Wildstar’s Jumpstart Pack – Is it worth the price?

I only just wrote about Wildstar’s housing and wondered whether you could get the housing teleporter and now they added it to their store for the cost of 720 NCoins. 800 NCoins cost 10 €, so this is 9 €. Granted, it’s more expensive than it was back when we bought it as part of a Humble Bundle. But that’s the whole point of the Humble Bundle, right? To attract people to buy stuff and then maybe add a bit of money on top.

Anyway, I thought I’d take a closer look at what the Jumpstart Pack offers, in case you are wondering whether it’s worth your money.

The Jumpstart Pack includes several items. Some are multi-claim and some can only be claimed with one character. Multi-claim means that every character – present and future ones – can claim the item as often as they would like. So don’t worry about accidentally deleting that item, you can get it again at any time.

  • 16-slot Bag (Bag of Big Beginnings)
  • Housewarming Gift Pack
  • Blue Steel Hoverboard and Flair
  • Flask of Advancement (XP boost for 3 hours)
  • Early housing plot access (Protostar Housing Teleportation Unit)
  • Shardspire Canyon Housing FABkit
  • 5 gold

You can probably already guess that those 5 gold cannot be claimed by every character as often as you want! So, this is a one-time claim. The same goes for the bag, the Housewarming Gift Pack and the Flask of Advancement (not pictured).

This means that the Protostar Housing Teleportation Unit, the blue hoverboard and flair and the Shardspire Canyon FABkit can be multi-claimed.

Let’s get into more detail on what it is you would be getting: One character gets 5 gold. One character gets a 16-slot bag. Just to be clear here: All items can be claimed independently, so the 5 gold and the bag do not have to be claimed by the same character. Also, my main character has 14-slot bags equipped. I did not try to get bigger ones and I don’t remember where I bought the 14-slot ones or how much they cost me. But this means that if you are just starting out, a 16-slot bag is very nice to have, even if it is just with one character. The XP boost is a nice to have, but it is not really necessary. I found I levelled fast enough in this game. However, some people want to level faster and for them, it’s definitely nice!

Now for the last of the single-claim items, the Housewarming Gift Pack. This actually contains three separate containers: Extra Exteriors Pack, Interior Visions Pack and Let There Be Lights Pack. You can see a list of the items when you click on the links. In short, the lights pack gives you lights like the rustic gas lamp post or string lights. You can see them all in the gallery below.

I am not sure about the value of these items. Some can be bought from the vendor directly for a few silver. Some others, like the unburnt toast or the taco, I haven’t seen before. I assume none of these are really exclusive. But they are nice to give you a start in housing. I would definitely suggest getting a better couch, though. This one has definitely seen better days. :p

That’s it for the single-claim items. Now on to the multi-claim ones. Those are far more exciting anyway, if you ask me. The Blue Steel Hoverboard is a mount. “Flair” is something that can be attached to a mount to make it look a bit different. After claiming it, you will find it in your inventory. Right-click it again. Then open your Collectibles-window. This one isn’t bound to a hotkey, as far as I am aware. I usually click on the lower left button which opens a window with all possible other windows. A bit like the Start button of Windows, so to say. What you will see there then is your Hoverboard (Blue Steel) without flairs. But here you can also click on and choose any flairs you may have unlocked. Blue Steel Grill for the front, Blue Steel Tail for the rear and Blue Steel Wings for the side belong to this package.

Wildstar Blue Steel Hoverboard with Flair

In order to start with housing and access your character’s housing plot, said character usually needs to be level 14. The Protostar Teleportation Unit allows you to click on it as soon as you are level 3 and you will get access to your house then. This is very neat, especially for alts, but also for those of you who just started playing and can’t wait to begin building!

Last but not least, there is the Shardspire Canyon which can be placed on your housing plot. It also offers you a challenge which is like a time-gated jumping puzzle. I haven’t managed to do it yet, though. But it looks really nice! It is apparently a world drop usually, so getting it in this package is a lot more reliable. Or maybe on the auction house instead. I did not check its availability or price there!

Wildstar Shardspire Canyon and Hoverboard (Blue Steel)

So the question that remains is: Is it worth it? It highly depends on what you care for. If you’re not into housing at all and don’t even want that low-level teleport for your character, then it’s probably worth a lot less. For those not into housing, you would at least get a multi-claim hoverboard mount with flairs. Other multi-claim hoverboards cost 2080 NCoins. If you really love housing, then the teleport will be convenient, but only when your characters are below level 14. Other than that, the FABkit is nice. But I don’t think I would buy this bundle for the FABkit. There are so many in Wildstar and you can only place a certain amount of special things like FABkits anyway. The instant teleport was what I really wanted when I bought it from the Humble Bundle on top of getting another hoverboard. Yes, I have several already and no, I don’t care. One can never have too many hoverboards! Especially if it’s multi-claim.

In a nutshell: For me it mostly depends on whether you can wait and level your characters to level 14 in order to access housing and if you like that hoverboard mount. Because you cannot currently get a cheaper multi-claim hoverboard. The other items are all nice to have, nothing is a complete waste of money within this bundle, so to speak, but none of these items are a “must have” in my opinion either.

This weekend’s surprising highlight

When I was thinking about what to do with this weekend (related to gaming, of course, not to other mostly RL stuff), I had a lot of games in my mind. Wildstar or Guild Wars 2 most of all. Some more Hand of Fate, if I can deal with the frustration of being so bad that I constantly die… :p What did not come to my mind was “Defiance”. Quite some time ago, before it had gone free to play, I had gotten a key for that game from one of Trion’s promotions. I had looked at it, played for a whole grand total of probably 15 minutes before putting it aside. While I always am looking for a science fiction game with some kind of shooter action (without being a first person shooter thanks to simulation/motion sickness) that can keep me interested, I just could not get into this game at all. I gave it another try some time later with the same result.

Defiance Colony Courtship and Hellbug Matron

Meanwhile, I watched the first season of Defiance and really loved that show. I managed to watch a couple more episodes of season 2, but not too many, as I did not like them as much anymore as I liked season one. The setting of this game – and TV show – were intriguing to me. So I decided to give Defiance another try – after watching the series as to avoid spoilers in the game.

And then Trion rolled out another cross-promotion last week. This time it wasn’t between Rift and Trove as had happened in the past, but between Defiance and Trove. All you have to do is kill 50 hellbug monarchs in Defiance to get a red Hellbug mount in Trove. The event is active only for a couple of days (until the end of the week, I think?), so I figured I would try it out this weekend. I have killed 50 of those buggers in the meantime, but I have also had so much fun in Defiance that I sticked around and plan to continue playing the game.

I don’t think it will become my “main game” or anything of that sort, but it is just fun to shoot down those hellbugs and mutants and there are some features in the game that I really like. So far, it did not matter where I went, I was always able to defeat the mobs (with the exception of mobs further down on different areas). The game does have progression, but it’s definitely not like in World of Warcraft or Rift where you gain level after level and get stronger and a mob a few levels above you kills you in one hit. Don’t get me wrong, there are mobs that killed me in one or two hits in Defiance, but that’s because I simply stood there instead of dodging away. :p Instead, it seems to be a more horizontal progression. I get “EGO units” which I can spend on mostly passive abilities. I also unlock slots to equip those abilities the higher my EGO rating goes (EGO rating is kind of like XP, I would say?). In other words, I can have a build with some chosen passive abilities.

What I like is that it feels like rifts in Rift and dynamic events in Guild Wars 2. That is, I drive through the world (yes, I drive. They gave me a runner!) and will inevitably run into an event sooner or later. Some are marked on your map even, especially the larger ones. The world feels alive and there aren’t little concentrated quest hubs where you’ll go, pick up quests, go do them, then return to that quest hub and move on to the next one.

Defiance Cruising

Speaking of runners: The vehicles in this game are so much fun! You can’t destroy them, thankfully, or I would have needed to buy at least a dozen new vehicles by now. But you can run over the mobs in this game. Especially the hellbugs… muahahah. :p Other than that, obviously, you’re much faster with your car than on foot. Bookahnerk and I spent some time together yesterday unlocking some travel points (like waypoints in Guild Wars 2) and we had much fun racing through the streets to see who’s fastest without driving against a tree or into the ocean. The travel points, as mentioned, are like waypoints in Guild Wars 2. Once unlocked, you can click on them from anywhere on the map and instantly teleport there, so traversing the map never takes too long. But with the enjoyment I get out of driving my runner, I don’t actually teleport as often as I could. There are also “pursuits” (like achievements in other games) and you can also level your vehicles (and your weapons, too!) which make them a bit faster.

There is a nice choice between different weapons. My favourite weapons are the assault rifle and the BMG (Bio-Magnetic Gun). The latter actually lets me heal which is amazing and I am not dependent on heaving enough ammunition with me.

However, this post was not meant to be an impressions piece and certainly not a review! I just wanted to note that this is a fun little game with action-oriented combat, that I almost missed. So far, I did not receive any spoilers for the TV show Defiance (although since it’s cancelled, I guess this won’t be an issue anyway for those who already finished watching all three seasons). I also really love that I do not get motion sickness from playing this game which makes me look forward to Fragmented even more now, since it looks as if it will have the same kind of “third person view” to play with.

Coming to Trove next: Welcome Screen, Meownts & Budgies

Trove’s development isn’t slowing down. Here you can find the written notes from last Friday’s livestream. You can also watch the video on Twitch. Everything they showed during the livestream (as opposed to merely mentioning and talking about it) will go live this Tuesday!

The video settings will find a place in the user interface, so you won’t have to memorize what to type in order to activate them. I just wish they would add that to the club interface as well. Anyway, another time, I suppose. :)

Trove Graphic Settings
Graphic Settings

As Avarem mentioned in the last “AMA” in the Twitch chat, they are going to add more things to buy with glim. I am usually around 10k glim, so 60k sounds like a lot of new stuff but not too much to be overwhelming. You literally get glim by just riding through the world (the grass and flowers on the ground can be harvested when you ride through it with your mount and it drops glim) or fished up. So, no matter whether you take time out of adventuring to go fishing or if you just go adventuring (which will always have you on a mount because it’s much faster to travel this way), you will earn glim! I am mostly looking forward to the new mounts.

So far, we have had a lot of dog-mounts, the Pemblocks. Finally, the cat-lovers among us will get their mounts as well: Meownts are entering Trove! They will basically work like Pemblocks do. You need the basic mount (“Pemblock” or “Meownt”) to craft the special versions. So when you drop your first Meownt (or Pemblock), you will have to make a choice whether to keep the basic version as a mount or use it in the crafting station to craft another version, e.g., the Permafrost Meownt.

Trove Permafrost Meownt
Permafrost Meownt

For me, the biggest addition to the game will be the new Welcome Screen. It won’t just say “Hello! Good to see you again!” it will also tell you about the bonuses that will be active on every single weekday. This is a new feature. So far, we can get 500 cubits by doing the star-quest every day and that amount is raised to 1000 on Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, we will get different bonuses on the other week days: Mondays will be +20 % for harvesting (this is related to the gardening profession). Tuesdays, you will get +50 % ore when out in the world mining. On Wednesdays, you will get 100 % more glim from adventuring. This is important: It is NOT more glim by fishing, but by riding through the world on your mount as explained above. On Thursdays, monsters will drop more special crafting items (bleached bones, faerie dust and so on) as well as adventure boxes. The items within the adventure boxes will have the same drop chances as on any other days. And on Fridays, you will get 50 % more shards from doing Shadow Arenas and Dark Hearts (those are in the sky biome).

Trove Welcome Screen
Welcome Screen on the live server after the patch (April 28)

So far, when I did not have much time for playing Trove, I saved my gaming time for Saturday or Sunday to get more cubits. But now, with the new bonuses every day, I can choose which bonus I want and try to get some gaming time in on that day. The only downside I see is that if, for example, you always have to work late on Thursdays, you will always miss out on that bonus as the bonuses are specific to certain days. But in the long run, these may not even make such a big difference.

Trove Pink Budgie Buddy
Pink Budgie Buddy

The new Welcome Screen will also show you what kind of Adventure Boxes are currently dropping. The new ones (probably also releasing this Tuesday, I assume) are Budgie ones which can contain a Budgie mount. No longer are those Rift-only. :p The general drop rate for Adventure boxes will be reduced come next patch, by the way, but as mentioned above, the drop rate will be increased on Thursdays. So if you’re really only after the Budgie and have limited play time, try to get gaming time in on Thursdays. Of course, I brought up the example of work and Thursdays because that is the one day during the week where I have to work longer and won’t have that much time to game. :p But yeah, I don’t think this will be a big issue. One day, I will have my Budgie!

The Vox Budgie!

Rift_Vox Budgie_itemTrove is already finished with updating and the first thing I did now was log in, log out, switch to Rift and grab that little mount out of my inbox. It’s “bind on pickup”, so you can’t trade or sell it to other players. You will get this mount with every character on your account! You should probably just make sure that you’re using the same Glyph Account for Trove and for Rift so that your accounts are basically “linked”.

Without further ado, here is my dwarf on her new Vox Budgie which every Rift player can get by levelling one class to level 20 in Trove. Trove is free to play, so there’s no money barrier stopping you from getting that sweet little cutie.

Coming to Trove next: Water update, Pirate Captain, more mounts…

Yesterday’s Trove livestream on Twitch brought us some news on what to expect next in the game. I tried to catch and write down all the interesting bits: Dances, new mounts, information on the next new class (the Pirate Captain), the water and underground updates, recent additions to the game and upcoming changes to existing things.

Dances

They started by showing dances! Every class will have its own specific dance and the Dracolyte will apparently get two: The Dracolyte’s dragon form has a gangnam style dance.

Trove Dracolyte dance
Dracolyte dancing Gangnam Style

Mounts

After that, they showed us four new mounts. The first, the War Horse, was designed by Trion. It leaves little hoof prints on the ground, but seems to be lacking legs… Anyway, interesting dark look there!

Trove War Horse
War Horse

The other three mounts were designed by players and will enter the game soon. I remember seeing two of them on the forums and really liked the design, so I’m excited to get them! Scoops is a little ice-cream panda bear. It’s just fitting that you will need cupcakes to make it. The tail is a cherry and it has a spoon in its mouth ready for ice-cream, obviously! So, save your cupcakes if you want this mount, just to be sure you won’t have to spend hours grinding for them (I have no idea how many you’ll need…).

Gadget Cat looks like a robot-y mount, but you will get it from the pirates. Flux was mentioned, but I’m not sure if that was a definite “you will get it for flux” announcement.

The third is one that hadn’t caught my attention on the forum, but the Shadow Angler certainly looks cool! This apparently will be tied to fishing which is a new profession that we’ll get at some point in the near future. Either way, both fishing and pemblock were mentioned, so we’ll see how exactly we can get our hands on this mount.

By the way: If you make a costume or a mount and it gets added to the game (you need to build up hype from the player community for that to happen), you will receive 10k credits and 300 codes for the item that you can give away as you like.

 

Mounts recently added

They also showed two mounts that were added with the sky update. The Floating Formula is based on the carpet mount and you can get it from Runecrafting, the latest crafting profession added to Trove. The second mount, the Nimble Nimbus, is a cloud-mount. It drops (very rarely) out of crystallized clouds which can be found in the new sky biome.

Water Update

The next update will focus on the water areas. Before they added the sky biome, they had already added the pirate ships where you can exchange glim and flux for allies, mounts etc. But this was just the first step and we’ll get to see more work done in the water area within the next month, apparently. Boats were mentioned in the livestream. The sea water will also be higher with the update. Sea of Regret will probably be raised sooner than Sea of Tranquility when they add boats.

They did not go into too much detail, but we know that they’ll add deep water, boats, fishing and a water-based class, the Pirate Captain. Unfortunately, they could not show the new class yet. The concept is done, but that’s about it, apparently. They did tell us that it’ll use one pistol as its weapon.

Underground Update

They did not stop there with the announcements of what’s coming next. Once the water update is done, the underground areas will get updated as well! Of course, we got even less details about that area, but they could already tell us that we’ll get a complete underground world with mag rails and even caves that are underwater (I guess it’s just very fitting to combine the water and underground systems while they’re at it… :p).

Other stuff

  • Trade chat will be increased to 150 people, up from 70.
  • Neon Ninja ultimate will pierce through NPCs. Not through walls or objects, though.
  • Sky Guardians are meant as optional, boss-like content in the sky. They are going to add more rewards that can drop in order to make the fights more appealing. They are hard to solo, but that is intended.
  • Trove has two designers and two animators. Small team, but the second animator was added recently, so it sounds like they are expanding. ;)
  • They will be at PAX East.