This Old Garrison

Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.

Fourteen Weeks in – Zug Zug

WowB-64 2014-09-29 17-04-44-90

On last week’s post, I received this request from reader Nzete:

“Any chance of looking at how assigning followers to a building affects things? What does a follower do for work orders and what are the “unique benefits” for each building having a follower working there?”

Good news, bad news time.  The bad news being that due to changes in the more recent builds that have been hitting the beta server, some of the cheats have been removed.  Mainly, on the level one hundred test servers, the npc you can talk to to set up your garrison no longer provides free garrison resources or a dozen random followers at the click of a button.  So to check out every building that can have a follower assigned to it is cost and time prohibitive at the moment.  The good news is that across my various characters on the test servers, I think I was able to get a sample of how things will work.

The quality of that sample may be open to debate.  But lets take a look at what I found.

Concerning Follower Assignments in General.

To assign a follower to a building in your garrison, you’re going to need a few things.  First off, you’re going to need a follower that has a Trait that matches one of the buildings you have constructed.  This should be fairly easy to accomplish at least once, as one of the quests you should get at some point during your faction’s starting zone will give you plans to set up a small building based on one of your character’s professions and a follower capable of working in it.  The second thing you’ll need is a level two building capable of hiring a follower.  From what I’ve seen, that is limited to a couple of the stock buildings that everyone can access (the mine and the herb garden), all of the small buildings that are based around a primary profession, and the barracks.  Getting this is a little trickier.  As was covered in Blizzard’s last blog post regarding garrisons, unlocking the level two plans occurs as you progress through the expansion, either by hitting a certain level or progressing far enough through a zone’s content.  And then you also have to get enough garrison resources to actually upgrade the building in question.  So what I’m trying to get at here is if you’re concerned about getting your buildings up and running at peak performance as soon as possible, you may want to keep in mind that you may have to progress through half of the new content of the expansion first.

What are the “Unique benefits”?

jcspecial order

Well, I can tell you what they’re not.  Followers do not increase the number of work orders a building can work on (which appears to be fourteen for each individual building at level two).  Followers do not decrease the amount of time it takes a building to complete a work order (which appears to be four hours regardless of how many work orders you queue up at the same time).  Followers do not appear to sell you anything from the building they’re assigned to or let you set up work orders (the npcs that appear when the building is finalized take care of that).

Do they do anything?  Well… maybe?  The rewards from a completed work order may improve with a follower assigned to the building, but my experience was too random to be certain.

From the herb garden:

  1. No follower assigned:  one work order rewarded five Talador Orchids.
  2. Follower assigned:  one work order rewarded six Fireweed.
  3. Follower assigned:  one work order rewarded six Starflower and ten Apexis Crystals.

From the gem boutique:

  1. No follower assigned:  one work order rewarded one Taladite Crystal and one Sorcerous Earth.
  2. Follower assigned:  one work order rewarded one Taladite Crystal.
  3. Follower assigned:  one work order rewarded two Taladite Crystals and one Sorcerous Air.

A bigger sample size than I was able to get this week is really needed to be sure if there is a change or not.  But to me, there doesn’t appear to be enough of an increase in output (or even a guarantee of an increased output) to say with certainty that there is a benefit from having a follower in the building.

With all the nos and maybes covered, lets get to the one definite unique benefit I did see.  When I assigned a follower to the gem boutique, he had a quest for me.  To complete the quest, I needed to create two green quality haste gems to turn in.  And for all intents and purposes, going to one of the other workers in the boutique and having them made for the cost of some Taladite Crystals and some Frostweed counts as creating the needed gems.  Completing the quest gave me a “Jewelcrafting payment” bag, containing two hundred and ninety gold and change.  This event seems so unique that it has yet to repeat itself.  I have not seen another quest from any other follower assigned to any other building, and I have not seen it pop up again from the follower working at the gem boutique.  A part of me wonders if it’s set up as something like a combination of a weekly quest and the Blingtron daily quest.  You’ll only be able to choose to do a quest like this for one follower assigned to one building across all of your characters once a week.  If that’s how it’s working, the reset on the quests won’t come until sometime next week.  I’ll keep an eye out for it, but at this point, who knows.

I Can Be Your Long Lost Pal.

bodyguard

The barracks offers the best, or at least most noticeable, benefit for a follower assignment in the form of a bodyguard.  The follower will join you as you quest around Draenor.  Think of all those quests you’ve done where you were asked to do something, and either the quest give or one of their associates went with you to give you a dps boost.  That’s what you’re getting here.  Being assigned as your bodyguard will give the character a temporary level boost while with you.  Which is nice, since if there was a great enough difference between the player and the bodyguard, it would probably be more accurate to call the follower “bait”.  The bodyguard acts more or less like a character of their class would.  A mage bodyguard will attack from range with fireballs, while a death knight bodyguard will charge into melee.  The one issue I have with them is that you don’t have much in the way of fine control of your bodyguard.  So you’re going to have to be quick on the draw for any of those quests where you need to weaken a target before applying a potion or zapping them with a crystal/artifact/invention.  Because once a mob has aggro, the bodyguard won’t stop until it’s dead or no longer a valid target.  Or if the bodyguard dies, which can happen, but only means that that specific follower can’t follow you around for an hour while they recover (you can go back to your garrison and switch out bodyguards if this happens and you have another follower to take over the barracks job (and yes, that follower can “die” too, so you can have several dead bodyguards at the same time each with their own recovery timer (don’t ask))).  Maybe the player can earn more control by increasing their reputation with their bodyguard.  Supposedly, increasing your reputation with a bodyguard will unlock more abilities for them as you go along.  Again, it’s something I don’t have first hand experience with yet, so I can’t say for sure.

And that’s important I think.  What I’ve written here is what I’ve experienced while playing in the beta.  But I don’t know right now if what I’ve documented is working as intended.  I’m really hoping that when we get the next garrison blog post from Blizzard (which I believe is supposed to cover followers), it will give us a little more information about what we should be expecting from our followers.  If only so we can know for sure if something isn’t working quite right.

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