Friday, November 10, 2017

The Adventurer's Retreat - A Player Housing Suggestion for WoW

When I started this blog, I didn't have as much of a definitive direction of what I intended to use it for. While I did use it as a place to put posts that otherwise belong on a forum of some sort, I also tried other things that were out of my comfort zone, eventually concluding that there was a reason such articles were not my forte. I unlisted many of these articles and moved forward with my more analytical and suggestion-focused gaming posts, writing what were basically short essays or project outlines every week. I would like to think that I improved over the years that I've published articles despite the miniscule view count over time saying otherwise.

This leads me to this article, which is the 300th until I decide to delist more articles I find to be of exceptionally poor quality. While it's not a milestone I have to celebrate, I believe it's a good time to do so since I have the opportunity to suggest something ambitious to complement the major WoW-related announcements that have been made. That is why, as the title states, this article will feature my detailed take on the idea of adding player housing to World of Warcraft from how it could be implemented to inner workings of the feature.

A Summary of the Adventurer's Retreat

The Adventurer's Retreat is the formal name for my suggested player housing system. It would build upon the Garrison in an attempt to emulate player housing in Runescape where one is basically handed a plot of land to build upon. This would involve the return of buildings, which would offer utility and flair much like with the Garrison but with one addition. In Runescape, one can build rooms full of hotspots where a variety of objects can be built or placed to serve a cosmetic and/or utilitarian purpose. Buildings in the Adventurer's Retreat would serve as an equivalent to these rooms and also have hotspots for such objects, providing greater customization options.

Acquisition of a retreat can vary, though personally I'm partial to paying a small fee which then allows access to a portal that takes the player to their retreat. The location of the retreat itself can also vary, but I personally think it should integrate into the existing game world for greater immersion. To this end, I personally chose the Feralas Hot Springs area (known as the Steam Pools) as the initial area for the retreat due to it being next to the soon-to-be-updated Silithus zone and having a resort-like feel. More options can and should be added in the future to improve customization options further and potentially provide players with a places of varied levels of isolation. For example, retreat locations could be placed next to every capital city.

The Retreat's Purpose

At this point one might be concerned about basically re-adding the Garrison to the game since it was in some ways detrimental to the game. As someone who was not a fan of the Garrison especially in terms of how rewarding it was, I can safely that the retreat wouldn't be problematic given the current state of the game. While the Legion expansion has much to criticize, I think its content design has been pretty strong in terms of encourage player activity outside of hub cities. I believe this trend will continue, which provides a fair amount of breathing room to offer another Garrison-like feature.

With that said, I have tailored this suggestion to avoid past mistakes while also addressing other issues with the game. The following are specific goals I have in mind for this iteration of the Adventurer's Retreat:
  • One of my main goals is to keep players in their retreat for as little time as possible outside of hosting group events. While this won't stop players from spending downtime in the retreat, there will be no closed system features like periodic node spawns or self-funding Garrison missions that players may task themselves to do on a regular basis.
  • Access to the retreat will be limited in a sense and the main way to get to it is through the usage of a portal in capital cities. This helps to make the retreat more of an extension of those existing hubs.
  • A number of utility benefits encourage players to leave their retreat such as overworld buffs and portals to various locations.
  • The retreat is intended to be a gold sink to the point nearly everything costs gold to construct. Some of the customization options will strongly encourage repetitive spending.
  • The entire retreat is account-bound to encourage players to build a feature-rich hub, though each individual character will need to earn access to the retreat.
The Specific Details

This section features all the specifics related to the Adventurer's Retreat. In this case, that means all the buildings will be listed along with a summary of their purpose. In addition, all the building's hotspots will be listed along with a brief description and a list of the objects and NPCs that can be placed in them if applicable. The objects and NPCs will be listed with the following format:
Object Name - Cost, Requirement to place (if any) - Description
Note that unless it is otherwise described, object placement is mutually exclusive, meaning that placing an object on an occupied hotspot will replace the old object. In addition, objects that are free are initially placed in their respective hotspot. Hotspots without a free object will initially start empty.

Also note that this section will be very long, meaning you can feel free to skim or skip it entirely since it's more here to give a general idea of what a player housing system in WoW could have were an idea like this to be implemented. The list, while it allows players to build a complete retreat with some customization options, isn't extensive by any means since it can be built upon further by adding more buildings, hotspots, and objects that help to further flesh out this suggested feature.

Click here to Show/Hide the list of buildings

Final Statements

To those that found the above a daunting read, I am glad because that was the impression I was trying to make with this article. For those who found the suggestion underwhelming, such an observation is keen since I had to trim down the suggestion from what I originally outlined to get this article finished in a reasonable time. I also think that I have listed more than enough to express the kind of player housing system I would like to see in World of Warcraft. Furthermore, I opted not to be as thorough as I could've been since I doubt it'll even caught the eye of anyone at Blizzard and on the off chance it does, I can then go into greater detail if needed. I also think there are superior, more presentable suggestions of this kind out there.

With all that said, for those that did make it through this whole article, I hope it was an enjoyable ride. Maybe someday I'll reach 500 published articles.

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