Home Away from Home
When you’re homeless, you make do with what you have. When someone has taken your home, you prepare to keep what you have and get back what you’ve lost. Built on the broken and battered remains of an old Osun city, WildStar‘s city of Thayd presents a safe haven for the Exiles of the planet Nexus. The city maintains all the essentials of a main faction hub including crafting and trading areas, a recall location, guild, raid, PvP, housing, and cosmetic services.
Most people get to Thayd the easy way via taxi from either the Belobog Containment camp or Sylvan Glade departure points. A few might reach it by the main Eastern road that runs from Sylvan Glade past Shroud Gloom Cell. The unlucky ones reach it the hard way by fighting through mobs of ravenous undead along the road from the Grimhold.
Stepping from the taxi, you will notice that Spaceport Horizon is fairly simple in it’s layout, gaining its name from accessibility to various instances, aimed mostly at characters level 22-50.
Across the courtyard to the east of the instance portals is the first major vendor area, populated with merchants selling all manner of goods from Veteran rewards to PvP, Dungeon, and Raid gear. Two vendors stand out amongst the crowds here: the Elder Gem vendor and the Protostar Contract Agent.
Elder Gems are obtained by level 50 characters in exchange for 75,000 Elder Points which replace experience at level cap. They can be used to buy everything from housing decorations such as ferris wheels to Action Sets for additional skill builds to rare bags.
Both PvE and PvP contracts are available from the Protostar Contract Dispenser. Completed contracts will fill a bar marked with different rewards tiers depending on the level of the contract, which can range from one to four. However, like with the instances, many of the contracts are for higher level content with level 50 rewards being offered.
You can also find Tour Guide Jakke and his crew, who provide a whirlwind tour of the city on the back of a Grinder mount.
Speedsters can consult Super Sprinter Annalia about running the Thayd Sprint challenge down to Fortune’s Ground in under 2 minutes.
The main road south leads into the Traverse Tunnels, the main crossroads at the center of the city. To the east lies the contaminated area of District Falls and the west features FCON Headquarters.
Court of Judgment
South of the tunnels is the Court of Judgment where you can find many a justice of the peace hard at work. Occasionally criminals will be brought before the court and it will be up to the players in the area to vote whether the accused is guilty or innocent. Sometimes the truly innocent are punished while the guilty get away with their crimes.
Cutting east through a decorative gate brings you to the Arborian Gardens, a blossoming sanctuary for the Aurin who managed to escape the destruction of their homeworld, Arboria. Twisting, winding paths criss-cross this glade, which provides an open area free of the claustrophobic-feeling inner city.
Grazers of all varieties, jabbits, and Greenbough Guardians can also be seen here.Valanna can set you up with a pet if you’d like. The roads can be long and lonely without a companion to keep you company.
There is even a small pond with a boat and island provides a romantic getaway from the bustling city.
Arborian Tenders watch over the Gardens and help educate the locals in hopes that the citizens of Thayd will respect and preserve nature for future generations.
October and early November are the time of Jack Shade, and Shindig Hollow is just the place to be for event quests and even running the Quiet Downs instance.
While the bonfires and dungeons are all fun in games, some of the quests and lore in the area reveal the darker history behind the celebration.
Long ago a horrible plague, nicknamed the “Shades”, swept the world of Cassia. The only cure was found in the blood of an angelic young girl immune to the disease, who gave her life in the process of producing the vaccine. History now remembers her simply as the Angel, while patient zero for the plague has become known as the villainous Jack Shade.
Traveling northeast out of Shindig Hollow will bring you to Fortune’s Ground, a bustling mass of vendor stalls that can actually provide some upgraded items, if you are willing to hunt for them. Shops exist for Light, Medium, and Heavy armor as well as weapons, mounts, and consumables such as fortunes and medishots.
Companies such as Protostar, Nebula Military Arsenal Manufacturing, and Polaris Industries also make themselves known here. For quick transportation, a teleporter is available for the Traverse Tunnels, Arborian Gardens, and the Academy.
At the Protostar Housing Initiative, you can pick out your home among the clouds.
Around the corner from the Initiative is the Blue Horizon. This is the ship Dorian Walker was piloting when he first discovered Nexus. Since then, it has been grounded to become a museum to the many wonders the Explorers Union has uncovered.
Looking down from the top of the ship, you’ll see the flickering blue dome of the headquarters for the Black Hoods.
Lair of the Black Hoods
It’s easy to look at the secretive league of spies known as the Black Hoods as a club for those favoring darker clothes and favoring emo poetry. After all, there is a bar and dance arcade, inspired by Dance Dance Revolution, located right outside the holographic dome that maintains an air of casual pleasure.
Inside the dome is another matter. Small cells closely guarded by a Black Hood Warden and her underlings flank the entrance ramp. At the center of the room sits a male Mordesh sullenly overlooking a comm screen. He sees past the screen, staring off into space with his fingers tented, lost in his own thoughts as a lit cigar smolders next his elbow.
Every once in awhile, the Warden escorts a Draken prisoner over to him where the Draken pleads his case before being sent back to his cell. The Interrogator smugly comments that the prisoner will break soon.
Close by, Victor Lazeran and his fellow Alchemists can be found working side by side with XAS Scientists as they analyze a datacube in the Alchemist’s Maze.
A road leading into Galeras is best left untraveled until you are ready to face the Contaminated Galehorns just outside the gate.
One dark turn leads to another, and you may find yourself in Crooked Corners, the slums of Thayd. Redlight illuminates the wanted posters as the garbage littering the ground fuels the trash can fires that are the only source of warmth and comfort for Thayd’s vagrant population.
You’ll also not want to miss the topless street fight, headed by Crooked Corners’ own “Big Cheese”.
Perhaps appropriately, Crooked Corners leads into the Court of Judgment.
Not to be confused for vagrants as they seem to wander and lounge about the area, Explorers and XAS scientists gather at the FCON Headquarters for resupply. A variety of holographic dummies are available for those wishing to try out their newest Action Set builds.
Everyone needs a hobby, but if you want to excel at your tradeskills, Academy Corner is the place to do it. On display is a hologram of one of the great mysteries surrounding the ancient race of the Eldan, the Focus of Air. XAS scientists are still pondering over it to this day.
The ruins to the north lie in a large field of green grass and, when activated, open a portal which Professor Wellspring and a team of scientists were trying to explore. It’s up to the player to follow them inside and discover exactly what is on the other end of the portal.
In WildStar, Thayd and its Exile citizens constantly struggle with Dominion attacks and limited resources. But as long as the Exiles maintain their sense of adventure, exploration, and creativity, they will be able to make Nexus their own home away from home.