Today’s post may be a bit scattered, I am dealing with contractors and estimates and so am pretty distracted. It’s a good chance to deal with a couple of quick observations, basically unrelated to each other.
Findle’s Loot-a-Rang, I see from one of the forums, will only work in Draenor once Legion goes live. This is one of those things that just makes you scratch your head and wonder why. It is one of those minor quality of life improvements that everyone pretty much approved of. I certainly have not seen any ranting about “It’s way too easy to get your loot now, we need to get rid of that Loot-a-Rang thing so people have to walk over to far away corpses again, and hopefully it will be near a boss so that they will pull the boss in the process!”
Apparently an engineer can still use one in Legion, but everyone else will be out of luck.
Why would Blizz do this? They are once again “fixing” something that works fine, everyone likes, and so far as I can tell absolutely no one is complaining about. Is this yet another “immersion” item that some dev thinks takes away from the game? Will it be replaced with a Legion-only version just to give engineers some way to make gold?
I saw someone offer an opinion that it might be being removed because to make one in Legion will require legacy mats, and new players might be inconvenienced if they had to do so. ????? To that argument I offer one word: Jeeves. ‘Nuff said.
This is one of the things that Blizz habitually does that just makes me crazy. What can they be thinking? It’s like they cannot stand it when people actually really like a feature, they just have to screw it up. They did the same thing with the really nice guild perks like guild summon, with getting next-level loot from garrison missions, with scenarios, with the ability to change talents on the fly, with a lot of nice features. But no, every activity must have an annoying aspect to it! And if Blizz can’t just add an annoying aspect to a popular feature, then naturally they have to get rid of it. Can’t have people actually enjoying this game, for crying out loud!
What’s next, remove the “loot all” AoE, so that you have to walk around and loot every corpse again? Institute a “no running” policy so that now in addition to not being able to fly in a new expansion you also will not be able to run, you will have to actually walk everywhere? Require you to buy a bank slip every time you want to deposit or withdraw something in your bank?
Require you to pay money to relearn every glyphed mechanism you already know? Remove the ability to efficiently optimize your gear’s secondary stats and replace it with a complete random process? (Oh wait …)
On the bright side, I have been noticing some of the small nice touches once again. I spent a lot of time in my garrisons last week, and I noticed a lot of the very cool detail that went into them. It struck me that the whole garrison experiment was a kind of a good news bad news sort of thing. For all the annoying, frustrating, things about garrisons, there were a ton of very creative things, too.
I still get a kick out of sending all my followers on missions, then going out to the garrison gate to see them off as they leave. This little animation was, in my opinion, a real stroke of creativity. It’s the one activity in WoD that actually makes me feel “immersed” in the whole garrison commander fantasy.
I like that my pets rove around randomly, and even if I was forced to do pet battling just to complete the Menagerie so this could happen, I like the result of seeing them wandering around. It’s cute, in a way that isn’t in your face. (And speaking of “in your face cute”, I hope if Blizz is going to disable Loot-a-Rang in Broken Isles, they also disable Pepe and that stupid nasty little pug. Just sayin’.)
I like that my garrison has practice dummies, it’s a very decent innovation. I actually use them, especially when I am brushing the dust off an alt I haven’t played in a while.
Although I would have liked a choice in garrison architecture, I like the detail of the little out of the way houses scattered about (but I can’t for the life of me understand why there was not one designated for the commander….). I like the artwork for the alchemy and other profession huts, and I like the fishing area and herb garden. They are just chock full of beautiful artistic and animated details.
I also like the moving NPCs, there is a lot of detail in their movements. One thing I have noticed, though, is that they sometimes sit down alone at the eatery and commence to have a conversation with themselves, gesturing and all. That’s a little weird… I also like that they “notice” your presence and talk at you or salute or something, and that they actually navigate around you if you are in their path. Heck, they will even come to your aid if they are close and you are attacked by an herb garden creature.
The one thing I have noticed missing in garrisons is weather. I don’t think I have ever seen it rain there like it does out in the rest of the world.
I think when I look back at WoD, I will consider garrisons to have been a net plus for the expansion. I wish they had been account-wide, and I wish there had been some rudimentary player housing, but overall I liked them. I think much of the dissatisfaction with them was due to there being very little repeatable world content in the expansion, so people focused on their garrisons. Also, in typical Blizz fashion, they took a good idea and tried to make it The Ultimate Idea, so they went way overboard on the garrison’s centrality to the whole game. (Like they are probably going to do with Artifact Weapons in Legion, I am afraid.) This is a shame, because I think what Blizz took away from the experience is that players hated garrisons, not that their integration into the game was flawed.
So I doubt if we will ever see anything approaching garrisons again in the game. Sadly, the good things about them will become as yesterday as Findle’s Loot-a-Rang. My worry for Legion is that Blizz will institute class halls that have none of the cute, fun things that garrisons had, but that will retain an unhealthy centrality to game play that will cause them to become as unpopular as garrisons were.
In Blizzland, no good fun thing goes unfixed.