This Old Garrison

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Eight Weeks in – A Tale of Two Invasions

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This week, I finally had a chance to try out one of the garrison features that I was really curious to try out.  Garrison invasions were something we knew was coming at some point, but I had never had the fortune to try one myself.  I think I had gotten a starting quest for them one or twice.  You get a quest telling you to go home and speak to a specific npc that thinks your garrison is about to come under an attack.  They just never seemed to progress beyond that starting quest for me.  I’d go and talk to the guy, but once I did nothing changed.  There didn’t appear to be any way to get an invasion to start.  But that has changed, and now you can bring the forces of the Iron Horde crashing down on your head.  With some mixed results.

The overview for an invasion appears to be the same regardless of which faction you’re playing on.  Once you trigger the event, you’re dealing with a five stage scenario that you need to deal with.  Stage one is set up.  You’re rallying your troops to a point where you’re going to defend your garrison.  All you need to do is move to a specific point to trigger stage two.  Stage two actually involves some combat.  A scouting party of the enemy force comes in through your main gate, and you fight them until they’re dead.  Once they’re defeated, stage three begins, which is a timed event.  You’re instructed to survive until time runs out as everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong.  Stage four is a breather.  This allows you to finish off any lingering forces from stage three before regrouping where you started in stage one to trigger the final stage.  Stage five is a boss fight.  Once the boss is defeated, your score for the scenario is determined, and you receive a reward in garrison resources for your efforts.

invasion score

Wait.  Invasions are scored?

Yes.  Yes they are.  I didn’t really notice if it was working with the Horde garrison invasion, but the mechanics were visible in the Alliance version.  During stage three, a number of different things can be done, and each one gives you a certain amount of points.  The generic guards of your garrison will rush to engage the enemy forces, and from time to time will fall in combat.  When they do you have a limited amount of time where you can revive them and send them back into the fight.  You can also deal with what I want to call random events that can happen during the scenario.  Over the course of the two invasions I played, I saw several occur.  I had npc characters from the opposing faction attempt to use the Iron Horde attack as cover for their efforts to loot my garrison.  I had some commoners in panic and start running all over the battle.  I had other commoners decide to turn traitor and try to loot what they could.  And that’s all in addition to the most obvious method of scoring points, which is dealing with the level one hundred invaders.

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Not for the low of level.

My over all impression is that I think these could be a very nice break every now and then if you know what you’re getting yourself into.  My Horde character was level ninety-six and the lowest level follower he had was probably only two levels lower than that.  And the followers do seem to help.  I didn’t really pay enough attention to notice if all of my followers had joined in, or if the ones that may have been on assignments were missing at the time.  But as far as I could tell, they were pulling their own weight.  So for my Horde character, it was fun.  My Alliance character was level ninety-one, and I think only one of his followers matched him at that level.  Going up against the ordinary level one hundred mobs was an exercise in futility, to say nothing of going after some of the elite mobs that spawned for specific events.  Eventually, the Alliance garrison was saved, but not through much help on my part.  My attacks were mostly dodged, so all I could really do was run around and try to heal fallen defenders.  Which seemed to draw a whole lot of aggro from any nearby enemy, resulting in more than a few one shots to my character.  And waiting on my npcs to deal with the problem without my help took what felt like close to an hour of real world time.  There was a point, when most of my buildings were on fire, all of my generic defenders were dead, and I couldn’t go near some sections of my base for fear of a stealthed Horde looter killing me for interrupting him, that I wish I could have surrendered.  Some way I could force the scenario to end so I could go back to the leveling it was clear I desperately needed if I wanted to try this again.  But it seems once you start, you have to suffer through until the end.  I would love to know what Blizzard has planned for the invasions, because right now, I’m not sure where the possible problem should be placed.  Either the invasions are going to be available at every character level (and the issue is that currently the mobs don’t adjust to the level of the player) or the invasions are only going to be available to characters of a certain level (and the issue was that for some reason my lower level character was able to trigger one).

In the end, I had fun and will be looking forward to defending my garrison when the opportunity arises.  You know, once I’m sure I can deal with it.  Or once I know where I’ve put my nice white flag if I should find myself in way over my head again.


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