One of the things carried over from Warlords of Draenor is the concept of NPC bodyguards.
As your artifact missions unfold and you increase in levels, you unlock more followers.
Unlike Garrisons, the number of followers you have access to in Legion are much more limited. The cap at max level that you can possibly have active is only five.
What’s more, at least so far anyway my Hunter shows that there are only eight possible followers to find and unlock. Big change from Draenor, and it’s yet another indication of how Blizzard liked aspects of the Garrisons but wants to limit how much we have to micromanage now.
Five active followers means fewer of your champions can be out on a mission at any given time. There are troops that you can train up/hire that take the place of a follower/champion, but they’re just… troops. No name, no backstory, each one representing a small group of trackers or elementals or whatever.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that your followers have special abilities to counter mission objectives. Some of them also have special abilities that take effect when you assign one to be your combat ally in the Broken Isles.
They did this in a pretty neat way.
You might assume that when you assign a follower to be your combat ally, they would automatically be your bodyguard out in the world, just as they were in Draenor.
Instead, some of your followers when assigned give you a special spell/action you can use that has a cooldown.
Cassie is playing her Enhancement Shaman, and one of her followers when assigned gave her a pretty badass self heal.
For myself, I’m playing my Hunter and one of my followers, Emmarel Shadewarden, gives me an AoE attack if I assign her to be my combat ally.
Emmarel’s Assault gives you an extra action button that is the AoE attack spell, and casting it summons her to your side, where she briefly engages your targeted enemy with her attack before vanishing into cooldown land.
Pretty damn neat, right?
Fear not, however, for there are traditional bodyguard followers to stand at your side through thick and thin as well.
Me, I was given the option of having the legendary hero Rexxar by my side.
Rexxar, at least in Legion, is a Survival Hunter with twin battle axes. He used to be a Beastmaster in lore until apparently he decided to switch specs like any flavor of the month player. But hey, he’s half Orc and half Ogre… so what can you expect, right? Next thing you know he’ll go from being the hero of the Barrens to talking smack in Barrens Chat.
Still and all, if you have read your WoW lore, what wandering Pandaren if given the chance wouldn’t want to be escorted by Rexxar for an adventure or two?
Everything was great in the beginning. Rexxar does decent damage, pitches in on a fight, and didn’t even seem to aggro things when I snuck along in Camouflage.
Also, how badass is it to be a hunter with a Bear pet fighting side by side with Rexxar as he calls Misha to his aid? Huh? Huh? Fuck yes.
Then came the moment of truth when I realized this savage barbarian had worn out his welcome in my base camp.
I’m currently adventuring in the beautiful zone of Val’sharah, land of the Druids and ‘the closest thing to the Emerald Dream’s beauty we will find in the waking world.’
Lots of beautiful critters here, including some very nice owls and stags that my Beast Lore spell tells me are tamable.
I’m sure they are, too, if only I didn’t have this damn Survival Hunter noob by my side.
I dismiss my bear so I can tame a gorgeous stag, and guess what axe-wielding son-of-a-bitch not only attacks the stag, but apparently has a taunt so I can’t keep it’s attention for the tame?
The worse bit is, you can’t control your bodyguard. You can’t even dismiss him in disgust. All you can do is watch in horror as the miserable brute butchers a wonderful stag right there before your eyes, and then just looks at you like, “Wut? Lolumadbearbro?”
Oh, would you like to be able to tame creatures in the wild? Tough titty, then you don’t get a bodyguard. Bear up and solo it.
Or, well, play it smart.
You can dismiss your bodyguard, of course you can. You just have to carry your happy fur-covered butt back to Trueshot Lodge, which is the only place you can unassign your bodyguards from within the game.
Ah ah ah! There is another way, though. For the impatient among us, you can also assign and unassign Champions as bodyguards / combat allies directly from within the Blizzard Legion mobile app.
If you have an Android or Apple smart phone or tablet, you can log out of WoW, log into the app and unassign or reassign the follower there without having to make the trek back to your class hall.
This takes my level of dissatisfaction at Rexxar down a few notches.
The first time this happened, I got all cranky, hearthed, flew back to Trueshot Lodge, told Rexxar to GTFO and went back out to tame a pretty stag.
I felt like Oxhorn, I swear I did. Muttering to myself the entire flight back.
Ah, but my attitude has brightened up, now that I know I merely have to take a break logged out for a few minutes to make the change on the app and log back in to tame a new friend.
Ugh. Seriously, was it that hard to add in a ‘tell a bodyguard to go the fuck home’ button?
Still and all, Rexxar. Mah buddy. Yup. Me and him, we be mates.
Have you played around with one of your Champions as a bodyguard or with their spells if they give you an ability? Do you have a favorite Champion based on lore or what they can do for you?
All the classes get their own special class Champions, so I have no bloody idea who all the rest of you get to choose from. I bet some of them have to be pretty sweet, though.
Red Snappah, so tasty!