Friday, March 22, 2013

WildStar Pax East 2013- Housing

Hold on to your seats folks, it's time for WildStar's PAX East 2013!
Sadly, Hawkens and I were not able to make it there, but we will be doing our best to keep up with as much of the amazing reveals as possible and give you our personal insight!

And without further ado, let's start with our first HUGE reveal from today! This video linked on Massively covers all the AMAZING things we were hoping for and more for one of the best integrated features of WildStar: Player Housing.

Oh and if you haven't seen this video yet, check it out here or on Massively. (The Massively article also features more screenshots and a brief look at some new zones)

To begin with we have a brief and humorous introduction from our Dev speaker. And for those of you who would like to see the hilarious disclaimer, I've posted each part here so you don't have to go through all the stop-starting yourself. 
Click on this picture to make it larger.

And then we jump right in to the video. The Dev begins by assuring us that player housing isn't just an added bonus for WildStar. It is an important feature of the game itself.

So how do you get this? To start you find a Protostar Housing Specialist. Though the amount hasn't been disclosed yet, you buy the house from them and then are sent immediately to your skyplot to start building.

From here it sounds like the housing system features a sort of “Harvest Moon” feel to it, allowing you to clear out monsters and other undesirables. Personally I really like this idea. I feel this helps begin building the 'relationship' you will have with your land. You get a bit of time to interact with it for the first time and obtain the sense of belonging as you shape it from the ground up with your own hands.

Next, you build a campsite followed by a starter home. And then, the Dev goes on to explain, you can “go on to buy some pretty crazy domiciles” 
           A campfire                  A small house            An even grander house

Now from what we've seen thus far there is a bit of variation between the housing looks for just the base structure alone. I wonder if your options will be based on your race or if you will simply have some racial themed options available to anyone. Or at least your faction. So far I have yet to hear anything further on this point. Judging by the rest of the video, however, I doubt we will have to worry about being too constrained to a small number of looks.

The Dev continues to explain that you can pretty much do anything to customize and decorate your house. “Inside, Outside, Walls, Roofs, Doors, Windows, Wallpaper, Furniture, it's all fair game” He says as a mind-numbing array of different examples fly by. I was beginning to get pretty excited at this point.

Then we see this:
There arrow points to the tool where you can see three separate manipulation rings. The cone is circled.

Take a look at the manipulation rings we have here for moving the objects. Look familiar? To me they look /extremely/ similar to the same rings used in the creature creator for SPORE. That is a VERY good thing! You could theoretically place, tilt, turn, move anything in ANY way you wish if this is the type of tool we're getting! The cones you see at the outer edges may also allow us to changes the heights and width of some objects, if they work similar to the ones in SPORE, giving us even more options!
By holding tab in the creation mode you got this set of manipulation tools in SPORE (pic from here)

So as we mentioned earlier, the housing feature in WildStar is a integrated part of your gameplay, not just a nice but largely unimportant perk. Apparently you will be able to find pieces to outfit your home from random drops, quest rewards and even crafting! Though I still expect we may see a microtransaction system one day for even more items, I really love that this is a part of the game itself!
       Get items from drops                     quests                      and even crafting!           

Okay, so to put into perspective how excited I am about this, I will sidetrack a tiny bit. Both my sister and I loved playing Morrowind. It was a great game. But the thing we loved most was it had the perfect tool to feed our obsessiveness to personalize an area and decorate it as our own. We typically would kill a shop owner and take their house as 'ours' (mwahahaha) to start with. Next we would spend countless hours painstakingly arranging our items around said house. In Morrowind, almost every item could be placed on the ground respectively to where you were standing. This meant I could find a large table and put down individual pieces of paper and place a specific alchemy ingredient on every single one. I could put baskets of kwama eggs at the entryway, decorate the dining tables with a full set of dishes and food, place entire armor sets on display or even arrange candles and lanterns to shine light where I wished. For some reason this was so entertaining to us that we would completely forget the game itself for days on end to arrange our house or collect more items to place there.

So yeah, being able to find items in the open world, make them and then place them however I wish? Amazing. I might have a hard time walking away from my plot!

And it doesn't end here. WildStar housing is expected to act as our home base and will feature even MORE benefits then just the awesome creation tool. For instance:

Logging out in your house will give you more rest xp then anywhere else. Oh, and the more cool items you have, the more rest xp you will get!
Small room and few things = small xp bonus. Big room with LOTS of stuff = many xp bonuses!

Outside of your house, you will be able to expand with other external buildings and plots. These features are called Plugs. There will be specific parts on your land you can place them, called Sockets. They aren't just for looks either! You can plant a garden to harvest for cooking, build a mine to obtain more ore, build target dummy plots to practice your skills and even build your own crafting centers. These plugs can even give you daily quests, right there at home!
The clear distinct sections are Sockets, while the unique features that fill them are Plugs. (Ex-The Helipad like Plug) Also the image in the upper right shows a quest icon above something in a housing yard.

Afraid that your housing would be limited to only yourself? This video goes on to explain that housing can be made private or be opened to friends, neighbors or even the general public. They can also do more then just look, they can even help you with your plot! Friends can help by harvesting materials, such as plants from your garden or by helping you to fight off bandits from your plot. In return they can receive parts of the reward or even a bounty for fighting off the threats!

Oh and you can get a personal raid portal that comes complete with a buff. Huzzah!

And that's pretty much it for now. The Dev noted that this was “only the tip of the iceberg for housing” but that he couldn't tell us more just yet. Honestly I've seen more then I ever expected in my wildest dreams! Not only will this be a fun and rewarding part of the gameplay, but it has limitless potential with our fantastic roleplaying community!

Just think about it. Want to live with your sweetheart? You now have a house. You could create an “inn” for your guild perhaps or maybe a classy estate to show off your power and riches to the enlightened masses. Build a network relay or a creepy science lab. If there is really as much customization as we've seen so far, this could /really/ enhance the experience of the roleplaying community!

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more WildStar Pax news!

P.S. Hawkens would really like to be able to fly this copter. That is all.


  1. Amazing break down, I have to say the disclaimer almost had d coke coming out my nose as I am the one frame at a time gamer.
    the fact that this small video had Gathering info, crafting Info, self creation of a Quest Hub info along with Housing was ... well about as good as I could hope for 2:45 of anything out of PAX except a 2:45 video outline the beta timeline.

    1. Thank you kindly! And yeah. I got such a kick out of the disclaimer's humor...especially as I uncovered it frame by frame. This video was awesome and has made me even more excited for WildStar then I thought possible. Oh yeah and we're about to see more this weekend too. Win!