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WildStar Column: Housing “Plug”atory

By Franklin Rinaldi on April 30, 2014

As I often do in the evening, I was discussing WildStar, theorizing and planning strategies for launch. This led to a discussion about what my plans are for housing plug optimization. This struck me as an odd question until I realized that there was a need to plan out housing plugs for optimal benefit. Not only for myself but across my guild; further yet to the potential of a shared housing plug circle.  With the housing system that Carbine has developed, I found I was going to quickly be in “Plug”atory with such a limited plot system for FABkit placement and utilization when there are so many available.

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Carbine has developed an interesting set of systems for their housing. You are provided a ton of decorating options to make it your own. However each housing island only comes with 1 house plot, 4 small plots, and two large plots. What you can place on each plot is limited to certain types of FABkits. With only six plots to plug a FABkit into, decisions need to be made from the 88 FABkits available. I decided I better prioritize the FABkits that I most wanted to have available to me on those precious six Plugs. Let’s review the types of plugs available and what they bring to your housing island.

I have listed the FABkits in the order of personal importance, your choices may differ. I will also outline why I made my choice and ways I see these selections could be improved. Keep in mind the entire collection is visually stimulating beyond the functionality provided.

Garden Plot – A definite must have for everyone. You will get seeds along your journey, whether by accident or on purpose. Once you have this plot, plant those seeds and harvest the crops every time you return home. These plants will help in your crafting or as a resource you can sell. Either way, this is a money maker. 

I personally would like to see the Gardening or Farming Plot a bit more interactive. The mushrooms are a nice option, but don’t really go far enough to encourage creative gardening. A bonus or chance of failure in growing would make it more interesting over all. Possibly adding another option for types of fertilizer and bug repellents, each having a positive and or negative effect on plant growth.

Harvesting Plot – A definite must for everyone who has a Harvesting Trade skill, whether you’re a Miner, Survivalist or Relic Hunter. Keep in mind though, even if you have two harvesting skills, you can only place one of these types of plots at a time. You will also need to upgrade them to the higher tiers and you desire the higher tiers of resources.   

Festival FABkit – Want free buffing food? You will want to have your Festival plot up. Keep upgrading it as you earn better versions of this great plot. While not absolutely essential, it does save you from having to maintain your cooking for the buff food. They also vendor for change or can be placed on the Auction House for another source of income.

Biome FABkits – These are portals to lands you have adventured in are great ways to quick travel back to your favorite zones. Personally, I will definitely save a spot for a Biome portal, the issue here is that with so many zones, you have to coordinate within your Guild or Circles to cover all zones to truly benefit from placing a Biome beyond the aesthetics of the plug.

I feel this was a huge missed opportunity that Carbine could have added to provide market opportunities and an achievement, and keep numerous FABkits from going to waste. You only have room for so many plugs yet there is a Biome FABkit for every zone you can find or earn the reputation to purchase. It would have been preferable to have a podium where you could continue to add Biome FABkits and collect them on a single plot. Then, once a day, allow you to switch that plug to the Biome of your choice. In order to switch Biomes more often from those you collected, a fee could be charged. Also, you could set permissions that charge a taxi fee for those of a certain friendship tiers to use your portals. This could help offset plot maintenance fees, enticing people to work hard to collect them all. Once you have them all, you would earn an achievement that gives you a new Biome only accessible by those that earned said achievement.

Challenge FABkits – As within Nexus, you can find and place your very own challenge on you land. These challenges can be completed once a day to earn the rewards they offer. These are absolutely fabulous and extremely fun. I recommend everyone has at least one; however, the downside is there really isn’t room for more than one. From a collector’s perspective, I can see a great many challenges very seldom placed and instead are sold to a vendor or left languishing on the Auction House.

Image courtesy of HiddenArena.com

Similar to the Biome FABkit, it would be nice to collect them all on a single plot with the ability to switch them out daily or even weekly, allowing you to enjoy and experience your entire collection over time. Fees could be applied to switching in order to facilitate a money sink. 

Expedition FABkits – Housing specific dungeon type instances accessed from you home. These can be done solo or in a group, so gather some friends and have fun once a day. Coordinate who owns which expedition and make the rounds daily for some great fun.

Again, would love to collect them all on a single plot and switch them out for a price.

The Rest of the types have very little practical use so are not high on my personal list to place on my property, but are options for those looking for ascetics over functionality.

Crafting Stations – The BBQ Pit and Crafting Kiosk allow you the convenience to craft in your home. Unless you are a diehard crafting that likes their peace and quiet, there is no need or room for these plugs. Maybe if you could combine the FABkits into a single plot with your Festival plug, then maybe I would consider placing them down.

Another thing that would make them more desirable is if they were upgradable via crafting quests. With each upgrade you get some kind of benefit for using them to conduct your crafting. Also if there was some kind of social buff for having others that comes join you and craft at your upgraded crafting stations. A special buff due to more than one person is using the station at the same time.  

Interactive FABkits – Decorative plugs that you actually get to play with like the Helicopter Pad will be extremely popular. There are not that many of them, so coordinating who has which one so everyone can play in each of them shouldn’t be too bad. 

Decorative FABkits – This is pretty simple, they are there to look good. For some these will be the most important type as they will build to a theme and want ever plug that supports that theme. However for the optimizer, these will be underutilized or not used at all since they do not add to the housing buffs or provide any other benefits.

PvP FABkit – Want to duel on your land, well there is even a Duel Pit you can place down for your own Fight Club, just remember the first rule of Fight Club. Or you can place a Target Dummy to practice your skills or just take out your aggravation on.

WildStar has a phenomenal housing system from a decoration standpoint with how you decorate, get bonuses for those decorations, can hit a board that gives a buff for the day based on what you want. However, you can see from this discussion, they have created a “Plug”atory situation with their FABkit design that will leave many feeling like they haven’t gone far enough. I am sad by the sheer number of outstanding FABkits that will just get sold to a Vendor due to their lack of popularity and unavailability of space to store them, not being allowed to put in the housing crate with other decorations. There is also a lack of true reason to be social in housing beyond a tourist or using someone's plugs. Very few of them are actually multiple person activities.  It's essential that Carbine get connected plots and shared plots into the game soon, to make housing truly special.

I truly look forward to spending numerous hours in my home in WildStar. I can only hope that one day it will be the heavenly place that I envision it to be. So many FABkits, so little space... whatever is this obsessive compulsive collector to do in the meantime remains to be seen.

Franklin Rinaldi / Chief Sarcan is a Retired Navy Chief who plays and discusses MMOs regularly on his YouTube and Twitch Channels when he is not writing guides. He also frequently streams for MMORPG.com and is an active and positive supporter of the gaming community. You can find Chief Sarcan on Twitter @Chief_Sarcan.

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