My 6 favorite WildStar pets


Without trying very hard at all I’ve been amassing quite the stable of companion pets in WildStar. And if you know anything about me, you’ll know that a pet-laden Syp is a blissfully happy Syp.

Today I wanted to share my six favorite little buddies out of my collection!

(1) Anniverserowsdower

Even though everyone who was subscribed back in May got this pet, he’s so awesome that I can’t resist fawning all over him. C’mon, he’s got a giant lollipop on his nose! And a little hat! And he doesn’t really care about parties but the party came to him anyway.

(2) Deputy Lopp

I got this guy back when he was a reward for a specific challenge in Malgrave. As a big fan of the Lopp, it’s ten kinds of great to have one bounding alongside of me. Plus, he’s not just any old Lopp — he’s a cowboy Lopp! Well, vaguely Mexican-cowboyish Lopp. I love him dearly.


(3) L’il Beast

Sometimes you just want a dog, and L’il Beast fills that role perfectly. I got him from the cosmic reward track, I think, and I really dig his superhero mask and puppyish animations.

(4) Pell Probebot

This sucker dropped in Stormtalon last week and I gleefully won the roll for him. As an engineer, I look great having one extra (tiny) bot wandering around with me. Look at that big eye and tell me that you don’t have a soft spot in your heart for this pile of metal!


(5) Disco Snoglug

This guy was a thank-you gift from Carbine for having been subbed, and my only regret with him is that I can’t have him and the Anniverserowsdower out at the same time for the ultimate party group. He’s chock full of animations — and c’mon, who wouldn’t want a traveling disco ball with them?

(6) Shadeling

One of my main goals with the recent Shade’s Eve was to save up and buy this pet, which was done sooner rather than later. I love the shadelings that the devs cooked up for Quiet Downs and I’m glad I can take a piece of that around with me. He has a cool summoning animation with little spirits and I’m guessing he’s big into snuggling on crisp autumn evenings.

WildStar: Last (wo)man standing

So fun little WildStar vignette to share.

Last night I got invited by my guild to join a veteran dungeon run. That’s a little above my gear/skill level, but what the heck, why not. We jump into Stormtalon and methodically make our way through the first boss (beat after two wipes) and to the second. This was the furthest I had ever seen in the dungeon, by the way.

It was a good run, but that second boss was pretty tough. We wiped far into our first fight and redoubled our efforts for the second. It was getting really crazy at the end, with lots of moving tornadoes, red circles everywhere, and a boss that wouldn’t sit still. Our tank and healer were magnificent, and all I was trying to do was to keep pumping out damage while staying out of the poop.

Well I start hearing on teamspeak, “Almost there! Almost there! Keep going!” and soon enough, the boss dies. And then I look up and realize that I’m the only one still alive. Apparently I had been fighting it for 10-15 seconds or so at the end all by myself and didn’t realize it. Good thing too, because I would’ve probably frozen up.

WildStar: Building a new casa


Goodbye old house. You were cozy, you were neat, but it’s time to get a little more room and rebuild!


Hello new spacious Exile house with all of the trimmings! There’s something liberating about wiping the slate clean and starting all over.


Even with additional room, the new house was only really two rooms (one big downstairs one, one big upstairs one) with a bit of stairway and hallway. So the first step was to figure out how I wanted to modify the floor plan before plopping everything down.

In the downstairs I created a loft over the ledge area. Nothing fancy but I like how it overlooks the rest of the room.


If there are two house decorating rules that I’m learning in WildStar, it’s these:

  1. You don’t always have to use decor for their most obvious purpose
  2. You don’t always have to place decor in the most obvious way

Flipping and repurposing decor items can result in a lot of neat additions to the home. For example, I noticed that the exile tactical tables that I crafted have cool animated surfaces. So I flipped them and slapped them on the wall, resizing a second one so that it was smaller than the first. Now I have wall monitors that are in motion.

I spent a lot of time on this loft, trying to make it warm and comfortable. Still needs more work (and lighting) but I like how the fireplace is in the corner.


Originally this downstairs ledge was going to be a kitchen area, but I started fiddling about with things in my crate and ended up going a different way. I noticed that the metal platforms had cool neon stripes, so I linked three together to make a new countertop. Then I added the animated Protostar lights and flipped two more tables (the animated blue lounge ones) to go on the wall there. Now it’s all sleek and high-tech.


For the stairway I knew that I wanted to hang pictures, but everyone does that so I kept thinking of something a little different. Then I came upon the idea of putting some candles to use, so I created little ledges under the paintings with metal suitcases (repurposing, remember?) and then plopped different sized candles on each. I really like the end result, especially in a darker house.


For kicks I added the window that has a moving train lighting effect to the back of the stairwell. This way when people come up, lights flash on both walls like a car is driving by.


Little lounge area at the top of the stairs. Just wanted to use all of my heart furniture in one place.


The last thing I had time to do over the weekend was to split up the upstairs into two additional rooms (plus the landing). One of the rooms has an angled entranceway, which was a little tough to get right but I like the end result. I used a red awning with little lights for both.

Still a lot to do in the house, but it’s a really good start I think!

WildStar: Blasting through expeditions

Last night I logged into WildStar right as one of our guild officers was putting out a call for group expedition runs. Heck, I’m down for that any time, so I signed up on the spot.

We put together a group of five and proceeded to blast through numerous veteran expeditions in record time. Let me tell you, there’s a world of difference between doing one of these solo, with a group of three, and a group of five. The last is just a breeze, allowing us to snag gold after gold, on top of rewards for queuing up for randoms and saved quests. I think we ended up running five expeditions in a row.

And it was a terrific time to chat, too. We were all on teamspeak, joking and not worrying too much about pulls or difficult fights. During the Fragment Zero expedition, someone made the apt point that zero gee is one of the most fun environments of the day — and that Farside really ruins the rest of the game once you’ve gone there. You just get used to doing these super-high jumps and it’s a bummer to have to come back down to reality afterward.

The rewards were pretty sweet too — I got a lot of elder gem XP to help me catch up in my week’s progress bar. I don’t know why vet expeditions seem to be spitting out the same types of decor, however; I’ve gotten so many ship models, landing platforms, doors, and ship engines to choke a cubig.

Midway through our run, one of our guild’s housing experts joined us. She hadn’t been able to play for a while, so she told us up front that we “were going to have to carry my [butt] through it,” which we all thought would make an excellent guild t-shirt.

Anyway, just a fun, relaxed, and rewarding night of grouping and socializing. I am really glad I have a level 50 to be able to do this with. I let my kids design a Chua last night for fun and they were laughing so hard at some of the customization options. I think they ended up naming him/her “Skippi Hippi,” which is kind of genius.


Struggling with WildStar’s crafting


Featured above: Not my house.

I’ve made it a mini-resolution of mine to spend a half-hour here and there gamely working away at the architecture tradeskill in WildStar. It’s not exactly a system that lends itself well to marathon power sessions; I can take about 30 minutes of wrestling with it before desperately wanting to go do something else.

Architecture didn’t really get a makeover as some of the other tradeskills did (or so I heard) with the Reloaded patch, so it’s pretty much the same system since launch. If you haven’t played WildStar, the crafting here tries to be a little more involved and mini-gamey than your typical “recipe” system. When you load up a recipe, you can make a basic item with a click of a button, or you can add certain items to move around a cursor on a bullseye to reach certain areas that will make different or improved versions of the item. It was an interesting idea, but it has some significant flaws, including:

  1. Not being very engaging or fun process overall, nor visually engaging.
  2. Every time you start a new craft, the results of the additives (the things you pay for to move the cursor) move a little differently than last time, which means the additive combo you just successfully used to make something might not work this time around. Sure, you could argue that keeps things spicy, but when you’re making a lot of things it’s incredibly annoying.
  3. There’s no option to mass produce something once you make an item. Every… single… craft… has you struggling with the bullseye board. Hence why I can’t do it for more than a half-hour at a time.
  4. Sometimes the bullseye board hides where your target is, forcing you to waste materials doing blind crafting with the hopes of tracking down the target, Battleship-style.

I’m about midway through the journey to the top. Happily, I do have an abundance of mats and plenty of money to buy what I lack. I also am not complaining about accumulating a lot of useful housing decor, although I’m slightly worried that I’ll eventually max out my 2000-decor limit and have to pay for an upgrade to my crate.

I can see what Carbine was going for with this whole system, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I would much rather a traditional crafting system or a revamp that reduces the annoyances here.

WildStar: Building a river


So this was my major project last weekend: building a scenic river for the entrance of my housing plot in WildStar. It took a lot longer than you’d think.

River decor is one of the newer additions to the vendor, although there are only winding bits — no straightaways or variations. My plan was to have the river cut diagonally in front of the teleportation pad with a bridge to pave an introduction to my plot. Someone said that there was a curved Aurin bridge out there, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere, so in the meanwhile I built my own bridge out of various parts.

So, the river. I started by laying down three segments of the winding river, resizing them until I got a stretch of straightaway in front of the teleportation ramp. Problem #1 came up when I realized that the seams where the river segments connected were very noticeable. I was going to need to do a little visual trickery to cover them up.

Next was to establish the head of the river, which I did with a waterfall and lily pad pool. I used hanging plants to droop over the rocks and cover up the back part of the waterfall somewhat. I think the overall effect worked great. I sprung for buying curved rocks for the pool, but I realized that doing the same for the river banks would get expensive, fast.


The line of rocks across the pool and a flipped tiki bar that’s now serving as an arch are my tools to cover up the river seams (plus some plants under the arch). I wanted to have river banks the whole way, so I crafted up a bunch of sacks of buckwheat that I made big and flipped over to serve as faux rocks/dirt. I think it worked out fairly well and was a lot cheaper in the end.

I added some stocky trees and plants at the river’s terminus, a few trees along the way, and even a second small waterfall coming out of a sewer grate on a rock.


Took a few hours to do start to finish, including adding little touches and details, but all in all, I am extremely pleased with the end result. It adds some nice motion right at the entrance and the water effects — while not the best I’ve ever seen in an MMO — are pretty neat.

I don’t know what I’ll be doing for my next building project — probably fleshing out my “fun house” (yes, I broke down and bought one of those haunted house FABkits). I’ve been using the thunderhead sky because it makes the colors of the plot really pop and adds just a touch of weather without getting too oppressive.

How Syp got his WildStar groove back

It wasn’t that long ago that I was grousing here about how frustrated I was with my Engineer — my sole level 50 in WildStar — and ready to toss her in the dump heap to focus on my Medic for good. But time has a way of taking something bad and gradually turning it around, and in the intervening week or two, I’ve not only found my footing with the class, but also with the endgame in general.

So what happened?

First up was tackling the issue of my build. I don’t know about you, but if I’m not happy with my battle rotation and skills I’m using, then I’m not happy at all in these combat-centric games. RIFT was great in that it allowed me to really whip up a huge variety of builds from scratch, but there is an echo of that choice in WildStar too.

So I sat down and decided to work with the tools that I was given to make the type of character that I wanted to play — not one that was necessarily the most DPS-optimized, but suited to me. And right off the bat I wanted to shy away from the annoying “in the zone” mechanic with volatility and using bio shell. Instead, I decided to make a build that was incredibly simple that I could sum it up in two steps:

  1. Constantly be firing a tier-8 pulse blast in combat
  2. Using any instant-cast skill that did damage or utility without interrupting pulse blast

It’s a weird build. I don’t have any volatility spenders AT ALL. I use energy auger, zap, assault bot, obstruct vision, repair bot, quick blast, and volatile injection (and my +assault gadget as well as my exosuit). There are interrupts in there. The repair bot really helps keep shields up. Couple of nice boosters as well.

Maybe I’m not hitting all of the best DPS skills, but it really works for me. It’s low-stress in combat and allows me a massive alpha strike (hitting all seven, eight abilities rapidly in a row is a blast). And I actually have been doing all right for myself, often getting #1 in damage in vet expeditions. I find that pulse blast, while fairly boring, has that great cone range to hit many targets in a chaotic situation. Not having to worry about volatility allows me to just focus on the fight and positioning.

OK, so that was the issue with my build, solved. What else changed?

The second factor was finally getting a handle on what I was supposed to/wanted to do as a level 50. I think we all experience that endgame shock to varying degrees when we ding that last level, and I had been wallowing about without much purpose as a fresh 50 for a while now (well, not so fresh…).

Over the past week several little things started to click and I began to see the picture of what I wanted to do at 50. The first was to continue to run veteran expeditions — I really love these and they are so much less stressful than full-on dungeons. I used my renown from several runs to buy a full set of I60 gear (no more greens for me!) and have been eyeing the more expensive set of I68 (I think) that’s sold by the veteran adventure vendor.

I started doing contracts. I went through the Crimson Badlands and Northern Wastes dailies zones and loved both. For the first time, I fully capped my weekly elder gem count and started raking in so much money past that. I even got enough to buy a month of CREDD if I wanted (I didn’t). I’m looking at veteran adventures more now that I have better gear and feel more confidant in my build.

And I’m finally getting to do what I’ve wanted to for a while now, which is to concentrate on my house and the architect tradeskill. More on that in another post, but it’s coming along!

Having money feels great. Having things to do is even better. I can’t wait until I max out my contracts reward track and get that purple chest at the end. I even enjoyed a week’s worth of dual events, although I might be done with Shade’s Eve (there are no more rewards I really want).

And I might even be getting settled enough to start taking an Esper up through the ranks as well…