This is my last blog in the short series I have been doing about the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta. Sadly, my computer didn’t have enough space for all of Blizzard’s lovely stuff, so I ended up having to remove the beta.
I’ve been holding off on posting this blog because I suspect it might include “spoilers”. I didn’t understand what I was doing at the time, but I believe that what occurred was what I’ve since heard referred to as a “Garrison Attack”.
Let me make this clear: this blog contains spoilers about the WoD expansion. If you have managed to somehow avoid all news about the Garrison Attack, and wish to remain oblivious to it until you can get in the game and play through it yourself – turn back now! The screenshots you see in this blog were taken on August 12, 2014.
The first thing I needed to do when I started playing the WoD beta that day was roll a new character. There was a character wipe shortly before I got back in game. I decided to roll another female Draenei mostly because I wanted to check on a “bug”. Last time, my female Draenei ended up in-game with no hair! There was a quick fix for that problem, but I still wanted to see if her hair would show up as it was supposed to this time.
I somehow ended up with a pre-made Level 100 character. That was fine by me, but I have no idea how that happened. I don’t recall specifically selecting a Level 100 character, or if it was the “default” that day, or what.
This is not a complaint. Instead, it is an example of how little I understood about what I was doing. I’ve never had a WoW character at max level. I’m a super casual WoW player who likes to “make my own fun” instead of following quests or doing raids. Most of what I end up doing gives me very little experience points. As such, I am unable to completely explain exactly what happened in the beta that day.
Anyway, I started by rolling a Level 100 female Draenei that I named Jynna. The name came from the Randomizer. I knew I wouldn’t be keeping this character, so any name will do. This name sounded nice. As you can see in the screenshot below, I made sure to give her dark hair. Would her hair still be there after she got in-game?
The starting screen was worrying. My Draenei with the dark green hair and brownish skin now had very purple skin. I couldn’t see her hair because she was equipped with the “default” gear (including a helmet). Which of these two versions would match most closely with how Jynna looked in-game? I left this screenshot unedited so it showed that she was Level 100 and on a PVE realm.
The first thing I did was wander around for a while in an attempt to work on a couple of quests I’d picked up. It was really neat to be able to walk around in a new part of WoW for a while! The quests went unfinished as I quickly got lost. This has nothing to do with the beta – I just happen to be someone who is constantly lost (in-game and “irl”). That being said, the area was pretty and there were some new creatures to check out.
Oh, wait… I was planning to find out if my Draenei had hair. Last time, she started out bald, and I had to go into settings and instruct the game to make her (invisible) helmet… um, not visible. This time, I removed the helmet …. and her hair appeared! It seems that the “bald Draenei bug” had been fixed. Jynna’s hair is the right color, but her skin is dark purple (instead of the brown color I selected).
This is my Garrison. As you can see, it is completely built up already. Obviously, I didn’t do that with my current character. (She hasn’t existed for that long – and neither has anyone else’s – due to the recent character wipe). I somehow missed out on the part of the beta where people got to build up their Garrison, play around with it, and see what happened.
Again, this is not a complaint. I fully realize I’ll get to do all that in the expansion after it becomes available. However, circumstances as they were, I was woefully unprepared for what was about to happen.
I simply marched right into my new Garrison and immediately spoke with the nearest quest giver, Sergeant Crowler. I’m intentionally cropping the quest he gave me out of the photo. In short, it talked about an “invasion”.
It wasn’t long before things got completely chaotic! The Garrison Attack includes several stages. I’m not going to include any screenshots that spell out what they are. Instead, here is a glimpse into what my experience was like.
Overall, I think that if I was a fully prepared player, who was used to having a max level character – I would have thought this event was incredibly exciting and fun! But I’m not that, so I was super confused the whole time, failing miserably, but having a good time anyway.
Bad News: I have died! Good News: Dying does not cause the event to end. This is not a situation where dying makes you have to start the entire thing over again. It keeps on going. More Good News: The graveyard you appear in is located right outside the Garrison, making your “corpse run” a very short one.
Here I am, standing outside my Garrison, wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Meanwhile, the attack continued inside the Garrison, without me.
This frightened NPC asked me to take him to the Town Hall. I suspect that would have been really easy to do if I happened to know what the Town Hall looked like!
I realize that by the time a player reaches this event in the expansion, he or she will have had the time to build and explore their Garrison first. I managed to take him into the Town Hall, but failed to figure out what to do with him. He just wanted to follow me around some more. I thought he would “unfollow” after I got him into the Town Hall, but no. There was probably something really obvious here that I was supposed to do – but didn’t see.
Oh, hey there, enemy invader who just waltzed into the Town Hall like you belong there! I wasn’t expecting you would be able to do that. Oops, the NPC is doomed. Oh well. Sorry, buddy, you might have survived if you managed to, I dunno, stop following me after I brought you where you asked me to bring you.
Here I am, “standing in the bad” while trying to fight some huge monster. Or, maybe it’s two huge monsters? I wonder…. oops, I’ve died again. I’ll be back in a minute.
Ok, so I’ve learned that my Level 100 Draenei Shaman can’t tank this monster. Maybe fighting it from a distance would work out better.
Nope, that didn’t end up doing much to the big monster. I wasn’t sure what else to do, I died again, and my armor was about to fall apart.
It was at this point that I wondered if the Garrison Attack was intended to be a one-player event. It was clearly more than I could take on all by myself. But, I’d heard that Garrisons were basically one-player things…. so I was confused. What was it that I was supposed to be doing?
The graveyard put me back outside of the Garrison. I quickly discovered that I had absolutely no means of getting my armor repaired. The NPC’s in my Garrison were… occupied with the battle that was taking place. I couldn’t hearth out of there while in battle. Ok… fine. I’ll just throw lightning from all the way out here then! At this point, the giant monster was at less than half health.
I managed to do some damage. I also ended up attracting the big monster. This was not the result I was hoping for! It seems that fighting from a distance wasn’t going to be sufficient.
I can’t tank the monster; I can’t shoot at him from far away. There must have been something else I was supposed to do (but I had no idea what that was). One observation as I put this blog together: I was probably not supposed to be “standing in the bad” again.
It took a long time to finally kill the big monster. The small amount of hit points he had left was deceptive. I mean, yes, he had a lot less life than before, but the remaining amount wasn’t as small as it appeared to be. So, after I did the “corpse run” (for lack of a better term), I mostly tried to run from the big monster.
Incidentally, just so you know, it is possible to run entirely out of your Garrison and its surrounding land, during this event. The big monster won’t follow you out. The event continues without you, though, so you do miss a little if you run away.
Without giving away too much, there is a clear endpoint to the event. The first thing I did after this chaotic, confusing (but fun) event ended was hearth back to Stormwind. I badly needed to find a Blacksmith who could fix my ready-to-fall-apart armor.
At this point, I decided it was time for a break. I logged out of the beta and stepped away from my computer for a bit. It ended up being the last thing I did in the WoD beta before I had to remove it from my poor, overstuffed, complaining, computer. What a way to end things!