One of the biggest and most anticipated features coming in the next WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is the Garrison. I want to take a moment to discuss what we do know about the Garrisons, what we don’t know, and to make a plea to Blizzard about their design direction for this (at the end of this post).
Garrisons are essentially player housing (which I probably said at some point wouldn’t happen), but are filled with awesome that gives them a purpose far beyond a place to park your character in private. Blizzard has this to say about them:
In Warlords of Draenor, you’ll make a permanent impact on the world with a Garrison: your own personal fortress that you build, staff, and manage. You’ll customize your Garrison’s layout, appearance, and gameplay effects, and attract followers to operate it. The Garrison allows World of Warcraft players to own a larger part of the world than ever before, and opens up a wide variety of interesting gameplay decisions—with as much or as little micromanagement as you wish.
Your Garrison exists seamlessly in the world, but you won’t need to go into an instance portal to visit your home base—as you travel through Draenor, you’ll see your Garrison looming on the horizon.
- Followers – You’ll be able to discover, recruit, win and hire little minions that will work in your garrison. These followers can level up and be sent on missions. This is where it get’s really cool. These missions can be simple such as farming ore or other trade goods, but they can also be sent into dungeons (once you have enough) to complete these for you for loot and other rewards.
- Buildings – These buildings will bring customization to your garrison. You’ll be able to make specialized buildings that help out with your minions (say to be able to mine extra ore) or even your own professions.
- Visitors – Players in your party from the same faction will actually be able to go inside your garrison, hang out with you and check out what you’ve done. Additionally, it seems there will be garrison specific materials used for creating the buildings that you’ll be able to trade with other players while in their garrisons.
Ten Ton Hammer has a pretty cool article that outlines these features in a bit more detail, and with pictures.
And the Plea
Honestly, the biggest reason I’m writing this article is for this sole plea to Blizzard (and to other players in hopes of ratifying my vision here: Make Garrisons server-wide! Here’s what I mean. I have 11 characters at max level on my main server (a recent development, I might add). As such, depending on how garrisons are set up, I could either have 11 individual ones or one that all of my characters on the server can go into. It should be something that all of my characters on the account can share. Thematically, a place they can all go to contribute makes it seem more unified and purposeful. But, gameplay-wise, having 11 different garrisons creates a handful of problems.
Players with a lot of alts will gain an even more intense advantage in terms of crafting and making gold. I could have 11 garrisons gathering crafting materials for me every day. Players will all of those alts will feel compelled to do so. I’m not the most compulsive WoW player out there, not by a long shot, and even I will want to set up and maintain all of these. This causes two problems. Either these players spend mass amounts of time working the garrisons OR they feel like they’re not accomplishing as much as they could by letting them languish – neither leads to good feelings. For players without many alts, they could easily feel at a disadvantage not being able to do as many garrisons (not necessarily realizing that they might not want to, anyway).
Don’t give me that advantage and that burden. Allow for more thematic continuity in letting our whole roster of characters use that same garrison. The decorations, customization, and additions that one character adds can be shared by all of them. This would also enable the possibility for features such as a server wide bank / storage for all characters. There’s nothing to gain by allowing garrisons per character except massive amounts of grind potential. Any other thoughts? Does anyone actually want to have a dozen garrisons to manage every day?