Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Guilt Trip

I'm used to making random alts to hold names in online games. It is so irksome when you decide, yes it is time to level an alt, only oops someone is using your name. So I grab names early and often. In World of Warcraft the confirmation to delete a character is that you must type DELETE. It's good, it makes sure you don't accidentally delete your max level raid geared main character with a miss-click.

WildStar takes this one step further. They don't want you to make sure you are deleting the correct character. They want you to think twice about deleting a character at all. They want to make you feel bad about the whole affair. I never even played this character, it was just to make sure there was no other Caff running around on Evindra.

To delete placeholder Caff I was not prompted to type Delete again, I was forced to type her name. If that wasn't enough to twinge a little guilt, the avatar cries while you consider the process, and then is incinerated in front of your eyes. Ouch.

I'm so sorry Caff, I didn't know it would be like this.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Keep Your Eyes Open

You wouldn't think it would be that easy to miss a big glowing datacube, but it turns out it is. As someone following the Scientist Path, I have to find all the datacubes in a zone to gain Path XP, so I know that some are legitimately hard to find. There is one inside the trunk of Elderoot, for example. Sometimes though, you just need to take a second and look around.

When I was exploring near the falls and taking screenshots for my post about Harehollow I didn't even notice that I was walking right near a datacube. It wasn't until the next day when I was looking through my screenshots that I saw it. If it's in the screenshot, then it was on my screen so I simply wasn't paying attention.

I am as guilty as anyone as trying to race to housing, trying to race into group content, not wanting to be left behind but not having unlimited hours to play. I'm still going to tell you to slow down. Look before you hit your sprint button and head to the next objective. Turn off your AI and just look. The views are amazing, and you might be surprised by what you find.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hashtag Not All Mordesh

I'm not saying that there are no good Mordesh. Heck, there are Mordesh in my guild. They seem like lovely folks. I do have to look sideways at their lead scientists. Maybe I shouldn't expect better from zombies, but it's a bit of a stretch to consider them good guys. After all if it weren't for the Dominion quarantining their planet and leaving them to die, they'd be IN the Dominion. Still they are our allies against the Dominion now, so what is an Aurin supposed to do?

I didn't really bat an eye when they asked me to gather Vitalus from the bodies of their dead, because what the Mordesh do with their own dead doesn't really affect me. Then outside of Woodhaven I ran into Professor Papovich who would really like to bring her dead husband back to life. She asks you gather material from dead Aurin so that she can test her process on them. The results are less than stellar, and I found this quest quite disturbing to do. Watching the mostly naked reanimated Aurin run into the woods crying "Leave me alone!" was unsettling.

I am happy to hear there is an interrogation in Galeras that doesn't involve physical violence, but I feel that I have to offer this counter point in the torture you're asked to do in Grimveil Enclave. The quest chain "The Lives and Deaths of Moodies" starts with Physician Boravic who asks you do a series of experiments on Moodies that are being kept in a cage. He has you burn them, freeze them, electrocute them, and finally cut them, all just to see what makes them tick.

Maybe you think they're animals and that makes it okay? To me that would make it even worse, but no, these "creatures" have a society. They have a village and social structure, they have religion and a love of dance. So you aren't even torturing a soldier for information, you are strictly torturing them to find out how to kill or control them more efficiently.

I don't know which of these quests may or may not be required to advance your story. Maybe if you never wander over to the Mordesh you won't be asked to do these things. Maybe you can ignore the fact that the Mordesh were one decision away from being our enemies too. But don't you think for a second that I'm going to trust their leaders. When it comes down to it, they are only looking out for themselves.
Bewildering Under Terrifying Tiki Semblance

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Here Be Spiders

A lot has been said about how fun and pretty the game of WildStar is, but I think I would be remiss if I didn't talk about some of the darker aspects. Sometimes there is a fair amount of blood spatter, and of course a crit can cause your enemy to explode into chunks. The Mordesh in particular I'd like to talk about later but that post is still brewing. In the meantime we can talk about spiders!

In Sylvan Glade I came upon a mound of dirt outside one of the houses. There was an injured Aurin and a kind of splatted Aurin. She was hurt and unable to go into the Spider Queen's Den and enlists us to go in, kill spiders, and rescue Exiles who have been taken and wrapped in cocoons.
That wasn't pretty.

Entering the nest you find strange Eldan spheres, and there is a control panel further in that I wasn't able to interact with.
I don't know what that does, but probably nothing good.

There are several types of spiders. One in particular has a terrible green skull on its back, spits green clouds of poison, and can burrow. FUN TIMES! (I hate spiders.)
Why yes, it is poisonous.

I ventured as far as I could into the cave system and at the top of a wall found a little gap I could just barely peer through. There seems to be some sort of house or manor, or possibly a small township behind the wall. I couldn't find any way too it, but I'm fascinated. I want to know more!
I really wanted over that wall.

I kicked spider butt and rescued those who hadn't been eaten yet. Not everyone who ventures into the spider dwelling makes it out alive, but I was triumphant!
Look at the bones!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chasing the White Jabbit

The other day while playing around a waterfall I spied the little orange gear of an interact-able "something" so I went to check it out. Exploration is frequently rewarded in WildStar, so take your time and look around a bit. With a single exception, any time I've gone wandering I've been happy to find a quest, some lore, or in this case achievements and a chest of goodies.

Harehollow Cave can be found in Celestion behind the Celestial Falls. I stumbled across it while heading over to catch fireflies.
Seek out Celestial Falls

Sample a Harehollow Shrink Shroom
Heading into the cave you will find beautiful mushrooms, a white jabbit, a special chest, a Grow Shroom to make grabbing that chest easier, and a Lolli-Lopp chilling out on a mushroom. Further in you can find a diminutive Aurin enjoy tea with some friends.

Definitely Not a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar
Size Compared to Normal Aurin

I think I have some new ideas on how I might want to decorate my house now. Sitting at the tea table while under the Shrink Effect was a lot of fun. I love the details of the Aurin's costume, and his stuffed toy guests.

Even if you aren't a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, you should still check out the cave. There is really something for everyone, whimsy, loot, achievements. Not much more to ask for. Okay, there's nothing in there to kill, but it's still worth it. The cave is also near a quest target so you're not really going out of your way to reach it.

If you want a clearer idea of where to search for the cave you can see it on the map below. Kind of around the a/l of Falls. There's also a handy gondola to take you back to Woodhaven once you finish your adventure. (PS that's another achievement)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Buyer Beware!

I've spent quite a bit of time in the Commodities Exchange, I'm trying to build up my little gold stash during idle moments when I can't actually play, but do have time at the computer. There are a lot of quality of life improvements that both the Auction and Mailbox systems could use, but hopefully we'll get addons to sort them out. One thing that an Addon cannot fix is when the system tells you that items cost one thing, but a different amount is siphoned from your wallet. Oops!

So let this be a heads up. If you see a really good deal, just buy one first. Make sure that it doesn't take 8 times as much as you expect. Here you can see the 69 copper Omni-Plasm that cost me (and Rades) 5 silver 69 copper.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

First Encounter

I've been looking forward to meeting the Lopp again. Paying more attention, seeing what I can learn about these little people. When I got to Woodhaven the Settlers had been hard at work and one of the improvements was the presence of a Lopp who is an "Apprentice Path Helper". When I talked to him I got a 9 minute buff for Xp gains on my Path.
Other comments were "Listen to Lopp, then search for shiny." "Here, here! Use technique. Now do better on Path."

Granted this isn't what I was looking for, but I'm happy all the same. I love the Lopps.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Once Upon a Beta

I stayed up until 2am my time to see the WildStar open beta servers come down for good. And I was tired, and then I was busy, and then I never finished this post. So I think I'll just dump in some pictures and see where it leads.
Chili and Cornbread Had a Dance Party
Giant Glowy Rowsdower Started the Event
Then a Seemingly Innocent (if large) Rowsdower Appeared
We Followed the Leader
Suddenly MORE Rowsdowers
It Was a Trap!
A Very Effective Trap
But the Caretaker Will Protect Us
No He Won't
There were many more bosses, many lamps, and even a duel between CRB_Grug and @Cougardc. It was such amazing fun. Tomorrow morning we get to start exploring Nexus for real, and for keeps. I'm so excited! See you there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WildStar Name Reservations

WildStar has given players who pre-order the game a chance to reserve a single name of their choice, to ensure it is theirs at launch. If there is a name that you are quite attached to, then I would suggest you make use of this service when you can.

The first thing that you will want to do, if you haven't previously, is to pre-order the game and apply that code to your NCsoft account. I have heard that there are times of peak activity when the codes take an hour or more to activate, so you may need a spot of patience.

Once you have that code on your account you can head over to the name reservation page. The page is working better than when it was a 404 earlier today, but is still straining under load.
If you aren't logged in then this is what you see. Below this big green login button (that didn't work for me when I tried it) there are details about what you can reserve, and for how long. Feel free to read this while you wait.

My experience was that it was better to go to the main page, log in and then go to the name page instead of trying to log in from the name page.
Once you visit the page and you are logged in that login button will instead say reserve and look like this:

Once you get the reserve button to accept your click. The first time I had no problems, but this time I clicked and just sat there waiting a long-ass time, and eventually it came up. You'll get a pop up window. You can choose a character name and a guild name.

You can see that I have reserved the character name I want most, and I have 8 minutes left to realize I spelled Jeff wrong. I have not reserved a guild name. If I decide I want to, I can choose to do that any time before May 23rd, which is the cut off. Type in a name that you want and hit save. Initially it may say "Editable for ??" which has been pretty much the standard experience. Just click the red button in the top right and close that window, you're good. I'm hearing you should sit there staring at ?? until it becomes a real number, and then you'll be safe.

If you are worried, which I was, just spend a few minutes a bit later and confirm that your name is still in that box.

I hope that this information is helpful to anyone who hasn't battled the F5 monster already.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Races of WildStar

The races in WildStar come from all over the place, universe? I don't know, many planets in a large amount of space. None of the races you can play in game are from Nexus, that is the name of the planet that you've come to fight over.

The 8 playable races are divided into the Dominion and Exiles. The factions are pretty self explanatory. The Dominion is the Empire (probably evil, but I suppose it's a matter of perspective) and the Exiles are the forces that oppose them. It's adorable that the devs prepose that they haven't created a good/evil divide in the factions, but truly Dominion forces are agressive oppressors that have created the opposing Exiles by trying to take over those races home planets and in the case of the Aurin pretty much destroying the planet because they were giving food to Exile Humans. (Ahem, evil.)

Anyway, you have to pick. Your character has to be something, and aside from the very cool and or cute aesthetics there are back stories to each of the races.
Image from WildStar-Online.com

As part of the Dominion you can play Cassian, Mechari, Draken, or Chua.
Cassian are "humans" born on Cassius and chosen by the Eldan* to establish the Dominion. They lead the Dominion and can play every class in the game.

Mechari are actual robots made by the Eldan. Literally killing machines. Mechari can play Warrior, Engineer, Medic, Stalker

Draken look demony, and are "savage, blood thirsty and brutal". They are a vital part of the Dominion military force. Draken can play Warrior, Stalker, Spellslinger

Chua are adorable or scary as heck. They don't have a gender, so you can't choose male or female. The Chua love science. Chua can play Engineer, Esper, Medic, Spellslinger

As part of the Exile you can play Human, Granok, Aurin, or Mordesh
Humans are "Cassians" that have fled Dominion's totalitarian rule. Just like Cassians they can play every class in the game.

Granok are living moving rock people. They like a good fight and to drink beer. Granok can play Warrior, Engineer, Medic

Aurin are just cute as heck, from the tops of their ears to the tips of their tails. They are also quite capable fighters. Aurin can play Esper, Stalker, Spellslinger

Mordesh are space zombies. They have robotic bits which help deliver the Vitalus Serum to their bodies, to stop them from trying to eat their friend's brains. Mordesh can play Warrior, Engineer, Medic, Stalker, Spellslinger

*I don't know much about the Eldan, so don't feel bad if you don't either. Seems they disappeared a long ass time ago and faded into myth, until Nexus was found. Nexus is the Eldan home world and filled with technology that each side wants to use and not be killed by. (maybe?)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

WildStar Class Breakdown

You can find all sorts of technical breakdowns of what the different classes are, I'm sure. I haven't really looked. In fact at this point the only thing that I reference when trying out a new class is this page that a guild member linked me to. If you look at that page you'll see there are 6 classes. 3 classes can chose to be DPS (damage dealing) or Tank (damage taking) and the other 3 can choose to DPS or Heal (fix those booboos).

The Tank/DPS class choices are Warrior, Engineer, and Stalker. The Heal/DPS classes are Esper, Medic, and Spellslinger.

I'm using what's left of open beta to try out various classes and feel them out. Next to each class type I am noting the max level I've achieved on that class, since it does matter, as different abilities open up at different times.

Warrior (12): Warrior SMASH! At level 9 you you get Whirlwind, and it's seriously fun as you use attacks to generate Kinetic Energy (aka Angry Red Face) then unleash that energy to become a spinning sword of death. The R button ability puts you in Overdrive, aka you get swole and smash dudes even better.

Engineer (7): Big guns and robot minions, what could be better? I haven't leveled very far but I have one robot to help DPS down the bad guys, and another to help by tanking them so my insides don't get on my outsides. I have a really really big gun.

Stalker (14): Slash Slash Jumpity Slash! This melee feels very nimble and aggressive, quite different than the warrior. As someone who is map challenged I also appreciate the stealth, it gives me time to look around and get my bearings without ending up in combat every few seconds.

Esper (8): The spell effects on this class are really cool. Mind daggers and psychic bird attacks! The hardest thing to adjust to was not being able to use my main attack on the move. I've still been enjoying the class, and it is still highly mobile which is good given the importance of dodging enemy attacks.

Medic (3): This is not a class that I've managed to get into yet, though I am going to keep trying a bit. I think I might like it when I can try out healing? It is kind of hilarious to shoot electric charges out of my defibrillators though.

Spellslinger (4): This is the class that I understand and like the least. The one probably leads to the other. I thought I would like shooting spells from pistols, but not yet. The resource build up is similar to warrior where you build up energy, but this time you hit R when it's full to power up your spells.

I'm not sure how much more time I'm going to spend on other classes prior to launch. I haven't played my engineer since my first beta weekend, so I'll probably give that a bit more time. Right now I'm  leaning heavily towards playing a Warrior or Stalker in live. I've had the most fun with those classes. I feel I should try a few more levels on the Medic and Spellslinger to see if a new spell really changes them, but on the other hand if I'm having a blast dicing baddies up on my Stalker, then why worry.