Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
Among the numerous tweets last week was the above exchange regarding the costs that will go into a player’s garrison. It got me wondering about how much of an investment we’re going to be looking at for getting a garrison up and running for one of our characters.
Balancing gold costs for the garrison is going to be something interesting to watch as we get closer to the launch of Warlords. One of the selling points of the expansion is the ability to boost a character to level ninety. It’s a way for players that may have left the game previously to come back, skip over everything they’ve missed, and get to play with their old friends. And in doing that, I would imagine that the character will be gifted with some set of level appropriate gear (because I can’t imagine you’ll retain many players that jump to ninety if they have to try to grind through the new expansion’s starting quests with gear that’s a few expansions old). But will they also get interest on the gold that’s been sitting in their account while they weren’t playing? On the other hand, we have long time players. By now, thanks to increases in daily quests and the amount of money rewarded to players in general, I would imagine your average player has a fairly decent nest egg saved up (at the very least on the character they consider their main). I doubt the developers want to see players buy their way to the top within the first few days of the expansion’s release. It’s going to be tricky to get gold costs just right, so that new and returning players aren’t alienated by being unable to afford to play with a new feature and long time players can’t trivialize it by throwing ridiculous amounts of gold at it.
So I can see why the time investment in garrisons will likely be bigger than the possible gold investment. But what kind of time investment are we talking about here? Is this going to be like some of the quests we already have scattered through the game, where I’m going to need to log onto a character every day and collect rocks to build the foundation of a building or I’m going to fall a little behind in getting things set up? Or will the time costs take into account the features of the garrison itself? Can I just tell my followers to build something, and the time cost will be paid from not having those followers available to do something else for the garrison during that time? The balance the developers will have to achieve here is a little different. If the time investment is too much, you’re going to end up with fewer current players getting involved. If dealing with a garrison is going to cut into limited time they have for raiding or arenas, they may not bother. It may have a negative impact on alt garrisons. Look at daily quest rep grinds. How many people are happy to go back and grind out rep for factions on an alt once they’ve gotten through the grind on their main?
I look forward to the beta testing period, where we may get our first experience with just how costly this new feature is going to be.