The first parts of this series were posted a long time ago, but I recently stumbled over one of them again and figured I should add Wildstar to this list. If you are wondering what games have been covered here before: Lord of the Rings Online, Aion, Rift and Everquest 2. For Aion, I got help from thevalliants and the post for Everquest 2 was written by Rakuno, as I did not play nearly enough to even start writing about the housing system in Everquest 2.
If I had to rate the housing, I would put Wildstar slightly below Rift with Rift being my number 1. I cannot properly rate Everquest 2, as I never played it enough to properly judge that system well enough. I think seeing how old the game is, though, and how I didn’t like being restricted in access to the auction house etc. without paying a monthly fee, I would still rate it lower than Rift and Wildstar, simply because I think getting items for my housing project (or the money to buy said items) is easier in those two games. The housing system of Lord of the Rings Online is dead last, by the way. Compared to all the other housing systems, it is nothing but a huge big disappointment for me and I’m not sure it should even be called “housing”.
But let’s get to today’s topic: Wildstar. This game actually does have more to offer than just raiding and if you’re into housing and like the graphics (always a very subjective topic), then Wildstar offers you a very robust and expansive system to play with! Since this is a free-to-play game, please note that whenever I say “you have to pay”, I mean in-game currency! Only when I say “you have to pay with real money” or “NCoins” do I refer to the actual real money. Also, in quite a lot of cases you can choose to buy something from the shop with NCoins or Omnibits. The latter is a currency you get from playing the game and it does not involve any real money. But since this post is not about the way the system works, I will not always go into depth about which currency you can use and how expensive it is.
Is there a minimum level required to get a house?
Yes. Your character gets access to their housing plot with level 14. There was a special “Humble Bundle” pack which gave you an item that lets you enter your housing plot as soon as you are level 3, but I’m not sure where else you can get that item. Either way, level 14 is relatively quick to achieve. With a free account, you get two character slots for free, so that is two housing plots.
Is there a fee/a recurring fee to keep the house?
Yes and no. Access to the housing plot is free! If this is all you care about, then that’s that (see below for the advantages you can get with your housing plot if that’s the case).
If you want to have a house instead of the “construction plot” in the middle, then you need to pay a very very small amount or a bigger amount of gold/platinum depending on your preference and the size of your wallet. The beginner houses (Cozy XX House) are really cheap with 1 copper! My level 4 character has close to 6 silver, so as you can see, getting one single copper really is not difficult at all. On the other hand, those houses really are tiny.
The bigger houses (Spacious XX House) cost 3 platinum. Don’t worry about these, though. You can just get a small one when you get started and settle into housing. You can always switch to a bigger one later if you wish. All items you placed within the small house will be sent back to the crate (your character’s housing inventory), so nothing will be lost. You will have to start over with placing items within your house, though. Everything else outside of the house’s area will remain the same.
Is there an item limit? What about item placing?
Let me explain first how housing items work in Wildstar. When you get a housing item (called “decor” in Wildstar), it will be in your inventory. You then need to send the decor item to your crate. You do this by right-clicking on the item in your inventory. It will automatically get added to your crate after right-clicking! Only when it is in your crate, you place it in your housing plot. Your crate thus works as an inventory. On the positive side this means that your regular inventory will not get crowded with housing items. On the negative side, once within your crate, there is no way to retrieve it again (e.g., to give the item to one of your alts). You can only delete the item in your crate in order to get rid of it. So always choose carefully with rare items if you really want to use them with your current character or an alt!
And now about the limitation: You start with a limit of 2000 items for your crate. That is, you can store 2000 items in there. 1000 items can then be placed on the “exterior”, that is, on the housing plot in general. And another 1000 items can be placed inside of your house (e.g. the Cozy House or the Spacious House from above). There are other limitations like 40 lights in general. I assume that is to ensure performance is alright.
Furthermore, this limit can be increased. For 230 NCoins (or 115 Omnibits) you can buy an expansion that gives you 500 additional outside and 500 additional inside item capacity. This can be bought up to three times, so that you can ultimately have a maximum of 5000 items in your crate and up to 2500 placed inside your house as well as up to 2500 on the exterior. The good news is that the unlock is account-wide, so you would only have to buy those once.
Before I talk about item placement, let me elaborate on the housing plot (exterior) and the house (interior) itself. Items can be freely placed, rotated, changed in size and so on. This is pretty similar to Rift. You get arrows that you can click to adjust the item’s position. In direct comparison, I would say that Rift is a lot easier to handle, because one click moves the item only slightly and here in Wildstar, the changes are more extreme. I should really get used to entering numbers directly instead of clicking instead.
Can you expand the house?
As mentioned above, you can buy a bigger one. One downside of this kind of housing is that there are actually two instances. One is the plot in general with the landscape and then there is the interior of the house. You will get a loading screen when you enter the house, so there is no way to add a balcony, for example, and then walk into the house from there.
The housing plot itself, that is the exterior around your actual “house” cannot be expanded, unfortunately. I really wish it could be, though. Although it can be altered slightly in appearance by adding enhancement (FABkits and the like). More on that further down.
Are there any advantages when you own a house?
First of all, there is a free teleport to your house which you can use once every 20 minutes. This works nicely when you’re out adventuring in hostile areas and need to go afk for a few minutes. Teleport to your house, go afk, leave the housing plot when you get back and your character will be returned to where he/she was prior to teleporting. You will also get rested XP bonus by adding items to your house with the appropriate bonus attached to them.
And then there are challenges. Some FABkits or enhancements (more on those further down) come with challenges. Those are basically little timed mini games and if you win, then you get some points which add up and every time you cross a certain threshold, you can choose between rewards. As far as I know, these “reward tracks” are be repeatable. The challenges themselves definitely are!
What’s the maximum amount of houses per characters / per account?
One housing plot per character. You can “manually” build more houses on that plot if you like, as long as you don’t hit the item limit, of course. In general, you can have up to 14 characters per server (you need to buy those extra character slots with real money). So, that would be 14 housing plots. But please note that some FABkits have level restrictions, so if you want to build something with a level 20 character, you may not be able to put everything in there that you want.
I play on Dominion side, but I really want an Aurin house…
I bought a cross-faction house already, so that isn’t an issue. There are also specific race-themed decor items to buy, but they are not restricted to that race or their faction. So altogether, it should not matter which faction you belong to when it comes to decorating your housing plot.
Are there guild houses?
No. Only individual housing plots, unfortunately.
Are there any limitations unless you pay real money?
That depends on how you define “limitation” plus, as mentioned above, you can choose to pay with NCoins or Omnibits. Omnibits are the currency you get for simply playing the game, but you will not get lots of them in a short amount of time!
Anyway, as I mentioned above, there is an item limit which can be expanded by spending NCoins or Omnibits. If you are just starting out, I don’t think this limit will bother you. The bigger issue will surely be not having enough in-game currency (platinum, gold) to even buy everything that you want! Some decor items or customizations (like a specific sky) are from the shop. Altogether, it is more a “flavour” thing or a preference rather, but there is nothing that really limits you in using your housing plot. So far, I bought a higher item limit and a floor. Other than that, I did not buy anything to enjoy the housing.
The two screenshots above show one sky – Happy Land – which can be bought for a small fee of in-game currency. The other one, “Falling into the Sun” has to be bought with NCoins or Omnibits. The screenshot doesn’t do it justice, though. Its name is very fitting, as the sky is “moving” or rather, it really does look like your housing area is falling into that huge sun. I only took a quick screenshot, then cancelled the preview as I had begun to become motion sick. :p
What other features distinguish Wildstar’s housing from other games?
Now we have reached the part where I finally explain to you how the landscaping works in Wildstar. You get your housing plot with a construction site in the middle. The place in the middle is where your house will appear. The inside of the house is an instanced area, separate from the rest of your housing plot! The outside is split into 4 smaller plots and 2 bigger plots on which you can, but don’t have to, choose enhancements or use FABkits. With the switch to free to play, they also made the housing plots bigger, so on the outside, you have free space which cannot be filled with enhancements or FABkits, but which can be used to freely build more.
Inside of your house, you can choose the colouring and pattern of the floor, the walls, the roof. Same outside where you can change a few things about the outside of your house (like the entrance door) as well as the sky, the floor and the music that plays. In this regard, it is a bit similar to Lotro which let you switch between different wall paint colours etc. as well.
Wildstar allows addons and with that, I highly suggest you get the Katia Builder Toolkit. Not only does it make placing, rotating etc. the items themselves easier. It also comes with a tool called “decor shopper”. It is a database of decor items in the game. So you can freely browse and preview items. If you see something you like, you will have to check for the items outside (there is a link to Jabbithole which gives you information on where that item is from and so on).
The gallery below shows three screenshots of my restroom. So far, there is only the toilet in as well as a sink. I was wondering whether I should also build a bathtub. Then again, directly next to the house, I built some hot springs and I am not sure one would even need a bathtub or a shower with something like this around the corner.
And this gallery shows the inside of the house. The first image shows the main room being empty. I was playing around with possible wall and floor colourings. The second screenshot shows the design as it looks right now. I also added two extra floors which are basically empty (see fourth screenshot). I was a bit disappointed at first, because even the spacious house seemed small. It still does if you ask me, but adding those extra floors helped a lot! And if I need more room, I will just expand on the outside like I did with the restroom. Next thing would be a terrace to enjoy the sunset. The third screenshot shows the room on the left side which is basically a living-room with a huge bar. Perfect for a Granok! And the fourth screenshot shows the extra floors.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section. I will try my best to answer them.