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Apologies for the silence yesterday, but I wanted to finish Stormheim, which I’ve now done. If you want to know what I thought? Go see @MMOGames on Wednesday. For now, I feel this is the appropriate moment to pay homage to the one part of Garrisons that I think everyone can agree was an overriding success: the Work Order. Having managed to gather half a dozen ‘basic’ recipes from my questing adventures, I finally made it to Nomi (you might remember him as your cook from Pandaria) yesterday, and have begin the rather fraught journey of getting him to burn food for me in the vain hope there’ll be a new recipe every time I log in. I’m aware of the complaints over this system from several quarters, but as a means to ‘gate’ content this mechanic is pretty much perfect, not simply because of the desire to log in and ‘collect’ your efforts.

This was always the part of the Warlords begging to be transformed into mobile content.

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The initial use for the work orders, to generate the ‘uncommon’ raw materials required for your professions, was a sound enough idea in principle but eventually became just too time consuming. Had those work orders been able to be remotely accessed, I suspect in the end it would not have made for a very interesting game, either. The Missions side of things, once pared down to the level it now exists at in game is pretty much perfect, because there’s only a finite number of things to worry about and the only rewards made benefit your character and can’t be used anywhere else. Having the work orders make items that are relevant simply to the player is the way forward. Anything else presents an unfair advantage, and stands a chance of allowing players to use mobile devices for profit, and that’s never going to happen. Allowing the work order ‘mechanic’ now simply to be devoted to artefact research, or rewards that only benefit the individual?

The Work Order is already a crucial component of the mobile app: each new request to ‘recruit’ a squad of Archers or Trackers is utilising the mechanic. The question now becomes, how much else could benefit from this unique form of gating?

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The other overriding advantage to using Work Orders as gating mechanics is the ease at which you can pick up the principle behind the idea. There’s no complicated tutorials involved, either: in Nomi’s case, he just tells you all the materials he can use, and you pick what to research first:

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Okay, that layout is a bit messy but the idea is sound enough. It isn’t rocket science to use the mechanic, leave it and then come back when some far more important stuff’s been done. It certainly beats the hell out of having to cook a bazillion portions of an ultimately useless dish in the vain hope you’ll get another recipe to proc. In fact, this is probably the most ideal method of rationalising anything that involves you to research anything, and that the Devs want to lock behind a time-dependent gate.

Therefore I would theorise this is only the beginning of this mechanics’ use in game play.

There was an animated discussion in Trade on my CRZ last night as to how long it will take Blood of Sargeras to become bind free and when we can expect to exchange raw materials for Class Order resources in the future. The former won’t lend itself to mobile game play but that’s certainly not true of the latter, and as a result could we expect to see a 7.1 update that accompanies the in game changes where the path is laid for this to happen by Expansion’s end? I think it is a distinct possibility, and I’m fairly confident you’re going to see the Work Order being far more widely used in an upcoming portion of the mobile architecture.

Now all I gotta do is start catching up on the resources so I can get more stuff researched…

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