Choose My Adventure: Unearthing the mysteries of WildStar’s Levian Bay

    
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Hello everyone, and welcome back to Choose My Adventure. Last week, you fine folks voted on whether my pwecious wittle Chua Spellslinger would continue his adventures on the planet Nexus in the scorching badlands of the Crimson Isle or the lush, misty forests of Levian Bay, and the vote went overwhelmingly in favor of the latter. I also gave y’all the opportunity to retroactively vote on whether or not I should play on a PVE or PvP server, with PvE winning out by a substantial margin, which is pretty convenient since I had rolled on a PvE server to begin with. So at least there’s that.

Anyway, this weekend, Bonongo Jazz began in earnest his domination — I mean exploration — of WildStar’s planet Nexus as he accompanied Artemis Zin in her search for the Eldan artifact known as the Elder Cube and, perhaps more importantly, the highest holovision ratings in the history of ever. So how did that pan out for her? Well, let’s just say that not everything went exactly according to plan.

When I first set foot (paw? I’m not sure what the proper terms for Chua appendages are) in Levian Bay, I was immediately tasked with fighting my way to the not at all egocentrically named Zin’s Landing, where — shockingly enough — Artemis Zin had made her landing. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as running from point A to point B; I also had to put down a great deal of the local wildlife to keep the roads safe for the rest of the landing party.

En route to my destination, I also discovered the first of many Explorer missions. This one was a “vista” mission, which — similar to Guild Wars 2‘s vistas — required me to climb my way to an out-of-the-way location and plop down some kind of signal beacon, which rewarded me with a nice, sweeping panoramic view of the surrounding area as well as my first level-up in the Explorer path, granting me the prestigious title of “Scout.”

After that brief interlude, I finished my culling of the wildlife population and made my way to Zin’s Landing, where I rendezvoused with Lady Zin herself. She informed me that she had picked up some readings matching the Elder Cube’s energy signal from a nearby Eldan installation. The installation, known as Star-Comm Station, was under the protection of some pretty thorough security measures. Lady Zin, of course, was more than capable of disabling the security systems, but with her sophisticated skills, there would be no challenge and therefore no excitement for the viewers at home, and as everybody knows, the only thing more important to Artemis Zin than the prestige of making a historic archaeological find is making damn good holovision. So, in order to provide an element of risk to the proceedings, the duty of disabling the Eldan security systems fell to little ol’ Bonongo.

At this point, I had leveled up a couple more times and had a few more abilities at my disposal, and slowly but surely, combat was beginning to resemble the frenetic affair that I so fondly remember. No longer could I just stand in place and spam my basic attack; now I had to dodge and weave to stay out of the red telegraph zones of death while also ensuring that my own attacks remained on target. I also unlocked my first interrupt ability — Gate, which teleports me forward while briefly stunning any foes in the vicinity — which added another layer of complexity to the combat. If an opponent is interrupted in the middle of a skill’s charge-up, they are put into a state of vulnerability, causing any damage done to them for the next few seconds to be substantially amplified, which makes timely interruptions vital to surviving difficult encounters.

Also, following suggestions from friends and commenters, I went ahead and changed my control scheme to mouse-look, which, in my opinion, substantially improves the (admittedly already excellent) combat. It took me a bit to get accustomed to the new control scheme, which automatically takes the ability bar slots previously bound to the 1 and 2 keys and binds them to LMB and RMB, respectively. This resulted in more than a few unfortunately erroneous uses of my interrupt ability, which occupied the slot bound to the 1 key (previously bound to 3 instead), but once I got used to it, I found it a great deal easier to move, dodge, aim, and attack in a much more fluid fashion.

At any rate, after destroying a number of rampaging Eldan robots and rerouting the station’s power flow, I regrouped with Lady Zin and took the teleporter down into Star-Comm Station’s subterranean interior. We were greeted by an Eldan-created AI known as The Caretaker, who told us that he (or it; I’m pretty sure AIs are genderless, but hey) had been entrusted by his creators with the custody of the station, the purpose of which is to relay the information stored on the Elder Cube into the deep reaches of outer space. Unfortunately, in the time since the disappearance of the Eldan, the station’s control systems have gone haywire, rendering the Caretaker powerless in his own domain. And so it once again fell to us (by which I mean me) to clear the hostile automatons from the station and return control of its subsystems to The Caretaker, who in turn promised to grant Lady Zin access to the Elder Cube.

Cue more wanton carnage and mayhem, et cetera. Most of my time spent in Star-Comm Station was fairly routine: Go here, kill this, collect that, and so on. It was during this time, however, that I came across another Explorer mission, this one of the “surveillance” variety. The mission interface brought up a little window that displayed cell-phone-esque reception bars. As I neared the destination, they began to light up one by one, but when I arrived at the location marked on my map, I had only one or two bars. I like to think that, as I stood there and wondered where the mission wanted me to go, my Chua was holding his device in the air and cursing the lack of reception in this backwoods, podunk Eldan installation.

Maybe, I figured, it was because I was underground and the objective itself was back up on the surface. So I retraced my steps, teleported back to the surface, and made my way to the marked location, but still no dice. I wasn’t even getting a single bar up there. And so my little Chua’s stubby legs got a workout as he trekked all the way back to where he had just come from, all the while considering switching to a new wireless service provider.

Once I got back to the place where I’d gotten those one or two bars before and had begun to think maybe it was actually deeper inside the complex, I saw it: a floating, neon green platform slowly descending from above me. I looked up to trace its path and realized that there was a sort of observation chamber overlooking the room in which I stood. I rode the platform up to it and, sure enough, there were my five bars. I think it’s official: I’m literally too dense to live.

That mystery being solved, I fought my way through the bowels of Star-Comm Station and eventually succeeded in restoring control of its systems to The Caretaker. At long last, the Elder Cube was within Lady Zin’s grasp. The cambots swooped in for a close-up as she laid her hands on her bounty. Which, of course, was when those dastardly Exiles decided to launch an assault on our location, triggering the station’s security lockdown protocols (which I could have sworn I disabled earlier) and causing the Elder Cube to vanish, presumably teleported to safety. Lady Zin was understandably displeased, to say the very least, but at least footage of this riveting moment had been captured for posterity by Lady Zin’s loyal cambots — which she just smashed in a fit of rage. Never mind!

Needless to say, the Exiles had to pay for their insolence, and my magpistols and I were more than ready to collect the dues. That is to say, I killed them. Like, a lot of them. The Exiles’ piece de resistance was a massive, lumbering warbot, but even it was no match for a heaping helping of magically infused lead, or whatever it is they use to make bullets these days. With the Exile forces laid low, it was time for us to make a daring escape.

But wait, what’s this? Another Explorer mission I hadn’t noticed before? And I thought I had been so thorough, too. Oh well, I’ll just finish it up real quick-like. I’m sure the escape ship can wait, right? This one was a “cartography” mission, and it wanted me to fully reveal every portion of the zone map. No big deal. I was pretty sure I’d discovered most of it over the course of my adventures so far, so I just opened up my map and — Oh. Son of a [Deluge of Expletives Deleted]. Of course it’s way back where I first landed in Levian Bay, because why wouldn’t it be? Just a little patch of terra incognita in the water just behind where I started out.

Lady Zin be damned; my completionist pride demanded that I finish the mission before I go. So off I went, trekking my way back and making a mental note to just explore the map as I went along next time. Frustrating though this was, my efforts were not in vain: The unexplored portion of the bay held a tiny island on which I found a simple, instant-completion quest that rewarded me with a fistful of copper and some experience points, and the completion of my cartography mission earned me another Explorer level, which rewarded me with a grab-bag of assorted goodies and a handy satchel to increase my inventory space. And either way, being an Explorer is about the experience, not the experience points. Someone put that on a t-shirt or something.

Once my completionist anal-retentiveness had been satisfied, I made my way back to the escape ship, ignoring the angry glares of the other escapees, and bid farewell once and for all to Levian Bay. Next stop: Ellevar.

Next week, I’ll be continuing my adventures in this brave new world, and of course, with new adventures come new choices for you, dear readers. So here’s the skinny on what you’ll be voting on this week: First of all, my arrival in Ellevar, which is home to the first major Dominion settlement I’ve encountered, means that I’ll be able to pick up my tradeskills. What will they be? That’s up to you, of course. In the interest of keeping things simple (and self-sufficient, to ensure that I’m able to give you folks a look at the game’s crafting system), I’m only going to list the manufacturing tradeskills in the poll, and I’ll automatically pick whichever harvesting profession pairs best with the winner.

CMA: Choose Bonongo's Tradeskills! Items created by each are provided in parentheses.

  • Architect (furniture and housing decorations) (43%, 59 Votes)
  • Armorer (heavy armor and shields) (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Outfitter (medium armor and support systems) (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Tailor (light armor) (11%, 15 Votes)
  • Technologist (gadgets, medkits, buff potions, etc.) (25%, 34 Votes)
  • Weaponsmith (finely knitted quilts, obviously) (15%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 137

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On top of that, the time has come for me to choose how I build my Spellslinger. Yes, I know that WildStar provides players with multiple action sets that allow them to swap between ability and AMP loadouts on the fly, but this choice will also decide which role I’ll fill in group content such as PvP and instances. The Spellslinger is, of course, more than capable of dishing out the DPS, but I also have the option of building Bonongo as a healer, because magic-science-bullets or something.

CMA: Should I build Bonongo as a DPS or a healer?

  • Make things dead! (DPS) (60%, 87 Votes)
  • Make things less dead! (Healer) (40%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

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The choice, as always, is yours. Be sure to cast your votes by Friday, October 16th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. And as always, I’ll see you all next week for more fun and excitement. Until then, friends.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Matt each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures — and you get to decide his fate. Be gentle (or not)!
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Bannex19
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Bannex19

I looked it up in the book of facts and it’s right there on page 456xii “… and so sayeth thine great decree, Wildstar mouse lock control scheme is simply better and hereby anybody that disagrees is inferior, quah!”
See don’t blame me, it’s in the book of facts dude.

playerxx
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playerxx

Healing is a gift, use it… only on yurself.

redtoadsage
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redtoadsage

Bannex19 That’s a vastly subjective opinion.

Spacejesus3k
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Spacejesus3k

Bannex19 Because your opinion isn’t the only one? I personally dislike the mouselock. Either way it’s easy enough to disable and enable. Maybe they found having it off is more familiar to new players

Bannex19
Guest
Bannex19

Idk why the mouse lock isn’t default. It’s a vastly superior experience