Google+ ALT : ernative: 11/10/2013 - 11/17/2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guide Vocal

The best bit of Blizzcon NO-ONE is talking about?

I'm not normally one for self-congratulation, but there was one little bit of Blizzcon news that had me quietly nodding to myself and pointing out that yes, I do understand what the game needs after all this time and clearly my desires are not going unnoticed. This may not be the Heroes Call Board idea I suggested a while back, but it an acknowledgement that people in game need something sometimes to tell them what to do, and where stuff is, and its something I've wanted in game for quite some time. This, ladies and gentlemen is your Adventure Guide, and it tells your character what they're missing in game.

What we now need to know is *exactly* what that explanation of 'missing' entails.

From the panels we have and the explanation provided at Blizzcon you'll be pointed via the Guide to places to raid (and one assumes dungeons at lower levels), you'll be informed what new items you can craft when a Patch is released and when new items appear in game (saving hours of patient GM explanation and 'read the patch notes nublet' responses) and you'll be sent to places where you can achieve cool new stuff (in this case the Brawler's Guild is highlighted, that reminds me, must do that.) What would be suitably impressive is if the gear you're wearing automatically changes the places you can go (for instance have your PvP set on and be told which Achievements you're missing from Battlegrounds) and that there's a panel somewhere that informs you what's the minimum iLevel of gear you need to enter all of these places to begin with.

This is clearly the early days of this interface, and I don't need to be a programmer to know that this system will be using the various databases that already exist in game to work out what achievements you've done and what ones you haven't as at least part of the basis for its matrix. In fact it might mean the end for addons like Overachiever, which is doing roughly the same thing by suggesting which achievements you haven't done and which are easiest to complete, based (one assumes) simply on the number of things you have to complete within a particular named event. This must also mean that the game's going to keep a record of how many Sky Golems you make as an engineer (if it isn't already) so that when your database sees that ID's been ticked of it won't keep spamming you messaged to make one.

Needless to say, for a new player of the game, this is an absolute godsend, and I'd be sorely tempted to make a L1 on Beta just to see how it works as you level. What then becomes key is what information gets included, and what is left out. Will this interface have a panel that lights up with a ! for instance to send you to a Heroes Call Board whenever a relevant quest chain for your level becomes available? Will we be considering Scenarios in this? Will it have a way of calculating how many other instances you need to run to hit your weekly Valor total? How about telling you which World Bosses you've completed in week, or transmutes you've used? There's the potential for this to completely do away with my Weekly Faffing Form, and that suits me just fine. I'd love to not have to worry about keeping notes, and have it all on screen where I can see it.

This is one feature from last weekend I'll be keeping a VERY close eye on as it develops.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Alternative Chat :: Episode 7

Oho. I knew this one was going to be hard work, I didn't realise it would be *quite* this difficult to get from screen to sounds. However, there's tons of stuff going on. You ready to go back in time? I thought as much, here we go with Alternative Chat, Episode Seven!





This week, I will be mostly chatting about:

  • More 'Back to the Future' jokes than you can shake a stick at.
  • Why Blizzcon rocked.
  • Time Travel is a thing for some people.
  • Listener Question reveals Stark Home Truth Shocker
  • Free sound effects of aeroplanes.
  • Faffing, not so much
  • I miss you Golly.




Any thoughts or comments, or ideas for which cheesy 1980's synth pop standard Mr Alt can destroy next week, please poke:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com

==

NOTES.

THERE ARE NO NOTES.


==

This is now the regular spot for the Podcast. See you next Friday!

Let's Go Round Again

Yes, all that information's a lot to take in...

Even after a week, there's still rather a of Expansion still to cope with, isn't there?

I'm finding it hard to start pinning down specifics: I know what our new zone's map looks like, that there's going to be a correlation between the Outland I know and the Draenor I'm yet to visit. I'm aware I'll be living in what I know as the Black Temple (which is doing my brain in, I'll happily admit) and that Shadowmoon's considerably greener than I remember it... ironically the thing I recall the clearest from the zone presentations is the music, and that the visuals won't look nearly as good as that on my screen. This is also the moment when I also stare wistfully into the middle distance and imagine what it would be like to have a PC update at some point before next year...

Oh yeah, and I know UBRS's going bye-byes.

After that, I can bullet point a few things:

  • Hit, expertise and some other stats that annoy people are going away
  • Mr Robot's had to rethink his website as they'll be no more reforging
  • There's only one talent at L100 and that's it (and apparently as a Hunter one involves not having a pet or summat which I don't actually want to think about that much)
  • We won't get any new skills whilst levelling either, they'll just make old ones betterer
  • There's a chance the new D3 you 'don't need to keep armour to transmog with it and once you've discovered it anyone on your account can use it' system could be introduced
  • I'm going to have MORE BAGSPACE THAN EVER BEFORE
  • End game instance sizes are changing, and you'll want to be doing Mythic, because HARDEST RAIDS EVER.

That's pretty much it, if I'm honest. In fact, if I had to accurately represent my brain, as it is as I type, it would look something like this:


Inside my head. You're welcome.

If I'm going to be able to make any kind of sensible blog progress in the coming weeks, I'll need a bit more focus and a lot less wondering around going 'ZOMG' at random moments as a piece of data surfaces that I'd previously forgotten and IMMEDIATELY SWITCHING TO CAPS MODE. I'll have to remember that Blizzard are going to deal with serious concerns people have (female representation in game) and that the phrase 'serious concerns' does NOT cover you being able to fly everywhere when the Expansion begins (this is the past, guys, we didn't get Flying Mounts until TBC and we're going back before Vanilla here) The next couple of months are going to be hard work for everyone, and the Devs really deserve better treatment than an argument that revolves around 'I paid X gold to do this once, I shouldn't have to pay it again.' I'll be happy to argue any position you like in a fair and rational fashion but if you play the 'I paid good gold for this why are you taking it away' argument I will leave the room because this is a game. I know, not an argument. Just don't start.

Considering this is the state of my mind, the writing's going to need a *bit* more planning than currently exists.

We've had a PTR this week, and I'm thinking that next week we might see some movement on the Pre-Expansion Patch situation, because we KNOW Blizzard are on a timer. On that front, I'll have some lovely data analysis for you good people at the weekend (courtesy of the lovely @Sivation) on the back of the Expansion Date Contest, which is revealing some interesting truths about your guesswork and release dates generally. I'm going to use the Podcast later to try and stick some general structure into my brain and as of Monday, we'll be properly off and running/ In the meantime I suggest you go get a cuppa, start winding down for the weekend and remember that, whatever happens, all this Expansion causality is very easily explained...



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Across the Universe

Would you trust these men with your expansion?

I am aware of at least one person who, as a result of last week's Expansion news, has cancelled their subscription.

This was a deliberate move, based purely and simply on the decision of the individuals above to base our next adventure 'in the past.' According to my now ex-playing friend, using time travel as a means to extend Garrosh's current storyline isn't simply pointless, it's a criminal waste of the massively expansive world that the game has already created. It's what 'bad writers' do when they've run out of decent ideas and they need to extend the shelf life of their product. This person's exact response when I asked them why they'd unsubscribed?


'This Expansion has jumped the shark.'


If you're not familiar with this term, let me use Wikipedia to enlighten you:

Jumping the shark is an idiom created by Jon Hein that was used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery, which is usually a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of "gimmick" in a desperate attempt to keep viewers' interest. Its name is taken from a scene from a late-season episode of the sit-com 'Happy Days' when the character Fonzie jumps over a shark on water-skis.

The usage of "jump the shark" has subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment when a brand, design, or creative effort's evolution loses the essential qualities that initially defined its success and declines, ultimately, into irrelevance.



I have to say, I can see the point.

This exchange has set me thinking ever since the weekend: mostly because I'd still not decided if I like the concept of the new Expansion's setting myself or not. Reading Matthew Rossi's take on the Lore behind this yesterday, I find myself reassured that he's come to pretty much the same conclusions that I have: there IS canonical justification for all of this looking at previous events, especially on the back of  the conclusion to Cataclysm. However, justification is all very well and good, but is that enough? I got unreasonably invested in Pandaria's lore, pretty much by accident, and I think the only conclusion I'm prepared to draw after all this time is making snap judgements based on two days worth of Powerpoint presentations is never wise. I need to see this Expansion on my screen and experience it in my head before I pass any kind of judgement.

I also realise that, at least this time around, the Lore isn't nearly as important as it was.

That's quite a sea change for me, considering I wrote fiction on the back of my response to events in Pandaria. I was the person in tears when Aysa rescues Ji from the Horde and they leave the Siege together. Why, this time around, am I really not that bothered about finding an emotional investment in what's coming? I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that I have absolutely no-one to become attached to in what I've been shown, apart from my own character. This is a male-dominated past, not one of the major players of which have seen has anything to lend themselves to me in terms of interest. However, this may all change before Expansion launch... but part of me doubts that will come to pass, simply because of what I already know to be the lore. So, that leaves me with a choice: do I need to have a strong storyline to ensure my engagement? I didn't care about the game's narrative, let's be honest, at least until Wrath, and that eventual engagement had NOTHING to do with female protagonists or sympathetic characters. The Wrathgate changed everything, and should that kind of moment emerge in Warlords, the possibility remains.

At this point, there's something with far more personal significance that is occupying my interest.

It is my own character that has become a specific focus in the general scheme of things and that's caused a shift of interest that I don't remember experiencing at any point in the game's history. I'm pretty certain that's an indicator of a different level of investment, because Blizzard have unintentionally managed to tap into possibly one of the most important, subliminal reasons why I continue to play the game: my own primary protagonist.


This is MY dwarf :D

It's really rather surreal: when I stared at these visuals for the first time, I realised this is how I think my Dwarf LOOKS LIKE NOW. In my mind, when I load up my hunter, this is how I imagine she appears, in my mind. Blizzard have simply taken my understanding of the shortfalls of the gaming engine and are updating the visual look to match with my pre-existing expectation, and that is enough to make me want to keep playing until I can see the results of their efforts on my own screen. Once the allure of that wears off... well, then we might have a problem. However, that's where the updated UBRS and Garrisons and the new approaches to questing might have a way to get their hooks into me... the method by which I have been captured to keep subbing is distinctly different this time around. I have no illusions about this, but I feel I need to be honest. Part of me refuses to argue the jump the shark counterpoint because... well, time travel's a difficult one. I love to go visit the past, but I'm not sure I want to live there. I like my life going forward, not forced to look back.

This is one Expansion I'm going to need in my hands before I start drawing any kind of narrative conclusion.

However, I'm still nowhere near ready to call it a day. The prospect of fighting in familiar territory but in a different frame of reference isn't enough to put me off, but there is distinctly more disquiet in my mind than there was. The fact old zones remain untouched and unaffected by existing events is a continuing concern. The understanding that 'old' instanced areas are slowly being updated and removed from their original contexts... all these tweaks without a proper re-do, because people demand 'new' content... this remains the world everyone travels through to reach the End Game, but I understand very few people ever stay there. There is also the very real possibility that if time-travel happens for Draenor, we may end up getting alternative-Universe versions of other areas rather than amending the places that still exist, simply because it's fitting the 'quicker Expansions' timescale we're now working to. In the end, we won't know how this works until we see it. It looks great, however, and it's going to arrive with more speed than anything else that has preceeded it.

At least I won't have long to wait to make a decision.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TWIWBM :: Aha!

...blowing the graphics budget... ^^

Wednesday is the EU's reset day, and as a result this will become the time, each week, when I let you know what I'm up to in game, and what my plans are for the next week. In the run-up to the Expansion (because like it or not, that's where we are now) I realise there's a heck of a lot to be done, and only a limited number of hours in the day to achieve it. There are those who will say I'm being falsely optimistic in my estimate of an April expansion, but part of me knows the Blizzard guys have the clock ticking, and if they're on the watch, then I am too. We got stuff to do.

Faffing, at least in this case, may not necessarily be the answer.

The first, and overriding priority, is to get P the Hunter ready for the Expansion.


Do I remog? Hmmm...

I was considering a remog as a starting point, as come the Expansion I'll want to see my dwarf's face again... you know, JUST BECAUSE [*]. However there are a number of other practical considerations to be covered, bearing in mind what I now know is coming. In no particular order, these include the following:

  • Capping Valor Weekly for the weekly buff so EVERYONE ELSE can cap Valor quickly.
  • Maximising money-making potential via gathering/daily activity
  • Getting as many Pandaren achievements done as possible so I don't need to come back
  • 200 Mounts

Then there is the task of deciding who else is pushed to 90, especially with the possibility that Garrisons will allow me to specialise on Professions. I could really do with more information at this point, but in the absence of hard facts there are still the staples of Daily Transmutes, herb growing and selling and generally farming until my eyes bleed as backup.

I'll probably start small, thinking about it. Let's find something to replace that hat, that shows my face and hair. I could always turn hat AND cloak off. In the ends, after all, making things unnecessarily complicated is often just a means to make more work for yourself, and that's never a smart move...


[*] Go on, guess why. No, really, GUESS FOR ME.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So You Win (Again) :: Contest Entries


The Official Contest Matrix!

Here's where we'll be keeping tabs of who's guessed which date. This post will be updated weekly and retweeted: if you don't see your date here having posted one with a hashtag, PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP.


Expansion
Release Date
Guess 1Guess 2Guess 3Guess 4Guess 5
Feb 4th @PhatLewts
Gold




Feb 11th @dwisms



Feb 18th @TheChindi
vidual




Feb 25th




Mar 4th @LowPop
Wow




Mar 11th
@Nuggetsauce




Mar 18th @thingwhat
wows




Mar 25th @huntarded@hunter
Ireidean
@Casually
Casual
@Fiery
demise
@HunniHM
Apr 1st @corveroth@Buildar


Apr 8th @roneebean@_Noffee


Apr 15th
@Teuta
Ilyrian
@s80sham@Somnar_
SWC
@yuval
aziza
Apr 22nd @Dobablo@SerenitySaz@Crayola
Bear
@liopleur
odonic
@Quirnhelm
Apr 29th @Pixellated@Zidas
Studios
@mbuhtz@Talar13
May 6th @Caer
Morrighan
@Gnoodles_
WoW
@legends
lost
@rob
copeland

May 13th @Miss
Salvira
@aworldfall@El_Pollo_
Lokito
@twenty20
sight
@BurgeB
May 20th @welshjemz@Chromeeh_
Gnome
@Marathal@SpaceBard@kckoury
May 27th @GreenWith
Envy01
@blanket_
burrito
@San_Lear@Muttley
XIII
@The_
Dr0wningman
Jun 3rd @internet
drag0ns
@Clewdacris@Kyranno@pupapail@stoppable
force
Jun 10th @kurnmogh @veroicone@ColeP_TE@DiscGrace@Svelte
Kumquat
Jun 17th @ReliqEU@SarahEd
1981
@Achloryn@Aggathon@Moninatrix
75
Jun 24th @eljeppy@pally4christ@forrsetiEU@Zable
Kynbiir
@joffonon
Jul 1st @Zellviren



Jul 8th @Stew
Glover
@Zebraman
674
@classy
heals
@Audrena
Wow
@elepheagle
Jul 15th @Ngkma@Lyrestra@Shield
Spec
@Medros
Jul 22nd @soetzufit@Savvythe
Nerd
@Disco
Priest
@Shadeso
grey

Jul 29th @brandyflare@Baybdoli@Kialesse

Aug 5th @leetawow@scoutalt@_Elfindale@krhainos
Aug 12th @yoco68@NevAH
Addict
@wow_saer@ayligerwolf
Aug 19th @EverlySky@SocoWow@strumpet
101
@Askevar@viribusiness
Aug 26th @Divine
Alliance
@EpicGems@WoWin
TheDetails


Sep 2nd @MrsMups@cbrawla@Valkemen

Sep 9th @Joar
Garrosh
@rekrsiv@GP
Batinna


Sep16th @rhuanious



Sep 23rd @Sunshine
Dagron
@Sivation@msherretz@Corruptible@For
Ironforge
Sep 30th @Airlina
Hunter




Oct 7th @Ashayo@Xsinthis


Oct 14th @Nibuca@Liores


Oct 21st @Suicidal
Zebra




Oct 28th @Ancient8



Nov 4th @Zuulzilla@rogueslayer1


Nov 11th @belghast@theeriver


Nov 18th @Ralod



Nov 25th @piratenami





Once strip of five guesses is filled, no further entries will be accepted for that date, so VOTE EARLY.

So You Win (Again)


COMPETITION TIME!

Oh look, boys and girls, it's a Tuesday, and we all know what THAT means :D

WHEN Warlords of Draenor releases, this will be the day it happens (traditionally to correspond with US maintenance) The only thing we don't know as yet is which Tuesday it is going to be. That's where you, and our hugely popular contest from last year, comes in. Yes, we're going to do it all again! This is possibly THE most popular thing I've ever done on the Site, so I would be justifiably foolish not to repeat the experience...

The principle here is gloriously simple: you need to predict the next World of Warcraft expansion release date. I'll need both a month and a Tuesday for your entry to count, so go look at your calendars before you commit! When you have an date  you're happy with it is time to utilise the modern marvel that is Twitter. This is what you'll need to do:

1. Pick your date.
2. Proceed directly to Twitter.
3. Post your prediction using the following hashtag:




PLEASE NOTE: YOUR ENTRY IS ONLY VALID FOR THIS CONTEST 
IF IT USES THIS HASHTAG.


Your first date is non-negotiable: if you guess and it's not a Tuesday, I will do my best to correct you and suggest the nearest Tuesday. Once you've guessed however, no changing your mind.

The Contest will close on the date the Beta of the Expansion is announced. No dates will be accepted after this point.

 If Twitter is STILL a foreign country to you, this might be a fine opportunity to sign up and enjoy the entire experience. Mashable has a decent starter guide if you are a complete newcomer, with a no-nonsense accompanying guidebook to what's what. Don't be daunted by this awesome technology, it's engaging and shiny, and if you need someone to talk to you can find me @AlternativeChat where I will be happy to give you a cheery /wave in 140 characters or less :D Oh, and you don't need a mobile device to enjoy the experience, a computer will do just as well.

We've anticipated that more than one of you might like to pick the same date for release, and so there again will be five winners for this contest. This means that for each Tuesday from now until the eventual release date there are five potential 'slots' that can be filled with your guesses. So if you pick the same Tuesday as someone else don't panic, as long as there's still a slot on that particular Tuesday free, your entry is sound. We did t-shirts last time, which were hugely popular, and so after some discussion we have decided that's what you'll get this time as well. You will also be able to specify your faction colour (red or blue, obviously) The final item should look something like this:


This one is blue. It can also be red, don't panic :D


Our crack team of web monkeys will regularly collate the guesses and a separate site will be set up to track the entries. Once Blizzard officially says the word the contest will close and the five that are closest to the actual date will be deemed the winners. Your shirts will be sent shortly afterwards!

Any queries, issues, or abuse that this contest is just a shameless attempt to waste time before the expansion appears, tweet or mail me using my details on the Q&A Page.

So, enough chit-chat, let's get to it! Tweet away and I'll look forward to posting the first set of entries this time next week, which has been officially deemed Tuesday Contest Update Day :D

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let's Get Serious

Still not enough women rampaging and destroying. WORK ON IT.

The dust is beginning to settle. People are waking up to a normal day, a working week, and the understanding that, at some point early next year, we get an Expansion. Now the real work begins, not simply for the Blizzard Development Team. We know we're not going to get a 5.5 patch, but I'm going to put a small pile of gold we'll get a 5.4.2 with the much-anticipated-and-now-confirmed item squish and changes to stats so that people can get comfortable with the changes. It's time to make sure you're registered for beta access via Battle.net, and it's the right moment to start considering timeframes and realistic goals in anticipation of Warlords of Draenor.

For starters, I don't think it is unrealistic to expect a PTR up THIS WEEK for the Transition Patch.

We know Blizzard are notoriously vague on timescales, that Soon (TM) has become an in-joke, but what is apparent in the last year is that the gameplan has undoubtedly altered. Things come faster, patches are more meticulously planned, and everything is being streamlined to make it easier to roll out on shorter notice. That means they'll be off on the front foot as soon as doors open in Irvine this morning, and I don't expect anything less than a deluge of information and interactivity in the weeks that follow. What this means for us however won't be immediately clear, but we can start making some definitive decisions based on the information we have available. Perhaps the biggest significant impact will be on gear, gems and enchants for the Gold Makers amongst you... and there are knock-on effects via PvP, too.

For now, let's see if we can't give you some things to do while you wait.

As an idea to the timescales we're now playing with, the beginning of February is 12 WEEKS AWAY. With starting areas already available, and Blizzard confirming that all available resources are now working towards the Expansion, us players need to make some harsh choices. You'll get a FREE L90 as part of your upgrade package, so that's probably something you can decide now: whether you start from scratch with a class or race you've always fancied, or you pick an existing unlevelled character to lavish the love on. For me? I suspect it may well be my Monk that gets the nod: she's at 75 currently and I don't see myself getting the chance to crawl through all the content with her before things start going off, as it were.

This also means you'll have limited time to complete SoO as 'current' content, that Achievements in certain areas might demand your attention, and that you have limited time to use existing raw materials to make money for you to prepare for what's to come. It certainly doesn't look as if too much is going to vanish, but there is one place that is likely to change forever.



Time to get your Leeroy Achievement?


As Blizzard confirm in this post, Upper Blackrock Spire will be changing forever, and will be playing a key roll in the new Warlords storyline. That means that anything associated with the OLD instance is likely to vanish without trace, never to be seen again, and that could include any or all of the following:

  • Rare skins on boss drops
  • Patterns
  • Brilliant Chromatic Scales (*sniff*)
  • Finkle's Skinner
  • Pet taming possibilities
  • Anything you can think of I've missed

What's not yet clear is if Lower Blackrock will change too, which I would think *could* be a possibility, at least in terms of mobs and skins. Needless to say, if you don't have your Leeroy Achievement, I'd go get that ASAP, especially as we're not sure when a Transition Patch will be deployed.

I'd expect some major announcements this week: hang onto your hats as a result and be ready for anything!

TO BUILD A HOME: Where Do I Begin?


Graphic Acquired: Proceed to Stage Two

If you're a regular reader here you'll know that in my Great Big Plan to Overhaul Professions, I suggested a phased area with a crafting tower for all your professions needs. Well, Blizzard have gone along these lines with their new Expansion plans for Garrisons; it is what was, for many people, the Holy Grail in game: player housing. It utilises the phasing technology that farms currently use, but that's pretty much where the comparison ends. If what we've heard in the last two days is any indicator, this is a Mini-Game quite like any other you'll have played anywhere else, with elements from professions, battle pets, quests and so much more.

The Offical Blue Post on the US site gives us a basic taster of what we can expect:

'You’ll customize your Garrison’s layout, appearance, and gameplay effects, and attract followers to operate it. The Garrison allows World of Warcraft players to own a larger part of the world than ever before, and opens up a wide variety of interesting gameplay decisions—with as much or as little micromanagement as you wish. Your Garrison exists seamlessly in the world, but you won’t need to go into an instance portal to visit your home base—as you travel through Draenor, you’ll see your Garrison looming on the horizon.'

That means you can move it around, and it will always be available for you to access. There's a lot to do as well, with building to be built and improved, and levels of customisation that directly affect the usefulness of the structures. You'll be starting with four basic buildings:


  • Farm
  • Mine
  • Town Hall
  • Fishing shack

There are also 10 'small' buildings which directly correspond to each of the current primary professions:


  • Alchemy Lab
  • Enchanter's Study
  • Engineering Works
  • Jewelcrafting Gallery
  • Salvage Yard
  • Scribe's Office
  • Smithy
  • Storehouse
  • Tailoring Studio
  • The Tannery

What's not yet clear (from what I've seen at least) is if you can have multiple professions you don't currently possess operating in your garrison: the implication from one of the panels I heard suggests this is the case. Certainly the graphics I've seen show multiple professions buildings simultaneously: mind you, that graphic showed a Dance Studio, so this stuff may well be subject to change :D These buildings can be upgraded by blueprints that drop in the World, and their usage can change. Keep your fingers crossed this won't just mean specialisations for the professions that already have them, let's hope for some new ones too. These buildings can also have followers assigned to them: yes, you will become your very own Garrison Overseer this time around. Followers can be recruited from your own Garrison and (I suspect) will be wandering about in the game world waiting for you to pluck them from obscurity to come do your bidding. As your empire builds, so do your buildings: tiers of improvement, which bring greater rewards and abilities. It's your won mini-phased Empire, and it's going to be available for other people to come and visit.

Having learnt the biggest lesson from the Tillers Farm, this won't be summat you work on and only you can see. Friends can come too. You can all be Property Magnates together :D


Three levels of Barracks, we think. This is Human Alliance :D

I'd really hope these buildings will be race and faction specific, as Blizzard have the resources at their disposal to make that happen, and that should encourage people to have Garrisons for every race they play (BUILD MOAR STUFF DAMMIT) It's not just buildings however, you will have your mini-workforce at your disposal, and when they're not making stuff at the Garrison you can send them out on Missions. These are twofold: they provide you with raw materials to continue to improve your surroundings, but they might result in rewards for you, too. As you move from 90 to 100 your followers also gain levels, so you won't have to wait until you max level to start playing this 'game': one of the biggest criticisms I had of the Farms was they shut off after the initial round of quests to open them. Not so here, as you level, so does your population. Those missions also mirror the difficulty of content you encounter: quests, scenarios, instances and raids, with varying numbers of followers required and different timescales/rewards when they complete them.

In good news for Pet Lovers, you'll have a Pet Stable option. There's a Trading Post (AH & Bank access perhaps?) plus an Infirmary (which suggests followers could be injured whilst on missions and will need to be healed.) There's a Stable too (this is where Hunters get excited and maybe we get to choose our favourite pets to play outside) and an Inn where you will recruit further followers... Needless to say, like the Tillers farm, this is one feature we really need to get our hands on in Beta as a matter of urgency. The potential sounds fairly limitless, and the possibilities... well, I've played a few God Sims in my time, and in essence that's what this is, with elements of the Star Wars: The Old republic crafting interface thrown in for good measure.

Needless to say, this is going to be a mini-game that's going to make everyone forget their farms. It may also make them forget a lot more besides...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

World Shut Your Mouth

And you're calling ME grumpy?

I was going to have a day off.

No, I really was going to sit and play the game I love and let everything percolate around my brain so I can start making plans for the next few weeks over what I want to cover. What happens when I do?

No-one has a good word to say about everything, and frankly I've had enough.

We have a pitch-perfect first LFR boss in Gates of Retribution. I've never done this as well as we did either, no wipes at all, and the top 2 dps start dissing the group for not following the instructions they gave. LFR becomes Looking for the R Word I Will Not Type and I feel compelled to point out that actually, nobody died and everyone did well, better than I'd ever seen. Then after the Iron Juggernaut half the group left, and someone decided to pipe up how unfair it was that everybody leaves and we have to wait. I decide to point out that if the person concerned doesn't like this they're free to leave to or they could just be patient, because eventually another group will appear and we'll finish the instance. The problem is that people don't want to wait, and they're not prepared to be patient.

For this, I was called grumpy.

This stops NOW.

I'm not the grumpy one here. You are, all of you people who want all your loot with the minimum of effort, who complain when people don't do what you want or are dressed in a way you don't like or feel the need to be critical when you've opened your mouth and spouted a load of ridiculous drivel. YOU are the people who are moaning about a game that I still love after nine years and which I understand not only takes some work to play, but continued effort to play well. There is an incredibly simple solution to your issue if LFR or other people are causing you this amount of grief. The door is over there. Do everyone a favour and just go and cancel your subscription now because frankly you're not doing anyone any favours.

Oh, and if this is TL;DR for you? here's a simple version:


STOP BLOODY MOANING AND LEAVE IF YOU HATE THE GAME


If Blizzard's 2 days of game changes and ideas has annoyed you, either suck it up or off you go. Don't spend weeks on the forums moaning either: if you don't like something, come up with sensible and constructive reasons WHY you don't like it. Make a blog post, Hell make a Blog or a Twitter account and learn how to be constructive and succinct in 140 characters. Don't stand in trade and bemoan the end of all things, or go to MMO and tell everyone how much better things were before all of this, either STFU and leave or learn to live with progress.

No-one likes a moany dick. Yes that's deliberately sexist. You can moan about that if you like, but only if you're prepared to do so in an intelligent and rational fashion.

For everyone else, just nick off and let me enjoy the game I still love.