|"the Garrison will play a major role in your character’s Professions in this expansion—similar to how your farm was key... only on a much more epic scale." -Blizzard|
Yes Garrisons, Blizzard's answer to player houses. Not only do you get to build just a house, you build an entire Garrison! While there's not a whole lot of information out there yet, and we probably won't know much until the Beta PTR is out (or perhaps later in Blizzcon), but there's info out already that's interesting and relevant.
First of all, some highlights of the articles explaining Garrisons from the above sources, emphasis by me:
So lots of interesting tidbids there I'd say. You build your own city (on Rock 'n' Roll), and you are going to have customization abilities that include buildings such as mines that allow you to have NPCs gather nodes for you, and other buildings that can give you access to professions your toon doesn't have. Of course how they implement that latter part will be interesting. They already mentioned that they did not want to give you enough plots for access to every profession, which is good for gold makers, but the fact that they will give you access to say Jewelcrafting if you don't have it, could potentially hurt our bottom lines. On the other hand, normal players may not choose profession buildings based on the other options, but only time will tell. I do look forward to min/maxing, and learning about the rates of the different abilites of the buildings though. For example you can choose between faster mining rate and higher proc rate of rare ores on a mine. It will be fun to do the analysis and data gathering to see how they impact your gold making!
What I really like though is the ability to have NPCs go out and farm for you. This could end up being a double edged sword because of the whole "the mats are free so it's 100% profit" crowd, but I think in the long term it will be nice to have some supplemental side materials. Assuming Garrisons aren't "one per account" having a lot of these at "max level" could mean a substantial amount materials coming your way. Perhaps the new way to farm?
As mentioned above, you will also be able to recruit NPCs with professions to research new plans and craft valuable cooldowns for you. This is interesting. So instead of having an item take say 28 days of cooldowns to make, your NPC might be able to make 3-4 in that time, getting your epics on the AH faster not to mention having the NPCs do pattern research for you. Now it has not been specified if this will be the only way of research (I doubt it will), but again these are quite the interesting developments, and I'm looking forward to more information being released, and testing all this out on the PTR Soon™.
This part I like. Running a farm on 11 different alts ( I did not, but some did) could be a huge time sink, and hopefully once your Garrison is max level, you don't have to worry about that anymore. Since there's no actual farming involved and Blizzard has mentioned that the NPCs will continue to do tasks while you're offline, it's a cool new feature that I can say I'm fully behind.
I'll be releasing some more relevant posts in the next few days and with Garrisons as the info comes out.