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World of Warcraft Column: Delving More Into Garrisons

By Reza Lackey on December 30, 2013

Welcome to the WoW Factor! I hope you are all having/had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying some relaxing time off. I had the pleasure of spending several days in Italy where I ate more food than you can possibly imagine - I even wrote some of this article in the lovely city of Firenze. If you love food and ever have a chance to visit, don’t pass it up! On to this week’s WoW Factor in which we take a look at one of the most profound features that will ship with Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons.

News

Two more actors have been announced for the upcoming Warcraft film, Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown (follow the links for their IMDB profiles). They join the previously announced cast of Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Toby Kebbell and Robert Kazinsky. Production is scheduled to begin this January in Vancouver with a release date of March 11, 2016.

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Of Player Housing

One of the most asked for features from WoW players was the addition of player housing. Blizzard acknowledged this desire for gamers to have a part of the game to call their own, but the developers didn't want to add this feature unless they could make it feel like it belonged in the world. They also said on many occasions that their take on player housing would need to also offer some sort of complimentary gameplay mechanics beyond simply choosing where to put a chair or what color to make a wall - there would need to be a compelling reason from a gameplay standpoint to introduce such a feature.

The other issue that comes along with the idea of player housing is real estate. Where in the game could you build your house or town? Would entire zones be overrun with the same, or extremely similar, structures creating a boring and repetitive landscape? And beyond that, what's the point to it all other than having a place to arrange a few pieces of furniture? There are many other games if you want that "fix;" this is Warcraft.

When Blizzard unveiled Warlords of Draenor at BlizzCon, they announced that they finally found a solution to implement player housing in a meaningful way. In Warlords, you're not going to be building some puny, one-room clay hut - you'll be building a freakin' garrison.

Under Construction

Players will be constructing Garrisons, a fortified town that you'll build, customize and staff with followers that you will recruit. Garrisons will play a strong role in the leveling process and not just be reserved for end-game content. In fact, players will begin the initial construction of their garrison fairly early in the Warlords narrative. You'll have the choice of several zones in which to build your garrison and once construction is under way, your budding fortress will become a permanent fixture in the world. Garrisons will not be instanced so you and any of your party members will be able to see your fortress even from afar.

In zones that allow you to build a garrison, there will be predetermined construction sites that are comprised of a set number of small and large plots. These plots are where you will construct a variety of small or large buildings. Each building will open a variety of gameplay options (more on this below) but you'll have to carefully choose which buildings to construct as there won't be enough plots for all of the building types.

Followers

As your garrison grows, you'll need to recruit NPC followers to help you make the most of your new foothold. Some followers will naturally find their way to your garrison and you can also upgrade your Inn (if you have one) to attract a greater variety of patrons whom can be hired with a convincing conversation or with some gold. Followers can also be gained through story progression and the completion of certain quests.

Once you have earned a few followers, you'll be able to send them on missions to earn loot for your character and enhance your garrison. Followers can also be put to work to complete a variety of beneficial tasks such as gathering resources and crafting items. These missions and tasks can be performed even when you're not logged in. Based on what buildings your garrison has, you'll be able to craft items even if your character doesn't have the appropriate profession - your alchemy/herbalist character may be able to have a follower craft cloth armor, as an example. At BlizzCon it was stated that there will most likely be follower specific recipes that will probably be acquired from follower missions keeping them separate from player character recipes. 

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