After spending some time visiting different player houses and plots in Wildstar these past few days and fiddling with my own island in the sky, here’s a couple of things I am starting to like about Wildstar’s housing:
- Rather than being a full sandbox with the gathering and construction bits of Landmark, Wildstar takes the fun part of combining existing decor items, letting players go completely wild with the possibilities. If you’re not much of a crafter from scratch, you will love this approach to housing and customization. I do.
- The amount of decor items is already nuts. Also: plushies! I need them all.
- The home port every player gets is the perfect answer to unwelcome wait and down times; is your group taking a 10mins biobreak you don’t care for? Off you go visit your house for some mini-games, selling trash or gear repairs (once you have the vending machine). Porting back allows you to return to original location.
- Exploring public plots with ease or making new neighbours while chatting in the housing zone channel is casual fun and takes some of that instanced sting away.
Housing is its own mini-game within Wildstar and a nice contrast to an otherwise linear progression. Carbine put a lot of thought into this, creating overall themes that reach as far as including matching light or weather effects. Different decor themes should make collectors very happy (and poor). As for the more progression and raid-oriented players, it’s a way to display trophies and battle tokens. Carbine have also already confirmed guild housing further down the line.
Naturally, there’s a few things I do not like about Wildstar’s housing so much – the fact that it’s too “apart” from the rest of the world (yes, I prefer non-instanced housing and always will), the oversized scale of everything, the LOTRO style socketing mechanic for your six main plots and the rather heavyweight and at times glitchy advanced interface. That’s generally something Carbine aren’t very good at apparently, creating functional and simple interfaces: the AH, commodities broker, dye system and skill/AMP windows all need a lot of work still. That said, after reading through the developer commentary in this interesting overview of Wildstar’s different customization options, everyone should be very grateful they decided not to go full LOTRO socketing mode as was originally intended. That would’ve put a quick stop to the unleashed creativity that’s currently on display on the forums.
As Mac said elsewhere, browsing other people’s places is motivating (that’s my word for it) and so I invested just a little yesterday to get my Cassian shack into shape and create a second floor. That hadn’t even occurred to me until I visited some of my neighbors, so yay for community inspiration! It’s still a humble abode but hey, it’s all mine!