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!

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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!

Come and knock on our door! (aka WildStar neighbors, roommates, and public houses)

Once you’ve built your house, added a few plugs, and put your personal stamp on your “galacto fabulous space crib,” it may be time to meet the neighbors. WildStar has built the housing system to be a very social aspect of the game. You can control just how social your home is though.

If you are more of a solitary player, you can leave your house private. You’ll be the only one who can enter your housing plot.

If you’re a social butterfly and want to be surrounded by other players, you can select to have a public house. This will allow anyone to come onto your housing plot any time from the public houses list. They can’t change any of your decor or farm your resources, but they can interact with the challenges and portals you have.

If you prefer to keep the guest list controlled, you can invite friends to be your neighbors. You will easily be able to visit each others’ houses from the Neighbor menu.

If you’re playing with a close friend or family member and want to share housing items and help each other with building, you can make the person your roommate. They will still have their own housing plot, but they’ll be able to change or add to yours also. I was happy to find that alts are automatically added as roommates on the neighbor list.

The settings to control other players’ access to your housing plot can be found on the remodel menu. There is a button in the upper-right of that screen that opens the Residence Settings menu.

Remodel menu

This button will get you to the Residence Settings.

As you can see below, residence settings let you make your house public, private, or open to just neighbors or roommates. You can also change your house’s name here (for 100 renown) and control how your resources can be shared with neighbors.

Visitor rules
Resource sharing

Since everyone has space for only six plugs on their island, coordinating with neighbors can be helpful. For example, if a guild plans it right, they could have different guild members who host each of the different challenge plugs and instances. When planning between your alts, you can decide who should have a crafting station, but it’s not necessary for more than one, since they are all roommates.

The number of social options in the housing system is pretty impressive and allows for many different styles of gameplay. I can’t wait to start browsing through public houses to see the fantastic designs that others create!

*Anyone out there catch the campy TV reference from my title? Or am I just THAT old? :-)*