Monday, December 15, 2014

Minion Swarms - Call an Exterminator Today!

So, I've been really into my garrison and, particularly, very interested in my followers. I've already discussed why I find them so entertaining, if you'd like to take a look here. In short, I enjoy the idea of putting together a good team full of various ability counters and traits, along with leveling them all up to epic and gearing them to be a formidable force to destroy my enemies.

As such, I've been timing my availability around being able to do the most amount of missions. I won't start long missions until I will be gone for awhile or asleep and I'm using garrison resources pretty liberally to put followers on every mission possible, even when the resource to experience gain ratio is pretty bad. I've been putting a lot of effort into leveling these guys and getting them to epic quality. However, I've come across a particular issue each time one of them becomes epic quality.

I've unlocked 33 followers and I have a level 3 barracks, so I have 25 active followers. I like acquiring and leveling up new followers just as a point of interest, but I've found it to have become almost a necessity. See, after all this thought, effort, time, and management I've put into my followers, I've run into a problem. It's something I can't fix, something I have no control over, and something that's driving me up the wall.

Every time one of my followers levels up to epic quality, after all the work and effort of gearing them and putting them on missions as time effectively as possible, they gain a minion swarm counter.

As you can see in the above (tooltip courtesy of Master Plan), I've deactivated SIX of my minion swarm counters, as if the game somehow thinks that I'm deactivating them because I need to level new followers to gain more minion swarm counters. You can also see those ilvls next to them - the followers I've put so much of my item upgrades, which includes upgrades from resource devouring war mill work orders, betrayed me and gained minion swarm counters after all of the love and devotion I showed them.

Some of the followers I deactivated had pretty decent counters, but I've managed to replace a few of the rare counters with new followers. Now I have to level and gear those new ones up all over again - and probably gain new minion swarm counters. Until then I have to deal with not being able to complete my high ilvl missions. It's not like I'm getting tons of missions that require minion swarm counters, either. I had a 630 ilvl mission earlier that required six counters, none of them minion swarm. I have just a couple epic followers that don't actually have minion swarm, and most of my other followers haven't become epic yet - but I bet when they do, they'll gain minion swarm, too.

Now, the only solution I know to this problem is using follower re-training certificates. However, I've only ever gotten one, basically the day after WoD release. I didn't know what it was and used it randomly, I don't even remember what follower I used it on. As if to spite me, my alt rogue has gotten two additional missions for re-training certificates. I'm of course saving them until further notice, in case he runs into a similar, agonizing problem once his followers start gaining additional counters.

Even if I could reroll the abilities and traits, so many of my followers with minion swarm counters have a valuable other ability, or great traits. Leorajh was my twelfth follower to gain a minion swarm counter, and he's one of three group damage counters, meaning I can't reroll him. One of my two magic debuff counters, Ulna Thresher, also gained minion swarm earlier, so I can't reroll her. Olin Umberhide randomly upgraded to epic the moment I got him, he has a minion swarm counter but he has epic mount and burst of power for traits, so rerolling him would clearly be ill-advised. For similar reasons I don't want to deactivate these guys, either.

The problem may sort itself out once I finally start getting more followers up, but this sort of overabundance of a particular counter that I really can't do anything about is really a glaring issue I'm seeing with this particular kind of randomness about the follower system. 

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