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Garrisons - Here To Stay

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A lot has been said of comments that Tom Chilton made, published in a November article with PC Gamer, that Garrisons will not continue into the post-Warlords of Draenor World of Warcraft. That may have been their intent, but what's actually going to happen?

 

One of three things happens to 'old' content in WoW:

  1. It stays intact. There is lots of non-current content content that still exists.
  2. Content is removed, rewards are not. We've seen this many times - the removal of legacy raids, old achievements, speed runs (ZA, MoP CMs, etc.), and more. Players can't access the content any more, but they can keep anything they got for items, mounts, titles, or otherwise.
  3. Content is 100% eliminated. This is actually quite rare - very little has been simply 'taken out' of the game. Blizzard rarely takes away something a player has earned, which makes it highly unlikely they would simply eliminate game content.

So, where do Garrisons fit on that spectrum? There are a few considerations worth noting:

  • Developer time. Garrisons were a major feature in Warlords of Draenor, the way that the player farm or pet battles were in Mists of Pandaria. Scrubbing individual pieces of content is not uncommon, nor is deactivating a particular use of a feature (e.g. Mists CMs), but rarely is an entire feature outright scrapped.
  • Player cost. If a player spends time or resources (gold, etc.) to acquire something in-game, it is very important to Blizzard not to 'take that away'. With the gold costs associated with completing the Garrison, as well as new features being introduced to iterate upon it (monuments, music jukebox, etc.), Blizzard wouldn't take that away from players.
  • Collections. Tons of accessible content was introduced with Garrisons, and the idea that - for example - the transmog sets from the Salvage Yard or the mounts from the Stables would no longer be available to players from that kind of content seems unlikely.
  • Followers. Players are investing heavily into collecting followers, akin to any other in-game collection (pets, mounts, tabards, toys, etc.). Removing those outright would be a move not appreciated by many players.

What does all of this mean? Likely one of two things. Either Blizzard has changed their stance on Garrisons as a core feature of the game, and we can expect to see iteration and reuse of the technology in a future expansion after all (I've posited elsewhere that a more mobile base of operations, like the airships from Icecrown, would allow Blizzard to easily mobilize a comparable game space into the next expansion), or the existing Garrison is expected to fall into disuse after WoWx6 comes out. If the latter is the intent, I expect minor adjustments to things like follower missions to be made, or for the automatic accumulation of garrison resources to be disabled. If they aren't, the automatic gold acquisition from follower missions will be reason enough for players to feel they need to continue utilizing the Garrison.

 

Fundamentally, it seems highly unlikely that Blizzard would invest all of the time and energy into the Garrison infrastructure we have now, including ongoing feature additions in 6.1 (and beyond), to simply discontinue its use in the future. Obviating parts of the current Garrison, shutting it down and replacing it, or otherwise, absolutely - but a full-stop removal, hugely unlikely.

 

And if they're not going to remove it, you can bet on seeing it - maybe in a different form - in 7.0 and beyond.

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I'd like to see the garrisons stay for good. it's a cool feature that gets me logging into the game, and definitely checking alts way more often than ever before (to do missions, and check work orders). I'd like to see next expansion add more buildings, and new follower abilities, but still somehow incorporate the work we've already done in this expansion. like allowing you to start your new garrison at level 2 or 3, but having the max level at 4 or 5, and retaining the followers you've collected, but having 3-4 new abilities that only next expansions followers can have. 

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In my opinion, I want to see my garrison get transferred to the new zone in patch 7 and beyond. Let's say someone reached level 90 and built his own garrison in Draenor. The guy is still in the Draenor storyline so he can continue doing the same old content in his garrison, like doing level 90-100 missions, gathering draenor followers, upgrade garrison to level 3 and so on. Now immediately after he started the 100-110 or whatever it will be, the guys at your garrison starts to pack their bags and relocate your garrison to the new zone with the same setup you had before.

What are the benefits of this, If you were active at level 100 in WoD expansion, you don't feel like you've wasted all those gold and time because you still have your old garrison. then you're more than ready to hit the next garrison level and start collecting lvl +100 followers, In fact you have enough good followers to do the first missions of level 101. And you can keep your old followers or if you're a follower collector you can continue to farm the new followers, maybe some could get new abilities or traits that makes the old ones a little weaker.

If you were not active during the WoD or you're a new player, or let's say you don't want to jump straight into the new expansion after you've hit 100 and want to hang out a little while in Draenor, fine, you can still do the old content in Frostfire Ridge or Shadowmoon Valley garrison as long as you don't start the +100 storyline.

But after you've started the new questing zone, you can then cooperate with your new buddies, it's the frostwolf guys now (for horde ofc), who knows what it could be next expansion, and then build your new garrison in the new zone, the old garrison will be just a buliding with some vendors in it, just in case you want to get to Draenor, Like a tavern or something in most major cities. Or it could even get deleted completely and we can get a portal to Warspear from Major City to get to draenor. But better if you would be able to do the old content in the new garrison.

Edited by mnime

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