I’ve been very WildStar nostalgic over the past month or so. When you miss something, it’s easier not to think of that thing than dwell on it, I know, but every so often something reminds me of this wonderful, flawed space game and I desperately wish I could be back in it. Something like running around in another MMO like a plodding dinosaur and remembering how fluid WildStar’s animations and double-jumps were.
Heck, I’d gladly limit my wish to just — just — having access to the WildStar housing system. Just a game where it’s a bunch of housing islands, with players hopping between them to socialize and see what others are doing. But could that work? How would that work?
Let’s assume that in this hypothetical situation, players would only have access to their housing plots, their characters (locked at max level with default stats and given combat gear appropriate for their class/build), and all social features. There would be no level or gear progression or traveling outside back into the wider world of Nexus and all points after.
You could do it in a way that you’d just unlock, well, every single housing item and blow open this whole experience into a sandbox. Let anyone make anything they’d want, without restriction but perhaps with item placement limitations due to server capability. It’s one way to go, and for some folks, it would be perfect. No limits, just creativity.
But I think that there could be some measure of progression and collection in such a hypothetical game, and that having players “earn” stuff would increase engagement and long-term interest. Obviously, housing plots had a lot of functionality to them, with material gathering and crafting stations, so the whole crafting system could be brought back — particularly with the focus on outfit cosmetics and housing decor. Institute some sort of auction house and vendor system so that players could generate currency to then spend on the housing store to unlock goodies.
Additionally, we mustn’t forget that houses here had challenges and pocket dungeons, both offering limited slices of WildStar content that could be used for currency acquisition and achievement hunting. In fact, achievements could be expanded to include all sorts of social incentives, like visiting 10 other player plots, beating 10 challenges on other players’ plots, and so on.
It could be a very Sims-like building simulator, indeed. If the right hands got ahold of it, I could even see someone making the housing islands’ biggest weakness — the placement tools — much better with UI improvements and permanent mods.
I’d love to be able to log in and tinker with my own housing while chatting with others, even if it was just a half-hour here and there. WildStar did an amazing job with its housing, and above all else, I’d want to see this preserved.