Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
The hunters we can call up from the barracks in our garrisons still know Volley.
It took me a while to recognize the return of an old spell. Mostly because I am… give me a minute… still not in the alpha. So I’m at the mercy of what I’ve seen from those kind folks that have been streaming their game play sessions. And from the ones I’ve watched, I haven’t seen many using their Call to Arms when it’s been available. Even with the occasional subtle reminder that it’s there.
But those few times that I have seen it put to use haven’t exactly been encouraging. I was not all that impressed with some of the suggested garrison abilities that were listed in the first garrison preview article Blizzard posted late last month. After what I’ve seen of the barracks ability, I’m looking forward to a goblin shredder or an arena fighter. I also mentioned that I found it odd that Blizzard was making efforts to cut down on button bloat, and yet decided to give us a new button to play with. The idea seems even more strange now. We’re not getting a new ability thanks to our garrison. We’re getting an old one. It’s getting a nice pretty graphical upgrade in the Orcs (or I believe Humans now that we’ve had a chance to see the Alliance side of things) that show up to help you. But it’s also getting a five minute cooldown where there wasn’t one before. It was a good thing the old version didn’t have a cooldown, because it was a channeled spell that targeted a specific location. If the target you were using it on moved, you could break the channel, re-target the mob, and reactivate the spell. This new version? If you’re standing behind your soldiers and are jumped by a patrol, if you want their help you’re going to drag that mob into the area you told them to shoot. That’s part of the reason I want to see the other garrison abilities. I just have this feeling they’re going to be much more useful.
But again, this is only alpha. We still have a way to go before the final version is in our hands. And Blizzard is making improvements. With the latest build that sends the players to Shadowmoon Valley, the garrison ability is no longer locked in at the top center of our screen. It’s now down near the action bars, and if a player chooses, can actually be moved to a spot on the action bars themselves. That change alone is going to increase the odds of the abilities being used. Now we just need the abilities to be more useful.