Fruit hats and rum and Legion

Fruit HatHave you gotten your Fruit Hat yet? I know I got mine, on all my characters last night, and I suspect you have, too. Judging by the frenetic excitement about it on my server last night, nearly everyone still actively playing has gotten at least one  and spent some amount of time playing with the conga line in their garrison.

If you don’t have the foggiest idea what I am talking about, there is an item that was in the current Legion alpha that showed up in the live game a day or so ago. You go to Valley of the Four Winds, to the Imperial Granary, collect the basket of fruit under the stairs, then head back to your garrison. When you click on the basket of fruit, it becomes a Carmen Miranda type of fruit hat, and you start dancing. When you move, instead of running as usual your character does this funky chicken-like undulating walk, and as you sashay through your garrison various NPCs fall in line behind you, dancing and following you in a conga line.

I have to admit I had some fun with the hat. At one point I got 14 in my line and we wandered all over my garrison until some apparently got bored and drifted back to whatever they had been doing. I was kind of disappointed that none of my followers joined the line — Ariok in the line might have been pretty funny — but I guess only the peripatetic NPCs have the conga line code. So I was able to snare Oscaar but not the vendor dude that stands by the lunch wagon. I probably could have gotten that ginormous tree guy that is usually blocking access to my garrison resource stash, but of course when I wanted him to be there he was nowhere to be found.

Off subject, but have you noticed how very respectful and polite Oscaar is? He actually steers his big old elekk mount around you if you are in his path in the garrison. Try it. Go stand directly in front of him as he is meandering about, and he will alter course slightly to avoid you.

Which brings me to rum. It being the holiday season, and being most of my family and friends are partial to chocolate and liquor in most any form, I have been making rum balls and rum fudge. As I am an extremely responsible and conscientious person, I must of course ensure that any food I provide for others is of the highest quality. I am sure you agree that for me to do otherwise would border on negligent.

It is possible, therefore, that much of the giggly fun I had last night with my fruit hat was made more fun as a result of my diligent taste testing earlier in the evening. Still, I did enjoy the hat. I always like it when Blizz does silly fun things. Last night as I was playing with it, I was thinking it would be cool if you could use it in a raid — especially LFR — and it would cause everyone with the item to get the hat on their heads cosmetically and start undulating in place while they were killing the boss. It would be the same mechanic as that ridiculous ring, where one person can dictate when everyone else uses it. The effect would last for maybe 30 seconds, and at the end there would be an effect that caused everyone to shout Olé! or something. (But remember while I was thinking about this I was still under the influence of taste testing…)

Like I said, I enjoy these quirky little fun things Blizz throws at us every once in a while. Unfortunately, I can usually engage with them for at most only a couple of hours before I stop being amused. Any attempt by Blizz after that to stretch them out — like costumes for Pepe, for example — is lost on me because I am done with the mechanic.

Which brings me to Legion. Specifically, its timing and the effect that timing is having on my current game play. By all accounts, we are months away from it going live — remember we are only now in alpha testing, and usually live expansions take about six months from the time beta testing starts. That would mean — even in the most optimistic scenario — it will be at least July before we get the expansion. I am betting it will be closer to the September time frame Blizz put on their Legion packaging, although Marathal over at Rambling Thoughts About WoW has an interesting marketing point to make about the subject that might make the release sooner.

But whatever release time frame you are betting on, we are still months away from Legion. Little fun things like the Fruit Hat are cute and engaging for about an hour, but no matter how many of them Blizz throws at us they will not cover up the fact that we will be stuck in Draenor — a failed expansion — for a long time yet.

By all rights, we should have another patch to cover the remaining months, but there will not be one. Before WoD, Blizz told us they were moving to a one-year expansion schedule, something that was clearly a pipe dream. I don’t fault them for trying to do it, but the realities of the game’s complexity are such that they simply do not have the resources to meet such a schedule. Hey, no harm no foul in my opinion. It was an ideal goal, but they just can’t do it.

The problem, though, is that by hanging on to the one-year fantasy, they fail to plan for sufficient patches in the current expansion. Two patches are fine if they only have to cover one year. But two patches in the first eight months, followed by eight or so more months with nothing, is just extremely poor planning.

From a personal standpoint, as I have said before I do not tend to get bored when expansions drag on. And I am not bored now. However, one of the ways I use to stave off boredom is to turn to my alts and try to get more proficient with them towards the end of every expansion. And even though I am working at that now, I am not really interested in doing it, because I know that any muscle memory I pick up now will be completely useless in Legion. I will have to relearn everything then anyway, so what is the point of putting in a lot of effort now?

Similarly, the end of an expansion is often when I am able to really improve my hunter skills on my main. If I am on a raid team, I often volunteer to be one of the main carriers during alt runs, because I find that the easy runs really help me to get better at raid awareness as well as class skills.

But this time I am not doing that. Not only am I no longer on a functioning raid team (and yes, I blame much of this on Blizz’s design decisions for WoD), but I feel like any improvements I make to my hunter skills is a total waste at this time.

Frankly, I am really tired of complete class overhauls every two years.

Sorry, I have wandered rather far off topic. My tl;dr is this: Fruit Hat was fun, but it is more fun when you are fortified with rum balls, and Legion is too far away for Blizz to keep players engaged with more fruit hats for the whole time. 

 

 

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.

2 Responses to Fruit hats and rum and Legion

  1. Grumsta says:

    The logical conclusion to your post is that you better start making a lot more rum balls.

    You’ve concisely put into words a muddled thought I’ve had about my alts that are awaiting levelling: that it’s not worth learning their classes as they’ll change so much when Legion hits.

    My plan is not to buy Legion yet, but to wait until the patch with flying in it and some decent catch-up mechanisms (the Legion equivalent of 6.2.2). I will use the few months between launch and me upgrading to re-learn my current characters and then level up some more if I don’t like what I see.

    I’m currently very much in Limbo: my old guild imploded last week (personal relationship issues, nothing to do with WoD) and while the new guild I’ve joined has a strong Normal-Heroic raid team it doesn’t feel like home yet. In the meantime I’m spending a lot less time in game outside of raids, and I just fish, or gather mats to make Vial of the Sands. It’s hard to imagine that being much fun for 6 months.

    Pass me the rum balls will you please?

    • Fiannor says:

      Yes, rum balls all around!

      I will probably buy Legion a week or two before it goes live — sadly, I am a hopeless fangirl — but I do like your plan, it makes a lot of sense. And sorry to hear about your guild, that is never a fun time in guild life.

      Even if we get Legion in 6 months, we should have had a Patch 6.3, I remain dumbfounded at Blizz’s complete inability to plan expansion structure. I understand their desire to have one-year expansions, and I understand overreaching on that goal and having to back off of it, but what I don’t understand is their putting out two patches in 8 months, then being fine with going 8 or more months without one.

      Conga line forms here *