I finished the leveling journey on my first character in World of Warcraft’s Warlords of Draenor expansion almost two weeks ago already. Since that time my playtime in WoW has mostly involved a bewildering array of Garrison Campaign quests and getting started on the Tanaan zone that was added in the last patch.
It’s enjoyable enough content, for example I’ve written previously about growing rather attached to my assortment of followers. The more epic quest chains like the Garrison campaign and the legendary ring quest chain are some of the better content in the expansion I think – I like the idea of building up to a reward gradually in stages.
However a lot of the Garrison is busy work, it’s very “needy MMO” territory. There are the mine and herb garden to process, lots of clicking without the interactivity and deliberate choice the Halfhill garden in Mists of Pandaria had. Moreover it feels odd to have such a rich source of crafting resources so easily in every garrison. I haven’t yet started a second character on the Draenor expansion but I have two very close to level 90. The one, my Balance druid, is a herbalist/alchemist yet he’ll barely need to step out of his garrison to level his alchemy since I’ll have two or three herb gardens churning out insane amounts of herbs on demand.
The layered gear grinds for your own character and for your followers is also ok for the first character but will quickly get out of hand as I level alts. This isn’t unique to WoW, I never really bothered with gearing all my companions for my main character in SWTOR let alone multiple companions on alts – that at least is something Bioware is addressing in the upcoming expansion.
As I look towards playing Wildstar again for a while I’m left thinking about whether I’ll continue to log my Exile engineer to farm herbs in his housing. We’ll probably be playing Dominion-side mostly, at least initially, so there’ll be no benefit from keeping the herbs growing to make some health or buff potions for the new characters. But once I’m in-game it reminds me that that garden remains untended. Are MMORPGs becoming less alt-friendly or is it just me?