Friday, March 07, 2014

To Build a Home :: Showroom Dummies

Someone asked about Garrisons on the Press Tour!

We might not have the first clue yet about Professions changes (they're not ready yet) or bag space reduction in the Expansion, but thanks to those fabulous people at the Yogscast, a whole heap of new information fell out on Garrisons earlier this week. Let's use MMO's transcript of the interview as a starting point, and walk through what we learnt:

  • Garrisons should give you access to portions of other professions without making the people that actually have the profession useless.

This is a HUGE admission that Professions are undoubtedly tied to the Garrison setup, and are not simply being used as cosmetic set-dressing for your housing. As to what this statement actually means, however... well, there are a couple of immediate possibilities that spring to mind. The first one is that your mine will only produce ore to make buildings, your skinner only clean hides to use in construction... and so on. Professions will be utilised, but only as a means to advance your buildings. However, the statement up there clearly specifies 'access to portions of other professions': maybe patterns will be specially obtainable or added to the existing recipe books to allow players to 'pretend' they're actually being a Scribe but these patterns will have some cosmetic use without the existing professions suffering. Have I said this week yet that we could really use a beta client? [*]

  • The mounts in your garrison's stable will be mounts that you own, based on the ones that you use the most.
Most used mount EU.

Aha! The Garrison is tapping into 'most used' stats. This might be something you'll want to start bearing in mind, especially if you wish to seed your space with colour co-ordinated mounts or just Hyppogryffs. JUST SAYING.

  • Garrisons have a new NPC AI system that allows NPCs to behave less like the scripted NPCs we have now. 

    For example, the Blacksmith could wake up and go to work, work at his forge and become thirsty, eventually taking a break and going to the tavern, and then finally going back to the barracks to sleep. 
    This improved AI was made necessary when the team decided to allow players to select where they place buildings in their garrison, making it impossible to pre-script and pre-place all of the NPC interactions.

    This system might be used with NPCs in cities and other places in the future.

We approve of our new UI scripted Overlords.

This little admission should make many people unreasonably excited, because if this AI works, the 'static' nature of every NPC in every city could one day change for the better. There's long been a push for more dynamic interaction of characters with players, and if the Garrisons do one thing to change the landscape of the game we play in, then this could well be it. If it works, it'll be GENIUS. We're making the Dev's really earn their pennies this time around, and that suits me just fine. Let's just hope the Blacksmith's not like me and forgets the last place he left his hammer. Programming UI to look down the back of the sofa could be pretty time consuming...

  • The location of buildings in your garrison is mostly for personal choice, as the gameplay element of garrisons is selecting which buildings you want for your limited plots.

Whether you can build your Garrison to match in exact geographical detail the height of Rome in its decadence is, as yet, unconfirmed. Chances are there'll be a set number of places you can stick them, because that's how Blizzard tend to work. If they don't watch someone trying to place one building on top of each other to re-enact The Towering Inferno. STEVE McQUEEN WILL NOT SAVE YOU PUNY MORTALS.

  • The team is aware of the problem with the farm in Mists of Pandaria and doesn't want players to feel the need to have garrisons on their alts just to funnel resources to their main.


We get the point, and it isn't just people using alts to keep their main in Raid Food. The whole Tillers thing is great, don't get me wrong, but it's horribly time-dependant, and in an Expansion which was supposed to remove the grind by shelving Dailies... perhaps not the most efficient of means to do so. Garrisons won't be a place to have to use, is this the point of this aside, we wonder? Or will it be that actually, in the greater scheme of things we won't have to worry about making money with a Garrison? Who can tell...

  • Players will want to check in with their garrison once per play session, maybe when they log in or out. It won't be a place to idle like cities currently are, as there is no auction house or bank.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have confirmation Blizzard won't be sticking either of the two main gold-making and crafting backdrops into the Garrison setup. Bankalts across Azeroth can celebrate that their jobs are secured, we'll still need their comedy outfits and Royal Satchels to do the legwork for us. What's not yet clear is if there will be a mailbox at your Garrison (remind me to ask Mumper when the US is working again) which would be even more significant still in the general scheme of things. 


There's a lot to think about here, and this is the most detail anyone's gone into thus far with the feature. Needless to say, we're hoping it won't be the last we hear of what's in store before the beta hits. About those Dev Watercooler events, guys...?

[*] Having said that, I'd not expect the Garrison to be available until quite late in the beta cycle anyway because a) so new b) much things c) many work ^^


dobablo said...

"Let's just hope the Blacksmith's not like me and forgets the last place he left his hammer."

Players will want to check in with their garrison once per play session

Ambient quests ahoy!
"Excuse me oh garrison overlord, but I appear to have lost my hammer. Please could you find it/make me a new one so that I may do stuff for the next 24 hour period."

"Your dog has dug up a random tool. Perhaps you should take it round to all your buildings to see if any of your profession dudes could use it."

"My son Jimmy has forgotten his packed lunch. Please could you deliver it too him. He looks exactly like all the other peons that are wandering around your construction site."

marathal said...

If I recall also there may be times that pesky blacksmith goes and gets him/her self captured and we will need to mount a rescue, in dungeon/raid/scenario????

Bartosz Szafarz said...

As far as I remember from Blizzcon, the professions in the Garrisons will be real, producing real mats and items, not just garrison-exclusive ones. They said mine will produce actual nodes and we know that the Missions will result in getting actual gear for your char. I guess they will just be less efficient - learning new recipes will take more time, maybe crafting cast time will be like days instead of a few seconds (offline progression), there will only be a few nodes just like in farm. It's supposed to be Tillers on steroids after all.

I never understood this compulsion to get everything and stuff. You're setting yourself up for bad experience this way: WoW is designed to be more than a single person can handle so that there's always something to do. You can't get avery spec/race combination to max lvl, gear it up cutting edge, get all the mounts and achievements, have millions of gold at the same time. I never fell for it, I have a farm on my main and two alts and I use them every once in a while, but not everyday on every character.

People need to master the art of choosing what to (not) do. And the art of considering *time* as an actual real resource. And don't blame the game for their own faults. I know the game is supposed to be an escape for some, but you can only escape so far. And especially MMOs are games which have far more ties to real life than others. Unfortunately - or fortunately. I think, fortunately, makes it much more worthwile.