The Alt Zone

So you’ve been playing Warlords of Draenor for a bit now, and you’ve discovered that the alt game is a dangerous time sink.

They aren’t daily quests, oh no. You have absolute power over your actions.

But.

The temptation to log into those alts. It’s strong. Like an itch in the veins, just below the skin.

Jut a few minutes each day to do the follower missions, then the profession dailies, then set up work orders, and finally the bonus round of harvesting herbs and ore. You don’t really need those mats, not anymore, but at the same time, you might. You might.

Oh, and then trapping beasts for the Barn, and stockpiling materials for the trading post work orders.

And the ultimate gambler’s rush that comes from opening the salvage yard crates. Is it a 665 BoE today? Is it? IS IT?!?!

Yeah. You don’t have to do it. You don’t!

You just have to possess the willpower to push yourself away from the table.

Okay, now for the rest of you that are still here with me, let’s talk about where to go with our alts.

If you’re anything like me, you had one or two ‘main’ characters you wanted to play and level and get going into he land of the big 100.

Then there were all those OTHER characters. You know the ones. The characters you leveled in Mists of Pandaria when you were bored off your ass, and now you like but not in that special way. You’ve pushed them into the friend zone, um, I mean the alt zone. They’re good enough to go fetch you things and do your chores, but not good enough to take to the prom.

They do have some useful professions though, don’t they just?

S you might have taken them JUST FAR enough into the game to hit garrison level 2 and have profession buildings on site.

For me, I leveled my Warlock and Druid to 100, and I pushed my Rogue, Priest, Death Knight and Hunter into the alt zone with level 2 Garrisons for professions.

It’s been a while since launch. And what have we learned, class?

We’ve learned that our low level alts have mighty fine garrisons and can make damn near anything with their professions, don’t have to leave home to harvest herbs or ore, they can just sit there and log in every day and level professions to max and craft sweet gear. And your higher level characters can feed them the Savage Blood they need to make epics.

All well and good.

If it weren’t for those piddly little follower teams, it might just be perfect.

Followers. Aye, that’s the rub.

My alts have shit for followers.

Quality is good, it’s the quantity that is for crap.

After the last few months since launch, my alts have leveled their followers to epic 100s. No problem.

There’s just only so much you can do with 4 or 6 followers, damnit! If you ain’t out there questing, you ain’t out there recruiting!

So what do we do now?

What I’m starting to do is change their shit up.

They’ve been sitting there hoarding Garrison resources and nursing their trading posts for so long, they’ve got 6000 or 7000 built up. So fine, time to dump that trading post or lumber mill and get me an Inn.

Now I’m taking my alts into Gorgrond and completing that Outpost quest chain. At the end, you get your Outpost Construction Manual, and you can use it to upgrade your Inn blueprint to level 2.

Viola! Or perhaps a nice cello.

Suddenly, after one night in bangkok I can retire my alt once more, but now every week they can visit the Inn and recruit a new follower to add to the team. Over time those alts will finally have their full load out of Followers, all at epic, and I won’t have had to step another foot out of the house. I mean Garrison.

followerboard

You know what our Garrison needs for our alts? A basement.

I need to be able to have a basement in my Garrison my alts can hang out in, so I can sit in a basement and control a character in a videogame that sits in a basement and controls followers and sends them out on missions in a game.

Because I’m all about the irony.

Seriously though, it’s time for that next level alt zone stuff. Put ’em to work!

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?