Friday, January 23, 2015

Garrisons, The Good, The Bad, The Grind and The Burnout

Someone made a comment on my blog when I had not posted in over a week saying that maybe my garrison swallowed me and they were not to far from the truth.  My garrisons had become such a huge task eating at my play time that I had no choice but to take a step back for a while.  I had to retrain myself, to not do what I would normally do, to not care about my alts.

I play a lot, a hell of a lot really, but when it finally came to the point that I was logging in and cycling through 7 level 100s and 3 lower levels all with their garrisons and then noticing that I had no time left to do anything else in the game, the game started to move from "fun" to "work" for me.

I had no time during the week to grind reputation, to do dungeons to gear alts, to pug raids, to farm materials I needed, like traps for my barns, to do the daily, to squeeze in challenge modes, to even get in world boss kills on all my 100s, to do the myriad of other things the game has to offer that I might think of as fun because I felt I "had" to keep up with my garrisons and professions first.  Once that was done I usually had no time left to play the game.

So I did get swallowed by my garrisons.  I was in a cycle of doing nothing but my garrisons.  I love garrisons, don't get me wrong, I think they are a nice addition to the game, but when you have alts like I do and play the way I do where I feel I need to do everything I can do to better my characters, they became too much.  Too much of a time investment.

I love to level characters and now I am stuck in a place where I did not want to level any more characters because I did not want to add any more garrisons to stable of things I needed to do each day.  In a way the garrisons and the prospect that they are waiting for me there was keeping me from doing something I really enjoy doing, leveling characters.

Taking a step back and saying, no, I will not do them, was something I needed to do.  If I did not step back from the garrison grind I might have ended up quitting the game because that is all the game would have become for me.  The daily grind of doing garrisons with no time for anything else.  Sorry, but I work 11 hours a day as it is, I do not want my 2 or 3 hours at home to be more "work" and garrisons had become that.

I found myself playing longer than I normally did, because I felt I had to if I wanted to get some "fun" time in.  It took me so long to do my garrison work that now I needed to stay on longer to get the things done I wanted to do.  To squeeze in some challenge modes, to run some dungeons on my alts, to do my daily for apexis crystal quests on a few characters, etc.  So I was playing even more than I had played before because my normal weekday play time was no longer enough as it was spent working in my garrisons instead.

I now have barns empty with no work orders churning for over a week.  I have full stacks of orders sitting on many characters and only get to them when I log into that character to do something with them.  I am way behind on my burnished leather, hexweave cloth, and other parts because I refuse to log into them to do their daily cooldown because I know I lack the self control to not just do that and I will end up doing their entire garrison and wasting my time I should be playing doing work instead.

I hate playing less than effective.  I should be doing my daily cooldowns, I should be doing my garrisons daily, I should make sure I do all the little things I can be doing but I can't.  I can't because if I do it would hurt my enjoyment of the game.  But isn't it hurting my enjoyment some knowing that I am not taking advantage of everything I can in game?

The garrisons are the rock and the hard place and I am caught up in them.  Do them and feel like I am doing everything I can for my characters or don't do them and focus just on one or two characters and have fun with them.  Either way I am leaving something behind.  Leaving behind my alts by not doing them or leaving behind the fun time so I can do them.

I had to take a break because of the garrisons, but I also came back because of them.  I do like them.  I just need to learn to change the way I play so I can get the most out of the game while not pushing it so far it feels like work.  I need to change because the game changed.  That is just the way it is with this game and every other game.  Times change and you either change with it or move along.  I am trying to change.  Garrisons are forcing me to.  Because if I don't change, I will have to move along and I am not quite done here.  There is still a lot of game left to play.

How are garrisons affecting how you play? 

Garrisons are good, they are bad, they are a grind, and they can cause burnout if you are not careful and get swallowed by them, trust me on that one.


  1. Interesting dilemma you have.

    I would recommend sacrificing a small building slot on the characters you're not really focusing on and getting them a storehouse. As you already know, that would significantly increase the number of work orders you can queue up for each building.

    Then you would only need to log on to those characters once a week and wouldn't fall too far behind on their progress.

    Might not be ideal, losing a small slot like that that could be a salvage yard or 2nd prof building. But if you are leaving their queues empty already I say go for it.

    1. On my 7th character I only built the minimum I wanted, salvage yard, trading post, gathering places and alchemy lab along with my starting barracks. Added a dwarven bunker over time. But that leaves one small and one medium empty.

      I might just do a storehouse in that last spot so I can log in less being that allows for more orders to be placed. Thanks for the idea. It is a decent one to "ease" the pain.

    2. I did the same thing with the storehouse. It definitely lessens the alt garrison burden.

    3. Storehouse makes sense for that reason. Otherwise what it offers is not really all that exiting. lol

  2. This is exactly what has been happening to me, and I only have 4 characters with garrisons. My play time is almost completely taken up by what I have come to feel are the "gotsdas", leaving no time for the "wantas". Unlike you, though, I am not sure I will be able to ignore any garrison I have, there is this weird OCD thing about checking off all tasks on the list, and garrison duties and profession cooldowns definitely come under the heading of tasks.

    I do think Blizz could help out a lot in this dilemma, though, by doing a couple of things. One is to make profession cooldowns a weekly thing not a daily one. So you could do 7 per week, all in one day or one a day or anything in between. The other thing they could do is make all the profession mats (burnished leather, hexweave, etc.) BoA, so for example if you only have time to really work the garrison on one or two alts at least you could trade for mats needed by others and send them to them.

    I still think professions are completely broken in this expansion, but those two things could go a ways in helping to mend them, and also lessen the garrison burden.

    1. I have that same OCD and I am fighting it to the best of my ability. It is not easy. There have been days I cycled through all of them even since I told myself I wouldn't. But at least I am not doing it every day. I am "sort of" pushing it off some now. I am doing it because I have to. If I keep doing them as I had been I would rather quit than keep up with that pace of nothing but garrisons all the time except on weekends.

      Weekly cooldowns on professions would really help a bunch, even making work orders a weekly thing at level 3 would be nice.

      All the profession items should be tradable to begin with. They do not need to be BoA, they need to be capable of being traded.

      Professions are completely broken, worse than they have ever been. This was an effort to fix them and instead it made them worse.

  3. One other thing I have noticed. In Mists, the overload of dailies felt like work after awhile also, but there wasn't big difference. At least doing dailies on alts you got to practice playing the alts, giving you a chance to improve your skill level with them if you wanted to. With garrisons, you don't have that, and as a result I find that even my meager skills with my alts are deteriorating.

    1. I agree. In mists it was not as bad as you were actually playing those characters and not standing in one place, basically stuck in trade chat. It is a nightmare compared to the dailies of mists.

  4. Doh, can't type today -- meant to say there WAS a big difference.

  5. I have 4 alts with garrisons of various levels and decided to do just the minimum, that is the profession dailies and buildings, and barn+lumber mill on 1 alt which can be pre-grinded ahead for weeks in relatively short time. The thing is i do this all to support my main and dont play any twinks otherwise. I start some missions if i can be bothered so i can level relevant prof followers. I only use a SY on my main and no other char. But storehouses will be a standard.

    Garrisons deffo aren't alt friendly... But i can't imagine a way to improve that at all.

    1. I wonder how they could make them more alt friendly too. I am sure there is a way, like the mine is shared and has 10 nodes, for each 100 it adds 3 more, or something like that.

      And each professions would have a building there, but only the person with that profession can use it. Then there would only be medium and large. Each 100 allows you to add 1 more medium or large.

      So effectively, you could have everything, with enough alts, but it would still only be one shared plot of land.

      Would be really cool if you saw your alts walking around your garrison as well.

  6. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    In our guild, I only have one garrison but in total I have three of them: one for my horde server, and another for my central banker character in one of my private alt guilds on our dual-server combination. Yes, I can see burnout occurring really easy for what amounts to a player housing gimmick.

    Here is how I plan to handle it. The majority of my characters will build a garrison to it's absolute bare minimum and that will be it. Simply going to Draenor insures that a garrison will be built but it says nothing about needing to overly upgrade the place.

    My central banker that I used the level boost on to go from a level 69 to level 90 will have a fully functional garrison with the guild vault, void storage and auctioneer or in other words my aim is for her to never to have to leave the place once it is a level 3 Garrison. I will of course wander outside the boundaries just as I always have but basically her garrison will become my central deposit box and clearing house.

    Other characters with professions will get enough going to get to 700 skill level and learn what recipes that are commonly available but once I have done that for a character, then anything after that is at best optional and may well never even be started. In fact, I think it likely that most all of the garrisons I create will never progress beyond the bare bones outlines. And that is okay, Draenor is a side trip at best in my opinion.

    Yes, I think professions need a solid reworking from the ground up rather than this currently Draenor/Ancient mess. But as it stands, I will of necessity carry my skill workers to Draenor to get all the plans, schematics, recipes, etc. that are pertinent to my characters. For the gatherers, who are probably the majority of my characters by a good measure, I simply need no more than the license to gather up to 700 skill level.

    One final thing: I WANT TO FLY! and I have not yet gotten past 96 on my highest level character. No flight sucks. Not my fault that the storytellers know nothing of how to write a game with flight included, I WANT MY FLYING BACK.

    1. I want to fly too, it might only be an annoying inconvenience to walk around, but it is still an annoying inconvenience.

      After I got my characters to max professions it was a lot easier for me to stop logging into them daily. I think that was a huge issue for me, the fact it took forever to level professions.

  7. Well, I've unsubbed, and I'm watching the days count down on the client.

    Not because of garrisons directly, but because of what they've displaced.

    They've killed professions. There is no more gathering. There is nothing in the world. Garrisons are the best benefit/time tradeoff we have, and they don't allow us to play our characters. They gate us.

    As someone with relatively little time to play, by the time I've done my garrisons and an apexis, I'm done for the day. Which, I suppose, doesn't really matter, because there's nothing to leave the place for, And if there were, I couldn't fly there. What time I have outside, I spend in Pandaria, hunting down the last bits of achievements: I still haven't seen the Deadtalker Cipher.

    I'll probably add some game time, and keep an eye on what's coming, but garrisons may yet eat me too.

    1. They really did put the nail in the coffin of professions. Amazing how they tried to revitalize professions and ended up killing them in the process.

      That is what was getting to me too, by the time I was done with my garrisons (a had a lot) I had no time to do anything else. It ruined the game for me.

      Blizzard thought very short term with the garrisons and forgot that alts had become a major part of the game for most people. It was a solo players dream and a multi players nightmare.

      I see a lot of people having the issues we both mentioned, with no time to spare after the garrisons.

  8. I only have 1 max level character and I have done over 1,000 garrison missions.

    According to mmo champion, only 16.2% of players have earned this achievement.

    I can only imagine how many you have done.


    1. I have no clue how many I have done, but I can tell you that I have at least 5 that have that achievement, 3 of which have had it well over a month. If I had to guess, as in completely guess with no basis in fact, just off the top of my head, I would say I have to be nearing 15K between all my characters, at least.

  9. Like anonymous above, I only have one garrison, really and that takes me time, so I can't imagine what it would be like on multiple toons. I can't even be bothered doing my mine on that one toon (though I should because I need those Primals).

    Anyway I haven't hit 1000 missions yet. Sometime soon maybe, but I don't really care about that. I must also be the only person who doesn't care particularly about Highmaul missions either (yes yes I know there is mythic loot to be had), I only seem to be interested in gold.

    Anyway, good to see you back and out of your garrison.

    1. I tend to do gold missions first lately, love logging in and getting 300-700 per day for doing nothing. lol

      I managed to snag the 685 BoE gloves from my last highmaul box. Was tempted to sell them, but being I am behind in terms of gear I put them on and used them. I started the first two week of the expansion lucky and have had no luck since. at 664 I am dead last in terms of item level of our main damage dealers. :(

      My luck streak will come again soon. I hope.