I've put off playing with WildStars housing. There's several reasons for this, despite Carbine providing me with 1 million Renown. The first is a wish not to spoil one of the key elements to the game. The second and perhaps the most obvious is that WildStar is so jam packed with things to do, including fantastic classes, that its just been on the back burner for me.
If you tuned into our official Twitch page last week, you'll have witnessed me clumsily designing my first home. Is this cornerstone of WildStar any good then? Yes, it bloomin well is.
Having been knee deep in EQN Landmark since it launched its Alpha several weeks ago and having read up very little on WildStars housing (purposefully I might add) it really has taken me by surprise. Like everything Carbine is currently doing with WildStar, not only is housing and its functions polished to the finest of standards, but it offers swathes of depth to transform your patch of green land into something truly magical.
At level 14 you can head into your respective capital city (whether Dominion or Exile) and transport to your land. Unlike EQN Landmark which provides functionality to create anything you wish, supported by a certain degree of pre made furniture and accessories, WildStar does things a little simpler and has pre-designed homes, land and accessories that you can customise.
Your plot is split into 7 sections in total with 1x2 plots that are reserved for showing off a variety of WildStar biomes and then four 1x1 plots designed to plug in smaller enhancements. At a cost of silver, gold and renown, you can, if you have enough of both resources, deck out your house in a matter of minutes. With the 1 million renown Carbine provided me, I was able to buy absolutely every renown item without fear of running out and while it allowed me to obtain some amazing home accessories and modifications, you'll be significantly limiting yourself if you don't spend gold as well. The list of items available is huge and all are beautifully detailed from workbenches and windmills to wells and animal heads: it’s all here to decorate your home with.
Some of the beginner plots (such as a Tier 1 Garden) are incredibly cheap to build (around 50 silver) and allow you to plant seeds you’ve discovered out in the game world, with the plants growing quickly. Some are much more expensive, up to several gold, while some require a FABKit. FABKits are basically blueprints or items that you’ll discover out in the game world that you then apply to your plot of land. They drop from enemies, are sometimes given as quest rewards, purchased for renown or are bought from the Auction House. There’s plenty of options to obtain them, but be aware that some of the best will cost considerable money or renown should you want them and there are level restrictions attached. A Science Lab for example has a level 41+ requirement and doesn’t come cheap.
Interestingly, you can obtain “Expedition” FABKits which are basically dungeons that you or 4 friends can participate in from your plot of land. These Expeditions scale in difficulty depending on how many you take along and ranged from an Abandoned Eldan Test Lab to Kel Voreth Underforge. Alongside Expeditions, there are also Challenges (similar to those you participate in out in the game world) that you can build and participate in.
When you first arrive on your plot of land, you’ll see a solitary home and a new user interface in the lower right hand corner. Broken down into Landscape, House, Crate and Vendor, it’s a relatively simple and self explanatory system. Selecting any of these sub menus allows you to further customise that one area. For example, selecting “Crate” brings up a list of everything you currently own and which you can place down (either inside or outside your home). My particular favourite is selecting House followed by Sky: doing this allows you to change the overall feel of your land dramatically, ranging from snow to volcanic ash, tornados or a star littered sky.
Inside your home, the tools to define how your house looks have a wealth of depth, with the options to change walls, floors, trim, lighting and doorways. Alongside this you can resize, mount, rotate and place any and all items just as you see fit. It’s a little tricky at first but you get used to the controls quick enough, the fact you can drag and drop is also more than welcome.
What I like the most about housing, customisation aside, is the fact that Carbine are attempting to make it more than a money and time sink. Yes it will cost you gold and reputation to get your house up to scratch, but the value here is not only in how stunning each area looks but the social element. The fact you can visit other peoples homes and undertake challenges or dungeons or even enter a raid instance from your plot of land makes the whole process ridiculously appealing.
If you’re after a time sink for end game, look no further.