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!

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!