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Home Sweet Home – My Alliance Garrison

It’s been over TWO years since I posted to this blog site.  While it was never my intention to become a daily/weekly/monthly blogger, I originally felt I could share tips regarding a game I loved.  Time passes quickly when you’re having fun though.

Upon looking back at earlier posts, the tips I provided as a “newbie” player made sense. Two years have gone by and I have fallen into “experienced” player mode; those people who’s vernacular is full of abbreviations the uninitiated wouldn’t understand.

I now have 12 level 100 Alliance characters.  11 of them are one of each class, the 12th being a resto/feral druid that gathers herbs and ore.  These are the characters I play on a daily basis.  I also have 12 Horde characters I rarely or never touch of which only six are level 100.

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My Horde Garrison

My Horde characters were created at a time when there were three of us exploring the game and wanted to know all the aspects of both factions. I never felt connected to my Horde characters, from their races to having to take an elevator to almost anywhere. Consequently, when the others in our group fell into their real-life obligations I stopped playing any of my Horde characters for the most part and kept to my Alliance heritage. That feels both good and right.

Now that we are two months away from the next expansion pack in the World of Warcraft (WoW) saga, I can look back over the best and worst parts of Warlords of Draenor.

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Daily Missions – MasterPlan Add-On

Draenor Was Alt-Friendly:  Warlords of Draenor was built around the garrison system. Each of your alts had their own garrison and their own daily missions. As you can see above, garrison mission rewards were anything from gold to honor to a plethora of helpful items to boost your garrison to top level, help you gather more mats to craft items or get free gear tokens. Some items were transferable, such as honor you could send to another alt if they had none (The Botani Stirr above).  As a PvE player, I used honor to buy a seal that gave me a free roll on loot in Hellfire Citadel raids – a great way to have another chance at raid gear.

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Daily on the left, shipyard on the right.

There were mission tables for both the Town Hall and your shipyard, which netted many FREE items. All you needed to do was run through both tables on every alt which could take as much as 3 minutes or 5 if you wanted to pick up extra garrison resources outside your town hall and do the daily mat creation for your profession.  If you REALLY wanted to make the most of your alts, each one had an herb garden and a mine in their garrison you could collect resources from daily if you had the time.  Extra herbs and ore could be transferred to whatever alt needed it on any given day and you didn’t have to contend with others over an ore or herb node.

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Tailoring Hut on the left, Enchanting Hut on the right, herb garden behind both between the trees.

Professions Were Quick and Easy To Do: If you know much about WoW, you know that each character or “alt” can only have two crafting professions. Unfortunately, the game has MANY craftables almost every character needs. Whether it’s enchants or gems (to add valuable stats), inscriptions (glyphs, staffs and trinkets), flasks or potions, armor (cloth, leather, mail or plate), bladed weapons or engineering marvels such as a Findle’s Loot-A-Rang you still need one character with each profession. This includes a rogue who can open all your locked boxes as blacksmiths were not allowed the pleasure in Warlords.

While I originally created one character of every class so I could learn how to play them (and as a healer know what they WEREN’T doing to mitigate damage), having enough characters to have one for each profession was a necessity.  You don’t want to have to pay for glyphs for each of your characters if you can just make them yourself.  In addition, if you are part of a team running a weekly raid group and want to support those raid members with less time to play having those extra professional resources is worth it’s weight in gold.

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Draenor Pathfinder – Finally, Flying For Everyone!

Once You Had Flying, ALL Your Alts Had Flying:  While the lack of flying in the beginning of Warlords was a highly debated subject, in the end (and WAY too late) Blizzard relented by creating an achievement-based flying mechanic.  This allowed Blizzard to make flying something you had to earn by showing you had at least once, learned all about the new zones (the reason they were against flying). Certain items that required exalted reputation, however, became very tedious to grind rep for. Without flying it would have been intolerable.  For those of us who played several alts, flying was a Godsend.

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Garrison – The Front Gate

Home Sweet Home: As you can tell by the picture at the very top of this blog post each character was given their own personal space in the game called a “garrison.” It was a quiet place to go home each time you played. It wasn’t filled with strangers acting like immature 13 year olds and you could invite anyone to your garrison you wanted, from your raid or party group to complete strangers looking for different garrison amenities through the Premade Group Finder.  You could receive a special forge buff from the Blacksmithing Hut that kept you from having to repair your armor (as long as you didn’t die) or take a mage portal from the Mage Tower to any of the main areas in Draenor.  Each garrison was customizable for each character and those of us who were lucky enough to have two World of Warcraft accounts could keep one open with a Salvage Yard, Bank and Auction House for all our the other alts to use.

I greatly enjoyed the Warlords expansion pack and was a bit sad to hear Legion was going to be released so soon.  I didn’t have time to get all of my Horde characters raised to 100 (we stopped leveling them together at around level 73), nor did I have time to work on achievements, pets or mounts once they announced the drop date on the new expansion. Some characters I used my Legion Pre-Purchase boosts on while a couple others purchased a Level 100 boost ($60) because I just couldn’t bear to finish leveling them and I needed their special services.

And For The Bad Things:  The only truly hideous thing I disagreed with in Warlords was Blizzard’s decision regarding flying.  Blizzard waited WAY too long to introduce flying in the area covered by the Warlords expansion pack.

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The views from flying were spectacular!

Once the huge drop in active subscriptions happened (otherwise known as kids with short attention spans), Blizzard should have introduced flying. This is the point when people who have loved what this MMO offers had an opportunity to raise up their main character and were starting on their alts.  They would already have all the requirements for the flying achievement from leveling up their main and be ready to get to work on their other characters.  The fact the conversation took SO long on Blizzard’s part (purists who never want ANY Blizzard expansion to have flying and the more realistic of us with multiple characters who love flying and need the mobility flying offers) made the day it was finally released a bit sour. We were very happy to be able to FINALLY get around, but the days spent walking everywhere we’d already been were incredibly time-consuming and a detriment to the game.  To Blizzard’s credit, the achievement route was the best option because it gave credit where credit was due.  It not only rewarded people for playing all the parts of the new expansion, but acknowledged that we cared enough about the game to stick with it and play additional characters.

There are so many other specific things I liked about Warlord’s gear, items and play. This blog post could go on for days were I to list them all.  I will end this entry by saying I will continue to end the day in my Warlord’s garrison as opposed to the “Inn” or “Class Hall” provided in Legion.  While you can be sure Blizzard will nerf the mission table mechanics once Legion is released, they can’t take my home away from me completely.  It will still be a place for friends to gather and a spot of quiet solace (as opposed to a Class Hall where you will ultimately be molested by 13 year old boys who’s parents thought a computer would do a better job raising them then they could, but that’s a blog entry for another day).   I will cherish these last two months of Warlords of Draenor as I also prepare our raid group for what to expect in Legion.