I think it is time to admit this, without feeling as if I’m somehow failing the game with honesty. There should be Christmas decorations on my Class Hall. Having gone back to my Garrison to do Winter Veil quests, the ability to decorate a much-used space makes the cold and sterile Trueshot Lodge even more unappealing to me. I’m not sure what other people’s Halls are like, but honestly I have to say that I spend as little time as possible hanging around mine. In fact, thanks to the placement of NPC’s around the area, it’s more preferable for me to use the Mobile App to deploy Missions and Followers than it ever will be to do it in-game.
For me at least, Class Order Halls are this Expansion’s biggest disappointment.
The experiment of using other players of both factions as NPC’s is laudable, but only to a point. Because there will never be any interaction between you, it’s like staring into a fishbowl: other people look pretty, their Hati choices make you consider your own, and then you’re only ever having conversations with these people in your head. After that, there’s no point to the place other than the Missions table and Artifact Power Altar. It’s a sterile environment that the designers have gone all out to make as visually appealing as possible, but it still isn’t home. In Warlords I’d make an effort to go back to my Garrison because I could at least make it personal to me. Effectively, it’s not player housing, and as that’s what I’ve always wanted in Warcraft, I’m now resigned to going back to Ironforge over Christmas and living there.
However beautiful the Devs attempt to make Trueshot Lodge, it is not where I belong.
The biggest problem for me is that Class Fantasy does not simply stop at the weapon I wield or the place that’s offered as my ‘home’ and on reflection, there is never going to be a situation where I’ll be comfortable with what someone else decides is acceptable. I need to have my own say in where a home is located. It could be as simple as provisioning an instanced area in, for instance, Loch Modan where I can place my own buildings or, if that’s too much like customisation, I’m given a Lodge which is decorated in my own style. I’ve now accepted that this level of Sims customisation, or even that found in places like Wildstar is simply not something the design team is prepared to offer, that their notion of ‘fantasy’ is general at best. This game is far more about winning and beating things and becoming ‘the best’ and there is, like it or not, no real provision for true individuality.
If I desire this, I will need to provide the imagination for myself.
I’ve been in this place for a while anyway, and it doesn’t take too much energy to imagine my own home somewhere simpler and easier, especially as Dalaran is set on a second hearthstone and allows me a freedom of movement that’s not previously been available. What is required in effect is my own impetus to make things happen. I just wish that in creating these places of ‘fantasy’ there’d been more thought given to what players themselves would like to have offered to them. As was the case with Ravenholdt NOT being used for Rogues, there were clearly considerations at play from designers that didn’t mesh with player desires, and not simply on a narrow band, introspective scale. I can only hope that when this ‘exercise’ is repeated for the next Expansion, there’s more consultation and (hopefully) some rudimentary ability to customise the space ahead of a bunch of Mission-based differences.
I for one miss the decorations in Draenor, and my Garrison with a fondness that is a surprise.