|Things about other things equals STUFF.|
This week's question is very simple: how much will Professions be wrapped around/into the Garrisons 'experience'? Before we start, let me get this crystal ball out...
It's not like we're not experts at speculation, but this week... well, this is a wee bit different. Blizzard have started making encouraging noises about professions changes, that they are discussing an alteration to the way things work, and that makes for some interesting possibilities, that we might see some key alterations to a system that's pretty much remained static since Vanilla. Then we're faced with trying to work out what that might mean: remembering you won't see this feature until you're 90 is probably quite a crucial factor in proceedings. Could it be finally possible that the game will concede that, assuming you've reached that level, that two 'primary' professions are not enough?
Will this mean that we'll get changes from Level One, or will this all be wrapped up in the Garrisons 'package'?
|This is not my alt, I mean LOOK AT THAT FISHING SKILL :O|
What seems to happen, and what will certainly be the case with your Tillers Farm, is that certain 'features' tend to end up being strictly Expansion-based: once you're done with that adventure, everyone and everything simply moves on and all your hard work is effectively forgotten. If Garrisons are going to have a distinctive professions bias, it is possible this feature may have the permanence of Pet Battles or something like Archaeology (more on that tomorrow) whereby the system is simply amended and updated as time goes on. Certainly making your Garrison phased will allow it to be stuck anywhere, so the potential for expansion over time is there. So, what could we expect? We know we have a Mine as one of four 'starter' buildings, but that has been established to provide raw materials for constructing the Garrison itself. There is no indicator any 'gathering' professions will (as yet) benefit from items available inside your phased area, and part of me doubts that will be the case. I think you'll still need to work outside the confines of your home, its what happens when those materials return with you that matters.
However, linking those materials that you gather in the World to the Garrison is quite simple: we just have to look to the Timeless Isle for evidence of this. Gathering on that Island gives items quite apart from herbs, skins or ore: Timeless Coins drop as well. If we go back to TBC gathering was capable of providing many other items too: motes and special herbs were all part of the deal. I can see a return to additional materials from your basic gathering skills which can be used in your Garrison, which will allow you to 'learn' additional skills on top of the basic ones you are aware of as, say, a Miner. These would only be available at L90 and be part of the Garrison 'experience': they'd form a second 'tier' of skills that you'd be able to live without if you didn't want or need them, and would depend on the secondary materials gathered from Warlords content only. If this was successful I wonder if it would be possible to amend all gathering nodes to allow them to provide secondary materials so that you could expand the Garrison to provide 'Classic' second tier patterns, perhaps allowing back classic recipes from the past using new materials from, well, the present.
|Top album. Cover's great too.|
Giving you new things to make and do should not ideally detract too much from the actual business of playing the game: already we have a ton of things that you'll be doing inside your Garrison that will stop you actually levelling your character, so pinning too much more on top of that actually has the potential to be detrimental. What I'd make happen is that, once you have maxxed everything out in your Garrison, you'd get the chance to learn a third 'primary' profession as a reward: and when I say learn, I mean have to pay quite a bit of money and do a ton of work in the real world to actually achieve it. I severely doubt any skill will simply just be handed to you (and I maintain this is why your 'free' L90 won't get anything except Fishing and First Aid at max level) because the economic consequences of simply handing a bunch of professions out like that could be catastrophic. Giving us all a third would effectively allow people to reduce alt numbers if they wished, would allow people to maximise the skills they used with something like Herbalism, and would probably stimulate a more controlled form of Economic growth, as this would only take place once Garrisons were maxxed, and not immediately at Expansion start.
In essence, I feel that the Professions part of Garrisons isn't going to significantly change the way Professions currently work... but I've been wrong before. This will all get wrapped around what Blizzard decide to change about the system, and as that's still in discussion... well, who knows. The only way we get to find out for sure is in Beta, and we won't see that now I suspect until next year. If everything changes, then who knows, the Garrison could replace the Professions window as the place where you know what you've done and you work out what needs to be maxxed next. It all depends on what Blizzard are going to change... which could be everything, or nothing at all...