CREDD Watch

I'm pretty sure this guy is sick of seeing me.

I’m pretty sure this guy is sick of seeing me.

I have a confession. I’m a CREDD addict. It started so innocently, I knew I was about to head into some tight financial times, so I saved up some plat and bought a couple CREDD as soon as I hit 50 and had access to that sweet sweet daily quest money. “Hooray! I can get through the next few months and not have to worry about the subscription cost,” I thought. Soon I had earned back all the plat I’d spent on CREDD, and was going happily about my business. “Oh I’ll just check the CREDD prices,” HAHA.

Fast-forward to today, and I have enough CREDD saved up to pay my subscription through April. The price has more than doubled since I bought my first one, but I still make about enough in a full week of dailies and my normal messing around to buy one if I choose to. I’m especially grateful for CREDD right now, when my play time is extremely limited. It’s hard to justify paying a sub in a month where you know you won’t get many hours of play time, but when I can earn enough in-game currency during normal play to subsidize my costs, then why not stay subbed? It turns the game into a fun stress-relief during a busy time, instead of either removing it or making me feel guilty for not playing when I’ve paid for it.

So why is CREDD on my mind even more right now? One word: Megaserver. I made the mistake of checking the price of CREDD on all the servers I have alts on. It turns out that my home server has the lowest price of any of them. So I snapped some up while the getting is good. I expect after the launch of the megaserver that the price of everything, CREDD included, will fluctuate quite a bit. I’m betting that when things stabilize the price of CREDD won’t dip back below my server’s current prices. If you’re on a server with low prices, you might consider getting while the getting’s good. Alternately, if you’re the gambling type and on a server with high prices, you could sell now and hope you can catch some for a bit cheaper on the megaserver. Or you could just avoid the whole thing and pay your subscription with real money like most folks.

I’ll just be over here, obsessively checking the CREDD market.

Mega Madness

Lately I’ve been slacking off in-game a bit. Real Life is going to be coming down on me pretty hard for the months of September and October, so my play time will be much more sparse for now. I’ve gotten in the habit of just logging in to do some dailies, puttering around my house for a few minutes making some upgrades, and then calling it a night. Last night, however, I decided to be a bit more social. First I popped in to be a spectator at a race hosted by KatiaRacer (recently featured as the epic moment of the week on the Nexus report!). I had seen it advertised in housing chat occasionally but this was the first time I had actually stopped by. I had a fun time and I’d encourage anyone on Evindra to check it out. Perhaps I’ll actually race sometime if I can get a few practice laps on the course in first!

As the race was ending, a call went out looking for more to kill Scorchwing. I managed to join up just in time for a quick summons and we went to work slaying the flaming chicken. I enjoy seeing familiar names of players when I’m wandering around questing, grouping up, or just visiting random houses, so it was fun to see some folks from the race also in group with me. After Scorchwing we kept enough people in group to go grab Elyonia and also do Drusera’s Tree event.

All in all it was a very fun night, and I was more social than I had been in quite a while. It reminded me why MMOs can become such a huge part of our lives. It’s not just that they are a fun diversion, or that the gameplay compels us. It is also that we get to interact with people, and hopefully those interactions are more positive than not.

Which brings me to the question on a lot of people’s minds right now: What is going to happen to our community when the Megaservers go live? If you haven’t heard yet, Cougar announced on the Nexus Report this week that they are officially moving forward with plans to move everyone onto just one PvP and one PvE server for each region. As a proud resident of the sole NA Roleplaying server, I am curious what will happen once we are merged with the bulk of the general PvE population. On one hand I’m excited, since currently I have no room for Dominion alts on my server, so the megaserver will give me access to the Dommie side RP community. It will also be nice to have a more full world, with hopefully easier grouping for events and a more robust CX/AH market.

On the other hand, it means dealing with more names like XXKillYouLulzXX, more potential for griefing of RP, higher competition for resources and crowded daily questing areas. I think one of the coolest things about my server now is that our housing zone chat is quite alive and generally helpful and interesting. The other servers I have seen all seemed to be quite silent. My hope is that the culture of Evindra manages to persist on the new megaserver, and that the influx of new blood will help it grow rather than shouting it down or turning it into a clone of the annoying capital city chat I’ve seen on almost every server in every MMO I’ve played.

Currently I’m pretty optimistic about the megaserver news. I hope that the good will far outweigh the bad. For now I have time to enjoy my RP server, start thinking of last names for all of my characters (which will be required once the new servers launch), and get some practice on the racetrack!

A New Laboratory

Corrupted Laboratory, use at your own risk

Corrupted Laboratory, use at your own risk

In the process of changing my house around, I did some browsing of the available fabkits. That’s when I noticed the “Corrupted Laboratory” on the list. This housing plug does not actually require a FABkit, rather it is unlocked at level 50 and costs over 4 platinum. Ouch. Well it looked interesting, and since it fit with my new theme for my house I decided to splurge. I am here to say I’m very glad I did.

This plug takes up one of the 2 large slots on your property, and when installed it unlocks a quest called “Batteries Not Included.” This is not your garden variety housing challenge, friend. Oh no, this quest will send you all over Grimvault and Blighthaven on a mission to gather what you need to restart the corrupted lab. Along the way you’ll visit some fantastic out-of-the-way places, and solve a few puzzles. Honestly for a moment I was wondering whether I had accidentally loaded up The Secret World instead of WildStar, because I haven’t really seen this type of quest before.

I may have died to get this screen shot. Don't judge.

One fantastic location visited on the quest. I may have died to get this screen shot. Don’t judge.

I’m not going to give a step-by-step here for the quest since a lot of the fun was the discovery, and everything should be pretty clear with a quick search of the ol’ intertubes if you get stuck. Once you’ve finished your travels you can power up the lab, which involves solving yet another puzzle while being taunted by The Entity itself.

entityguest

The Entity is trying to sneak into my house?!

The quest is not exclusive to the person who owns the house, so any level 50 can stop by and try it for themselves. Once everything is finished it activates a jump boost on the left side (where you place the tech samples for the quest). By using it you can jump up into the middle of the central tower and stand in the purple light, where you’ll gain a “phageform augmentation” buff. This buff increases your primary stats by 5.

I had a lot of fun discovering this housing plug, but for over 4 plat it’s a bit pricy for a stat boost. But that’s what neighbors are for! If you’re on Evindra (Exiles) stop by Gracie’s house and give it a shot!

So long, Moonshine Laboratory

The outside of my secret lab, and adjacent rowsdower stables.

The outside of my secret lab, and adjacent rowsdower stables.

I knew I needed a kick in the rear to get my creative juices flowing, so over last weekend I tore down every bit of decor I had placed on my housing plot. It was pretty terrifying hitting that “send all to crate” button, but in the end it was worth it. I’ve been messing with my house more than I had in weeks! My new creations aren’t ready for blog time yet, so instead today I’m going to show off a little of what I had done before. My favorite bit of my plot was this corner. Instead of a second large plug, I built a few things from scratch. The rowsdower stables got shown off a little in an earlier post, but the secret laboratory needs to be preserved for posterity.

The entrance level is as open and inviting as a secret lab can be.

The entrance level is as open and inviting as a secret lab can be.

I’m not sure exactly what the motivation was for it to begin with, I guess every Mordesh probably has dreams of their own secret lab, right? And I wanted to see what I could do as a first attempt at making a building of my own from scratch. The building has two main floors, with a small loft at the top. I tried to keep the design fairly open, mostly breaking up the space with staircases. The entry floor has a kitchen, bookshelves and an analysis table where my research specimens have been piling up.

Creepy lab is creepy.

Creepy lab is creepy.

The second floor is where the real action happens. Cages and research equipment and scanners oh my! The loft area has my library and desk, and has a view of most of the second floor research area, so I can keep an eye on everything even while studying.

What a view.

What a view.

One of my favorite parts of the whole building is that there’s a path around the back of the outside that lets you get all the way to the roof, and from the roof to the top of a tower I placed up there. Every once in a while I liked to climb up there just for the awesome view.

I’m a bit sad that all of this is gone now, but I’m excited to be playing with new ideas again. A little redecoration was just what I needed to get me out of my comfort zone and building again!

 

 

Housing Updates

The Nexus Report this week got me excited all over again about WildStar’s housing. Joe Piepiora mentioned several upcoming changes that are being worked on, like the guild housing, and ability to change the terrain on your housing plot. He also teased something called “Communities” which from my fuzzy understanding would involve 5 people sharing or linking skyplots. I’m not sure whether this means a new plot that all 5 share, or a new way of linking their 5 individual plots, but either way I’m intrigued. I am so delighted that in a game with such a focus on the “hardcore” there’s still so much love for the frivolous pursuit of housing. While the last two drops have been focused on other things, both have included new decor items that compliment their themes. I can’t wait to see what happens if and when we get an entire drop devoted to housing! I’m also incredibly excited to know that Carbine has lots of plans for WildStar’s housing, and that for many of these changes the timeframe is in the near-term over the next few months.

The endless possibilities of alts

The endless possibilities of alts

As for me, I’ve been slacking off in my housing enterprises lately. In part this is due to spending lots of time actually doing dailies, PvP, and wrapping up some questing, but honestly there’s another reason too. The community for this game has done some of the most ridiculously amazing things with housing, and I feel sometimes like nothing I can do can live up to that so why bother trying. In the next week I plan to tear down everything on my plot and start over from scratch, and hopefully that will get my creative juices flowing. Expect a tour of the old version soon as I catalog everything before the demolition! I have also been dabbling some with houses for my alts, but they’ve mostly been leveled through PvP so I am sorely lacking in the bits and pieces of decor you get from challenges and zone reputations. Still, you can accomplish quite a lot just from decor you can purchase from the housing vendor. Hmmm, I smell a challenge brewing…perhaps one alt needs to create something awesome using only vendor decor!

Time to get building!

Nexus is My Home

There comes a time for new MMOs, 1-3 months after launch, when the players are deciding whether to stick around for the long haul or to leave for old comfortable homes or new horizons. WildStar is in this period of settling in now. What can Carbine do to make sure there’s a healthy population for years to come?

I’ve played lots of MMOs, but some I knew weren’t for me fairly quickly, and I was one of the players who left after the first month or two, while some I picked up months after the initial pulse of player had already passed through. This is the third time I’ve gone through the post-launch settling-in phase of the MMO life cycle.

Friends and Stories

The first time was with Rift. When it launched I loved it, and I was desperate for an alternative to WoW. I enjoyed the customizability of the classes, and the open-world gameplay of the titular rifts. I wanted to stick around and see how the game developed after the initial excitement wore down. There were two factors that ended up causing me to lose interest in the long run. The first was that many of my guildies drifted back to WoW eventually. Not having a group to play with in an MMO limits the opportunities for fun. But I could have found a new guild!  The factor that made me not bother was the world of the game. For whatever reason the lore didn’t really do much for me, and in the end the game felt like WoW with a much less interesting story. I still occasionally go back to Rift since it has gone free-to-play, and I remember quickly why I loved it and also why I let it go.

Don’t Nickel and Dime Me

The second MMO I saw launch and then settled down with for a time was SW:TOR. I could write several posts about all the things I loved and hated about SW:TOR. This time I did eventually find an awesome guild that were making the game their primary MMO and raiding together. Many of these folks I still talk with regularly even if we don’t always play games together anymore. What led me to drift away from SW:TOR was a combination of raid burnout, frustrating buggy gameplay, and the F2P conversion. The silly thing is that as a subscriber who would be staying subscribed to raid, the F2P switch should have had very little impact on me. But the announcements of how they were planning to monetize things made me really uncomfortable and worried about the direction they were heading, and it contributed to me leaving.

thayd

Thayd feels like home.

WildStar’s Turn

It is obvious that the launch surge has come and gone. While Thayd is still packed with people at times on my server, out in the world the population has thinned, especially noticeable in the off-peak hours. Overall it still feels like a thriving world, but it is a little sad to see people move on when you are still in love. I think Carbine is definitely doing some really smart things for their future success. Most importantly, they’ve promised and delivered on a really aggressive content delivery schedule so far. Monthly updates mean there’s always something new and interesting to look at, and they also mean that if you’ve taken a break for a bit there will be shiny new changes to see when you come back. Another great thing is the way they interact with their fans. More than any other game I’ve ever played I feel like they are responsive to questions and concerns, and willing to be very transparent about what they’re up to. The Devs are Listening. Also, the story of this game is really appealing to me, and with the promise of new story content already in the works I can’t wait to see where this world takes us. WildStar is a well-crafted, fun game and I think it deserves to thrive.

Things to Watch

Chatting with some of my friends who chose not to stick with WildStar, there are some issues they had in common. One big one is that there seems to be a bit of a leveling slump around the end of Whitevale. I am curious if the full player data supports these anecdotes, but even I felt like I was slowing down too much at that point and had to fill in with adventures and dungeons to change things up some. If it is true over the larger population then hopefully some things can be tweaked to help fix it.

The other big issue was the raiding attunement. Now, I have yet to get a single silver vet adventure run but I am still a fan of the raiding philosophy and attunement process in WildStar. However, I’ve seen a few folks suggest that they’d never be able to complete the attunement and start raiding before they would get distracted by another game, so they chose to not even try. I don’t have a good sense of whether this is actually a loss for the long-term population, even if it does make me sad to see my friends go. If this class of player was never planning to stay then it doesn’t make sense for the devs to substantially change the game to appeal to them. It does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity, though, because what if those folks had really enjoyed the raiding and decided to stay?

Gracie Settles In

I’ve made my decision to stick with WildStar and give it my time and support. I’ve settled into a routine of dailies on my main, followed by leveling, crafting, and PvP on my army of alts when I have more time for gaming that day. I have some plans for big changes to my housing plot, and a powerful urge to get raid attuned. So if you’re still around and looking for something to do, stop by Evindra (Exile side) and say howdy. I’ll be here, settling down for the long haul.

 

How to PvP like a Noob

Ridiculous hat, reporting for duty

Ridiculous hat, reporting for duty

With the Sabotage drop upon us PvP is taking center stage for a while in WildStar. In preparation, I decided to try some PvP myself and get a feel for how it works in this game. Over many years of playing WoW, I only did battlegrounds when forced to for holidays or the legendary quest chain. In other games I was much more open to trying to kill my fellow players. I think my favorite experience was the leveling bracket PvP in SW:TOR. For some unknown reason I actually enjoyed Huttball. WildStar’s leveling brackets feel similar to me, and I’ve been enjoying them! Here’s some advice if you’re new to PvP and want to give it a go.

Bring Friends

I’m just going to get the most important advice out of the way first. Bring friends, as many as you can coerce into joining you. It doesn’t matter if they know what they are doing or not. If you’re new, you can be new and confused together and laugh at your misfortunes as you learn. If you have a pro PvPer friend they can help explain what is going on. Either way, the more people you have the more fun you’ll have. As an added bonus, the more friends you bring means the fewer strangers. I am nervous when I’m learning, so having friends along means I don’t have to embarrass myself in front of strangers!

Be Prepared to Ignore

Following on the prior section, there will always be that jerk who gets under your skin yelling at you because you don’t know what you’re doing yet. Feel free to ignore them! And know that most of the folks you’ll play with are actually pretty cool, or at least neutral. I’ve had more good experiences with random people in WildStar’s battlegrounds than bad ones, but the fact is that people can be jerks and yell when they’re annoyed and you’re not obligated to listen to them.

Look at the Map

When you join a battleground, you’ll have a minute or two to sit around before the match actually starts. Use this time to take a look at the map and try to get a feel for the layout. Where’s your base? Where are objectives? Orient yourself ahead of time and you’ll look like you know what you’re doing!

Stick with the Group

If you’re in a battleground for the first time, follow the group and try to help heal or kill as a part of the group. Try not to run off and explore, and avoid engaging the enemy by yourself if you can. Following along with everyone else will seem chaotic and confusing but over the course of a match you will start to see the patterns of what people are doing and get a sense of how the battleground works.

Don’t Worry about Winning

I think the first night I ran battlegrounds with my friends in the level 6-14 bracket we won one match the whole night. We still had a blast though! Our low expectations saved us from getting too mad at our losses. As you learn and play a lot more you’ll do a little better, but it is always good to have realistic expectations. You’ll definitely not be winning all the time.

Study if you Want to

Psynister has an awesome guide to Walatiki Temple, the first battleground available in WildStar when you reach level 6. Don’t stress yourself out worrying about the finer points of strategy right away though. I will admit that I read it before I tried battlegrounds for the first time, and it was a bit overwhelming. I’d recommend taking a quick look at that guide, trying the battleground for yourself once or twice, and then going back and read in-depth. I found everything made much more sense once I had seen it for myself first, and the advice in the guide was quite helpful once I knew enough to understand it!

Have Fun

The obvious advice, but important! Don’t keep forcing yourself to queue if you’re not enjoying it or you’re burning out. Give PvP a shot and see how it works, and then decide if it is something you’d like to keep doing. And don’t forget, there’s housing decor to be bought with prestige, the PvP currency, and decor can drop from the reward bags too!

 

What is Housing, Anyway?

There’s been some back and forth on social media lately about player housing in games, and specifically how WoW’s new garrison feature shouldn’t be judged as player housing. There was an  article on Massively that was quite critical of garrisons, and this prompted a response at ALT:ernative and on Twitter that it is not ok to critique a feature that is still in development. While I think the Massively article might have been overly harsh, I would like to politely disagree with the idea that one has to wait to see the finished product before forming an opinion. So today I wanted to use this blog space to figure out what I think constitutes player housing and why WildStar’s in particular won me over when other games left me cold. Hang in there folks, this is a long one.

Definitely housing

Definitely housing

What is Housing?

I tried to distill the elements that make me call a feature “player housing” in a MMO. I came up with the following:

1. Unique to the player – MMOs are vast shared worlds, but sometimes a hero just needs to put her feet up and unwind in her own personal space. Player housing can be instanced, phased, or open-world, but each character or player must have a space of their very own.

2. Control and choice – You can’t call it player housing if everyone gets the same exact thing. Starships in SWTOR are pretty neat personal spaces, but aside from very restricted legacy perks there’s no difference between one and the next. Player housing lets me make choices about what I want on my little piece of the world, and control how my house looks and feels.

3. Showing off – Admit it, there’s an element of “hey look at this cool thing I did” to putting certain things in your house. Player housing should let you show off your skills or dedication. This could be in the form of trophies on the wall, or the house itself, masterfully built from 300 individual pieces of decor.

What I wished was housing, back in the day...

What I wished was housing, back in the day…

Are Garrisons Player Housing?

By my own definition they are. Whether or not Blizzard calls them by that name, they sure feel like they meet the minimum qualifications of player housing to me. This is where we run into trouble. Since garrisons feel like housing, people want to compare them to housing systems in other games. I think this is fair. No, garrisons are never going to be a place where you can freeform build your own castle out of spare parts. They are a unique space where the player has control and choice, and can show off their accomplishments with trophies or rare followers. They’ve also got an associated minigame, implications for crafting, and some integration with questing. That seems interesting, but none of it disqualifies them as player housing! I think it is completely valid to compare WoW’s offering with other player housing systems. Garrisons have some neat features even if they don’t appeal strongly to me.

I do believe that one of the things fans and critics are reacting to is the fact that Blizzard seems to be removing some of the opportunities for choice, like which zone your garrison got placed in. Removing choices doesn’t usually feel fun, even when it ends up being for the best in the end. I personally was enthusiastic about the idea of garrisons when they were announced, but gradually lost most of that enthusiasm as I learned more details and choices became more restrictive.

The beginning of something beautiful

The beginning of something beautiful

Betas, WildStar, and Love

I was fortunate enough to get a WildStar beta key. I enjoyed the game when I saw it in its beta state, but when I got to 14 and saw the housing I was blown away. Until that time I was not a MMO housing fanatic. I had seen the systems on offer in a couple other games and didn’t have any strong feelings one way or the other. That unfinished beta experience gave me a glimpse of a housing system that I could absolutely fall in love with. The combination of freeform building with prepackaged kits, the fun minigames and mini-dungeons, and the hugely social nature of WildStar’s housing melted my housing-neutral heart. It was still buggy, it was still a work in progress, but I could see the shape it was taking and I liked what I saw.

This is one of several reasons why I think it is incredibly unfair to say you shouldn’t judge content until you see the final, finished work. If I had waited for that with WildStar I may have never purchased the game at all! Getting in early and seeing it develop and grow and being a part of the pre-launch hype really contributed to my enjoyment of the game. The friends I made during that time are my awesome guildies now. Waiting for long enough post-launch to get a concrete review would have meant missing out on some amazing fun experiences! So conversely, if people see something in a beta  that they don’t care for, I think that experience is also valid and should be considered. What good is a beta test if nobody feels free to give feedback on anything except technical bugs?

Additionally, for cash-strapped gamers beta access has become a way to get a trial run of a new game. Ignoring beta experiences means either ponying up the cost of entry based on the hope that things will turn out ok, or waiting until post-launch reviews are out and playing catch-up. And finally, not everyone gets a chance to beta test a new game. Lots of folks rely on the first impressions of those lucky people who get beta invites. Opinions formed during beta absolutely matter, for better or worse.

dining roomTL;DR

WoW’s garrisons sure look like player housing to me. While I vastly prefer WildStar’s take on the feature, I’m glad there’s space in the MMO world for experimentation with lots of different flavors of player housing. As a former long-term WoW player I’m glad to see those players finally get a little piece of Azeroth (ok, fine, Draenor) to call their own. And I think that player responses to beta content, whether enthusiastic, apathetic, or downright bitter, shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand just because the work is still in progress.

Alt Time!

Her cool blue pistols don't show up on the character screen :(

Her cool blue pistols don’t show up on the character screen :(

My Spellslinger has been at 50 for a couple weeks now, so it is time to start working on an alt. Or 5. Seriously, I need more character slots, it is killing me that I have no room for Dominion alts on the only RP server. Anyhow, I thought I’d use this chance to introduce you to my alt stable, and maybe get some opinions on who should get the bulk of my attentions next.

I love the leafy hair

I love the leafy hair

Granok Medic Soldier – 16

This is my highest-level alt at the moment. I love the Granok character models, and especially how cute she looks in her soldier hat! I’m regretting the soldier choice a little bit though with this one, I’m worried the medic is going to have trouble finishing holdouts on her own. I like the gameplay of the medic but it definitely feels like it is lacking some of the punch of the spellslinger. Hopefully I get a chance to do some healing with her soon so I can see how that toolkit works. This lady is my technologist, and thank goodness I have a main that I can funnel cash and mats from because even at low levels tradeskills are expensive.

Needs a bigger gun

Needs a bigger gun

Mordesh Engineer Soldier – 14

She was the first alt I started leveling, but stalled out once she got her house. This might be my favorite character, looks-wise. I am going to have to make sure that any costumes she wears don’t hide her amazing hair. Engineer as a class feels pretty good overall, but those damn bots really know how to get into some trouble. Hopefully as the pathing/AI improves the overall fun of this class will also improve.

Can't contain the cuteness

Can’t contain the cuteness

Aurin Stalker Settler – 15

Adorable and deadly. I worked up the appearance of this one during beta and liked it so much I saved it and used it on live as well. She’s just a shiny silver fluffy angel and watch out because she will cut you. Usually I despise melee classes in MMOs, but stalker is pure fun. I’ve even been able to solo primes with this one, she can definitely hold her own in a fight. This might end up being my tank alt if I keep enjoying it this much. I have to say though, settler is by far my least favorite path to play. I love you other settlers, thank you for your buffs they are great, but I am not enjoying the “gather resources and build things” playstyle myself.

Someday Esper will be actually fun to play...

Someday Esper will be actually fun to play…

Aurin Esper Scientist – 9

The thing I like most about this alt is the insect-wing-ears. I really want to try esper healing at some point, but right now leveling this class is the pits. She’s going to stay parked until some of the mobility changes for espers get patched in. It is a shame because I really like the scientist path, and because in MMOs with less punishing movement requirements this class would be exactly what I want to play most. I’m looking forward to being able to level her without feeling frustrated all the time at the lack of mobility.

Mordesh Warrior

She’s blinking. And her sword doesn’t fit. It’s like she knows I don’t like her.

Mordesh Warrior Scientist – 6

Mordesh are awesome and look awesome, but I doubt there’s anything in the ‘verse that will get me to enjoy playing a warrior class in a MMO. It’s just not my style. I intend to give her the benefit of the doubt and get her to 14 at least. Mostly because I want the extra housing plot, but still it is giving her a chance. Maybe it will surprise me. I do feel that melee classes in WildStar are much more fun than other games I’ve played, since everything is a telegraph instead of targeted attacks. It helps equalize them a little bit more with the ranged classes.

So right now it looks like either the stalker or the medic will be the next to get leveled. I’m still waffling. Any suggestions, or comments on higher-level gameplay that might tip the balance? Let me know!

Coordination is Key!

If you're an architect, you can build your own taco stand. What's not to love?

If you’re an architect, you can build your own taco stand. What’s not to love?

If you’re a housing fan in WildStar, chances are you are considering architecture as a trade. There’s good and bad news to go with this. The good news is architect is a fun profession and your house will always be full of the finest toilets Nexian materials can craft. The bad news is architecture is expensive, and occasionally difficult. The description at the trainer isn’t joking, this profession isn’t for the faint of heart. You will need materials from every gathering profession, which means either hitting up the commodities exchange or leveling an army of alt minions to farm for you. There’s also a third way, which I am currently using. That is to train yourself in multiple gathering professions first, stash away large quantities of materials, then retrain architect. Unlike most other MMOs I have played, when you swap professions you retain your skill level and recipes learned. There is a cost involved, so make sure you store enough raw materials so you don’t have to swap very often!

Architect uses the “coordinate crafting system,” which it shares with technologist and cooking. The screen grabs I’m showing here are all from cooking, since everyone can use it and since I’m currently in “gathering mode” stockpiling materials before I swap back to architect again. I hear lots of questions about how this crafting system works, so here’s a quick rundown.

The Basics

In coordinate crafting, recipes have a basic output as well as one or more “specials” which must be targeted to be crafted. This means if you just want the basic output all you need to do is gather the raw materials, open up the recipe and click “craft.”

Big reticule can mean a big chance to miss.

Big reticule can mean a big chance to miss.

To craft one of the “specials,” you need to target it on your diagram. You do this by adding up to 3* ingredients from the menu on the right. Your reticule begins in the center of the diagram (at the basic output) and you need to find the right group of ingredients to hit your target.

Discoveries

As you advance in your crafting, eventually your specials will not be immediately available. Instead you will have to discover them. One or more quarters will be shaded, indicating that there’s a discovery to be made there. You should aim for the middle initially, then zero in, following the arrows that will point you toward the discovery.

Tips and Tricks

Make sure you’re not mounted! Crafting in general tends to bug out if you attempt to craft anything while mounted.

The ingredients cost money, and more as you get into higher crafting tiers. Be prepared to spend a lot while you’re learning.

Check out your tech tree. By filling it out you’ll learn new recipes and eventually get talent points to spend.

Look at all your options. Sometimes it may be easier to go past a target and then come back from the other direction instead of going in a straight line. Open up the various sections of ingredients to make sure you’re not missing one that gets you where you want to be.

The reticule shows the POSSIBLE placement area. Just because you hit your target with a large reticule doesn’t mean you’ll definitely craft the special you were aiming for. Use ingredients with large reticules first, then zero in with more accurate ones to make sure you hit your target!

Get those talent points. All coordinate crafting professions/hobbies have talents that will make it easier to hit targets or make discoveries.

Mouseover those little arrows when you’re trying to make a discovery. The rollover text will tell you if you were close to hitting the target or not!

Keep lots of mats on hand when you’re trying to make a discovery. The arrows pointing you the right way will not stay after you logout, so make sure you have enough mats to zero in on your target before you have to stop crafting!

Mouseover the little arrows to see how close you were to hitting the target!

Mouseover the little arrows to see how close you were to hitting the target!

Final Thoughts

Be prepared to miss a lot, coordinate crafting has a lot of randomness to it. Once you get the hang of it, though, it is incredibly fun and engaging! I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to bug me in the comments on on Twitter if you have more questions!

*this can be increased by talents in cooking