Friday, May 09, 2014

To Build a Home :: A Musical Joke

Two weeks since an Update. See below.

It has gone suspiciously quiet on the Garrisons 'new information' front. With the exception of a couple of developer tweets, there's been a conspicuous lack of data for us to look at of late, but that's actually not a surprise when you consider what's already been made widely available for analysis. The foundations and basic structure of the feature are established in the Alpha Client, but what clearly lacks is the content. That's going to take time to actually produce, probably many, many weeks. It is easy to forget that normally we're playing the game and not noticing the development process as it happens. This time around the process itself is very obvious. We just can't see the result. At least, not yet.

That's sanitation covered :D

What was very apparent when the Alpha initially appeared was the complete lack of any actual playable content linked to the concept. Considering how important we are now told the Garrison will be in your levelling experience (but remember, it's not mandatory to your playstyle, simply to the fabric of the game's construction this time around) it was always going to be a bit difficult to release a workable client without all the Garrisons stuff actually in place. What wasn't clear initially, but appears to increasingly possible, is that this feature may well have only been in the planning stage at Blizzcon. All those screenshots? It's not beyond the realms of possibility that these were just mockups of what the designers were hoping would be a final product. It's not unusual in certain circles to do this anyway, advertise things that don't exist as a way to gauge the feasibility of their production. There's many an April Fool's gadget that's begun its life that way...

Buzzfeed brings the imaginary goods to the yard. Go take a look.

As we note at the top of this article, it's been two weeks since we've seen an Alpha Client update. Blizzard seemed keen this week to make some important changes on the PTR, presumably to keep people engaged with the Legendary Quest whilst they continue to develop this feature. The longer we wait for new information the more obvious it becomes how much of a work in progress this entire endeavour has become. With one million units sold the clock is most definitely ticking for Blizzard: they have to come up with the goods, but the only timescale is that they'll have it on the table by (at the latest) December this year. That's still seven months away. A lot can happen in half a year...


However, I'll be unable to play for a week in late May. Don't worry, you'll still get Blog content, I'll just not be able to access a machine with a working copy of the game. That should pretty much guarantee that HUGE MAJOR THINGS will happen in that week. Until it does however, feel free like @FlyDraenei to blame me for the lack of actual news... :D

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