Homes All The Rage: Player Housing In Wildstar

By Alec Meer on March 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

The last time I played Wildstar, Carbine’s upcoming MMO, I had a decent time but I was left anxious about how close it stuck to the numbers, numbers, numbers model and why its Explorer path was so much like a late 90s platformer. Now it’s increasingly looking as though they might just have been sitting on the good stuff, like a hen made of veteran MMO developers incubating an egg of semi-sandbox play. Er.

Best forget that analogy. Instead, take a look at this player housing video – while the numbers, numbers, numbers stuff is very much in evidence, so is tantalisingly freeform DIY.

Ooh. Ooh. In light of that, my interest in Wildstar has escalated from ‘I suppose I should play that’ to ‘ooh, I want to play that.’ The housing stuff reminds me of Star Wars Galaxies – a game with more flaws than the Empire’s firearms training programme, but also more ideas and ambition than most of the last decade’s worth of MMOs put together. I fondly remember building and owning a small house of my own, inside which I kept a poor, trapped Bantha who filled every square inch of it.

Granted, Wildstar seems more about houses-as-function rather than houses-as-expression, but hopefully the former begats the latter.

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34 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    No. Tell us about the death fortresses.

    DEATH FORTRESSES!

    • trjp says:

      That – absolutely that.

      Player housing is a pointless idea – if I’m in a game I want to be playing it, not collecting stuff to look at whilst not playing it.

      DEATH FORTRESSES

    • Bart Stewart says:

      I’m going to guess here that DEATH FORTRESSES was not an entirely serious suggestion.

      Player housing, and the amazing creativity it enabled, was one of the best parts of SWG for me, the other being the resource-hunting aspect of crafting. I’m pretty sure my enjoying SWG in those ways didn’t destroy the fun for the player who delighted in carpeting Anchorhead with smoking Imperial corpses.

      Given that there are plenty of games whose definition of play pretty much begins and ends with KILL THEM ALL, the existence of one game that at least offers the basic idea of a player house fillable with personal belongings doesn’t seem all that crazily offensive.

      • trjp says:

        This game definately had death fortresses – they said so in the earlier video – I’m guessing they’re Guild Bases for PvP and other fun and games!?

        It’s why we’re all still paying attention, really – I mean

        DEATH FORTRESSES

        • Bart Stewart says:

          Hm. Sometimes when you guess, you guess wrong.

          Thanks for the correction.

          So — DEATH FORTRESSES all around, then?

  2. Kits says:

    Could be nice, but to me everything shown there seemed very messy and disorganised looking. Hopefully it’s possible to make something a bit more..normal, where I could just display my trophies and go to lazymode.

  3. naetharu says:

    Humm, I am so very tempted to get exicted about this MMO. That feels risky given how many have looked good only to turn out rubbish in recent times. However, the nice custom housing (and guild fortresses indeed!) along with the wacky humour has me interested. I wonder if they can keep up the humour and dialogue thoughout the game or will it quickly turn into generic fetch quests…?

    • Premium User Badge

      Snidesworth says:

      That’s what I’m asking myself. All the videos they’ve released are charming and fun, but it’s easier to deliver that in 3 minute bursts than it is over the course of an MMO. Despite that I think I’m still looking forward to it, though I’m a little apprehensive as well.

  4. Fyce says:

    It has been a while since I paused a video to read a disclaimer.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      The being nice to bosses bit really NEEDED to skip by quickly. Bosses are The Man! Resist The Man!
      Oh look a squirrel **runs off**

  5. Chris says:

    Instanced housing is gay.

  6. Steelfox says:

    This looks like the kind of game I want to play I just hope they sort patching out. I decided to try secret world and its having to download 14Gb before I can run the thing… only 8hrs to go :/ zzz

    • trjp says:

      That’s the entire game – what the hell are you patching from!?

      I’ve not played GW2 in 3 months and it’s patch took 35 mins which was pleasantly surprising.

      I have memories of entire Wednesdays lost to WoW patches…

      • frightlever says:

        Perhaps his point is that some (many) MMORPGs with a free evaluation period let you download the base game and stream the rest as you play. That’s what the WOW and WHO demos do anyway.

  7. kyrieee says:

    I turned it off when he said “G2G”

    • Neo_Bahamut_19 says:

      Then, via your kneejerk reaction, you missed out on a lot.

  8. trjp says:

    I’ve just realised that what we have here is

    WoW + GW2’s promises + Ratchet and Clank

    That’s quite a formula – I’m listening…

  9. Grimgrin says:

    Wildstar, You’ve gained my attention.

  10. 11temporal says:

    When is it coming out?

    • trjp says:

      Imma gonna guess “not this year” – they’re talking about a beta but don’t have a date, typically those tend to run 6 months plus and so…

      Looking at the videos and the disclaimers I’d also say they’re still tinkering with stuff at a fairly basic level – and GW2 teased us for well over 2 years (as does every WoW expansion) so…

  11. voidburn says:

    Absolutely fantastic. Pity they didn’t mention the part that was most important to me about housing in UO: storage.

    One of the things that pisses me off in modern MMOs is the absurdly limited inventory space to store all sorts of “I’m gonna use this later” stuff. And housing is the perfect place to have tons and tons of storage units.

  12. Moraven says:

    I miss my housing from DAoC. All those Trophies and extra bank space.

    WoW is getting close to housing (Sunsong Ranch is almost like a house) but they just need a way for people to easily visit while not having everything so big it takes 30 minutes to travel the zone.

  13. aliksy says:

    I still don’t know if this will be subscription or what. Simply won’t pay a subscription. I suppose I could try googling again.

    • pantognost says:

      They said, about the monetization plans, that they haven’t decided yet, which either means that they haven’t decided yet or they don’t want to announce anything yet.

    • Burning Man says:

      I really don’t understand why people would rather be nickled and dimed throughout their gameplay experience rather than paying 15$ upfront and doing whatever the hell they want to.

  14. Borderwalker says:

    So you can fill your house with all that furniture and then you see at 1:12 your character has to sit on the ground?

    Please don’t tell me they add all that furniture, but forget to add the option to..well..you know…sit on it perhaps?

  15. arccos says:

    It boggles my mind that 15 years after Ultima Online, the only permanence or world building players get to do in most MMOs is housing, and some don’t even have that. MMOs have been stuck in static worlds for far too long.

    That said, I love a good player housing system, and this one looks better than the rest.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I blame EverQuest for coming along and being vastly more successful than UO. It’s set the mold for everything since; WoW is more or less a heavily streamlined EQ.

      I remember sitting at home in the late 90s and dreaming up crazy possibilities for what you could do with a truly massively multiplayer persistent world. I remember endless, in-depth debates about the game mechanics of UO that could only have arisen in such a complex, sandboxy world.

      I’m still waiting for someone to attempt a purely PvE MMO with a player-run economy, player-built cities, etc. But with a dangerous enemy force that can destroy what you’ve built unless you cooperate. The few games that have attempted something vaguely like UO have focused heavily on PvP, and they’ve been disastrous (Darkfall, Mortal Online) or very very niche (EVE). I want a friendlier but challenging game that’s still a great big sandbox.

  16. Grey_Ghost says:

    I haven’t really been too interested in this game honestly, but this has certainly piqued mine. If they’ve put that much effort into making player housing actually count for something, then maybe there is something to the rest of this game after all.