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Posts with tag garrison

Garrison Secrets, Easter Eggs and Hidden Surprises

Leave it to Blizzard to slip a few in-jokes into their new Garrison feature in Warlords of Draenor. From riffs on celebrity names to hidden caches of Garrison resources to a special bird that will make you the envy of all your RP friends, we've compiled a list of everything we've found so far.

First, of course, is Pepe, the bird that you can wear on your head. As outlined by our very own Anne Stickney earlier in the week, Pepe is a bird hiding in a tree in your Garrison. If you can get to him and click on his little feathered figure, he'll perch on your head for the next hour. Yes, even as your run the special 40-man Molten Core or hunt elites for desperately needed Garrison resources. And, in case you were curious, Pepe's secret origin has been published by his creator.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard on Garrison Invasions

Garrison Invasions, how do they work? Well, Blizzard decided to go ahead and explain exactly that. Some players have been confused by seeing the introductory Garrison Invasion restricted to Rank 2 of the Garrison, and thought that the Invasions had been removed from Rank 3. Not the case, says Nethaera.

Nethaera - Garrison Invasions and You
We've been seeing a lot of confusion in regard to the way Garrison Invasions work and we wanted to take some time to clear up this confusion for you.

Most players will get their first taste of what Invasions will be like when they get into Tier 2 of their Garrison. Approximately midway through Frostfire Ridge or Shadowmoon Valley, a player's Garrison will be attacked either by a Thunderlord or Shadowmoon force. The quest is just a taste of what this type of gameplay offers but it's not a full blown invasion just yet. It's a way to get your feet wet and experience just a bit of what it will be like when you reach max level. For those who move quickly into their 3rd tier before getting this event, don't worry. You haven't missed out on any special rewards. It's just a precursor to what you're going to get to experience at maximum level.

Once you reach max level, these events are triggered organically. What this means is, as you fight powerful foes among the enemy factions of Draenor (generally in and around the areas for Apexis Crystal Missions) you'll draw their attention and an enemy force will eventually prepare to attack your Garrison. When that happens, the commander outside your Town Hall will have a quest for you, allowing you to trigger the invasion.

The Nuts and Bolts:

  • Your effectiveness in defending your Garrison is measured by how many enemies you're able to defeat and how many of your guards and buildings survive the assault. (Don't worry, there's no permanent damage- they will rebuild it!)
  • You can bring up to 2 friends into your Garrison to assist in the defense. (It's like a party, but with heavily armored invaders.)
  • Based on your final score you and your allies present will earn a Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold award for your efforts – each award may only be earned once per week.


So fear not - if you upgraded your Garrison to Tier 3, you'll still get your Garrison Invasions.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Meet Pepe, your feathered garrison pal

Garrisons are one of the most ridiculously cool parts of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Part ever-evolving quest hub, part resource and profession management system, part place-to-park-your-butt at the end of the day, garrisons work seamlessly and effortlessly with the flow of the expansion itself. But if you really needed another reason to love your home away from home, you should keep your eye out for Pepe, and consider adding him to your daily routine.

Who's Pepe? He's a happy little bird that lives in your garrison's trees. He's the only named bird on the premises. And if you manage to reach him and click on him, he's also a fashionable chirpy hat -- or maybe your head is a warm and cozy nest. Either way, Pepe will stick around with you for an hour, or until you die, whichever comes first. After a period of time, he'll reappear in your garrison, just so you can click him and begin your adventures together all over again.

There's no achievement for Pepe, nor is he an item you carry in your bags, or a pet you can battle with. He's just a fun side bonus in your garrison, tucked away for player to discover. Pepe is available to both Alliance and Horde players, in all three stages of garrison construction. He can be found in the trees around your stronghold, but if you're having a hard time, you can always target him by typing /tar Pepe to hunt him down a little more efficiently. Because he's in a tree, it may take some creative climbing to get to him. But once you do, you'll obtain the buff Pepe, which does nothing other than state "You've got a friend!" And honestly, on a harsh and unforgiving world like Draenor, who wouldn't welcome another one of those?

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

How professions are changing in Warlords of Draenor

Like with every expansion before it, Warlords of Draenor will be shaking things up. Professions will get their skill caps increased to 700 and you'll find new recipes (and new epic gear) waiting for you in Draenor. But it's not all business as usual: some major changes in Warlords will be shaking up how professions work and how they fit in with the rest of the game. Blizzard's goal here seems targeted to opening up player choice: you shouldn't be forced into a profession or be penalized for not having or leveling one. This doesn't mean that the advantages of having a profession are going away, but come Warlords some unique bonuses will be gone, people without a profession will have additional access to it, and leveling professions will be more straightforward for players who might not have focused on professions in the past.

Here are the biggest changes:
  • Profession-based bonuses are gone. And, though we may be losing some perks, with the stat squish and resultant rebalancing in Warlords, this is the ideal time for Blizzard to make this switch. The end result is that you won't have to pick a profession for a specific combat bonus... but can have whichever professions you most want.
  • You can gather anything in Draenor, regardless of skill level. We saw this happen with mining and herbalism in Pandaria in patch 5.3, and now it's expanded to cover all gathering professions, making it easier to level up a gathering profession from zero. Players with higher skill levels will gather more materials than players with lower skill levels.
  • In addition to gathering professions being easier to level, crafting professions all have catch-up recipes that will let you level from zero onward using Draenor materials. This will probably make it more expensive if you plan on buying materials (since everyone will be looking for the same new-world materials), but less of a nuisance if you're gathering your own.
  • Garrison buildings will allow you limited access to professions you don't have... or improve your abilities in professions you do have.
Want to know all the details? Read on to see just what's happening for professions in Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard's third Garrison preview shines a spotlight on followers

So we've seen parts 1 and 2 of the Garrison Preview, and now it's time for part 3, which should feature ewoks if my memory serves me. This time, however, instead of ewoks we get followers - they fulfill many of the same functions as ewoks but they're mostly less cute. Mostly. I think Lantresor of the Blade is adorable, myself.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Leeroy Jenkins, Milhouse Manastorm or Archmage Vargoth as your companions and friends? Well, wonder no more! It's like pet battles, only with NPC's! You can collect as many followers as you like for your garrison, but there's a limit on how many you can have active at a time - think of it as a 'too many cooks' situation. Each follower has specific abilities that make them better or worse for specific missions (some have crowd control, for example) and some followers will even be your bodyguard, accompanying you on missions and protecting you as you (and they) level up.

For more details, please check out this third preview of the Garrison feature coming in Warlords of Draenor.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard's second garrison preview focuses on buildings

So it's Garrison Preview time again, and this time, we're being told about buildings. Wondering how the Garrison Tier system affects your buildings? How large and small plots work? How you can progress your garrison and gain different buildings and new plots to put them on? Wonder no more, for the preview explains all of that for you.
Your Garrison mainly comprises buildings and the Followers who inhabit them. As your Garrison grows, so will your options and opportunities to use these assets to your advantage on Draenor. The Followers that populate your Garrison will grow in number and power, and what they can do for you depends which buildings you choose to construct in your base.
So if you're interested in how this new feature so central to the Warlords of Draenor experience is going to play out, head on over to the official site right now and take a gander at the write-up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Archmage Vargoth's Spare Staff

Players who have been around since Burning Crusade have fond memories of a fellow named Vargoth. We've given a rundown of the man's history in an earlier post about his newfound status as a garrison follower in Warlords of Draenor, but where Vargoth is concerned, Warlords keeps giving.

Players clung to Vargoth's staff back in Burning Crusade to retain the ability to summon the mage to their side at any time. In Warlords, an updated version of that staff can be acquired via the rare follower mission Finding Farahlon. Successfully completing Finding Farahlon awards you with the Mysterious Shining Lockbox which contains Archmage Vargoth's Spare Staff. The Warlords version of the staff, which fits into your toy box, appears to use the same spell effects as the Burning Crusade version. Vargoth continues to talk about betrayal at the hands of Kael'thas despite those events being in the distant past by now. Regardless, there's no longer a need to carry a quest item in your bags in perpetuity.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Old school questing

Mankrik's Wife
In the WoD beta, if you choose to put a Barn on the first available medium plot in your Garrison, as I did circa level 92, you immediately receive a quest from the NPCs there to head to Nagrand and trap an animal. So off I went, west out of Shadowmoon Valley, through Taladar and toward Nagrand, seeking my quarry. This was a mistake. All roads in Taladar lead to Shattrath, and Shattrath is under siege by both level 100 Iron Horde soldiers and demons of the Shadow Council. If you try to run south around Shattrath, you'll end up in Auchindoun, also overrun by Shadow Council demons and a load of other nasties who are way above level 92. Once you've finally made it into Nagrand, you'll discover that it's a level 98-100 zone. Oops.

After many deaths in Nagrand, I finally managed to successfully trap a clefthoof and returned, bruised, battered, but at least triumphant, to my Garrison, where I vowed never to set foot in Nagrand again for at least another five levels, Barn resources be damned. Upon reciting my tale of woe to sympathetic colleague Liz Harper--who went through the same thing when she too chose to put a Barn in her Garrison--I realized that I felt almost like I was picking up my swim form quest in Moonglade as a level 16 night elf druid, only to find that half of the amulet I needed was off the coast of Westfall. I had the same sense of apprehension about the unknown zones I had to head through, frustration when I found I wasn't quite up to the task, and eventual elation as I managed to finish the quest anyway. I thought, "Would I want this kind of questing experience to be a regular WoW feature again?" Is the fist-pumping moment of triumph worth the reckless blundering through two zones full of red-leveled, hostile mobs? Honestly, I'm not sure. What about you? Would you be eager to rise to the challenge, or frustrated to be handed a task so far beyond your current means? How old-school do you want to go?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison basics

If you're venturing into Draenor for the first time, there's no avoiding the new garrison feature: it's at the heart of all of your adventuring into this new world. But before it can become a hub for questing, professions, and missions (more on that later), you'll have to build it.

Fortunately, it's not very hard: as soon as you make your way through Tanaan Jungle, your first task will be establishing a garrison in Shadowmoon Valley (alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (horde).

If you want to know more, we're about to cover the basics of Warlords of Draenor's garrison system. Though no story spoilers follow, if you want to head to Draenor without knowing what comes next, you'll probably want to skip this post.

Now, onward, to Draenor!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Broken things and Daleera Moonfang

Broken things are one of my guilty pleasures. Not completely broken, mind you -- something that doesn't work at all isn't much fun. But things that are just broken enough that they function incorrectly are wonderful. A household animatronic with low batteries, for example. Or when game physics go bad. This guilty pleasure means I love alpha and beta test phases of games. Sometimes the stories that result from a glitch in a game tickle me more than the actual stories.

Daleera Moonfang, pictured above, is the subject of one such story. While playing the latest Warlords of Draenor alpha build, I'd just recruited Daleera as a follower in my garrison. She'd been with my crew for no more than five minutes before I noticed her over by a keg of ale, drinking away. I wandered over there just for the sake of saying hello and noticed her actions were looping a whole lot faster than they should. Only a few seconds passed between each refill of her mug and she never stopped. She'd fill, drink it down in one go, then immediately refill. While refilling, she'd comment on how much she enjoyed the drink before it. "That'll get you there, son," she said. "Just like Mom used to make. It's like a little piece of Ironforge."

It doesn't matter that the NPC that loiters by the keg is randomized. It could have been any of my followers. But Daleera was the first, and now, in my heart, it will always be her. Daleera Moonfang is my hard-drinking priestess of Elune. She could drink dwarves and pandaren under the table. She's honed her boozy craft for an entire elven lifetime. It isn't canon, but it's my canon.

Tell me: do you love broken things? I want your stories!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Official Garrison preview lays down the foundation

We've been waiting very impatiently, almost salivating really, for more details on Grrisons and how they're going to work. Well, at last, our wait is over. Blizzard has finally dropped some of that sweet, sweet structure-creating science on us.

In this post, part one of a four series, we get the basics for how Garrisons will work -- how your Garrison is part of the leveling process, how followers will work and how you can recruit them, the missions you can send them on and how that will benefit the Garrison, how we'll expand the Garrison with new building and use each zone to expand their role in the expansion.
As the story unfolds, you'll find that Garrisons are intimately integrated into every zone-whether you choose to follow the main quest path or just head off into the hills to explore, you will meet allies (and enemies) in every corner of the world. While your main fortress will always be in Shadowmoon Valley (Alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (Horde), you will establish Garrison outposts in Gorgrond, Talador, Nagrand, and Spires of Arak, all customized based on your building choices. Eventually, your forces will span the continent, and you will have an army capable of assaulting the fortified Iron Horde Foundry. Will your troops succeed? That's entirely up to you, commander.
This in particular is of interest - you apparently won't just have the one Garrison, but a linked series of fortifications throughout Draenor to serve as your means of recruiting and defending your followers for the push against the Iron Horde.

Head over to the official site for more details.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Garrisons and their role in Warlords of Draenor

We're all talking about garrisons these days. Whether it's how they're going to work, where they're going to be, or what we're going to do with them they're the big new feature for Warlords of Draenor and we're all constantly worrying at the bone to try and squeeze more information out of them. It's understandable. Players have wanted something akin to player housing for years, and the garrison goes beyond that - it's effectively your own fortified town. It brings back memories for players of old school pen and paper RPG's like me of hitting the end of the expert levels in D&D and getting a dominion.

We've recently found out that the garrison will be heavily integrated into the leveling experience, requiring it to have a stable location (Frostfire Ridge for Horde, Shadowmoon Valley for Alliance) and that there will be specific racial-themed buildings for the professions section of your garrison. There's even going to be group content for garrisons. Mumper has even assured us that the garrison will not be required to level. Meanwhile, Muffinus has asked players who, out of the entire World of Warcraft, would they want as a follower - I'm personally pulling for Rexxar and Marhsall Windsor. Yes, I know.

What this all means is in flux, of course, as Mumper himself acknowledges - design is iterative, and changes happen. We're still waiting for more details, but what I wanted to talk about now is how the garrison is shaping up to become one of those rare things, a feature that can completely transform your playing experience in fundamental ways, yet not directly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Wowhead digs up Garrison models and more

As a new alpha build hit servers last night, the datamining began again. Wowhead has already turned up a plethora of new models, weapons and more, and has now turned to one of the most hotly anticipated features of Warlords of Draenor, Garrisons.

They've put together a detailed list of 70 buildings, along with what exactly all of them do, and what size plot they go on. There's a lot of interesting information one can glean from this data, such as how follower gearing might work and what mission rewards might be, as well as how you get various vendors into your Garrison. Of course, this is datamining, so shouldn't be taken as 100% fact, but it's still really interesting stuff.

There's also information showing off small images of the Garrison buildings, and a map. It seems like these may be UI elements that allow you to design your Garrison and set up its layout, but of course, this is just inference from the data that's presented. There is, however, even more information on each building type, that ties in with the aforementioned list. We're slowly getting an idea of what the Garrison progression might look like.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Muffinus serves up Garrison details

Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel (he has an NPC named after him, the ultimate honor) has been answering questions on twitter about garrisons. Quite a few, in fact. Under his twitter handle of @Muffinus he dished out some pretty interesting details on what the current design for the feature is.
  • Garrisons are going to give you perks outside of them (we already knew about the faster mount speed perk, but others are being worked on).
  • Some perks, like a free resurrection, will not carry over into raids so as to keep them from becoming mandatory perks everyone has to get for their garrison. They want to keep customization as a draw and let players pick the perks they want.
  • You aren't hard gated by the initial quest that establishes the garrison - you can pursue the benefits and perks of the feature even if you decide to bypass it when leveling.
  • You will not have to stop doing something to run back and defend your garrison if/when it comes under attack. It's not a time-limited mechanic.
I'm pretty excited about garrisons, as they combine elements of player housing, RTS elements from the old Warcraft games, and new kinds of minigames. Should be interesting to get to see them in action.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: I did not farm, but I will garrison

Look, farming isn't Warcraft, okay? It just doesn't fit the fantasy of a grim conflict, of a war between ideologies, of a setting divided and defined by conflict for me. I just couldn't make that mental leap - I felt stupid running around killing weeds once, much less doing it over and over again so someone I didn't even particularly like would like me. Not even the dog could motivate me to do it.

But somehow dress up much of the same kind of gameplay behind stone walls and describe it as me constructing a fortified base on an alien planet and suddenly I am there. It all comes down to trappings - the garrison concept works with what I think of as Warcraft. It seems like bringing the RTS's whole 'construct a base, generate resources, use them for battle' gameplay into the MMO, and it works for me in a way the farm never could. So I'm down for it, ludicrously so.

How about you? Did you farm? Are you looking forward to garrisons?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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