World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor will allow players to acquire their own garrisons, the game's first housing feature. Blizzard published a new blog post detailing how these garrisons will work within the expansion.
Players acquire their garrison in their opening zones of Draenor. This fortress then grows in power as the player does.
"The story you weave in Draenor is one of personal heroism, but your actions have a wider impact—part of your mission is to raise an army capable of toppling the Iron Horde, and the garrison is integral to that experience," Blizzard says. "In terms of gameplay, that means you’ll be creating and strengthening your garrison as you journey to level 100. While questing through Draenor, you’ll encounter opportunities to choose between different types of buildings to add to your garrison."
Though the garrison itself is in either Frostfire Ridge (Horde) or Shadowmoon Valley (Alliance), you'll also build outposts to help you in later zones. When players reach the Gorgrond zone, they can pick between a Sparring Arena or Lumber Mill. They'll then be sent on quests that pertain to the building they chose. Each structure provides a different benefit during questing. For example, the Sparring Arena lets players summon an ogre to help them in Gorgrond quests. Blizzard mentions that another zone, Talador, will give players a building that can provide artillery strikes.
"Our goal is for each zone to offer equally compelling alternatives from which to choose, and to provide you with plenty of powerful creatures to vanquish with your newfound powers."
Players will also fill their garrisons with NPC followers. These followers can be recruited in several different ways. Each has a different skill set for you to utilize in your garrison. For example, they might be skilled in alchemy or enchanting. If you give them an assignment that fits their talents, they'll be more productive and benefit you more. These artisans give you access to crafting skills beyond your two primary professions.
Followers with combat skills should be sent off on missions. You don't accompany them on missions; they can even take place while you're logged off. If they're successful at these tasks, followers can level up and earn rewards for you. These rewards include "dungeon and entry-level raid" equipment for your character.
"Missions will have variable difficulties, durations, and group size requirements, and some will play better to the strengths of particular Followers over others. A wise commander will create the ideal team for a mission and send them off to reap the maximum rewards."
You won't be able to have every kind of building in your garrison, though. There are 21 building types in total but only a maximum of 10 building slots in a garrison. Fortunately, you can swap out buildings at a later day if you regret your choices.
"We want there to be a ton of depth to the gameplay and customization of the Garrison, but we also don’t want to make players feel like they’re required to spend more time than they’d like laboring away on it after they’ve reached level 100. We recognize that there’s a fine line between introducing a system that provides cool bonuses and adding “chores” that feel necessary for cutting-edge endgame progression.
"To this end, players who prefer to level up mostly through dungeons or Battlegrounds will still be able to purchase the building blueprints that would otherwise be obtained through questing on Draenor."
Warlords of Draenor is expected later this year. Blizzard previously announced that public testing has been delayed a bit.