One of the most amazing things I’m enjoying in Warlords of Draenor so far is the continuously evolving story, as told through Garrison Campaign Quests.
Garrison Campaign Quests, despite the name, aren’t actually quests to advance your garrison or are even entirely focused on your garrison. The name just reflects that you get them while IN your Garrison. The quests themselves advance your story a little bit more each week.
In order to get your first Garrison Campaign Quest, you have to be level 100 with a Garrison that is upgraded to level 2. Once you’ve done that, the first Garrison campaign Quest will be available to you, and consists of a chain of quests that tell one section of story.
So far, another set of Garrison Campaign Quests has been released at the reset each week. So from day 1, each week there has been a new chapter to the story of Warlords of Draenor released for us to play through.
If you think about what’s happening here, I think it’s very exciting. Like ‘OMG squee holy shit’ levels of exciting, not just right now but for the future of the game.
Think about how the story of this expansion has been told to us so far.
We’ve always had the leveling quests through each zone, quests that we can complete as much of or as little as we’d like while we level. We can progress at our own pace through them, and they set us up for the lore of the world, the people, and the reason we’re doing raids. Same as we’re used to, right?
Normally, the story stops there until the next major content patch. If you are the kind of person that blows through content day 1 to be the first max level in your neighborhood, that’s it until the next patch.
I know that I have always tried to savor those quests. They’re a gift, and once you’ve done them they’re gone and the story, such as it is, is over.
Ah! But wait, there’s more! Now there are these new quests, the Garrison Campaign Quests.
Now the story doesn’t end just because the leveling does! These quests get offered to you each reset, advancing the story a little more each time. They take you all over the world, they cause you to meet people and gain different rewards, and they’ve been unveiling more of the actual story every week.
I completed the Garrison Quest “Primal Fury” last night, and no I won’t reveal spoilers but it was the one that is supposed to add a new Follower to your garrison team, and not the Legendary Garona. In my case as Alliance it is Thisalee Crow. Horde are supposed to get Choluna. I also got some other Follower-related rewards that were truly epic. When you do complete it (if you haven’t already), well, yeah. Yummy rewards. The end of the quest clearly set up some really cool stuff that will continue in patch 6.1.
*Sadly, at the time of this writing that quest is bugged and I didn’t actually get Thisalee as a Follower. Crithto has posted in the forums that after a realm reset that will be fixed.If this happens to you, don’t panic, you’ll just have to be patient.
The key thing here is that these Garrison Campaign Quests adds something truly new to the game.
They are similar in concept to what we had with the unveiling of the Isle of Thunder in Mists of Pandaria. The Isle of Thunder had us unlock new areas over time by completing solo scenarios. As each phase became available, we had a new solo instance offered to us, and before we could proceed we had to do it.
That was cool, but it had its problems. Remember how annoying and/or challenging that became once everything was unlocked and you brought a new alt to the Isle? Suddenly you had 5 or 6 solo instances to plow through before you could do anything on the island. Also, we didn’t have them as quickly as once a week because it certainly takes a long time to build a custom scenario like that from scratch.
The Garrison Campaign Quests have been similar to those, but instead of a solo instance each time it’s a short series of quests, and nothing is gated behind these quests except the next quests in the chain.
New quests every week, serving to advance the overall story of the game BEYOND the leveling quests in each zone.
That’s just freaking cool.
And there is no reason to believe they’re going to stop them.
To quote a blue post from Bashiok on January 13th, “It’s a weekly campaign that unlocks over time and is intended to continue through future updates, not too dissimilar to the 5.1: Landfall content, but this is a bigger and more sweeping story that sends you out to the various level 100 areas across Draenor. The first 8 weeks offer quests somewhat randomly, and then the four after those are a set story progression TO BE CONTINUED IN FUTURE PATCH RELEASES.” (My emphasis on that last bit).
Yes, I reached the end of the 6.0 Garrison Quests and got the achievement for it. Presumably, I won’t be offered more until patch 6.1 comes out.
But 6.1 is coming on us fast… Blackrock Foundry will be unveiled in early February, and while Blizzard has said that 6.1 will NOT be tied to the raid and can come later, it might not be that much later. The way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised it if came out at the end of February. That seems plenty fast enough to me.
Plenty of opportunity there for everyone to get all caught up in the story.
This is just… OMG seriously?
This is, to me, the single best thing of this entire expansion. new, fresh weekly content.
The one thing I think has been a note of constant complaint over the years is how, once the leveling quests are completed, the story is over until next content patch, and it’s all unleashed at once at our pace. And mostly it comes in new raids, or scenarios or dungeons. Not just a new series of fully accessible quests.
The Garrison Campaign Quests give us something new to do, even if it’s only for an hour or two each week. Each time a little more of the shape of the story is revealed to us. The ending for Primal Fury certainly set up some interesting things to look forward to, things that are coming in the next patch.
This is I think what we’ve all been waiting for in the game. That extra something that helps us feel that the game is growing and changing all the time, not just when a major patch comes out. Even in the shape its in right now it’s great.
I hope that Blizzard likes how the Garrison Campaign Quests are working, and decide to invest ever more resources into it. The feature hasn’t gotten a lot of attention yet, but they have had a huge impact on how this expansion feels to me. I can truly say that I have never felt this expansion release was ‘completed’ because there was always something new popping up on reset. And that something has never felt overwhelming to me. It could maybe be a little more each week, but it’s certainly not too much.
Just… so happy with this expansion. So many moving parts, all contributing to the overall game and nothing feeling like the only focus.
By the way… I hear that the next tier design is going to be a departure from what we’re used to. I think I can honestly say that if it’s a departure from tentacle staves flipping my raid team off, it might just be both a good thing and a bad thing. How about more designs like from Burning Crusade? I really loved the aesthetics of Burning Crusade. Ursinerate, what do you think of that?