Friday, May 16, 2014

To Build a Home :: Long Time Coming

We know ...

With the minimum of fuss, Blizzard finally admitted on Thursday that the Alpha for Warlords has been delayed.

That's that, then.

Although Zarhym doesn't go into detailed reasoning or explanation as to why, the brief rationale he does give for when at least has a resonance of truth: knowing the data would leak eventually, it made sense to get everything out in the open at the time. As to when this happened, some might argue that getting the announcement out the same day the Elder Scrolls Online launched was simply a co-incidence. If an Alpha with more general participation launches Tuesday June 3rd to coincide with the Wildstar release, those people will again have nothing to substantiate their beliefs except Blizzard's innate sense of timing. I'm pretty certain however I can provide at least one solid reason why we have no Alpha Client, and I'm going to quietly assert its got very little to do with 'polish.'

It has, however, EVERYTHING to do with your Garrison.

If looks could kill...

When these screenies appeared at Pax East last month, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Garrison was almost ready to roll. The truth in the Alpha Client however told a starkly different story: there is data, of course, but not nearly at the scale many people were expecting (myself included.) If this was going to be the framework around which your entire levelling experience from 90-100 could be hung if you so desired, there was worryingly little actual meat on the bones, at least not at the level we were told we could expect. Only a few missions existed, and about the same number of related Garrisons quests. What was quickly apparent was that it simply wasn't finished, and what the designers needed was time to do so.

It has now been six weeks since the initial Alpha Client was released. One assumes therefore that when Zarhym says 'soon' that cannot be too long away (I'm still betting it'll drop when I'm on holiday in 10 days and NOT early June, but it's still too close to call right now.) However, no-one in their right mind is going to stand up and say the reason they're not testing something is because they've not finished it, because DUH. So, your Garrisons are getting polished, by a team of world-renounced French specialists and by the time they're finished your home from home will be so shiny you'll be able to see your face in it.

Needless to say, if you wonder why we're not playing Alpha right now, I suspect it has a lot to do with many things. Polish is one thing, lack of Garrisons data is another. However, what we do know, is when we'll finally get to play with this new feature at first hand.

Soon (TM)

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