Garrisons and the altoholic

I have a lot of alts. And this has meant a lot of garrisons. Which means a lot of time eaten up by the running of the garrisons.

But how much time is eaten? And will it mean taking a close look at how I run my garrisons?

The best way to handle this will be to do a Time study – the time part being from Time and Motion.

See below for the detailed timings

Right now I’m currently spending around half an hour a day doing nothing but garrison management across the seven characters who have a garrison.

And its only going to get worse – I still have another four characters to start on their journey to Draenor. I’m not sure I’d like to spend around 40 minutes a day on nothing but garrisons!

This reminds me of when I had a similar number of farms. Each farm would take around 5 minutes to harvest and replant; lots of materials, but at least the majority of it could be mailed around – the only exception being the motes of harmony.

I ended up only doing the farms on weekends – the freeing up of the need to log into alts every day really helped give me more time on other characters, especially as I have relatively limited play time.

With garrisons it feels like if you do professions you have to run the garrison every day, especially since most of my alts don’t have level 2 profession buildings. This is thanks to being below level 96 and not having the building freebie books from completing outpost quest lines thanks to how they’ve been leveled so far. This means they must log in every day to make use of the 7 available work orders.

Whilst the storehouse could improve this to once every other day, you’d still have to log in to do the daily profession cooldown. Fortunately the profession changes currently on the 6.1 combined with the removal of cost for placing and upgrading the lumbermill may help here.

There are still the benefits of missions to consider – 615 / 630 / 645 items to use at level 100, XP whilst leveling, raid missions, etc – which is an added incentive to log into alts every day. However just doing follower missions doesn’t take too long to do.

Making the 615 / 630 / 645 items BoA – something which I think may have been mentioned as coming in 6.1 – may help a bit here. At level 100, the missions which reward character XP stop spawning. What would be lovely is to have those continue to spawn at level 100, but reward you with a BoA item to grant XP to a level 91+ character of your choice.

The time taken doesn’t include the daily apexis crystal quest – that’ll add quite a bit more time per character. I think that once I’ve gotten the achievement Master of Apexis for collecting 100,000 apexis crystals – it gives you a nice monument in your garrison – I’ll pull back from doing the daily.

… outside of getting the 5,000 needed per-alt for the legendary and the 3,000 I need a week on my main for bonus rolls anyway!


Action Time, mm:ss Notes
Logging into the game 0:50 I think my ArkInventory rules are becoming sentient & are judging me…

May be time to simplify them!

Game login 0:12
Most Addons 0:10
ArkInventory 0:28
Handle missions 0:40 This is for finishing 5 missions and starting another 6; it is only with Master Plan that I could do them this quickly
Handling profession buildings 1:00 This is the time for handling a single profession; roughly speaking you can add the profession time given to the total to give you a figure for two professions. Most of the time is taken up in moving from the garrison mission table to the profession buildings, going via the garrison cache.

The use of Bulkie to start off all the work orders does speed things up here; having the “Schedule all” in 6.1 is a lovely change.

The cooldowns section is to make BoP profession crafting materials and to also make a recipe token; it’ll be reduced for alts who know all of the recipes

Travel time 0:40
Handling work orders 0:10
Cooldowns 0:10
Herb Garden 1:35 This is in a level 3 herb garden and includes picking all herbs, killing any mobs which spawn and handling the work orders
Mine 3:40 This is in a level 3 mine. It was done with both Miner’s coffee and Preserved Mining Pick buffs

Traveling around the mine to get the mine carts – which are an excellent source of primal spirits – only takes 2 minutes to do. Mining the nodes as well almost doubles that time.

… and its not like we have a shortage of ore right now either! However primal spirits, that’s another matter. I was using them to buy savage blood, but given the changes on the 6.1 PTR that’s something I’m going to stop doing for now.

Travel + mine carts 2:00
Mining nodes 1:40

So what does this mean? Well, to handle an alt with a single profession who I login, handle missions and their profession will take a total of 2½ minutes to do. Throw another profession into the mix and you’re looking at almost 3 minutes.

Whilst this doesn’t sound like much, it doesn’t take many alts before this adds up. For example if you have five alts you’ll spend around a quarter of an hour just handling their missions, work orders and professions.

Plus it does become somewhat monotonous to log in, handle missions, run around the garrison poking the profession buildings, hearth to the mission table (saves ~5s) and then move to the next alt!

Character Level Crafting Professions Time taken
Shadowpriest 100 2 12:00
My main is running his mine and herb garden to get more work orders since they’ve got a chance for Elemental Runes to drop from them.

This includes the time taken to handle mission salvage at around 3 minutes – have to work out which parts to send to the auction house, which to vendor and which to send for disenchanting.

It includes a minute to handle the Barn and Dwarven Bunker.

Death Knight 100 1 6:30
Includes missions salvage at 3 minutes and another minute for handling the Barn, Lumbermill and Dwarven Bunker.

I’ve not included any handling of follower upgrades

Shaman 95 1 2:30
Warlock 95 2 2:40
Mage 95 2 2:40
Paladin 95 1 2:30
Hunter 94 1 2:30
Time taken 31:20
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14 Responses to Garrisons and the altoholic

  1. Nina says:

    I found that once I got a couple followers with Scavenger and I had built all the buildings I wanted I was always perilously close to capping on garrison resources, so I’ve been using resources for the 2 seals I buy each week. I don’t do any apexis missions on my two raiding characters any more.

    • sivation says:

      That is always a risk and I may well flip to using garrison resources for that.

      But I also have a trading post and I can happily burn large amounts of GR buying up Draenic dust if the right vendor spawns!

      Edit plus I’m really close to the 100,000 apexis crystal achievement for a garrison monument; not going to miss out on that!

  2. wolfgangcat says:

    Very interesting. I have 7 garrisons (with different building levels not all are level 3) and I find I can spend a couple of hours doing garrison stuff (I don’t try to be efficient about it but I should) if I try to do everything for every character.
    Now I do the minimum I can get away with because I’m burned out on garrisons. I don’t feel like I *have* to do anything with them anymore so that helps a lot.
    But WoW is ultimately an MMO with built-in time sinks and oh boy – they hit the time sink jackpot with garrisons lol.
    I just don’t want to play the garrison game anymore :P

    • sivation says:

      Most of my alts have level 2 garrisons – it doesn’t take too long to upgrade to level 2 really, I’ll be blogging about that at some point. Hopefully before I run out of alts to level!

      In a lot of ways, everything my alts do is in support of my main – so right now I’m stockpiling stuff in readyness of 6.1 dropping and being able to upgrade stage 3 crafted items I’m still wearing on my main to stage 4.

  3. gnomecore says:

    Being an altoholic, 10 Garrisons for my 10 alts, all 100.

    1. Collecting Herbs and Ores not very needed now, because they are transformed into simple vendor trash (too many!), so I skip this part mostly.

    2. Doing missions – if not for rewards, I would hate to do them. It’s the most boring stuff ever, like “put a cube in a square hole and cylinder in a round hole’. Even their “leveling” doesn’t add any fun.

    3. I like dealing with profession shacks. But feel very unfair about resource income. As my leatherworkers and tailor lack skins and furs, so you have to arrange a special hunting raid into the fields (and it’s boring and a waste of time).

    4. Salvage Yard lottery is a nice lottery game, but it also adds up to Garrison-spent time.

    All in all, if you want to level professions equally for all toons, you’re stuck at Garrison for one solid hour daily. That may cause a question: when I’m gonna actually play?

    • sivation says:

      Using MasterPlan removes most of the pain of handling garrison missions – the rewards here are generally the player gear and improving followers to do the raid level missions which can give a very nice boost to a player at 100. There are also character XP rewards as well, which are nice to slowly level alts up with.

      The resources for the tailoring and leatherworking shacks are a pain, but I’m now running two barns. One for fur and one for leather. If you form a group to farm Nagrand it doesn’t take too long to get a good number of caged animals, plus the savage blood you get back is very nice – it sells nicely at the moment, although that price is likely to drop in 6.1 given the new ways to gain it being added.

      What I do tend to be low on is draenic dust – although the excess amounts of ore ends up being shuffled into that.

      The “when I’m gonna actually play” is a real problem; I had it with the farm, but that was easier to ignore. The garrison seems a lot harder to ignore!

  4. Slickrock says:

    Yeah, with 8 garrisons running, you can easily spend 45 min a day with professions, mine and garden, and more.. all before any questing or raiding.

    • sivation says:

      I’ve stopped doing the herb garden & mine on all bar my main for that reason – doing that pair can easily add 5 minutes to the time taken. Not a big deal for one character, but with even just 6 characters doing the mine+herb garden that’s an extra half hour to worry about!

      I’ve not really taken my alts out to quest for some time now – the garrison burns what time I have :(

  5. Slickrock says:

    Should also say that the best way to speed up the Salvage Yard lottery is to save up the crates, since they stack now, and process them once a week, or even longer.

    • sivation says:

      That is always a possiblity & the stacking makes it easier its true. I’m getting something like 12 crates a day so its really a once-a-day thing right now. If nothing else but for the crates producing 1-4 items from them! Takes up quite a bit of space.

      I’m also back to tracking bunker & salvage drop rates for follower upgrades again – mostly out of curiosity into the sort of drop rates I get!

  6. C. T. Murphy says:

    Perhaps this sort of ‘gameplay’ is enjoyable to some, but I still feel like making Garrisons character-based was a missed opportunity. I would have loved an account-based enterprise more, I think. Then, the choices might actually matter a bit more.

    Plus, it would be a cool opportunity to make your alts SUPER-FOLLOWERS or something.

    • sivation says:

      An accountwide Garrison would certainly ease the pain on altoholics!

      However you’d have the issue of how you’d handle professions – would you just have one set of buildings or perhaps have those phased?

      • C. T. Murphy says:

        I am not entirely sure. It would most likely be a very different feature at that point. I do like limitations as a means to promote mutualism though.

        • sivation says:

          A shared quest hub would be nice. Shared resources would mean excess on one char can be sent to another.

          Shared followers would also be nice, but would be a little overpowered. eg my main has 25 followers at 651-654 ilvl with a nice balance of abilities. Giving that to an alt would be somewhat OP unless followers sent on missions had that status shared as well.

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