Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why WoW Garrisons Are Not Satisfying: Player Housing vs Town Building vs Mobile Apps

This is going to be a serious business post with inadvertent gaming industry type references, but in respect of brevity I shall keep this in note format. If you're looking for a beautifully composed document highlighting the pros and cons of WOD Garrisons, flee! /flee

So let's rewind. I like to do that. Warlords was announced and finally players are able to have their own "housing" system via garrisons. STOP RIGHT HERE.

First let's loosely define what player housing is:

1. Has a house. For the player.

Wait. Let's loosely define what we EXPECT of player housing.

1. A place of respite.
2. Seen as a means of integrating "game" immersion. A place your TOON can call home. A place your toon can customize and decorate and share in their experience with other toons. You went and hunted a giant lizard in a deep dark sewer and want to share it as a trophy? Yes! A place to represent your in-game accomplishments through a visible means through a "tangible" presence of gaming reality. A place to just relax, for your toon to get some "me" time, maybe work on professions or fish or cook, at home.

Ok so now that we have THAT out of the way, I was very excited for Garrisons but as the details of how it actually functions was released, we started to realize that this was mainly just a self-instanced TOWN where you can play with your "followers" through "missions" which is where the mobile gaming aspects come into play.

Ok we've just absorbed a lot of information. I said town. And I said mobile gaming.

So is a garrison a TOWN BUILDER? We can place different buildings, although very very limited, these buildings allow us to interact with them to obtain resources, sounds town builder. But this is where the synergy and interaction run dry. The buildings do not interact with each other, and there isn't really anything else to do once the buildings are up and running.

So this is where "housing" and "town" kind of collapse and fall short. We can KIND OF customize our faux town, but that's about it. There are monuments you can obtain through tedious time consuming achievements. Sure, they want us to play more, through stretching out TIME. Don't even GET me started on Music Roll drop rates and the amount of TIME it will take to collect them.

True housing should transcend all expansions and be inclusive of all content at any given time. Currently all our pets can wander our garrison, check. Archaeology trinkets seem to be tied only to WOD digs, x. Music rolls (DIAF) drop from all raids, check.

Now the subject gets touchy. Now I know that the WoW community can be seen as being pushed into a self centered and anti-social mindset with LFD, LFG, insta-queues. All very handy though. But Garrisons are a great representation of this. WE are the commander, this is OUR garrison, and ours only. To visit a friend's, you must join their group and technically "teleport" through the multi-verse where your FRIEND is the ultimate commander of your faction.

The garrison town/housing doesn't really help to build community. We can't visit others or critique their d├ęcor skills at will. I treat the garrison as the very weak layer of daily busy work that barely adds to the game. And I haven't even started about follower missions yet.

The follower/mission system sounds like an amazing idea on paper. You meet these NPCs and they decide to join you in your quest to conquer WoD or whatever it is we are doing here. However once they join you, other than seeing them wander about your garrison occasionally we now trek into the territory of mobile gaming design.

Missions. Oh dear. Missions are probably the most meta we can get in WoW other than achievements. Pick a mission, choose some pictures that match the weaknesses, and wait. Come back and receive stuff. While this IS handy for gear and exp and everything that missions provide WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH WOW? There's very little engagement, heck there's are entire buildings centered around making your followers stronger that also augment mission luck.

This is an extremely elaborate 3D mobile game, where you can then step outside of your Garrison back into World of Warcraft! What's going on?

You see, we had this idea to make the MoP farm more like a phone game. It would make the farm in itself a bit more enticing, add some pizaz to the crops, random events, different seed quality etc, but alas, nothing. However, this would be a mobile model WITHIN WoW, now it has become one of the ONLY pieces of content for this entire expansion. But you see, MoP had a lot of OTHER stuff, like factions and the Isle of Thunder and ACTUAL other stuff out in the world to do!

I can farm rep? You mean kill thousands of Arakoa enemies? Uhhh ok.

So, garrisons fail at being housing, they aren't immersive, heck my toons HATE going back to their garrisons. I haven't mined/herbed in months. It's not really a town builder, I have the buildings I need, and in terms of missions...ugh.

Truny the Homeless

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Back for 6.1: Re-Blizzard Fueled, Re-Fizzled

Actually I lied. I've been meaning to do this entry every since Blizzcon 2014.

This is going to be in the form of half-paragraphs, half notes.

Yes, I went to Blizzcon last year and I just have to say that I am too old for hype and lineups. While the event in itself was an awesome experience, lining up is not my cup of tea.

This event had actually revitalized my Blizzard geek batteries and I started playing D3 and StarCraft and HS all in anticipation for WOD's launch.

WOD Launched. Warlocks suffered.

My main gripe is that I can no longer out-dps someone 12-20 ilvl higher than me merely through existing, heck even someone 5-7 ilvl higher, it was the secondary stats! Where's the crit?

All fun was lost, it sucked being 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th on the charts. While Highmaul itself proved itself to be adequately challenging, I have to admit that one of the contributing factors of "fun" for me was how well my character performed, and warlocks just did not perform well.

Then, everything just got boring. Garrisons = MMO phone game. Why? It's the most passive progression path you can think of. Click some things, come back for epics and gold. Wait what? The new Draenor is BEAUTIFUL, with a very awesome selection of soundtracks but other than doing the main quest I do not find any reason to go out and experience it. I don't even MIND not having flying mounts!

I believe we've cleared Highmaul and got halfway through "heroic" aka fake regular aka fake gating, and downed the first boss in Black Rock Foundry. I did anyways. Same boring thing, show up to raid, do sub-par, log out. On another note, why would you even play if you aren't #1 or immaterially close on the charts? This is a totally new experience for me. (I know I sound entitled and elitist but this is a truth).

Again, only thing I remember about that first boss is you need to dodge when he does his thing that makes it VERY obvious you have to dodge, then not dodge. Meh. Maybe i'll come back and raid after a big break. Our guild has transitioned over to FF14 currently.

Now what was I talking about? Oh yes 6.1.

Garrison updates. A random visitor, a SELFIE camera? Seriously? The target market has totally shifted? How do I even get Arakkoa rep? And are there even any other factions out there?

Raiding With Leashes 3: My goal is to finish this then probably let my toons go stale until there's an actual reason to log in.

Actually, that is all! See you in game!
Truny the Bored as Hell

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Getting Ready for 6.0 Something

So I logged in for the first time today, nothing BIG has changed other than the fact some spells got a much needed cleanup as well as Warlocks losing their mobility????  Y U DO DIS?

The new Kiljaeden's Cunning makes us THINK and break down all our fights into 8 second intervals:

A. Which 8 seconds, and where do we need to move?
B. When can I pop this for a moving Chaos Bolt?

This shall be interesting.

Hunters got shafted, we lost serpent's sting! I've been using this spell as my default pulling spell for SEVEN YEARS? Oh well I'll adapt.

Druids: Wild Growth has a cast time..AGAIN? Make up your minds! You know what I don't even care as long as I still get to fock around in tree form!

Anyone going to Blizzcon and want to be best friends? Let me know before the event starts!

Truny the Nerfed But Not Really

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Actually...

Wowowowow ohai gusy wusup?

So I have not been very active here nor have I even logged in to raid for the past 2 months or so. I kind of stopped caring after we killed Garrosh back in February.

I'm still subbed, waiting for WoD to launch, but I've been putzing about Archeage (Inoch server) and having a blast. Anyone else playing? Find me I'm "Klupty"!

Anyways this blog is long due for an overhaul!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No Competition

Hi Reader,

Still subscribed? Pah!

So one thing I like about super rare tedious devious excruciating low drop rate mounts is that you generally face no competition for them once they go out of style and are farmable.

Looks like this week was a good week for me in terms of "outstanding things to do", after not giving a flying monkey's butt for the game, come back and farm some dungeons and land two "rare" mounts! Not bad at all!

Though its quite seizure invoking!