Saturday, January 3, 2015

Brief Lessons Learned on a Weekend in December

Lol. Sorry, I wrote this last weekend and then spent several days editing. I really learned all this on a weekend in December though! It's not very long or in depth. But it needed some care.

Lesson 1: Beware of Training Manuals
You don't want this.

At some point, your garrison command may offer you a follower mission called The Dance Studio. It's a 100% to complete and you'll bring home a book called "Supreme Manual of Dance" which will confer the Dance trait on a follower. This sounds kinda funny, and harmless and I spent a while thinking about which of my favorite followers would be improved if they were doing a cha-cha-cha. But I paused to look up the manual. And I'm so glad I did. This manual replaces a trait on your folower. It's not added, and it's a dance skill alright that counters danger zones. I'm not sure about anybody else, but half my followers can counter danger zones. I deactivate followers with danger zone counters so I can get somebody with something more useful in. Last thing I want is more ability to counter danger zones.  The manual has gone into the bank until... whenever.

Lesson 2: Goggles are for Engineers
Well, duh!
This is really not anything new, but the face wear being made my engineers this expansion are BoE, which is just like every other crafted epic available. But they have additional requirements as well. So, as I was arming a hunter this weekend, I made BoE shoulders, which she put on with no troubles. And then I crafted a BoE necklace and she put that on too. So, then I made some BoE goggles and utterly failed to notice the 600 engineering skill they require despite being gloriously BoE. Long story short: I should gave paid closer attention and not utterly wasted a week's worth of gear things. But I think it's just obtuse that the developers made every other craftsman capable of producing nice epics that could be shared around and not the engineers.

Lesson 3: Animal Management
I've been very happy with Stables and Barn on my hunter's garrison. The series of daily quests to train all my new mounts has produced a lot of garrison resource, but I think that may be at an end since they are all fully trained now. The Barn is doing a good job of supplying leather and meat for Merinna's operations. Between the leather production in the barn and the excellent hunting/skinning conditions in Nagrand, Team Merinna is awash in leather product at the moment.

I guess my one gripe is that the Barn produces completed Savage Feasts. Don't get me wrong, these feasts are great. But I was expecting the Barn to produce the meats so I could cook the feasts myself, and thus raise cooking score. There is a distinct lack of pork and hippo meat in the world the few times I've gone out of my way to farm the meat has been appallingly non-productive. There's only like four large boars on the whole damn continent that even seem capable of dropping meat. I must be missing something.

Lesson 4: Garrison Management
This is not as much a lesson as an observation. I'm officially Not Happy with garrison management. I feel like I have to spend just a little more time at this than I want to. But it's like...either I go through and pick things up and set mission tasks, and stock the profession sheds or I'm leaving resources on the table. And that doesn't feel acceptable either. Blizzard has copied these free-to-play mechanics from 
Popcap and whoever else to such a level that garrison management just feels compulsory. 

And it should be noted that whenever a game feels compulsory, it's not a game anymore. It's a job. MMOs have always had a large degree of that in the first place. Keeping the garrison feels like it may have moved one step too far.

This is not a deal breaker yet. 


  1. Didn't Merinna change her name when she shifted realms?

  2. Yes but shhhhhhh! I try and pretend that didn't happen.