Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
This week, we’re going to be taking a look at follower missions, and ways to increase our chances of a successful outcome.
My intention is to not get excessively number crunchy. I’m not that great at math. If you want a more in depth look at what I’m going to try to cover, I would suggest this guide from Wowhead.
As part of the quest chains that take place once you’ve set up your garrison, you will get a quest to locate your first follower and to send that follower on their first mission. It is designed so that the player can not fail their first mission, and it introduces them to their first two mechanics: Threats and Counters.
Each mission has some “thing” you’re going to be working against. It may be a generalized group, like a specific clan of orcs or some rampaging elementals. It may be a specific individual, like a named beast. Whatever it is, it is going to have at least one Threat. There are eight different threats in Warlords at the moment. And they don’t do anything. Their purpose is to make a follower mission easier to accomplish by having the Threat countered by a follower’s Abilities. Lets look at these images for an example:
The followers I choose for this example are the same level, are the same quality, and have had no adjustments made to their gear. The only difference mechanically between these two followers is that the Dark Ranger has an Ability that counters the Threat of the Shadowborne Reverend.
A couple of things to keep in mind here. First off, as I think I may have mentioned last week, a follower’s Ability will only work to counter a Threat if the follower is of high enough level to attempt the mission. If you drag the only follower you have with the right Ability into position, and their level number goes red, it’s almost as if they aren’t even there. Second, there may be only eight different Threats, but there are many different Abilities that can be used to counter each one. Think of it like running a dungeon. You come across a group of linked mobs that has a healer in it, and you want to keep the healer out of the fight until you’ve killed the others. If you have a rogue with you, the healer is sapped. If you have a hunter with you, freezing trap. A mage, the healer gets turned into a sheep. So if you’re given a choice to recruit a follower, or you need to dismiss one because you’re over capacity at your garrison, look at the Threats your followers can counter to make sure you fill a gap you might have (or so that you don’t accidentally create one). And finally, Threats only seem to get countered once. Once you see a green check mark pop up on the Threat, it should be taken care of. Sending more followers that can counter that Threat isn’t going to improve your odds any.
Can’t counter the Threat.
So lets say you get a mission, and for whatever reason, your followers aren’t able to counter the Threat. Your next best bet may be to send someone that knows how to deal with a mission’s Type. Just under the the mission’s level and time duration is the mission’s Type. This usually has to do with either the enemies the followers will face on the mission (Orcs, Ogres, Beasts, Elementals, Etc.) or the location where the mission will take place (Snow, Desert, Jungle, etc.). Some of your followers may have a trait that will let them counter the mission Type. As an example:
Again, both of the followers chosen were of equal level and quality. Neither of the two followers had an Ability that could counter the Threat of the mission. The only difference is that one of them had the “Orcslayer” Trait. It’s not as good as countering the Threat,but it’s still better than sending someone without any advantage at all. And, unlike Abilities, this bonus can stack. So if the above mission needed more than one follower to complete, and you had more than one “Orcslayer”, you could send them both, and both of them would apply a party buff to the mission.
There are also a few Traits that can improve your odds based on the duration of the mission. High Stamina, for example, improves your chances on missions that take longer than seven hours to complete. There are traits that do the same thing for missions that take shorter amounts of time as well.
We work well together.
Now, the mission system is designed to help you as much as it can. When you click on a mission, on the left will be your complete list of followers. And any follower you have that has an Ability or a Trait that would be helpful on the mission will show an icon displaying that Ability or Trait. So what happens if you select a mission, and you don’t have any follower available to counter the mission’s Threat or Type? Well, if the mission has enough follower slots, you may have one last option. Some followers have Traits that allow them to work better with other followers. But this bonus doesn’t appear as an option until someone that would trigger the trait has been slotted into the mission. For the purposes of this example, I’m ignoring the fact that I have a few followers that could counter the mission’s Threat:
As you can see on the left, Soulbinder Tuulani has an icon letting me know that she could be a good choice for this mission because she works well with trolls. However, that icon didn’t appear until after I had assigned a troll to the mission. I can understand why it works this way. Helps cut down on confusion and the odds of a person sending someone on a mission thinking they’d get a bonus when they didn’t meet the conditions to get that bonus. But it also means that if you’re looking for this kind of Trait to increase your chances, you’re probably going to have to do a little work yourself.
And I think that should about cover it. Now keep in mind, as was pointed out in the comments last week, that followers may not be the same for everyone. Some followers randomly generate their Abilities and Traits when they join your garrison. Also, followers can be randomly upgraded in quality when they’re acquired, which changes the number of Abilities and Traits they may have. Which is to say that the followers you’ve seen in the above examples may differ greatly from the ones that come to work for you, even if they have the same name. The purpose here was to give an idea of how to improve your chances to complete missions successfully, and not to say “Oh, man, you gotta find this follower, he’s awesome good.”