While playing an MMO as big as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, it’s great to have a place to call home. At least that’s what the developer hopes players will think with the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.  Turns out, you’re able to build, staff and manage your own fortress, populated by computer-controlled characters. Yes, you’ll be able to own property in WoW, and you’re free to micromanage it as much or as little as you’d like. Thankfully, and as we learned, this is much more than a simple vacation retreat.

Bottom line, you’ll need followers. These non-player characters exist to serve only you, but first, you must recruit them. Some will find your garrison on their own. Others require an invitation of sorts. Upgrading an inn, for instance, will attract more. Other methods of earning followers include hiring mercenaries, completing quests or playing through Warlords of Draenor’s story.

You can send them on missions to acquire loot, which they’ll complete even when you’re offline. In fact, sometimes they’ll get captured, prompting you to go on a heroic mission to rescue them. In addition, they’ll craft and collect resources that will go towards boosting the garrison’s defenses. 

It’s in your best interest, however, to play to their strengths. Each follower comes with a character level, an item level and various traits; they’ll upgrade from level 90-100. Let’s say, for example, someone has a mining specialization to obtain ore and stone. You should assign this person to a mine of course. On a side note, you’ll come across common, uncommon, rare and epic followers in your travels; a person’s rarity determines the amount of traits.

In addition to followers, you’ll piece the garrison together with different buildings in whatever configurations you desire, and the list includes stables, mines, farms and armories to name a few. The more buildings you have, and at higher levels, the easier it will be to recruit followers to send on missions and complete other tasks. Case in point, the Barracks. The bigger it grows (even visually), the more followers it will contain; five to 12, for instance.

Buildings are an important reason to constantly upgrade the garrison. Small buildings can only fit on small plots of land. Over time, you’ll gain access to more property, thus getting the chance to place larger structures.

Finally, a garrison will look different depending on whether you’re Alliance or Horde. Same faction players can visit and take a look around. From there, you can open trade routes to share valuable materials.

Keep in mind this is but a small look at what garrisons have to offer. We expect Blizzard to reveal more info as we near the expansion’s release. For now, stick with Prima for updates for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

We have six more reasons why we're excited for the new WoW expansion.