Saturday, July 05, 2014

BETA :: Friends Like These

Yesterday was an important and significant step forward for the Garrison.

Strong Female Role Models? CHECK.

I managed to a) have enough time to play and b) finish a quest sequence that rewarded me with an interesting and pretty much new choice for a Blizzard game: Choose Your Follower. Three Draenei, two female (/nods) who are, from left to right, fulfilling vastly different roles. I picked Andren purely on spec (ENGINEER): the woman to his right is a Rogue, to his left is a Tank. It is increasingly apparent that your Missions will involve players grasping the significance of the Holy Trinity (especially one assumes in five mans when they become an option.) I have my Alchemy Lab built too, and so (crossing everything) once I've done enough levelling I might, just *might* be able to progress to the Level Two structure. Excited doesn't even begin to cut it, frankly.


There were awful issues yesterday with instancing, which is how the Garrison is placed on your Starting Area, meaning that for large periods of time it was impossible to access any content. However, little by little I am beginning to fill in the gaps and work out how the experience being constructed. What is probably the biggest barrier to progression so far is the fact that the 'professions' model isn't either complete or working the way it ought to, and that is the case for every branch.


I grabbed this off a random mob while questing, but I cannot use it because, according to the game, my Alchemy skill is too low (/facepalm) and I've been told this is the same for other people with Professions skills who have received similar items specific to their particular talents. There's the Independence Weekend happening in the US so I'd not expect any kind of bug addressing until well into next week, but it is entirely possible this item is deliberately bugged. I'll keep trying to use it and see where we are as the builds progress.


I've been noticing a few things as I've been going along this last week. Firstly, the sense of deja-vu in some questlines is worryingly strong: one in particular (no, not saying which) took me right back to Hellfire Peninsula, which I am assuming is very much a deliberate move on Blizzard's part. Knowing the land you're working and questing in is also something of an advantage, and the use of familiarity as a gaming mechanic is quite useful. In fact, I suspect as time goes on I'll end up getting Outland and Draenor confused, such is the overlap between areas. Secondly, there are some fairly overt and (I suspect) deliberate references to people stargazing, including this Telescope, which sadly isn't functional (and it really should be.) I'm sure it can't be a co-incidence that an NPC makes a deliberate reference to this and I then find this set dressing about ten minutes later. WATCH THE SKIES!

Needless to say, things are looking very interesting indeed. Time to fire up the Client...

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