While slowly working towards my raid attunement this week, I decided to mess around with the massive cosmetic instance known as “housing.” Wildstar has probably the most extensive options for personal housing ever created in an MMORPG, and even beats out guild customization in many other games with not even Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn being comparative. Not only can you choose your house, landscape, and furniture, but every single piece of your housing unit is customizable. Do you want it to be continuously raining or snowing on your property? No problem. How about a gigantic solar flare right outside your window? They’ve got that too. Put chairs on the ceiling and chandeliers on the floor, it doesn’t matter because it’s your house.
FROM DESOLATION TO PARADISE
Cosmetics and roleplaying have never really been my niche in MMORPGs, or gaming in general, but the housing system in Wildstar is really quite incredible and actually offers some in-game perks. When I first got my house, back at level 14, I built a mining pit, a crafting station and dropped my free spaceship house and called it good. As I progressed through the game I leveled up the mining pit but didn’t really mess with much else, except occasionally dumping a few of the experience bonus items on my lawn. I couldn’t possibly fathom why some players were dropping dozens, if not hundreds, of platinum on purely aesthetic upgrades when many of them could still use better character equipment.
While I couldn’t breakdown and drop all the cash some of the other players have, besides my Spacious Cassian House that set me back around three platinum, I have accumulated an insane amount of Renown since hitting max level. For nearly every remodeling option there are inexpensive options, which still look insanely awesome, or choices that can be purchased with alternative currency. Something important to keep in mind is that the “remodeling” purchases aren’t permanent and whenever they’re changed you have to buy them back. This is why I recommend going with the cheaper options at first, especially if you’re just messing around.
Not only can you buy one of many houses, but there are also four smaller land plots and two larger ones. On the larger plots you can build various Biomes, which allow you to teleport across Nexus. I decided to go with Everstar Grove and Northern Wastes Biomes because I preferred their aesthetics. I also kept my mining pit and crafting station so that I don’t always have to return to Illium if I want to work on my weaponsmithing. Finally I added a garden, so I could finally do something with all these damn seeds I’ve been holding onto, and fireworks launcher to add some more flair to the land.
MORE THAN JUST LOOKS
In addition to portals to various regions of Nexus, there are other landscape enhancements that serve a purpose. Got some beef with your neighbors? Go a couple of rounds with them in your Dueling Pit. If you’re thirsty there’s always the Moonshiner Cabin that comes with a challenge to make your own brew. There are even a few mini-dungeons and many other interactive environments. I haven’t had the chance to test out every one, mostly because it gets expensive, but I’m sure that if you want something Carbine will eventually come out with it.
After providing my lawn with a number of improvements I found it time to head inside and work on my bedroom. The Spacious Cassian House really does have quite a bit of room. I decided to make the bedroom upstairs my “chill zone” complete with a few of my favorite statues, a place for my wardrobe (non-functioning of course), and my collection of plushies. Pretty much everything inside can be remodeled including the floor, ceiling, lighting, and even the trim…all at a price of course. I went with a darker tone and “underwater lighting” so that my character could get a good night’s rest.
With my bedroom intact I decided to head downstairs…and it’s still a work in progress. I have a hard enough time decorating my own house, but trying to arrange everything perfectly in a game, with so many options, is a little daunting. Now I can understand why people are actually getting paid in-game to be interior decorators. There have been a few people advertising in Illium, with prices starting at 1 platinum and rising based on the complexity and time required. It’s amazing how much décor you can pick up just by playing through the game and running a couple of instances. I’ve never rolled “need” on a single décor item and already have more than 50 pieces. I’m sure those of you who are really into this sort of thing have already stocked up on hundreds of pieces.
PLAY WITH OTHERS
After getting bored with messing up my own house, I decided to check out some of my neighbors. In Wildstar you can either visit the homes of friends that you add or ones that allow public access. Some players have gotten really creative turning their land into a theme, maze, or are littered with mini-games and challenges. Furthermore, any player with a resource plot can share the nodes that spawn with his neighbors and they all share a cut. Wildstar has turned a generally solo, rigid game mechanic into something fun and dynamic that you can enjoy with your friends.
Having started with a simple plot of dirt, and a few pieces of décor, I’m pretty satisfied with how my new home is coming along. It might not be grand or overly complex, but eventually I’ll have the resources and the ability to turn it into something amazing. Until then it’s simply something to call my own and that’s what’s important in the end. Everyone now has their own area to express themselves and create at least one part of Nexus where they belong. At the end of the day it’s nice to logout in my own bed, and the added experience bonus is just icing on the cake.Related: Column, Housing, MMORPG, Sci-Fi, The Nexus Times, Wildstar