So I spent the day at Blizzcon and I had really hoped to tweet / blog from the panels I attended. Sadly the free wi-fi at the convention center is terrible and I could barely get a couple of tweets to go out. I had my iPad with me luckily and I took lots of notes during the panels. Now that I'm back at my hotel I can use their network to get a post done!
I'm sure you all know by now that the new WoW expansion is Warlords of Draenor. The new continent will be loosely based on the current Outland map. The big enemy in this expansion will be the Iron Horde. The main Alliance city will be Karabor in Shadowmoon Valley and the Horde main city will be at Frostfire Ridge in what is now the NE corner of Outland. There will be 7 new zones total.
I think the most important announcement for our type of folks is the new garrison feature. Garrisons seem to be the successor to Sunsong Ranch. We were told that players can choose which zone to build in and will have the option to move their garrison if they wish. Our garrisons will not be instanced, they will be in the world and accessible by our friends and guildmates.
Your garrison will also have followers who can be sent on missions, which can progress even while players are offline. We can interact with our followers by giving them names. We will be able to level up our followers and once they reach level 100 they will be able to gain ilevels instead of XP. The follower system will be similar to a mini-game where you can send them on quests, dungeons and raids.
Garrisons will provide limited access to professions you don't have, you can choose to build a mine if you want. There will be other types of buildings you can add to your garrison and each building will confer a benefit or perk of some type. Perks would include additional followers / player buffs / customizations and possibly extra abilities. It was also stated that we could assign followers to buildings such as a mine (presumably to gather materials?). In addition, our garrison would let us display monuments and trophies to commemorate completed achievements and rare kills we've gotten.
Players would be able to expand their garrison over 3 tiers (possibly meaning patches?) and choose which buildings they want in order to unlock specific perks. Players would be able to choose the location for their buildings. It was not stated that the number of buildings would be limited, but the fact that you are choosing seems to presume that you can't unlock them all. Each building you have unlocks special missions which can be run offline. Based on the graphics we were shown it appears that a garrison can be expanded to about the size of a small village or town.
That covers all the notes I have on garrisons, I'll be happy to add more information if I come across it tomorrow. Here are some other new features that were discussed today:
Collections - Heirlooms and toys will now be account wide with an interface similar to the pet/mount screens and the ability to mark favorites. It's undecided whether tabards will be included in this group.
Inventory bags will be sortable and each bag can be assigned a specific category of items. Quest items will no longer be stored in player bags and are being moved to the quest tracker. Vendor trash will be marked so it is easily identified from other types of items.
Bank - We will be able to craft directly from our banks!! (SCORE!!!). Stack sizes will be increased (no details given).
Please bear in mind that all of these new features are preliminary and could change drastically or be dropped (titan path) before release. That said, I'm pretty excited for some of these changes!