My WildStar F2P Checklist

In case you missed the media circus, WildStar is now Free-to-Play. It’s been a rocky start so far, with multiple outages, ridiculous login queues (often 1-2 hours or more), and, worst of all for an action combat MMO, absurd amounts of lag. So, basically, exactly what you’d expect from a F2P relaunch. It didn’t bother me too much, since I was in bed with a killer sinus infection for almost two weeks around the time of the relaunch (hence my general lack of blog activity, sorry). A couple days into the launch, Carbine rolled out some extra servers to balance out the load, which has helped, though there are still some problems. Wisely, the devs are making it clear that the servers are a temporary measure, naming them (at least here in the States) Entity-2 and Warhound-2, respectively. I always cringe when games throw a bunch of servers into production for a launch, only to have to merge them back down a few months later. It’s a real paradox; leave the servers alone and you’ll get flack for poor player service, seemingly not caring about their hour-long queues to get into the game they just spent hours downloading. Put servers up, and, when you inevitably merge them back down to what you had before, you get all kinds of bad PR and naysayers crying “SEE! Proof that this game is failing just like I said it would!” Neither is good, and this is yet another reason why I never want to ever work in the MMO business. Let’s all take a minute to collectively feel bad for the IT guys at Carbine and hope they get to eat and see their families soon. But not until you get our game working, dangit.

Anyways, enough about the launch. Ever since I canceled my WildStar subscription a couple of months ago, I’ve been thinking about what I’m excited to do once I get back to Nexus. Here are a few of the more major points.

Work on my house
So far the two houses I’ve made have consisted mostly of a smattering of plants, the pack of items they give you when you buy a housing plot, and maybe a few plush Rowsdowers and such that I’ve gotten from events out in the world. I haven’t actually made an effort to plan out what I want to do with my plot yet. I have a few disconnected ideas inspired by things I’ve seen, but nothing specific. That said, when I last subscribed, I shipped a bunch of materials to my Architect character, so hopefully I will soon be able to make something other than scrawny bushes and ugly metal planks.
I’ve also spent some of the more lag-infested play sessions just messing around in people’s public houses getting ideas for what to do in the future. People do some crazy stuff with their plots. Why play Minecraft when there’s Wildstar? A lot of people don’t even use the prefabricated houses they give you, opting to create their own, much more elaborate buildings out of decor items. I’d be curious to find out how much money some of these people have dumped into their housing plots. Do people just accumulate some of this stuff as they go, or are they burning through hundreds of platinum so their house looks cool? Or is it just the product of a crapton of crafting? I’m sure the answer is usually “all of the above.”

Actually get a character 50
As my readers know by now, my biggest weakness in MMOs is that I get distracted easily. I really want to play endgame content, but I’ll get a character about half to two thirds of the way to the level cap and–hey look, a shiny thing!

Hit the gear treadmill
Man, I miss healing groups. I flew through Little Healer (Android/iOS) and it gave me so much nostalgia for playing a healer (plus, you can wipe as much as you want without getting yelled at!).
Honestly, I’ve never done raid healing in any of the games I’ve played. I’ve done a fair amount of dungeon healing, and dabbled in raid (off) tanking, but I’ve never stuck with a character/game that had actual raids long enough to get geared enough to be viable at raiding. But what I have done has been some of my favorite group activities in MMOs. And since I doubt I’ll be getting my ranger to 80 for the Shaman healing Elite Spec in Guild Wars 2 any time soon, WildStar seems like the perfect place to get back into healing.

Roll a new character
Completely counter to my above two goals, I always feel the need to roll a new character when returning to a game after an expansion or other big update. Especially one like this one that streamlines the story at the lower levels. This is why I never achieve the above goals. This time I think a new gunslinger looks tempting, especially since I hear they’re the best raid healer. Early on I got frustrated with the class, since their targeting area is this game’s equivalent of a single-target spiker, but I figured I’d give it another shot (no pun intended). Hopefully, now that the skill unlocks are all free, I’ll find a build that I like better this time around.