WildStar Uplink is a bi-weekly conversation we hold with our fans about MMO design, philosophy, and news. The main goal of these conversations is to gauge how important certain issues are to the WildStar community. More than just a simple conversation, we ask questions about topics that are important, and we share your responses with the development team directly. Want to participate? Follow @Team_WildStar on Twitter for the weekly question, participate using #WSuplink, and keep an eye on the community team (CRB_Atreid, CRB_Aether, and CRB_Scooter) to interact with us throughout the discussions.
This Uplink topic was: Player Housing is something we’re very excited about, but how do you plan to use your house on Nexus? Let’s take a look at some of your many tweets!
But before this, we could not pass up on this timely coincidence:
Zilvoran: Going to build a rowsdower plushie fort in it, because Rowsdowers and forts are cool.
Meanwhile in the studio, one of our Devs was creating this (we cannot show you the outside of the house but it was meant to protect that shrine :))
coreycrimzen: As a guild leader I want to make my house the “go to” spot for guild hangouts and meet ups on raid night 🙂
Toph_Monster: Social gathering for guild, social gathering for friends, place to craft and such, and a great RP hub!
Chief_Sarcan: let’s not forget the crazy bbq parties. Didn’t you say you had the inside scoop on the Protostar Beer Distributor?
babycorn81: Farm living is the life for me! Excited about all you can do not only with your house but land as well!
mrpixelcrash: My house will have a hunting lodge interior, with some alchemy lab “secret” areas. Embarrassing amounts of time in the garden, too
MassFragg: social hang out for the guild mates! Raid portals, crafting tables, mining and farming nodes, you name it!
NicciFlowers: I’m thinking a dance studio for one character’s house, maybe a toy store for another!
Zanzibuster: I would love to trick out my pad like a Wild West saloon and have it open to all comers. Hoping for a giant mirror
Warslyfe :Think trophy room in Predator 2, but less smoke machine… and more alcohol!
UNDERZZZZZ: Aside from being my own pad. I want all PVE related conveniences for my house. But will they be necessary to be competitive?
Lsyn: As a Mechari I will use my house as a torture room. I will also organize parties there.
GregoireHRCA: Huhuhu… Like a good member of Dominion I will exhibit my multiples trophies and show off my superiority!!!
Myno29: My House? Some awesome place when it comes to Space-party BBQ!
ATipiak: A Pantheon to honour our creators the Eldans.
GilgameshD: I will organize illegal fighting tournament to earn tons of cash or maybe just fish like an old man.
roga9869: An high-tech and contemporary house, filled with heads I will display as trophies.
Marchebrume: Crafting and gathering resources, but if it’s possible to also have puzzle jump or a maze, I’d really like that too!
Housing being the realm of our Social Systems team, who would better answer your questions (or rather statements) than the Social Systems Team Lead, Joseph Piepiora? And so, listen what he has to say about this topic:
The one message we get loud and clear from our fans is this: “We love housing!” It would be easy to sit back, shining our knuckles on our smoking jackets whilst simultaneously patting ourselves on the back. “Next feature!” We’d proclaim, pushing Player Housing aside, never to be examined again. Damn, that would be so easy.
That doesn’t ever seem to happen though as the social systems team is pretty hyper about housing. We talk about it every day, whether it’s an engineer bringing forward a tool improvement, an artist showing off some new decor or a designer working on fresh gameplay for a plug. Were we not able to work on housing in Wildstar I think we’d be the ones exchanging ideas on forums about the stuff we want in MMO housing.
Player housing means a lot of things to different people. As you can see above though, there are some basic trends. Players demand agency in the customization and decoration of their homes. This shouldn’t serve as much of a surprise to anyone, but I want to call it out. It’s our goal to ensure that if you want to build something unique that it’s within your grasp. We regularly review our décor schedule to determine whether or not we have enough options for different types of props. I had a meeting about flatware last week. We get pretty granular with this stuff, sometimes.
Players also want to know that their home can serve as a hub for their friends and guildmates. Whether they’re coming for the amenities, in order to engage in some plug challenges or just to chat we are working hard to make that easy. This conversation affects all parts of housing. Now that we’ve included our first pass of neighbors in beta, we’ll be reviewing the feedback and make tweaks where necessary to make this a totally viable option.
If you’ve been following housing closely, you’re probably aware of many of the features of the system already. What then can I use this time for but to tell you brand new things? Well, brand new to you. I mean… we’ve known about these things for a while. I’m ruining this, I’m sorry.
First, let’s get some neat housing customization stuff out of the way. We’ve recently added a new option to housing, interior and exterior lighting customization! Now, we’ve had lamps, torches and other sundry devices for some time, they cast shadows and such, but we’ve never allowed home owners to customize the ambient lighting of a house. Now we can, on a room by room basis. As an example, check out my ritual nook, it’s using our very dark ambience.
Now I’ve made mention of Expeditions in passing in a couple of places on the webz, but now I’d like to show you a picture of one. For the uninitiated, an Expedition is a type of plug that you can put on your property that connects to a scaled group instance. The one I have pictured below is the Graylight Grapplefest, a notorious fight club. In it the players are tasked with defeating foes inside the spotlights in order to get the maximum points per kill. Winners are awarded with Renown and unique housing trophies.
When we create housing content we’re really looking bring you and your friends together. We don’t necessarily want to keep you here forever though, there’s an awfully enormous Nexus for you to explore after all! That said we typically aim our Expeditions to be about twenty minutes in length, serving as a challenging bite-sized encounter.
I mentioned Renown above, it’s a social currency we use. It’s awarded whenever a player completes content on their housing property or groups up with others to complete content anywhere in the game. In this way we provide players who don’t enjoy grouping a method of generating renown on their housing property, but also incent them to take that step to try out a group here and there. Renown is used to purchase a variety of housing-related items, as well as some other interesting rewards.
Why do emphasize content as well as cosmetic customization options? In general we want you to feel like housing is not just a place you go to drop off your newest collectable and then ignore. We want you to be interested in things on your housing property, and to feel like there are a variety of unique rewards to earn through housing.
We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of positive feedback on what we’ve shown already. The fans have spoken, and they’re passionate about housing. You want to carve out a home on Nexus, you want to decorate it however you want with as few restrictions placed upon you as we can manage. You want to reap the benefits of the time you invest with your property. You want interesting and unique gameplay. You want amenities, but you don’t want them to feel mandatory in order to see progress in either PVE or PVP. These are the things we’re bearing in mind as we continue our work.
In summary: I assure you, we’re listening.