Husband and I played the briefest amounts of Warlords of Draenor to level our monk+death knight pair through the level 90-100 range. That involves a minimal interaction with the garrison system as its part of various quest chains. We only played through the main questline of the first Alliance zone (Shadowmoon Valley) plus a few level-sync’ed dungeons runs before hitting 100. Although I grew very, very sick of the railroading of the Garrison system during the expansion’s prime. With time and distance I’m able to appreciate some aspects of the Garrison system, however. The Garrison system includes the follower sub-system, NPCs that we as players unlock through quests and finding them out in the expansion zones.
A while ago I had the thought of how this contrasts, from the method of acquisition, with the Overseer system in Everquest 2. In this game the overseer agents come as random rewards for the missions themselves. So your speed of acquisition and the specific agents that you receive are both equally random.
Back in the Garrison system the followers are known quantities if you look at quest information in game and/or wikis like the WoWHead article linked above. All the available followers, with their specific and varying counter skills, are ripe for the collecting if you do the right quests or visit the right locations. Some obstacles at the time were there to make this a bit less trivial, high up places or hard to find spots for instance: but returning now with Pathfinder unlocked (for flying mounts) it’s pretty easy to get what you want very quickly by just flying around.
I do find the random reward aspects of Overseer sometimes motivating, it feels good to get a new never-before seen agent. However, it is frustrating after weeks of regular play with this system to still not have some specific counter skills on any agent. It’d be useful to have rare items that could be used to upgrade or customise an agent to add a specific skill or swap one for a different one. In World of Warcraft’s Draenor it was pretty easy to get counters for anything if you don’t mind using the wiki to locate the follower to match.
Do you prefer one approach to the other?