Shipyard — epic fail

Courtesy Julien Berthier

Now that we are into the fifth week of 6.2, I feel I can state categorically that I am an epic fail at shipyards. Of course, I would be happy to blame it all on Blizz — and in a minute I will point out their culpability in the matter because that is what I do — but honestly most of the problem is me.

Let’s start with the main factor:  I hate the entire idea of shipyards and naval missions. I find them tedious, annoying, and a burdensome expansion of the whole concept of follower missions. Thus, from the get-go I am handicapped, because you seldom excel at activities you hate.

I was never a big fan of garrison follower missions. I did them, mainly for the gear rewards especially on alts (and of course Blizz could never let us have an actual benefit like that, so they no longer reward alt gear until your alt gets to where it no longer needs it) but I always thought they were a tawdry attempt by Blizz to distract us from the fact that WoD had so little content. However, at least they were pretty mindless — get some followers, gear them up to max, install Master Plan, and thereafter dispense with the day’s missions in a few simple clicks.

See, follower missions really were that elusive thing Blizz disingenuously claims other activities are: optional. If I was not happy doing them, it was no big deal, I could stop and the real only cost to me would be some gold and gear. If I wanted to keep doing them, at least they were simple and quick. My choice.

But in typical Blizz overreaction, they took a nice optional activity, removed all the convenience and fun from it, added frustrating levels of meaningless complexity, and made it mandatory if you were working towards the legendary ring.

So I started my shipyard already hating it and begrudging every minute I had to spend on it.

Now add in the complexity. Every ship has to be specially configured for every mission, or they will fail. So spend several minutes figuring out what equipment each ship must have to reliably succeed at the intended mission, run down to the equipment seller, turn over an unreasonable amount of garrison resources to buy the equipment, then run back to the mission table, install the equipment, and launch the mission. Do that for several missions.

And by the way, you can — and frequently do — fail on any mission with less than 100% success prediction. I have failed on missions listed at 95%, 98%, and 99%, as well as on many missions over 50%.

As an added incentive to take risks, mission failure can mean loss of that ship you spent days upgrading to where it could actually be outfitted with the equipment it needs to succeed. Wow, who wouldn’t think that was fun?

Oh, and did I mention that the missions can take over a day to complete? So you frequently get to wait 18 hours or so to receive news of your failure.

Not to mention it is not just a matter of buying the equipment. Oh no no no no no. You have to go grub for it in T2, either spending days or weeks earning rep to buy it from a faction vendor, or hope the RNG gods smile on you and it drops from a mob.

So let’s see, where does that leave me so far?

  • An optional activity I found unenjoyable before 6.2 is now mandatory.
  • All reasonable rewards have been removed from it.
  • It is sluggish and complex to do.
  • To have any chance of success you must grind various activities for weeks. Unless you are lucky, which of course does not pertain to me.
  • Failure is compounded, since loss of a ship with two equipment slots usually means it will be replaced by a ship with zero or one slots, making success more elusive, resulting in more failure.
  • All this to complete the requirements for a legendary ring with limited use.


Now to add insult to injury, here is the kicker: to get to a level 3 shipyard, you must complete 25 missions of a very particular kind. Not just 25 missions, 25 reward missions. You must have the level 3 shipyard to have any chance of completing the mission sequence to fulfill the ring requirement. How many of these reward missions are presented each day? Well, that depends. See, even if there are, say, 5 such missions available, RNG keeps popping up “blockades” you must launch a mission to clear before you can get to the reward missions. Blockade missions for me have never been “green” or 100%, so I do the best I can with them and hope they succeed so I can have a chance at a reward mission which also can fail. Often I lose ships on blockade missions, meaning I have to rebuild ships which are inevitably green with no equipment slots, meaning I have less chance to break the blockades, etc. Even if my blockade mission succeeds, I can only get maybe one reward mission (which may or may not be successful) in before the blockade pops up again.

WHO THE HELL THINKS THIS IS FUN???? Only people deep into schadenfreude think this is fun. Only Blizz’s Screw With the Players Department could have come up with this.

I have tried several approaches to shipyard missions and ship building. I have tried the “just keep building them and sending them out no matter what the odds” approach. All this did was waste my oil and garrison resources, with very little advancement. I have tried the “get epics and only send them on 100% missions” approach. All this did was bring my progress to a halt, because there are never any 100% reward missions for me. I tried abandoning missions for several days to grub for equipment blueprints in T2, with zero results if it required a loot drop. Nothing works for me.

I am still 8 missions from my level 3 shipyard. At my current rate, that means I might possibly get the level 3 in about two weeks. Not even close on the legendary mission line. Epic fail. Both me and Blizz.




About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

5 Responses to Shipyard — epic fail

  1. Grumsta says:

    I hate Galleonville with a passion similar to your own.

    Very early on I concluded it wasn’t worth spending 500 GR on a ship that only cost 50 GR to build from scratch, so the only upgrades I have ever applied are the free ones that drop occasionally. I needed the GR to pay for the level 2 and 3 Shipyards, so I couldn’t afford to spare any for ship “upgrades” anyway. [In the Blizz world you can buy a new car for £10,000 but it costs £100,000 to change the tyres is my analogy.]

    The treasure missions are rare, but they do come around eventually.

    If you’re running low on oil then you need to do the T2 dailies and/or hunt the four main rares (chance of mount drop here too). Even solo on my Mage I can do either of these in 45 minutes and I’m never low on oil. I never needed the oil rig. I will be exhalted with all three T2 factions by the weekend as an added bonus. These missions will be a breeze for your Hunters, they are a walk in the park for mine. Be sure to kill the three “Rumble in the Jungle” mobs for 6 of your 10 fragments every day, it saves a ton of time.

    I completed the Ring naval mission on my third attempt. The chances were 88%, 55% and then 72% when it finally succeeded. I lost three Epic ships on the way, but they were quickly replaced and back in action. [Spoiler: Succeeding in the Draenic Chart mission is such a massive anti-climax it’s hard to convey it in words. I thought it would at least generate a further quest with a mini-boss to fight. Nope, you just pass the Charts to Khadgar. End of quest. The contempt I felt for the designers of this pathetic mini game wound up another notch at that point.]

    I will say only this in their favour: my Mage got his 900 Runestones *much* quicker because of the Naval missions, they dropped regularly and in decent numbers to make a noticable difference to his progress. And some of the missions do give worthwhile rewards in the form of crystals, a pet, gold or gear. Of course, there was nothing stopping Blizz from putting these missions in Garrisonville……

    Despite (because?) of my gung-ho YOLO strategy I have all Epic ships on both my main characters. I just glance at the missions available and send them out for BoA gear, Apexis crystals, Gold or other missions that look worth the bother of a click. If the chance of success is 50% or better (which it always is with Epics) then off they go. “Come back with the loot or don’t come back at all” is my attitude. [I would argue Blizz encourage this style of play because a level 3 shipyard will create a Rare ship as a minimum now.]

    It takes me 2 mins per character to scan the naval missions on the table in my Garrison and assign ships, I then skip on to Garrisonville where I’m now making a decent chunk of gold each week and I don’t mind the 5 mins per character required to get it.

    As of last night I have 8 of the 33 Tomes needed for the Ring. The naval missions were never the things holding me back so I just didn’t stress over them. There are good, enjoyable parts of 6.2 that deserve attention. Galleonville is decidedly not one of them, please don’t give it attention it doesn’t deserve.

  2. Casually Odd says:

    I really wanted to add something to this so Blizzard (and you) know that this isn’t some lone voice out there complaining but I don’t know what else to add.

    It isn’t fun. It isn’t engaging. It doesn’t make much sense. I’m not sure what upside it has.

    The thing is, i have gotten the 25 treasure missions done on my one character, have my level 3 shipyard and I just don’t care. It is nicer to have the table in the same area as my follower table…although i actually dislike that they put it there. I liked that it was just that one table for the worgen lady (whose name escapes me). Now they are next to each other and part of me almost regrets getting the level 3 yard. Also, while I can send ships out for missions from the main hall, I still need to build and finish new ships at the docks. Which does make sense but just isn’t fun.

    I still don’t understand why we have the ships to “invade” Tanaan. We have more or less secured a land route, we fly in all of the time…it just doesn’t make sense.

    Look at how good I am at rambling. I said I had nothing to add and now 800 words later I’ve said my nothing.

    • Fiannor says:

      LOL! And the irony is that the biggest rumor for the new xpac is “water world” and “ships”. The cynic in me immediately thinks Vashj’ir and more naval missions … Yeah, two of Blizz’s triumphs (not).

  3. Storm says:

    You so eloquently, intelligently and succinctly put into words what I’ve felt about the whole Garrisons mess but couldn’t verbally define anywhere near so clearly, so thank you for that. I’d go a bit further, though.

    My take (and personal rant) on the whole thing is this: “Blizz giveth, and Activision taketh away” – because it was roughly somewhere after Wrath but before Cata that Activision bought it’s way in as the publisher, thereby slowly but surely destroying what was once the world’s greatest game.

    I love Blizz to bits – but I personally wouldn’t spit on Activision if it was dying of thirst in the Sahara.

    See, I’m of the unshakeable belief that everything that was ever wonderful and good about WoW is entirely thanks to everyone at Blizz from the day of its inception – and everything that’s become sickeningly wrong with it (since Cata, in fact), I feel is solely thanks to Activision.

    In my opinion, no matter how many ways Activision tries to wash it’s name clean by attaching ‘Blizzard’ to it, the fact remains that Activision is, in fact, just Activision – it’s a game publisher – a corner-cutter; it’s not Blizzard and never will be – it can never aspire to the high standards that Blizzard set all those years ago and it isn’t interested in doing so, because, as a publisher, it’s only interest is in doing things as cheaply as possible while maximizing profits. (Did I mention that Activision’s CEO got a $7m bonus last year? Just thought I’d throw that in there.)

    Sadly – and oh, how I pray to be wrong about this! – I’m pretty sure WoW will continue to be chopped down to nothing but a shadow of its former self while continuing to take on a twisted new ‘look’ and ‘feel’, because – from where I stand – it seems as though it’s going to be squeezed and stuffed into an el-cheapo f2p mold – a ‘vending machine game’.

    Thank goodness for vanilla servers, is all I can say – Keepers and Preservers of history and all that was once good and wonderful about WoW. Their existence pays tribute to the original creative minds and artistic talents of those who made/make up Blizzard, and only Blizzard.

    So, when viewed in the cold light of pure greed, Garrisons (and the whole buying gold in game to go with it) make sense – it was a case of ‘much ado about nothing’ in order to make it seem as though WoD was a “real expac” – all the flapping about and ‘busy-ness’ of a Garrison was designed to distract players and fool them into believing that they actually paid for ‘content’, which we all now know is not entirely true, but I think it’s a good demonstration of Activision’s modus operand. (Note: not to take anything away from the amazing artists at Blizz who designed Draenor!).

    As I said, “Blizz giveth, and Activision taketh away”.

    • Fiannor says:

      I think the original idea of garrisons was good, because I think they were intended to be a response to the request for player housing. But as usual, Blizz allowed — maybe even encouraged — every dev team to tie in to garrisons. So they quickly became the profession hub, the mini-scenario hub, quest hub, pet battling hub, banking and transport hub, etc. Combine that with the scrapping of faction major cities and you get the garrison nightmare you describe. And we still had no true player housing!

      I don’t harbor any enmity for Activision, but I do think they have imposed some pretty defined restrictions on WoW development costs. And it is very clear that they consider WoW to be a dying game form. It served them well as a flagship product for name recognition when they needed it, and they have used its popularity and its cash flow to develop and launch their other product lines. But the WoW model is not really what draws new players any more, the gaming community has moved on. I have said it before and I will say it again, by 2017 we will be discussing the follow-on to WoW, not a new expansion.

%d bloggers like this: