Garrison Choices I Wish I’d Made

Alternate Title: Suggestions for People Who Haven’t Played Yet That Will Only Be Read By People Who’ve Played.

Off Broadway Title: A Garrison for Algernon

Vaudeville Title: The Amazing Bearwallzini

I love the Warlords of Draenor expansion. It’s holding my interest, keeping me moving, and I’m still so addicted to Followers that I’m logging in morning, noon and night to manage my Garrison missions.

Last time something had me this wrapped up in the game was my obsession to ‘catch ’em all’ with Non Combat Pets, camping rare spawns and checking at all hours for that rare white elk to appear. “OMG, a Fel Flame, RUN!!! It’s 2 AM and I gotta beat the nine other people here camping it to tame it first!”

Okay, so I might be a bit deranged.

Side note, with our Garrisons and the pet building, I love that our favorited Non Combat Pets wander around on their own. Sometimes one will come on over and follow me for a bit, clearly happy to see me. Seeing my Fel Flame pet, named “Jackpot”, wandering around as I move from building to building brings back all those memories. I really like that.

I’ve leveled my raiding Warlock and my Feral Druid to 100, and my Rogue is just about there. I might have seven other alts with level 2 Garrisons, just for the different profession buildings and daily profession cooldowns/resource generation. I’ve learned a thing or too since launch.

Along the way, I’ve made mistakes with my Garrison. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes with my garrisons across characters. I’ve constructed more pylons, I mean erected buildings only to tear them down because damnit I should have done something else first.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is out there, but I’ve learned a lot I wish I’d known the first time around.

Some of the things that I do with alts now I do not for efficient resource management, but simply because it’s fun and different. Can’t beat a new feeling when playing alts, right?

My friend James suggested he was considering coming back for Warlords of Draenor, maybe, possibly, probably not. Since he’s been away for a little bit, I started thinking about what I would have wished I’d known before I’d really started playing the expansion.

It comes down to a lot of little things that are between the lines. Not any of the guide stuff, the wonderful nuts and bolts dataz that sites like Wowhead and Icy Veins have already covered so well. Those sites have in depth guides for the what, the who, and the “where do I find it?”

I can do my own research through the database sites and get a ton out of reading Perculia’s hard work. And Tritox, whoever that is who wrote their Follower guide on Wowhead that is the ultimate to-die-for guide.

But I would have loved to have known, well… the stuff I’m going to write about here.

It’s going to be one hell of a long bearwall. Why? Well, why not? I’m not into clickbait and this isn’t a business for money. Why break it all up into a dozen little pages spread out over two weeks? I want to write it so here it is. If it’s too long to wade through, I understand. I sympathize! But I also don’t care. Wade on in and if it’s too many words for you, stay in the kiddie pool or drown.

Level 2 Garrisons

The VERY first thing I’ve learned is that you can get your level 2 Garrison quicker than you might expect. Once you’ve got your level 1 Garrison and can begin questing in your faction starter zone, there is a specific series of quests that are considered ‘core’ Garrison quests for the zone. If you run through those and only those without side questing, you will quickly reach a point where you get the breadcrumb to go back to your Garrison and unlock level 2.

All zones are like this. There are many side quests, but there will be one core Garrison or Outpost quest chain that you can focus on moving through to reach the reward. In the starting zone, that reward is a level 2 Garrison. In later zones, the reward is usually a new Follower and a book that you can turn in for a free Garrison building blueprint of your choice which you can immediately use to upgrade a building. These are precious rewards, so they are worth pursuing quickly on alts.

A level 2 Garrison gives you more plots to build on, including an extra profession plot, so it’s excellent for all of your alts even if you’re not actively playing them to level.

Side note: Professions. I personally leveled blacksmith and tailor alts just so I could craft weapon and armor upgrades. You do NOT need to have more than level 1 in a profession to use that profession with a small profession building in your Garrison, either. You can’t get any of the rewards associated with that profession except for the Warlords of Draenor stuff, and some things like the Leatherworking wolf mount require max level in a profession to craft it, but for most Warlords gear you can craft it JUST with the profession building, and craft it faster if you have at least skill 1 in the profession for the daily mats cooldown. I know, it sounds crazy. I know! But it’s true. Professions JUST for gear is optional. Professions just speed it up, and unlock cooler stuff if you have them.

So unlocking your Garrison. If you check the quests on Wowhead, you should be able to nail down which ones are core for garrison progression pretty easily. Once you know which to do, you can unlock level 2 long before reaching 92, even with rested XP. I know that for your first playthrough on your main, you’ll want to enjoy everything and have fun exploring. On your alts, you can focus on just the core quests and unlock the upgrades fast. It is NOT gated by level, my Priest is level 91 with a level 2 Garrison.

The bible of guides for everything Garrison buildings is of course on Wowhead.

What Buildings to Choose First? SO MANY CHOICES!

The next thing I’ve learned is some Garrison Buildings are great for early leveling, and others are only truly useful at end game.

The first one that bit me on the butt was the Stables. Who doesn’t want the Stables? It promises the ability to capture, tame and train a wide variety of new mounts native to Draenor, including an awesome looking wolf. I was eager to make one, and since the mounts are all Bind to Account now, it doesn’t matter which character of mine had a Stables or did the quests. Right?

The answer to that, of course, is that it does matter. Because the majority of quests take you into the final leveling zone, Nagrand, and have you fight high level mobs that are in remote areas. To actually complete the mount training quests and get your new mount, you’re going to most likely want to be level 100 when you start. You don’t have to be, no. You can certainly fight to make your way to each of these locations, and you can complete the quests with other people, including ungrouped strangers. If you really, really wanted to complete these quests as a level 92 character, it seems possible, especially if you can stealth and have vast patience and wait for other people to attack the quest mobs before you join in.

But it also sounds like a lot of pain and wasted time every day for no good reason. Much better to wait until you are level 100 to create a Stables, and then begin the quests.

Wish I’d known that before I made a Stables on my level 92 Hunter that I have yet to do anything with. Wasted time, wasted resources.

Before I move on, the other thing to know about the Stables is that there are two additional bonus mounts you can get from achievements. There are two items you can carry in your bags (you don’t equip them), and while carrying one of those items and doing the daily quest, you are nerfed by 25% DPS/healing/Health or by 50% depending on the item. If you defeat each of a certain list of enemy bosses once while riding each mount and carrying the item, you get a bonus mount for finishing it.

Let me try and be clear. You pick up an item at the Stables, lying on some hay. Say, the Black Claw. While you are on your whistle-summoned training mount fighting a boss and carrying that item, you are nerfed by either 25% or 50%. You have to defeat each of a certain number of bosses, while carrying the item, and riding every single mount. There are six bosses, six mounts, so you’ve got 36 fights ahead of you per item.

You CAN choose to just pick up the item and carry it with you all the time while doing daily quests right from the beginning. UGH, hell no. A better solution is to do them all at once. For example, for the Black Claw achieve, the very first time you have all mount daily quest whistles available go do it. You see, while on a daily quest, you can use a summons whistle as often as you like. And you can chain kill the same boss over and over, they have a super fast respawn. AND, you get credit for the achieve even if other people are helping you kill it.

So, as soon as you unlock all daily mount quests and can summon all six mounts, you can track the achievement, visit each of the bosses in sequence, and kill that boss six times in a row, summon mount, kill boss, get off mount and summon different mount, kill boss, get off mount, etc. The Black Claw achieve can be completed before ever getting the first regular quest mount unlocked.

The second achieve can only be done once you unlock the 50% nerf item, which only happens once you’ve earned all the daily quest mounts. So it takes a little longer.

But there is no reason to fear the mount achieve. Just get the item and all your whistles and go have a fun afternoon chain killing bosses. Bring a friend! Your friend doesn’t even have to be on a mount to chip in and help kill them. Seriously, go do it and end up with all eight mounts and have fun. The hard decision comes after you’ve got all eight mounts. Keep the Stables or replace it with something else? it does take a Large building slot…

So, the Stables. A Large building that sounds wonderful, MUST have, want those mounts… but you should have patience. Leave that one for when you’re level 100 and have a level 3 Garrison with more room. maybe for when you get that second unlocked Large plot and want to put something there. You could use it for a Stables, burn through all the mount quests, then replace it with something else. Just a thought.

Okay, so what buildings do I recommend you start with, then?

Your level 2 Garrison will have one Large plot, one Medium plot and two Small plots.

The first one I recommend is that you keep your Barracks, the first Large building the game makes you build. The Barracks is lovely for two reasons. First, at level 2 you can assign a Follower with the Bodyguard ability to it so you’ve got a leveling buddy all the time. You can’t possibly get that one until level 94, but it’s so fun. At level 3, it lets you have 25 Followers active instead of only 20.

“So what”, you ask? Level 94 is a long way down the road, and ditto to having a level 3 Barracks in the future. But wait, there’s more!

Artillery Strike Incoming

Okay, so people have reminded me that the following ain’t true. I got the idea that you needed the Barracks to have the Call to Arms ability from beta, but you don’t. It comes from your Outpost choices, and as far as I can tell you just get it in your starter zone. I have a Barracks for everyone right now so I don’t have anything rubbing my nose in the way it really works.

So! You get a new action button in Warlords of Draenor and it doesn’t have shit to do with a Barracks. It’s related to your Outpost choices, and has nothing to do with your class and spec. And it’s cool! It’s also oh so easy to forget you have it.

I’m talking about the Call to Arms ability, an action button that dues something different depending on what Draenor zone you are in. In every Draenor zone after your starting one, you build a little Outpost, and you are given a choice between two buildings. Each building can give you different benefits, access to different quests, different Follower rewards and a different ‘Call to Arms’ oh shit ability.

The Outpost choices can bite you on the butt, too. Are you a leatherworker? Do you have a Barn building and want to assign a Follower to it so you get more resources each time? Then for Alliance choose the brewery in Spires of Arak for your Outpost, because the Follower you eventually get from it is a Skinner to be put in the Barn. Complicated, right?

Well, WoWhead has a wonderful guide to all Followers, what they can do, where they can go, how you can find them. One read through of that and every question is answered. So, it’s not that bad. Oh, I suggested you go read a guide on Wowhead? You’re shocked, I know.

The Call to Arms ability. This is so easy to forget to use, but it is a game changer if you use it. Fighting a rare mob in the world? About to die? Hit that button and have a shot and living to tell the tale of how, um, someone else totally saved your ass.

As an example, for Alliance trying to complete the quest to unlock Protector Illona, an awesome Protection Paladin tank Bodyguard Follower, you have to defeat two spirits that are pretty powerful. Just one killed my butt when I tried it on my Rogue. Ah, but then I remembered that Call to Arms ability, and the next attempt I made I used that to call in an Artillery Strike on the two mobs and cleaned their clock. Just, destroyed them. It’s really very powerful and useful in a tough fight. And oh so incredibly easy to forget you have it.

So that’s Call to Arms. Nothing to do with the Barracks, just something to love. A special little snowflake of an ability.

back to the Barracks. That was supposedly what i was talking about and explaining why I recommend taking it while leveling. Having the Barracks gives you special Patrol Follower missions. You can tell which ones they are in the mission list, they have the picture of a Spyglass next to them. Doing a bunch of those is how you unlock the level 3 Barracks blueprint. Patrol missions typically give better XP bonuses than regular missions, so yeah. YUM.

Barracks, what’s not to love?


The second answer to why to have a Barracks while leveling is Bodyguards. There are several Followers that have the Bodyguard trait built in, five at the time of this writing but next patch who knows, one of which you unlock immediately after upgrading your Garrison to level 2.

You want that Bodyguard? Yeah, not so fast chum! You can’t assign a Follower to your Barracks until it is level 2, and you can’t upgrade Large buildings until you reach level 100, OR level 94 and use the Outpost quest chain reward from Talador.

That’s right, there is a way to get it at level 94! One of your rewards for completing each leveling zone Outpost quest chain after the starter zone is a book that you can turn in for the Garrison Building blueprint of your choice. Completing Gorgrond gives you a book for smaller buildings, but completing the Outpost quest chain in Talador (and being level 94) gets you a book you can use to upgrade a Large building. Like your Barracks.

So, if you keep your Barracks and you use your Comprehensive Outpost Construction Guide from Talador on the Barracks to reach level 2, then at character level 94 you can immediately assign someone to be your companion, your Bodyguard, your buddy in the foxholes of life.

This is a freaking game changer for any class that ain’t a tank or doesn’t have a tank pet. HOLY SHITSKI.

Bodyguard Followers are NOT all tanks. Don’t let the term bodyguard fool you, they are really your companions. Some of them serve as threat-generating tanks, but others are DPS or healers.

As an example, I have been playing my Rogue a lot since my Warlock and Druid reached max. I intentionally set out to get the Barracks to level 2 and get Protector Illona as my tank at level 94.

Having Illona as a tank while you are a DPS class is amazing. It’s just… there are no words. Especially if you remember to call for Artillery when you’re about to get overwhelmed.

Does a Bodyguard sometimes get overwhelmed? Sure. Do they sometimes pull things you perhaps might have left unbothered? Unfortunately. But usually, if the situation is dire enough taht your bodyguard is about to die, you were gonna be hosed regardless. As a Rogue, I was delighted to learn that when I enter stealth, bodyguards do also. I also found out that if your stealthed bodyguard walks over a mob, the mob notices and attacks. You have to pay attention to where your bodyguard is if you’re stealthing all over the place. But the feel of stealthing into a camp and then unleashing a tank in the midst of them, OMG, so fun.

No, really.

Remember, not all bodyguards are tanks. Some are healers or DPS as well. I love my bodyguards on my Warlock as well, but I use Tormmok, an optional Follower from Gorgrond anyone can obtain. Tormmok is a straight up melee DPS, and he’s very powerful. Bodyguards scale with your level, so don’t worry about what level they are when sending them on missions. As your bodyguard, they are not only the same level as you in the field, but they also scale in power with your ilevel.

When I’m questing on my Destruction Warlock, I prefer to have my Grimoire of Supremacy Abyssal pet out as my AoE tank, and Tormmok as my single target melee DPS. That way I can control my tank pet with the extra DPS Tormmok gives me. Also, having two giant companions with me everywhere I go is an experience all to itself.

If you prefer leveling and playing as a tank, there are Healing bodyguards as well.

You’ve got options in bodyguards to match your playstyle. Maybe managing them and where they are and what they will aggro is an added challenge… but if you’re gonna whine about having Tormmok aggro something once in a while, not much I can say to that except shit happens, lead your forces better maybe?


Third, and the REALLY biggie for the Barracks is it increases the likelihood you will succeed with your Follower missions by increasing your pool of talent.

If you don’t really raid, or hell even if you do, a MAJOR source of gear upgrades comes from your Follower missions. It’s really quite amazing the amount of gear you will get thrown at you in these missions. My Druid had an almost full set of 615 gear just from missions by the time I was level 100.

One of the keys to completing Follower missions is to have a variety of Followers with a wide range of abilities that can counter mission objectives. The more Followers you have available to you, the more mission objectives you are capable of countering perfectly, and the more missions you can have active at once.

Follower missions frequently come up with 8 or 10 hour durations that award iLevel 615 or 630 loot, and higher. Each Follower of green or blue quality can counter one mission objective. Epic quality Followers can counter TWO at the same time. And whatever rarity your Followers are, once they are leveled to 100 all XP they gain is applied to improve their rarity. Eventually, if you keep sending them on missions, they will ALL be Epic.

Trust me on this. Right now I have 30 Epic Followers at level 100, all at 645 ilevel or higher. Only 25 are active, but maybe they’ll increase that cap someday? Maybe?

I like leveling Followers, but every time I want to level one I have to temporarily deactivate one of my epics. It’s horrible. Who to choose? How can I be asked to make Sophie’s Choice? I love them like my own children! Well, I love them like I would my own children if Alex ever brought me back some epic loot. Maybe I love them better. Just saying. Kid needs to step it up. I might have to send him to Clean the Latrine. perhaps he can bring me the epic Donut of Coffee Absorption.

The point is, if you send your Followers on missions as often as possible, they will continue to level. Once they are 100 and Epic, each one can counter two different objectives. Once you’ve got several to 100 and Epic, then the chance you can perfectly match ALL of a high level reward mission’s objectives goes way up. And the more of those that you get at high item levels, the better your chance to max out your best loot missions with 100% chances.

So you want many active Followers, you want to level them by sending them on MANY missions, and you want to be able to upgrade their armor and weapons a lot.

Which leads me away from the Barracks and on to the next Large building… the Dwarven Bunker/War Mill.

Dwarven Bunker/War Mill

The Dwarven Bunker is another great building, and a direct competitor with the Barracks for that lone leveling Large Building plot.

Why have the Barracks while leveling? All those answers I gave up there.

Why replace it with a Dwarven Bunker instead?

First, maybe you don’t want a Bodyguard. Maybe you want to keep ALL of your Followers away on missions and leveling as you quest so they’re all at max and epic and useful as soon as possible.

Also, maybe you know that you can wait for that increased Follower cap to go to 25, that as you level your character in the game 20 Follower spots are enough all the way through to Nagrand. Sure, you’re not doing high XP Patrol missions and moving towards unlocking the level 3 blueprint until later, but maybe you are okay with that…

Because with a Dwarven Bunker, and upgraded to level 2 as soon as you hit level 94 in Talador, you can spend Garrison Resources on work orders to frequently get armor and weapon upgrades for your Followers.

That’s right. The trick with the Dwarven Bunker is to get it to level 2, and dump Garrison Resources into it to get Follower gear upgrade tokens. The higher your Followers ilevels, the better the gear rewards you get offered from some Follower missions. They start at ilevel 600, and the cutoffs for gear missions are 600, 615, 630 and 645. Oh, and all the Followers sent on a mission have to have the minimum ilevel for that mission or that follower doesn’t even count towards it.

So yay! Not only do you want Followers to be level 100 and epic, but you also really want to push the ones with a good variety of talents to ilevel 645 as fast as you can.

Cassie is still working on this. She gets her highmaul raid missions with only a 78% chance of success. When the reward is a piece of 645 loot, that SUCKS. She has the followers, she is still working on the ilevels.

It’s a hard choice to make, which to do first. Both have advantages and benefits to choosing it.

I personally chose the Dwarven Bunker when I started out on my main, and the Barracks for all the others. I know that, compared to every other character I’m playing, it’s made a HUGE impact to my Follower ilevels. Like I said, my main has 30+ at epic and 645. Hell, most are above 650 now. None of my other characters have a team of followers that high in ilevel.

But the downside to having a Dwarven bunker was, I was ALWAYS starved for Garrison Resources. I spent so many resources on leveling buildings, sending all of my Followers on every mission that was ever offered, and buying Dwarven Bunker work orders that every day saw me desperate for new sources of Resources. It sucked.

I got to the point, I think I mentioned it in a previous post, that I went out searching for every single treasure in every zone, because many of them reward Garrison Resources. I also hunted down and killed every rare because they also reward some resources when killed. There are treasure maps you can buy which show where treasures are, but you can only get them after completing the zone’s quests. I finally just started using an addon that shows them all regardless of quest status. What addon? I did say I mentioned it in a previous post. You read that one, right?

In hindsight I wish I would have started with the Barracks while questing, got my bodyguard, and waited until level 100 to add the Dwarven Bunker. I think it would have been more fun having a bodyguard, and I would have been less stressed about Garrison Resources. But on the other hand, shit, I like having a 100% success rate for every mission in my log, and sending them out in waves to bring me back my gold and loot to disenchant. And the need for resouces DID serve to spur me on to finding every treasure and rare mob in every zone. That was really fun having that need driving me on.

There is one other way to get these Follower upgrades other than as mission rewards; a Small building;

The Salvage Yard.

All I can really say about the Salvage Yard is, it uses a small profession plot, and you don’t unlock it until midway through Spires of Arak, your level 96 – 98 questing zone. So it’s up to you if you fill both of your small plots early with profession buildings/Storehouse and wait until level 100 to add a Salvage Yard, or if you burn your way through Spires of Arak and try to build it right at 96/97.

Why the rush?

The Salvage Yard is another of those buildings that seems like a must-have.

If you have a Salvage Yard, every Follower Mission has a chance to give you a bag (or box) of random shit. Scraps. Trash. Vendor junk.

With a level 2 Salvage Yard, those bags have a chance to have Follower upgrade items JUST like the Dwarven Bunker/War Mill work order… and also a chance to have ilevel 610 gear for your class and spec, transmog items that sell well, and even ilevel 655 BoE gear that sells for thousands of gold if you’re lucky to get one! I’ve only gotten one of those, but I sold it for enough to buy a 655 BoE off hand weapon, so I count myself DAMN lucky.

So an upgraded Salvage Yard gives you even more Follower Upgrade items, to get them up there and ready to bring you back that raid loot! And it costs you nothing, you get the bags and boxes from missions you would have sent your Followers on anyway.

Of course, it’s also another incentive besides XP to send your Followers on every mission you’ve got, flood the mission log with them, don’t save your missions because every mission completed is a chance for a Follower upgrade from salvage.

Resource Management

So, why was I so starved in my resources? Shit, do you have to wonder? Everything I’ve done on my main involved spending Garrison Resources like I was trying to fill up a flock of seagulls with bread. You will never have enough bread, man.

Fortunately, your level 2 Garrison has a Medium building plot on it, and there are two Medium buildings you can choose from to build that can give you extra resources each day.

The two that give you resources every day are the Trading Post and the Lumber Mill. I strongly advise you get one of these as your starter Medium building.

Don’t do what I did and get an Inn because it sounded so cool, like the Stables. The Inn is another of those buildings that sounds awesome at first, but only really shines at end game.

The Lumber Mill requires you to go out and gather some wood from trees in the world, come back and use it to start work orders. You only get 20 resources per work order, unless you assign a Follower to help and then you get 30.

The Trading Post also gives you Garrison Resources, and each work order is worth the full 30. No Follower required. Sounds like a good deal, right? Why choose a Lumber Mill over a Trading Post?

It all depends on where you are in the leveling game.

A Lumber Mill uses lumber you gather in the world to fill the work orders. Once you have a level 3 Lumber Mill, you can unlock a new Follower, a really cool tree dude that you can then assign to the Lumber Mill to get more resources per work order… or to just keep forever.

A Trading Post has a faction reputation associated with it, and at level 3 increases your reputation gains by 20%. Very cool. It also has a vendor you can SPEND your Garrison Resources on to buy crafting mats. Always have too many Garrison Resources on your alts? Blow them on the Trading Post for useful crafting stuff like Draenic Dust!

BUT, to get your work orders at a Trading Post filled, each day it asks for a random material. Usually a raw crafting item like cloth, enchanting dust, a specific herb, ore, that kind of thing.

So, a Lumber Mill is great if you are brand new and have no resources. You can gather Lumber for free while questing and get Garrison Resources to spend immediately on missions and building upgrades. You can be working towards getting your tree Follower, too.

Once you’re max level and have the tree Follower though, hell, you’ve probably got plenty of ore and herbs coming from the mine and herb garden on your Garrison. You’ve got resources coming out your ears. NOW you can consider switching to a Trading Post so you have a place to spend extra crafting mats and Garrison Resources for useful stuff, and get that 20% reputation buff.

With all the ore and herbs my characters gather every day, I have personally switched to Trading Posts on everyone. It just makes sense. It gives me a use for excess herbs and ore, and since you can start more work orders at a time than will complete in one day, if they ask for a crafting material I don’t want to spend, I can usually just wait until the next day to file more orders. Odds are they’ll want an herb or ore before I run out of my last batch.

Inn Due Time

once you reach level 100, upgrade your Garrison to level 3 and unlock that second Medium building, I strongly recommend you build an Inn.

The Inn is a medium building that is vying for your attention amidst other cool sounding buildings. The barn is awesome for leather and cloth, offers a pet (The Pygmy Cow, so cute!) and at max level you can get some epic item crafting mats out of it. But if you can, go for the Inn at first. You can always change it later.


Because the Inn is another building like the Stables you don’t necessarily have to keep forever.

At level 1, you unlock Inn/Tavern missions. Miss Dungeons and Dragons much? Yeah, how many adventures start in a bar? Same thing.

Every day, there will be two random quests available at your level 1 Inn… quests to be completed inside normal and heroic dungeons. these quests reward things like toys, a Follower, some transmog gear and other stuff. The biggest reward to crave though is Avianas Feather. This item, in a Draenor outdoor zone, throws you miles into the air and then let’s you glide like you’re on a goblin glider for, shit, across over half the damn zone. I am NOT joking. It’s brilliant, and if you don’t have it this item alone is reason enough to get an Inn. Seriously.

So get the Inn at level 100, because you can’t really get any use out of it until you can run dungeons.

upgrade it to level 2, and once a week you can recruit a new Follower. A brand new, crude, unleveled 90 Follower. Why want a level 90 Follower? To shore up those gaps in your mission objectives that we talked about earlier. Once you are level 100 and pretty much have your 20 Followers, you can see which mission objectives you lack coverage in, and use the Inn to recruit some help. Also, you can just choose to recruit Scavangers and Epic mount Followers to level to epic and cut down on your mission turnaround time.

At level 3… you unlock treasure missions. Like the Barracks Patrol missions, these special missions are only offered to you if you have a level 3 Inn/Tavern, and the missions reward you with gold. A decent amount of gold. Like, hundreds of gold a day if you’re doing the missions all the time like clockwork.

But wait! What about all these other buildings? What about those? Who the hell wants to have some same old same old cookie cutter building layout?

Exactly. And that is why some of these buildings are brilliant. Like the Stables. yes, there is an advantage to having it at level 3, but you can live without it if you want to. Or keep the mount speed increase with a clear conscience. And the Inn. Yes, gold missions are nice, but once you have all the dungeon quests done and don’t need more Followers, it’s only gold. Why not try the Gladiator’s Sanctum and have some fun?

And as far as a Stables or Trading Post, you don’t even HAVE to have either of those. You can only stack up to 10,000 Garrison Resources and you get more every day. If you get that high up, and you’re happy with your building choices, why not dump them both to mess around with something else? You can! YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT ALL!

But something things help you a lot more in the early days and early weeks of leveling and then reaching level 100 than others.


It’s funny, but if you look at this post, none of it is about questing, or raiding, or playing characters. It’s all about having fun with and increasing the power and usefulness of your Followers.

I think that says a lot about what I’m finding the most engaging and rewarding of all the content in the game. The treasure scattered throughout all of the zones, the many, MANY rares, the wonderful world bosses that drop mounts, the Outposts and the way they help add in more quest variety, all of the other available buildings… it’s all wonderful.

But the Follower and mission system has captured my love and my imagination. That is what I’m thinking about now, and where my interests lie.

Well, that, and soloing old raids for transmog gear and mounts. My Rogue looks dead sexy, yo. And my Druid be looking mighty fine, mighty fine. Too bad you can’t see it as feral when I’m eating your face. You don’t know this, but while I was chewing your arm off I was looking pretty sexy. You’ll have to take it on faith.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. I left out most of the buildings, for the love of Elune! It’s crazy.

That just tells you, this is only MY point of view. The buildings I wish I’d built the first time around so I didn’t waste thousands of resources and gold tearing them down to build something else. The ones I did build the first time and why I’m grateful.

There are so many other possibilities, and I just know lots of people are using buildings that do other things I haven’t even tried yet, things that may be even more fun.

Still, James, if you’re reading this… I can promise you one thing, if you get sucked back in, you’ll find it’ll take a while before you run out of things to do THIS time.

At this time, reading over the post, I see I’ve hit 6000 words.


Fuckit, if you went this far, BONUS ROUND.

Things I think are cool as shit I didn’t mention above.

Bodyguard Followers have their own buddy rep with you. You can level them and retire them and bring them back out and level some more, you never lose rep with one. There are only three ranks of rep, so it’s not bad, and if you can AoE tank (like, say, Bears or Warlocks with an Abyssal pet) then at level 100 walk around the corner from your Garrison (or fly across the continent my poor Horde friends) to Gloomshade Grove in Shadowmoon Valley and make some sweeps through the podlings. It took me less than an hour to complete max level with Tormmok using this method. Plus, revenge on podlings. Little pricks. At max rep level, each bodyguard has some kind of extra quest to do that unlocks their final form. For Tormmok, he gets a brand new badass evil looking sword. SO damn cool. Defender Illona gets a total revamp of her armor. So awesome.

When you use the Call to Arms Barracks extra action button, there are different things it does in different zones. In Gorgrond, the shredder lets you drive a functional goblin shredder… and it has rockets and can fly! So nice for getting to hard to reach areas sometimes. IF you remember to use it.

The Small Profession buildings can have a Follower assigned to them at level 2. Most Followers have some kind of special thing they can do for you, if you just ask them. Inscription Followers can make you some invoices that you can try to combine for extra gold.

The BEST extra Follower profession perk, to my mind, is that the Enchanting Follower will offer to put a glow illusion on your weapon. This is so cool. There is a long list of enchants, including having the appearance of NO enchant on your weapons. I actually have an Enchanting Building with assigned Follower for my Rogue for no other reason than that I want a matching enchant for my transmog, and I’m TOO DAMN LAZY to ask a friend to let me visit their garrison. I am getting serious about my Rogue transmogs. As you can see from the following picture, a bright glowing red dagger just would not do! I’m sneaky. I needed sneaky colored enchants.


Okay, I like that. I love the new wolf mounts, too. Like, really love.


There is treasure in every zone, and if you get low you can go out and find some that gives you Garrison Resources. I spent many hours scouring the world for Garrison Resources, and I consider it time well spent. It was a lot of fun getting into all the nooks and crannies. That addon I mentioned before to help find treasures? Just kidding, you don’t have to look at my old posts. It’s called HandyNotes and HandyNotes_DraenorTreasures. They’re on Curse. Well worth your time.

On the subject of addons, I also really love Master Plan for managing follower missions. Also, thanks be to friends on Twitter, I now use SavedInstances to help me track all my raid lockouts across all my characters, because I lose track of who did Firelands and which difficulty.

Finally… thank you to everyone that has been reading this blog for all these years, or who have only checked it out once or twice. Your feedback and chatting with me in comments, on Twitter or in the game has always been the biggest joy I’ve had from it. As much as I like writing, the best thing about the entire blogging experience has been meeting folks, talking with you and paying with you. Whether it was in ICC, Firelands or the occasional run in anything it’s been a delight. Thank you, all of you.

Feral Druid – Playing with Claws of Shirvallah


Let’s talk about this awesome new level 100 Feral Druid talent, Claws of Shirvallah.

I’m going to start with telling you something you probably already know; some classes get different level 100 Talents offered to them depending on what specialization they are.

Non-Beastmaster Hunters, for example, get offered the Lone Wolf Talent which increases damage done by 30% when you don’t have a pet out. That Talent is not offered to Beastmasters, they get Adaptation instead which gives your active pet both DPS and survivability spells.

Not all classes get offered different Talent choices based on spec at level 100. Mages get a few different ones, Warlocks also. Some classes get only one choice that changes, others get two.

Druids? Every Druid spec has it’s own completely different set of three Talent choices at level 100.

Thank you to Blizzard for taking the time to add so many choices. I think we’re all aware of how much work goes into these kinds of options. Every new Talent they add has it’s own ramifications and balancing implications. To create 12 new level 100 Talents just for Druids, so each Druid spec has three relevant ones to choose from… it’s humbling. Really, thank you.

None of what follows is me complaining or bitching about Claws of Shirvallah. The amazing thing is not how well it’s done, but that it was done at all. I’m grateful for what it is exactly as it is. Can I suggest things that might improve the aesthetics? Sure. Is it fair of me to expect more than the awesomeness we already got? Not really, no.

So, all that said, if you haven’t been playing a Feral Druid, there is a lot you might have missed at level 100.

The single biggest thing that still blows my mind are our Talent choices at level 100, all relevant to our kitty interests.

Lunar Inspiration lets you add Moonfire to your kitty repertoire. I haven’t played with that because it doesn’t ignite my imagination, but I can see advantages to adding a ranged attack to Kitty without having to switch forms. Or shall I say, an effective ranged attack. Especially for, oh, such critically important tasks as soloing legacy Battle for Mount Hyjal raids. I’m looking at you, Gargoyles in the backfield munching on Trolls.

Bloodtalons is an intriguing option. Your Healing Touch spell causes your next two melee attacks to deal +30% additional damage.

If you read my earlier Feral Druid post, you might have seen how free Healing Touch casts procced by your normal DPS finishing moves means you will be frequently getting free Healing Touch instants during a fight.

What intrigues me about Bloodtalons is the fact that an instant cast Healing Touch from a finishing move doesn’t have to be cast instantly when you get it. Conceivably, you could save that proc for a few seconds until you build up five more charges, then cast Healing Touch and instantly follow that up with a finishing move to get it at the +30% damage buff. I haven’t played with it on a training dummy yet, but I suspect to make it work reliably I’ll need to make a Healing Touch cast macro that includes a /stopattack afterwards so I can make sure I cast my finishing move directly afterwards and don’t let a melee autoattack use up both +30% charges.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to digress into Bloodtalons, I think that even if you don’t try to micro-manage the +30% buff it will still be a nice DPS boost. Just remember to keep using your Healing Touch procs whenever available, that’s all.

But my real interest is in this third Talent Feral Druids are offered, Claws of Shirvallah.

Let me get the one bad thing out of the way first; there is no female version of the form. As you can see from the side-by-side comparison, my female Night Elf when in cat form with Claws of Shirvallah becomes distinctly NON-female in appearance, especially when compared to the difference between male and female Worgen forms. This makes me a sad kitty.

There are four colors/fur patterns depending on your race right now, and obviously it’s based on the Saberons who as NPCs don’t have females. We do have Celestalon saying they hope to expand on the Claws of Shirvallah form in the future, so let’s leave it at being an optimitic happy kitty, all right?

The other appearance-related issue I don’t like is that the /dance emote doesn’t work, it just causes you to stand up as you can see in the comparison photo. The normal ‘standing around’ appearance is the one with the cat down in the Worgen travel form running stance.


Finally, and this is just a super small ‘aw shucks’ thing, but when using Claws of Shirvallah, it replaces your cat form. If you like to use Burning Seeds to become a Druid of the Flame (cindercat!), they do NOT work with Claws of Shirvallah. Burning Seeds replace the cat form appearance, and the Claws of Shirvallah do not register as a cat form to the Burning Seed effect.

So, that is all the sad bits. I can’t find it in me to complain though, because what I’m basically sad about is that Blizzard did not take the time to make this one Talent out of 12 for Druids a complete new character race. I mean, that is what we’re talking about, having different appearances for male and female, having special animations like /dance, etc. When put that way, it would have been awesome if they did it, but it’s pretty great that they did what they did.

Totally unrelated, but I do think that having female forms for all races, NPC or playable alike should be baseline, but I know that has been talked about often enough to walk away from it feeling like I have nothing of valuable to add to that conversation. It’s really hard to walk away from that topic, but it’s been addressed in the community so many times in the past and nothing has changed yet, so bah.

Now for the good stuff. And it’s really good.

The Talent tooltip for Claws of Shirvallah tell you about a 5% Versatility increase in the form. What that translates to is a flat +5% damage and healing boost, and incoming damage is reduced by 2.5%. Not bad, right? With our focus on high burst and long term free self-healing this is a great addition.


The tooltip also mentions casting non-traditional cat spells. So far the spells that have made an immediate difference to me in PvE is the ability to Remove Corruption and pop Entangling Roots without dropping forms, both very nice.

What the tooltip doesn’t mention but that you can find when mousing over the buff in game is that you also get a +30% movement increase. That movement increase is from Claws of Shirvallah, and doesn’t include the +15% from the Feline Swiftness Talent.


No, I’m an idiot, I forgot to test whether the +30% and +15% from the two Talents are additive. I intend to do that later tonight. I will say that you feel damn speedy in Shirvallah form.

In my defense, I was having too much fun soloing Firelands to remember to stop and check speed differences with Talents enabled and disabled.

And yes, you CAN taste the 5% Versatility when soloing at-level mobs.

As a quick anecdotal test, I decided to go solo some of the Ironhide Bulls needed for the level 3 Barn leather traps. They are elites in Nagrand and can be a bit finicky to kill without kiting if you’re undergeared.

My Feral Druid was freshly minted, in less than iLevel 505 gear, and I did NOT bring a bodyguard from the Inn with me.

I did not kite, I did not pop any kind of defensive cooldown like Survival Instincts. All I did was test the effectiveness of standing and burning down using the standard DPS attacks, finishing moves, instant Healing Touch procs and Rejuvenation.

No problem. Burned the Ironhide Bulls down, dropped trap, and then endured the damage incoming while waiting for the trap to trigger. Burst damage in particular is amazing.

My next test was to take the same Druid into Firelands as i said above, to see what it was like to solo through there. I’ve done it as a ranged Hunter and Warlock many times, but not generally as melee DPS.

Firelands was AWESOME! Swipe and Maul on all the packs of adds, the massive speed buff, two temporary speed boosts with Dash and Stampeding Roar, all of it makes for insane trash clearing speeds. And energy regen is pretty good, too, even at low gear levels.

All in all, I’m scared. I hesitate to even begin to invest hope in my Druid again. it’s been so long, and so much pain. I’m afraid to be hurt again. What if I go all in on Feral once again, and they take all these toys away or nerf the heck out of it?

This is everything I ever liked as a Feral Druid, just without the versatile tanking bits, but hey, self-healing! Super fast playstyle and movement, hopping around like a lunatic toying with my prey.

So right now, my review of Claws of Shirvallah would be a cautiously optimistic 4 out of 5 stars. Feels fun as hell to play, looks great if you love super beefy guy cats, lots of good tools in the toolbox, effective in the field in multiple environments, whether legacy raiding or questing in the modern world. Only downsides are the lack of a female version of the form and a fleshed-out range of emotes.

Cautious because I feel like we need to whisper our love of anything in this game for fear we will draw attention to the supreme funcrushing overlords. maybe if I just whisper it?

Psst. hey, you. Feral Druid is 4 fite.

Claws of Shirvallah, in one sentence; unstoppable death on itty, bitty furry paws.

Inn Follower Megafind – the minigame!

What happens once you’ve got a Follower team all purple epicy and iLevel 645 and ready for any mission that could come your way? When you’ve got your Epic Mounts and your Scavangers and your attention begins to wander just a smidgeon, and you begin to ask yourself, “Is this all that there is with Followers? So, I’m done now, right?”

No. Oh my, no.

No, we haven’t even begun to mine this shaft for nuggets of obsessive gold.

If you’re as gonzo over Garrison Followers as I am, then you just might have a level 2 Inn.

You didn’t get rid of it already, did you? Did you?

The Inn lets you recruit a new Follower to your team, once a week. You can specify what trait or ability you want in a Follower, and then your headhunter will get out there and find you three Followers to get the job done.

No background check or drug testing required, although some of the Followers I get, makes me consider a change to my hiring practices.

The Followers presented to you will be level 90, and could be either Green or Blue quality. You’ll see all three of them side by side, and you can make your choice who you want for that week.

You only get to do this once a week, so no rerolls, no backing out and trying a different talent, you makes your shot and you takes your chances.

A big decision, right? Only one a week. Who will it be? What special trait or weakness in your lineup will you try and buttress?

Such an important decision to make.

I’m not about to make it any easier for you. In fact, if you have trouble making decisions, this might just be a bad day for you.

What I suggest you consider is turning your weekly Inn Follower recruitment into a new minigame I like to call “Inn Follower Megafind”.

The game is simple. Try to build your ideal ‘super team’ from among the Followers you can recruit from the Inn, by studying the potential choices on Wowhead and targeting specific traits or abilities from the list to get who you want.

The heart of this game comes from Wowhead and relies on all of us updating the Wowhead Follower database with information we get every week as we do our recruiting.

You can start by browsing the entire list of potential Followers that you can recruit from the Inn at Wowhead.

Just go to Wowhead => Garrison => Followers or click on this link. Choose the “Recruited at the Inn” option from the drop down filter, apply it, and take a look at who is out there just waiting for you to find.

At this time the list shows 416 potential Followers that are recruited from the Inn, 208 for Alliance and 208 for Horde. Each faction has their own tab for easy browsing, and the Followers are sorted by quality. Wowhead thinks of everything.

You can browse through the displayed names and icons, which give you a strong indication of the race and sex of each Follower. Their class and spec are also shown, so you’ve got some idea of their armor types. You can apply additional filters to your search so you can, for example, see only those Followers of a particular race.

What is needed from us is to fill in the blanks for each Follower entry every week as we do our Inn recruitment.

This is where I try and recruit YOU to help this project out.

What we want to know is simple:
What trait or ability did I select to be offered this Follower at the Inn?
What do they look like? (Screenshot from Recruitment pane or Garrison grounds)

Later on as they get upgraded armor, maybe we can start uploading screenshots if their armor or weapons change at 615, 630 or 645. Later days.

Some entries on Wowhead already have this info and screenshots, but only a few. And in most cases, it’s only a screenshot. Very few have comments to tell you what trait or ability was requested to get them offered.

An example of one that has the info entered already is Kymba Quickwidget, a female Gnome Subtlety Rogue.

Take a look at her database entry and you’ll see a screenshot of her in a Garrison showing her equipped armor, and there is one comment by Raiya telling us this Follower can be recruited when looking for a counter to Powerful Spell. Exactly what we want to know!

Here is what you can do to help.

Every week, if you have an Inn, make a note of what trait or ability you requested, then take a screenshot of the three choices offered.

Then crop the screenshots into three individual pictures, each one showing one of the three Followers you were offered, and upload them to the correct Follower database entry in Wowhead.

Then post a quick comment telling us what trait or ability you asked for that got them to show up, and one more out of 416 will be complete!

If a bunch of us do this, then in a very short amount of time we could have a massive amount of info to browse and plan from.

I’ve been looking through the list, and there is a lot of room for us to help out here. You can be the first commenter and screenshot submitter for a Follower and really make a difference in this project.

Look at this, and tell me it doesn’t help you to see this screenshot to know what awesomeness you could try and recruit;

Wowhead screenshot of Kymba submitted by Chuag

Wowhead screenshot of Kymba submitted by Chuag

Just looking at that screenshot for Kymba, I bet your mind exploded with possibilities.

What would you do if you could browse through screenshots of all the potential Followers, then when you see one you really like learn what specific talent or ability you have to request for a chance to get them to show up?

If all database entries were complete, it would allow you to research and plan in advance which Followers, which SPECIFIC people you want your Headhunter to entice to come to your Inn.

There is no guarantee that the one you want will be the one that shows up in your three choices, but you’ll know you’ve got a chance. And hey, maybe once the research is complete we’ll be able to search the database using a ‘trait or ability’ filter to narrow it down for us?

What would you do with this power? Would you play Inn Follower MegaFind with me? Or use this power for evil?

Would you try to find that one special Follower that is your same race, sex and class that you could then transmog yourself to look like? You could be hanging out with your twin in your Garrison! No, that’s not creepy at all.

Or better yet, be lucky enough to find a Follower that already looks just like your chosen favorite transmog, and recruit them in… maybe to serve as your body double, your political stand in for public appearances, give speeches in front of crowds, appease the miners when they go on strike, take the bullet for you, that sort of thing?

Inn Follower MegaFind. To seek out and recruit the specific Followers you want so you can carefully craft the perfect crew to have wandering around your Garrison. You know, for when you really want to mess with your friends when they come to visit for that weekly invasion.

What, you didn’t think you were DONE with Followers yet, did you? Muahahahaha!

Seriously, what would you do? Is there a possibility that occurs to you that excites you?

Would you be like my raid leader, who I am certain would seek out every attractive female Alliance Follower in scantily clad armor or slut plate to recruit into Tom’s Angels? Or are you more the sort to make your Garrison the local chapter of the Chippandale Orcs displaying oiled pecs and loincloths?

As an aside, the creepiest thought I’ve had yet is wishing I could give my Followers specific real gear drops I got in the game for them to use as transmog. Yes, I would play dress up with my Followers, and I would love to watch them wander around my Garrison in the outfits I chose for them. I promise, I wouldn’t intentionally pick items to give the impression I ran an escort service. Or that my Garrison was the winter home of every circus clown in Azeroth. Swear. Trust me.

There are a lot of fun ideas that come to mind.

Maybe in your heart you’re a secret Dwarven racist. You’re the one that already has your Garrison defended only by your fellow Dwarves (thanks to being able to choose which race your guards all come from with a level 3 Barracks). You’d never trust your personal safety to those damn flighty night elves, right? And now you want to go one step further and field an all-Dwarf Follower team to send on all your missions, and give all those Dwarven heroes their own place to call home. I bet your Inn would be a wildly popular place.

I know, this is crazy talk, this would take months, even years to nail down perfect if you go for all 25 Followers.

This is just the first month of the expansion. One Follower a week doesn’t sound like much, but in one year that is 52 potential new Followers, and you can only have 25 active at a time. This expansion is going to be around for at least a couple years, right? There is plenty of time to make your own plan a reality.

I’m talking long term goals. I’m talking making plans for a future party at your Garrison that will blow your guests away with the crazy lengths you went to make it all your own.

What ideas do you have for this? Is it even something that you’d want to do, or does aiming for a specific Follower week after week after week sound like an idiotic thing to do?

For the greater RAWR!

I’ve mentioned a few times but as a recap, I played a Destruction Warlock for raiding during most of Pandaria, and with the coming of Warlords I remain committed to being ready to raid on the character. Not sure where that’s going at the moment, seem to be a raider without a team, but I’m certainly ready to do LFR tonight if I can possibly stand it. I still have two iLevel 615 items that linger on like the smell of a dead woodchuck in a dryer vent, but I might replace both tonight with crafted items. I really like that Blizzard lets us pick what items we craft for ourselves, we’re just limited to having three equipped. Allows for a lot of flexibility.

For raiding, there is the Warlock. Cocked, locked and ready to rock. Or is that rocked, cocked and ready to ‘lock? Meh.

That’s the raiding, sure. The group stuff with people. Being part of a team.

When it comes to having fun playing with myself, it’s the Feral Druid.

It feels to me like something came full circle with Feral Druids in Warlords. Kitty Druids are, shit, I don’t know. It feels wrong to say they’re fun again, because I don’t think they ever stopped being fun.

I think what happened for me was that the division between Feral and Guardian split my love in two, and neither spec alone fulfilled the feral itch for me anymore.

That’s all changed, and my love has come back to me. No, that’s wrong. I’ve returned to the love I once abandoned, and it has welcomed me with open paws.

I’m feeling really good about playing as a Cat again. I’ve been having a good time solo leveling through Draenor.

I’m looking forward to writing about playing as a kitty in the future, something I haven’t done in a long time now, but for now, I’d like to break down some of the changes and comparisons that are firing my imagination and causing so much soloing love.

One of the big changes for me is a stark comparison in playstyles for the stealthy-minded sort.

After patch 6.0 came but before Warlords was fully released, I spent a lot of time on both my Rogue and my Feral Druid. I rapidly leveled my Rogue to 90, at the same time I prepared my Druid with new gear and achievement in advance of the expansion.

Side by side playing a Cat and a Rogue, I could clearly see two different approaches to being a stealthy leather-wearing melee DPS that use combo points.

Again, this is purely from a ‘damn this is fun to play solo and cat around Draenor’ point of view. It sure as HELL isn’t about maximizing DPS. It’s about fun for me.

The playstyle for Feral Druid feels… stripped down. Cut to the bone. No frills, no distractions. If you choose to, every combo point action you take can cause DPS, while still allowing for a lot of survivability.

Rogues spend combo points to set up their big DPS buff timer, and again later in place of a DPS finishing move to cast a HoT on themselves when they need healing. Rogues get plenty of defensive actions too, no question, lots and lots of tools in the box. But when it comes to buffing DPS and healing themselves regularly without blowing a cooldown, Rogues are spending combo points to do it, points that aren’t being used on DPS finishing moves.

For the Kitty things are much different.

For one thing, Savage Roar is our version of a combo point DPS buff on a timer… but there are two Glyphs you can choose from to remove the need to manage that buff or spend points on it. Glyph of Savagery puts Savage Roar up ALL the time but at 10% less power, and Glyph of Savage Roar puts it up for free any time you Rake or Shred while you were Prowling.

Two choices for removing the need to spend combo points on the buff. For raiding, you’re likely to want Glyph of Savage Roar.

But for soloing? Glyph of Savagery gives you the buff at a reduced level of effectiveness, and lets you focus all of those combo points on finishing moves.

Yes, you lose DPS by reducing the power of Savage Roar. I haven’t done tests yet because i’m not at 100 , but I imagine you’ll be losing a lot. See what I mean about not suited for raiding? But what you gain is not just one less buff timer to manage, you also gain those combo points to spend on direct damage or DoT uptime. It’s a DPS loss, but not as much of one as you might expect. You have to figure losing 10% DPS from Savage Roar against the increased frequency of DPS finishing moves, those same moves also being 10% less effective than they could have been.

For soloing, does it really matter?

The other thing is that Cat Druids don’t have to spend combo points to heal yourself. The talent Ysera’s Gift gives you tiny healing every 5 seconds, and when you pop any full five combo point finishing move you trigger a free instant cast of Healing Touch that doesn’t drop you out of forms.

Sounds good? Ah, but the catch is that you’re not a healer so your Healing Touch sucks. Ah! But there’s more. With Dream of Cenarius, your Healing Touch and Rejuvenation are 20% more effective. With the Glyph of Cat Form, all healing done to you is increased in effectiveness by another 20%.

And as you level, your Rejuvenation gets empowered so you can cast it in Cat Form. You can keep that going as well.

Incarnation King of the Jungle is an awesome talent that provides VERY powerful burst DPS and looks neat… but if you choose to take Soul of the Forest, you’ll be getting back more energy with your finishing moves, which lets you do more Shreds, which builds more points for finishing moves… all of which trigger more free Healing Touch spells.

It’s the opposite of a vicious circle… it’s a ring of delight, as doing more damage causes you more opportunity for healing in an endless chain.

I have been using Heart of the Wild myself in the early levels because I like to pop bear form and HotW, pretend I’m still a Feral Druid with effective Cat AND Bear forms all the time.

Last night I admit, I tried out a Dream of Cenarius build for a bit, and I never ended any fight with less than full health.

It’s almost like kitty heal tanking.


For soloing and tearing up rares in Draenor, it’s been a blast.

So let me run this down for you. With Glyph of Cat Form, Glyph of Savagery, Ysera’s Gift, Soul of the Forest and Dream of Cenarius, your DPS rotation can be streamlined down to Rake, Shred to 5 combo points, Rip, free Healing Touch, Shred to 5 combo points refreshing Rake as needed, Ferocious Bite, free Healing Touch, and when the target is below 25% stop worrying about Rip, the Ferocious Bite automatically refreshes it.

Or, to be simpler; Rake, Shred(x?), Rip, Shred(x?), Bite. Heal if it feels good to you, one’ll be available ALL the damn time. Getting tight on health? Rejuvenate too!

This… this is not a complicated rotation, lol.

And this is without using the Glyph of Ferocious Bite, which adds even more self-healing for every Bite! I like my reduced cooldown on Dash while soloing. But I could almost convince myself to make do with Stampeding Roar, and sacrifice more frequent Dashes to really see how silly kitty heal tanking can get on rare mobs.

Now, I’m not max level yet. I’m leveling like a fiend, but I’ve been dead set on gearing my Warlock for raiding. I’ve been coming late to this.

But think on this. At level 100, you get new talents to choose from.

I’ll admit that I’m fascinated to try out Claws of Shirvallah. A new visual form that makes you a humanoid shaped kitty? Interesting to try, I can hardly wait to see it.

But I love true cat-form too much to expect to want to use it. Lunar Inspiration gives you kitty moonfire. Is that awesome or what?

Ah, but as neat as that is, what have we been talking about? Healing without sacrificing DPS. Kitty heal tanking.

And what could be better than flipping that around with Bloodtalons, the level 100 talent that makes your next two melee abilities after casting Healing Touch do 30% more damage.

Just… Ring of delight. Your attacks give you free heals that in turn increase your damage from attacks.

Oh, are you taking a lot of damage? Now we can honestly say the proper response is DEEPS HARDER. Yes!

For raiding, not so much. You don’t have to be totally self–sufficient in the healing department when you’re with a raid team.

But for soloing? For stealthy adventuring in the deepest dark corners of the map?


I’ll tell you… it plays even more fun than it sounds. So much fun.

Moonfire is so tempting, though. And I love Heart of the Wild and popping bear form. And so many fun movement choices, teleporting, always running fast, ugh. So many fun choices that matter in our talent tree!

This is a GOOD THING. So much fun, handle it!

Scattered Thoughts on Followers

There are some great guides to Garrisons and Followers at Wowhead and Icy Veins, so much hard work went into them at both sites. I am very grateful to the writers and researchers at both websites, it’s helped me a lot.

I’m not here to write a guide, but over the last few weeks there have been a few things that I’ve found out from doing that I want to write down, kind of a long term reminder to myself about how a few things are working for me.

First, I love my Garrison but it’s the Follower and Mission sub-game that has drawn my focus the most. That is where I keep spending my idle time.

There are many missions you can send your Followers on. Having the Barracks at level 1 adds an extra mission type. They’re called Patrol missions, and you tell which ones they are on the mission list. They have a spyglass icon next to them instead of the crossed-swords of the normal missions.

Patrol missions count towards getting your level 3 Barracks; you need to complete 50 patrol missions (account-wide achievement!) to be able to buy the Barracks level 3 blueprint. That was the holy grail for my Garrison, because it let me have an extra 5 active Followers.

I didn’t really understand that the Spyglass identified the Patrol missions, so I wasn’t focused on doing those every time they popped up. Once I did, I leveled three alts to 91 and unlocked their tier 2 Garrisons, kept their barracks, and started looking for Patrol missions. There are a couple that pop up frequently at the 90 and 91 level ranges, so I got the 50 Patrol achieve a few days later. Lesson learned… almost too late.

The missions I get for Followers depends on the level range of the Followers I have active. I haven’t fully tested it yet, but it seems that Followers assigned to a building don’t count towards this, and the Followers that are not active DEFINITELY don’t count towards it.

This means that all you need is a single low level Follower active to keep those low level fast missions coming, with the gold and XP rewards. The level ranges seem to be 90-94, 95-98, then 99-100. Could be a little different either way, I’ve been trying to track it, but I always have Followers out so it’s hard to stop long enough to give a 24 hour span for my missions to reset.

I want as many missions as possible, especially of all level ranges. Lots of missions gives lots of opportunities for XP for Follower leveling, and most importantly for Salvage Crates.

Once a Follower is level 100, the gear grind can begin.

There are special gear quests available when your Followers reach higher iLevels. There are also tasty level 100 Patrol missions at iLevel 600 (base).

Once I had a reasonable amount of Followers at 100, I started getting the max level Patrol missions that had as a bonus 8000, 10000, 12000 and even 15000 XP.

Epic Followers have two abilities to satisfy win conditions, and Blue/Green Followers only have one ability. By focusing on leveling epic Followers first, it gave me a chance to have 2 Followers cover three or even four win conditions on their own, and let me use the third spot for leveling lower level or quality Followers. Lower level Followers only get a percentage of main and bonus XP, but even 10% of 15000 XP is a nice chunk for a level 92, and for Green level 100s it’s a sweet boost.

Then there are the normal missions, missions unlocked at different Follower iLevel ranges that can have dungeon or raid gear rewards.

The three iLevel break points for missions are 615, 630 and 645. Your Followers can currently have a max level of 655.

With 2 or more Followers at level 100, you start getting missions that award iLevel 615 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at iLevel 615, you start getting missions that award iLevel 630 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at ilevel 630, you start getting missions that award iLevel 645 gear.
With 2 or more Followers at iLevel 645, you start getting Highmaul raid missions that can bring you back iLevel 655 gear. Or is it 665? It might be 665. I haven’t gotten one of these yet, so I don’t know. It might be 655 from the Follower Missions, and 665 is possible from the Big Salvage Crates only.

Sound sweet? This is live, right now, and attainable. I have several guildies that are sharing links to their 655 loot from Follower missions, or sometimes from Salvage Crates directly. Whether you raid or not, this is a big prize dangling in front of you that you can do before ever seeing the inside of a raid. I have a team out there bringing me back iLevel 645 boots as we speak. They’re chugging along, making my money. Gotta love ’em.

As far as I can tell, there are only three ways to increase your Follower item levels; items from Salvage Crates from the Salvage Yard small building, items from the 4 hour Work Orders using Garrison Resources at the Dwarven Bunker / War Mill, or as rewards from missions.

Salvage Crates are probably one of the coolest ways, since you can game it. Once you complete the Gnome area with the quest Flame On in Spires of Arak, Kimzee gives you the blueprint for the Salvage Yard. You want to get this as quick as you can, and then upgrade it to level 2. At level 2, every mission you send your Followers on regardless of difficulty level has a chance to give you a Salvage Crate.

You open your Salvage Crates IN the Salvage Yard, and they have a chance to have vendor trash, level 2 crates can have Follower upgrades, and level 3 crates can have damn near anything, including rare transmog gear, BoE ilevel 665 epics, you name it.

You can game this by making sure you have some low level Followers in your mix, so you spawn many, many low level short duration missions to send Followers on. The more missions, the more chances at Salvage Crates, the more shots at Follower upgrades to boost your main team.

I am torn about the difference between a level 2 or 3 Salvage Yard. This is purely hearsay, but I’ve heard that even with a boosted chance to drop Salvage Crates with a level 3 Salvage Yard, you get a net LOSS of Follower Upgrades because you’ve got a much larger potential loot list for the crates.

I’m all about the Followers, time enough to get drops for ME once my Followers are all pimped out. Your mileage may vary, and the chance at BoE iLevel 655 epics is a strong lure to upgrade sooner.

The Dwarven Bunker / War Mill is the other building that can give you Follower upgrades. I know it’s slow, because it’s only a CHANCE at an upgrade, and each Work Order takes 4 hours to deliver. Also, it eats Garrison Resources like candy. Still, I’ve gotten some pretty sweet Follower upgrades from mine over the last week, and they all add up. Also, the building once at level 3 will feed me a bonus loot rool each week, so it will have long term value as well, even after the Followers are leveled.

What I’ve done doesn’t seem to be the best way, but time will tell. I built a Lumber Mill, a Dwarven Bunker, a Salvage Yard and a couple profession buildings. I keep the Lumber Mill stocked up, I keep a few low level Followers active to feed me lots of missions for XP and Salvage Crates, and when I get Follower upgrades, I give them to my epic 100s first.

I spread the upgrades around until all my epics had 615 instead of maxing one out completely and moving on. I also kept sending my Green and Blue Followers on missions to try and get them to higher quality.

My thinking behind this is that the more overlapping coverage my Followers have as Epics, the higher the possibility that I can get 100% on those important gear missions, as well as carry lowbies. I might be wrong because this prevents me from seeing the highest tier of missions at all. A chance, however thin, is still a chance.

I have yet to get a mission for a Manual of Dance, but you can bet that when I do, I know exactly which Follower with useless traits I’m gonna make dance for me.

I’m sure everyone else out there is just as smitten with these Followers and missions as I am… and I’m sure you already know all this. But I somehow keep forgetting things like ilevel break points and stuff, so phooey, it’s useful to me to write it all down.

One last thing.

When a Follower reaches a new gear iLevel, the piece of displayed gear they are wearing or carrying changes too. I watched it happen.

When my Millhouse Manastorm went from 642 to 645 in weapon, the weapon he was carrying changed too. So keep an eye out, see what kind of iconic armor changes your Followers go through as you gear them up!

Have fun in Draenor!

Learning to be Resourceful

The world is a magical place.

Can I tell you about my very favortist thing? Can I? Huh? Can I?

Well, my very favoritist thing be the Garrison, sure. Sorry, that was misleading.

Oh, what part?

Just Garrison.

Wandering through the streets being greeted by the followers I’ve met, quested with, rescued and discovered in out of the way places.

Seeing my Cinder Kitten walk by… or a green puff of cloud from my Creepy Crate as it explores a suspicious looking corner. Or my Ruby Droplet I named Monstre wandering by, with the name I gave him right there, and my Crimson Whelpling Lil’ Alex flying on by, possibly to investigate reports of Black Rat sightings in the lower section of the mine.

Or… or just Garrison.

But my favoritist thing that HELPED my fledgling Garrison, the thing that lifted me out of deepest darkest grumpiness, THAT is what I want to talk about.

I’m talking about Treasure Maps.

Oh, so tasty. So lovely. So damn HELPFUL.

See, I focused early on about unlocking stuff… and it never occured to me that I might have to wait once I unlocked a recipe to be able to build up enough Garrison Resources to build all those wonderful structures.

In the beginning, Garrison Resources seemed to rain like manna from the sky, bountiful and sufficient unto the day. Missions for my followers? Dwarven Bunker work orders? Building upgrades? Spend the resources, for look how many we get from all these quests!

Certainly there will always be more. Right?


For my first Medium building, I did build a Lumber Mill, because I was warned early on by Icy Veins that Garrison Resources would be a concern later on… but I didn’t really believe it.

I’ll admit, it didn’t help that as soon as I could, I replaced my Barracks with a Dwarven Bunker, and I replaced my Storehouse with a Salvage Yard when I unlocked the recipe. Those builds and tear downs and rebuilds cost resources. Resources I’d want later on.

And of course, the Dwarven Bunker work orders eat resources like candy when you’re trying to upgrade your Followers. And the Followers use up resources for every mission, unless you’re lucky enough to get lots of Resource missions… or have a Follower that can Scavenge really well… which I didn’t.

I reached level 100 with a really nice Garrison… but I could see the draught of resources coming like a hard, bleak winter coming early on the crops.

I was even forced to cut back on my Follower missions, to carefully ration them out so as to save up for those Lumber Mill level 3 and Barracks level 2 upgrades. A mission here, a mission there, my poor Followers were left to wistfully ask me, ‘Will we be fighting the Horde TODAY, Commander?”

No, Qiana, no I’m afraid not. Druids that live in Bear form are just too expensive to keep fed. Why can’t you just, like, eat a talbuk or something while you’re out there, huh?

What, you’re a vegetarian? And on a gluten free diet, too? Sigh.

But then… then, just as I had hit 100 and was contemplating these Garrison Resource woes, I read through the brilliant Garrison Follower guide on Wowhead one more time, and my eye was struck by the mention of a treasure map.

Whatever could that be?

So I looked up the Shadowmoon Valley Treasure Map to find out more. I was intrigued. My whole experience with treasure chests before had led me to expect rare, out of the way chests hidden in caves. Maybe the map would show me where one or two chests were? Or maybe they would give me a quest to find a chest that had a bottle of rum and a shitty green BOE item.

That is, after all, how I’ve been trained in previous expansions.

Imagine my shock at finding that Grakis in Stormshield, Ashran sold maps to each of the zones the Alliance quested in, and would be happy to sell you one just as soon as you completed all of the storyline achieves for a zone. And those maps would add the treasures directly to your map! MANY treasures! MANY MANY!

This is where the magic starts for Alliance

This is where the magic starts for Alliance

Whaaaaat? You mean I actually get a benefit from obsessively doing every quest in every zone this expansion?

Aw Yeah

I had four of them unlocked (and still do, as you can see from the pic my Nagrand questing got derailed completely once I had treasure maps in my furry mitts).

Off I went to Shadowmoon Valley to see what they meant by treasure. I got one or two things while questing, how many more could there be?


Holy shit!

So. Many. Treasures.

OHMIGOD So many shinies!

Oh my.

Now, not every treasure gives you Garrison Resources. There are lots of cute items, greens, some pets, some consumables, all sorts of different things.

But there ARE treasures with Garrison Resources. And when you set out to collect them ALL in every zone, we’re talking gathering up a thousand or more resources, just within a zone or two.

Plus did I mention pets? Yeah, you know I like mah pets.

Yeah. So, my Garrison Resource woes were over before they began. And I got to see even more of every nook and corner of the zones. Gave me an opportunity to run across more Rares as well, which are little more than Garrison Resources on the hoof. And more cute items, of course.

If you haven’t gone to Ashran and scored some treasure maps, don’t overlook this wonderful thing. So much fun!

If you’re Alliance, you buy your maps from Grakis in Stormshield, and if you’re Horde you buy them from Srikka. They are the Archeology vendors in Ashran.

A few things I’ve learned along the way, at least as of this writing.

First, the treasures are showing up on my main map just fine, but usually not on my minimap until AFTER I do a /reload ui command. Once I run that in a zone, the minimap shows them along with tracking arrows pointing to the closest ones. I think it was related to flying into a zone and needing to refresh the map.

Second, when you think you’re standing on a treasure and you can’t find it, when in doubt, look for the cave or overhang. Most of the time they’re in caves you didn’t even know were beneath you, or way over your head on a cliff edge or a massive mushroom.

in those cases, I made extensive use of my Engineering Goblin Glider. Don’t forget, you can get your own Goblin Glider Kit from any friend with an Engineering building (I think from the follower you assign there. I have such a follower assigned to mine, I’ll check later). These Goblin Glider Kits are useable by anyone, you don’t need to be an Engineer. They are consumables, though, just like the ones from the Timeless Isles. They stack to 20, but aren’t they just so useful? EVERYONE CAN FLY for a teeny, tiny amount of time.

Okay, so it’s not flying… it’s falling with style.

The other thing I personally keep forgetting, is that if you chose the Lumber Yard in Gorgrond as your outpost, you got access to the Mechashredder 5000. This thing may be fun for chewing up mobs, but it also has built in rocket packs to let you fly! Like, fly around including straight up!

I can’t tell you how long I spent on one gentle step off an Ogre roof to try to get a dangling pack of treasure, only to go too far each time. I finally got it by walking off, and while standing there, THEN it occured to me I could have just flown the hell up! Grr.

So much fun in Draenor. So many things to do, just finding all the items to get Image of Archmage Vargoth as a follower took up an enjoyable evening of exploration and fun.

Now, a public service message.

I know people are already calling for more Garrisons in the next expansion.

What I’m hoping is that over the course of THIS expansion, we unlock new content and new patches, we get closer and closer to Sargeras unleashing the full blown burning crusade on our new world, and when they do, the next expansion focuses on building upon our existing Garrisons here on Draenor.

Instead of an expansion that moves the focus of the action to a brand new zone somewhere else where we will wonder how we start a new Garrison concept anew all over again, my fervent hope is that the link we have between Draenor out of time and the Azeroth of our temporal stream draws the full attention of Sargeras like a beacon in the heavens, and when it does Draenor will be transformed… and our Garrisons will still be relevant, and have more opportunities to grow.

No idea.

Oh, also, am I the only one that loves seeing the world change for the better after we quest through it thanks to zoning?

I went back to the beach village where the Alliance crashes ashore in Shadowmoon, and it’s no longer overrun by pale orcs and chaos and fires. It’s now a lovely, peaceful fishing village and a great place to kick back, drink a few and fish a few more.

All this time I’ve wished that, once I’d completed my quests to rescue a village or stop an invasion, that once I’d killed the mobs and put the fires out they’d stay saved the next time I came through.

And now they do! So nice, so so nice.

I hope everyone reading this has found something they are enjoying, something they are thankful to discover in the game, some reason to be positive. It’s a marvelous expansion, and if they continue building future expansions along these lines they’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about.

World Turned Upside Down

Lok’tar ogar!


Okay, I’m Alliance. I can’t motivate you by screaming at you about Victory or Death. We like the softer, cuddlier side of life.

In the Alliance, we’re a kinder, gentler evil overlord imposing our will on a brave new world of savage foes and savager delights.

Best I can do is exhort you to fight fiercely in all your battles, and remind you that at the end of the day your Pleasure-Bot 8000 will be waiting at your Garrison to offer you a massage and a nice hot toddy with your favorite slippers.

I won’t judge why you went to so much trouble to acquire a Pleasure-Bot 8000. Don’t ask, don’t tell, right? Hey, what you do in the privacy of your own inn is your business.

I’m also not going to ask what all those followers are doing in the ‘private rooms’ in the back. As long as the management gets a cut, it’s all good. Do what feels right.

Setting the tone, check.

This expansion has turned the game upside down for me. Blizzard has succeeded with Warlords of Draenor. Indeed, they’ve succeeded all too well.

Here’s the bare truth. I am legitimately more excited to gear up and level my followers than I am to level up on my main.

Or to put it another way, questing is what I do on my main while I wait for my follower missions to be completed.

Also, questing using the Wowhead Follower Guide is what I do to seek out new followers, new locations of minions, to boldly go where new followers have never been found before. I love that guide. That guide is my Gulliver’s journal to adventure!

For the horde!

That’s horde with a little ‘H’, I am a hoarder of a horde, I want them all, must have ALL the minions, must expand my evil empire, must pursue higher follower iLevels…

What, the followers are supposed to exist to support my character’s activities in the game? You’re joking, right?

That is no longer the game I want to play. I want my character activities to support the actions of my MINIONS in the game. Everything I do, I do it for you. And you, and you and you.

And YOU get an armor enhancement, and YOU get an armor enhancement, and You and You and You!

I want to quest to find a nice comfy chair for my followers to sit on while resting in the Inn. Just before the Spanish Inquisition bursts in and asks them pointed questions in uncomfortable ways.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! And certainly nobody knows how to handle… the comfy chair.

I want to be able to research a new small building… the BEER GARDEN. With attached outdoor barbeque area, of course. A nice patio, dancing with my Disco ball at night, luau lamps and tiki torches and a party going on down here, it’s a celebration that lasts throughout the year.

Is that so wrong of me?

I’m telling you. This carrot dangling in front of me will keep me going for years. Content patches? Give me more building options, furniture and missions to send my followers on, oh my.

Right now we can have some followers as Bodyguards with the level 2+ Barracks, follow us around.

The existing followers have pre-determined mounts they use.

Why not open that up? Have any of the followers be able to be Bodyguards.

Or failing that, of the Followers that CAN be Bodyguards, let us quest for Follower mounts we can assign to them.

Follower Mounts… and visible armor transmog sets (not pieces, full sets, let’s not get too complicated). And weapons. And banner poles they can have flying our guild pennant behind them. Or our Garrison symbol! We have Guild logos, why not a symbol for our own Garrison? Our own mark of zorro to strike fear into the hearts of our foes, a heraldic escutcheon carried by our sworn men-at-arms to protect them from the fel fire and arrows of outrageous posers.

Can you imagine being able to have Tormmok assigned as your Bodyguard, and then assign him a sparkle pony, or better yet a big barrel-bellied pony as his mount? And he already has wicked cool armor, but to be able to assign him the Stormwind Guard armor transmog set from the Dwarven Bunker? And top it off with a big banner pole waving your Garrison symbol proudly behind him.


Have your own hulking mass of monstrous badass following you around looking like your Garrison Thug. Your homeland homie.

Your own persona Knuckledragger. Riding around on his tiny fat-bellied donkey following along behind you, as you gallop forth on your majestic rounds surveying your demesne and keeping the peons hopping to it in the fields.

Oh my.

Would I raid for new Followers? Yes, of course.

Would I raid equally as hard for loot upgrades that are worthless except for transmog as soon as the next content patch hits?

Errr. Do I have to answer that where my raid leader can see me?

Blizzard, you won with this expansion. Body and soul, the Garrison and my Followers have supplanted my own characters in what I’m loving to do.

The scary bit is I’m also loving the zones and the questing and the playing of my character. It’s all fantastic, the level of care and grand adventure that all the storylines I’ve played have evoked is magical.

It’s just that as good as the questing is, I love my Follower mini-game even more.

I can tell you this, even at the height of my rare pet battling and collecting obsession, I didn’t go more than two or three mornings waking up to sneak downstairs and see if a rare spawn had popped on a low-pop server.

With Garrisons? “Oh, it’s 4:30 AM, I don’t have to start getting ready for work for another half hour… plenty of time to gather resources, collect mission results and assign Followers to new tasks. Best be quiet, don’t want to wake Cassie.”

Yeah. Yeah, this is a thing.

And my Garrison is still level 2! I can only hope my enthusiasm wanes when I hit level 3 and expand.

Did I mention how excited I am that today I should have my third level 100 Follower and can start taking part in the level 100 missions for bonus rewards?

I used to joke, and say I wasn’t addicted, i can quit any time.

Hah. HAH. LOLOLOLHAHAHAHAALOLOLOL bullshit bullshit bullshit.