How Warlords of Draenor May Satisfy RTS Fans Wanting Warcraft 4

How Warlords of Draenor May Satisfy RTS Fans Wanting Warcraft 4

After spending quite a bit of time in the beta, I finally understand why I love the garrisons of Warlords of Draenor so much ... Blizzard mixed their RTS into my MMO.

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That doesn't really say "RTS" to me. By that argument Bastion would be an RTS because you choose what buildings are built & upgraded in your hub area.

It has nothing to do with RTS and more to do with facebook games.

Now the garrisons are alot of fun but the whole thing has more in common with games like Battle nations then it has to do with Warcraft 3. You also gather resources in battlenations and level up your base, getting new units all that jaz.

But in the end all the garrisons are is a glorified facebook games where you send your "hero units" on offscreen adventures that boil down to see a little animation after a couple of hours and some loot being dropped into your bag.

Now im looking forward to the garrisons, but warcraft 3 they are not. They are a f2p game inside WoW without a way to pay real money to speed things up.

Has me thinking more like The Sims than RTS.

Isn't the right answer to the question "It can't"? Even if something close to RTS-Warcraft (this thing isn't) was in WoW, strategy fans wouldn't pay for game, 5 expansions and subscriptions to get into it.

I am afraid that Garrisons will isolate people in the game, and make cities totally empty. I understand the need of "housing" but the way it is done, and especially the way the story line in WoD is progressing through the garrison it makes it a necessary part for a PvE player so it is like going through the dailies trap in MoP (which I did not hate that much but I started getting the frustration when I tried to raid with alts)... Also the professions hubs is another anti-social aspect since, if you did not have the profession alts, you always had to rely on guildies or a fair trade to get the materials you needed.

My thought would be to change Garrison location and put it in any of the big cities, remove all the profession hubs and make it a social event. Imagine a player house in Ironforge or even a guild house, where you could show off your achievements, ask for a profession upgrade or sell one, give free mage portals, make duels or play pet-games tournaments or even steam-tonk games (I still recall endless nights of competitions and tournaments with tonks and zeppelins on my server we were making fight rings with laser JC lenses and using moonlights from elders stones to light up players on each corner of the ring...)

The main reason of my absence from wow for a year now is not that the expansions were bad. I loved the dungeon difficulty of Cata at start, and I found all the HC raids awesome (yes DS too). MoP raids until ToT were fantastic, actually ToT HC made me feel like Ulduar did, especially Animus HC and Lei-Shen HC were really so tough fights that needed a lot of patience from a semi-hardcore guild to be able to pull it through.

What made me feel that WoW has changed too much for me, is that the social aspect is gone. LFR is a poison that slowly destroys the PvE fun of the game, which should be removed since the Normal difficulty (the Flex difficulty in MoP) is totally pugable even without the best gear and the LFG channel should be revived exactly like OQ/Openraid is working (which i haven't seen much improvement in wow's tool so far in beta). And above all this "farm" housing in MoP that I had to go there every day so that I would have the food i needed to raid, made me very frustrated, as I am not the kind of guy that will enclose himself in an invisible from others area, doing the same thing every day...

I really hope that I will be proven wrong, but when the cities will be empty from players that they will just go AFK in Garrison (ye i know most people do that in cities now... :P) then it will be the end for the greatest multi-player game ever created. I miss Shattrath and Dalaran sometimes however laggy they were...

Karadalis:
It has nothing to do with RTS and more to do with facebook games.

That sounds more accurate than what was explained in the article. The follower stuff also reminds me a lot of SWTOR's companion/crafting system.

It's a nice addition to WoW... but the article has a really, really wrong idea about RTS games and/or what RTS fans want.

Erm.. This reeks of the optimistic thinking of a person who didn't play the WC RTS games way-back-when (and therefore doesn't really have a clue what it is that opponents of the WoW-instead-of-WC situation are missing). Nobody with even a passing knowledge of what RTS- even modern, unrelated RTS- is could look at this and think it's in the same vein.

It's mobile phone game tier.
Trashy Facebook game tier.

Urgh, I have to agree with the rest. At best this is wishfull thinking (although still by a long stretch), at worst this is willfull ignorance. It's more akin to Facebook-tiered games then to an RTS (which it is far off from).

Tzzimy:

The main reason of my absence from wow for a year now is not that the expansions were bad. I loved the dungeon difficulty of Cata at start, and I found all the HC raids awesome (yes DS too). MoP raids until ToT were fantastic, actually ToT HC made me feel like Ulduar did, especially Animus HC and Lei-Shen HC were really so tough fights that needed a lot of patience from a semi-hardcore guild to be able to pull it through.

What made me feel that WoW has changed too much for me, is that the social aspect is gone. LFR is a poison that slowly destroys the PvE fun of the game, which should be removed since the Normal difficulty (the Flex difficulty in MoP) is totally pugable even without the best gear and the LFG channel should be revived exactly like OQ/Openraid is working (which i haven't seen much improvement in wow's tool so far in beta). And above all this "farm" housing in MoP that I had to go there every day so that I would have the food i needed to raid, made me very frustrated, as I am not the kind of guy that will enclose himself in an invisible from others area, doing the same thing every day...

About these two specific points. Dungeons/raids in WoD are difficult. And raids are also quite challenging. They've turned the raid mechanics up to 11. Look up some fatboss videos, they give you the best look at raid content.

LFR is essentially dead in WoD. Blizzard has removed the chance for trinkets and tier gear to drop in LFR and made all loot in LFR like timeless isle gear. Where it's crappy welfare epics with randomized stats that are vaguely useful to your class if you're lucky. Not to mention that LFR players simply can not handle current raid mechanics. They're used to face rolling shit with the determination buff but the determ buff isn't enough to kill severa raid bosses. Some simply cannot be killed if mechanics are ignored.

There's gonna be a lot of players quitting the game, tanks especially, when they run into dungeons/LFR with the MoP mindset of AoE tank everything and try to overpower bosses and encounters.

RTS is when you turn your peasants into militia, rush the enemy base, build towers in their faces and get banned from private servers.

This reminds me more of the timesink AC recruit management with the city building, which only gives you stuff to invest in itself even more, until you reach the end.

Agreed with everyone else who thinks it sounds more like a facebook game or Clash of the Clans than an old-school Blizzard RTS.

The bloated corpse of WoW is still very much a corpse despite how much electricity they keep pumping into it in an attempt to make it look like it can walk.

As if the comparison wasn't already obvious enough, the lumberjacks for the small trees even use some of the same sound files ("ready to work," "off I go then") as the peasants and peons from Warcraft 3.

Am I the only one who heard Peasants from Warcraft 3 say "Oh f*** you then" instead of the second quote? >>

John Keefer:
How Warlords of Draenor May Satisfy RTS Fans Wanting Warcraft 4

After spending quite a bit of time in the beta, I finally understand why I love the garrisons of Warlords of Draenor so much ... Blizzard mixed their RTS into my MMO.

Read Full Article

That was a surprisingly relaxing read. When I heard about the garrisons and read up on them, it seemed like a hassle to me in the way your personal farm in Pandaria is; Repetative and facebook'y.

Mr. Keefer, if you don't mind answering a few questions, what was your experience when it came to toons/alts and garrisons?
Is there a benefit to having them in some sort of shared resource pool, or is it their own separate work per character?

Is this largely a gold/time sink or an investment?
(I have 9 90's and the last two are on the way. While I plan to level them all to 100 eventually, would there be a benefit to rush a couple of them through?)

Bonus question: Is "800 pound gorilla" a general American term or is this a reference to a MrBtongue youtuber (specifically his "TUN: Un-Ruining the MMO" video)?

I didn't get to play this beta at all and actually this is the first beta I haven't been invited to.
If anyone else feels like answering my questions as well, that would be lovely.

Please don't write an article on something if you don't know what it means. The acronym "RTS" stands for "REAL-TIME Strategy". There is nothing real-time about anything in Garrisons. They're daily checkup quests. There is no point where you need to make snap decisions, no point in which you're able to take any direct action at all without waiting on a time limit (technically Garrison invasions, but all those are is "kill X mobs that spawn and charge your garrison", no strategy involved). I would even be forgiving if you mixed up DotA style games into the RTS genre since they were originally custom maps for RTS games, but there's no trace of MOBAs here either.

All this leads me to believe that one or more of 3 things is true:

1) You never played any of the Warcraft or Starcraft games and don't know what an RTS is.
2) Blizzard asked for a positive piece on Garrisons and this was somehow the best you could do.
3) You really wanted clicks from people who are excited about the possibility of Warcraft 4 at Blizzcon.

I honestly don't know why I still come here when this is about average for an article on the site. Bottom line: do your research, admit when you haven't played something, and don't try to bullshit us.

EDIT: For context, I am in the WoD beta, I leveled to 96 and upgraded my garrison along the way and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It's basically a really good Facebook game that you can use to strategically give you buffs in certain zones, make your current professions stronger, or get benefits of professions you don't have without relying on others. Collecting companions is much like collecting battle pets: a fun sideshow from the main PvE or PvP endgame goals. On top of that, it feels really good to be "in command" for once instead of being the "heroes for hire" that solve every problem in the world because we're the good guys.

In all, I love garrisons, but comparing them to RTS games is patently wrong at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

Smilomaniac:

That was a surprisingly relaxing read. When I heard about the garrisons and read up on them, it seemed like a hassle to me in the way your personal farm in Pandaria is; Repetative and facebook'y.

Mr. Keefer, if you don't mind answering a few questions, what was your experience when it came to toons/alts and garrisons?
Is there a benefit to having them in some sort of shared resource pool, or is it their own separate work per character?

Is this largely a gold/time sink or an investment?
(I have 9 90's and the last two are on the way. While I plan to level them all to 100 eventually, would there be a benefit to rush a couple of them through?)

Bonus question: Is "800 pound gorilla" a general American term or is this a reference to a MrBtongue youtuber (specifically his "TUN: Un-Ruining the MMO" video)?

I didn't get to play this beta at all and actually this is the first beta I haven't been invited to.
If anyone else feels like answering my questions as well, that would be lovely.

I have 11 90s so we have something in common ;) I like the garrison as an investment, but that's me. Having a profession building for each profession would make it a lot easier to get the things you need without going through the AH. The Herb garden and Mine (when they hit tier 3), effectively eliminate the need for having any gathering professions, so getting those 90s to eliminate those soon would allow you to build two useful profession buildings as soon as your town hall hits tier 2. It is separate work per character, but once your account unlocks Tier 2 or Tier 3 blueprints that can only be gotten through achievements, then all toons get access to that blueprint, not just the toon that got the achievement.

The follower missions have been the most entertaining. And the fact that you can pile on work orders to get specialty crafting materials and resources makes it so you don't have go back all the time to create a new one right away. At tier 1, you can stockpile 7 work orders per building, 14 at tier 2 and 21 at tier 3. Add a follower that has a trait in that profession, and you can have up to 26 work orders. Work orders are completed every 3 hours, so at tier 1, you won't need to be back for 21 hours, 42 hours for tier 2 and 63 for tier 3 ... and a whopping 78 with a follower (providing you have the mats needed to start that many work orders). So there won;t be as much micromanagement as with the farm in Pandaria.

Finally, the 800-pound gorilla reference is an reference to a common joke best described here. In this case, World of Warcraft is the 800-pound gorilla in the MMO space.

If you have any more questions let me know. I'm still playing the beta and when I am not leveling, I'm in my garrison ;)

John Keefer:

I have 11 90s so we have something in common ;) I like the garrison as an investment, but that's me. Having a profession building for each profession would make it a lot easier to get the things you need without going through the AH. The Herb garden and Mine (when they hit tier 3), effectively eliminate the need for having any gathering professions, so getting those 90s to eliminate those soon would allow you to build two useful profession buildings as soon as your town hall hits tier 2. It is separate work per character, but once your account unlocks Tier 2 or Tier 3 blueprints that can only be gotten through achievements, then all toons get access to that blueprint, not just the toon that got the achievement.

The follower missions have been the most entertaining. And the fact that you can pile on work orders to get specialty crafting materials and resources makes it so you don't have go back all the time to create a new one right away. At tier 1, you can stockpile 7 work orders per building, 14 at tier 2 and 21 at tier 3. Add a follower that has a trait in that profession, and you can have up to 26 work orders. Work orders are completed every 3 hours, so at tier 1, you won't need to be back for 21 hours, 42 hours for tier 2 and 63 for tier 3 ... and a whopping 78 with a follower (providing you have the mats needed to start that many work orders). So there won;t be as much micromanagement as with the farm in Pandaria.

Finally, the 800-pound gorilla reference is an reference to a common joke best described here. In this case, World of Warcraft is the 800-pound gorilla in the MMO space.

If you have any more questions let me know. I'm still playing the beta and when I am not leveling, I'm in my garrison ;)

Thank you for replying Mr. Keefer.
I guess I'll aim to level several alts early then.

I do have a few more questions:

- In your opinion, will the resources gained from the Garrison choke the auction house a bit, if everyone suddenly get "free" mats?

- Assuming from the above that the mats are indeed "free", do you think there'll be an inflation in mats and possibly gold?

- Have you experienced whether or not the Garrison isolates players compared to earlier expansions?
It seems if people are spending a lot of time there, there'll be less world action, especially if hardly anyone goes material-hunting, even with the lack of flying.

- How time intensive is simply managing the Garrison once you've filled your plots and gotten most of the followers?
I ask compared to the Pandarian farm and its annoying weeds/critters.

--

Thanks for clarifying the 800 pound Gorilla reference. I highly recommend watching the video I mentioned for a bit of critical thinking in regards to how the future of the MMO scene could, or perhaps should, look like.
In fact, I'd recommend all of his videos, they are quite intelligent as well as entertaining.

Again, thank you for your time :)

Smilomaniac:

Thank you for replying Mr. Keefer.
I guess I'll aim to level several alts early then.

I do have a few more questions:

- In your opinion, will the resources gained from the Garrison choke the auction house a bit, if everyone suddenly get "free" mats?

- Assuming from the above that the mats are indeed "free", do you think there'll be an inflation in mats and possibly gold?

- Have you experienced whether or not the Garrison isolates players compared to earlier expansions?
It seems if people are spending a lot of time there, there'll be less world action, especially if hardly anyone goes material-hunting, even with the lack of flying.

- How time intensive is simply managing the Garrison once you've filled your plots and gotten most of the followers?
I ask compared to the Pandarian farm and its annoying weeds/critters.

1) It could choke the AH quite a bit in terms of herbs and ore, but the high-end cloth, bars, and leather for crafting are soulbound. Lower end leather and fur can be gotten by creating a barn in your garrison, so there could also be a flood of low end leather for people looking to get mats for work orders and the like. So yes, I think there are some things that could flood the AH once everyone is up to speed. The early grinders will probably get the most, but I suspect it may taper off quickly.

2) See above. Gold may be harder to come from the AH by since a lot of the basic mats will be so easy to get. One things that may be worthwhile is fishing, since fish now apply to cooking and first aid. However, you can get Nat Pagle as a follower, and that requires a ton of fishing, so people rushing to get him may flood the AH with unwanted fish and fish mats. That said, the more gold you can come by across all your toons to share in Draenor, the better.

3) Garrison time between sending followers on missions, collecting your mats each day (mine and herb garden replenish once a day), picking up work orders ... that can be limited to at most a half hour. You will get an outpost in each of the various zones, and the outpost will have a spot where you can send followers on missions, so you won't need to run back to the garrison for that unless you want to. Also, the entire garrison is a private instance and acts as an inn, so anywhere in your garrison, you are getting rested bonus. So I don;t think it will be isolating at all. Just another thing for people to do. An expanded farm, if you will.

4) Once you hit Tier two on all buildings and tier 3 on ones that don't require achievements, sending your followers on missions (and collecting mats) will be the most time intensive (which isn't that much). Once followers hit level 100, they need to progress from uncommon to rare and then to epic (unless you were lucky enough to get a rare or even epic follower with the RNG). The the followers can be geared with bonus armor and bonus weapons to go on more difficult missions. I've already gotten some 645 ilvl pieces just from the garrison missions.

So all in all, it is to each their own. You can spend as long or as short a period as you want in there. I'm enjoying it, but I don't do instances or raids that much as much as others.

Might as well get my RTS fix from playing Farmville.
At least I have some grand strategy games in my backlog. Not the same but close enough to cover the needs a bit.

And since Warcraft 4 was mentioned, does anyone actually want Blizzard to make Warcraft 4 now? After the fucked up lore, killed it and dragged the dead corps all over the place with WoW? The new Blizzard that actually thought "always online" and a real money auction house are great ideas?
I manage to keep myself believe that WoW isn't canon and that the Warcraft lore ended with TFT. I don't want Warcraft 4 with the current Blizzard.

OT: This isn't going to satisfy any RTS fans RTS itches in the slightest for the many reasons already stated(it's not even RTS being put into WoW to begin with).

BiH-Kira:
Might as well get my RTS fix from playing Farmville.
At least I have some grand strategy games in my backlog. Not the same but close enough to cover the needs a bit.

And since Warcraft 4 was mentioned, does anyone actually want Blizzard to make Warcraft 4 now? After the fucked up lore, killed it and dragged the dead corps all over the place with WoW? The new Blizzard that actually thought "always online" and a real money auction house are great ideas?
I manage to keep myself believe that WoW isn't canon and that the Warcraft lore ended with TFT. I don't want Warcraft 4 with the current Blizzard.

No I don't want them to make it. WoW has taken what promise Warcraft had and ground it so finely into dust by now that the story only serves as a guide of how to -NOT- write one. Not to mention all the other questionable decisions after Activision got spliced with Blizzard... Now with what happened with Acti-Blizz a while back I'm even less inclined to believe it'd be a good thing. Best we could hope for would be game mechanics that'd decent for an RTS. Anything else? I got my doubts.

 

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