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Day in the Life of a Garrison Junkie

Here’s my daily routine when I first log onto WoW.

  • log onto druid
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to forge, collect and restart work orders.  Refresh follower buff.
  • Collect and restart work orders from enchanter’s hut and lumber mill.
  • Pick herbs and collect ore.  Collect and restart work orders from herb garden and mine.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto rogue
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to tannery, collect and restart work orders.
  • Run outside of garrison to find elephants to trap for barn work orders.  Run back to garrison.
  • Collect and restart work orders from enchanter’s hut and barn.
  • Pick herbs and collect ore.  Collect and restart work orders from herb garden and mine.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto mage
  • Hearth to auction house.  Cancel and repost auctions.
  • Hearth back to garrison.
  • Complete missions.  Assign followers to buildings
  • Run to scribe’s quarters, collect and restart work orders.
  • Collect and restart work orders from trading post
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • Get garrison resources.
  • Unassign followers.  Start new follower missions
  • log onto priest
  • Complete missions.
  • Run to Tailoring Emporium.  Collect and restart work orders.
  • Do daily profession cooldowns.
  • log back to druid
  • Pick up daily Apexis Crystal quest.  Fly out to wherever that is located.  Grind mobs until quest is done.  Hearth back to garrison.

This process takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  That’s all before I can think about questing or running instances. When you add in the fact that I refresh my missions again before I log off, I’d say that this process takes a good third of my gaming time.


My gaming so far

I really binged on WoW over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I played essentially all day Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I feel like I’m back in Burning Crusade, when I would arrange my whole life schedule around my WoW time.  That wasn’t healthy for me then, so I may have to rein it in soon.

Here’s what I’m at so far:

My resto/balance druid is at level 100, doing Nagrand quests.  I’ve run some normal instances as a healer and those have been fun.  I should be into heroics by this weekend.  Resto seems strong.  Moonkin dps seems better (easier) in WoD than it did in Mists.  It still suffers from super slow cast times, which I don’t like. It has good burst if you pop cooldowns, so I’ve had no trouble handing the rare spawn mobs around the world.  I have trouble keeping dps up in groups because things die too fast and my spells don’t have time to cast.

My rogue (still my main!) is at level 96.  I’m leveling with my wife and she doesn’t play as much as I do.  So far I’m still wearing almost all of my raid gear from Mists.  There is nothing I’ve encountered while leveling that I can’t just burn down.  I have yet to run any instances with him so I don’t know how well rogue dps is comparing these days.  I know that I can maintain 8-12k unbuffed when soloing, and that seems comparable to what I see people doing in dungeons.

The biggest change was the combo points staying on us, but we’ve had that since the pre-expansion patch so that doesn’t feel new.  The biggest NEW change is the Enhanced Slice and Dice perk, when SnD becomes passive.  That feels weird.  I still hit my SnD keybind at the start of fights out of years of muscle memory.  I need to switch that keybind to something useful.

I have leveled my arcane mage and my shadow priest a bit.  The arcane mage feels too squishy.  With no self-heals I die a lot to even weak mobs.  I need to kill them before they reach me or I’m in trouble.  The shadow priest is fun, as always.

I have four garrisons that I am juggling.  I timed my daily “chores” and it takes almost 40 minutes for me to complete and refresh my follower missions, collect my ore and herbs, get work orders going, and do my daily crafting cooldown on four characters.

  • My druid’s garrison is level 3 and has a lumber mill, forge, enchanter’s hut, and dwarven bunker.
  • The rogue’s garrison is level 2 and has a barracks, tannery, barn, and enchanter’s hut.
  • My mage’s garrison is level 2 and has a barracks, scribe’s quarters, and trading post
  • The priest’s garrison is level 1 and has a barracks and a tailoring emporium.

My guild isn’t going to start raiding in the first week.  We don’t have enough people geared up yet.  We may start in the 2nd week.  As always, we’re not in a rush.  We’re not competing with anyone.


When do the dungeons show up?

I’m a quest reader and storyline follower.  I love to play through the game, following the characters and the lore.

I am used to dungeons showing up as part of a questline.  For example, in Mists you got to Stormstout Brewery as part of the Chen Stormstout questline in the Valley of the Four Winds zone.  You got quests and backstory that led you to go into that dungeon.

This week I’ve played through a lot of Shadowmoon Valley, and I am level 92.  The first leveling dungeon, Bloodmaul Slag Mines, is listed as a level 90-92 instance.  That means I’ve almost outleveled it, and I haven’t seen any mention of it in the game.

Will there be something in the game that leads me to it?  Or am I supposed to just queue for it because it is on the LFG list?


Slow and Steady. And Garrisons.

As of this writing, we are 5 days into the expansion.  Well, not really since the first two days were mostly lost to long queues and DDoS attacks.  I haven’t had a queue since Saturday, so I’ve had about three days to get into WoD.

In my guild there are now 4 people at level 100.  There are some people out there who already have multiple level 100 characters.

For me, I don’t have anyone over level 92 yet.

My wife is playing again, and she and I are going to level our mains together.  That means I can only play my rogue when she is available, and she has a lot less free time than me.  So my main has mostly been limited to one long WoW session on Saturday where we played through the first half or so of Shadowmoon Valley and got to level 92.

Since I can’t level my main, I’ve decided to try another approach.  I’m essentially a garrison juggler.  I leveled four different characters up to level 91-92.  I now have four garrisons I am running.  That can keep me pretty busy.  Four sets of missions to manage.  Between the four garrisons, there is a Tannery, a Barn, a Lumber Mill, two Enchanter’s Studies, a Scribe’s Quarters, a Forge, and a Tailoring Emporium.  Plus two Mines.  I can completely fill my gaming time by just jumping from one toon to the next, doing missions and gathering the materials to submit work orders.  I plan to get a fifth garrison going this week.

Yes, I am missing out on some of the dungeons that my guildies are running.  I’ll catch up on my druid and get into that by this weekend.  However, garrisons are keeping me plenty busy right now.


Where do Garrisons go from Here?

Garrisons are fun.  There’s no deny that – at least today.

Yes, they have been compared to Facebook games, and that’s a fair statement.  Remember, though, that Facebook games are tremendously popular, so while philosophically people might object, in practice that’s not a bad thing.

My question about Garrisons is this – is there an endgame?  In a few weeks when I have 15 followers and they are all at level 100 and I’ve done 10 missions a day and my garrison plots are all filled and upgraded, what then?

I’ve played many short-attention-span apps on my phone, and they usually get old in about a week or two.  Does Blizzard have a plan to keep this feature fresh?


It Takes All Types

I think I write a post like this on day 1 or 2 of every new expansion.  It’s my “get off my lawn, ya darn kids” complaint.

If your goal is to be server first to hit max level (even though they got rid of the achievements for that), then go for it.  If your goal is to compete for world firsts in raids, so you want to get to max level and start gearing up ASAP, then good for you. If you need to max out your garrison so you can craft things and make huge amounts of gold, then more power to you. There are valid reasons to want to be at the level cap quickly.

However, there is a large subset of WoW players that blaze through leveling for no good reason.  They don’t read quest text, don’t do side quests or the various diverse aspects of the game.  They just try to race to the level cap because its there.

I’m not saying that this is somehow bad or wrong.  I just can’t wrap my head around it.  WoW is not a game you “win” so there is no goal that is accomplished by getting to the level cap in two days.  The raids will be gated so they’re not getting any real head start on that.  They’re just going to end up grinding heroics for the next two weeks.  Is that the gameplay they like?

Many of these people will be the same ones that complain about Blizzard’s pace of releasing content.  They will talk about how bored they are.  I don’t get these people.  They are essentially playing $15 a month to play a game they don’t like.  I don’t buy the “I only play WoW for raids” line, either.  That is certainly true for a lot of hardcore raiders, but most players don’t fall into that category.  I think a lot of players are either impatient (don’t make me wait two weeks for my purplez!) or lazy (questing is hard and dull!).

Although a lot of reminiscing about vanilla WoW is tainted by rose-colored glasses, I can honestly say that I preferred the leveling there.  When it took a while to level up, and each level was an accomplishment, it gave you real purpose and long-term goals.  Even in BC the leveling process took a couple of weeks for most of us.  It was Wrath where it got really stupidly fast.

I have no intention of zooming to level 100.  I imagine that it will take me weeks to get there.  I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.  I don’t feel like I’m being left behind.  I feel like I’m actually playing the game… including taking in the story and the lore, which is part of an RPG.


The Worst Part About A New Expansion…

To me, the worst part about a new expansion is how ridiculously easy it is if you go into it wearing raid gear.

I know that they have to make the content accessible for all players, and that characters who have never raided need to be able to kill the quest mobs.  I get it.  I just get a very anti-climactic feeling when I wade in there and all the mobs fall over dead as if they were made of paper.  It takes me out of the immersion of the game.  In the brief time I played in beta on my rogue, most of the quest mobs in the opening zone died before I could even get off a finisher.


Alliance Commander: “Look out!  The Iron Horde is invading!  Run for your lives”

Raid geared rogue spits on an orc and it dies.

Alliance Commander: “Oh.  Nevermind.”


I remember the opening quests of Burning Crusade.  The very first fel orcs and fel boars were tough, and if you accidentally pulled 2 or 3 you could easily die.  That was a challenge – maybe too much so.  However, the quest reward gear you got immediately replaced your classic gear, so your power level jumped quickly as you completed quests.

This caused complaints by people who didn’t want to replace their hard-earned raid gear so easily.

In expansions since then, your raid gear carried far into the next expansion before being replaced.  Wrath did a fair job of making the intro zones still somewhat challenging at times.  In Cata (Mt Hyjal and Vash’jir) and Mists (Jade Forest) as far as I recall they were pretty easy for a raid-geared player.

I wish there was some way that the quest mobs could scale based on your gear level.  The technology is certainly available in-game.  Look how much scaling they already do in Challenge Modes and Flex raiding.  I’d prefer if the quest mobs were a bit challenging, no matter what gear level you are at.


Dinaer - 96 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 91 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
April 2015
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