“What good is a used up world…”
The point of this “guide” is to see how much gold we can milk out of legacy content such as the World of Draenor garrisons. The emphasis is on vendorable items, as the gold from these is the same on any server, large or small, hoppin’ or dead.
You can fly.
You have a completed garrison with the proper followers.
You have a Halfhill Farm, preferably Exalted with Tillers.
Sumptuous Fur is the most expensive of the basic Draenor commodities. (Keep an eye on Crescent Saberfish FLesh, though.)
You have no life.
gr = Garrison Resources
ac = Apexis Crystals
The basic starting loop for followers on a new character will pick up these followers:
This will quickly fill in most of the needed profession follower slots and give you a few redshirts to send out on missions. (This is why Pathfinder is so important; doing this on ground mounts will be frustrating.)
Wowhead has an expanded guide here for grabbing even more followers:
17 Garrison Followers Under 2 Hours
Since we’ll be focused on vendor items and garrison resource income, most garrisons will have the same basic setup:
- Scribe’s Quarters
- Alchemy Lab
- Tailoring Emporium (for Tailors)
- Trading Post
Non-Tailors can mix in a Salvage Yard or a Storehouse as their third profession building. It has been argued that the resources gained from Salvage Yard crates are minimal when the time and resources spent earning those crates is taken into consideration. A mix of Salvage Yards and Storehouses will also play merry havoc with your restocking schedule.
The medium garrison buildings will likely be the Trading post and the Tavern for most characters. The Trading Post is necessary for trading garrison resources for fur, and the Tavern is a source of the high-GR “treasure” missions (plus being the only way to recruit Extreme Scavenger followers).
Characters wishing to keep their Barn usually give up the Trading Post, as excess GR can be still be used for for more fur. Filling work orders does require spending time out in the field caging animals, however, so only build as many of these as you’re willing to support. (The Lumber Mill is very specialized building that’s largely been obsoleted by Extreme Scavengers - even with a full queue of work orders, it’s no match for even some of the smaller follower missions.)
The large buildings are a mixed bag. The War Mill is mostly useless once your scavengers are geared up, and the Stables loses a lot of its bonuses once you can have Pathfinder.
One uncommon option is the Spirit Lodge - it adds three more portals for farmers and crystal runners, and it generates apexis crystals though work orders using . Like the Barn, keeping the work order queue filled requires time spent farming. (Crystal runners can gather up to 10,300 crystals a day through daily quests, plus a bit more from the Lodge. It’s a bit tedious to do on a regular basis, but it can be worth the effort if restocking sold pets.)
Alchemy Lab (Alchemical Catalysts)
Each work order requires five (30/day), so plan on either growing these or stockpiling them like crazy. Each work order returns two , doubled to four Catalysts by the follower. The catalysts are BoE, so one Alchemist can cover your entire account. (The Alchemist’s daily cooldown is far less efficient at making these than the hut is, so I usually skip it.)
There are two basic uses for . The first is transmuting Sorcerous Air/Fire/Water to . While this looks to be extremely profitable at first glance, you can easily overwhelm the market for these so total profits will be limited. The Earths are still profitable all the way down to 1g60s each, so don’t be afraid if a price war causes prices to drop. Your Tailors will also need a small stash of these for their bags.
The other use is for crafting and vendoring , as these vendor for a decent 21g22s. You’ll need a small supply of True Iron Ore for these as well (one ore each). You may want to make at least a (or a Legion stone) for your Alchemist so you don’t accidentally auto-vendor your last transmutation stone.
- Daily Cost: 30 herbs (30g), 5 ore (5g)
- Daily Income: 24 catalysts, 4.8 stones (101g)
- ROI: 288%
Scribe’s Quarters (War Paints)
Each Inscription work order requires two , so plan on needing five herbs for each work order (30/day). Each work order returns two , or four with the usual follower. A scribe’s daily cooldown requires 10 pigments and returns 20 War Paints.
Eventually, your characters’ bags are going to fill up on War Paints, so you will need to stop and craft some at some point. Non-Scribes can use the scribe at the hut to craft these. Every 100 paints will need 200 parchments and 10 empty bag spaces - the cards only stack to 20, so there’s a reason to put this hut next to the mailbox. Depending on how strong your finger tendons are, you can either flip these yourself or dump them on the Auction House - anything above 4g each is likely as profitable as flipping them yourself. (Thankfully, you can buy off your .)
- Daily Cost: 30 herbs (15g)
- Daily Income: 24 paints, 48 cards (192g)
- ROI: 1280%
Scribe’s Quarters (Merchant Orders)
Often overlooked, are simple crafts requiring two pigments to craft. Since they can be mailed, it’s a simple matter to collect all of these onto one character to match up and vendor. Individually they don’t look like much, but this changes when you’re matching up a dozen receipts at a time. (Wowhead has not updated the comments for these items since forever. I'm seeing the 7g50s version most of the time with a few 22g50s mixed in.)
- Daily Cost: 5 herbs (2g50s)
- Daily Income: 2 receipts (~12g per pair)
- ROI: 480%
Tailoring Emporium (Hexweave)
can only be crafted by Tailors, so each Emporium requires a Tailor character to be useful. Each work order requires five , yielding two or four per order. Bonus Work Orders from the mission table are very helpful, as they can decide the difference between completing a bag that day or not. Each bag ultimately requires 125 fur when all bonuses are present.
- Daily Cost (Hut): 30 fur (60g)
- Daily Cost (Tailor): 20 fur (40g), 10 herb (5g)
- Daily Income: 44 cloth
- ROI: 335% (assuming 2g cloth and 800g bags, ymmv)
Primal Trader (Primal Spirits)
can be traded for , which in turn can be traded for if you don’t need them for crafting. Each price contains around 50g, giving each spirit a nominal vendor value of 2g. (Primal Weaving is much more expensive than using work orders, so resist the urge unless the bag market is really hot.)
Depending on the trader, Sumptuous Fur can dip as low as 16gr per fur - 3200gr per stack - which works out to 8gr per gold piece with fur at 2g. Watch for Elder Surehide or Trader Yula at the Trading Post to see if it’s worth cashing in some excess GR that day. This will likely be your main source of Sumptuous Fur aside from the Barn. If you fill up with resources and the fur trader won't show, your second-best options are probably Draenic Dust or Crescent Saberfish meat.
Shipyards and Trawlers
The garrison shipyard was hit hard by the final round of gold nerfs. The only missions of value remaining are the three rings, treasure chests, baleful blues, and apexis crystals. If none of the treasure missions come up on any given day, your glorious hyper-optimized Forsaken/Murloc battle fleet fleet sits at anchor and rots. (Purple ships don’t need experience, and sorcerous missions aren’t worth the oil.)
Which brings us to fish.
The turns a perfectly good warship into a derelict fishing trawler, which at least makes them marginally useful again. Having steady supply of enormous fish coming back from from the missions makes the daily fishing quest a done deal. Collect the quest, use Mobile Banking to pull the fish out of the bank, turn them in. Easy gold, easy skill-ups, and a steady stream of meat and potions to the banker for resale. (The potions routinely sell for 10-12g on my server for some reason. Easy money.) One shipyard is often enough to keep the freezer stocked, but additional shipyards are easy enough to maintain once the naval mission table is moved indoors.
One core fishing run is the daily trip out to the oil derrick. I use two Blood Elf submarines with fishing nets; the crew bonus stacks so this 18 hour mission is cut down to four and a half hours. Your shipyard is going to be swimming in oil with this shuttle running back and forth, so you can throw fishing trawlers at any other 90% missions without running low on fuel.
The kicker? The enormous fish caught in the fishing nets count towards the Draenor Angler achievement. Eat your heart out, Nat.
Getting to Carnegie Hall (Practice, Practice, Practice)
One way to shorten the time spent managing your garrison is to lay them all out exactly the same. The more efficient the layout, the faster you’ll get used to running the loop. If you’re only refilling work orders a couple times a week, this loop becomes even shorter.
Start by hearthing in, check the mission table. Collect missions, assign missions. We’re after resources, rush orders, and blues. We don’t need Oil since the Oil Rig elves takes care of that. (The Salvage Yard guys can go nuts on cheap missions gambling for crates if they want.)
Out the door, collect mail, grab resource cache, head for the profession huts. We’ll be leaning left, heading for the standalone hut. For Tailors, this will be the Emporium. Burn the cooldown, collect furs, refill work orders, turn right. For non-Tailors, this will be the Salvage Yard which can be skipped until you get a enough crates to make it worthwhile. (I don’t have a level 3 Alliance garrison, so I’m not really sure where “turn left” takes you there.)
The next hut in the rotation is the Scribe’s Quarters. Collect War Paints, refill work orders, craft Merchant Orders, continue turning right. (If you need to make cards, summon mammoth, buy paper, craft and mail cards.)
The last hut is the Alchemy Lab. Collect catalysts, refill work orders. (Pick up your free potions while you’re here.)
Mount up, and fly into the cave from the left. Pick the Frostweed in the garden, turn in seeds, collect herbs from work orders.
Next is the Fishing Hut. Collect quest, turn in fish.
Hearth to Halfhill. (Ha, thought you were done?) Tag the mailbox on the way out of the inn and mail off all of your garrison loot. Fly to the farm, harvest the Trillium, plow, replant, prune. Hearth to somewhere useful.
Pandaria Garrison (The Halfhill Farm)
Mists of Pandaria gave us a mini-Garrison in the form of the Halfhill Farm. With practice, you can harvest, till, plant, and prune a 16-plot garden in under 5 minutes. Legacy materials market prices being what they are, however, there are probably only a few seeds worth planting.
The mystical option is for which yields 11.2 per week. These can be traded for:
- 56 or (14 bars, 2 Living Steel transmutes)
- 220 (44 prospects)
- 220 (110 bars)
- 220 cloth, leather, dust, etc.
Another option is , where we skip the Harmony trade-in and grow the Golden Lotus directly. Each garden will yield 4-plus Lotus each day, or 28-plus per week. This option generally earns more than the Songbells, but you are at the mercy of the RNG.
The third option is . A farm of Snakeroot seedlings will yield 16 Trillium Ore and about the same amount of Ghost Iron Ore (RNG willing). This yields 112 Ore per week (28 bars). Three Snakeroot farms will feed the daily transmutes for two Alchemists. It’s unlikely that RNG is going to give you the exact combination of White and Black Trillium you’ll need for this, so plan on a fourth farm to make up shortages.
Snakeroot farms will also produce around 112 Ghost Iron Ore per week (56 bars). Each Engineer or Blacksmith will need 70 bars a week for their cooldowns ( or ).These same three farms will also cover two Engineers or Blacksmiths.
Okay, if you absolutely have to farm, Pandaria is the place. Between Golden Lotus, Trillium Ore and Ghost Iron Ore, it’s one of the most profitable placed to run nodes outside of Broken Isles. Engineering and Jewelcrafting both have pets and mounts that use Pandaren materials, many with daily cooldowns that further limit their availability.
Pandaren herbs are kind of bland. is worth 60s before potion procs, the rest maybe half that. is worth about the same after being shuffled into cloaks. (Blizzard nerfed the vendor prices of many MoP items at the end of the expansion. Don't believe Wowhead's vendor prices, check them yourself before crafting a truckload of something.)
Most farming spots took a hit when the Potion of Luck was removed, but there are still a few areas remaining worth vacuuming clean.
- Heart of Fear (trash farming)
- Timeless Isle
- Isle of Giants - Use a Hunter. A Tailor/Skinner Hunter would go nuts here, but that’s a rare combination.
And lastly, go shopping. Pandaria and Draenor both came with farming buff equipment, so stack them up before heading out. Many of the pieces are BoE, so don’t equip the ones that don’t need to be equipped.
Future-Proofing Your Alt Army
At some point, I do expect Blizzard to move against the Hexweave Bag factories. They have backed themselves into a corner by not providing a 30- or 32-space bags for Legion, and they can’t expect everyone to move back to 28-space bags if the Emporiums are still running. I don’t expect anything to happen during Legion, but this whole operation could be at risk in the next expansion.
If Blizzard comes for the Tailors, it will be easy enough to swap them out for more Alchemists and Engineers. The Emporiums would simply become Storehouses or Salvage Yards.
Fortunately, some of these professions can be rapidly (and cheaply) leveled up using Draenor crafts, many of which give multiple skill-ups as a bonus. Leveling a new Alchemist requires around 1000 Draenor herbs which, coincidentally, we happen to have in abundance. The Alchemist stones we’ve been happily vendoring also give a significant number of skill-ups, staying Orange all the way to 700.
Leveling an Engineer requires a combination of Blackrock Ore, True Iron Ore, and Nagrand Arrowbloom (936 of one or 312 of each). These will all fit neatly in one corner of the guild bank, so I’ve already salted most of this away waiting for doomsday.
Blacksmithing is a niche option for making Lightning Steel Ingots for the Reborn weapons, but it can also be leveled quickly using Draenor materials (3300 ore, in this case).