Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's Nice To Come Home To This...

     For years I watched Virika invest way too much time doing what I thought of as gimmicks and time sinks in WoW.  She participated in every holiday event and collected every battle pet she could get her hands on.  She coveted achievement points so much she would travel to every corner of the pixelated landscape in order to find every critter in the game and show them that she /loved them.  I'm not saying I didn't participate in any of these "collection" activities at all.   I mean what WoW player didn't put at least a little time into getting a cool transmog outfit or get those heroic achievements done in order to ride a cool mount that showed everyone else what a bad ass player you were? But collecting recipes and hunting down rares mobs with ridiculous spawn timers and spending hours searching for the elusive time-lost protodarake... not my thing.       
     One of the Wildstar gimmicks that a lot of people seemed excited about was the player housing.   From the beginning, this sounded utterly ridiculous to me.  Friends who played MMO's that had housing options could never convey to me what was so cool about it.  I just thought, "who's honestly going to hang out in their imaginary house and arrange furniture instead of, you know, playing the actual game?"  When my Dominion toon got to level 14 and made her way to the capital city of Illium, I honestly could care less about playing house in an mmo.  But I had heard something in chat about a boost to your rest bonus associated with housing so I found the Protostar showroom and got my house. I hate myself for how quickly I got hooked. After spending a couple of hours questing and leveling, I couldn't ever get my ass to bed before tinkering with my house just a little bit more.

     There are more than a few things that make this housing cool. First off, the most obvious and expected thing is that there are a lot of neat "decor" items to collect and decorate your house with. Some of them are things you find randomly, others are earned through rep and questing, winning drops in instances, and some are crafted. There are also things players can buy from the housing vendor with gold or an in-game currency called "renown", which is mostly earned by participating in group activities. Throughout the game, players can also collect lore items fragments of stories called "Tales from Beyond the Fringe". Anyone who collects all the fragments for a particular story can buy portrait of the cover to hang on the wall. Finally, some of the coolest decor I saw, came from completing various challenges in the game.

Time for a nap. 
      The housing interface is awesome.  Not only does it allow the player to position decor exactly as desired, it allows players to preview items not yet purchased to see how they will look. Different decor items increase the quality of the house in terms of things like comfort, lighting, aroma, ambiance and pride.  The more of each a house has, the more rest bonus a player will gain when logging from the house.  Another neat thing about housing that I didn't expect was that it is very easy to visit other players houses.  Players have options to become neighbors with someone or roommates. Being roommates allows Virika and I to decorate each others homes. In the pic below, you can see me placing a pine tree in the middle of her house... I am sure that she will love it!  (Don't worry.  She can put it back in her crate later)

      In addition to decor items,  their are FABkits to collect.  These fit into landscape slots on the players property. Examples are functional things like gardens which allow you to plant seeds and grow plants used when crafting.  There are purely decorative kits like hot springs and kiddie pools. There are others like my moonshine cabin that allow the player and their guests to participate in a challenge. Stomp the grapes and work the controls to make your hooch. The loot rewards for completing it include some nice decor items and small amount of renown.  The challenge can be repeated every half hour in order to collect all the items.  I also won a FABkit from one of the instances I did called Kel Voreth.  Not only does it look incredible on my landscape, it has a portal to the instance!
     In the end, housing is definitely a time sink and probably most appealing to casual players and RPers.  That being said, I'm sure that there will be a fair amount of hardcore raiders and PvPers spending their time straitening picture frames and shopping for furniture. Mainly, because the housing is really fun, but also because it feels like a worthwhile reward that you can show off to your friends.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have.


No comments:

Post a Comment