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Garrison Preview Part 3 – Who Are You Calling Your People?, Heirloom Vendor Change in Patch 6.0.2

Other than the release confirmation for 6.0 next week, blizzard also posted a new garrison preview about followers!

Quote from: Blizzard
Garrison Preview Part 3 – Who Are You Calling Your People?

In this series of blog posts, we’re giving you a closer look at Garrisons and how you can expect to interact with them in Warlords of Draenor. This third part is focused on Followers – the people who populate your home base, do your bidding, and come together to form a small army to take on what the Iron Horde is going to throw at you.

As we mentioned in part 1 of this series, we want the process of staking your claim on Draenor to fundamentally shape your gameplay experience. In part 2 of this series, we looked at some of the buildings that you might choose to construct and the different perks and rewards they offer you. In this part, we’re getting to know the NPCs you’ll surround yourself with, and what they’re capable of.

First Bud

Once your Garrison starts to come together, with a Barracks up and running, you’ll encounter your first Follower and send him on his first mission. You’ll use the command table in the Garrison to activate the Followers window, which allows you to manage your Followers. Therein, you’ll have a searchable list of all Followers available to you in the game and all of the information you need to work with them: their class, spec, quality, abilities, traits, level, xp needed to reach next level, and what they’re currently up to. Followers can level up to 100 just like you can, and you’ll want to level them up, as each Follower becomes more powerful as she gains levels.

While you aren’t restricted from collecting as many Followers as you like, your Garrison can only operate properly with a maximum of 20 active Followers (this number is increased to 25 if your Garrison features a level 3 Barracks). Followers can be inactivated to maintain the total population you’re going for, and inactive Followers don’t forfeit any of their experience while waiting for you to activate them again later.


Archmage Vargoth


Bastiana Moran


Clever Ashyo


Ebba Stormfist

One of the main keys to a Follower’s success is his Quality. As with many other systems in WoW, Followers come in Uncommon, Rare, and Epic quality. This designation limits the Follower’s abilities and traits, with an Uncommon Follower allowed one of each, a Rare Follower using one ability and two traits, and an Epic Follower gaining two abilities and three traits. Importantly, all Followers can upgrade to Epic Quality, and they gain random traits and a second random ability along the way. The experience they gain after they reach level 100 is what upgrades their Quality.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Your Followers’ abilities and traits define how you’ll use them, and generally, you’ll assign Followers who have specific Profession bonus traits to buildings devoted to that profession, and you’ll send strong fighters out on missions. Those with a good match for your buildings will stay home and work for you while you send others out into the wild on missions.

It’s a dangerous planet on which you’re building a Garrison, and different threats are best met by certain abilities that your Followers take into battle. For example, if you need to send someone to deal with an enemy who has deadly minions, you’ll want to choose a Follower who happens to be a Druid with Entangling Roots, or a Hunter with Freezing trap, or a Rogue with Sap, etc.


Fo Sho Knucklebump


Kaasa Blighthoof


Killix Zombrosk


Leeroy Jenkins

You won’t always have the perfect counter for the missions you need your Followers to undertake, and that’s okay. As missions become more challenging, you’ll get to send Followers out in groups, and there are some traits that affect other Followers in the group. The race preference traits are a good example here, as a Follower who has a preference for Goblin companions will increase the chance that the mission is a success when you surround her with Goblins.

I (E.I. … E.I.) Will Always Love You

The Bodyguard trait is truly notable. A small number of specific Followers have this trait, and when you assign them to a level 2 or 3 Barracks, they become your personal protector. That’s right; if you ask him to, a Bodyguard Follower will follow you right out of the Garrison and into the savage lands of Draenor, fighting by your side, utilizing his class abilities, and gaining reputation with you.

Some restrictions may apply. Bodyguard will not follow you into any battlegrounds, instances, scenarios, or washrooms. You may only have one working Bodyguard at a time. Void where prohibited. Seriously.


Millhouse Manastorm


Nadia Darksun


Nat Pagle


Qwilla Bloodedge

Reputation, you say? Yes. Much like the NPCs you earned reputation with in Pandaria, your Bodyguard will get to know you, and after many trials by your side, he will become your Wingman and gain another Ability. After much more experience fighting together, he’ll reach the remarkable reputation level of Personal Wingman. Your Personal Wingman comes with a special perk, and perks include:

  • The ability to summon another player to your position
  • A portable repair kit
  • A portable mailbox
  • The ability to cast a portal that you can use to return to your Garrison

Do You Need Something Specific?

With a level 2 Inn/Tavern, you’ll gain access to a headhunter. Working with your own private “HR at the bar”, you can order up a Follower who has a specific ability or trait. The headhunter will then present you with three potential new hires, and you can choose one of the three.

It’s a process that is so exhausting for the headhunter that she can only perform this feat once per week!


Shappa


Ultan Blackgorge


Weaponmaster Na’shra


Zen’tiki

There are many other ways to obtain new Followers. Some come to you as the result of Garrison missions. You’ll meet others as you complete quests in Draenor zones such as Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand. Still others can be purchased, and Followers such as Nat Pagle can only be attracted to your Garrison by your great deeds in the field of their expertise.

You are going to do many great deeds, right?


Check out our previous Garrison previews:

In part 4, we’ll take a stroll through a fully built and operational Garrison, touching on the daily and weekly steps you might take as you bring the pain to your enemies on Draenor and seek out fine rewards for yourself.

If you’re beta testing Warlords of Draenor with us and have any Garrison-related questions or experiences to share, head over to our Beta General Discussion forum and post it there. You can also leave a comment in the forums here.

Quote from: Blizzard
With the upcoming release of Patch 6.0.2, we’ll be sending the vendors who sell Heirlooms for Justice Points on a nice vacation.

As you might already be aware, both Justice and Valor Points are being removed as currencies from the game in 6.0.2. As we started to work on new ways to buy Heirlooms, we found that we were setting their value up for a rollercoaster ride. That’s because we’re also working on a larger Heirloom system for a future patch, and we don’t want to introduce an interim pricing scheme that could temporarily devalue Heirlooms or limit how we’d be able to give them out in the future. Rather than make players face buyer’s remorse and hand-wringing decisions about when to buy, we’re going to give the Justice Heirloom vendors some time off while we work on improving the system as a whole.

One thing to note is that this change only affects vendors that sell Heirlooms for Justice. PvE Heirlooms will still remain available at the Darkmoon Faire and the Trial of the Crusader, and PvP Heirlooms will continue to be available for Honor.

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide Crashes into Azeroth October 14

It’s finally official! 6.0 comes to the live servers next week! Not sure what 6.0 brings? Check out the first half of our latest podcast where we give you an overview in our 6.0 survival guide!

Quote from: Blizzard
Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide Crashes into Azeroth October 14

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide is scheduled to crash into Azeroth on Tuesday, October 14.  Featuring new content heralding the Iron Horde incursion, updates to the skills and abilities for every class, and a host of gameplay adjustments, this overture to Warlords of Draenor is coming at you armed to the teeth.

Treacherous Developments

The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.

In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde . . . before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.

Word of this surprise attack sends players rushing to the Blasted Lands to reckon with the barbarous infiltration. After the fall of a high ranking Iron Horde general named Gar’mak Bladetwist, you’ll report what you’ve witnessed in the Blasted Lands to King Wrynn or Warchief Vol’jin. It’s apparent to both the Horde and the Alliance that this is only the first salvo in a much larger conflict, and the only way to win is to take the fight directly to the Iron Horde . . . by journeying through the Dark Portal into Draenor.

The Infiltration of Blackrock Spire

An advance party of Iron Horde forces has barged right out of the Blasted Lands and pushed all the way to Blackrock Mountain, where they found refuge and supplies in Upper Blackrock Spire. There can be only one response: the Alliance and the Horde of Azeroth must face this iron incursion head on.

Available to level-90 characters for a limited time, this specially revamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde. Here, you will face Orebender Gor’ashan, Kyrak, and Commander Tharbek as you begin to take the fight to the enemy and sharpen the skills—and swords—you’ll need to succeed on an unwelcoming alien world.

Prepare yourself. Draenor is waiting.

Check Out the BlizzCon® 2014 Map and Schedule

The Blizzcon schedule has been released and there doesn’t seem to be much warcraft this year. There’s also 2,5 hours between the end of the opening ceremony and the first panels. The big gap is quite strange so hopefully something will be revealed in the opening ceremony that will take up the hours right after the opening ceremony!

Quote from: Blizzard
Check Out the BlizzCon® 2014 Map and Schedule

BlizzCon 2014 is almost here! Whether you’re joining us at the Anaheim Convention Center in person or viewing from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, we’ve got a lot of activities and events lined up for you.

To help you form a plan of attack, we’ve just posted a schedule of the panels, eSports tournaments, and other activities happening at BlizzCon on Friday and Saturday. You can also check out the floor map to get a lay of the land.

If you’d like to watch online, the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket grants you access to the events on the Main and Panel stages, along with this year’s in-game goodies. We’ll also be broadcasting the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, and Hearthstone World Championship—for free at www.blizzcon.com. Stay tuned for more information.

Check out the BlizzCon 2014 schedule here.

Warlords of Draenor Dungeon Preview: Training Day

Quote from: Blizzard
Warlords of Draenor Dungeon Preview: Training Day

There are plenty of opportunities in Warlords of Draenor for those who are looking for some new adventures. With four new level-up dungeons and four maximum level dungeons you’re on the fast track to danger, mayhem, and perhaps a bit of shiny new loot.

There’s so much packed into Warlords of Draenor that we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to look at the upcoming dungeons.

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Bloodmaul Slag Mines

Location: Frostfire Ridge
Level: 90-92
Bosses: 4Some like it hot and others are simply slaves within it. This level 90-92 dungeon takes you into the sweltering heat of active volcanic caverns wherein Bloodmaul ogres run a brutal mining operation powered by the blood and sweat of slaves acquisitioned from all across Draenor. The Slag Mines produce a bounty of gemstones and ore, but it’s rumored that the true purpose of these mines is to dig for an ancient relic of immense power.

You’ll encounter four new bosses and a lot of fire power as you try to disrupt their machinations. We’re sure you’ve learned that ancient relics in the hands of – well anyone– are probably not going to lead to very good things. You know what to do, heroes.

On the art of minecraft: “The beginning and ending of Bloodmaul Slag Mines were my favorite shots to establish in the dungeon,” says Senior 3D artist Andy Matthews. “You get a sense of how precarious and dangerous every element of the mines will be.  We used old wood and rope, not the best materials to use inside a mine that’s filled with lava and fire.  Ogres don’t care; they will just grab more and haphazardly place a new one on top of the half burnt one.  Not the brightest but they will ’get the job done.’

The ‘look and feel’ of the Mine was inspired by Bladespire Citadel and the surrounding Ogre settlements in the zone. In the Slave Quarters you will notice each hut shows the daily life of living inside an active volcano. Some huts are better off than others.”

“One slave in the dungeon turns a mysterious wheel of pain but why?”

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Iron Docks

Location: Gorgrond
Level: 92-94
Bosses: 4Battles can be won and lost by the power of a naval force. To put a stop to the Iron Horde’s naval powerhouse, you’ll need to venture into this level 92-94 dungeon. This port located in the northern coast of Gorgrond houses the Iron Horde’s shipyard, filled with massive warships and artillery forged and assembled within the Blackrock Foundry. In addition to this seafaring arsenal, elite infantry units are joined by trained beasts to comprise the ground troops.

You’ll encounter four new bosses who you’ll need to put a stop to before their ship has sailed. Beware the Cannon Barrage and the Backdraft. This is one shipyard that’s bound to get explosive.

On the shipyard’s origin: “The Iron Docks started off as a PVE quest area,” says Lead Dungeon Artist Wendy Vetter, “but then once it started to take shape we realized it would make a great backdrop and play space for a dungeon. This has given the dungeon a unique visual look that is quite unlike any other dungeon in World of Warcraft. It’s also a great showcase of all the Iron Horde technology and architecture culminating in a showdown with the final boss within the dungeon which takes place on a huge Iron Horde ship.”

We really tried to give the Iron Docks a sense of being overwhelmed,” adds 3D Artist Patrick Burke. “This is an important strategical location for the Iron Horde to send out their destructive forces.  The architecture is threatening and is meant to show that the Iron Horde means business. The Iron Horde has no concern for the environment or cleanliness.  The sky is filled with smog.  The ground is littered with oil stains, streaks, and all manner of machinery.”

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Auchindoun

Location: Talador
Level: 94-97
Bosses: 4

Auchindoun is the holy mausoleum of the draenei, a sanctum of the Light in which the spirits of the dead find respite.  It’s also a level 94-97 dungeon found within Talador. The crystalline structure serves to protect and shield draenei souls from their eternal enemies: the Burning Legion, who hunger for draenei spirits. For the Shadow Council, this holy place is an opportunity ripe for the picking, as Gul’dan and his minions work to gain favor with their demonic masters.

You’ll encounter four new bosses with multiple shades of abilities and one of whom may seem just the tiniest bit familiar.

A place of contemplation: “Our intention for Auchindoun was to give it a cathedral like vibe,” says Senior 3D Artist Jonathan Jacobson. “As a mausoleum the hallways and chambers needed to enhance the deep respect and admiration for the heroes that have made Auchindoun their final resting place.  It also evokes a certain ethereal quality; the light has a certain glow and opulence as it hits the water and golden surfaces within.”

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Skyreach

Location: Spires of Arak
Level: 97-99
Bosses: 4

Last of the four level-up dungeons, this level 97-99 dungeon sits high atop the Spires of Arak amid the clouds.  This dungeon holds the seat of power of the Adherents of Rukhmar, high arakkoa who have gathered and harnessed the Apexis technology of their forebears. Now they’re ready to unleash the focused power of the sun upon their enemies. If you want to stop them from unleashing this power, you’re going to have to face your acrophobia, wipe the sweat from your palms, and take the battle directly into their lair.

You’ll encounter four new bosses within this lair and we highly advise staying away from the beams of bright shiny light.

Reach for the sky: The Spires of Arak Dungeon allowed us an opportunity to explore and fill out the culture of the arakkoa” say 3D Artist Fanny Vergne and Senior Artist Steve Crow.  “In the Burning Crusade we only showed some of the remnants of this ancient race, so we essentially had a few puzzle pieces with which to build upon.  This is the first time you’ll see the arakkoa in their homeland.   The dungeon has a few themes that run throughout the culture, the feeling of height, a sense of grandeur, as well as intricate “bird-like” accents.”

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Shadowmoon Burial Grounds

Location: Shadowmoon Valley
Level: 100
Bosses: 4

This level 100 dungeon is located within Shadowmoon Valley. The traditional burial grounds of the Shadowmoon clan are the final resting place for countless of generations of ancestors. All is not as it should be however and Ner’zhul has sacrificed more than his clan can afford as a part of his desperate quest for power. Now the ancestral spirits are restless, tormented and used to fuel dark rituals that will pull all of Draenor into the void if allowed to run their course.

You’ll encounter four new bosses including Shadowmoon chieftain Ner’zhul himself. It’s up to you to put a stop to the chaos he’s set in motion.

On shadows and symbols: “The moon sigil effect done for the Sadana Bloodfury boss fight tells the story of the Shadowmoon clan and their connection to the dark arts,” says Wendy. “Their complicated rituals are mirrored in the intricacy of the chart, as well as by the ominous carvings that riddle the walls throughout the dungeon.

The huge, moss-covered stone blocks give the dungeon a dank and ancient vibe, which becomes even more pronounced in the Bonemaw Caverns portion of the dungeon.  Towering monuments can be seen crumbling in the foggy distance as the player progresses through the watery graveyard of souls.”

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The Everbloom

Location: Gorgrond
Level: 100
Bosses: 5Plants – they seem so harmless until they try to kill you. This level 100 dungeon is located in Gorgrond, within the very heart of the deadliest forests in Draenor. After the disruption of the Dark Portal, the Kirin Tor, in a bid to establish a supply line to fight the Iron Horde on their own soil, have set up outposts across Draenor with magical links back to Azeroth. Unfortunately, what seemed like a prime strategic location near the Blackrock Foundry is a sacred place to the botani. The outpost was quickly overgrown, but still contains a link to the outskirts of Stormwind…

We’re sure it will all be fine though. What’s the worst that could happen?

You’ll encounter five new bosses all of whom have the power of nature in their hands –literally.

On nature’s deceptive nature: “The botani trees for the Everbloom dungeon were designed to look ‘claimed’, overtaken, and manipulated by the Primals race to suit their needs,” says Associate 3D Artist Jessica Dinh. “The vines and branches shape themselves in a wild, yet purposeful fashion, lending the dungeon a vibrant, sentient atmosphere. The beauty of the botani trees is quite deceiving, and we wanted to distinguish their colors from the other trees in the area.”

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Grimrail Depot

Location: Gorgrond
Level: 100
Bosses: 3If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy the sights of Draenor by train, then this isn’t the ride for you. If you want fast paced action on a moving train, then we’ve got you covered. The Grimrail Depot is a level 100 dungeon and a vital hub in the Iron Horde war machine. Allowing for the transport of troops and materials produced in the Blackrock Foundry to the front lines of the war being waged across Draenor, the Depot’s namesake is the Grimrail itself. This massive train can bear entire battalions of troops and artillery. Fitted with a massive railgun powerful enough to shatter the shield protecting Shattrath, the train is about to depart. Do you have your boarding pass? It’s going to be a heck of a ride.

You’ll encounter three new explosive bosses who are packing some serious gadgets and fire power. This train isn’t stopping for anything or anyone.

On engineering exhilaration: In creating the architecture for Grimrail Depot, 3D Artist Ryan Cooper says that one of the goals was to make sure the player could see the world speeding by them as they encountered all manner of obstacles and precarious paths, creating a feeling that you fall off at any time. They designed the train interiors to feel cramped and full of precarious objects that could crush you at any given time. Later, as the action shifts to the Depot, players are taken above the station and into the rafters to give a unique perspective and a sense of the Depot’s enormous scale and a unique perspective—something you wouldn’t necessarily get from just fighting alongside the train on a platform.

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Upper Blackrock Spire

Location: Blackrock Mountain (Azeroth)
Level: 100
Bosses: 5This is a mountain that is rife with history. Heroes of Azeroth have long fought and bled through its halls, but now this imposing fortress is under new management. This level 100 dungeon in the upper reaches of Blackrock Spire is now home to the Ironmarch vanguard. As preparations to use the Spire as the staging ground for a full-scale invasion of Azeroth continue, the Iron Horde has set up a terrifying contingency plan: a doomsday weapon within the heart of the Blackrock Mountain.

You’ll encounter five new bosses at level 100 and can experience the first three as a part of the pre-expansion version of the dungeon available to level 90 players for a limited time.

Artist Credits: Bloodmaul Slag Mines- Senior 3D Artist Andy Matthews, 3D Artist Ryan Cooper, Iron Docks – Senior Artist Steve Crow, 3D Artist Jeff Chang, 3D Artist Patrick Burke, Associate 3D Artist Jessica Clarke, Auchindoun- Senior 3D Artist Jonathan Jacobson, Associate Artist Lianna Tai, Skyreach- 3D Artist Fanny Vergne, Senior Artist Steve Crow, 3D Artist Cole Eastburn, The Everbloom- Associate 3D Artist Jessica Dinh, 3D Artist Matt O’Connor, Grimrail Depot- 3D Artist Ryan Cooper, Shadowmoon Burial Grounds- 3D Artist Jeff Chang, Senior Artist Chad Max, and Associate 3D Artist Jessica Dinh.

A Special thank you to Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Dungeon Artist Wendy Vetter