Archive for the “Profession” Category

“Time is money, friend.”

How often have you heard that? Have you ever stopped to think about it?

Time is money.

More specifically, time is a resource.

It’s finite. For each of us, it has a beginning, middle and an ending.

Time is the one resource we have we simply can’t grind to get more of. I try to spend mine wisely.

When I’m playing World of Warcraft, I see it as time I am spending in exchange for relaxing fun. I do find a lot in the game to be fun, but one thing I’ve never enjoyed is pursuing the acquisition of wealth in the game just for the sake of wealth.

To me, gold is something to spend in exchange for things that are fun. Gold sitting in the bank, to me, is gold wasted. If I’m hit by a car tomorrow, that gold is equal to nothing but air unbreathed. It is a potential unfulfilled.

That usually leaves me with about as much gold as I need to do the day to day stuff, along with normal gear purchases and whatever. I may have enough lying around to buy that 10,000 gold dagger that catches my eye on a whim, but if I want something larger, like a motorcycle, a vendor mammoth or a Sandstone Drake, I’ll have to save up enough to hit that goal, then get back to the fun.

In fact, throughout all of Cataclysm, whenever my gold got to between 6k to 12k, I’d go out and find something to buy to have fun. Mounts, pets, gear upgrades for alts, leveling professions, whatever. I never let it accumulate, and it may take a month to build up again from raiding and questing and selling neat stuff I come across, but like unsightly weeds, I always whack it back down again.

“What the heck does that have to do with Inscription?”, I hear you cry.

Simply put, I am a max level Scribe on my main with every Glyph.

I spent the time learning and discovering every Glyph for many reasons.

First, completing a collection IS something I find rewarding in the game. Especially when there are rewards for completion. Pet and Mount collecting, with extra pets and mounts at certain goals, is a brilliant hook to get me in.

Second, once you know how to make a Glyph, you always know it. And, if they change a worthless one in the future to something cool, now you know the new one. If you learn them all, then you know them all. Period. If someone comes up and asks, “Do you know how to make…” I can just cut them off and say, “Yes, give me a second and I’ll make one for you.”

Third, I get to have great shoulder enchants without grinding Therazane rep. I refer you to my earlier “hates to grind” comment. Score!

BUT… while I have a maxed out Inscription, I do not use it to master the Auction House!

Cutting to the chase of Inscription in Mists

If the following describes your position, then I might have some advice for you.

I have a Scribe, and I can make every Glyph currently out there, including having trained all the new Monk Glyphs that the trainer has available right now. Until the expansion comes out, I’m good. Right?

I can make Glyphs for myself, my friends, and with all the recent changes Glyphs are in huge demand.

But… I am not a Glyph auction house deal maker. I don’t live and breath Glyphs on the AH, obsessed with buying low, selling high, and undercutting by 1 copper. I do not use the Mobile Auction House app on my phone. I don’t even know how. It often seems every other Scribe is a money making master, but me, I’m just in it for the shoulder enchants, man. I don’t understand all this Scribe High Finance stuff.

I just like being able to make Glpyhs for my friends and myself.

But it’s such a pain! There are all these different levels of Glyphs, and they take all sorts of different kinds of inks, and you never know what Ink you’ll need for the Glyph your friend wants when they start an alt, respec, or change Talents around.

What to do?

I want to be ready! I don’t want to go farm stuff every time someone wants a Glyph.

I could go out and farm lots of different kinds of herbs in all the zones where they can be found to get the inks appropriate to each level.

OR… I can get a shitload of the latest herbs, mill them to make the latest Ink, and use those to buy the lower level Inks whenever I need them.

DING DING DING we have a winner! So for all of Cataclysm, I’ll just stockpile Blackfallow Ink, and whenever anyone wants a Glyph, a quick stop by Jessica Sellers in Dalaran and I can buy whatever low level Inks I may need. Sweet.

Oooh… I LIKE farming herbs on my Druid! It’s so soothing after a rough day to load up a Lewis Black album and swim laps around Azshara in Orca form, herbing away.

An hour of swimming later finds a calmer Bear milling a few hundred herbs into Blackfallow Ink, and there are extra Volatile Life to ice the cake!

But wait… when Mists of Pandaria comes out… won’t there be a new Ink? What will happen to the purchaseable Inks from the seller? What will happen to my Blackfallow reserves?

FINALLY… The Chase!

As of Patch 5.0.4, if you visit one of the Ink traders, it SAYS that you have to use Ink of Dreams, the new Mists Ink, to buy the old Inks right now.

LIES!!!!

Yeah, it says that, but it’s more a herald of the changes yet to come. As of right now, despite what it says, you CAN buy the old Inks with your Blackfallow Ink. Just ignore the tooltip window.

But holy crap, folks. Time is running out! It was almost too late, and the clock is ticking.

Right now, if you’re sitting on a bunch of Blackfallow Ink, ready to buy whatever you need in terms of Inks to make the Glyphs you need when you need them, when Mists comes you will have to go out and get the brand new, hotly desired new herbs, and then piss them away buying old Inks to make a Glyph.

To hell with that!

Can you imagine it? There you are with your brand new Panda Monk, and you go to make your Glyphs, and your Blackfallow is no good. There you are with a max level Scribe, forced to either buy your Glyphs off the AH at the high prices, go out and farm the low level herbs, or go out and farm the new high level herbs… but use them to get Glyphs instead of leveling your Inscription and getting new stuff. Or making awesome Feral Druid Staves. *cough*.

Hell NO!

No, when Mists comes out, you’ve got much better things to do with new herbs than buy old Inks.

So, here’s what I suggest you do.

Buy up a stockpile of all of the old Inks RIGHT NOW, using Blackfallow Ink, while it’s cheap and easy to get.

Here are the existing old Inks, and how many Glyphs each are used as reagents to make:

  1. Ink of the Sea – 125 Glyphs
  2. Ethereal Ink – 68 Glyphs
  3. Lion’s Ink – 49 Glyphs
  4. Midnight Ink – 45 Glyphs
  5. Jadefire Ink – 37 Glyphs
  6. Celestial Ink – 23 Glyphs
  7. Shimmering Ink – 22 Glyphs
  8. Blackfallow Ink – 1 damn Glyph (Colossus Smash)

The key lesson to remember is, it takes 3 Inks to make a Glyph. So you’ll want to buy the old Inks and stockpile them in quantities of 3.

I made this list so as to figure out, in rough terms, which Inks are more likely to be needed than others. I could do a really scientific analysis of the most popular Glyphs by spec and Talent, but you know what? I don’t care THAT much. I just want to be covered for the opening months. And I’d rather not buy 60 Shimmering and find out later I only needed three, and run out of Ink of the Sea four Glyphs in.

After making the Ink list, I checked our Auction House.

Sure, I’ve got some Inks, and I like farming herbs in Azshara, but how much are they to just buy?

The following herbs are milled to make Blackfallow Ink; Cinderbloom, Stormvine, Azshara’s Veil, Heartblossom, Twilight Jasmine and Whiptail.

Of all of them, the average price, if any was available, was between 2 and4 gold PER HERB.

Except for Cinderbloom, which averaged about 70 silver an herb. Stacks sold for about 15 gold or so.

Remember that whole “time is money” thing?

To me, I would rather spend 15 gold than spend the equivalent amount of time farming 20 herbs, when I’m not in the mood to swim around, and when I’ve got the money. Granted, I’ve farmed about 400 Stormvine and Azshara’s Veil doing leisurely Orca loops in the last few days, but I wanted to really stockpile some stuff. :)

See, there was over 1,000 Cinderbloom in our AH. There was, but not anymore. Some herb sellers got a sudden influx of business, and God bless them for it.

Now, a bunch of milling and buying later, there are a shitload of old Inks in my bank, and I’m really not out much gold at all.

There is one other thing, of course, that you can do to prepare.

Just go ahead and learn every Glyph that is available for your characters. Take ‘em all, even the ones that sound useless. You never know what Blizzard might turn them into, somewhere down the road.

I’m not saying buy enough old Inks to last until the end of Mists, you know. I’m just saying, stock up enough so that you’re good to go in the short term, until such time as Ink of Dreams feels as cheap and easy to get as Blackfallow is now.

This really is the Lazy Scribes Guide. No tips on making money with Glyphs, I wouldn’t know where to start. Just my strong recommendation that you think ahead and buy the old Inks now when they’re still easy to get, so you don’t waste time later on when you suddenly decide you want to make something and it’s too late.

Oh, and on a parting note – now is a great time to tell your friends and guildies that if they want Glyphs, speak up now and you’ll accept donations in modern herbs as trade. Once the Expansion goes live, if people come up expecting Glyphs, well, unless they’re good friends, they’re going to find out you’ll be happy to make them… and you’ll take the NEW herbs in trade. :)

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I thought I had a great idea.

I was wrong. I actually channeled the great idea Adam Holisky already had.

I was walking with Cassie and had this great idea for an engineering pet that allowed you to Transmogrify your items on the go.

As I explained my idea and how fun it would be to Cassie, she informed me that she’d just read something like that on WoW Insider. And the version she read was well-reasoned and made a great deal of sense, as opposed to my half an idea vision of what would be cool about it that hadn’t been thought all the way through yet.

Oh.

Well, fine.

I still like the idea, because it makes so much sense to the profession.

But she was right. What I started with was a vision of “How cool would this be” and followed it back to how we could get one.

See, here was what I was thinking. Keep in mind, this is purely a “How freaking cool would this be” vision, not a completely thought out “how would I code this into the game so people couldn’t exploit/cheat/kill others/ruin the game with it” thing.

My vision was simple. Bring back profession quest chains to get cool recipes.

In this case, instead of the Wrath of the Lich King Jeeves model, where you had to go farm droids until the Jeeves pattern dropped, you would actually have a quest available from the Transmogrification vendor, who in Stormwind is Warpweaver Hashom.

The quest would be to go and perform some services for this individual, services of a max engineering nature. And I’m not talking about “go and craft me 15 crysteel tubes”, I’m talking about go into hazardous areas and obtain hard to find ingredients that the Warpweaver requires for his services.

This could be as simple as going to various zones and farming drops from mobs that you have to combine, or giving you an item that, when you kill certain mobs, drains essence from them that goes into your inventory. The kind of thing we have certainly seen implemented in game before.

The idea here, though, is that you do a bunch of favors for this guy, and in exchange, at the end of it he gives you access to a recipe that would allow you to spend the money and time and crafting mats to make yourself a transdimensional beacon that would call him. If you activate it, a portal would appear and the Warpweaver would walk through, and would be willing to do this because, although a mercenary at heart, he owes you one. Plus, when you transmog stuff, you still have to pay him. So, it makes sense to me that he would as a reward give YOU a recipe, that YOU would do all the work to create the item from the recipe, and in the end it gives you an item that can call him and he has the choice of ignoring your call, or stepping through, and if he does step through… in the end, you are giving him even more money.

So it is a quest chain, a gold sink, a time sink, it’s tied into your profession, and in the end you have an item that you can use to summon the transmog vendor.

Here is where the fun bit comes in.

I personally miss the days of misfiring Engineering items. I always thought that was hilarious, and a prime reason I enjoyed having so many Engineering characters.

Sine we are talking about an item that would be sending a beacon through transimensional time and space, calling for the Warpweaver… how fun would it be if there was a small chance that, instead of the vendor responding, instead a tentacled horror tried to come in through the portal? Just lots of tentacles coming in, and you had to kill them all to reset the portal for the vendor to appear?

I can see it now… “Hold on a second, let me call for Hashom… WHOOPS!” *whack whack whack* “No problem, happens every once in a while, think I’ve got a bad dilithium crystal in the frequency pack, not to worry, we’ll soon have this all sorted out. “*whack whack*.

“There! Now let’s try that again, shall we?”

I do miss those chances of amusing failure… I used to take pride in my parachute skills whenever the teleporter to Tanaris malfunctioned… and I knew where I would land by heart.

Adam Holisky did a better job of thinking it through, but I still like my vision of it in action. :)

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It’s been an enchanting few weeks in the BBB household.

Cassie and I are playing a priest/paladin pair through the levels (we’re now 81!), and she decided to go Tailoring and Enchanting. I’ve also recently server transferred my old level 78 priest over, who was at the time maxed level in Jewelcrafting and Tailoring… when Wrath of the Lich King ruled the servers.

On my new server, I already have a max level Jewelcrafter, with epic recipes and stuff, and I ran out of the need for Truegold cooldowns months back.

What I don’t have here is an enchanter. Nice to finally have my tailor back to make bags, though. Spending money on bags in the AH is a crime against the gold gods.

Two enchanters to level simultaneously.

Have you seen AH prices on enchants and mats? Holy crap, right?

The low levels are fairly easy, and in Outlands it was extra nice, because with transmogging, running instances over and over to get gear meant a steady flood of greens to send off for disenchanting. No worries.

Once Cassie and I hit the Wrath of the Lich King level of enchants, it all went wahooney shaped.

Why?

Well, I wasn’t being very imaginative, for one thing. I was stuck in the traditional wisdom, running along the ‘what everyone knows’ groove.

Everyone knows that it’s best to level Tailoring and Enchanting together as you quest, because you can take the cloth you get from killing mobs, make stuff to increase Tailoring skill, then turn right around and disenchant it for the mats to increase Enchanting. Synergy, which is a fancy word for “these things complement each other well”.

Along those lines, I started farming cloth, researching who had the best drop rates for cloth, and I even took my (now level 82) priest back to Northrend to quest for rewards to disenchant. Yay.

If I ever got to higher level, I could start shattering materials that result in tons of WotLK mats. But you’ve got to level past needing the WotLK mats to get the spell to be able to shatter them, damnit! Grrr.

So be it. Cloth, cloth, cloth.

Amusingly enough, it took The Daily Blink to snap me out of being so stupid.

Right along the time I was getting fed up and dreading questing for the next month in Northrend just to get greens, along comes this pair of hilarious comics showing the pain we were feeling, and exploring alternative methods of gathering up the cloth we needed to level enchanting the traditional way.

It was the idea of exploring alternative methods of farming that got me finally thinking.

Farming cloth for tailoring for disenchanting is certainly one way…

But since when are Tailors the only crafters that make greens?

I am such a dumbass.

I have other characters. I have max level Herbalists, Miners, Jewelcrafters, Blacksmiths, Scribes… surely SOMEBODY can make SOMETHING useful, so I don’t have to farm all this damn cloth!

I looked to my Blacksmith, and asked him… what can you do for me in Northrend greens done dirt cheap?

My Blacksmith had an answer.

If I farmed Cobalt Ore, which is plentiful in Zul’Drak, then one Cobalt Ore smelts into one Cobalt Bar, NOT the normal two ore per bar BS.

There is one delightful item, the Horned Cobalt Helm, that costs only 8 Cobalt Bars to craft, and is a level 75 green. As most of you may know, the *5 point in items is where a crafted item goes from small return on D/E to a larger return. Any green from equippable level 75-79 will give you more mats per disenchant on the average than a level 71-74 item.

So, whether it’s ore or cloth, it’s still farming. The difference is, I can take my max level Blacksmith with fastest flight off on a route around Zul’Drak, and after a measly hour of farming easily be able to craft over 30 high level Northrend greens to disenchant. As opposed to grinding mobs or quest rewards? Oh, yes please!

Yeah, Cassie and I blew through Northrend in a single night of ore farming.

But then we had two enchanters looking for Cataclysm mats.

OMG, right?

Ah yes, but can my Blacksmith make anything now? I like farming the new ores.

Hmmm, before I check on that, why not see what kind of stuff my Jewelcrafter can make? I vaguely remember leveling JC by crafting rings and necklaces.

HOLY SHIT!

It turns out that Jewelcrafters can make rings and necklaces, all right. And the mats are a JC vendor jewelry setting costing a couple gold or so, and two green uncut gems per crafting. There are four recipes in total;

Jaspar Ring (ONLY ONE Jaspar)
Alicite Pendant (2 Alicite)
Hessonite Band (2 Hessonite)
Nightstone Choker (2 Nightstone)

Finding these four recipes in my crafting list was like being hit by lightning, but in a good way. Kinda like, hmmm. Getting a few beers in and then hitting a roller coaster. Dazed, a little woozy, but thumbs up!

The reason these didn’t really register was you needed two per point, and the resulting item’s enchantment is completely random. So, when I leveled I made them but also focused on cut gems for most points per gem.

Fast forward to now, when I prospect ore I’m looking for the blue quality gems, and these greens are either worthless, or can be used for the daily JC quest. I don’t save only the gems needed for dailies, I don’t look that closely at it. I just stuff gems in my JC bank. How many? Well, I typically keep about, oh FORTY of every kind of green gem before I start vendoring the leftovers. I figure, 40 of any given green quality gem is enough, right?

You use 3x Jasper for the Ogrezonians daily, 3x Zephyrite for the Nibbler daily, and 3x Nightstone for the Present for Lila daily.

I had mats on hand to craft 80 green items to disenchant just out of what I had lying around in my bank, and I don’t even want to think about how many greens I could have crafted from vendored gems over the last year.

I like farming ore. Did I say that already? It’s true. It’s like Hobbes saying “Smock”, I just like farming ore. Smock, smock, smock. It IS a good word when you think about it.

The way we level these days, the accelerated pace of it, it can be so damn hard to gather mats at the same pace we level. It’s good to know that if we do make new alts, the ‘traditional’ methods of feeding the fire isn’t the only way to go.

I could wish I would have checked earlier, but I’m damn glad I didn’t think of it AFTER we hit max level!

I truly hope that someone out there thinking of leveling an Enchanter will be helped by my experience in this, and I also hope that anyone wanting to make a little cash off a Blacksmith or Jewelcrafter keeps in mind some of the non-obvious ways your cast off mats can make money.

Green quality gems are far more valuable than I thought!

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This is a Bearwall about professions. I don’t really know why, it just kept growing, so I guess why not. Let’s start the new year off with my first resolution… I’m just gonna roll with it.

As with most players, part of my enjoyment of the game post expansion has been in leveling professions on my main characters. As I’ve pursued profession upgrades, a few thoughts came to mind, and I’d like to share them with you, and also see if anyone would like to share their own impressions with me.

As with most players, I had a lot of characters entering Cataclysm that were level 80 with (previously) max level professions.

This is purely speculation, but I am guessing that one of the more common ways of handling professions across multiple characters, is to initially play your favorite character first, and along the way level that character’s professions as you go, as and how you happen to come across materials. You know, as an accompanyment to the natural playing thing.

Maybe you come across “Miracle Node Spawn Day”, that magic moment when it seems like every time you move an inch in the zone, you see another Ore node or Herb pop up, and you kind of mentally shrug your shoulders and figure Blizzard is trying to tell you something, and go farm while the nodes are a poppin’. But mostly, you’re questing and grabbing stuff as you come across it.

After a while, though, you get excited at leveling your profession, you’ve gathered a passel o’ mats, and you get to leveling… but you come across some mats you sure do wish you had more of. But wait! If my x leveled their profession up, they could make some/transmute some!

This brings in the alternate characters, where you decide to level them just enough to get their profession up to a useable state, and then abandon them again until you’re done having fun on your mains.

It’s just a guess. I know from seeing the first day announcements that lots of people felt it was awesome to powerlevel professions right from the beginning, before moving on to anything else. And I’ve seen lots of Assistant Professors out there, and even a few people advertising making Vial of the Sands on my server, which takes max Archeaology AND having found enough jars to get lucky on the recipe drop.

Amazing diligence in profession leveling.

Oh, and if you’re on Kael’thas-Alliance side, a character named Truth is the one advertising Vial of the Sands the most… for only 3,000 gold, plus you buy and provide the mats.

Maybe it’s just me, but 3k gold ain’t that bad a markup for such a unique item like the Vial of the Sands. Not when I’ve been selling the De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion for 1300 gold, and they sell as fast as I put them up on the AH. At least, they were… I ran out of things to spend gold on, so I stopped making them.

Regardless of how you’ve done it yourself, the fact remains I have a LOT of (previously) max level professions spread amongst my characters, and while playing and checking things out, I find myself thinking about the state of professions… and wondering why things seem so off balance.

There are three classes of professions – the Gathering professions, the Primary Crafting professions, and the Secondary professions.

The Gathering professions are all wonderfully straitforward. Or are they? You get to go out and gather raw materials, right?

The implementation, though, seems odd even here.

Herbalism… you harvest Herbs. Simple, right? The end result is an Herb, plus at max level a chance at Volatile Life. The Herbs are used as is, no further processing needed by the harvester; the end user has the ability to turn it into the form they need, Milling by Inscription and as is by Alchemists.

Mining, you harvest Ore, and a chance at some other Volatiles as well. Right away, it’s a different story than herbs. The end user might want the ore smelted into bars… or might not, if they are a Jewelcrafter looking to prospect for gems. As the Miner, do you put raw ore on the auction house, in case a Jewelcrafter needs it, or do you smelt it first? If you smelt it, then JCs can’t use it, but maybe people without a high enough Smelting skill trying to powerlevel Blacksmithing or Engineering will buy it up.

Skinning then goes the other way. The Skins you harvest from animals often come in the form of scraps… but the Skinner can’t convert them into the useable Leather, the end user with Leatherworking does. In the Wrath cycle, this meant that Skinners had to have a Leatherworker to take scraps and convert them so they could be sold at the Fur Trader in exchange for the most valuable pelts that sell great on the AH.

I mean, we’re not even at crafting professions, and it’s kinda all over the place, isn’t it?

What fascinates me is, Blizzard is helmed by some incredibly careful, thoughtful people. So, I don’t look at this and see it as an inconvenient mistake. I see it as an intentional variety by design… and I try and decipher the underlying intent.

Is it to keep things fresh and different? If so, that’s a good enough reason for me, but I do wonder. I’d love to know.

But about those crafting professions.

Let me give you a humorous example of thinking too damn hard when it comes to crafting.

One early Engineering item you can make, Electrostatic Condenser, is supposed to give your Engineer the chance to get some extra Volatile Air whenever they mine a node, skin a beastie or harvest an herb.

Volatile Air is a major choke point for leveling engineering. So, all excited, I make one and rush out to do a mining sweep.

In real life… not so much. Oh, I’m sure it’s fine for casual Engineering once you are at max level, and you are just gathering as you go, but when you actually want to level fast, the extra Air is just not nearly enough. I spent one afternoon mining for a few hours, slack time on the server getting lots of nodes in Deepholm, and I think I was seeing 2 Volatile Air for about every 15 nodes. You mix that into mining during peak times, and it’s a pretty rough drop rate.

Here’s the funny bit.

The thought occurs to me, “But wait! Maybe the drop rate is better on one of the other gathering professions!”

Ah yes, of such insidious thoughts are painful acts founded.

Immediately, I had to test this theory, which meant taking my Rogue, who, for reasons that seemed perfectly valid at the time, is a max level Engineering/Skinner, and level her to the point that I could skin enough in bulk to test the Volatile Air harvest rate.

About the time I was in Mount Hyjal and jousting against what looked like mounted buzzards, it occured to me that something is off when, in order to level a profession on the character I enjoy playing right now, I’m somehow playing on my Rogue instead in order to skin lots of Volatile Air. I need my head examined.

Cutting it short (ha!), I leveled my Rogues’ Engineering to the point that I could make the Volatile Air harvesting doohicky, and then went to what I found to be my personal favorite fast leather harvest point; Sethria’s Roost, which can be found in Mount Hyjal around coordinates 31/80. The dragonkin are skinnable, are on an INSANELY fast respawn timer, and most players coming through right now are in such a rush to level and blow past the content that they don’t bother hanging around to skin, even if they can.

I leveled my Skinning from nothing to damn near max in one go right there over the course of less than an hour, and what I discovered was, while it FELT like the Volatile Air dropped more in the strange bloated stomach, the truth is it only seemed that way because I skinned a lot more mobs in a short period of time than I was usually finding ore nodes. I was making it up in volume.

So, Volatile Air is a choke point.

So what do I do next? Cassie tells me her main character, an actual max level 525 Alchemist, can do element transmutes, and if she does it in Uldum, she can turn Volatile Life dropped from herbs into Volatile Air, on an almost 1 for 1 basis. Plus the chance to proc some extra random Volatiles!

So we do that for a few days, and she helps feed my Engineer.

But wait! I have a 450 Alchemist… my Enhancement Shaman.

Next thing I know, I’ve herbed enough on my Druid swimming around Vashj’ir that I can easily level my Alchemy on the Shaman to the point that I can park her out at Uldum to make me Air.

But then I look at my Shaman’s Alchemy at 510, and realise that in order to continue leveling Alchemy cheaply, I could do repeat transmutes of blue quality gems, so the next step is to mine ore on my Hunter to send to my Priest to prospect for gems to send to my Alchemist to transmute into blues… and the Dream Emeralds can then be sent to my Hunter to make Gnomish X-Ray Scopes.

Finally, I realize… this needs an intervention. OH MY GOD. Somebody, stop the insanity! All I wanna do is just play my Hunter, where the heck did the Priest come into the picture? What? ACK!

To bring my point around home, you look at how the different professions can feed each other, and it’s just amazing how deep you could get into this if you wanted to. The interconnectivity, the synergy between professions really impresses me even more with how canny Blizzard has been. And each profession works similarly to the others, but is still very different.

They’re not equal, mind you. Some professions, like Blacksmithing , Leatherworking, Enchanting and Tailoring once again have mile long recipe lists you can purchase for expensive mats. Engineering is, what you see is what you get. At least, so far. No surprise new recipes from end game vendors in Twilight Highlands for Engineering!

Then there are the poor Jewelcrafters, who once again end up having to buy their recipes using Tokens obtained from daily quests.. and not having access to that until Twilight Highlands is finally unlocked.

I’d be unhappy for my JC, except I was able to make a pair of some kickass fist weapons for my Enhancement Shaman to use almost right away, so hey, I’m good.

I wonder… why did Jewelcrafting get to be the bitch of the professions? Can anyone explain that one?

Inscription is just as bad at first if you didn’t have it to begin with, but they didn’t add any more Glyphs in Cataclysm. Glyphs don’t get superceded by new expansions. (Wait… an update. Yes, there are a small handful of new Glyphs since 3.0.3, a few through Books of Glyph Mastery, a few from minor research, a few from major. But there’s only, like, 6 or 7 spread across multiple methods of learning. Added for accuracy.) So Inscription is just fine now, making items and books and Darkmoon cards. And Origami Rocks. :) It’s turned into another “fun” profession.

With how SOME professions only really get started at max level, I think it explains a little bit more why Cataclysm (or the patch right before it) introduced such a massive change in leveling professions; the inclusion of special recipes that can grant MULTIPLE skill points with one crafting.

You know, like this;

I love this change. I really do. It adds so much to the overall strategy of leveling a profession.

Plus, it’s a brilliant move for the overall economy. The items that are linked to bonus skill points are generally very expensive in terms of mats.

In the old pre-Cataclysm days, when given a choice between a dirt cheap piece of vendor trash to level a profession off of, or an item that would be useful to others players but expensive to make in mat costs, most players would go with cheap, dirty and vendored stuff.

With the addition of multiple skill points per crafting on making the ‘good’ stuff, it encourages at least some players to think about leveling by making the good stuff, and then recoup their expenses by selling the crafted items on the Auction House… where other characters might finally see something at their level they’d like to have.

Very nice innovation to encourage a livelier Auction House at lower levels. Bravo! And of course, the need for better mats just encourages a more lively market for such things, right? 

There are problems, of course, it’s not perfect. I’m sure everyone has at least one little pet peeve with their favorite profession that they wish would get changed.

I know that for me, my pet peeve is the Goblin Barbecue.

I had imagined that the Goblin Barbecue was going to work like a reuseable hibachi or grill, on a cooldown. You make the item once, and then after that, you’ve got it, but you have to use it at the right time. Kinda like Jeeves.

Unfortunately, what we got was a pretty expensive to make single use food item, with the bonus that everyone in the party can use it, but the downside is that it’s not going to have as good a stat boost as the actual high level Cooking food. So, it’s not going to see much play in raids, and it’s kind of expensive to use in pugs, but just right for 5 man runs with friends. It’s not exactly a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but I sure had higher hopes for a fun item.

Was a hibachi with a one hour cooldown really that overpowered? I’d be happy to have had a much higher initial materials cost up front for a food item for my group that wasn’t quite as good as a max level Cooking recipe, but that I could reuse once an hour. And it would have been just fine with me if, after making the Goblin Barbeque, each use of it required some form of high level meat. Much like the High powered Bolt Gun, in fact. 

Of course, the little voice in my head then goes on to say, if you have a barbecue, and you use a type of meat evey time you use it… can you set it up like a Paladin’s Seals and Judgments, so that each type of meat used does a different thing? I mean, something light like Grilled Talapia might give you a Haste buff because it doesn’t fill you up with a heavy feeling, some serious protein like Steak or Ribs could give you a Strength buff, grilled vegetables could give you Intellect or Hit Rating (improved eyesight, dontcha know), and of course…  Death Fire Habanero spice-rubbed pork loin stuffed with chiles would give you massive Spellpower boosts. From the flames smoking out your nostrils. :)

Tanking food? Why, grilling a flank of a big bear’s butt provides the tanking buff. What, you had to ask?

That idea makes me so excited… but what we got was a single use food item. The Goblin Barbecue uses metal bars each time, but is apparently so flimsy it’s disposable.

It makes me a sad Bear. My one pet peeve… I wanted to hold regular cookouts, damnit!

Now, the thought occurs to me that maybe they kinda toned it down so that a cooking item that awesome wouldn’t be given to Engineers only. Maybe there was a teeny bit of “Okay, it’s cute, but max level non-Engineer cooks shouldn’t have to look at Engineers with envy over cooking stuff.”

Well, fair enough, fair enough. My answer to that would have been, “Why not make it like other Engineer and Alchemist items, or Enchanting items?”

Change it to an item that Engineers can make, but remove the Engineering skill level requirement? Just leave a 525 Cooking limitation. Then you could have your group food recipes require a Goblin Barbecue to make, with the addition of your own raw food materials per use. Then anyone could enjoy grilling for their friends, regardless of their crafting or gathering professions.

My one pet peeve aside, as I said… I’m very impressed with the state of professions. The improved multiple skill point system while leveling is, all by itself, a really fun advance. It adds a lot more depth to what used to be a grind. 

What are your thoughts? Are you having the same kinda fun… or are you feeling stressed out by something concerning professions?

Comments 29 Comments »

Woo.

Call me the buzzkill…

I’m here to remind you that soon, Professions will have higher limits, and new recipes.

So, in honor of our upcoming grinds, I’d like to take this moment to look back on the profession fun of days gone by, and give everyone a chance to weigh in on what they consider to be the most painful profession to gain useful recipes for, once you’ve hit the max.

What, you thought I was gonna talk about painful professions to level? Oh c’mon, that’s so last year.

“But Bear, in my day we had to walk uphill to farm ore, in the snow of Icecrown, BOTH WAYS!”

Get over it. Shake it off, you ninny.

No, let’s have fun debating what the most painful profession to get all the useful recipes for is.

As a person with, count ‘em, four max level Engineers, I’ll do my part and kick Engineering to the curb. It’s dead easy. There are only a couple recipes to grind for, hell maybe only the one, Jeeves, if you decide not to count the rep grind for the Engineering Chopper.

No, I’m thinking more along the lines of how you can whip up your Jewelcrafting to max in a few days of ore mining, and then be stuck for months as you do the daily Jewelcrafting Quest to get tokens to buy recipes. How many recipes do you need? The answer is, how many alts do you have?

Or how about Inscription, where you get to max and have fun making your Darkmoon Cards, only to realise you should’ve been doing not one but TWO daily researches, for both a Minor AND a Major. Have fun the next few months, and make sure you’ve got lots and lots of nice, tasty herbs to destroy. Oh, and don’t go on vacation, it’ll put you behind by a week.

Or how about everyone’s favorite, Enchanting. You grind and grind and grind your way up, and the higher your level, the more expensive every point is… and those Greens you used to sell for good coin get D/E’d straight down the drain to feed your voracious appetite for mats. And just when you’re nearing the end… they make your Disenchanting automatically shared among a group of four strangers. Ain’t those Blizzard cats some funny folks?

Every profession has it’s story, has it’s own hook for singing the leveling blues.

What I find curious is how some professions are damn expensive, but the only thing throttling your getting all the recipes is how deep your pockets go.

Enchanting? If you’ve got the money, honey, you can get the skills. Just dump all your cash into buying Greens, D/E, rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

Leatherworking? Technically, if you feel like buying enough leather to trade into Artic Furs, well, go for it. It’s silly, but not TOO bad. Well, okay, it’s bad. Just not as bad as it used to be. Now, it’s more like a sharp whack in the forehead with a rubber mallet rather than a swing in the nuts from a sledgehammer. It feels good, but only by comparison.

How about Inscription? That must not be too bad, right? Nope, if you want all the Glyph recipes, buckle up buttercup, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Every day, two new recipes, one Minor, one Major. That’s it, thanks for playing. Try our home game!

Jewelcrafting isn’t far off, either. Your Epic Gem recipes do indeed come from the daily JC quest, but Blizzard was almost fiendishly cruel in the upgrade patch. Now they dangle the possibility of leveling faster in front of you… if you, oh I dunno… just farm enough Titanium Ore to prospect. It leaves you feeling that you’re somehow being lazy if you DON’T turn thousands of gold worth of raw ore into dust.

Letting Alchemists transmute the Titanium BARS is almost grinding salt into a JCs wounds, isn’t it?

Oh, and I’m sure as bad as Blacksmithing is to level, there’s no crying at the end game leveling now that Miners can smelt Titansteel endlessly without regard for cooldown sillyness. Why, take an Alchemist making Titanium Bars, and an Engineering Miner farming the Primals and smelting Titansteel, and you’ve got a great combination to feed a leveling Blacksmith.

Not that any of us are so far advanced in the game that we’ve got multiple, or even ALL, max level Professions scattered amongst our characters. Oh, heavens no.

So, what’s your take? What do you personally feel is the most painful Profession to level once you finally hit those last few points and want to get cracking on making something useful?

Notice I don’t even mention the confusing hell that is Tailoring and cloth specialising and variations at end game, or the fun of tokens that is Cooking. :)

Gotta give Cooking a big thumbs up, simply from having so many easy to get to daily quests.

As you think about it… of all the many and varied systems Blizzard has implemented in professions to learn new recipes and advance them… which do you like the best? And why?

No really, why? If your answer is you like the hardest because you’re into pain, well, that might be fun to know. :)

And of course, that leaves us wondering… will any of the professions SWAP recipe leveling methods once Cataclysm comes to town? Will Blizzard decide they like one more than the rest, and just use that copy/paste?

Oooh, that fun and easy Engineering might turn into the white whale! Ahoy there, Ahab!

Comments 23 Comments »

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