First of all; I DO like the idea of garrisons. Check out what we know so far HERE.
I don’t think of garrisons as “player housing” as much as others seem to do. Yes, it will be OUR place, our base… but so was Sunsong Ranch, and no one really considered that “player housing”, right? We could set our Hearthstone there, it was a rest zone, we could plant and harvest mats, but it wasn’t really like what most consider “player housing”.
The reason why I DO like the idea of garrisons is: It will be our base, and we will slowly build it up to be more useful. We can craft and apparently harvest there, so it’s like “Sunsong Ranch V2.0″, much more versatile and bigger.
The follower-system sounds nice as well. It seems to be inspired at least a bit by the companions in SWTOR, but that is ok, of course. If they help managing the garrison, or can help gather mats, that’d be very nice. One thing that bothered me a lot about the Ranch was that, even if you were good friends with all the tillers, it never turned out to be any less work to maintain your farm.
Planting and harvesting on all your alts (if you choose to do that) is time-consuming already, but to remove weeds, kill eagles and vermin or those tentacles over and over every day while your “friends” stand by and offer no benefit as in “OK, pay me 5G and I will till those plants”.
I hope the followers at the garrison, once you have put in all this time and work to asctually fully build the garrison and level your followers (which seems to be very time-consuming) will actually HELP you, and make it a bit less grindy. I don’t want free hand-outs, but if I could, say, set up a mine and eventually ask my followers to help with the mining, that’d be nice… after all, you put in all this work to build up the place and level your employees =)
What DOES concern me is: How will this be for altoholics like myself. Some people are concerned about it, while I read comments like “LOL, duh, just focus on your main, that is what Blizz wants”. And I would NOT be happy with that if it was the message.
Some people (and I think it’s actually quite a lot of people) do LOVE alts and using them, not only for the variety and stuff, but also for crafting and earning money, to be independent of other crafters etc.
If the garrison was so time-and work-consuming to fully unlock and level for EVERY char, that’d be kind of alt-unfriendly… AGAIN. One of the big complaints about MoP was how alt-unfriendly it was in the beginning… the gated reps, having to get through those to grind other reps just for recipes, gearing etc… all this was quite furstrtaing if you liked alts.
All this was changed eventually, and the Timeless Isle is like a paradise for altoholics… I was able to easily gear all my alts with just being on the Isle and grinding/questing there for a while with 2-3 chars. We are not talking about raid-level gear, but to be able to equip my alts in ilvl 496 gear was so much more fun than early MoP.
I dont expect free epics in WoD, but if I am forced to pick ONE of those chars and stick to it regarding the garrison… that wouldnt work, and I know I am not the only one feeling that way. If you fully level the garrison on your main, and it gets easier on the alts (like thiose rep-boosters introduced in MoP)… it would still require work and time, but less (or much less) than doing it all over from scratch on 10-11 chars.
So I hope that Blizz keeps in mind that quite a few players love alts and crafting, keeps in mind the success of the Timeless Isle, keeps in mind the unhappiness of so many players with the grind in early MoP… and can think of something that will building more than one garrison per account a bit less exhausting than “OK, you just spent weeks doing this… gratz. Now do it again and again and again with no booster or anything”.
Don’t get me wrong… I know that being an altoholic is a choice. I don’t expect to be given 10 free garrisons once I complete the one on my main. But speeding uzp the process a bit on alts if you completed it once, even just a bit, would be tremendously nice towards those that like to use alts, or might wanna change their main halfway through an expansion.
SO: I DO look forward to garrisons, it DOES sound like a very fun system, but I hope it won’t be 11x the exact same grind if you are an altoholic