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Posts with tag Garrisons

Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?

Okay, I'm sure with a headline like "Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?" you're already thinking this is it. Rossi has finally snapped. But hear me out for a second. We've had BlizzCons since 2005, before The Burning Crusade was even released. While they haven't happened every year (there was no BlizzCon 2006 and no BlizzCon 2012) it's been fairly regular since its introduction. Last year, Warlords of Draenor was previewed at BlizzCon 2013 - for many of us it's the source of pretty much every opinion we have on the expansion.

That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.

But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Warlords of Draenor

The rise and fall of features in World of Warcraft

I've been playing World of Warcraft since its inception. As a result, I'm as likely to view the game through the lens of my experiences as any player. One of the reasons I'm so thoroughly anti-nostalgia is because I'm actually incredibly nostalgic. If I don't stop myself, if I don't actively make an effort not to, I'll drown in falling down the well of this is how it was and just spend hours annoying the crap out of people who started playing after me. In one guild, I remember doing exactly this - I would spend all raid reminiscing with the other old hands (there were like four of us) and driving the newer raiders crazy comparing fights to raids from BWL to Blackwing Descent. Remember - every fight can be compared to Omnotron. Every fight.

One of the ways this shows up is when any new feature is introduced to the game. As a writer for the site, I always try and stay objective about a new feature, and often, I come to love them - I'm a huge fan of transmogrification, for example, and when they announced reforging a few years back I knew immediately it was going to become a mandatory and huge part of gear strategy. But the fact is this - on an emotional level I hate every single new feature as soon as I hear about it, because they're not my World of Warcraft - it takes an effort on my part to be open minded and I don't often succeed.

As an example - I've written multiple posts essentially defending the decision to remove flight for a while in Warlords' 90 to 100 zones and leave it out. But the fact is, flight was introduced back in The Burning Crusade and I've gotten used to it. I understand and I support the decision from a design perspective. But emotionally? Emotionally I have flying mounts and I want to fly on them. I just plain like being able to shortcut all the things on the ground, even while I get why the design doesn't support it. This divide between what's new and most probably better for the game and my own desires while playing the game isn't limited to wanting flight, either.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison achievements

Moonfang
The latest Warlords of Draenor build, meticulously datamined as always by the fine folks at Wowhead, reveals a ton in the way of Garrison achievements. Seriously, there are oodles of points to be earned in and around your Garrison. You can get achievements for Garrison buildings, Garrison Followers, Garrison levels, Garrison missions, and Garrison invasions. The glut of ways to earn achievement points should have dedicated achievement hunters licking their chops in anticipation.

The 700 skill point profession achievements are also listed with Garrison achievements, which doesn't come as much of a surprise. The majority of the achievements focus on Followers, missions, and invasions, but there are also plenty associated with constructing and upgrading the buildings themselves. The complete list of datamined Garrison achievements is after the break.

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Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Wood doesn't burn, right?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Yeah, I'm sure that bridge is safe.

Kidneph asked:

First time asker here, but here goes. Do you reckon we will see a pre-xpac event like BC to Wrath and so on? If so, what do you think it may be?

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Shadowmoon Valley in next alpha build

Shadowmoon Valley
World of Warcraft's Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has confirmed via Twitter that the next alpha build will shut down the Horde lines in Frostfire Ridge and open up Shadowmoon Valley in its place.
Considering Shadowmoon Valley is the expansion's introductory zone for the Alliance, I think it's safe to assume that the "new intro tier garrison" mentioned is, in fact, the Alliance-side garrison. Even though it's never safe to predict these things, it's still nice to know that the addition of Alliance garrison Followers discovered in yesterday's alpha update was, in fact, an indication that Alliance-side testing was nearly upon us.

Having played through a bit of the Alliance quests at the Temple of Karabor during BlizzCon, I'm particularly interested to hear what the alpha-testers have to say about the rest of the zone, as well as how the blue garrison quests are both different and similar to the red ones.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Work orders

If you played Mists of Pandaria you probably know about the work order. Introduced to the farm as part of a reputation gaining system, it's been expanded for the garrison in Warlords of Draenor, and it allows you to use various buildings to create items. In the above SS, I used the Alchemy Lab to combine two reagents gathered from random bag drops - Blackrock ore and Frostweed - to complete the work order. After a day, a crate spawns in the Alchemy Lab which you can loot and gain what you made.

At present it seems randomized - I couldn't tell you what I just made. But it definitely seems to be a way to make use of reagents without having the alchemy skill - or other skills, if talking about other buildings like the Engineering, Enchanting or Scribe ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Garrisons, cloud serpents, and the Alliance

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

After playing through Frostfire Ridge, I'm pretty stoked to see how the Alliance side of the story goes. If the draenei story delves even half as deeply into the essence of their culture as Frostfire does with the orcs, I'll be quite happy.

@TheWiseHoboking asked:

when will blizzard will start talking about alliance related warlord story/content?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: My first day in the Alpha

Okay, so the standard caveats apply. This is an Alpha test of Warlords of Draenor, it's confined to the Frostfire Ridge, and there are of course tons of bugs because it's an Alpha test, and an Alpha test of an expansion to a ten year old game. Also, I'm not going to spoil anything really significant, but if you keep reading this you're basically saying I want to know more about this expansion that isn't done or out yet, so there are going to be spoilers. It's unavoidable.

So first up, let me tell you the gist of what's happening. So far, the only thing being tested is Frostfire Ridge. That means Horde, so you end up seeing a lot of Horde screenshots and hearing about Horde questing, Horde garrisons and Horde in general. Just a whole lotta Horde. The music? Amazing. I guess that's to be expected, but still.

Also, I deliberately went with orc and tauren characters because of their new models. Cause we all want to see the new models. So I'll start my impressions with those.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Livestreaming Warlords of Draenor tonight

Tonight at 8:00 p.m. EDT, we'll be livestreaming Warlords of Draenor. We'll be rolling whatever class you decide in the comments below and taking it through the opening portion of Frostfire Ridge. We'll also take a look at the opening garrison quests and hunt around for rare spawns. Additionally, we'll be taking your questions from the chat and trying to answer them.

Update: The stream has ended! Thank you for watching!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Official Garrison preview lays down the foundation

We've been waiting very impatiently, almost salivating really, for more details on Grrisons and how they're going to work. Well, at last, our wait is over. Blizzard has finally dropped some of that sweet, sweet structure-creating science on us.

In this post, part one of a four series, we get the basics for how Garrisons will work -- how your Garrison is part of the leveling process, how followers will work and how you can recruit them, the missions you can send them on and how that will benefit the Garrison, how we'll expand the Garrison with new building and use each zone to expand their role in the expansion.
As the story unfolds, you'll find that Garrisons are intimately integrated into every zone-whether you choose to follow the main quest path or just head off into the hills to explore, you will meet allies (and enemies) in every corner of the world. While your main fortress will always be in Shadowmoon Valley (Alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (Horde), you will establish Garrison outposts in Gorgrond, Talador, Nagrand, and Spires of Arak, all customized based on your building choices. Eventually, your forces will span the continent, and you will have an army capable of assaulting the fortified Iron Horde Foundry. Will your troops succeed? That's entirely up to you, commander.
This in particular is of interest - you apparently won't just have the one Garrison, but a linked series of fortifications throughout Draenor to serve as your means of recruiting and defending your followers for the push against the Iron Horde.

Head over to the official site for more details.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Your loyal followers

We've kicked this topic around a little previously, but developer Jeremy "Muffinus" Feasel, in reference to garrison followers, posed the following question to the community:

If we could have anyone of our choosing as followers in our garrison, I foresee countless requests for raid bosses. Sure, I'll have Deathwing as a buddy! Approaching the question seriously, though, I'd love to have many of the true-and-blue Alliance questgivers we've seen in recent years. Joanna Blueheart from the Swamp of Sorrows tops my list. Questing through that zone, she was an excellent example of the Alliance's approach to war -- though, if you play the Horde side of things, the Alliance ultimately loses in the Swamp of Sorrows. Maybe that says something about Alliance warfare. Regardless, Joanna's the kind of person I'd want on my team.

Members of the SI:7 team from early Mists of Pandaria would be wonderful. Mishka and Amber Kearnen are great. I guess Sully can come, too. Also awesome? The Wrath-era members of the 7th Legion. Responses to the aforementioned tweet include Anren and Tholo, Asric and Jadaar, Cro Threadstrong, Thisalee Crow, Sky Admiral Rogers, and Captain Placeholder, among others.

Who (or what) would you enlist in your army, given the freedom to choose anyone?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Garrisons and their role in Warlords of Draenor

We're all talking about garrisons these days. Whether it's how they're going to work, where they're going to be, or what we're going to do with them they're the big new feature for Warlords of Draenor and we're all constantly worrying at the bone to try and squeeze more information out of them. It's understandable. Players have wanted something akin to player housing for years, and the garrison goes beyond that - it's effectively your own fortified town. It brings back memories for players of old school pen and paper RPG's like me of hitting the end of the expert levels in D&D and getting a dominion.

We've recently found out that the garrison will be heavily integrated into the leveling experience, requiring it to have a stable location (Frostfire Ridge for Horde, Shadowmoon Valley for Alliance) and that there will be specific racial-themed buildings for the professions section of your garrison. There's even going to be group content for garrisons. Mumper has even assured us that the garrison will not be required to level. Meanwhile, Muffinus has asked players who, out of the entire World of Warcraft, would they want as a follower - I'm personally pulling for Rexxar and Marhsall Windsor. Yes, I know.

What this all means is in flux, of course, as Mumper himself acknowledges - design is iterative, and changes happen. We're still waiting for more details, but what I wanted to talk about now is how the garrison is shaping up to become one of those rare things, a feature that can completely transform your playing experience in fundamental ways, yet not directly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Wowhead digs up Garrison models and more

As a new alpha build hit servers last night, the datamining began again. Wowhead has already turned up a plethora of new models, weapons and more, and has now turned to one of the most hotly anticipated features of Warlords of Draenor, Garrisons.

They've put together a detailed list of 70 buildings, along with what exactly all of them do, and what size plot they go on. There's a lot of interesting information one can glean from this data, such as how follower gearing might work and what mission rewards might be, as well as how you get various vendors into your Garrison. Of course, this is datamining, so shouldn't be taken as 100% fact, but it's still really interesting stuff.

There's also information showing off small images of the Garrison buildings, and a map. It seems like these may be UI elements that allow you to design your Garrison and set up its layout, but of course, this is just inference from the data that's presented. There is, however, even more information on each building type, that ties in with the aforementioned list. We're slowly getting an idea of what the Garrison progression might look like.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Muffinus serves up Garrison details

Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel (he has an NPC named after him, the ultimate honor) has been answering questions on twitter about garrisons. Quite a few, in fact. Under his twitter handle of @Muffinus he dished out some pretty interesting details on what the current design for the feature is.
  • Garrisons are going to give you perks outside of them (we already knew about the faster mount speed perk, but others are being worked on).
  • Some perks, like a free resurrection, will not carry over into raids so as to keep them from becoming mandatory perks everyone has to get for their garrison. They want to keep customization as a draw and let players pick the perks they want.
  • You aren't hard gated by the initial quest that establishes the garrison - you can pursue the benefits and perks of the feature even if you decide to bypass it when leveling.
  • You will not have to stop doing something to run back and defend your garrison if/when it comes under attack. It's not a time-limited mechanic.
I'm pretty excited about garrisons, as they combine elements of player housing, RTS elements from the old Warcraft games, and new kinds of minigames. Should be interesting to get to see them in action.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New info from PAX East

Elekks on Draenor
PAX East 2014 has come and gone, but we at WoW Insider have come away from the weekend with juicy new information to share with you about Warlords of Draenor. During the expo, I sat down for a chat with senior game designers Steve Burke and Brian Holinka, lead class designer Kris Zierhut, and other developers.

In our brief time together, they told me some exciting info about garrisons, raiding, transmog, and the expansion's starting experience. They also provided insight into what a boosted level 90 will experience after the expansion launches.

Please note that mild spoilers about the early story of Warlords of Draenor will follow. Join me after the break for all the new info!

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Interviews, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

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