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Garrisons May not be the End of the World

As promised when I posted that I was in the Beta, I’ve been doing some snooping around to see what’s what and give us a peak at what to expect come November. The only request I got was to explore garrisons, which is great because that was what I was planning on doing anyways! So I’ve been poking around the beta between classes and down time (understandably, the beta sees a lot of maintenance and down time) and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this garrison thing.

I’ve got good news folks, I don’t think the sky is falling.

It seems that garrisons will be more augmenting a characters profession rather than substituting them, and possibly filling in some holes if you don’t have access to a particular profession. The way it’s headed now though, a player isn’t going to be able to dominate the Auction House with just one character using the garrison.

On the beta if you create a character on the Level 100 realms you get to skip right to the “give me my garrison” part with no effort, and they basically just throw a bunch of levels, blueprints, followers, and supplies at you to get started.

I think I introduced everyone to my facourite Ford, right?

This weekend I plan on moving my monk over to a levelling realm so I can find out how long it’s going to take to get your garrison started, I’ll let you know how that goes.

The garrison, at level three, offers three different sizes of plots to build on, assuming you have the blue prints, in addition to a few extra plots that only hold certain buildings.

Small

The small plots may be of most interest to players interested in gold making and professions, as small plots are where the profession buildings go. You get one of these plots at each garrison level, and the following professions use these spots:

  • Alchemy
  • Enchanting
  • Engineering
  • Jewelcrafting
  • Inscription
  • Tailoring
  • Blacksmithing

In addition, there are two other buildings which may be of interest that will take up a small plot:

  • Salvage
  • Storage

I have a Salvage Yard in my garrison currently, and it seems like it will be fairly useless for us. By what I’ve seen and read, it will mostly be for picking up junk when you’re out in the world, with the occasional useful garrison-related item thrown in. If you raid this building may be useful if you spend a lot of time out in the world, it will depend on what the drop rate and yield is like.

The Storehouse may be of some use to profession alts as it offers, over three different levels, access to such amenities as your personal bank, increased work orders at other buildings, your guild bank, transmogrification, and void storage. I have this one as well at my current garrison, but it seems pretty useless for my testing purposes, so I might drop it.

I’ll get back to the profession buildings.

Medium

Medium plots (of which you get two at Level 3) can play host to the following buildings:

  • Barn
  • Inn
  • Lumber Mill
  • Gladiator’s Sanctum
  • Trading Post

So the one that stands out here is the Trading Post, which offers access to the Auction House at Level 2. Now if you’re like me and you maintain the tradition of a disposable level 1 banker, than this is useless to you. But I imagine there’s a lot of people salivating over the idea of a banker located in their garrison. Actually, given all these perks, I might just level a character just for this purpose! If I wasn’t so lazy.

The Barn promises a supply of leather and fur, in addition to rare meats at level 2, and something called Savage Blood, which is apparently going to be used in every epic recipe. Now that sounds tantalizing, but this may only be useful on a leatherworker, or the very least a character that you bring out into the world and play, not one that just sits around crafting.

The Inn might be promising, it could potentially let a profession alt gain some garrison followers without really doing anything once the Inn reaches level 2. Followers are important to the garrison, even helping with your professions, so this could be useful, depending on how it works. I have an Inn in my garrison, so I will be testing this.

Large

You get two large plots at level 3 on which you can build the following:

  • Armory
  • Barracks
  • Mage Tower
  • Stables
  • Workshop

The Large buildings don’t seem to have any direct impact on professions, so I will just skip over these for now.

Miscellaneous Buildings

In addition to the three plot sizes, there are some plots dedicated to certain buildings:

  • Fishing Hut
  • Farm
  • Pet Menagerie
  • Mine

I was really excited to see that we’d have access to a mine in our garrisons, but I found myself a bit disappointed. It looks like the mine will be useless if you don’t have and use mining on that character. Maybe I’m just doing something wrong, or maybe it’s not working on the Beta yet, but I can’t actually do anything with it without mining by the looks of things. I can’t even unlock level 3 without an achievement that appears to require mining a whole lot in Draenor.

EDIT: Looks like you can mine in the Garrison without actually having mining…interesting…

I haven’t tested the other buildings yet, but this does not bode well for them either.

What This All Means

These garrisons are not going to replace us, but it will probably change how the most dedicated play the Auction House. Garrisons are going to require a fair amount of work to unlock everything useful by the looks of it, so for the first while you will probably only really bother on your main. To my eye, it looks like these Garrisons are really only going to augment you in game, not replace things.

You will also need to actually leave the Garrison to level it up and unlock things, so you can’t just park and alt there and build it up in a few minutes each day. I think this means that players that actually play their alts will have an easier time conquering the Auction Hose than those that sit in the cities all day crafting. Right now it seems that it will be more beneficial to use a small handful of alts that you actually play than an army of 20+ alts you only use for cooldowns.

Here’s an interesting bit from Venture Beat’s article about Cory Stockton’s interview with GamesBeat

The garrison offers Blizzard’s compromise: Garrisons have three small-sized plots for profession buildings, and each has its own structure. If the player has that profession, it offers them some perks (more on that in a bit).

But even if they don’t, it’ll still offer them the capability to make that gear or those items. Take a nonengineer who chooses to construct the engineering building, for example.

“The non-crafter now can choose to build the engineering building on that third slot and would be granted access to almost everything that engineering does, but not the very best recipes,” Stockton said. You’ll provide the parts, and the NPC running the building will make you the item. So you might be able to craft some of the toys the engineering profession is famous for in Warcraft, but they might not last as long or have top-shelf statistics, he said.

It’s key to note that the Garrison won’t be generating many materials, mostly converting (like trading or crafting). And the profession buildings won’t be a complete replacement to a character’s professions.

Expect a change to the status quo with Warlords of Draenor, but we can adapt. It’s not the end of gold making.

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.