Saturday, July 19, 2014


Aaaand breathe :D

In an attempt to restore the 'Fun' into my gametime in this quite long, fallow period, I have returned to a mainstay of historical interest. This week, as a result, I now have 17000 Achievement Points.

Even though the PvP playtime I managed was woeful, I was able to pick the two achievements up in the same game. I declined a spot on Progression last night (well done Guild for killing Blackfuse in Flex) and started Felwood. About thirty minutes ago I finished 1000 Needles. The sense of satisfaction is actually considerable as that means there is no more to do in the Old World at all. It also means I should have sufficient pieces of 'Sundering' Mail Armour from the 1-60 rewards to make up a complete Transmog for P. I have a bag of bits to sort out after I've written this, but I'm tempted to wear something as a 'celebration' of finally knocking this off for the run up to the Pre-Expansion Patch.

I'd like to thank Wowhead for helping me by the means of their Character Planner tool, I'm grateful I was able to do this WITHOUT Archaeology (though that is next on the list) and it means I'm into a whole new number in my search for TOP QUALITY POINTAGE.

It's a Firestarter. Jaina's Firestarter (hey, hey, hey!)

Part of me is really sad more people didn't embrace the redesign Blizzard instigated during Cataclysm for the 1-60 content. Both Felwood and 1000 Needles are great examples of new stories in old spaces, even if some of the time I found myself thrown back to Vanilla (especially when looting corpses underwater in the latter zone.) I also realised just how trivial content becomes, regardless of level, when you throw flying into the mix. I'm not just talking about travel times (which are stupidly small) but the ability to avoid all killing completely in many cases by simply swooping in, 'acquiring' your Quest items and moving on. It is a salutatory reminder to anyone who thinks that flying as a mechanic isn't capable of completely altering the landscape of an Expansion, because it really can. Having said all that, of course, the convenience it brings is pretty much without question.

One Woman (Wyvern) Army.

It has been quite liberating playing in a space that doesn't crash every ten minutes, where I'm not expected to perform to the best standard I can, and where the green drops I have could be worth four figures at current AH prices (I had THREE bits of Tyrants Armour drop within 10 minutes of each other) It is easy to forget that current content isn't ever all there is in Azeroth, and when there is no pressure to level and only your own expectations to consider, things take on a fairly relaxed pace. After all, I didn't come here to try and grind a mount that is a difficult drop, or to do a complicated achievement sequence. I just came here to Quest, and on its simplest level that still remains for me one of the most consistently enjoyable parts of this game's allure. THIS is where I find fun, and as long as remains true I'm not going anywhere.

Illidan v Arthas IN FELWOOD :O WHO KNEW? ^^

Of course, what this does mean is that the number of achievements I can grab alone is becoming rapidly smaller. There may need to be actual plannage as a result in order to make my way to 18000.

I'll get on that right now.

Friday, July 18, 2014

BETA :: Notes from a Small Island :: 18/07

This latest build of the game has opened up Ashran on the PvP only servers deployed for this purpose. I don't have enough time to test the NORMAL PvE servers currently, let alone get myself thrown into this side of things, but there are a couple of things to note at this juncture in the interests of full disclosure:


Season One PvP Gear looks UNBELIEVABLY good for Hunters. Minimalist, elegantly co-ordinated and frankly UTTERLY KICKASS. You don't need all that fiddly gubbins with accents and decoration, really, this is the stuff. Maybe, just maybe, I found a justification for grinding stuff for PvP after all. Well done, Blizzard. WELL DONE.

This gear's composition has also sparked some lively debate. This is the DEFAULT Hunter set I was given on rolling a 100, and yes, it's just like TBC all over again insofar as this gear has Intellect on it. Yes, that stat is greyed out too and that means this set is good for any flavour of mail wearer, ofc I'm not utilising this stat so the game ignores it on me. There's two sides to this change: if you happen to be the only mail wearer in a 10 Man Normal and Shaman Mail drops, you can at least use it for the iLevel. On the flip side, this will promote more people rolling Need on Hunter gear and THAT JUST AINT RIGHT GURL. Everybody knows its our job to roll Need. Let's see how this one works out in a year, shall we?

PS: PvP iLevel is gonna be a HUGE thing, especially in places like Ashran. This isn't going to mean I can use one set of gear for everything. Better make some space for a PvP set, then ^^


Logging on for the first time to the PvE Server today, a number of things jumped out at me:

1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's made that typo :P

2. We get a new splash screen for the Adventure Journal. See, they spelt it right there ^^

A tooltip was added to alert players that your 'main' bag now has an option for 'cleanup' (that is to organise everything and to maximise for space. All bags that are not your 16 slot 'Backpack' also have this option, where you can specify (in general terms) what items are placed in them. I don't have any bags in my bank as yet, so I can't tell you if this extends to banking, but I'm going to guess it does. Also, the Toybox has had another 5 items added to it. No, I'm not going to work out what they are.

What I will try and do though is to finally get myself to 92 so I can get some more Garrisons gubbins done... :D

BETA :: To Build a Home :: Main Offender

You win this round, Beta Server!

There's a new Beta Build (18566 for those counting.) Many things are fixed, but one thing remains a rather depressing constant:


Your Garrison is effectively instanced content. You don't see a loading screen, and the process of 'transferring' between it and Shadowmoon is supposed to be seamless. Except, ever since the first iteration of Alpha and the Horde base, it hasn't been. There's always been an issue involving the movement in and out of it on foot. Flying isn't nearly as much of  a problem, but after the hour it took this morning to get out of my Garrison and set my Hearthstone somewhere else I proved this point and wondered why the Hell I didn't do this sooner. Needless to say I had planned to get to 92 before I wrote this post, and I'm still 91. Ho hum.

However, I come with many nuggets of news on how 18566 has changed the Garrison Experience. Let's start with the changes to Missions:

NOT Six? :O

For many, MANY builds the Mission Report has been incorrectly reporting the number of completed events. Not only is it now accurate, but we have some important changes to the interface itself.

64%, you say? /waggles hand

All your Missions, as you select Followers to complete them in the relevant screen, will now report the percentage chance of success if you use a particular member of your personal army. You can 'drag and drop' every member and check the best chances if you can't work out which abilities counter each threat too, so don't worry. For the first time of asking this morning I logged on to find the number of missions I had actually exceeded the number of followers I possess. Even more satisfyingly, whenever you level a follower, they get their own Mini-Ding animation. This pleases me a GREAT deal, though I am sad I will never see Archmage Vargoth get the golden glamour in this Expansion :(


This means looking at your Garrison Report can now be quite a worthwhile experience :D You'll find it attached to your minimap, and it lists everything currently 'in progress' inside the structure:

As you can see, I've done a Transmute, there are two missions on the go and YES I BOUGHT THE PATTERN FOR A STOREHOUSE:

Yes, I built it there!

I decided on the Storehouse not simply because I don't have another readily fuellable profession to stick in its place: as you can see by the details this Building will be granting me bank and Void Storage access without the need to visit a Capital City, which while levelling would be a considerable diversion. Plus this will allow me to produce more Work Orders in the subsequent Buildings I place. You'll also notice that the Fishing Shack has vanished as an unlockable. It may well return at 92, but for now I only have the Mine and the Herb Garden to consider.

The Herb Garden has gained a Night Elf NPC, and an interesting yellow intractable box labelled as shown. Although you can do nothing with it of now, I'd bet that this will link into the Trading Post once it is active.

There's also an interesting change in the Plots menu away from the deliberate removal of some unlockable content:

Making things easier.

Clicking on an empty plot will now call up the list of available buildings you can fill it with. Also, it is now possible to allocate a follower to the Alchemy Lab, and (if you can find the plans and unlock the building) it is ready to upgrade when you secure the required number of Garrison Resources:

That's a lot of changes and I've only scratched the surface of the new Build in a couple of hours. I'll be summarising all of this on the Garrisons Blog, and watch out for me talking about this feature LIVE at the weekend on 8BitBruce's Podcast! More details at the weekend, but if you wanna hear me ramble, I'll be doing just that!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wish You Were Here

Perspective as humour, discuss.

I often like to pass comment on current news items, and this week's been a real eye-opener in terms of a topic that's become contentious in my game as well as in other places: diversity. Earlier this week, Marvel decided that Thor's tenure as Norse God in Residence was up for negotiation, and in what is already shaping up to be a master-stroke will be handing the hammer over to a woman. YES, A WOMAN. Just so we're clear: NO, this does not mean they're altering Norse Mythology, simply their own canonical version, where Thor has already been a horse, and a frog. After that, being a woman shouldn't be a stretch, but the whining OH THE WHINING is still going on. Again, just so we are clear: Marvel's VERSION OF CANON, their rulez, they can do what the heck they like because they invented Thor in Comic Books. Late last night US time the company also announced the first officially sanctioned African American Captain America. Needless to say, I think the Market Research Marvel have done on this is sending some EXTREMELY interesting signals through the ether.

Yes. THIS. Because Diversity is... well, diverse.

The clock appears to be ticking for anyone who thinks that the issue of diversity in 'geek' culture isn't either relevant or powerful, and we're not simply talking about comics bought or merchandised purchased. 'Traditional' values (whatever the Hell they actually are) are all well and good, but as your society evolves over time it becomes increasingly important to accept that everything has a relevance, even if it is something you can't personally ascribe to. I kopped flack this week for suggesting those who complain about such changes need to 'grow up' and I'm sticking by that line quite vehemently: there is a distinct lack of maturity in a great many people's outlook currently, and it is very depressing indeed. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to demonstrate you are willing to show you both understand and grasp opposing points of view first before you dismiss them. Needless to say, when it comes to Blizzard's take on the subject of diversity, it is hard to accurately gauge the landscape across all the titles they produce. There are no clear opportunities to 'showcase' a particular NPC in an obviously 'diverse' manner in the manner Marvel has, plus Azeroth is a very long way from the 'modern' world: as has been discussed here before, their latest major Expansion wasn't really waving the diversity flag from the word go.

Saved on my PC as 'nowomen.jpg'. GO FIGURE.

There's been a lot of argument since announcement of the 'all male' lineup of Warlords at Blizzcon, and if we use the Marvel Canon argument that we have above, all of it is remarkably justified. When you're guys making games it is easy to cast characters in your own 'image' and when your Expansion is returning a bunch of characters from an old game you made... well, it makes a lot of sense to not 'update' your backdrops or characters. This is where understanding the context of situations becomes important, and speaking with my writers hat on it is far easier to invent something you can identify with and that has your passion injected into it if you are able to present your audience with something that is convincing for you as content producers to create. All our Warlords have rich, complex back-stories, and that's because they were 'built' with obvious passion and commitment. Is it a problem the people that did that job them are all men? Should it even be an issue that you need to 'identify' with any of them on a gender level if the story is well-produced and the entertainment value that is derived from them is satisfying?

The bigger issue, I think, isn't just diversity in terms of race or gender preference. I think it is the job of creativity, in whatever field we happen to be considering, not simply to reflect the one person who creates that content. For it to be grasped by the majority there needs to be a bigger stage, a larger backdrop, and for it to gain more relevance there needs to be the understanding of the complexity the human race brings to the table in absolutely everything it is involved in. Ultimately, stories that are set in very insular circumstances succeed because people are able to grasp an affinity in the telling that mirrors their own struggles with the human condition. Shakespeare, as an example, maintains a relevance because the stories he told were universal themes on the emotional problems that plagued and created beauty in people's lives in the 16th Century, and remain relevant today. To make things really count you need to NOT focus on the faces or the names, but the feelings and the consequences, but to do that you need to engage an audience first, and absolutely the best way of doing THAT in the modern world is using the right image.

For a company who prides itself on visuals, Blizzard really has missed a trick or two in the last year.


I think, like a fair few woman I know who play games, the sex of my protagonists isn't the end of the world. After all, I've lived through decades of gaming when female heroes weren't anything close to the norm... but if I'm honest I'd not pick my games on the strength of their protagonists. I'd go for stories and good gameplay and the ability to get lost in a good piece of work. However, it is definitely pleasing for me to be able to run my (still) all-female team through Missions in the Garrison in Beta. I don't know if its wish fulfilment, or simply a case of just feeling more comfortable that I am at least catered for now in terms of choice. In the end, I suppose, it would just be nice to be asked what I'd like a bit more and to be offered the option to specify rather than be presented with what I get. In the end, I think that for a lot of people that's all diversity is for them, the power back into their hands and decisions not being made by somebody else.

If Marvel can justify their choices, that's all that really matters. I wonder if the same can be said of Blizzard.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alternative Chat :: Episode 30 ::
(Welcome to the) Hotel World of Warcraft

What a nice surprise!

We've hit 30 episodes (though there's probably more but we stopped keeping accurate records somewhere in the teens) and as a result there's going to go for a bit of a change of online 'format': to match the Blog's trend of song titling it's way to greatness (Thanks Bob!) we're gonna do the same with the Podcast. This time around, it's the 1977 classic from the Eagles. The relevance will become clear as we go along, honest.

This Week, I am Discussing:
  • Being a Comedy Raider and getting pissed off at Moaners.
  • What you can do to prepare for the Expansion.
  • Realistic goals and attainable rewards.
  • Putting your Toons 'to bed' for the expansion.
  • 25 Dailies? Yes I still do it!
  • Garrisons 101 is all about how we got tons of patches and everything went HIGH DEF.

Contacting the Show:


alternativegodmother (at) gmail (dot) com

Social Media Gubbins:

@AlternativeChat on Twitter on Facebook

Other Notes:

The link to my 'Instant Bags for No Dosh' post is here.


As a reminder: nothing next week, then TWO WEEKS OF SUMMER HOMEWORK, then away again until September. See the previous Blog Post for more details.

Black Hole Sun

When you put it like that...

I don't need to lament the stupidity of the RNG in this Parish. If you wanted a better example of how the game likes to screw with people's desires, then you're unlikely to find a more damning one than this. The fact that our poster (/waves at @alaphnull) uses real life as the most disturbing of contexts just makes the futility of the RNG roll even more obvious. However, this post isn't just about not getting what you want, at least not today. We will be using the RNG as an example of a bigger issue inside gaming specifically and with people in particular, an issue that designers are all too aware of and I think people often forget in the focus for what they believe they are actually playing for.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm here today to discuss the notion of 'fun' in your online MMO experiences.

What, you're removing them all completely? /SARCASM

One of my oldest Guild friends made a telling comment on the 'serious' blog post about raiding yesterday: she added a 'point zero' as follows: 'Have a lot of fun.' I'd not even considered the f-word in the context of that post, because (I'll be honest) I don't tend to view raiding in that manner, and pretty much have stopped doing that since large parts ceased to be be optional content for me. [*] In fact, 'fun' is such a generic word it can be a bit difficult to adequately quantify without more context than you can shake a large wooden implement at. For instance, there are those who would argue that the only way Holiday Events become fun is when Blizzard remove the mandatory PvP from the equation. Of course, that's only one small part of a larger whole, but as our RNG woe demonstrates, it only takes one thing not going your way to change an outlook.

Then it boils down to what players actually define as fun to begin with:

Plenty of words to play with there.

Gaming is supposed to be all about the Noun: amusement, entertainment and often the creation of the shared group experience as a way to help solidify a bond of joint attainment. What it *should* be is satisfying are those bits of your brain that get pleasure from a good book, a great song or a fabulous piece of art. More and more however, people maintain you're getting the same kind of pleasure when gaming as you would from addictive substances, and that's frankly bad. There's going to be a LOT of research on this in the next ten years, and a great deal of debate about what gaming does (or doesn't) do to people's brains. The bigger problem is that actually Gaming SHOULDN'T be about the noun for fun, it should be far more adjectival in what it sets out to achieve, and suddenly we're back in context definition territory.

There is a VERY fine line in most cases between HAVING fun and something BEING fun, and building that in a design context is actually quite complicated. If we take Pet Battles as an example of this, frustration will come into play in some fights where the RNG is used but if you didn't use a random option, everything would end up as being so horribly predictable that every fight could (and would) be laid out with such ease that the only fun you could reasonably derive was laughing at your foes as you crushed them all with 100% certainty. Life proves that, after a while, even this gets boring. You don't want people 'winning' in a game like Warcraft and simply wandering off, that's much of the entire point of being here to begin with. So the RNG is added to ensure you root a player in the need for repetition. However, even the designers have admitted this only works to a point, and giving all gear a use to the majority of players in Warlords is a really sensible idea to counter the 'gestation period of a human and STILL no item' argument that is anything but peculiar to @alaphnull.

For the rest of us, however, fun's a tricky beast. Finding the best way to deliver it, at least for game designers, is a bit of a hit or miss affair.


I don't think anyone will argue that Holiday Events could do with an overhaul. Doing the same thing every year isn't fun, and in the case of 'School of Hard Knocks' forcing players to have to PvP was NEVER going to end well. Making events like this an interesting diversion from normal play is far more preferable, in the same way that the Darkmoon Faire allows a monthly distraction with useful things for players to use (should probably work on some new prizes there as well Blizzard.) Removing the RNG would not be fun either, despite what anyone might tell you. However, having the guarantee of items so you won't feel you're hindering a team makes your experience a lot MORE fun, because it stops being about a gameplay issue serving as restriction. Optimally geared means no need to worry about your teammates having to carry you, it is down to things you can control as a person and not about loot limitations in-game. That matters a very great deal.

Then we can just worry about where you're deriving your fun, and if you're still not enjoying everything it could well be that it isn't the game's fault to begin with. The problem could be somewhere else entirely.

My fun currently? NYI :P

I realised last night that I'm gaining most of my fun from Warcraft in a feature we don't have on Live at all. That makes focussing on what needs to be done in 5.4.7 a bit tricky, but I've done a Podcast this morning as an exercise in helping both you and me shift some emphasis on what matters in the weeks that follow. You'll see that shortly (once I've edited it) and hopefully, I can convince everyone that clearing out your bank and selling things to make money come the Expansion is also a 'fun' task and not an utter chore.

Enjoyment is a horribly subjective topic. What I think we can all agree on however is the understanding that whatever you do, however you do it, if it makes you happy that is really all that matters in the end. There should be far more respect for this position than there already is, and considerably less whining when fun becomes a chore.

The impetus for change, after all, starts with YOU.


[*] Being a GM has done a great deal to completely destroy the notion of 'fun' in a large number of things I do in game. There's a blog post in there too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Big Time

Awards are relative.

Late last week, I was contacted by a long-term reader of my Blog, with a simple question: she was debating what she would like to see her Guild improve in their pursuit of progression, and was trying to identify what was hindering the team she is a part of in general. I will admit, at first I wondered if I'd be in a position to answer her question at all, because I'm never been involved in Hardcore Progression, since it became the top tier of achievement. In fact, let's be honest here:

I may not be on the bleeding edge, but I think I know a bit about people. I'm also pretty certain that the only reason the best teams 'win' isn't about a brilliant individual performance each time. It's about every one of your 'group' understanding that the only way it ever works, in the end, is if THE TEAM turns up. Just ask the Germans after Sunday night's World Cup Final.

One day. Maybe.

That's why, at least in my mind, the England Football Squad has failed to bring home the World Cup since 1966. Too many leaders, not enough team players, and a lack of individual motivation to achieve a common goal, which is odd. You see, playing for your National Side should be the pinnacle of individual sporting achievement, but more often than not what motivates footballers and many sportsmen generally isn't the Three Lions on their Shirts. It's the wage packet at the end of their working week outside major international competitions. When driven by money, anything becomes far more attractive. For someone who's never made a penny from this website, I can tell you actually that's bollocks. If you want something enough (writing), NOTHING matters except that ultimate goal (doing just that.). Therefore, if we're talking about the motivation for raiding, well that's easy. You do it for the love of the 'game' and your reward is simply the satisfaction of a boss well pwned.

However, you and my long-term reader KNOW it's not that simple.

I hear people talk about things like 'focus' and 'motivation' being as much of a raid mechanic as not standing in fire, and that's not true. The only mechanics in the game are the ones Blizzard add into the fights: EVERYTHING else is up to players. Nobody teaches you to be motivated or focussed, you have to want it, need it and crave it for success. This is where it stops being an individual effort, when you combine people with the same goals and their shared momentum pulls them forward, and although people can write about how to keep teams all looking in the same direction via inspired leadership, the fact remains constant that People have got to WANT to Succeed.  I could write reams on motivation, or balance or the need to manage individual players, but you know what? JUST DESIRE IT ENOUGH. Accept that if this is something you need to achieve, there's one way that happens, and that's if no-one fights and EVERYONE works towards a common goal.

I realise that's probably not very helpful in the general scheme of things, but it is the overriding point to make here, at least for me.

Written motivation.

I did try: I wrote a list of 10 Things you could probably do to help maintain a Team Structure, but then realised that none of these are actually any use if your Team has no overriding desire to all achieve the same thing. The main factor for continued success isn't what YOU want, it is what can I DO to help the team: be it grinding for foods, helping runs for Valor for upgrades, being motivated and focussed in every pull, from the first to the last every session. That's how real progress is achieved, when everybody pulls in the same direction, and there is no instant answer for maintaing that, because if there were someone would have made their fortune by now selling it to anyone who'd listen. I'm certainly not going to attempt to ascribe my Comedy PoV to success either, so to my reader who asked me for the answers: I don't have them.


All you can do is get to know your raiders and ask them to help you, to stay on when content is on farm, to invest part of their life and soul into your Guild and what it stands for. You can't pay them, and you certainly can't expect to keep them as motivated as you are when Blizzard takes over a year to develop any new Raid Content. All you can hope is that the inspiration of raids past, of previous battles and great times is sufficient to make them keep coming back for more. If it isn't then it is time to find people who do, and that's how Raiding has functioned since Vanilla, more or less. I'm really sorry Everly, this isn't probably what you were looking for, but it occurs to me that I won't achieve anything by trying to pretend that I'm something I'm not. If your Raid Team/Guild really want to improve, then they've gotta want to stay in the game, and that's a problem I'm not sure I'm ever going to find an adequate means of solving.

You just gotta hope Blizzard turn up with the goods come Warlords.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Been a great Trip :D

Well, it is all over. I'd like to thank the thousands of people who voted in all of the games from the first to the last, and it is finally time to reveal the last two results in the 2014 World Cup of Warcraft:

Congratulations therefore to the original and best arbiters of righteousness in Azeroth, who have proven themselves better than the Time-Meddling Dragons. FOR THE LIGHT!

Alternative Chat & Azeroth in 5 Summer Schedules.

As the Summer Holidays are almost upon me for the Kids, there's going to be some quite serious bouts of RL in progress as a result. It seems only fair therefore to give people plenty of advanced warning that my Podcast schedule IS going to get interrupted, and to inform you in plenty of time as to when.

As a result, here's the NEXT 8 weeks worth of details for both Azeroth in Five AND Alternative Chat, so you can plan your time accordingly.


July 16th :: NO Azeroth in 5, Alternative Chat as normal.
July 23rd :: NO PODCASTS


August 13th-27th :: NO PODCASTS

Both Azeroth in 5 and Alternative Chat will then return as normal on September 3rd.

I'm sorry for the break, but because its just me and I'm very much at first call for the Family for my time, I'm pretty much booked for most of August (with at least two Wednesdays involving me not being in the UK at all.)

Hopefully this gives people plenty of advanced warning. Needless to say, we'll all be back to normal after the Summer Break!

BETA :: Catch Me if You Can

The second bit of the Tooltip is important in this bit.

Pandaria will be remembered for many things, not all of them great, but undoubtedly the most positive move for anyone wanting to learn a Profession was the understanding that the current levelling system from scratch was, in many cases, unfit for purpose. We saw a new, streamlined system introduced for Blacksmithing that only used the current ore (Ghost Iron) to facilitate the levelling process and although this still took some effort, it was certainly considerably easier than having to dig out obscure items and hope others dropped from mobs so you could level efficiently. It appears that the impetus from this system has transferred to Draenor, with a large number 'Repair Item' spells (see above) having been datamined in the latest Beta build. There's also a possibility you will need the presence of a Salvage Yard or at least one of the relevant Professions buildings to utilise these items, but until we have more abilities 'live' it will be hard to judge.

What this does show is Blizzard are staying good to their word and it appears that ALL Professions are going to get an overhaul, so if you wish to level fast you can do so (though I suspect for many this still won't be fast enough.) I suspect that's where the +5 sill will come into its own, and it will be interesting to see what kind of bind the items to which the spells are linked to will have. If this is similar to the Damaged Necklace for Jewelcrafting that existed in Wrath, for instance, being able to sell it on the Auction House could become quite a lucrative profession all in itself. I'm not sure however I'd dissuade anyone from holding off from levelling in the months leading up to the Expansion, however. If you have the time to do it now, use that opportunity, because you'll want to use your time come Warlords for far more important pursuits :D

Now, look at the first part of the Tooltip :P

However, then there is the issue of what you end up with (because it does state this creates an item for your Garrison) once you've created this spell, which we have discussed in a previous post. There are items in game that begin at white quality and can be progressively upgraded for Garrisons, but we do not as yet know EXACTLY what they are. There is still clearly a couple of steps missing in the equation, especially as new characters are deliberately created with Alchemy and Herbalism at 600. For these, we will have to wait for subsequent builds. My best guess however is that these items could have a chance to become items for your Followers to wear/use, or add to the defence of your Garrison in the event of what we know now will be inevitable attack.

At the rate which new Builds are being applied, we shouldn't have too long to wait to find out.

BETA :: To Build a Home :: Changing for You

An interesting turn of events...

You will be well aware that, if a regular visitor to this parish, we hold fairly short shrift with the concept that complaining about anything will get you what you want. Except, of late, this approach appears to have had some benefit in game. The Garrison particularly seems to have been affected by the power of positive complaint, and as an example of this we present Exhibit A: the Name Change.

This is interesting.

Blizzard were VERY clear that architecture, because of time constraints, would be presented as a 'generic' Alliance and Horde 'flavour' inside the first iteration of the Garrison. However, in the last week, we have seen a distinct lead away from a 'standard' and towards a far more diverse Alliance Garrison, with the introduction of the Dwarven Armoury and the Gnomish Gearworks. Here are the current buildings held in the game files (from Wowhead's new and comprehensive Guide) for each building:

Armoury top, Workshop bottom.

Looking at these two, I'd hazard a guess we'll be using the same artwork for the Gearworks as we have here already for the Workshop, with just the odd reposition of Gnomish doodads here and there :P The artwork is sufficiently generic for it not to need a complete redesign. However, I reckon we might see a completely new set of files for the Armoury, but this shouldn't be a problem, because (as you can see) completed artwork does not seem to have been inserted into the Game files yet anyway (hence the number that still remains on the building ^^)

This change then begs the question: what else could Blizzard now change in order to make Garrisons more attractive to a wider range of players?

This can't be too much of an ask, surely?

I suspect a lot of people will be happy with the buildings as is if they get their own factions' guards to patrol the whole thing (especially as said Human guards salute whenever you go past) so I'm wondering just how hard an ask it is to do this. It makes sense that you'd want your own faction watching your back, sure, but that's NEVER what this game has been about, not for a decade. What I'd like to see is a truly diverse set of guards from ALL the Factions doing the job of defending the new world: it isn't just up to the Dwarves, after all (in my case.) That's the bigger issue with specifying architecture, there's the possibility for xenophobia, and in a game so tightly wound around its factions and NOT the races, there ought to be a bit of everything in the mix.

Then there is the question of decoration :D

Bring back the ENORMOUS STATUE :D

Cosmetic items are big business, just ask the people making money in Wildstar from just that (and they ARE.) How far Blizzard is prepared to go down this road is still largely unclear, but the addition of a second Monument stand in the latest builds seems to imply that the designers get that this is going to matter. It surely can't be beyond the bounds of possibility that there could be a vendor stall in your Garrison that sold such items at some point in the future, now could it? :P

Replace the weaponry, and BOOM!

The key, of course, to all of this potential change is the amount of time the developers have before stuff has to be set in stone for shipping. The way Builds are being thrown out however, I'd not put ANYTHING by Blizzard in the weeks to come...

Sunday, July 13, 2014


And here we are...

It's been a long, wild ride, but finally we have arrived at the final two games of the Tournament :D We'll do a proper reveal of the result tomorrow, and as a result voting for these two games will close at midday on Monday.



Vote for the Team you would like to win. 

Underneath each game is a link to a Poll. Please click on this to cast your vote.

At the end of the Voting period, the team with the most votes will be awarded the win. If votes, when tallied are within 5% of each other, the game will be declared a draw, and a coin will be tossed to determine who will win on penalties, because that's about as fair as the real thing ^^

Results will be added to this post after each game has been concluded. Remember to vote for your team!

Tonight's Games: