2015 August

August 28, 2015

The Final Verdict on Garrisons

Horde and Alliance Level 3 Garrisons

When I heard that Blizzard were introducing Garrisons to WoW I was initially excited, the concept sounded great and the idea of character housing had been something players had been after for a long time. So, we now had this home base all of our very own to go back to, with everything you could need under one roof, banking, professions, quests, all in the comfort of your own Garrison. But something was terribly wrong, the Garrison got tedious very, very quickly.

Apart from your Garrison making you feel extremely isolated from everyone else in the game, one of my particular bugbears is that by incorporating the professions into the Garrison it felt like you just had all these boring tasks to be completed before moving on to something more interesting – log in, you’re in your Garrison, go to the mission table and send out followers, time to go to the mine, time to go to the herb garden, time to go and collect timber for your mill and so on. By doing this it took something away from having to go out into the world and actually look for things which is part of the enjoyment of the game, it somewhat bypassed exploration for the fun of it and running into random events and other players on route. I honestly miss logging into a tavern somewhere in Azeroth and being surrounded by other players, at the moment I log in, I’m in my Garrison and it’s time to go to the mine, sigh!

Now, how about the Garrison and Shipyard mission tables? Each mission takes between 30 minutes and 12 hours to complete on average, so you basically log in and then depending on the level of your followers you assign them to missions aiming to get an 100% chance of success – there is very little strategy here and once you have the hang of it (which takes no time at all) it’s just another boring task to complete at your Garrison in the hope of getting Garrison supplies, gold, or other items. You do not interact with your followers, you just assign them to tasks, wait till the time is up and collect your loot, think microwave popcorn, ding, take out popcorn put in next batch. And, that is not even mentioning the Shipyard’s policy on completely destroying ships that you’ve taken the time to level up should you not complete a mission, therefore, for every mission it is just better to make sure it has a 100% chance of success otherwise be prepared to kiss your Destroyer goodbye.

 

Garrison mission table

I guess it’s a bit of disappoint that it hasn’t worked out as I initially thought or as Blizzard had planned, but it was a good idea and I accept that some good things did come out of it, it just didn’t work in the game for me and a lot of other players, particularly as end-game content. At this point in time, the idea of levelling a new character and then having to level another Garrison for each new character makes me cry a little inside. I’m glad that the new expansion, Legion, is moving away from the Garrison and getting us all back out into the world and interacting with other players. I have no doubt that Blizzard will build upon everything they have learned from the Garrisons and the feedback received from players and I’m optimistic that Legion’s Class Hall will be a much better fit for the game dynamics as a whole.

 

Class Hall image

From what we know, the Class Hall is going to be similar in some ways to Garrisons, building on its good points, and as their name suggests they will be unique to each class. At the Class Hall you will be able to get class-specific quests and missions and customise artifacts. However, the main difference is that they will also be available to other members of your class which takes away that complete sense of isolation and inactivity experienced within your current Garrison. We also know that instead of just picking up followers to send on yet another mission via your Garrison mission table, we’ll have select champions of our class who will assist us in our own quests. The information available on the Class Halls are not set in stone but it has definite potential and to be honest, I’m not sure it can be worse that the current Garrison set-up.

So, what will I miss from my Garrison? Well, the second Hearthstone was pretty handy.

August 18, 2015

Earning your wings in Draenor

WoW Soaring Skyterror

As you know, there has been drama, there has been uproar, and after a lot of spirited discussion Blizzard announced the reversion of the original plan to restrict flying in Draenor. Although they still firmly believe that keeping your feet on the ground is a key part of discovery in WoW, they also understood that for many it was an important aspect of the game and something that wouldn’t necessarily compromise their objectives for exploration. So, they came up with a compromise. Unlike other flying achievements which just rely on hitting a level requirement and buying the flying ability for a sum of gold, players would need to complete the achievement ‘Draenor pathfinder’ released in Patch 6.2 which would award the ability of flight as well as a chromatic rylak mount, the Soaring Skyterror. Once achieved and with Patch 6.2.2 flying in Draenor would become possible for all your characters at level 90 or above.

In a blue post earlier this year Blizzard said that: “We believe this strikes the right balance between ensuring ground-based content lives up to its full potential, while providing players who’ve already fully experienced Draenor’s outdoor world extra freedom to “break the rules.” This also provides a general blueprint going forward for content to come. Players will explore new and undiscovered lands from the ground, and then once they’ve fully mastered those environments—a notion that continues to evolve with each new expansion—they can take to the skies and experience the world from a new vantage point.”

What is the achievement?

The Draenor Pathfinder achievement is a multi-step achievement that can be tracked via the achievement page in-game. It does take some time to complete and so now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. It is comprised on the following:

  • Explore Draenor: Explore all of Draenor’s zones
  • Master Treasure Hunter: Collect 100 Treasures
  • Loremaster of Draenor: Complete all major story quests in Draenor
  • Securing Draenor: Complete 12 specific Apexis Dailies
  • Tanaan Diplomat: Hit Revered with the three new Tanaan Jungle factions – Order of the Awakened, The Saberstalkers, and Hand of the Prophet (Alliance)/Vol’jin’s Headhunters (Horde).

 

For a complete look at every step of the Draenor Pathfinder Achievement, Wowhead have produced the Draenor Pathfinder guide which will provide you with everything you need to know in order to make getting the achievement as easy as possible.

Tracking your progress

You can track your progress in two ways:

  • Track your objectives in-game by opening the achievement window, searching for the Draenor Pathfinder achievement and selecting the ‘track’ option which will add the objectives on-screen underneath your quest list.

 

Wowhead Flying Tool for WoW

The good news is that the achievement is account-wide for the most part, meaning that you can complete the objectives towards this achievement on different characters. The exception to this is Securing Draenor, for this you must do all of the quests on one character only.

Logging in this past weekend it was great to see everyone hard at it, working through those questlines for the achievement. Good luck, I look forward to seeing you in the skies of Draenor very soon.

August 12, 2015

The Return of the Burning Legion

WoW Legion Image from Blizzard Website

These are exciting times for all World of Warcraft fans, with the announcement of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The expansion was just announced at Gamescom 2015 and since then Blizzard has released a raft of information which includes the key features and necessary lore to enable all fans can get up to speed before jumping into the action.

Legion will be set on The Broken Isles, which is a new and expansive continent comprising several small islands in the heart of Azeroth: The Broken Shore, Suramar, Stormhein, Highmountian, Val’sharan, and Azsuna. In Warcraft lore, before the Great Sundering, the region that would become the Broken Isles was a part of Ancient Kalimdor . It was here that the ancient forest of Val’sharah, home of Cenarius, was located, as well as the city of Suramar, hometown of Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage.

The Broken Isles Map

In this new expansion, the mutual enemy of the Horde and the Alliance, the Burning Legion, has returned. In order to combat the armies of the Legion invading Azeroth, both Alliance and Horde must secure mighty artifacts and join forces with a new hero class, the Demon Hunter – an elven outcast shunned for daring to wield the terrible powers of the Legion. The objective is to find the Pillars of Creation which are the secret to Azeroth’s salvation.

Apart from the setting and the familiar addition of new Dungeons and Raid, World of Warcraft Legion will also be bringing plenty of additional content into the gameplay. The new features are summarised below:

  • New continent: The Broken Isles
  • New class: Demon Hunter (Tank and DPS available)
  • Artifacts: customizable weapons that grow in power as you do
  • Class-specific Order Halls and followers
  • All New Dungeons and Raids
  • New World Bosses
  • Level cap raised to 110
  • Re-vamped PvP progression system
  • Improved transmogrification system
  • Improved social features
  • Character Boost — immediately raise one character to level 100

 
You can sign up now to opt in for Beta testing later this year. All you have to do is log in to your Battle.net account, go to Beta Profile Settings and check the Warcraft option, making sure you click Update Preferences to save your choice. You will then be eligible to be randomly selected for a Legion beta invitation once the testing process begins.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing what Legion has to offer as much as I am.  For more information on the latest expansion and more details about the new Demon Hunter class, new artifacts and expansion lore you can visit Blizzards dedicated Legion site at www.battle.net/wow/en/legion.

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