Legion Garrisons aka Class Order Halls

Let’s continue talking about Legion expansion impressions. My next post would be about class order halls.

Having completed artifact weapons for every class, I managed to see all the class order halls.

Of course they couldn’t be equally cool, but Blizzard tried their very best to communicate class fantasy to us. This they achieved. But order halls are not equal in terms of coolness. It’s probably to every person’s liking, but here’s my rating.

Top class order halls for me would be:

  • Druid – the most peaceful lush area ever. It’s all the beauty of Val’sharah enhanced tenfold.
  • Hunter – I fell in love with the lodge. It’s a refuge in the wilds, so cozy and tranquil.
  • Priest – the temple is plain but absolutely majestic.
  • Shaman – the Maelstrom is fun. These caves give a feeling of space, and it’s live as hell.

Nice order halls which lack something nevertheless:

  • Warrior – yes, it’s basically Valhalla, and the viking spirit is there. Still a feast hall is just a hall, I’ve expected more of feast going on there.
  • Monk – it’s the central temple at a floating turtle, the pandaren starting zone. Beautiful and full of colors, but the statue in the center sucks out all the space of the hall.
  • Warlock – the design is not so good. There’s too much fel world stones which draw all the attention from the details.

These order halls are well done according to class fantasy, but failed to deliver the wow-effect:

  • Demon Hunter, Rogue, Death Knight – well, it’s basically just a hideout in Dalaran, just a Felhammer spaceship and just an Acherus. Nothing more, nothing less.

These order halls are plain dull:

  • Paladin
  • Mage

As for how these Order Halls work – well, I’m totally happy. It’s an improved Garrison, a polished one – the one which should have been in Draenor.

Mission table is awesome, and that is why:

  1. You have very few followers, and they all have names and matter. You can learn them, yes. They are not just ‘match a cube with a square hole and cylinder with a round hole’ game. They are persons.
  2. They yell something when you assign them for mission. Again, it reminds you that they are living and acting heroes, not items.
  3. You can send two heroes for a three-people mission. That’s what I lacked in Draenor so much. You could win the mission with 1 follower, but you had to assign another two just to fill the slots.
  4. There is a campaign chained to the missions.
  5. The rewards are significant, and they matter. They are worth sending for.
  6. The number of missions is not overwhelming, and they are exactly as long as you need not to return to Order Hall every hour, but also have these few minutes of peaceful activity to do in the morning and in the evening.
  7. The ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ feature – in the mage hall I’ve explored so far you can hire/summon water elementals and battle mages. These squads act as a significant mission support, and I like that they are not eternal, but vanish after a pair of missions. It’s a nice game.

There’s an Order Hall upgrade option, but it seemed to me a bit dull. You choose one of the options like in Starcraft Terran campaign. The very same tech tree, several tiers, you choose one of two options per tier. I wish that upgrading through tiers would change the looks of the Order Hall, adding some details. Maybe it does, but I didn’t notice it yet? I’ve improved to tier one so far.

Finally, there’s this artifact improvement item. Animations are great, but it annoys a bit that you have to visit it every time you collect enough AP. Still I would vote for this small inconvenience. It adds some class fantasy and meaning into your actions.

There are also class order hall specific things. I’ve noticed one yet: at a shaman hall there is a totem puzzle on the floor, and it was very fun to play. I’ve completed the first round (it was like a daily), and saved the others for later. Maybe there are things like that in other order halls? Please tell me.

All in all Class Order Halls seem like a perfect work on the mistakes made with Warlords of Draenor Garrisons. It’s an important place and to visit it everday, but it doesn’t concentrate all your gameplay around it. It’s social. It enhances your class fantasy. And it’s a refuge where you could hang out and peep at other class champions.

Class Order Halls: 10 points out of 10

 

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Mounts For Sale

Mounts

I have always been a collector type. WoW serves this part of my nature well – one of my big attractions in the game are different collections: achievements, mounts, toys, and (to lesser extent) pets.

Acquiring mounts is probably one of the most complex things in game. While you could easily get a vast amount of them, the others require hard work. Straightforward farming, like badges at Argent Tournament, or Apexis crystals in Tanaan/Garrisons or some reputations, raid cooldowns with 1-2% drop rate – we’ve all been there.

One of the hardest things for me personally were expensive mounts. I’ve always been making money as my side activity, as a reward for doing quests or running dungeons and raids for other reasons (never did an old raid for cash). I’ve almost never sold things at Auction House, it’s always chaotic and I tend to spend pretty big money there as well. I would spend thousands for mogging items, for flight lessons and profession mats to help my alts.

Still, money stopped being a problem in Draenor. Garrisons and Shipyards suddenly began to bring my army of alts some vast amount of cash. I’m sending followers and ships for gear and follower gear to sell, runes (which stack and cost good money), and obviously gold itself. A stack of 20 crates processed through Salvage Yard would bring me 500-600 gold too – I won’t bother with auction house, and I would vendor everything.

And so, this cash flow resulted in this mount list (prices are very approximate):

4 multicolored panthers – 28,000 to 40,000 each
Jeweled Onyx Panther – 80,000
Grand Expedition Yak – 120,000
Champion’s Tradeblade (Alliance Chopper from the TV show) – 100,000
Minion of Grumpus – 40,000
Crimson Deathcharger – 45,000
Garn Nighthowl – 35,000
Vial of Sands – 42,000
Geosynchronous World Spinner – 70,000
Depleted-Kyparium Rocket – actually crafted it, but mats cost much

I don’t include any 5,000 cost mounts in the list – they’re relatively cheap.

It’s over 750,000 gold I was able to spend in Draenor for mounts only. Terrifying, actually. But at least I need nothing in this part of the Auction House anymore :=)

My six Alliance toons are sitting at a heap of 5,000 each now. My five Horde toons are sharing a 100,000 pile of cash between them. I would carry out all the gold leftovers from Garrisons before pre-patch, but I think we’re good now. We’re done with our Garrisons, bring the demons!

Garrisons: Next Expansion?

I know, I know: it’s probably not the best time to talk of next expansion, as it was not even announced yet. But I want to meditate a bit about the “personal place” issue – what it will be like in the future.

Warmill

The Aspect of Emotion 

Before Pandaria, you were a seasoned adventurer who saved the world, but when you entered some cozy house or posh decorated hall while doing quests – you may have told yourself: I want to call this place home. You were a hobo. You had to carry all your belongings with you.

So, the whole story started in the Valley of Four Winds. Blizzard gives you this farm which doesn’t only require doing household CHORES but which is more, it becomes actually YOURS. You fill it up with domestic life and decorate it with trees and furniture, and suddenly you know that it’s your place with no one running over your crops. You know that you can do some wash up and let your clothes dry here in the Four Winds while cooking something at your personal steamer and reading a book in YOUR OWN bed :=)

At Frostwall or Lunarfall Garrisons, it’s both more and less homely feeling. You definitely feel more protected behind these walls, you know that each and every person here knows who you are and reveres you, you run around the grounds while bossing everyone and giving away orders, but… if you think twice, there’s no personal corner for you. You either sleep in Barracks or in a Tavern. Again, you’re a hobo, though a respected one.

  • The future of “Farm – Garrison” in the next expansion as I see it from emotional point of view: it is very important to have your own place where you return every day. But it’s gotta be PERSONAL and HOMELY. You must have your own bunk bed in your own hut (and a customizable one too – mind the races not factions!).
  • And it shoudln’t be overcrowded: after all, you’re the lone wolf type of adventurer. When you go further, what will all these followers and workers do without no one to give them orders? Probably become drunks and form gangs, pillaging Draenei and Frostwolf Orc villages. 

The Aspect of Customization

Farm lacked it – like at all. Whatever you did, you got the same orange tree, the same furniture, the same animals in the yard.

In Garrison, you can choose what and where to build and which guards will there be. But you’re obliged to have a Herb Garden and a Mine. You’re obliged to run a full base of many buildings. You want something personal, but you end up in a traditional Alliance or Horde city. Like the guys who came from portal carefully listened to what you told them and then did like the were used to anyways.

– “Listen, I’m a Tailor, so could we please put here a Tailoring Emporium?”
– “Okay, a Tailoring Emporium – 1 piece. Mine – 1 piece. Herb Garden – 1 piece…”
– “Wait, wait, wait! What Mine?”
– “Oh, but you can’t do a base without a mine and a herb garden. We never built one without a mine and a barracks and a townhall!”
– “I – don’t – need – it. Got it?”
– “Aye, Commander. So, Mine – 1 piece, Herb Garden – 1 piece…”
– “*sigh* Mine it is…”
– “1500 gold please for your Mine”
– “What?!”

  • So, as I see it: the next expansion’s “Garrison” consists of:
  • My own shack (Gnomish or Trollish or Elvish – depends on my race). A place to crush at. A totem and skins for Tauren, a shack with gadgets for Gnome etc. No one there: no followers, no thralls and varians, no aide-de-camps. 
  • A pair of grounds for my Professions – like Profession shacks. If I’m Herbalist or Miner – ONLY then there should be Herbs or Ores income. Slaughterhouse for skins – only if I’m Skinner. And no more extra stuff. The good example maybe the Outposts: there’s only 2 buildings, a Tavern and a building YOU chose.
  • In other words, this place shouldn’t mix up the functions of a big city and your home. At your home, you get busy with your professions and have a rest. In a big city, you trade, meet people, get quests, and well, go adventurous.

What do you think? Would you like to have your own special place in the next expansion and how do you see it? Or you better return to good old hangout in capital, go rampaging somewhere else?

Skins And Furs: Filling The Barn

One of the most frustrating things about Garrison that I was complaining about is the skins/furs income. The problem is: as long as you can gather herb/ore literally from under your feet, it’s unfair for Leatherworkers and Tailors that collecting THEIR resources is harder.

Now I changed my mind.

Last week I had to go out of town for a couple of days, and I spent the last hour in the game to charge all my workshops with orders before leaving.

It’s All About Time

So, as clearing up a full Lv 3 Mine takes you approximately 4 minutes, it appeared that capturing beasts at Nagrand doesn’t take you much longer, however it may seem.

When I set off with my leatherworker Chitsuro to get beasts for Lv 3 Barn, I prepared for like 15-20 minutes of running around. Actually it took me 5 minutes to pile up the stock of 26 cages (maximum Barn capacity). That is 13 beasts to aggro (you know that you can capture one beast twice, right?). If not for the trap cooldown, it would be even faster.

When I came home after 2 days, I found that my leather stock is so full that I may not worry about leathers for like a long time. And suddenly my one and only disasterous profession (Leatherwork) looks very good and I manage to do some gear for my toons.

Mind you, it’s without severe grinding. 5 minutes, and you’re good for 3 days.

Isn’t that nice?

Now For Something Completely Unrelated: 

WoWScrnShot_020115_163023
My best shot of clash with Garrosh ^_^

Garrisons: Blue Collar Experience

Now that my all 10 chars set up their Tier 2 garrisons and got themselves their profession shacks each, the Garrison becomes a daily chore like it was at Pandaria’s farm.

Of course it’s more fun! Even with herb garden and mine, it doesn’t get me very tired of the routine. I understand what and where I’m doing.

Your Daily Resources Income

My 5 Alliance characters dig the mine and provide an enormous amount of ore daily. The only character that benefits from ores is Microfury, my jeweller, so now she doesn’t even know where to pile up the said ore. She got herself mats more than enough for daily craft and orders – and even more than that. Crafting rings and necklaces for 4 chars (need 92 and 95 level to use them) didn’t influence much on her stocks.

Mayluna and Backston share the herb income for their Alchemy and Scribing respectively. Even with only 2 gardens level one, it’s already almost enough.

My 5 Horde characters have vice versa situation. Schlitzchen and Ilmari have to share ores for Engineering and Blacksmithing, while Zindari gets full advantage of all of the Horde’s herb income for her Alchemy.

The big trouble now is pelts and furs. Yes, you can go out of your garrison and meet HERDS ready for trapping (will take you 5-10 minutes to fill your Barn), but it’s like: I need to go outside somewhere there… meh. And getting Dust for Enchanting – you must quest, mon. So I think it’s not that fair between professions.

Garrison: Time Consuming

Collecting resources, placing orders, sending mats to each other – takes my 10 chars nearly one hour daily. And I even didn’t upgrade most of my buildings much further than level 1. Are we ever going to play and quest and do dungeons?

Good news everyone: when all the recipes and schemes will be learned and all necessary crafts will be made, I guess there won’t be a big need in resources unless you want to make some money. Even then, I see the light in the end of the tunnel. So a routine won’t be a routine anymore.

WoWScrnShot_120914_205249
– Let’s teleport out of here and get ourselves some real action! Oh wait, there’s a new ready order from Mine that I need to pickup…

Still Not Happy With Cooking

Cause the meat drop from the animals is disasterously low and fishing is so time-consuming. I want the old schemes back! If I catch a fish or get a lump of meat, I want to fry it at once.

What’s The Endgame Of Garrisons?

Micromantica got herself Garrison Tier 3 and upgraded few buildings to Tier 2. I guess she needs some orders achievements to upgrade everything and a HUGE load of money. Her last thousand gold, she spent it to get the beloved Excavation level 3. More digging!

Garrisons: A Blessing Or A Failure?

There is a nice Garrison article at Murf Versus blog, with which I totally agree and need to add a bit from my point of view.

So far Micromantica’s Garrison has all the spots built up, and I’ve upgraded few of the buildings to the next tiers. Now that my Garrison is fully operational and I finally understand what’s happening there, I can tell about my final opinion on this new feature in game.

Horde-Garrison

Managing Your Garrison

It really takes not so much time, colecting orders, placing the new ones, collecting ores and herbs and managing the missions table. Question is: what’s the sense of this all?

Lore

Blizzard claimed that our Garrison will be our base of operations on Draenor to fight the Iron Horde. Does it feel like that? No. Like at all.

Both Garrisons are hidden in the farthest and most safe corners from where the real action is happening. They are not protecting anything or guarding some strategic points. It’s a hermitage where you can play in your sandbox, and it doesn’t add to some strategic value or advantage. The “attacks” seem too made-up, as neither of the factions that could attack your Garrison should really take your place as a threat.

Your outposts in other zones don’t add up much too. These are merely small quest hubs actually, easily compared with any normal questing hubs, neither properly protected or having any lore value. Any good and planned attack from Iron Horde or Botani could easily swipe your outposts in an hour.

Placing your Garrison at a really tough and strategic place could have made the trick. I would have bound them to Tanaan somehow, near the gorge where Gorgrond/Talador/Tanaan crossing (we will rush there, right?), or near the former Dark Portal. Although destroyed at the moment, the place still poses a threat to be re-opened again.

Gathering Professions: Your Diploma Is A TP Now

Needless to say that when your Tailor/Enchanterer spends some time of daily routine successfully mining ores and gathering herbs – it’s a sort of thing that I didn’t plan for my character when choosing a profession. At the same time it makes my devoted gatherers feel like they missed something in their lives. Why did my Herbalists, Skinners and Miners spent all the time leveling when finally it doesn’t matter – at all? Their “Zen Master” degree is now nothing more than an asswipe (and a used one too) – deal with it.

Crafting Professions Are Non-Crafting Professions

It’s hlarious, but you don’t actually craft anything! What you do is just give your resources to workshops to automatically get another resources in a while. It was supposed to feel like a vivid town, where craftsmen are accepting your orders, but hey, it’s a shop game, not actual craft! For making good things you need 100 resources, and it’s many days of shop-game before you can actually make anything. One crafting action in a month – isn’t that cool? (Spoiler: NO!!)

To conclude these 2 points: professions are dead now.

What could save them is a complete reboot and return to previous patterns.  

Missions

I’ve already said that it’s a game for kindergarden now. Put a cube in a square hole and a cylinder in a round hole. After a while you don’t remember the names of your followers, as there are too many, and they also become simple game bricks: if you put one in an appropriate slot, you receive a reward. Hooray! I’m so tired of this game and saving resources for my garrison, so missions are limited only to those which bring me resources to upgrade.

Sum Up

In the long run, Garrisons own a nice RPG-development scent, but the real operations in it are a fun-killer. By now, having finished Nagrand (even with slow pace – storylines were fast), I am obliged to dig in the direction of developing my Garrison instead of lore, and it’s not a good replacement.

It’s the first experiment of this scale that Blizzard made (creating your base), but I hope it will undergo some really big improvements.

Garrisons: A Total Confusion

The post is devoted only to Garrisons and why it’s so strange for me now.

warlords-of-draenor-garrison

To get started with, I’m having my Garrison now at level 2, built a mine (upg:2), a herb garden, a fishing shack and Enchanter/Tailor facilities for Micromantica. Also having a reasonable pack of followers who go on missions.

My attitude may change when I have one solid lv 3 Garrison with all the upgrades, but for now that’s a total confusion!

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