Tobold's Blog
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Garrison sharing

Rohan thinks that garrisons are too lonely, and wants a system where they are shared with people who have the same garrison setup. I think he identified the problem correctly, but ended up with a bad solution. It would be good to share garrisons, but not based on a complicated system of meeting strangers based on which buildings they chose for their garrison. I think I have a better idea:

Garrisons could be shared between all members of a guild. Everybody who logs in and visits his garrison will see his guild mates there if they are in their garrison as well. But everybody sees *his* buildings, and can change them as he wants. Because the plots are fixed, it doesn't matter that one player has a tailor on his plot and another has a forge. They will still interact with the pile of produced goods at the same location, and while player A sees his tailor there, and sees player B clicking interacting with that object, player B sees his forge. Everybody still has his own garrison and his actions don't affect in any way the garrisons of the other players in his guild. But everybody sees his guild mates running around, for a more shared, more social experience of the garrison.

I prefer to be alone in my Garrison. If I want to imagine that my guild members are there, I can just open the guild roster list.

Just because there are other people in the universe doesn't mean they should be interacting 24/7.

I guess this is the difference between "introverts" and "extroverts."
That's essentially what I was suggesting, only for the general public rather than just the guild.

It's just that for some buildings, the structures don't match. You might have people in the walls of one building, where it's open space for others.

So in that situation, say plot 1 can have Stables or Inn. Plot 1 is a separate phased area from the rest of the garrison, where there are two possible phases. Everyone who has a Stable sees phase 1, and everyone who has an inn sees phase 2.
I agree with you and Rohan that WoW is too lonely now that we spend so much time in our Garrisons.

I also like your solution of making it a guild Garrison, where you meet your guildies as you run around. There is one minor problem that I'm sure the smart people of Irvine could solve: only the inn has an upstairs and a basement. Also, it would be great if all inns could be in the same spot, since I imagine that most of the socialization that doesn't happen in the keep would be best in the inn.

And Smokeman, there is a (small) building in your garrison where you could be alone to think great thoughts, and stay regular, as well.
You hang out in your outhouse too? I thought I was the only one! I even set up a "talking tube" from there to the mission table so I can direct my followers.

If people really wanted to log in in a spot where there were lots of people, they would log out in a city. It take seconds to hearth to the Garrison and do whatever you want once you get all the socializing out of the way. They probably need to go to "The big city" at some point anyway to visit the AH or whatever. They could easily log out at that point.

If people stay in their Garrisons where they are "lonely", then they must be doing it by choice.
So, anyhoo...

I see this general perception quite often. And I think the issue isn't the lack of interaction the Garrison seems to imply. In reality, your interaction options in the Garrison are exactly the same as they were before, you type "/guild" or "/whis yourfriend", etc. and type your message to them.

No one goes out of their way to be standing in front of someone just so they can chat to them via the chat interface. Of with vent, or mumble, or whatever.

The issue is one of loss. Extroverts draw energy from being near people directly. Introverts (Like me.) draw energy from being alone, usually doing some creative activity.

I think the issue here isn't the Garrison, but rather that the interaction mechanic hasn't actually changed at all. Extroverts want to be energized by interpersonal interactions and just aren't feeling it in the limited mechanics of a computer to computer interface. This sense of loss manifests into looking for "What is wrong with the system."

That's my half baked hypothesis, anyway. Feel free to poke holes in it.
I quite agree, Smokeman. There is a sense of loss. I'm not sure though, that I would only like to interact with people the way you suggest. Often social interaction takes place because you see somebody, and you can see from what they are doing that you aren't interrupting them by chatting with them. For instance in Pandaria, a lot of people hung out on the upstairs plaza in front of the main entrance to the Shrine of the Seven Stars. If I saw somebody I knew there, I would chat to them. If they were inside the building, they were usually busy banking or transmogging or upgrading gear or whatever. You could see from their behavior whether now was an appropriate time to chat. No such clues exist in your guild or friends list.

And I chatted with many people who weren't on my friends list (which is kept artificially short by blizzard to encourage battletag swapping), but who were friends or acquaintances. Spotting somebody you haven't seen in months suddenly appearing on the terrace, that's quite a thing.
So, for the last couple of days I've been thinking about this.

I believe my assessment is correct, that the problem is the sense of loss extroverted people feel while interacting with what is ostensibly an introvert friendly digital environment. (I.E. an environment with a perceptual barrier between participants.)

I can't dismiss this, because extraverts are instrumental in the RP environment (Or so I believe.) That said, having all your guildies be in your Garrison with you all the time is an essentially impossible technical hurdle. I could try to explain that if you want, but basically.. you have a garrison, the others have garrisons. You can only be in one of them at a time. The cross linking between logical garrisons rapidly becomes untenable. And by "untenable" I mean the exponential expansion of cross links crashes the world... of warcraft.

I have heard of addons that facilitate RP. Integrating this as a design standard in online areas could be a start, like having otherwise useless balconies in common areas... when you see one, you know that people there are amenable to RP.

There is a way to do this. I just don't see it yet.

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