Monday, December 29, 2014

Draenor Horde Garrisons: Strangers in a strange land

Welcome to Draenor, fellow Hordie!   What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Well, friends, I'll tell you that it all boils down to one single, simple fact: Archmaage Khadgar NEVER asks for directions.

We see him blasting the Iron Horde into the air en masse, destroying bridges with a twitch of a finger, and even disintegrating a dam.  But as it turns out, the Omniscient One is secretly direction challenged and possibly time-challenged as well.

He does NOT manage to sail the boat to a nice warm place in Nagrand with sunny beaches where we can plan strategy over a nice microbrew.  Instead, Wrong Way Khadgar runs off to help the Frostwolves after they've hunkered down in the Great Icebox Of Durotar.  In lieu of cabana boys with frou-frou drinks, lush scenery, wooded dells, and uppity (but tasty) wildlife, Frostridge has rocks.  It also has glaciers, rocks, ice, rocks, and snow (and rocks) livened up by the occasional volcano.  And ogres.  And ugly hogs.  And demons.  And iceworms.  And rock ledges with a 200 foot drop. 

The Invaders from Argus (Dranei, who managed to crash land on Draenor before crash landing on Azeroth) ended up in lovely Shadowmoon Valley.  And yet with the rest of a lovely warm world on which to live, Our Hero's Father Durotan opts for settling down to live in the World's Biggest Refrigerator.

Apparently he gets epic hot flashes or something.

Welcome to Draenor.


Your garrison is visually more confusing than the Alliance garrison.  Gazlowe has a thing for Hides With Holes (as walls -- I think he gets them pre-ganwed on, wholesale) and your basic brick red and gray-ish tan scheme.  Your (white) position marker doesn't stand out well against the (white) snow and (gray) buildings.  Zoom in close to avoid changes.

If you're basing your gameplay strategy on what you did on the Alliance side, you're gonna be in a world of hurt.  That's what I did when I decided that my first resource building was going to be the Lumber Mill.

I ended up running across two zones (death run, really, and an 80 gold repair bill) just to find two doggone "small timber" trees to cut down for the lumber mill's approval, because there seems to be a rule that "Horde Doesn't Do Trees" -- except, perhaps for those flouncy Blood Elves, who seem to be closet tree-huggers when they're not sniffing illegal magic items.

And then I decided I'd build a barn and a leatherworking store -- only to discover that the animals you can get leather from live in Alliance areas (cue headdesk-ing.)  A few of them actually live in the Frozen North, but let me tell you, I feel guilty hunting wolves with Durotan and Thrall sitting around in my garrison.

Therefore, a better option is to build the Trading Post and simply trade for garrison resources.

As with Alliance side, build your tradeskill buildings first and then consider the recipes.  Remember that you can change out the buildings in your garrison if you want to pick up a different item.  For example, my priest (who has alchemy) traded in the alchemy building after getting all the recipes for an Enchanter's studio and enchants.

As with Alliance side, your better bet is handing over the raw materials to workers to process.  It takes my blacksmith character 24 hours, 20 true iron ores, and 10 Blackrock ores to produce one Truesteel Ingot.  Alternatively, I can turn over batches of Blackrock ore to my forge worker and get out 4-6 Truesteel ingots each day (and more possibly, depending on the worker.) The maximum item level equipment that these buildings produce is level 640 (and it takes around 2 weeks to make something, unless you get lucky), so you may want to change them for something else once you've gotten the gear you like.

Although you get a daily quest (with various rewards, mostly gold) from sticking with your own tradeskills and leveling the trade building to level 3, you may find that having an alternate building is more useful.  It is very expensive to make some items (and many things are "bind on pick up"), so I often include buildings that will produce armor for me.


One of the perks you do get is the blessing of the Shamanstones.  The main one is in Wol'Gar, but there's another one way out on the hind end ofnowhere (65,79 Frostfire Ridge).  They offer the "Spirit of the Wolf", "Blessing of the Wolf", and "Buffeting Galefury".  As best I can figure it out, the last one means a wind spirit comes in and dines on various things.  It promises some sort of levitation, but I haven't figured out who or what gets levitated.

My personal favorite is "Blessing of the Wolf," which calls a ghostly Frostwolf rushing to your aid when you get into combat (if you don't get into combat too often.)  So far, the frostwolf hasn't rushed in with a keg of brandy, but I have hopes...

So put some thought into your garrison early on if you're playing Horde.  While you can reverse the changes easily enough (gold and garrison resources are all that is needed), you can save yourself a bit of frustration by a little careful planning.

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