Monday, July 21, 2014

BETA: Notes from a Small Island :: 21/07

To say the Beta was frustrating this weekend is something of an understatement. However, a great deal has been done, and even more has been explored. Also, many things are not doing as they should.

Latest sensation, sweeping the nation.

I dragon surfed my way from Shadowmoon to Gorgrond as soon as I unlocked the quest inside my Garrison to do so at 92. However, I didn't stay. I'm nowhere close to completing the Shadowmoon portion of questing and that was my priority, but I wanted to go take a look at what the new zone looks like. I am a bit concerned at what I saw on the trip.

Needs more texture.

Yes, I KNOW this is Beta and stuff isn't done, I get that we're only allowed access to certain places and I also understand that part of the main artwork team's recovering from a hand injury. All that in consideration, this stuff looks like it needs work. A LOT of it. That actually unsettled me quite a bit and made me realise just how I've gotten used to the finished product over the years NOT looking like its partway through the rendering process. It also gave me some pause for thought on just how much isn't done with it being quite some time since we had any new content. I'd really like to see this when it's actually finished. They should probably remember to delete those as well.


However, as we have already discussed today, we're not here for the looks, we're here for the game-play, and I have to say I'm very, VERY impressed with how Shadowmoon has shaped up in terms of plot progression. There are some real signs of interest and I've not played through any set of quests thus far I've not enjoyed. The frustration comes, inevitably, when I try and complete something and the game breaks, which (in the case of a certain area) means that for two days I've not been able to complete a fairly important sequence and recruit a Follower. However, on that front in other places I am enjoying HUGE amounts of success and satisfaction.


As long as they keep adding missions and we get new Followers, I *love* this system. I enjoy levelling people, I'm not bothered I don't get a reward every time. I'd like to know what Blizzard are planning to offer once you cap XP for everybody. I'd like to suggest tokens that can be exchanged for purchasing items for your Garrison [*], or maybe a 'Loyalty Card' system that will allow you to exchange Mission 'rewards' for a selection of Battle Pets or Mounts.

Frankly, I'd play Warlords at this point just for the Garrison. It's not a RTS game yet, that bit is yet to be added, but as it stands just now I have my own 'home' in the game for the first time in a decade. Everything else, at least at this stage, is gravy. If it continues to be this good, I don't care if I have to learn to defend it. It'll be worth the effort.


[*] Carpets, chairs, sun loungers, BBQ equipment, Food Items, Classic Props, Construction Signs (when redeveloping areas), Gazebos, stuff for RP people, Trees, plants, shrubs, GIANT ROBOTS, Pictures, DIY construction kits, Tickets to Daisyworld, Portable things and anything else I can think of that makes the Garrison MOAR AWESOME.

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