Game’s Too Easy? – Resource Distribution and Quality Yield!

Hello and welcome to the series “Game’s too Easy?” Within, Metro will sarcastically discuss any number of assorted topics in an attempt to dispel myths and hearsay surrounding such. The focus of today’s discussion will be a direct response to people claiming resources are being spent in the wrong places and that Blizzard is using some content as a cop-out to avoid negative criticism of other content. The goal of the article will to help people understand that there is nothing to doubt in terms of the game’s quality, and that the Garrison art truly would require huge investment.

The topic began when the Art Team released a statement revealing some plans they had for Garrisons, and things they did not plan to implement. The big statement was made when, in answering a question, the following was said:

Certainly there will be updates and changes as the expansion progresses, but I don’t believe there’s any current intention to add full sets of additional buildings. If we were to work on those for an expansion patch it would quite literally come at the cost of a raid tier. That is where that work would come from. We have to make decisions on how to spend our time.

This response was made on the 8th of February, and since then there has been non-stop complaining about Blizzard holding content hostage to leverage other forms. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as 90 percent of the people who make these comments obviously have never actually played the game at any high level or even looked at the world we received in Mists of Pandaria.

Of course, Chris Robinson, Lead Art Designer / Lead Noob Publicist, could certainly have chosen his words a bit better. Even if it’s the truth, the statement leads one to believe that

You can tell by his front image that he is new to social media!

You can tell by his front image that he is new to social media!

Blizzard makes no plans of doing anything further with Garrisons, makes no plans of listening to feedback on them or surrounding their improvement, and has their plan set in stone with no room for deviation. Once again, even if this IS true, you don’t say it.

Despite this huge blunder, it should never have come to this sort of reaction, because we know just what we received with Mists of Pandaria, and we have seen the art released at Blizzcon… unless…

Wait… is it possible that these people lashing out HAVEN’T actually taken the time to explore the world and raids, or check out the amazing zone and concept art released with Blizzcon? Yes. Yes, is the answer, obviously. Unfortunately for all parties involved, this was just one huge misunderstanding created by someone who is clearly still adjusting to having a voice that has influence, and responded to people who are critics of a game they haven’t truly played.

To prove this, we will examine the two fundaments of the argument and debunk both. Step one is addressing the fact that Blizzard holds content hostage in order to create other content. This is evident in the argument when people claim things like:

That said, their constant “…at the cost of a raid tier…” excuse is getting old. We should just call their bluff and say sacrifice the raid tier and give us race-specific buildings for our garrisons.

The quoted person obviously believes this to be true, which is laughable to me coming off the MoP expansion. Perhaps in Cataclysm this was evident, but any notion should have been thrown out the window when looking back on all we received. Let’s break down every addition to the game that immediately comes to mind via patch order, shall we?

5.0 -
4 Huge Daily hubs,
3 New Raids,
Challenge Mode 5 man Dungeons + Amazing gear and Mounts along with,
Pet Battle system + hundreds of unique pets and quests,
“Farm” system – foundation for the Garrison technology,
Hundreds of open world exploration points – Achievements and otherwise tied to nothing else but to foster exploration,
Scenario System.
Epic Lore-driven Legendary Questline.

5.1 -
Brawler’s guild,
Phased Dominance Offensive Daily hub and months’ worth of  storyline.
Gear Upgrades via Valor Points
5 Additional Scenarios
“Raid” requirement removed from old raid, battle pets dropping from Classic raid content.

5.2 -
Expansive new Raid – Throne of Thunder,
Isle of Thunder – Dynamically changing Daily Quest hub,
Two new components to the Legendary Questline, including solo-scenarios and much more lore,
New World Bosses + new global tag system,
Tons of class changes and new abilities.

5.3 -
New Battleground – Deepwind Gorge,
New Arena – The Tiger’s Peak
Four new scenarios
Heroic Scenario concept and rewards,
New Questline and Area: “Escalation” and “Battlefield: Barrens,”
Whole new teirs in Brawler’s Guild,
Massive overhaul of Pet Battle System and abilities.

5.4 -
Expansive new Raid – Siege of Orgrimmar,
Entirely new “flexible” difficulty allowing easier difficulty raiding with any number of people,
Timeless isle – replacement for Daily hubs with tons of achievements and ways to explore,
Proving Grounds,
Redesigned Arena System,
Expansion of the Legendary quest story,
Crazy story elements that wrap up an entire expansion.
And not to mention… CONNECTED REALMS!

So I think it’s pretty safe to say that obviously they aren’t cutting corners here, especially when it comes to art. The Timeless isle and SoO are enough to solidify this for me but when you look at all the other things we received with each patch it’s truly amazing how much we receive for our subscription fee. I mean Connected Realms and Flex alone are HUGE features that equate to more than a patch worth of resources. How can anyone who has paid attention to this laundry list of changes make a comment saying that “it’s getting old” if Blizzard says they have too much on their plate as is… These people must not remember BC patches, when all that was added was new raid content and class changes!

The second piece of this puzzle is that Blizzard is claiming the Art Department to be in too deep as is, and can’t spend any more time on Garrisons, otherwise it would make the quality of raid content and its surroundings suffer. People counter-claim that Blizzard is simply being lazy and mishandling its resources, and copping out of their agreement to create great content.

Once again, I find people claiming this to be utterly clueless and obviously having lacked any real experience in the content released with the expansion. For this section I will let pictures do the talking. Take a look at some of the scenes we received with MoP and tell me if you think they are slacking in any way.

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Entrance to the Throne in ToT.

Terrace-of-Endless-Spring

ToES Panoramic View

 

 

 

 

 

Pandaria 2

Example of how beautiful and detailed a zone can be now-a-days!

 

 

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Timeless Isle World Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now if you still aren’t convinced let’s have a look at the actual Garrison preview that was released a few weeks later. Any man with eyes should immediately realize just what kind of time and resources have been put into this project, and hopefully by now have retracted their previous statements on this topic. If these images don’t help you realize that the amount of time to make this IS actually equatable to a new raid, I don’t know what game you are playing!

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Old v New

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Notice the detail of the spill of the fine material next to its container!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Notice the level of work gone into not only the structure but the grass and trees around it!

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Horde sneak-peak!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there are still some stubborn enough to disagree, and it would be foolish to expect otherwise. All I can say is that seeing these images, and playing MoP for as long as it’s been available has been a HUGE step up from Cataclysm or anything before it.  We are receiving shorter patch cycles and far more content per patch, so no matter what the plan is for WoD I am entirely behind it and cannot wait to experience the world of we will step in to. After all we have seen, it is sure to be the best yet!

Threads Involving Discussion:

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/293810-you-get-x-or-a-new-raid-tier/

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/293879-artcraftbuilding-a-garrison/