|Stuff it! We'll do TWO FEATURES THIS WEEK \o/|
This should be a telling couple of days for Garrison Fans.
On Saturday I had an interesting conversation on Twitter, in which I was told to be prepared for 'crushing disappointment' when this feature was released and it turns out to be... well, average. However, I'm thinking at this point that Blizzard already know just how significant a deal this version of Player Housing is going to be for the Community, otherwise I can't see us being given trailers like this from Community Managers:
The level of detail we're approaching with Warlords of Draenor means that these are going to be some-of-if-not-the-best looking sets, props and buildings ever seen in the World of Warcraft.
Somewhere there are people who won't have a clue what Garrisons are, undoubtedly, because it always the way that you fixate on a favourite feature of any particular new release that may have little or no relevance to someone else. However, this is a big deal, especially if it is as closely combined with the changed to Professions we now know are being actively worked on by Blizzard in anticipation (presumably) of the Beta release, whenever that may be (website's ready for pre-orders, natch.). If all else fails, your Garrison could end up as a viable alternative to sticking your Hearthstone in a Capital City, even if you don't do anything else with it:
|You knock them across, Son, I'll head them in...|
Even if my small patch of t'Internets isn't typical, Guildie reaction to Garrisons goes pretty much one of two ways, and then we find ourselves in familiar territory:
|Do do do do do do dooooo, do do do do dooooo....|
It looks like you'll either love them or hate them, and a fair deal of the popularity of this feature is likely to hinge on a number of crucial factors:
- How useful is my Garrison?
- How customisable is my Garrison?
- How can my Garrison make me money?
- How can my Garrison help me play the game?
- How will my Garrison affect my standing in the Community?
all of which, let's face it, have the potential to become pretty self-centred interests. I came up with five thoughts quickly based on the thought processes I see on Twitter of an average day, all of which are covered in game as we stand. You can re-arrange those as much as you like as well, I know many people who'll put the gold-making potential of the feature right up at the top of the pile, and with good reason. Blizzard may quite rationally be producing this feature and paying absolutely no mind to the potential money-making capacity it presents, but know this, others will not. Just like every other part of the game's 10 year history, someone is out there waiting to turn the quick buck. You shouldn't try and pretend it won't happen, or work on the assumption that people will simply take what they're given and not try and think outside the box. The only way you make this think have no interest to the Gold Makers is make it produce nothing of value, and I can't see that happening.
Don't say you weren't warned in advance.
The thing about being disappointed made me smile at the weekend, because ironically that's exactly what I got with Pandaria, but I didn't realise until it was too late. Anticipation is wonderfully subjective, yes, but it does give you the opportunity to consider options before they become set in stone. That's also the great thing about having a Blog, I can speculate to accumulate knowledge, to test the waters around me, to poll other people's opinions before we all get given the lowdown. As we discussed at the weekend, once you know what's at steak to make this feature happen, it's understandable that Blizzard won't divert key resources to make everything happen straight away, but if the feature is a success and keeps the subscription money flowing in, I'm absolutely positive they'll start giving people what they crave. We could have that microtransactions argument now or later, fact remains that as of now the feature is an unknown.
However, once we see each other again tomorrow with A TUESDAY EDITION of this feature to correspond with the artwork being released, I suspect a lot of people might have something new to say. It depends on what we're going to be given, and until it's live we won't know. Needless to say, the next week should make for interesting blogging...