Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
So… first thing. It seems Warlords has gone to Beta. The battle.net launcher labels it so. Seeing as it was still being called an Alpha last week, it’s understandable that it still has a few rough spots. Still, I was able to work around most of those problems and level up both an Alliance and Horde character and get to experience what garrisons have to offer so far. I thought I’d take this week to list off some of the things I’ve my experience so far.
I take it back.
Okay. Now that I’ve had some time to use it myself, I feel like I need to apologize. The garrison ability granted by the barracks isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Now part of that may be due to a possible improvement or two. I don’t recall the early versions in the streams I watched having a pair of tanks included in the summon. So if the target you wanted to hit with the ability wandered out of the ranged target zone, it was a waste. Now besides the ranged element, there are a couple warriors that come along to try and keep the mob in the zone. The other part of the problem was learning how to use this new ability. Many a person that I saw streaming in the early days would activate this ability on any random quest mob they came across. This would usually result in a fairly quick kill, and your summon just standing around for the rest of it’s duration. This shouldn’t be a “use every time it’s off cool down” ability. This is a dps boost ability. Perhaps an “oh crap” button for when that big thing you’re trying to kill isn’t going down as quickly as you’d like. I’d almost want to say that it can give you a decent chance at soloing some of the elite quest mobs that are the target of several group quests that exit (depending on other factors). It may see a balance pass at some point, but even so I’m rather pleased with it now that I know how to use it properly.
Say hello to Abatha. Abatha is a follower the Alliance can pick up after completing a quest chain which gives you the plans for the garrison’s alchemy lab building. One of her skills allows her to be assigned to the alchemy lab. But she also has a skill which can be useful for follower missons. In fact:
She was the only person I had to counter the magic debuff icon on this particular mission. It gives me something to think about. Do I want to put her to work in the lab as soon as possible, or do I want to keep her around for a while in case I need her to deal with another mission?
A part of questing, and yet not.
I’m liking how they’re handling follower distribution so far. With the exception of your first one (which is understandable, due to it being part of the garrison “tutorial”), you’re not actively searching for your followers. They come to you. All of followers I’ve run into so far, for both factions, have been quest rewards. Some, like Vivianne up there, are really simple. She was standing in my garrison with a quest to click the complete button, and boom, new follower. A few are “area complete” rewards. You get a quest to go out to an outpost, and once you’ve all the quests available from that location, you’ll get one more quest where the guy you were taking orders from asks to join your cause. The closest thing to an exception that I can think of is a draenei that’s tied to an area event. There was nothing to draw me out there except the little crossed swords icon on the map. Once I got out there, I was given kill X creatures and collect Y item objectives. To complete those objectives, I entered a cave, where I found my future follower with a quest for me to save some of her friends. I imagine I’ll attempt to go out and find every follower I can by the time we’re done with the expansion, but I like the idea that if I just stick to questing, I’m not going to be hindering my garrison experience.
I’m looking forward to continuing my beta experience and seeing what else is out there. Next week, I may come back with some of the things I’m not happy about. Unless Blizzard fixes those things by then. Or I find something better to talk about. Speaking of which, if there’s something regarding garrisons that you’d like me to look into, I could try to do that. You can leave a comment or send me a tweet, and I’ll see if I can dig up some info for you guys.