Merry Christmas!


Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

~ Luke 2:14


WildStar: The Mystery Shack and SkyMall


My current big project on my WildStar housing plot is to pay homage to the great Gravity Falls by creating a replica of the iconic Mystery Shack. This is much, much easier thought of than done. I’m working off a few pictures of the house, and let me say that it’s not going to be the easiest structure to replicate. It has a sharply sloping roof, an L-shaped floor plan, two stories, and lots of lettering.

Actually, the lettering is the part I haven’t been able to crack yet. I need to figure out something I can use to spell out large letters on the sign. After all, it’s not as though WildStar hands you giant alphabet decor.

I’ve been making good progress, at least for me. I laid out the floor (which is raised, half on blocks and half with pillars), added the cellar doors, and constructed the front entranceway. Another issue is that the Mystery Shack in the show is a log cabin — and WildStar doesn’t have straight, clean logs to work with. So I’m fudging a bit by using 2x4s, but I have a plan to “enhance” them later on.

I was proud to get the A-frame done, complete with the triangle window at the top. WildStar doesn’t have triangle glass yet, so I had to make a frame with wood and turn a square pane a bit to fit.

The side is coming along too. The windows of the Mystery Shack have a diamond pattern to them, so I was able to replicate that with overlapping framed glass. I’ll have to hide the top of that glass somehow — hopefully the roof — and doing the same on the smaller side window might be out of the question.

The roof might be the hardest part. There’s nothing I could find to work as green shingles, so right now I’m going to shrink exile flooring, overlap it to give it an uneven look, and then plop some grass on top. We’ll see.

There’s a lot, lot more to be done before I can get to even decorating it, but I’m excited about the possibilities.


Protostar’s Winterfest kicked off yesterday, so I made sure to check that out. The decorations, once again, are fantastic — I hardly recognized Thayd as I ran around it. Even for a heartless corporate approach to the holidays, it sure is cheery and Christmasy. There were dailies to do, including another bout of visiting neighbors’ plots (this time to sing into mics), and some rewards that are interesting but not quite as exciting as spooky Halloween ones.

I also ran the skymall dungeon. It’s a fantastic setpiece with a lot of inventive encounters, from dousing flaming gifts to avoiding malfunctioning robots to blowing up gifts just because. On the downside, it’s pretty long (WildStar’s instance design skews this way, unfortunately), not very strong on combat, and ultimately wasn’t that lucrative for me. For 50 or so minutes of effort, I got two head bows (one-shot consumables) and some cash to spend in the holiday store. WildStar really needs to be more free with the loot with holiday dungeons. This is kind of pathetic.

I’ll give it a go for a few more days and see what I want to buy, but most of my interest right now is in building my shack. I would love to have a structure on my plot that is truly visit-worthy.

WildStar: Ding 50 (again)!


Well lookit that: A second level 50 in WildStar. It didn’t take more than an hour of questing in Malgrave before I tipped my Medic over the finish line, enjoying a shower of fireworks and self-satisfaction in the process.

She’s still got a long way to go before settling into the endgame routine, and that’s fine with me. At least now I can work on getting more AMP and ability points while fattening my coffers.

WildStar: The best-laid plans of mice and gamers


You’d think that getting four days off work, more or less, would equal lots and lots of gaming time. You would think that, at least. But the past holiday weekend almost had the opposite effect on getting in some MMOs. For starters, I had a really nasty bout of the norovirus for most of the week, and about the time I started to get better, my kids and wife got sick from it.

That, coupled with general baby exhaustion and having to wrassle the other kids, meant that most of my waking hours was spent shuttling around the house doing odds and ends. I also wanted to get Christmas decorations up, so that was more time chewed up.

This was all distressing in relation to the fact that WildStar was having its first double XP weekend from Friday through Sunday. I didn’t get to log in once on Friday at all, and that made for a bummed Syp.

Fortunately, I did get a couple sessions in on Saturday and Sunday, and boy howdy did that XP boost really kick in. I made a last-minute decision to not focus on my fledgling Esper, but instead to see how far I could get my level 35 Medic. I dug out some of her bonus XP and rested XP flasks and then started speeding through quests as fast as I could.


By Saturday night, I was level 45 and feeling really juiced from the whole experience. Sunday wasn’t terrible — I got to level 49 over the afternoon — but my general exhaustion caught up with me hard. When everyone went to bed at 8, I followed suit even though it mean that I’d have to earn that last level the normal way. Oh well… priorities.

It’s a great feeling to have a near-50. The weekend revitalized my interest in the Medic, and I was able to spend all of those ability and AMP points on shoring up my build. I even got a spare ability point drop, which was probably my jackpot of the sessions.

The best part is that I was able to do all of this leveling in just two zones: Farside and Wilderrun. That means that I have a few zones left ahead of me, and once I hit 50 I’ll be earning extra gold and elder gems while going through those areas.

It was also great just to level through zones again. That’s something I’ve been missing on my Engineer. Carbine needs to get more areas out, chop-chop!

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!