Friday, April 11, 2014

To Build a Home :: Big Time

Oooh well will you look at that...

We discussed in a big old blog post earlier in the week how Garrisons are probably a far bigger thing than a lot of people are currently aware of. Well, some more evidence of that has emerged via the interviews done last week, especially with those lovely people at Convert to Raid. Wowhead were good enough to summarise for those of us on Easter Holidays with the kids and therefore with little free time, and although it's only five lines of text BOY WHAT A 5 LINES THEY ARE:

  • Garrisons will play a big natural role in the levelling experience.
  • There will be quest lines and "Choose Your Own Adventure" style chains that add to your Garrison.
  • Your Garrison choices will alter your quest flow for different zones as you level.
  • It'll be a natural part of the questing, not a grind like the 5.0 dailies.
  • You'll get your garrison as soon as you land on Draenor.

So, all you people who don't think Garrisons are the reason why we have no playable client? THINK AGAIN. Those five lines pretty much place the significance of the Garrison 'experience' front and centre, that they'll be largely indivisible from the entire 90-100 journey, and they mean (if point four is to be believed) this is where you'll spend your life once you're level capped. Point Two is pretty ambitious just on its own too, and if it works could pretty much redefine how the ENTIRE questing experience works in Warcraft, PERIOD.

My daughter still has these :D

For a long time there's been an argument with my lovely mate Mori (who works for a proper big gaming company that isn't Blizzard) about what was inherently wrong with the Quest experience in Warcraft. His answer was always the same: there's no variety. You do the same quest on six characters, it is ALWAYS the same. I agree too, and when 'interesting' quests appear like the money with menaces daily we get for the Tillers it's always a welcome diversion. However, to make a quest truly an experience, you need a choice of possible paths, as well and more than one conclusion. That's why I suspect the 'Choose your Own Adventure' books appear in Point Two: if that structure is going to be applied to Warcraft quests, then subsequently it will influence quest flow as a result and that's a MASSIVE change from times past. If they do it right, it won't be like anything you've ever seen in Warcraft ever before. It will be a true game changing experience.

This also could go a long way to explaining why there nothing to play right now either: if all of this wraps so tightly around the levelling experience, then we'll need to see how that works in tandem with the stuff that's already been done and dusted. This will also no doubt give the art department vital weeks to get those class models done and dusted, and might mean some other things we weren't automatically promised are given a look at too. Personally, now I've heard some actual depth to the Garrison concept, I'm quite happy to wait and see what we get, because if I wasn't excited before I am most certainly bouncing with anticipation now, based on the very real possibility that this aspect of the game is, actually, what the game is going to become. It might be a Garrison for Warlords, but for the NEXT Expansion it could be an Outpost, or a Research Facility, or any number of new ways of using this technology to make the game exciting and to re-invent what the game is about.

If this is Gaming evolution occurring as I watch, I for one am now more than willing to wait until it's done.


Jeppy ElJeppy said...

So do you believe the expansion in garrison significance occurred after Blizzcon?

Kamalia said...

How will the interrelationship between Garrisons and questing affect people who want to quest together? I always level my first character in tandem with my husband. If we make different Garrison choices, as I am sure that we will, will we find ourselves separated into different phases of a zone and unable to play together? Or will the Garrison-related questflow changes be mostly different sidequests and spontaneous events being available, with little to no effect on the main storyline of the zone?

Alternative Chat said...

@Jeppy My Supposition? About the time the Karazhan 'fiddling' was going on over on the PTR Server, Blizzard realised their file system wouldn't support what they needed it to do, forcing a massive rethink at their end, hence the delay we now have.

Alternative Chat said...

@ Kam: I think this could end up as a fairly serious issue if they've not considered the possibility questing isn't for many a 'solo' pursuit. All we can do now is wait and see what transpires.

Kamalia said...

With all the emphasis on being able to "play with your friends!" from the Boost To 90 and what not, I would hope that they already have and are considering that questing/leveling is not a solo pursuit for many people! But yeah, we'll just have to wait and see...