Countdown to WildStar: Reloaded

Less than 24 hours until WildStar goes Free to Play! If you’re reading this on September 28, the patch is now available for download!

I’ve been mostly avoiding WildStar for the past week or two. I tried to get my affairs in order as much as I could, and once the market board was shut down I figured that was a good sign that I could step away and refresh. This way I will be at maximum hype levels when the patch hits and the world changes.

The Farewell To Evindra dance party

The Farewell To Evindra dance party

The last time our little world got upended this much was for the Megaserver merger. This screenie is from the night before the merge. (Shoutout to all my Evindra friends!) Coincidentally, it was also the night where I got recruited into my current guild.

Last night's party

Last night’s party at an even fancier club

The party last night was fittingly even bigger than that one. Which makes sense since we’re welcoming a ton of great new updates instead of saying goodbye to our server. I’m feeling similar nervousness about this big change though. We’re about to be the center of attention for a while. Soon tons more people will be running around checking out this awesome game. I’m hoping that the trolls move along quickly, and that the game ends up getting a huge boost. WildStar is my main MMO, and I’m looking forward to being able to share my love with even more people. I know a bunch of my friends who tried it and left are planning to come check it out again and I can’t wait to play with them after months of absence.

No matter what happens, I’m excited as hell. See you on Nexus, cupcakes.

F2P and a PSA

If you haven’t been following closely, you might have missed that the WildStar F2P launch date has finally been announced. On September 29, the WildStar: Reloaded drop will land and tons of changes will be heading our way! I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to grab a beta key and hop into the beta to check it out. There’s lots to get excited about and I can’t wait for it all to finally go live!

So many alts so little time

So many alts so little time

There is one catch, though. Yesterday on the livestream something pretty important got casually mentioned that bears repeating. On 9/29 when the drop happens, any characters remaining on the Arkship (the initial tutorial area) will be WIPED. From what they said, it sounds like since the entire tutorial experience is being redone they need to clear everything out of the arkships. And I suspect it is also a way of cleaning up after some folks (like me!) who had way more than the “allowed” allotment of alts due to the megaserver merger. In any case, if you have any low-level alts hanging around on the Arkship, take a few minutes to move them through the tutorial and down to the planet or risk losing them for good.

What Buys Loyalty?

Bonus post today because there’s news and I am an opinionated space zombie!

On Wednesday the “Cosmic Rewards” or loyalty program for WildStar’s F2P conversion was explained in detail. Overall I’m very excited. I’ve played a little on the PTR and seen some of the cosmetic rewards, and they are glorious. That house that they had a preview of in that announcement? Amazing!

How awesome does this new reward dye make me look?

How awesome does this new reward dye make me look?

Down below all the lists of cool shiny rewards, they explain the details of how exactly you earn these cosmic reward points. For the most part it seems pretty generous. It looks like you get might get points for purchasing NCoin, and for spending NCoin in the shop. That’s great! It also rewards folks who have purchased the game, paid account services, or a subscription in the past. That’s why my bags were so full of cool stuff when I copied my character to the PTR.

How else can you get these rewards? You earn 3000 points per month for having a subscription to “signature service.” You also earn 4000 points for purchasing a CREDD with real money. Hey that’s great! It may encourage people to spend the $20 to get in-game cash, and keep the CREDD market supplied. Now we get to the part where I start to have some issues with this system.

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

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

Here’s where I tell you that I’ve been subbed continuously since launch. Via CREDD. I have a 3 month subscription plan on my account, and it has never been billed. Everybody wins from this setup. I get my subscription for “free”. The cool folks who bought CREDD with real money have gotten a large amount of platinum to spend in-game on whatever their hearts desire. Finally Carbine has gotten extra cash, about $75 so far. Since CREDD is more expensive than a month’s subscription, every time I pay with CREDD they’re getting an extra $5. Yes, someone other than me gave them that money. I’m not “directly contributing” to the bottom line. But if I and folks like me stopped buying CREDD in-game then there would be no market for it, and nobody would pay $20 real money to get a pittance of in-game currency. The system works in everyone’s favor because all the pieces are necessary and interdependent.

Now let’s look at the loyalty reward system. It gives 4000 points to someone who buys a CREDD with real money, 3000 to a credit card subscriber, and only 1000 points to someone like me who uses CREDD to pay for their subscription. Ouch that stings. I understand incentivizing multi-month subscriptions. I have no issues with those bonuses. Carbine wants people on a long-term recurring plan so that they have financial stability. But one month of subscription is worth the same credit whether you pay via one-use time card or recurring credit card. Just not CREDD.

One of the great things about the CREDD system was that, other than the loud noises it makes when you redeem it, nobody can tell whether you’re using it or real money to play the game. I was 100% equal to anyone else playing. Or I thought I was. Turns out I was being less “loyal” that whole time. While I was playing extra hours to earn plat so I could pay for my subscription. While I was blogging, podcasting, and singing the game’s praises on social media. While I was contributing to a system that earned Carbine more than a regular month’s subscription fee. That’s all worth less than someone who subbed for 4 months and then got bored and wandered away. Ouch.

Maybe I need to relax a bit, and like Syp just be happy to be getting a pile of free stuff when F2P happens. But I wonder if this might undermine the CREDD market in the long run. It suddenly seems a lot less appealing to me to spend tons of time earning plat to subscribe with CREDD. I could just buy game time cards when I’m playing a lot, and let my sub lapse (and still play for free!) when I’m not. The rewards for me are way better that way, and I get to spend the extra plat on cool stuff for myself. I wonder how many others might feel the same way? How many will it take to make the CREDD market unstable? I love this game and I dearly want it to succeed in the long term. I don’t even want this post come across as overly harsh because overall I think WildStar’s F2P system is incredibly generous and fair compared with other F2P MMOs. I want to keep playing this game until, hopefully many years from now, they shut down the servers and chase me out.  I just wish I got the same credit for that as everyone else.

Patchmas Eve

Looking stylish while waiting for the tree event to get going

Looking stylish while waiting for the tree event to get going

In just a few short hours Drop 3 will be upon us! If you haven’t been following the WildStar news, Drop 3 is basically combining several months worth of content, tuning, and bug fixes. This means when the servers come back up we’ll have lots of new things to do, and also lots of changes to get used to. Hopefully nothing gets too broken in the process, but with a patch this huge I am sure there will be something that doesn’t go as planned.

I couldn’t even say what I am looking forward to the most. There’s so much being added or changed that I hardly know where to begin. I think the increase to the decor limit is one of the best things, but I am also really looking forward to having new quests to run through. I have spent the past week trying to tie up some loose ends, in between running adventures and dungeons with my new guildies. I’ve managed to max out my reputation with the Guardians of the Grove, and I’m just 1 or 2 days away from capping out the Malgrave Research Initiative. This is extra good since there’s a whole new reputation to start working on tomorrow. Like Guardians of the Grove, I believe the new reputation will have an ability point unlock as a reward, so I want to jump in and get started on it ASAP. Importantly, it should also have architect blueprints for some strain-infested decor!


I died and fell through Thayd. That was a new one.

I have mixed feelings about the timing of this Drop. As some of you may have heard, there’s some other MMO releasing an expansion this week. The vast majority of my old friends have already been back in that MMO, getting ready to level and start raiding again in the new world. Having WildStar’s patch hit at the same time means that I will at least be distracted with new shiny things to do, so hopefully that will ease the longing for a time when my friends all played the same games together. On the other hand, it is a bit frustrating that all of the excitement of Drop 3 will be drowned out by the swarms of people playing that other game. It also means that some folks who might still want to give WildStar a chance will be long gone. Hopefully they will come back when the new expansion smell wears off in that other game. I’ll still be on Nexus, filling up my house with strain eyeballs and running my moonshine still.

Whether you’ll be celebrating tomorrow with malevolent alien plagues or orc-based time travel, I wish you the merriest of patch days. May the servers come up on time, the lag be tolerable, and the bugs be few!


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!

Over the Moon

Really I just wanted an excuse to post this screen shot

Really I just wanted an excuse to post this screen shot

I spent my weekend leveling slowly and hanging out with my guild. On Sunday morning I finally got the chance to do the first “Drusera” instance, and I am intrigued and impressed. I am only level 36 now but I can’t wait to see more of the story as it unfolds.

And I might have to get my act together, since the first content drop is being teased already. It looks like we will have until the end of the month until this patch hits. Customization options and new zones are on the way and I am nowhere near ready yet! On the housing front, some new plugs will be available. I’m excited to see what they will be!

I’m grateful that WildStar has an abundance of content available, and it looks like it will be a very long time before I run out of new things to do on Nexus!

Hints of the future


Not much to look at. Yet.

Not much to look at. Yet.

I will have a post up shortly trying to sum up my thoughts about headstart and “launch.” First though, I wanted to give you some news that dropped into my lap regarding some exciting upcoming housing additions!

Watching the WildStar countdown to launch Twitch stream I figured I’d ask one of my pet questions, about if it will be possible to get a guestbook for our house. Lucky for me and for you readers, Tony Rey actually chose it to ask, and the answer is they’re working on it! I am super excited about this, I think it will be great to be able to let folks know how much their hard work on their housing plots is appreciated.

The devs also talked a little bit more about the guild housing or “guild neighborhoods” which are also being worked on. It sounds like there will be new art assets for that, and that it is going to be huge! A few more housing tidbits from the stream include potentially being able to change the ground on your land (can you say snowy winter wonderland?), and there will be housing decor coming in the very first drop (content patch) coming out in a month or so!

The game is here. Our houses are for keeps now, go build your dreams!

The Guild that Builds Houses Together

I watched an interview with Carbine Studios’ development director Matt Mocarski at Gamereactor UK last night, and it brought me great joy. In addition to touching on their aggressive content scheduling plans, he mentioned something in the works that is near and dear to my moonshine-soaked heart. Guild Housing.

Time to Celebrate!

Time to Celebrate!

Just let that sink in for a moment. WildStar’s awesome player housing. Challenges, creativity, solo and group dungeon content. For your whole guild to enjoy.

I don’t know what form it will take, all we know so far is that it is in the works and will be here “post-launch.” If it is as capable a system as the player housing I am confident it will be amazing. My hope is that there will be room to build and get creative, but also guild housing-specific plugs that will reward your guild for playing together. I can imagine quite a lot of cool things I would love to see. Crafting stations that use mats straight from the guild bank. Scalable or 5-person dungeon plugs obtained from doing group content out in the world with your guild. Maybe you killed a huge raid boss this week so you get to haul its carcass back to the guild house and harvest materials from it until it is picked clean.

There are a lot of amazing possibilities that I can imagine, but I’m going to repeat something I said on Twitter yesterday. The reality is that I am so excited because I can’t imagine it all alone. It will take a whole guild full of people to imagine it together.

Stop The Presses

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all managed to get logged in and snag your name of choice by now. I’ve got a new Housing 101 post for tomorrow, but today I just wanted to alert you to something amazing!

I’ve been holding back a bit on making new things in my house lately, because I didn’t want to get too invested and then have to re-do all my hard work once the game finally launches. Well that changed last night when I saw this: HousingDecorSetManager. Go look at it right now.

Save your decor placement. Then automate placing everything again later.

This. Changes. Everything.

You NEED This

You NEED This

To install it just download, unzip and place it in Users/yourusername/AppData/Roaming/NCSOFT/WildStar/addons. You don’t even have to log out of the game, just do a quick /reloadui and it will be there.

It took just a couple minutes to get it installed and save my house. I even tried it out by removing some of my decor from my bar and it placed everything back just as it should be! You can even share your builds with your friends. Got an alt and want them to have the same fancy digs without placing everything again? No problem!  So what are you waiting for? Go grab this addon and get decorating! The beta may be ending soon but that’s no excuse to stop creating the home of your dreams!

Happy building folks!