Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MMO Boot Camp

We could not be more excited or more ready for the big head start! I've been encouraged by the high quality of all Wildstar-centric blogs popping up.  Also, I've had a good time joining the world of Twitter (yeah, really late to the party) and interacting with some cool folks.  Luckily, we have found a guild that seems like it will be a really good fit for us. 

On top of that, I have instituted MMO Boot Camp. As excited as I am to play Wildstar, the idea of sitting on my ass all weekend is not so appealing... A while back Virika got her old mac set up with Windows through the use of Boot Camp in order to play SWTOR. It's not a great machine but it works. Since she upgraded it's been sitting on a shelf near our treadmill for playing vids and music while running.  Eventually, I built a desk for it and MMO Boot Camp was born. I found that I could still play decently well while going around 2.5-3 mph on the treadmill. I often ran instances and leveled in SWTOR while burning calories. I could even raid in WoW on non-progression nights. Diablo was fun too. 

Last weekend, I got Wildstar running on the Mac at a decent FPS, albeit at low graphic settings. I'm excited to try it out. It will be tougher I think, simply because Wildstar is a harder game than any of the other games I've played while on the move. It requires much more movement and coordination than WoW or SWTOR ever did. 


Also, we took Gracie's advice from Moonshine Mansion and got well stocked on provisions. A successful trip to Trader Joe's provided plenty of healthy vittles and decent wine. Tomorrow, we will get our chores done and get a good night's sleep. This weekend is going to be amazing! All that is left is to decide what class my first toon will be...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Back From the Abyss

Real life and technical issues have kept us away from Wildstar this past little while. The real life stuff wasn't all bad. Virika and I rode the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour on May 4th. It was an awesome 40+ mile bike ride through every borough of New York, over bridges, through parks and ending at the Staten Island ferry. We had a good time and our team raised over $11,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. This past weekend while most of you were hopefully enjoying time in the beta, Virika and I were re-upping our Wilderness First Aid certification which we need for work purposes. Not the worst way to spend a weekend but we've done it many times (every two years) and there is only so much fun you can have learning to make splints out of improvised materials.

The one night we were able to get into the game, we were unable to get a group going and the LFG tool was no help. The other nights were plagued with one or both of us having technical problems. It started on Friday for me. V got into the game easily, but mine wouldn't patch. Got a "Patch Failed" error many times with a link to some help files. Most of them involved suggestions like "run as administrator", disable background processes, turn off firewall, creating new "uncorrupted" user account, and flush DNS, etc. I tried everything (including the repair feature) to no avail. Virika screwed around in game doing crafting while I was freaking out chatting with others having the same problem on forums and in chat. I tried to uninstall the game and re-install which also sucked. Apparently, the game will not uninstall correctly if not fully patched:
Who were the two people who found this useful? I want to PvP them.
This was ridiculous to me. If the game won't patch and repair won't work what are you supposed to do? If this continues to be the case, Carbine really needs to come up with a functioning uninstaller. The thing that bothers me most was that when it finally started installing I really don't know what I did to fix it. The re-install problems began with trying to get the .exe file from the NCSOFT website and continued as the game tried to install. After an hours long comedy of errors, I finally got it to work. I checked my mailbox and then went to bed.

We played a bit the following night, but as I said we weren't able to get a group going. We did dailies and played around with housing. Last night, both Virika and I had the same problem again. After trying everything again, submitting a ticket, getting a generic reply, resetting our FIOS system twice... it miraculously started working again at around 12am. Grrr... got in, checked my mailbox and then went to bed.

Plan for tonight:
  1. Leave work on time.
  2. Make sweet potato & caramelized onion pizza with arugula salad for dinner.
  3. PvP and run instances until Nexus itself learns to fear our names.
PS- I think we found an awesome guild for us! Will tell more when Virika gets her app in!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Virika’s Tradeskills Secrets

This is our intro to crafting in Wildstar.  I would really love to hear feedback on this post and any corrections or suggestions!

Every MMO has it’s own version of crafting, in Wildstar it is called Tradeskills and they are quite unique!  I found the progression of leveling my crafting skills less obvious than other MMOs and I think I can share a few secrets I found along the way.  I hope you will find this guide will give you the confidence to wisely use your precious mats for the most benefit.

There are 2 types of crafting, Tradeskills that you pick and Hobbies that everyone can do:

  • Farming (Hobby)
  • Mining
  • Relic Hunter
  • Salvaging (Hobby)
  • Survivalist

Crafting (production):
  • Architect
  • Armorer (heavy armor)
  • Cooking (Hobby)
  • Outfitter (medium armor)
  • Runemaking
  • Tailor (light armor)
  • Technologist (potions, etc)
  • Weaponsmith

Here is a graph showing the relationship between the gathering skills and which crafting skills supply components:

Relic Hunter












We have found that you can learn 2 gathering skills instead of one crafting and one gathering. So far the draw back is that you will have to obtain and hold 2 gathering tools for faster collection.
Hopefully this information can help you decide which Tradeskills you will pick when you get to level 10, I think they all have the potential for profit and to be useful but that has yet to be proven.  I recommend looking at Chief Sarcan's post for a more detailed explanation of each Tradeskill.

Tradeskills interface:

Press K to open the Tradeskills interface; there are 3 tabs available at the top:
  • Schematics – where you can see all of the patterns, including locked patterns, with the name, components and how to unlock if applicable.
  • Tech Tree – this shows you the path to learn the patterns for each skill as well as displays your XP towards each level, there is drop-down box at the top center.
  • Talents – another tree that shows the Talents (bonuses) for each Tradeskill that you can earn.

Leveling your Tradeskills and Hobbies:
  • Hobbies have only one level, you can always farm any item that is ready to be picked and salvage any item in your inventory!
  • Tradeskills have level 1-5, gather nodes in lower level zones for level 1 to earn XP to increase level, higher level zones will have higher level nodes.
  • Salvaging also has only one level.  To salvage you can either click on the 2 arrow/recycle button in the bottom of your bag to review the salvageable items in your bag or drag the item to the button.  Note- there is a slight delay as the salvage button lights up and then you click it, I assume this is to help you to avoid salvaging the wrong item. Salvaging destroys the item and returns items used for Tradeskills (that might have gone into the crafting of the item) and grey items of very little value.  I found the power cores to be particularly useful, however sometimes the items that you recover from salvaging might NOT be as valuable as vendoring or selling the item on auction house.  Keep this in mind!
Crafting (production):
  • Cooking (Hobby) has only one level but earn Stars in the Tech Tree to earn Talent points.  It seems impossible to make the higher level items unless you have talent points.
  • Runemaking has one level.
  • Tradeskills have 5 levels (Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, Artisan, Expert), craft items and complete branches in the Tech Tree to increase level.

In the Tech Tree you will see that completing some branches reward not only a new pattern but also a Star with a 1 as shown below:

The Star is 1 Talent point which is spent in the Talent tab to earn bonuses for the Tradeskill – in Beta they seem to be automatically spent, although the interface infers that they might be selected.  These will be useful so you should try to earn them!

Crafting Vouchers:  Complete dailies to earn crafting Vouchers – these can be spent on crafting bags of random crafting components (although I do not recommend it) but at Expert level you will need spend Vouchers to buy rare patterns, crafting those rare patterns can unlock even better patterns (also requiring the voucher-bought pattern), so I suggest you save them up!

Expert Research:   I have not gotten mats for this yet so I do not know much about it, but I assume it has to do with raiding.

Practical advice:
  • Pre-max level crafted items are nice but probably not essential, so I would not break your bank or your mount fund in order to level your Tradeskills!  Questing with found, quest and challenge reward gear seemed sufficient, so crafted gear was not required.
  • Collect the items you can use for your Tradeskills as you quest by salvaging unwanted soulbound items and collecting nodes.  Luckily in Wildstar you have a massive Tradeskills bag so you will not have to worry too much about bags space!
  • When you are ready to start crafting, begin by getting the zone crafting dailies and work your way through the Tech Tree to learn those patterns – this way you will level your Tradeskill while getting crafting Vouchers, a Talent point (one point for completing 3 dailies in each zone) and zone rep.  You can use the cheapest mats and items with the least upgrades for quest turn in.
  • Craft items that are upgrades for your current gear.
  • After completing the above, craft items to complete branches in the Tech Tree that will yield a Talent point.
  • Once you get to Expert you will be able to use crafting Vouchers to make upgraded gear. 
  • Be ready for some fun surprises! I would love to hear or see what you find!