There is a nice Garrison article at Murf Versus blog, with which I totally agree and need to add a bit from my point of view.
So far Micromantica’s Garrison has all the spots built up, and I’ve upgraded few of the buildings to the next tiers. Now that my Garrison is fully operational and I finally understand what’s happening there, I can tell about my final opinion on this new feature in game.
Managing Your Garrison
It really takes not so much time, colecting orders, placing the new ones, collecting ores and herbs and managing the missions table. Question is: what’s the sense of this all?
Blizzard claimed that our Garrison will be our base of operations on Draenor to fight the Iron Horde. Does it feel like that? No. Like at all.
Both Garrisons are hidden in the farthest and most safe corners from where the real action is happening. They are not protecting anything or guarding some strategic points. It’s a hermitage where you can play in your sandbox, and it doesn’t add to some strategic value or advantage. The “attacks” seem too made-up, as neither of the factions that could attack your Garrison should really take your place as a threat.
Your outposts in other zones don’t add up much too. These are merely small quest hubs actually, easily compared with any normal questing hubs, neither properly protected or having any lore value. Any good and planned attack from Iron Horde or Botani could easily swipe your outposts in an hour.
Placing your Garrison at a really tough and strategic place could have made the trick. I would have bound them to Tanaan somehow, near the gorge where Gorgrond/Talador/Tanaan crossing (we will rush there, right?), or near the former Dark Portal. Although destroyed at the moment, the place still poses a threat to be re-opened again.
Gathering Professions: Your Diploma Is A TP Now
Needless to say that when your Tailor/Enchanterer spends some time of daily routine successfully mining ores and gathering herbs – it’s a sort of thing that I didn’t plan for my character when choosing a profession. At the same time it makes my devoted gatherers feel like they missed something in their lives. Why did my Herbalists, Skinners and Miners spent all the time leveling when finally it doesn’t matter – at all? Their “Zen Master” degree is now nothing more than an asswipe (and a used one too) – deal with it.
Crafting Professions Are Non-Crafting Professions
It’s hlarious, but you don’t actually craft anything! What you do is just give your resources to workshops to automatically get another resources in a while. It was supposed to feel like a vivid town, where craftsmen are accepting your orders, but hey, it’s a shop game, not actual craft! For making good things you need 100 resources, and it’s many days of shop-game before you can actually make anything. One crafting action in a month – isn’t that cool? (Spoiler: NO!!)
To conclude these 2 points: professions are dead now.
What could save them is a complete reboot and return to previous patterns.
I’ve already said that it’s a game for kindergarden now. Put a cube in a square hole and a cylinder in a round hole. After a while you don’t remember the names of your followers, as there are too many, and they also become simple game bricks: if you put one in an appropriate slot, you receive a reward. Hooray! I’m so tired of this game and saving resources for my garrison, so missions are limited only to those which bring me resources to upgrade.
In the long run, Garrisons own a nice RPG-development scent, but the real operations in it are a fun-killer. By now, having finished Nagrand (even with slow pace – storylines were fast), I am obliged to dig in the direction of developing my Garrison instead of lore, and it’s not a good replacement.
It’s the first experiment of this scale that Blizzard made (creating your base), but I hope it will undergo some really big improvements.