You came from Draenor? How does that even work?!
Nate Pagle, in Pandaria
As I sat last night thinking about what to write for today’s post, I looked back at the week and realized I had written nothing but posts that were attempting to be meaningful, relevant, or topical. And while those are great for the looking back sections of my monthly review, I don’t want anybody to think I am putting on airs. So rather than yet another “thinking about games” piece… and I still have a few of those on my “to do” list right now, including a look at the “OMG we have some already?!” CSM meeting minutes and some mildly optimistic thoughts I have had on LOTRO’s future… I’m going to go back to dull old writing about stuff I’ve done.
I am going to write about my garrison. Again.
We are now past the two months marker for Warlords of Draenor and I am still not sure how I feel about my garrison (or the way trade skills have been changed).
Actually, I have four garrisons now. Working from the idea that garrison resources might be a scarce commodity and the fact that you can just earn them over time by simply having a garrison and logging on every other day to collect them, I ran one alt, then another, and then a third into Draenor.
Then, of course, I got a follower for each, but thought I should push on and get a couple more. And if I just got another level then I could have another building or upgrade the mine or whatever, when suddenly I found myself with my main at level 100 and three alts in the mid 90s and, if I sent my followers on shorter missions, a seemingly infinite loop of logging a character in, checking followers, sending them on new missions, collecting some resources, topping up work orders, to the point that there have been a couple of evenings where I have done little else in Azeroth.
So I am really not sure if I want to get another alt in the mix, as five garrisons might represent a breaking point. As it is, I am mostly playing with my garrison or doing minor garrison related tasks. But when it comes to the whole Garrison Campaign, I am clearly still in the “Wait, What?” category. I am not yet sure if I have advanced my garrison to the point where I would get into the campaign… or how I would know if I was there. And am I supposed to be getting garrison invasions or something?
Anyway, I am going to stop and review where things stand… building by building. Now is the time to click on a link to elsewhere if you have no interest in this. (EJECT!)
Building roll call after the cut as I just go on and on.
Here is the current state of affairs for Vikund, my main “do all the things” character, who is a level 100 paladin and engineer.
Level 3 Town Hall
The Town Hall is the main aspect of the garrison that determines how many little plots of land you get to plant other buildings. I upgraded it as soon as I hit level 100.
At level 3 I have unlocked all I am going to get, so I am done on that front! A good thing too, since it was a bit pricey.
Level 3 Barracks
I recently upgraded the Barracks to level 3, though I am not sure how that has helped me much. I think I can have 25 followers now, though since I only had 15 when I upgraded, I still have room to grow.
I can now also call on the various alliance factions with whom I am exalted… which is everybody besides Gilneas… to come and stand guard in my garrison. I imagine this has something to do with invasions, but since I haven’t seen anything about invasions, all this really seems to do is set a couple banners outside my Town Hall and determine what race is wandering around complaining about the lack of activity while performing “stop and frisk” checks on my population. And have you ever seen dwarves run a sobriety checkpoint? It is pretty counter productive.
Level 3 Dwarven Bunker
I originally put the Gnomish Workshop in this slot, so as to avail myself of their daily toys. However, the bunker ended up seeming more useful. The bunker lets you open work orders using garrison resources that primarily delivers scrap that you can use to buy cosmetic gear for transmog. Not so useful. But the secondary item you get is armor and weapon upgrades for your followers. This has actually worked out pretty well for me so far. My 15 followers are all level 100 and all above item level 625 at this point, so they are getting some higher level missions that actually yield some decent gold, more follower upgrades, and some decent equipment for Vikund.
And, as it turns out, garrison resources were only really constraining when you were in a rush to build out your first garrison ASAP. Since then, I have had plenty to feed into the bunker work order queue.
Level 3 Engineering Works
Vikund’s profession is engineer, so this was a natural. The Engineering Works is the source/bottleneck for crafting resources. It is upgraded to level 3 because that increases the work order queue… and that seems to be about it. I already have all the recipes and have made myself the cool goggles as well as the gun for my hunter. (And I have resources to make a few more guns at this point, so it might be time to see which hunters in the guild want one.)
Now I have to work on the upgrades to those items, but progress there has a different bottleneck.
Level 3 Enchanter’s Study
I chose this on the advice of Earl so as to have a place to recycle all the bind on pick up quest reward gear I collected. It can also be used to apply enchants to my weapon and armor. (Need to enchant that axe still!) Not sure why I upgraded it to level 3. It probably moved some achievement forward.
Level 3 Barn
The barn is the other bottleneck for crafting. It is the source for savage blood, a crafting item I need to upgrade the item level 630 gear I can create. There are three… or is it two… level of upgrades, each requires all the standard resources, in which I am swimming, plus 15 savage blood, which is pretty rare. I needed to get the barn to level 3 to be able to get savage blood at all, and once there I had to go trap some special elite beasts in Nagrand which may or may not… usually not… generate a savage blood. I have yet to see one, but I have problems just finding the elites to trap. There is a pile of people doing the same thing. Earl, who has been more diligent, has reported that even when he keeps his queue full all the time, getting two savage bloods in a single day is a reason to celebrate.
So, instead, I have been saving up primals, since you can trade 50 (!) of those for a savage blood. I have upgraded exactly one item so fa.
Level 3 Lunarfall Excavation
This is the mine. Here it is that I gather more ore than I could possibly use, even when I ship some off to one of my alts who is a jewel crafter, and Draenaic stone, which can only be used for work orders which, in turn, generate more ore. At least I get a primal now and again along with some archaeology pieces from the mining carts.
There was a rumor that in patch 6.1 Blizzard would let us exchange ore for other items. I hope this is true, as I am sitting on a lot of ore. My alts all have the mine up to level 2 as well. There are days when I do not bother with the mine. I will say that I am very, very happy that Blizzard gave us the reagents tab in the bank and upped the stack size to 200.
Level 3 Herb Garden
This is the herb version of the mine above. I was sitting on a lot of herbage until I got my third alt, Alioto, into his garrison. His profession is inscription, and he is only level 94 so he doesn’t have a herb garden of his own, so I pass on a lot to him. My hunter, Tistann, is also a leather worker and needs a specific herb to make his crafting raws, so I send some of that to him as well.
I think level 3 got me that fruit tree, which I kept trying to harvest until it was done producing the first day I got it. It was like trying to drain all the oil out of a Jaguar, something you should never do as, if nothing else, it never ends due to some Xeno’s paradox defying aspect of the design.
Anyway, it also gets me the occasional primal, plus those seeds which you can use to buy a couple of useless things plus a battle pet called the Crazy Carrot. He looks suspiciously like the Terrible Turnip after eating too many… well… carrots. Too much beta-carotene will turn you orange.
Level 3 Fishing Shack
This is probably the building I have spent the most time working on upgrading. To get it to level 3 you first have to catch 700 fish. 700 specific fish. Basically 100 each of the enormous variety of the the fish specific to each of the major zones, plus the one found in the ocean. I like fishing… I have the achievement from fishing all of those damn coins out of the Dalaran fountain to prove it… but it is also easy to burn yourself out on fishing if you do it for extended periods. So I used the fishing daily to basically pace myself until I got close to hitting the mark on each variety, at which point I closed them out until I got to the final bit out in Nagrand.
Having 700 skill in fishing, using the +200 fishing worm bait plus the local fish type bait and my Kalu’ak fishing pole from Wrath of the Lich King (I fished up a better pole at one point, then somehow lost it. I think I vendored it by mistake.) I was able to haul up, on average, 15 of the enormous fish varieties for each five minute bait cycle. So that was almost four hours of fishing.
That achievement… plus a pile of gold and some garrison resources… got me the upgrade to the fishing shack.
The upgrade to the fishing shack got me the opportunity to find that no account, never remembers my damn name or all the favors I’ve done for him in the past, Nat Pagle so I could make him a follower. But first I had to fish up something interesting for him with special bait. Then, with that in hand, I had to travel to Pandaria to find him.
I will allow that, upon reaching him, he may have uttered one of the best NPC quotes in the game, which is way up back at the top of the post. Believe me, I can’t explain how I moved through time and space to find him, or why he would want to follow me back. But he did, and immediately wanted me to go find some more fish for him.
At least that was a quest measured in minutes rather than hours. And, at the end, I got him as a level 100 follower. He still wants more fish, but I am a little more relaxed on that now.
Then we get into the buildings I still have to upgrade.
Level 2 Trading Post
The trading post seemed like a good idea back when I started the garrison. You can use a random resource, which changes daily, for work orders which, in turn, gets you garrison resources. However, garrison resources stopped being a constrained resource pretty quickly and will likely remain so until Blizzard lets me buy savage blood with them. There is the possibility of having an auctioneer at the trading post, but the materials for the quest are tough to find. Meanwhile, upgrading it to level 3 requires exalted reputation with three Draenor factions. I think I might be revered with one so far. A long way to go on that front.
I’d swap it out for another building, but need to figure out what might work out better for me.
Level 2 Storehouse
The storehouse gets you access to the bank and the guild bank, which is kind of nice. Though Vikund, being and engineer, has Jeeves, which gives him bank access every four hours from where ever he is. Getting it to level 2 was easy enough, but level 3 requires me to loot 10,000 gold from mobs in Draenor. This is an account wide achievement, and with one level 100, two level 94s, and a level 93, I think I am closing in on 500 gold looted. So I am miles and miles from hitting that.
And level 3 just gets you an additional five work orders in all your queues, which isn’t nothing, but is mostly an advantage if you don’t want to log in as often. As with the Trading Post, I’d swap it with something else, but the options for small plots are even less interesting that the medium plot the Trading Post occupies.
Level 2 Pet Menagerie
And the final “everybody gets one” building, the Menagerie, the building devoted to battle pets. I actually have another post in progress about battle pets, Pokemon, and how my half-assed party building skills has managed to leave me in the same predicament in both games. Let’s just say I’m working on building a better trained collection.
Also, color me surprised that I managed to defeat the three boss pets required to upgrade the building to level 2. It took some work and I still only managed it more due to persistence and a couple of lucky random number generator events than any skill on my part. But level 2 means that I have various pets wandering my garrison, which my daughter really likes.
How Are Things?
I would say that, aside from the Engineering Works, which was a requirement for any trade skill progress in Draenor, I am probably most satisfied with the Dwarven Bunker. My followers are all now well equipped and progressing into higher and higher level missions. I just need more followers, another task altogether.
On the flip side, The Barn, while theoretically required for trade skills, hasn’t really delivered for me. That has more to do with me than the building though. So I have ended up using it to make leather scraps for Tistann. And the Trading Post hasn’t done much for me either, since garrison resources have ended up not being a real constraint up to this point.
And then there are the outposts that Vikund built along the way to level 100. I am not sure how they play into things at this point. Were they just in-zone bennies or should I be looking to do something further with them?
So that is where I stand on the garrison front. My alts are progressing in similar fashion, each with their own trade skill specific buildings, but otherwise not much different.