Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Seeing Things in Context

Since the previous blizzcon when warlords of draenor was announced up until this one which happened on the door step of warlords of draenors release we have ran through a number of hot button topics.  I, like everyone else, had an opinion. 

Being I was able to experience a fair deal of the issues on beta my opinion on some of those hot button topics changed.  I am not one of those people that are set in stone and I can't or won't change my mind.  If I am shown that I am wrong I will freely admit it and change my opinion.  That is the beauty of opinions, they can be changed if there is reason to do so.

So as we knock on the dark portal and wait for someone to answer the door and let us through in less than 2 short days I want to revisit some of those hot button topics and see if my opinion changed, or has been reinforced even stronger.

Karabor / Bladespire Capitals:

When these were announced as our main cities on draenor I was very excited for it.  Admittedly as a player who mostly has alliance characters it was nice to be on the winning side for once.  We see horde favoritism in nearly every step of the game and anyone who denies that is willfully blind, so having the fabled black temple as our home city before it was known as the black temple was a bit of a reason for the alliance to shout out with joy.  We finally won one and get a little bit of the feeling of favoritism for once.

When they later announced they were, in fact, not going to be our capital cities it became a hot button topic.  I was firmly on the side that believed they should be.  Not only because I wanted that feeling like alliance got something special for once, but because two major cities sounded really freaking awesome.  To have those two major cities replaced by some outposts somewhere else seemed like such a let down.  We were prepared for this huge city and got tents and shacks and nothing much more instead.

My time on the beta allowed me to reevaluate my opinion and as it turns out, change my opinion.  I am now glad these cities are not our capitals.  Even if I most definitely would have liked them to be, they really seem mostly unnecessary now.  I found myself spending the vast majority of my free time in my garrison and not in the new main city at all.  If it were these huge buildings they would have went to waste.  So they might as well be some outposts in the middle of nowhere that are basically, if not exactly, a carbon copy of each other alliance or horde side.

I might miss having had the chance to call the black temple home for an expansion, but it is better they did not waste all the resources it would have taken to make it fully functional and vibrant because I really would not be spending any substantial time there anyway.  It would have been a complete waste.

Ashran Capitals:

Another hot button topic that came on the heels of the previous one was when we were told our new city hubs would be in the PvP zone, or the out skirts of it as it may be.  It felt, to most, as a way for blizzard to try to force PvP on the players by making their capital be, basically, part of a PvP battleground.  There was a lot of back and forth on this, mostly from PvE focused players and players on PvE realms that do not want to PvP.  I too was against it.

In practice they fixed a lot of the things I had issues with right away. They expanded the bases so it wasn't just a few tents, it was now a lot of tents and even a solid structure or two here and there.  They gave it some real space and filled it.  This made it feel more like a staging area and less like a rest stop.

They also changed another things I personally had an issue with at the get go which was the fact it was part of the PvP island.  While in the city you would not be flagged for PvP.  So no worries about going AFK for a toilet break or to heat up a coffee and coming back to a dead body.  It has happened to me before and it is no fun.  I don't mind dying in battle, but I hate being ganked while I am getting my coffee.  Only a coward kills a man getting his coffee fix.  This issue was solved.

Then on the beta I got to test it out.  There was no way to accidentally flag yourself, which helps because you won't just stumble into instant death, and the guards were a little beefier than you might expect so they can help keep the battlefield war from entering the outpost.

So while I was against the capitals being in a PvP zone it works out that I actually like them where they are.  Because of a few reasons, first of which is, like mentioned previously, I will be spending most of my time in my garrison anyway, so it is not like a really need a capital city, my garrison is my capital city.  The second reason I ended up liking it goes back to the previous post where I say that blizzard wants to get us PvE players into PvP and this helps ease us into it.  Being there is no waiting, you just step in and you are in world PvP, and you can step out at any time by retreating to your ashran capital city makes it just a little more welcoming, even if not perfect.  All part of blizzard effort to allow us to get into PvP if we were not previously into it.

This goes as the second thing I have changed my mind on once I saw it in context.  It is really true that your gut check response can sometimes be wrong when you do not have all the facts at hand and have yet to see the finished product.  This is one of those cases where I am glad I was wrong with my first opinion on this hot button topic.  The ashran bases are not exactly something I would say I like, but they most definitely something I do not dislike.  And I do like their placement even if I were against it at first.

No Flying:

This is still a huge hot button topic and it will not be going away anytime soon either if trade chat is any indication.  It seems like the vast majority of players still do not know that there is no flying on draenor.  Even some of the ones that do realize it don't fully understand it and seem to think that they will get flying when they reach max level or shortly after.  Yes, we might, just might, get it in 6.1, but it has never been said we will.  So working on that assumption is wrong.  It is best to believe we will not be having it at all, and then if they add it and you wanted it, congratulations.

I was against no flying from the get go.  I said I will live with it and that remains the same, I will live with it.  I've always been one of those people that would rather spend my time playing the game than traveling somewhere to play it.  Given the option of running to a flight path, taking the flight path, then running to the area I want to go to or just mounting up and flying directly there, it is a no brainer.  I would rather mount and fly directly there.  It allows me to spend more time playing the game and waste less time traveling.

After playing on the beta my opinion remains unchanged.  If anything is it even more so reinforced.  I seriously dislike the absence of flight and I beleive it will really hurt the game over all.  There is already so little reason to go out in the world of draenor that flying is the only thing that can salvage that.  At least if we could fly we might go out and explore or just fly around wasting time instead of sitting in our garrison wasting time.

I still believe that after I leveled up, then leveled up another character or two as well, I have done all the sight seeing I could ever want.  From that point on it becomes more about getting from point A to point B and flying just makes that easier.  Forgive me for wanting the easy way out but like I said, I would rather spend my time playing instead of traveling, and after playing on the beta with no flying for months, my opinion remains unchanged.  Flying should have never been removed.   I will live with it, no big deal, but I would be a much happier paying customer if it were still in game and they didn't completely disregard my, and many others, opinion on the matter.

Customizable Garrisons:

Well, customizable to some degree.  They never said garrisons would be customizable, they never even hinted they might be.  But they did say you could have one in multiple areas, which you can't, and they did say you can rename your followers, which you can't.  This was a major hot button topic for many and still remains so in some small circles.

Personally, I never really cared about placement of my garrison.  I would always put it wherever was closest to where I would want to be often.  Again it would be about time.  If the raid is in nagrand, then putting it in nagrand would make it easier to get to the raid.  It is about time playing vs time traveling and I would rather spend my time playing.  However, not being able to place it where I wanted did not matter to me.  Draenor is so damn small away, so I will leave 2 minutes earlier to get to the raid, not such a big deal, I can live with that I guess.

The other part was naming followers.  I was always against that.  If someone has a name, that is their name.  You can not change it.  These people are followers, not pets.  Heck, even as a hunter if I tame something that is a named mob I keep his name.  Like when I tamed Buru, he is Buru.  When I tamed Beast, he is Beast.  You get the idea.  It is not my place to change someones name and if I would not change the name of a pet, why would I even consider changing the name of a follower.

Nothing changed here from my original assessment.  Blizzard went back on their word, sure, but I did not care when they first went back on their word here and I still do not care.  I think garrisons being in one place is good and I sure as hell think you should not be able to rename a person.  How would you like if I renamed you Bob?  And if your name is bob I am now going to call you Walt, what do you think about them apples?

Some opinions change and some opinions stay the same.  I am sure some will disagree with me.  But I changed my opinion on some things after seeing them in context.  Maybe others might as well.  As time has gone by, have your changed any of your opinions on these or other hot button topics?  Maybe when the game comes out, you might.  Something to consider.


  1. Not being able to fly sucks. It did in the beta. It will on live. No question.

    Not on-point with your post, but relevant to the launch... and involves coffee...

    I have four different varieties of coffee beans ready for the leveling push. I have my food purchased and will be making the dishes tomorrow night to eat for five days. I'm normally not a soda guy, but I have a case of Coke Zero in the frig.

    I have spreadsheets printed for my garrisons, gear, toys, battle pets, and dungeons, with electronic copies containing WoWHead links an alt-tab away. Your guides formed the basis for a lot of this planning. Thanks.

    I'm taking three days off of work and my wife has generously agreed to allow me to remove myself from the world once again for a launch. In return, I have promised to bathe and shave at least twice in these five days. Marriage is a give-and-take!

    In the run-up to WoD, I have to say that I've been less excited about this expansion than any other previously. In spite of that, I'm a geek and the geek adrenaline is kicking in. Grom challenges, "Who will stand against us?"

    I will. And so will you, Grumpy. And so will Nat Pagle. No one F%$ks with Nat Pagle.

    1. I am not so much a soda guy either but for some odd reason I always have a 2 liter in the fridge should I ever want some. At the rate I actually drink soda it is probably flat.

      I will, of course, have coffee made and ready for reheating as needed. Enough to last through the push to 100.

      Awesome to hear the guides helped some. Glad you liked them.

      I took some time off as well and don't need to worry about the lady as she will be leveling as well and I will be picking on her the entire time saying "what is taking you so long". No, I do not level with her, I would be bald from pulling my hair out. She does not share my "keep moving" philosophy.

      I am not really all that hyped for the story, but I am a little for something new to do. After all we have been through and done, a few orcs with anger issues really is not that exciting of an enemy.

      Stand against them? We will walk over all them.

      I don't care about realm firsts, never have, but I know one thing for sure. I will have realm first Nat Pagle. He's the man, and I have already done it all so I know exactly where to fish for everything.

      Did you now Nat is an MM hunter?

    2. teehee i am planning something similar but my SO will be nerding with me. the only difference is that i won't have any soda (water + black tea will do) and food ready. this way i force myself to get up or outside sometimes. i couldn't stand sitting for too long anyways.

      have fun in wod! it's nearly here! woooo!

    3. It is always a good idea to get up and take a walk every so often. But with the amounts of coffee I drink that usually is not a problem. Either getting up to get more, or to get rid of what I drank, I get lots of movement in. lol

  2. The no fly thing is the main reason why I initially chose the tower as one of the large garrison buildings, but your guides convinced me otherwise in the end (going for Stables+Barracks, then Bunker, no idea if i'll ever have room for a tower). The biggest flaw is not time saving imho -i often use the taxi and alt+tab because I'm lazy- but it's the loss of flexibility. I would often do something in a remote zone and remember something else near it and quickly fly there too. Any detour or additional action like finding a trainer, choosing the path and then riding the last bit, will reduce the chance of spending more time than absolutely needed outside.

    Sure, since it'll be the same rule for everyone, the time loss is relative, and being hunters we're at an advantage anyways because we can escape very easily. it's still annoying as hell, and i'm not looking forward to being stuck in gorges and forced into taking huge detours around mountains and stuff. /rant

    1. If you are interested in achievements having a tower is good for that. Once you have everything else it is not so bad to get around a little faster. But yeah, over all, it doesn't seem like an exciting building. I think that is why they added the arcane orb thing to it at the end of the beta. It needed something else.

      I already hated the having to take detours for no reason. Or what is even worse is when you see the quest objective or marker on the top of the mountain and have to spend half an hour trying to figure out how the hell to get up there. I can't believe blizzard actually wants this sort of game play. There is nothing fun about having to run around mountains and not being able to find your way up them.

  3. Hmm. I must say that's an interesting perspective on naming pets that already have names. Personally I've always named them something else, because the way I see it, keeping the name implies that this is THE one and only Loque'nahak - as there cannot realistically be thousands of the same individual - and that it would be incredibly arrogant of me to imply that I am THE ONE hunter who's got him. While there are, of course, thousands more with the same pet. So my logic is that they are all different cats, and none of them is the actual Loque'nahak, because that sounds like a serious special snowflake syndrome to me. So when I see people who have kept the original name, it makes me perceive them as rather arrogant.

    Now I do realize I'm probably thinking too much about this stuff, and this particular perception is quite likely to be wrong (I have never really had a chance to actually find out so far). They probably don't see things the same way I do - as proven right here in this post - or perhaps have not given it much thought at all and just run with it. Or whatever. So I try not to let it affect my opinion about the player, it's just harder than it should be. So it was good to read about different, yet sound reasoning, to help me battle my own silly prejudice.

    1. I always through of it as the exactly opposite. I thought it was arrogant for people to rename something that already has a name. It would be like if you had a dog, lets call him champ, and you moved and could no longer have a pet so I offered to take care of him for you. Would I change his name? No, it is champ, I can not change his name. That is his name.

      The only time I would see a naming issue is on a role play server. On a role play server the first person on the server to catch Loque is the only one that has him. Everyone else has a look alike. Same for raid kills. Only the first guild on the server to kill the end boss on heroic can ever claim to have beaten them in their role play. It makes sense from a role play standpoint.

      Outside of that, I will always keep a named animal his name. If I tame "random boar #678" it is like adopting a pet from the kennel and I can give him a name, but if I am looking after champ, then his name is champ. Can't rename something that already has a name.

  4. Warlords launches tonight! Despite the fact that I said I wouldn't as November is crazy busy for me, quite frankly who am I kidding? I will login at some point tomorrow because I can't help myself. I think that's proof above all else that despite everything I do still like this game. I'm excited to dive in and see Draenor and the new content. I'm worried about what'll happen from a longevity standpoint, given the out of raid gearing options or lack of. However, I just want to play. I'll worry about that when I get to it.

    I never had a stake in the "capitol city" debate as if I'm honest, as soon as I realised that the Alliance capitol was the Black Temple, this huge lore place, I knew that was never going to happen. There is no blizz would give the Alliance a boon like that. When they changed it to the PvP area I assumed it was like Tol Barad, where there's the PvE half and the PvP half. It sounds from your description more like Wintergrasp but you also said there was no accidental PvP so that's good as I suck at PvP. I want the achievements, as I love achievements, but I had to realise a long time ago that was never going to happen.

    The Garrisons drama I think was caused by people projecting what they hoped, and then ofc being disappointed when their hopes didn't become reality. People wanted so much from it so ofc it wasn't going to live up to the hype. I wasn't in beta and I don't do well understanding things until I can see them for myself. I will go back to your guides when I'm on Draenor and I can't put things into context. Right now it's all go whooshing above my head.

    As for naming pets, yeah I rename them. Although I don't actually think I have any pets that were already named. I don't have any rare ones, I have one of every kind of buff as I wanted to be a good hunter and be prepared if I ever played my hunter. So yeah, I picked all the names myself. It's actually silly, my hunter has never been seriously played but I'm attached to one of the pets specifically. It's definitely not going to be the optimal pet but it's the one I have to level with, it's the one I usually have with me. The only time I ever swap it for something else is in a group situation, and that's pretty much always been for the corehound as the group needed hero.

    Then there's flying. I wish somebody at blizzcon had asked "How are we supposed to do archaeology on Draenor without going insane with no flying?" as how will that work? Flying makes archaeology possible. Well alright you can do it without but the back and forth, back and forth, I mean it's a flying profession. Like nothing else it's all about the travel time. They put flying into the game, they put archaeology into the game. They really did not think this through. Not to mention all the flying mounts in the game, they look stupid walking on the ground. So we'll go to Draenor and never see those mounts unless we go back to Azeroth. I really hope none of the mounts awarded in Draenor are flying, as that would be a kick in the teeth "here's a mount you can't use haha". Seriously, they need to bring in flying sooner rather than later.

    Enjoy Warlords! :)

    1. Actually I do have a couple of questions about Garrisons. Turns out my impatience is in full swing and I started to think about it, and wonder what I would do.

      You've said in your guides about swapping things around for achievements/pets/toys etc. but aren't these items account wide?

      You see I was thinking about what would be the best setup for my main, and ofc I have an alt of every class/all the professions which I can also level and have garrisons on if I want. True gold might be an issue as I am not particularly flush but as I long term thing.

      If all the achievements/items etc. are account wide then why swap buildings out for them? Why not just do these other buildings on an alt?

      Also other question, if you do swap the buildings out do you lose progress, like when you swap professions and go back to zero skill points? As there's one building that increases your follower numbers, if you got rid of that one, would you have to delete a load of followers?

      Anyway, as a non raiding paladin with blacksmithing/engineering professions. I thought:
      Small - Engineering Works, The Forge, Salvage Yard.
      Medium - Inn and Barn
      Large - Barracks and Stables

      My thinking was get my profession buildings for the bonuses,then the salvage yard for gear missions. The inn for the daily quest missions and the barn for the Savage Blood mat. Then the stables for the mounts and the barracks for the follower gear.

      I was tempted by the Enchanters study. I have 4 enchanters as I love that profession on alts so I can DE stuff in dungeons. It's something I wish I could have on my main. Then the combination of Lumber Mill/Trading Post seemed to be good? from what I read but it needed the combo of the two and the daily missions from the Inn caught my attention. Then the Bunker/War Mill seemed possibly a good choice given I won't be raiding and what is up with Siege Vehicles? Where are they used?

      Ugh I just want to play Warlords now and discover all the answers. I'm not a patient person, I just want to play and get started.

      Hmm Ask Mr Robot has a guide with pictures which is cool. There's a gold making garrison build at the bottom which given that I'm not flush might be a better build. I have like 120k account wide. I don't buy anything off the AH but I don't often try and make gold either. When I have in the past, it's been a short term thing and I've then spent the proceeds on whatever mount I wanted. I like to keep to a certain level of gold as like a safety net.

      Anyway, I'll stop rambling. I'll understand things soon enough hopefully. Good like racing to 100!

    2. If you like a game you will come back to it. Might not stay longer than it continues to be enjoyable, but you do still like it. So they have not lost you yet. I believe blizzard should be asking people like you your opinion on things and taking what they can from it. They lose way to many people on the cusp like you.

      Yeah, Ashran seems like one use island but the bases are not flagged, you have to step forward into the battle area and it gives you a warning you will be flagged. I like how they worked it.

      As a life long hunter I can tell you I am the same. I have a sentimental favorite and he is my leveling pet. When I level I use him and when I hit max level he usually goes to the stables never to be seen again until the next expansion when I need to level again.

      If I were to ever quit the game, he would be the pet I log out that final time with. He is my friend, companion, and the first reason I think I fell in love with the game.

      So many dig sites were unreachable without flying. I put in a ticket about them all. I really hope they fixed these.

      Yes, they are account wide. But my main is the one I would be active on and the one I would be able to get stuff done on to get the achievements faster. On alts I would rather just make the building they are going to stay with. For example, the collect 500 orge waystones. I can probably do that quickly on my main, but on an alt it might take me the entire expansion, if I ever get it done at all. That is what I meant.

      If you switch a building the new building starts at level 1. There are so skill levels to buildings, only building levels. So if you ditch a level 3 building the new one would need to go from 1 to 2 to 3.

      Seems like your setup is nice. Something I might suggest in your situation.

      You can always go to a friends garrison and use their enchanters study to disenchant things. So if you do not have a study, all you need is one friend that does.

      You will be playing in less than 24 hours. We all will. :)

      See you at 100.

    3. If you look carefully, the AskMrRobot guide credits a certain hunter blog at the top of their image.

      > Lots of guides have lots of good info. I compiled all of the basic info to get you started, leaving out all of the extras and big lists, that just clutter your brain. For more info, you can visit the guides I used as references. They are all quite excellent!

      > ...

      > The Grumpy Elf’s guide to Garrison Achievements, including ones that unlock blueprints. Also some really good FAQs, and a really thorough guide to each building (with and without having that profession).


      > by Mr. Robot, gathering info from @Elvinelol, @AlternativeChat, and guide from mmo-champion, Warcraft PEts, The Grumpy Elf and icy-veins.



    4. Wow, that is pretty awesome. Thanks for pointing that out. Cool to see my name mentioned there. I feel special. Thanks for pointing that out.