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?
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!
Whaaaaat? You mean I actually get a benefit from obsessively doing every quest in every zone this expansion?
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?
So. Many. Treasures.
OHMIGOD So many shinies!
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.
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.