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Monday, December 16, 2013

To Build a Home :: Beware of the Dog

How long will this be going on? ^^

Today's look at Garrisons... well, we have an important question that needs to be answered before we go any futher. How safe is this new feature in the long haul?


The sun goes down on our Tillers Farm. Living it up optional.

Anne Stickney's fondness for Dog and what she'll leave behind made a lot of people think this week, but this is hardly a surprise in the greater scheme of things. This is the fate of the Old Expansion: to be left behind, to be returned to only when we completely outgear it to be plundered for reputation and achievements. Hence it is the way it remains for the ogres of Ogri'la, the giant blue women wrapped up with the Sons of Holdir and the daily PvP Instructions from the Baradin's Wardens. I'd like to put a small pile of gold that thanks to Anne we haven't actually seen the last of Dog, that I reckon there's a better than average chance the mutt will make the trip to Draenor with you and end up as a fixture in your Garrison. The question then becomes whether that'll be the last place you see him, and if the Garrison has the legs to outlast the Tillers Farm and indeed all the other remnants of Expansions Past. Are Blizzard planning for just the Expansion, or will the Garrison look beyond?

Well, there are most certainly possibilities for the long term.

If we assume (and no-one has said otherwise) that we'll have a load of new Battle Pet Adventures to experience in Warlords, then there's definitely hope that the Garrison will live longer than just through our time in Draenor... assuming of course, it becomes successful. That has to be the key to all of this, whether people will actually pick the thing up and play, but looking at the way in which the feature will be built, there is most certainly room for 'expansion' as time goes on. For instance, if we are only to receive a 'default' and generic Horde/Alliance 'look' to the place, a second expansion could add the ability to further customise with maybe Night Elf or Blood Elf architecture (or more likely, a choice of mix and match) If the much-discussed Professions link-in works, then setting that for subsequent expansions may become a necessity and not an option. However, the most significant part of this entire endeavour is the assertion that you'll be able to move your Garrison at will around Draenor, parking it in any zone you please. If you can do it in Draenor, it therefore shouldn't be too much of a stretch to park it outside Stormwing or Orgrimmar either, and that means the feature's already Expansion-proof.

It shouldn't be a stretch to just pick the whole thing up at the end of the Expansion and plonk it down in the next hastily added section of map latest location with the minimum of fuss.


Chances of your Garrison being attacked by Godzilla? /waggles hand

I suspect that success is going to be a key factor in whether we see Garrisons lasting longer than simply the 18 months or so (possibly less if Blizzard have their way) they're going to throw Warlords at us: needless to say part of the speed in which they can turn things around on the Expansion front will exactly depend on having key architectural mechanics that can be reusable across multiple releases. The Pet Battle 'model' ticks most of those boxes: if the Garrison is to join that then this could be something we'll be playing with for quite some time, and I'd like to think that if Blizzard do a professions overhaul in tandem and link the two together, that's exactly what we'll get, with perhaps the possibility of a mini-Garrison, say from L10 in a future Expansion. Anything is possible, after all, it just depends on how many people decide it's a good idea and play along with the idea.

Needless to say if it's as popular as both the Tillers Farm and Pet Battling, Blizzard have already passed the most important test of all.

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