Tobold's Blog
Thursday, December 25, 2014
 
Visiting Draenor

As I have some extra time over the Christmas holidays, and I hear a lot of good things about Warlords of Draenor, I decided to take up Blizzard on their offer to test the expansion out 10 days for free. Up to now I'm level 92 and got my garrison up to level 2. But somehow I feel my experience with mobile games is working against me: The garrison sub-game of World of Warcraft is nice if you never have played anything similar. But the Apple app store and Google Play store are full of games that works like that, based on real-time resource gathering and gaining levels and experience for not actually doing very much. I've seen games that are better than the garrison game, even if I appreciate the integration with the main game.

It doesn't help that the character with who I am testing this has alchemy and herbalism as his professions. As it turns out the garrison is a lot more useful to other professions. Alchemy is pretty weak in WoD, and the alchemy building basically allows you to make improved flasks which give 250 in an ability instead of the normal version which gives 100. In comparison the stuff you can make with blacksmithing or tailoring or leatherworking now is far more powerful.

Apart from the garrison, Warlords of Draenor is okay for an expansion, but not great. It's the same old, same old questing game. I like that the zones aren't as linear as they were in some previous expansions, and I liked visiting Nagrand (in spite of that not being level-appropriate) in its new version. But of my guild with 568 characters in the roster I've never seen more than 4 online now. So I found the guild message about the limited time remaining for the Molten Core remembrance raid somewhat depressing, we used to have 40 people online to raid Molten Core with. Without the people the game just isn't the same any more. I don't think I'll stay beyond the 10 free days.

Comments:
I appreciate the perspective on the garrison from somebody who has experience with mobile games. The garrison gameplay is new to me, but I like it, especially sending my followers on missions. Do you have any recommendations for mobile games that scratches the same itch? Preferably for android phone?

Just want to note that the real benefit from Garrisons for professions is the ability to make extra crafting materials like Alchemical Catalysts. It's required for making the good stuff, like alch trinket, greater flasks and (for other professions) all the epic items. The herb garden unlocks at 96 and gives you some herbs every day, but that's more of a long term project and supplements or replaces herbalism.
 
Disappointed Tolbold - I was hoping it would re-engage you! I love all your blog, but I like it best when you are in a WoW phase.

I have found the garrison really grows as you get further in. The rewards from later missions are hugely helpful to the main character, and it adds something to the overall experience. I have always been very casual, and although my guild is well attended I am a long way behind them. The random heroic group is my saviour, and I am now geared enough to attempt an LFR Molten Core.

We will miss you!
 
"But of my guild with 568 characters in the roster I've never seen more than 4 online now. So I found the guild message about the limited time remaining for the Molten Core remembrance raid somewhat depressing, we used to have 40 people online to raid Molten Core with. Without the people the game just isn't the same any more. I don't think I'll stay beyond the 10 free days."

What exactly are you trying to say here? It almost sounds like you're implying that apparently because your guild isn't active then most guilds aren't active. Plenty of guilds with 40+ people online and even more close-knit raiding guilds will have 20+ people online outside of raid times (and 30+ during raid times).

So what exactly do you think is missing about the people? I mean, the people is the reason I continue to play, so you implying they don't exist seems weird.
 
You don't have to match the buildings to your professions.
They provide daily CD materials, but allow you craft the lesser profession stuff as well.
The alchemy building can provide 200 flask while only a alchemist is able to craft the 250 version.
The enchanting building lets you DE green and blue Draenor stuff and you can enchant your gear, except for weapon enchants.
No dailies is great in my eyes, well you have one, but you group up for that - giving some sense of community - and then kill mobs.
Raiding require some effort as well, LFR is laughable easy and the groupfinder allows for easy PuGs for the other difficulties.
 
It almost sounds like you're implying that apparently because your guild isn't active then most guilds aren't active.

If you told me you were unhappy because your wife left you, would that suggest that there are no other women left? My guild is not a collection of random strangers I picked up for momentary convenience, so I can't just pick up another.

The garrison gameplay is new to me, but I like it, especially sending my followers on missions. Do you have any recommendations for mobile games that scratches the same itch?

I don't know one that has "sending followers on missions". In pretty much all the games I know the timers are on the buildings. You give some orders to build something or produce something, and it takes real time. I'd recommend a game like The Tribez (not the Castlez version).
 
I just downloaded Tribez, and it looks promising. Thanks for the tip!

When it comes to garrisons and professions, I think there are two main ways to play:

1) Maximize gold and trade on the AH. In that case, match your small buildings to your (crafting) professions to make more cooldown items, which should be the main things of value your garrison produces. (And dump mining/herbalism - all the mines/gardens generates a huge surplus.) Build a lvl 3 barn and make large amounts of leather or fur and savage blood.

2) Be self-sufficient, replacing ye old Army of Alts. One character can now have 2 primary professions, 3 profession buildings, a barn and the garrison mine/garden - that covers 8 of the 11 primary professions, at least to some degree.
 
"If you told me you were unhappy because your wife left you, would that suggest that there are no other women left? My guild is not a collection of random strangers I picked up for momentary convenience, so I can't just pick up another."

Well, to use your metaphor, if YOU told me that your wife left you and you were unhappy, would it make any sense for me to say "Well, that sucks for you, oh well, can't be helped?" Of course not!

I'd say something like "Man, that sucks, but there are plenty of other women out there who would love to meet you! There's even plenty of very easy and good opportunities to meet them!" I mean, at some point your wife would have been a random stranger too -- you had to meet her, invest time in her, and form a relationship with her. You did it once, you can do it again.

By your logic, anyone who got divorced would never date again. Or, more accurately, any time a friend moved away you would simply lose a friend rather than find new people to hang out with.

When you went off to college, did that mean you had zero friends (or close to it) because your high school friends went elsewhere...or did you make new ones?

When you graduated from college, did that mean you had zero (or close to it) friends because you went to different cities...or did you make new ones?

Etc.
 
Yeah, garrisons do feel a lot like a Facebook/mobile game, which luckily I haven't played many of, and professions are generally sort of meh this expansion.

Personally I really liked the WoD main plotline, as well as the abundance of optional rares/elites to fight, treasures to discover, etc. along the way. I thought it was a nice iteration on the standard questing regimen, and that's where I got my money's worth out of the expansion. But it probably helped that I hadn't played in several years, making a lot of things seem fresher than they would otherwise.
 
The social aspect was the best thing about WOW for me. I miss my friends also. And it bites to loose good friends/stable guild and then have to farm all over for another one.

At the end of Cata, my guild had disbanded and while I had a small number of friends online... It was not enough. It didn't help that I was on a low pop realm.

Thus, WOW became a grinding game for me. Rather than having fun and doing quests to level skills (I loved the fact that I was one of the few people who had maxed Fishing and Cooking before it was easy) I had to make sure that I had the best equipment/gems/enchants so that I could stay in the big guilds. Rather than making friends, I was just another cog in the wheel. It sucked to get kicked from a guild because I went out of town for a weekend or because my numbers fell below what they felt they should be. (As a healer overhealing wastes mana. And no one died, but I was still kicked.)

It is just not the game that I grew to love.
 
"It sucked to get kicked from a guild because I went out of town for a weekend or because my numbers fell below what they felt they should be. (As a healer overhealing wastes mana. And no one died, but I was still kicked.)"

I seriously don't understand this. I mean, I'm the GM of a guild that routinely clears Mythic on two nights a week. I maintain our roster, do recruitment, decide who passes and who gets cut due to performance.

And I have never even considered kicking anyone for being gone one weekend. In fact, we've had people gone for over a month on work trips and we've held their spots. And I just can't believe most guilds are that kick-happy -- hell, in MoP most guilds were desperate for players rather than the other way around.

Numbers is potentially an issue, but that would require dissecting logs and probably isn't really relevant here.

But being kicked for being gone one weekend (assuming you notified them in advance)? That's insanity and that simply doesn't happen in good guilds.
 
That's insanity and that simply doesn't happen in good guilds.

What percentage of guilds in World of Warcraft are "good guilds" in your opinion? I pretty much share Gladorn's view that there are a lot of guilds out there which are either inefficient, or inhumane in an attempt to become efficient.
 
Completely true about the garrison: as a mini-game it's weak compared to mobile games or even the Duty Officer minigame of STO. But the integration is much better. (BTW the Tribez is great early on, but becomes boring towars the end).

And yes, Herbalist+Alchemy are the worst possible combination for WoD... I know from experience :(

I generally liked the questlines, at least compared to Pandaria where you had Dread Wastes >>> all the rest.
 
Tobold: "What percentage of guilds in World of Warcraft are "good guilds" in your opinion? I pretty much share Gladorn's view that there are a lot of guilds out there which are either inefficient, or inhumane in an attempt to become efficient."

There are, the question is why you would want to be part of a guild which kicks for being away for couple of days.
The guild cannot be good if officers or the GM prefer presence over contribution.
 
Tribez is fun so far (except that Yetis just cost me all my gold).

I agree that Tribez is better at what it does, but the Garrison holds an edge with the integration with the rest of WoW. If I want more followers, or need a follower with the right skill, I can go out in the world and find them (or rather, check the follower menu, find the quest on wowhead and go do that!). Or, if I lack garrison resources (which you always do) I can hunt rare mobs, look around for treasures, or finish a zone completely to unlock the treasure maps.

The questing game is the best it's ever been in WoW, imho - the quest chains tell small stories and show off characters (although there far from as interesting as the characters in the Secret World, to name one game), but they're not so huge and linear as they were in Cataclysm. They've also integrated the ideas they first used on the Timeless Isle very well, so you can ride around and complete objective zones (my favorite being when you sacrifice ogres to the huge worm), if you want to that.

I just think they've found a very good balance between questlines with meaning and random stuff happening.
 
Ulrik: "If I want more followers, or need a follower with the right skill, I can go out in the world and find them (or rather, check the follower menu, find the quest on wowhead and go do that!). Or, if I lack garrison resources (which you always do) I can hunt rare mobs, look around for treasures, or finish a zone completely to unlock the treasure maps."

Followers are limited and sometimes roll unneeded counters.
Only the Inn lets you choose what you want and is unlimited.
Resources are not really limited, I started with Lumber Mill and Trading Post then dropped the Lumber Mill later on for an Inn. I would argue that getting an Inn to level 2 is better as recruiting scavenger followers nets way more resources from missions than a Lumber Mill could.
A single 40 GR mission with a scavenger nets 120 and takes 1 hour. The same a Lumber Mill could produce in 16 hours with follower bonus. Without it requires 24.
 
At some point (I'm very near it now) you exhaust the "preset" followers, and need an inn. But they've balanced the buildings very well - the best ones are all Medium buildings, the small ones are profession buildings (+2 more) and the large ones are more nice to have.

If you have Lumber Mill AND Trading Post you've gone all in on resources and spent your best two plots on resource generators. You can't have the Inn to get designer followers. You can't have the Barn to fuel LW/Tailoring (and make a boatload of gold). You can't have the Gladiator's Sanctum if you're into PVP. I'd like to end up with the Inn and the Barn, but then I can't fuel the War Mill. Still undecided on that. Scavenger could help.
 
Tobold:

I'm curious as to how you got to level 92. I tried the trial out and am currently one experience point below level 91 and cannot gain anymore, as per Blizzard's explanation in the trial notes.
 
I'm curious as to how you got to level 92.

Not for free. I started the trial, and noticed I only had one character at level 90, and not the one I wanted to play. So I bought the expansion, which gave the warrior that I wanted the level 90 boost, plus it removed the level cap. But it doesn't add any subscription time, so I'm still on those 10 days.
 
"What percentage of guilds in World of Warcraft are "good guilds" in your opinion? I pretty much share Gladorn's view that there are a lot of guilds out there which are either inefficient, or inhumane in an attempt to become efficient."

Well, that's a tricky question to answer -- because it's really two questions in one.

1, how many guilds think they're "good guilds?"

2, how many of THOSE guilds are actually good?

For example, if you join a social leveling guild that maybe sometimes tries to do normals, they most certainly won't kick you for being gone over a weekend. They're not serious or trying to be serious.

So with #1 we can basically discard like...75%+ of guilds, because those guilds would never dream of kicking people for raid attendance or performance, ever.

Then we get to #2, which deals with the last <25% of guilds. Of those, probably between 40% and 65% aren't good but think they are and do stupid things. In other words, you probably have at least a 50% shot of being in a stupid guild if you randomly join a "raiding" guild.

Of course, it doesn't take much effort at all (like <10 minutes) to find out whether a guild is probably one of those "bad and stupid but thinks we're amazing" guilds, which means your odds of joining a guild that isn't idiotic like that is pretty good.

Talking to the leadership is also important -- literally asking "Hey, my schedule means I may miss a week of raiding every month or two, is that a problem?" can save a lot of angst. The more serious guilds (including mine) will probably say "yes" (a person being unexpectedly called out of town for a month once every few years is different than consistently missing 25%+ of raids) but there are still many semi-serious and still good guilds that won't mind at all.

ESPECIALLY since Normal/Heroic use the flex technology now, any half-way intelligent raid leader will try to grab a competent raider even with a sporadic schedule because they'll still help a lot when they're there.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool