Wildstar Neighbor Housing Contest

Wildstar shows off more of the Housing possibilities with their latest Housing Contest.

You might recall back in July Wildstar did a Housing Contest to show off the variety of options in player housing. Beta testers were challenged to put forth their creations to see who had the most interesting and creative house. It looks like they went at it again during the third closed beta test. This time there was a twist. During that phase of testing the Neighbors feature was introduced which allowed players to team up and build massive houses, sculptures, and scenes.

The newest contest had people team-up and create things together to earn the coveted Protostar-sponsored Housing Trophy which the winners will get to display in their house after Wildstar is live. Below are some of my personal favorites, but you can see the full list of winners on the Wildstar Wednesday page.

The “Most Joyous Wedding” Award

I admit it, most of what I love about this one is all the Rowsdowers. I mean just look at them sitting in chairs and stuff. I also really like the two beds stacked with boxes and what looks like a tv or a computer there? Totally looks like a fort I would have built when I was a kid… if Rowsdowers were a thing back then…

The “Lopp Of The Rings” Award

This one gets me on mood setting, the fact there is a spidery thing looking there, surprise that you can have spider webs, LOTR reference, and cuteness 🙂 The bunny on the left even has a sword and a light source to use to save his friend! I definitely can see why this was one of the winners.

The “Game Of Veggies” Award

I’m not sure much needs to be said about this one, it just makes me smile 🙂

More Player Housing Info

In a recent Uplink post Loic “Atreid” Claveau discussed Player Housing and revealed some more information about what we can expect. I have some thoughts about Lighting, Expeditions, and Renown to share with everyone.

Player Housing, now with ambient lighting!

Ok so it’s pretty clear I am excited about the concept of choosing the ambient lighting on a room by room basis. This is basically how light or dark a room is before you put any sort of light fixtures or candles in the room. It might not seem like a big deal, but it really goes a long way to being able to decide just how a room will feel. Take a look at this example Claveau provided.

Now just imagine if the default lighting was really bright, making a dark and moody room like this wouldn’t be possible at all. Additionally, say if you did want to make a bright room but the default was completely dark. You would have to use a ton of lighting to get the room bright and it probably still wouldn’t be the effect you were looking for. With the addition of room by room ambient lighting they have added a ton of options which I am super SUPER excited for.

Get Ready to Rumble!

I’m just going to quote what Claveau had to say about expeditions:

Now I’ve made mention of Expeditions in passing in a couple of places on the webz, but now I’d like to show you a picture of one. For the uninitiated, an Expedition is a type of plug that you can put on your property that connects to a scaled group instance. The one I have pictured below is the Graylight Grapplefest, a notorious fight club. In it the players are tasked with defeating foes inside the spotlights in order to get the maximum points per kill. Winners are awarded with Renown and unique housing trophies.

So basically it looks like a sort of arena where you and your friends can enter and fight various foes and test their skills. He goes on to say they plan on expeditions taking about twenty minutes for each one. Which all of that sounds awesome. I wonder how hard they will be. I hope there is a scalable aspect to it, otherwise it’ll get boring pretty quick and since it’s a way to earn Renown you’ll probably want to keep doing them for awhile. If nothing else I hope they will at least have some variability to it (like puzzles and raids).

Speaking of Renown…

The biggest news in this post is Renown. It’s described as a sort of social currency. You earn this currency through completing content on your property or through doing grouped content anywhere in the game. Sounds awesome right? The main possible issue I can see is how earning Renown is balanced.

For example, say you earn 20 Renown for doing any kind of content for which Renown is rewarded. I can easily see people getting mad because their 40 man raid (which probably will be a larger time commitment) will earn them just as much Renown as someone doing an expedition and I can definitely see how that might feel unfair. Not to mention as a “social currency” it would seem weird if actives where you were doing things with more people didn’t earn you more Renown.

On the other hand if smaller groups earn too much less than the large raiding groups the system will feel really unfair the other direction. I mean not everyone wants to or even can do 40 man raiding. From the rest of Wildstar’s game design they seem to think that’s fine. But if the only people who can earn enough Renown to get the cool items (in a reasonable timeframe) are the people who do 40 man raiding, there will be a problem. As always balancing the desires of different groups is one of the biggest challenges MMOs face.

What is Renown used for? Oh it’s for purchasing things for your house and “some other interesting rewards”. So only people who are interested in Player Housing should care about it… which seems to be the vast majority of people. Also those “other interesting things”, I wonder what those will be. I would think not anything vital to gameplay since those sorts of things would be a bit more than “interesting”. Man if they make Renown pay for housing things AND pets/minis I just won’t know what I’ll do.

That’s about all I have for now. You can read their whole post here. Can’t wait for the possible Race/Class reveal at ComicCon on Friday!

Wildstar

There’s been a lot of information released about Wildstar in the last couple of weeks and in their panel during Pax East they released even more details about player housing, paths, warplots, and more. First you should check out their video with all the highlights!

Player Housing

Player housing is literally what it sounds like. You can buy a plot in-game, clear it of unwanted wildlife and build your house. You can add paint and wallpaper as you like (or leave your walls bare!). You can also fill your house with any furniture you want. The example they gave at the panel was if you want a table floating in the air upside down with a chair on it – you can do that!

In addition you can do things like build a crafting table or a shop at your house. Logging out at your house will give you more rested XP, and the more things you have in your house the greater the XP return will be. Wouldn’t it be amazing to teleport from your home directly to raids? Well you can also build a portal at home that will take you directly to the raid and give you a buff for using it.

What good would a house be if you could only go to it once every hour? Well it would be rather inconvenient which is why you will be able to teleport to your home anytime you want!

Every house has neighbors and good neighbors help each other right? Every time you help a neighbor whether it’s fighting off bandits, helping with crops, or anything else that can happen you get XP and a share of the rewards for being a good neighbor.

Warplots

First look at warplots seems to be something guilds will create and build together. Basically a guild will build one and set it down in the middle of a battleground. Warplots will have defensive and offensive capabilities and they look like they might offer a ton of customization as well.

As of right now if your warplot gets damaged in a battle the guild will need to repair it to get it back up to full strength. However, if it turns out during beta that repairing is just too difficult or sucks the fun out of PvP they did mention that there are other options to be looked at.

Paths

In an effort to keep leveling from being too linear the Wildstar team has introduced the concept of paths. At character creation you choose which path you want to follow. Once you pick a path you can still take part in things other paths focus on (“Crossing Paths”) but you well get a bit less XP for those activities. Some of the options given were Explorer, Scientist, Solider, and Settler.

With the explorer path it is all about exploring the world and finding things. When I played at PAX East one aspect I really liked was as you ran around different exploration quests would pop-up and send you off in different directions. I can definitely see being an explorer leading you to all sorts of random places you wouldn’t think of to start (which is the point).

Solider path is all about killing things. People who enjoy leveling through grinding or quests where you need to kill x many mobs that will be the path to choose.

Scientist will be the patch for people who are more interested in the lore side of things. Your quests will involve learning the stories behind the game and the Nexus.

The last option is the Settler which is the social path. The example given at the Wildstar panel was you have a campfire and every time someone uses your campfire you get bonus XP and the more people who use your campfire the more XP you’ll earn in a given amount of time. You wouldn’t be able to look up where the best place to put a fire is because if everyone is putting them in the same place fewer people will likely use your particular fire. There is a bit of a puzzle built-in here for figuring out the best places to put your fires.

Those are the three main areas that they went into more details about. Other interesting tidbits are this game will be PC only at launch, there will be mounts, there is a world storyline that is soloable at max level, Elder Story is a storyline told through group quests at max level, and the factions will operate completely separate from each other.

The last bit (and probably the biggest deal for long-term success) is they have not settled on a business model yet. The estimation at Pax East was they will have something for us regarding that in about 2 months.