The past few days have been interesting as I contrast and compare playing ArcheAge and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. When I’m in AA I marvel at how gorgeous the world is and that even at my new casual pace, I feel part of a breathing world and economy. In WOW, I’m impressed by the graphic update and how they’ve been able to breathe new life into old art assets and add more visual depth. I’m logging into both of these games for different reasons and find them equally fulfilling.
My intention in WOW is to focus on the Garrison mini-game. So far, it has not disappointed me. Wow’s questing model and combat mechanics feel very old school to me after playing GW2 and AA’s level how u wanna. And the more active combat styles of GW2, Terra and WildStar. I really dislike having to stand still taking it to the face as a caster. It’s not something I’m used to doing anymore. I knew what I was getting into going back to WOW and for that reason, don’t want to focus on doing a lot of questing content.
From the features I saw, I felt as though the Garrison would have enough to occupy me for an hour a day – at least. Watching max level players managing their garrisons at level 3, it was apparent that I could spend even more time by collecting and managing followers, harvesting resources, doing invasions, etc. Enough so, that if I did nothing more than that, it would be worth a monthly subscription.
To get my garrison I had to play along and complete a quest series to unlock it. At first I was like “Ugh. Really?” But they’ve done an excellent job with the opening quest series. It took me right back to the cinematic feel of the opening experience in GW2 and when the Death Knight was introduced to WOW. Using Blizzard’s phasing technology, you’re actively involved in the story playing out, not a secondary participant running alongside 100 other players. It’s much more solo RPG-esk and I noticed the introduction of new objective completion mechanics. Nothing ground breaking mind you. There’s only so many different ways of getting a player to complete a quest task. Still, it was enough to make me notice the change. In under an hour, I had achieved my goal of unlocking my garrison.
It’s an Integral Part of the Journey
Inside my lowly garrison, I immediately had things I could achieve – mini game tasks to complete. I started a work order to place my first building, sent followers on a mission and collected goodies from a crate. Simple stuff like that. Not a lot to do. But enough to wet your whistle and appetite for more.
To get more however, I had to venture forth and … quest. Here’s where I had to decide if I was going to turn that it a positive or negative. I decided that I would do what I felt like doing and no more than that. Although WOW isn’t designed as much to level in that fashion, my goal isn’t to hit max level. it’s to play with garrison features. And I might as well explore since I can’t fly past things. So off I went, out into the wilderness of Shadowmoon Valley.
Blizzard couldn’t have designed a better themed environment for sucking me into wanting to run around. Abundant, vibrant, fanciful and pretty zones are the bees-knees to me. It’s my style of fantasy MMO! It felt natural to do this and that, from the list in the upper right hand corner, while I was out exploring. We won’t mention the name of that “thing”, it’s pure evil. One by one, I got objectives done that unlocked more activities in my garrison. *Sahweet!*
Even when I did stuff I wasn’t sure was directly tied to giving me new garrison features, they were ate least, directly related to the story playing out in WoD. It was still about me and the garrison I’m maintaining for the war effort. I wasn’t asked to go get pig ears for some dumbass farmer standing less than two feet from the blasted pigs. I was out doing serious business! Little by little, over the course of a few play sessions my Garrison hit level two, I’d added more buildings and unlocked a mine. Color me happy. Color it fabulous.
Jury is out
The jury is still out on how much PVE content I intend to do in WoD. My first priority is completing quests that award/unlock garrison features. What else I do along the way remains to be seen. I know that once mine hits level 3, I want to dig into the nuances for the benefits of having certain buildings versus others, collecting all the followers, gearing up my followers and doing garrison invasions. With all that at hand, I don’t know that I have the time for much more in WOW. I haven’t given up on AA yet and have farms and properties to manage there. I may see some dungeons here and there but only time will tell.