I have been thinking about this ever since I saw the panel on it, and the more I think about it the more it becomes clear to me that Garrisons MUST have started out life as a guild feature, ever since vanilla we have been calling out for player housing, but this is not player housing, this is a whole town, something a guild might occupy, not a single player.
I think and will believe unless proven otherwise that Blizzard initially designed this for guilds, and then for what ever reason decided to make it single player, and I think that was a massive mistake.
Ever since the rumours went around that the portal in stormwind was going to unlock and take you to a set of streets and small gardens for player housing the basic idea of having small player housing in the cities always made sense to me, so when garrisons were announced I have to say it took me by surprise.
am I alone in this ?
Would it have been far better if they used the same technology of phasing to place small "Single Player" housing in the main cities, for example all those locked doors in Iron Forge, or Stormwind, or the possability for them to expand something like Orgrimar or Silvermoon, there are tons of places where houses are already in place but they are locked or static un-enterable.
Give players Housing, with a few function things, and give the garrisons to guilds.
Finally , I think its a total waste the way blizzard seem intent on creating cool content and then locking it all into a single expansion, guild leveling for example had its day and they have no intention of updating it, garrisons will be the same, their now and seemingly forever going to be locked on Draenor, but I would be willing to bet that the next expansion in 2 years will make all of that content, and our garrisons VOID!, just like it does with every other old and out of date expansion.
With player housing in cities, they would remain relevant beyond any expansion because their in the city and not out in some wild zone, having garrisons for guilds and those being out in the zones makes way more sense.