Just like power leveling exists for your World of Warcraft character, your followers can be power leveled in a similar, but passive, way. First things first, your followers are accessible at your command table in your garrison. You are limited to 20 “active” followers at a time, 25 if you have a Level 3 Barracks.
You can have as many followers as you can find but once you hit the max you’ll need to deactivate some to continue going on missions. This can also be done at the command table in the garrison by right clicking on a follower in the list and selecting deactivate.
There are 3 quality followers:
Uncommon – Green Icons, 1 ability, 1 trait
Rare – Blue Icons, 1 ability, 2 traits
Epic – Purple Icons, 2 abilities, 3 traits
So in addition to levels you get more powerful followers by quality level. Once you get level 100 you can upgrade followers from Uncommon to Rare and Rare to Epic by continuing to gain experience with them.
That covers the basics of followers, now let’s talk about leveling them to 100.
Large Plots – Barracks, War Mill/Dwarven Bunker
At level 3 garrison you’ll want to have both of these buildings but until then it’s best to go with the Barracks. As you can see the Barracks gives you immediate access to patrol missions for increased experience and at level 3 you can have 25 active followers. The War Mill on the other hand isn’t great until it’s Level 2 and then the followers weapons and armor upgrades are something you do once they are already level 100.
The Barracks houses your garrison’s military forces and followers.
Level 2 Barracks: Allows a follower with the bodyguard trait to accompany you as a guardian in Draenor Zones.
Level 3 Barracks: Increases your follower limit by 5 and grants access to racial guards and banners.
Level 1 Dwarven Bunker / War Mill: Doubles the chance for your quest rewards to get a rare or epic Bonus Upgrade. Allows the collection of armor scraps from the orc clans of Draenor for armor transmogrification use (guard transmog).
Level 2 Dwarven Bunker / War Mill: Opens up work orders for follower weapons and armor in exchange for garrison resources. Also, new armor transmogrification items unlock (orc transmog).
Level 3 Dwarven Bunker / War Mill: Grants 1 of your 3 seals of tempered fate (raid bonus loot roll) at no cost each week. Also additional work orders can be queued up.
Medium Plots – Inn, Lumber Mill
At level 3 Garrison you’ll have both of these. The tricky catch here is the lumber mill only provides you with work orders to gain Garrison Resources. This isn’t a direct benefit to your followers beyond the fact that you’ll have more resources to send them on Missions and upgrade your Barracks and other Buildings faster. If you’re looking to get to Level 3 Garrison once you level to 100 then the Lumber Mill will provide you with some needed resources.
However, if you’re focusing on on just followers, the Inn is the best way to go but you can’t get a Level 2 Inn until level 98 or until you have a Spires of Arak Outpost. The level 2 Inn is what’s necessary to recruit followers with specific traits. My suggestion is to put in a Lumber Mill until you can put in an Inn and upgrade to Level 2 right away.
Small Plots – Salvage Yard
The Salvage Yard is really the only choice you have for a small plot that helps followers. It does this by giving you Crates of Salvage from some of your missions. These sometimes contain items to upgrade your followers item level inside of them at Level 2.
The only follower addon I’m using right now is called Master Plan, this sorts my follower interface into something more easily understandable. There are other Garrison Addons that can be used to help plan missions but this is the only one I have active, it helps me quickly identify which followers work best for which missions by sorting the missions and my follower order.
Gold missions are normally a waste of time, nobody really needs the gold they offer so don’t waste followers on them until you’ve depleted all of the Bonus Experience Missions. Focus on those first for leveling and then if you have to, do Garrison Resource rewards next.
You can see below with the Master Plan addon that it’s telling me what counters and abilities I need from my followers for the missions in this list.
Power Leveling Followers
There is such a thing as power leveling for followers, however it has its limits. If you see in the screen shot below that with only 2 of 3 followers I have a 100% chance of success for this mission.
This means it doesn’t matter who I use as a third follower. Unfortunately I just can’t throw anyone in without penalty but I can add someone relative close to this mission level that doesn’t counter anything and he’ll get full experience. So I pick someone from my list that’s available that I want to get a free ride and the other 2 followers carry him through the mission.
Follower level and item level effects to missions
Below is a recap how higher or lower follower level and item level affect to followers in missions when compared to the enemy.
* = When follower is at level 100
After Level 100
After level 100 you need to focus on continuing to gain experience with your followers until they reach Epic Quality while simultaneously upgrading their item level with weapon/armor upgrades from the Salvage Yard.
When your followers reach item level thresholds (615,630,645) you’ll gain access to more powerful missions that can result in high quality items for yourself. The last tier of missions have a chance to give you raid quality gear from Cache of High Maul Treasures.
So followers are no joke they can be pretty important in game as far as upgrading your character and they give you something else to focus on besides raiding.
Hope you enjoyed this guide!