PAX News: Wildstar Housing Is Awesome

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Over at PAX this past weekend, developers announced some of the awesome features of WildStar housing. In the first of Carbine Studios “Dev Speaks” series, this video explains some of the core mechanics of housing and why it will be such an important part of the game.

WildStar Housing: Your Very Own Spot in the World

At an early level and with a little bit of cash, a visit to your local ProtoStar Housing Specialist will net you a sky plot. First you’ll have to clear your land by killing mobs, blowing up stumps, exterminating malicious plant life, and generally removing any sort of “undesirables.”

WildStar Housing starts of very basic: first off, you’ll have access to a campsite, then a small and basic race-specific starter home. Eventually, you’ll be able to get a larger home and it doesn’t seem to be race specific. Are you a Cassian who wants a cute little Aruin house? Maybe a Human that that wants a high tech Mechari domicile? Once you have access to it, you can build what you want.

As you level and quest and get a bit richer you’ll gain more and more access to customization options. You’ll be able to change just about every feature of your house inside and outside: walls, windows, signs, hedges, air conditioning units, benches, fountains, lights and lamps, furniture, bookcases, sculptures, anything. The amount of care and detail that has been put in to makes sure every element of the house is alterable is impressive. Additionally, it looks like there is a fairly simple to use movement system makes moving objects around and placing them very easy.

Perks of Living at Home

This video showcases some of the bonuses and rewards you will get for using the WildStar housing system. One thing we have not yet previously heard about is the perks that go along with housing, so this is pretty exciting. We now know that when you log out and rest at your house, you’ll be getting a sweet rested XP bonus. More than that, the more things you have in your house, the bigger your bonus will be. This is a neat feature and will help incentivize players to actually care about and work on their houses.

Another major set of perks is the plug-socket system. In addition to your actual house, your sky plot will have different preset “socket” areas where you can “plug” in additional buildings, facilities, or peripherals. You can build plugs like a personal crafting bench, a mine for gather ore materials, a garden for harvesting ingredients and the like. In the video we also saw a helicopter pad option, but I have no idea what exactly that will be used for. Maybe helicopters will act as a sort of flying mount?

Plugs will give out daily quests, resources, and other cool perks. They’ll take time and energy to build and maintain, but the rewards seem to be worth the effort. I mean, a reliable place to mine crafting materials? Sign me up! Scouring MMO worlds for mats is one of the most tedious aspects of crafting systems but if you care enough about crafting to put the effort in, you can skip that. There is a good chance that you’ll be able to sell those materials in an Auction House and turn an easy profit.

Turning Your Plot into an Unofficial Guild Hall

WildStar housing will be social if you want it to be. You can allow friends and guildies onto your property or open to the public. Have low level friends or guildmates? They can use your facilities to get ahead. Organizing a raid with your guild? Invite them to meet at your sky plot to get a special raid buff and talk strats before heading out. Also, you won’t have to be home to let friends come over – if you are away and not using your ore mine, might as well have a friend come and harvest mats for you. You’ll both get rewards for it.

WildStar housing is something I didn’t really think would be all that interesting at first, but now I’m pretty excited about it. Do you guys have any thoughts or opinions on WildStar housing and sky plots? Sounds to me like just the sort of thing other modern MMOs are lacking.

Another thing of note: I spoke with some of the WildStar housing developers at PAX about the payment model for WildStar. They couldn’t confirm or deny anything yet since it is still too early to tell, but they did mention that they are looking into the possibility of micro-transactions for housing items.

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