ways. Many players hit the level cap of 50 and moved on to prep for raid attunement. Others got to 14 and have been decorating their new housing plot. Some players are taking their time to enjoy every nook and cranny of WildStar, smelling all of the virtual roses on Nexus during their leveling path. Me, I’m raising a small army of alts.

I was planning to level my main toon to 50 during the first week and then make some alts after that. I actually only made it to level 15 before my first alt was created. The reason for the birth of this alt was quite simple – gold. I wanted to buy a mount, expand my housing plot, work on tradeskills, and purchase a few cool reputation items from the vendors. But I was broke! I had enough gold to buy a mount for 10g, but then I would only have a few copper left to my name.

My esper is pretty close with this lady!

My esper is pretty close with this lady!

My main had two gathering tradeskills. which I thought would be a great source of early gold. So I had bags full of items to sell on the auction house or commodities exchange, but I didn’t have time to list auctions and level. So I made my plucky Aurin Esper, leveled her up to 14, and took her to Thayd. I mailed her all of my ore and wood that I’d gathered on my main. This was quite painful because mailing items costs precious silver!

As I checked out the prices on the commodities exchange, I was quite disappointed that the market on my server had been flooded with ore and wood. These items weren’t selling for much at all. So I quickly changed directions and selected the architect tradeskill for this alt. I thought that I could probably make some fun items for my house that might even sell.

Tier 2 gathering FABkits!

Tier 2 gathering FABkits!

I spent the small amount of gold that I had to level up my architect, switching back and forth between farming on my main and crafting on my alt. She finally raised her skill level high enough to craft her first FABkits. I made quite a few of these, thinking that I would need them for all of my housing plots. Then I checked the auction house to see if I could sell the rest. I was amazed to find that the Tier 2 gathering kits were selling for more than 10 gold each. This was a small fortune to me at the time!

It became my mission to craft and sell FABkits until the market collapsed. At one point, it was difficult to keep up with the demand. I leveled my main solely to gather mats for my architect. Within the first week, I earned my first platinum. My main was only level 23!

platNow that I’m level 50, I realize that 1 plat isn’t really a lot. But at level 23, it was amazing! Gold in video games gives you freedom, in my opinion. I’m a bit of a cheapskate, even in virtual worlds, so having a nest egg is very important to me. I could buy a mount, play around with housing items, and generally not worry about spending a few silver here and there.

I already have two more alts. The first is a level 10 engineer created to level the technologist tradeskill. The other is a level 14 engineer that I made on the RP server Evindra to browse through public houses (that server has some amazingly creative players!). It’s a good feeling to know that I can give them each some gold to use on tradeskills, houses, and repairs . . . thanks to the hard work of their purple-eared esper sister!

It’s the final countdown! (aka Top 10 prep list for WildStar headstart)

It’s less than 14 hours until the servers go live for the launch of WildStar! Obviously, it’s not the official launch, but it’s the head start that anyone who preordered the game has been eagerly anticipating.

I’m aware that all of you who read this are probably not the anal-retentive, list-making weirdos that I am. But I thought I would share some of the things that I’ve done to make sure that my experience tonight (and throughout the weekend) is as smooth as possible.

  1. Farrah Fawcett    OR    this guy?

    Farrah Fawcett OR this guy?

    Decide on a class, race, and path for your first character. These decisions (and how your toon looks) are big ones! These are the things that can’t be changed later without creating a new character.

  2. Choose a realm. If you have friends or guildies going to a specific server, this choice is an easy one. If not, guilds are all recruiting now, so check out the WildStar forums, Reddit guild recruitment, or WildStar Guildex. Or choose the server that sounds the coolest and make friends with the wonderful people you discover while you play!
  3. Reinstall (or patch) the game. This isn’t necessary if you didn’t play for very long in the beta. I had some extra time though and wanted to be sure that I had the newest files to avoid any kind of lag that old files might cause. Be sure not to delete your screenshot folder if you choose to do this. And plan ahead, because a new download can take some time, depending on your internet speed.
  4. Check out WildStar addons and download any that interest you. Addons aren’t for everyone, and many players enjoy playing the game the way that the designers intended it to look. I appreciate that opinion, but wholly disagree. I LOVE addons! I already have a list of about 15 that I’ve got ready to go. Check out the YouTube channel of Stone Legion gaming community for some great, short videos about some of the best addons. Also, Kadomi’s blog post about addons is very helpful. All of these addons, and many more, can be downloaded within seconds through the Curse client.
  5. Select a name for your character. This is another big decision (i.e., one that can’t be changed later). If you were one of the lucky ones who was able to reserve a name, then you’re all set. Your name is reserved globally across all servers until 14 days after launch. If you didn’t get to reserve a name, choose your favorite, but have a few backups or variations ready.
  6. Add an authenticator to your WildStar account. Carbine recently added two-step verification to WildStar through the Google Authenticator app. While it’s nice to have account security, they sweetened the deal by giving perks to people who add the authenticator. The rewards are a title, a costume eyepiece, and a 2% buff to XP, renown, and prestige.
  7. Know the stats that will be important for your character. Nothing is worse than getting in a great questing groove, getting your first gear reward choice, and not having any idea what to pick. WildStar’s stats are named a little differently than other MMOs, so do a little reading to see what your character will need.
  8. Prepare food and drinks. Beer and cheetos will only take you so far. Plan for some healthy snacks and lots of water, and your body will thank you.🙂
  9. Awww, can't forget about these guys.

    Awww, can’t forget about these guys.

    Chores and child/pet care. I spent most of yesterday catching up on my laundry, straightening the house, and doing other odd chores. I also made sure that my cat has enough food, and my kiddos have some fun activities for the weekend. I’m not planning to pull a crazy, long, race-to-50 marathon or anything, but I’ll likely be gaming much more this weekend than I normally do. I want to be sure that my little ones have a great weekend also.

  10. Have fun! Most importantly, enjoy yourself and this new, wonderful game! Enjoy the leveling process and planet Nexus. Take frequent breaks, and take care of yourself. The launch of a new game like WildStar is a unique experience for a gamer, so make the most of it!

See you on Nexus!

Blue pill or red pill? (aka Which WildStar path will you choose?)

WildStar headstart is almost here! You might know what your race and class are going to be, but what path will you choose? Paths are a way to customize your game experience to the type of playstyle you enjoy most. You make the path selection when creating your character, and it can’t be changed.

PathsThe four paths are explorer, scientist, settler, and soldier. Each will offer different path missions to complete as you quest. You can choose to ignore the path completely, but completing the missions to level your path will provide nice rewards. For example, each path has its own perks, which are new abilities unlocked at specific path levels.

The explorer enjoys “finding hidden paths, exploring secret caves, and climbing the tallest mountains.” The explorer’s missions involve finding out-of-the-way areas on the map, jumping to the highest peaks, and so on. I originally thought that I would love this path, since I love seeing every part of the world maps. I found it to be a little too twitch-based for my taste though. Perks for the explorer are Explorer’s Safe Fall (at path level 4), Air Brakes (at path level 5), and Translocate Beacon (at path level 10).

Explorer path perks

The scientist likes to study “exotic flora, dangerous fauna, and ancient technology” to find out more about the lore of Nexus. The scientist’s missions involve checking things out around the world with your Scanbot. If you are a lore junkie, this is the path for you. Path perks for the scientist are Holographic Distraction (at path level 4), Summon Group (at path level 5), and Create Portal – Capital City (at path level 10). Summon Group reminds of the “Have Group, Will Travel” guild perk from WoW that I missed so much during Mists.

Scientist path perks

The settler can be found “collecting resources to construct beneficial improvements for the community at large.” This path was the most obscure to me, when I started playing in the beta, but I soon found it to be the most fun for my playstyle. A settler’s missions involve picking up items around the world and then using them to create items like player buff stations, vendors, taxis, and more. The path perks for the settler are Settler’s Campfire (at path level 4), Summon: Mail Box (at path level 5), Summon: Vendbot (at path level 8), and Summon: Crafting Station (at path level 23).

Settler path perks

The soldier “tackles combat-heavy missions, gaining access to special weaponry and objectives as they fight across Nexus.” A soldier’s missions involve fighting waves of mobs, killing an elite mob, or testing out special weapons. The path perks for a soldier are Back into the Fray (at path level 4), Bail Out! (at path level 5), and Combat Supply Drop (at path level 10).

Soldier path perks

Each path also comes with its own set of rewards along the way, such as titles, bags, housing items, etc. The path system seems like a great idea to encourage unique playstyles and also create a unique experience if you level an alt. I’m a bit concerned about the path perks and their use at endgame, but I’m sure that Carbine will address any major discrepancies. Paths are definitely going to add a fun layer of enjoyment to the leveling process.

I would suggest that you choose a path that matches your playstyle, instead of focusing on the perks that it provides. In the wise words of Morpheus, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”