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Friday, April 25, 2014

To Build a Home :: What I Know


Time to get REALLY serious :D

Okay then, time to stop mucking about. This morning's post has but one aim: to collate together EXACTLY what we currently know about Garrisons in one place. There's a very good reason news sites won't confirm too much: there's no actual evidence to support ANY of this stuff as yet. All we have is Tweets and Alpha data, and most sensible sources will (quite rightly) not commit themselves to objective reporting until there's an actual Client to work from.

You should know however that we LOVE to speculate around this Parish. Heck, we've done pretty much nothing but since the feature was announced in November. So, this morning we'll collate here what we *think* we know. As a result, please bear in mind none of this is final and is (undoubtedly) subject to change, probably if enough people complain they don't like it :P


Don't you worry @holinka. I've got you covered.


WHAT CURRENTLY EXISTS IN ALPHA:



  • The patch of land onto which you build your Garrison is presented to players after the first 'hour' (your playtime may vary) of interaction in Draenor. They are your prize for helping push back the flow of Iron Horde, and should be awarded by (currently in Alpha files) Yrel if you are Alliance and Durotan if you are Horde. Oh, and it appears they are named after you:

  • You will have a standard set of buildings both for Horde and Alliance. At least the map icons for both of these exist now in game files:

From Wowhead. HORDE BUILDINGS!11!1

However, as I've not seen anyone able to anything close to a working model of *anything* with an actual Blizzard UI attached, this feature remains to be implemented. Therefore, there is a great deal that we can only speculate on as a result.

Not!Horde Buildings :D

  • There *should* be a Questline (certainly suggested by Alpha files at this stage) that establishes your Garrison in either Frostfire Ridge if you are Horde or Shadowmoon Valley if you are Alliance. At present, this is where you will remain, at least until you have a Tier 3 Garrison (and we can only assume that means ALL your Buildings are at that level,) and that's *probably* going to take until you reach L100. After that, there appears there may well be a chance you can relocate to somewhere else:
Ask and you may yet change the plan.


However we have established, at least for the process of levelling, you will (at least for now) remain tethered to your starting zone:

Just so you know.

  • Your Garrison can become a vital part of your levelling experience, but only should you choose it to be so.
Insert moral quandary here.

This is quite important: although it is apparent that Blizzard would really like you to 'do' Garrisons as you level to 100, they are aware that making *anything* mandatory is a red flag. So, if you're reading this and thinking 'stuff that I wanna run dungeons to level' you will be able to do just that until you max. However, I can personally guarantee that you will be missing out on things that have never happened in Blizzard MMO content before. Most of this feature appears to be being custom built from the ground up. Personally, I'd like to be a part of the group that experienced this entire shebang from the word 'Go.' Even if it isn't as awesome as I hope it will be, it is different and a clear attempt by the designers to address some of the long-term issues that have existed with questing in game. I think, as a result, their work deserves my attention at least once.


  • Your Garrison is intrinsically linked with ALL Primary and Secondary Professions in Warcraft.

It was four, now ITS MORE.


We established earlier in the week that if you use all the plots associated with Professions 'buildings' in your Garrison, this will give you six professions at your disposal. That would mean, with an alt and a main at your disposal, you'd have access to (pretty much) everything Professions will have to offer in Warlords. However, there has been the suggestion that this will not give as much as having the profession on your actual character, so until we see exactly what that means for everyone, this is another one of those grey areas we can only speculate on. There is also a number of other permutations to consider: you'll need a Lumber Mill pretty early in your travels if you want to build your Buildings faster to begin with, so expect there to be some quite serious Garrison Theorycrafting going on in certain quarters.


  • Your Garrison is staffed by a bunch of Followers whose job it is to not simply work in your buildings, but go on special Missions where you have a chance of finding COOL THINGS.

Brann Bronzebeard. Frankly, he owes me one. Plus, he looked bored in the Vale :D


This is the bit of Garrisons which looks really exciting, and you don't do anything *really* except choose the people who take part. Followers will offer to join you in a style similar to the means by which you get companions in Diablo 3: you'll fight with them, or help them, and this is their way of paying you back. Each has a unique set of abilities, many will have a Professions specialisation. When they're not working your patch for stuff, you can send them out on Missions. This is still a MASSIVE grey area (as of this morning only two Missions are accessible from the Alpha Client) but it will work like a Scenario, or a 5 Man, or even a Raid at max level in terms of the number of followers you can utilise to complete them. You pick people to send to complete a task, in a location. Those people all have specific abilities that will affect how they and their compatriots will perform this Mission, based on who you choose to begin with. Some will have bonuses to group effectiveness, others will have a greater usefulness against a specific mob type. Pick the right people and you could be coming home weighed down with loot, pick the wrong ones and you come back empty-handed... or at least, that appears to be the theory.

However, there's no actual evidence to support any of this. You'll just have to hope this stays as it was promised at Blizzcon. The Alpha files certainly suggest that's the plan, but until we see it... standard disclaimers apply.


Commit this map to memory...

  • Certain Buildings will provide the player with useful bonuses, but you cannot build them all. This should therefore allow the Garrison to be a unique feature on a player by player basis.

This is the area that has created the most speculation amongst my sector of the player base. The Gold Making sector are (quite justifiably) looking at the potential for particular combinations of Professions dependant on what your 'building' offers you on a daily basis. there will be players who don't really care how they place buildings and just run with what they think looks best. There will be those already considering running all 60 alts through them just to see how many combinations they can create... We are aware that there will be benefits to the individual, quite apart from the potential for Achievements (and they will be there, despite that aspect not even being visible in Alpha as yet.) Suggested rewards thus far include a mount speed bonus and a cost-free daily resurrection (not available in raids) and it is possible, over time, these may integrate in the same way Draenor Perks will. Again, we will have to wait for a playable client to know for certain.

As Wowhead have been able to build a 'Garrison Calculator' based on what we already have in terms of buildings and positioning, it is fair to say that part of the process is considerably more advanced than anything else. I can't offer you such technical mastery, alas, you'll just have to make do with long-form rambling broken up with pretty pictures instead :P



  • Your Garrison will have its own Resource.




There's a better than average chance that your Lumber Mill will be providing this 'Material' for you, and therefore you may wish to ensure you build that first before anything else.


  • Daily Quest Hubs will exist in your Garrison. Currently, this will include Fishing and Cookery.

Artist's Impression :D


It wouldn't be an Expansion without SOME dailies, now would it? Cookery and Fishing are pretty much staples of the game to begin with, and Alpha Files have told us that assuming you have an Inn and a Fishing Shack on your property, you'll have access to Daily Hubs at Tier 2 (with probable additional quests for Fishing at Tier 3.)

There is also, very importantly, the Menagerie building which will unlock specific Battle Pet options and appears to suggest there will be Pet-Specific Missions. This may allude, at least in later patches, to a place where Pet Battle Dailies could well be collected from. No, I have no evidence at all, BUT YOU CAN HOPE.


  • Your Garrison will need to be defended because it will come under attack from enemy forces.

This one came as something of a surprise when it emerged via PAX a few weeks ago, but there are files in Alpha which do indeed suggest you'll be forced to defend your Garrison from time to time from marauding invaders, and success or failure will affect the production rate of your Buildings as a result. However, don't panic, you won't need to stop your 5 man and rush back 'home' if this happens:


'Working on the mechanism'


Again, nothing definitive exists to demonstrate this but a number of Alpha patch files have appeared which may well be spells and abilities you will need to use to 'defend' your patch when the time comes. 

  • This feature uses new technology Blizzard has had to specifically create to allow the Garrison to function.

THERE WE ARE :D

It has been admitted in interviews that because of the nature of the building placement in game, Blizzard have had to redesign their code to accommodate NPC movement when (potentially) every player could locate their buildings in a different space. These NPC's will also /wave at you when they pass you in your 'home' and apparently /dance too (though I'd point out they should be doing that on their own time and not mine :P) This is going to have a lot to do with why we're not seeing a working client at present, and I for one have absolutely no problem with that as long as we are kept constantly updated with what's going on, which has been the case at least with Alpha client information. 

Let's hope Blizzard present everyone with more definitive Garrisons information in the near future. Certainly going to make my life easier if they do... :D 





  • At least one building will be customisable by players in-game choices.

There have been many Tweets that suggest that players will be able to 'customise' areas of their Garrison not simply by the placement of their buildings.




We know therefore that certain areas will be using player 'statistical' data to display favourites. There is a better than average chance that your Town Hall, which has no set 'use' in terms of material production in the Garrison files and is placed in the same spot regardless of player choice, will be where the majority of this 'customisation' will occur. As to exactly WHAT you'll be able to choose from: again, we'll have to wait and see.

  • There are still MANY MYSTERIES in your Garrison as yet undiscovered.

We have an entire building (the Workshop) of which we know NOTHING about. Then there is the Trading Post, which may allow players the option to collect items from across the map or indeed trade with other players. Then there is the Salvage Yard, which 'turns other people's trash into your treasure'... 

We're also promised Vendors, Blueprints to upgrade buildings (a ton of which have been datamined in the last week) and much, much more, which is pretty much being added to the game on a daily basis.

Many of these buildings (and I suspect a proportion of functionality) may never see final release, but we note them all here to reiterate this is VERY MUCH a work in development, pretty much in front of our eyes. I for one welcome our new Transparency Overlords...

==


If you're reading this and think I've missed something, PLEASE add it in the Comments and I'll make sure it gets added with your particular citation as thanks. 

6 comments:

Marie said...

Excellent post, thanks for collating all this info in one place!

Ross F. said...

You got me. I've come around. I'm excited for Garrisons.

Ligerwolf said...

Hellz yeah!!! Display or fav pet/mounts for others to see is so awesomely awesome!!! Super excited!

Peri said...

Want them now. Have gone through every permutation on the wowhead calculator. Have spreadsheet ready for when there's more info. Want. Now.

Want.

syrco said...

Can't wait to see what they'll be like! :D Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

Carly C said...

So, now it's like they are turning WoW into a mmorpg+RTS. hm.... innntteresting... It would be really cool if like an RTS you could move troops around and be in the action WITH your troops on your character. That would be crazy.