Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
Well, for some people it has. Me being… hang on a sec… not one of those people. Fortunately, Blizzard has not placed the alpha under an NDA. So there are probably people streaming Warlords game play right now if you want to look for it. And it looks like garrisons are going to play heavily into our first hour or so on Draenor.
Before we get into that, a few reminders:
Our first few quests on Draenor are all about getting our garrison set up. It’s pretty much standard questing we’re already used to: kill X mobs, collect Y things, whack named target Z. But it’s all flavored around getting an area of the starting zone prepped to be your base.
Once that’s done, you get into a little more of what it looks like garrison game play will be like. You’re given a quest which has you pick up and learn the plans for the first building you’ll be constructing in your garrison: The Barracks. It also has you acquire some of the new resource you’ll need for garrisons: Material.
But you don’t get enough Material to begin construction right away. You need fifty for The Barracks, and you’re short. In fact, a couple of the streams I watched, the player finished up all of the quests they started off with and were still short on necessary Material to start building. Personally, I think this could use a little adjustment. We’re dealing with a new currency here, and we don’t have an automatic knowledge of how to earn it. By this point, we’ve seen that it doesn’t drop off the various quest mobs we’ve encountered and killed. Do we need to wander around and hope to discover a hidden quest somewhere? Should we start searching for profession resource nodes and hope they drop Material like the nodes on the Timeless Isle drop coins? Should we just log out for a couple hours and see if our new garrison generates enough Material on its own in that time? I guess this could be seen as an attempt to get us out and exploring and maybe finding some of those hidden things they’ve been talking about putting into Warlords, but an idea of what to look for would be helpful.
Once you’ve gotten enough materials to build your Barracks, your next quest involves getting your first follower. Again, fairly standard questing: this follower has been captured, fight your way to him (as needed) and rescue him. Once you’ve successfully turned that quest in, you get a new quest to send your new follower on his first mission. “Lucky” for you, your new follower is the perfect person for the mission at hand. He has the skills needed to over come the threats of the mission. So force choke him (I’ve not even kidding, assigning followers to mission slots makes it look like you’re strangling them) over to his assignment and send him on his way. And in about thirty minutes, you’ll be rewarded with a completed mission, and most likely your second follower.
Now from the looks of things, the quest required mission is free. After that, you’re looking at a five Material cost to start a quick, one follower, thirty minute mission. I’m curious to see how Blizzard is going to base their costs. Is it cost per follower assigned (so a one man quest is five Material, a five man dungeon is twenty-five material, and a ten man raid is fifty)? Or is it a cost per time investment (with a base of five Material for a thirty minute quest, meaning it’s going to take a large quantity to send groups on those several day long missions we’ll be getting later on)?
Over all, I like most of what I’ve seen so far. My one concern is with the mission tab. Up on the mini map, there will be a tab that allows the player to keep track of the various missions you’ve sent your followers off on. From what I’ve seen so far, I haven’t seen anything that suggests it’s more than just a timer. I’ve yet to see anyone use it as a way to interact with their followers (either to send them off on new missions or to see how they did and if they brought any loot back from finishing a mission). Right now, everything seems pointed towards going back to your garrison to manage your followers. Which may become problematic as you start to venture into other zones where your garrison isn’t located. Maybe we’ll be able to do that kind of management from the garrison outposts we’ll be setting up as we continue on. But it is something I’m going to be keeping an eye out for as things continue along.
But so far, so good.