Friday, June 06, 2014

ALPHA :: Letters from Draenor


One of the things I singularly failed at in the Pandaria beta was the giving of actual feedback. I'm trying to correct that this time around and this morning I posted my first 'Letter from Draenor' to the Feedback Forums. I'm trying to take my own advice and concentrate on what I'm good at, so no in depth bug reports or theorycrafting here. I'll let my first post to the EU Forums in about a year do the talking, and stick some screenies in for good measure:

As requested, I'm bringing a bunch of observations to the table on Garrisons. I hope what I present is useful and the kind of feedback you are looking for. I also realise this isn't in the form of bug reports or screenshots. It is apparent this is a 'work in progress' and I don't need to point out bugs I'm pretty certain you're already well aware of. This post therefore, is about feelings and aesthetics :D
I have played through the Establishment/Level One transition a few times and after initially thinking the amount of time spent on this was acceptable, I feel that perhaps it doesn't really explain the benefits of the feature enough in the early stages to the player. If the initial modus operandi of the Garrison is to encourage people to build an outpost in this new land, I feel that there ought to be a little more 'encouragement' to make that feel less rushed and more natural. This needn't equate to more quests or 'groundwork' per se, but could be reflected in external dialogue between NPC's ('this is a good strategic spot for a base', 'we've scouted the area, resources here look capable of sustaining a presence') 

Someone wake that Peon up STAT!

I also realise we're missing what would be a key transitional phase between piles of wood and the L1 framework, but I'd like to see other raw materials appearing between handins. Maybe have a phase between killing Gronn and cutting down trees where we see metal from the ship arriving. Right now, for what is an important phase of the operation in engaging players, it all seems a bit rushed. If we are prepared to accept the process of the Garrison and level with it rather than simply rush off and do dungeons instead, a bit of patience at the start might not be a bad idea.
When we have the Garrison, things get really rather exciting for me. I'm very impressed with the layout and the thought that's been given to positioning. However, again the place needs a bit more flavour, even if we'll only be here for a few levels. I am aware that many of the NPC's placed will not as yet 'activate' until quests go live, but I was disappointed that there were not more 'interactions' of the kind that were popular in TBC. I'm thinking Lower City Traders talking to each other when I look at the vendors, with maybe a subplot 'story' that could develop as the Garrison grows. Peons and soldiers are great walking about, but could we not find an excuse to stick a travel plot in of the ilk of Old Emma in Stormwind? If this new technology allows workers to move from place to place, can it not be extended for NPC enrichment?

Of course, I do realise much of this may well be de rigeur in the L3 Garrison. What I think would be great is if the same level of detail happens from the moment you step into the structure, even if L1 and L2 won't be your final home when you reach 100.
What is abundantly apparent from where I'm sitting is the obvious effort and thought that's going into this feature, and that you're building it pretty much as I type. I'm looking forward to reaching 92 at the weekend and finally unlocking the Alchemy lab. I got my world drop breadcrumb item last night and I hope that I'll be able to advance the process of a professions building.
Thank you for what is a feature I am really genuinely very enthusiastic about indeed :D

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