Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
I had an odd thought at some point in the lead up to the expansion. Could a player set up a functional garrison without actually playing the expansion? If you want to be technical about it, the answer is no. Our garrisons are located in Draenor, and you have to take steps to set them up. You’re not going to just walk through the dark portal, get handed a deed, and start sending followers off on missions. You have to put in some effort to get started, but after that, could you get a working garrison without doing any other Draenor content?
I’m here to say that it’s possible, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it. At the very least, I would strongly advise against this on a main character. If you want to try this, I’d save it for an alt.
First off, you’re going to need a garrison. That should be fairly obvious. But when I say that, I mean you’re going to need a garrison that is able to produce what you need. What you will need are resources and followers. Of those two, resources are the easier one to come by. By going through the tutorial quests that introduce the player to garrison game play, you’ll cause your garrison to start creating resources for you. You don’t have to do any questing on Draenor to get any more than you needed for these quests if you don’t want to. What you are going to end up doing is logging in every day or every other day and collecting the resources, and not much else. You’re probably going to want to build up a stockpile of resources for everything you’re going to want and need to do in your garrison in the future.
Now, the other thing you’re going to need your garrison to produce is followers. If you are limiting yourself to just playing in your garrison, there is only one source for followers, and that is the inn. And getting one of those is more difficult than it sounds. Remember, that the inn is a medium sized building, and your garrison doesn’t get a plot of that size until it advances to level two. That’s not too hard to accomplish. The hard part comes from getting the level of inn that you need. A level two inn is the one that will allow you to recruit a new follower each week. And the plans for a level two inn are locked behind some character progress requirements. To unlock them, you will either need to complete the Spires of Arak Outpost quests or reach level ninety-eight. Which means, if you’re bound and determined not to do questing again, that you will need to look into alternative leveling techniques. For myself, I went the battle pet leveling route. It wasn’t that quick to begin with, but with stockpiling rested xp and a full set of the “gain a ten percent bonus to any experience you earn” upgraded heirloom items, it sped up quite a bit.
And that’s where I’m at now. I have six followers (the three you pick up from the tutorial missions, two recruits from the inn, and the one from Ashran since I was passing through at one point to use the portal back to Azeroth). I have over six thousand garrison resources (partially thanks to one of my inn recruits being a scavenger). And I’m not exactly sure what I want to do next. If I want to unlock the full garrison, I’ll need to reach the level cap. And I suppose at some point I should take the time to open up all the material generating buildings available to me. We’ll see how it goes.
But any other alts I get to Draenor are just going to quest.