As some of you may know, I’ve been biding my time on Professions, unsure where I wanted to land for Wrath long-term.
I finally made a decision.
In BC, there were a lot of Bind-on-Pickup rewards from each profession that were best in class for raid performance in one way or another… and it became a question of determining which raid reward best benefited your class. Hell, some folks wanted the Drums of Battle so bad for raids they took Leatherworking for that buff alone.
I believe most of us chose end-game Professions based on how it benefited us in raids first, and how profitable it was second. Sure, that’s totally not the case for everyone, but seriously; how many Cloth wearers did you know that didn’t have Tailoring for the BoP epics?
In some cases, sure, you’d pick a Profession early on, had it for years, and were too stubborn to let go. I can appreciate that, too.
But I know that quite a few folks were grateful when their raiding progression took them to a point where the rewards they got from drops FINALLY were better than the crafted epics they had from Tailoring, or Engineering, or Blacksmithing, or Leatherworking.
“Finally, I can drop Tailoring and take something FUN!!”
That’s just sad, isn’t it? Well, it sure ain’t that way now.
For one thing, the epics you can craft now that are useful for raiding or PvE are Bind on Equip… mostly.
One notable exception are the various epic Goggles from Engineering. But let’s talk in general terms for second.
Most Professions now, if they craft items, allow you to craft PvE epics as Bind on Equip… and it looks to me that the concept was to have each Profession provide rewards to prepare you for raiding, but not to replace raiding drops entirely. It looks to me that they are all supposed to be pre-Naxx in value, or at the most be comparable to Naxx drops or Emblem of Honor rewards, and the better the item you can craft, the harder it is to either learn the recipe, or more expensive it is to make it. Or both..
But it’s NOT universally true, as currently implemented.
We already know some equipment is going to be reduced in power in an upcoming patch. Things which were powerful enough to be obvious ‘must haves’.
Like the Savage Cobalt Slicers, crafted by Blacksmiths, or the quest reward Druids were enjoying, the Handwraps of Preserved History from ‘A Culling of Stratholme’. Both are being reduced, sadly. And this sets a precedent, that Blizzard may decide to ‘rebalance’ items if they decide we’re getting some good stuff too easy to suit them. So what we can make may easily change in worth over time.
But other items which are very powerful, items on par with Naxx drops or other raid loot, are not as of yet being nerfed. Not yet.
It seems to me that the reasoning is, the more difficult or expensive an individual crafted Epic is to make, the more powerful the resulting item is allowed to be, by design.
And that makes the ‘Pick a Profession’ game an interesting one.
Right now, I have a shopping list for my Druid of tanking gear. It’s all the gear I want crafted and waiting for the second I ding 80, to be prepared to run Heroics. No Heroic rewards included, maybe a few quest rewards, a few Auction House blues to watch for, a drop or two in normals. Just a basic starter set.
Shall I show you?
Head: Eviscerator Facemask (BoE LW)
Shoulder: Trollwoven Spaulders (BoE LW)
Back: Durable Nerubhide Cape (BoE LW)
Chest: Polar Vest (BoE LW)
Wrist: Eviscerator Bindings (BoE LW)
Drake-Champions Bracers (BoE – AH World Drop)
Dragonfriend Bracer (Wyrmrest Exalted)
Hand: Eviscerator Guantlets (BoE LW)
Handwraps of Preserved History (Quest reward CoT:CoS)
Waist: Trollwoven Girdle (BoE LW)
Leggings: Chain Gang Legguards (BoE – AH World Drop)
Feet: Polar Boots (BoE LW)
Ring: Titanium Earthguard Ring (BoE JC)
Ring: Titanium Frostguard Ring (BoE JC)
Trinket: Darkmoon Card: Greatness (BoE Inscript)
Two Handed Weapon: Witch Doctors Wildstaff (Drop, normal Gundrak)
Look at that list, and think about how many items a Leatherworker (like Cassie’s hunter) can make, that are all worthy to craft for yourself or sell.
Almost all of them will be dumped in Heroic 5 mans or 10 man Naxx depending on drops, but it will certainly serve as an ‘intro to Heroics’ set.
Heck, some of those can be replaced doing level 80 regular 5 man instances, like Utgarde Pinnacle.
But, you have to start somewhere. And Professions can provide excellent gear to prepare yourself for harder content. To fill in gaps. To take you most of the way there. And then you do the harder stuff to progress.
Holy cats, it’s almost like they planned it that way!
The Trollwoven gear is very good, it will last for a while. The Polar stuff is questionable… the utter lack of Agility makes me squirm. But the chest piece will be replaced as soon as you have 80 Emblems of Heroism and can get your Heroic chestplate… or are doing 25 man raids and can afford better.
The Rings, the Darkmoon Card, those are going to last much longer than the rest… but they are far harder to make or obtain than any of the others, too.
Far harder to make, and thus much more expensive to have crafted.
It’s a very interesting balance. Leatherworkers can make tons of gear… but the mats are readily available, so the prices tend to be lower than you might think. But you sure as heck still want those pieces to start with, so they will turn over fast.
You can see the prices of things like JC crafted rings and neck pieces, or the Darkmoon cards, and think that they are unfairly high… but it takes much more of a time investment, or mats cost, to achieve those high results. So the items are that much more expensive.
Let’s take JC as an example.
The epic rings require 4 Dragon’s Eye to craft… and a Jewelcrafter can only get a Dragon’s Eye by buying one from a vendor.,.. using a Dalaran daily quest token, which is obtained at the rate of exactly one a day, max.
All good epic JC BoE recipes require from 4 to 6 of these tokens to purchase. The Dragon’s Eye can sell from 350g to 450g each on the AH, because they are a choke point in production. A JC with little patience will buy more to make their gear faster… and non-JCs that want to gather mats themselves, will be forced to buy off the AH.
You do the math. Jewelcrafters are faced with either saving up 6 tokens to learn the recipe for the Titanium Impact Ring to make one for themselves or their friends… or using those same 6 tokens to buy Dragon’s Eyes that will sell for from 2100g to 2700g, and maybe just gather the mats to have one made by someone else.
On my server, the ring itself sells on the AH for 2300g – 2500g buyout. On servers that are more populated and more serious about Progression, they may go for even more.
Each ring requires 4 of those Dragon’s Eyes to craft. Seeing as how you need Eternals and Titanium to craft these rings too, your return on investment can shrink quite a bit if the market for them is weak. Safer to simply buy Dragon’s Eyes and flip them on the AH.
So, yeah… if you know a Jewelcrafter that has decided to forego the 2100g of Dragon’s Eye sales to learn the recipe… and they are willing to craft it for you using your mats… hey. How about you tip them? They sacrificed a lot of gold revenue to get that pattern.
I personally have three characters high enough in level to have useful Professions.
My Hunter is a max level Engineer and Miner.
My Priest is almost max level in Jewelcrafting and is a Tailor (for now).
My Druid was, at Wrath start, undecided, and I had made her max level Mining / Herbalism.
The Hunter was going to be an Engineer simply because I love the Profession. I love the exploding rabbits I can make.
Yes, that’s right. Exploding bunnies. If you’ve never taken the Profession before, you may know that at low levels they can make exploding decoy sheep… well in Wrath, we got a new recipe to make exploding decoy pet bunnies. They are one of my favorite fun things in this game, I swear.
But being an Engineer has been extremely rewarding as a Hunter. Ridiculously so.
For most of my Wrath leveling, I had the BoP gun that was almost better than level 80 quest rewards. I got epic Goggles, I get to harvest Clouds for motes of Eternals, I can make my own kick-ass awesome Mammoth Cutter ammo, and eventually I’ll make a motorcycle. Oh, and as an Engineer/Miner, I can make Titansteel… but have no personal use for it. So I make Titansteel and sell it on the AH, thank you very much.
Jewelcrafting, as previously mentioned, can be an extremely stupid money maker, since for the cost of a 15 minute daily quest and foregoing EXTREMELY nice recipes, I can make 350g-450g each and every day. And there is currently zero cost to put them on the AH, same as Enchanting mats. So no risk to pricing high and getting undercut.
But more than that, Jewelcrafters can save those Dragon’s Eyes, and save those tokens, learn those epic ring (and neck) recipes, and craft them for themselves and their alts… and while the use of those mats for personal reasons does represent a ton of lost potential revenue… it is at the cost of very little REAL gold. You don’t actually have to save 2000g from other means to get that epic ring. You just have to be patient, and have a few Eternals and a couple bars of Titanium.
It’s not a bad deal, eh? And once you have them for yourself and your friends… why, you can go back to selling them, right?
The only question is, how far down will the value of the Dragon’s Eye get on the Auction House, as more and more people get their rings or raid past them, and the demand drops? Is it better to get your gold now and craft your own gear later when the bottom falls out?
Time will tell.
Tailoring… meh. I honestly would drop it for something else, if there were anything else I particularly wanted on my Priest. For some reason, it just does not excite me. Maybe when my Priest gets above level 71 (lol) I’ll feel different.
But then there is my Druid….
A Miner / Herbalist, right?
No. Not anymore.
Nope, over the weekend I decided to bite the bullet, drop Mining, and take a Profession that I have never done before, and that was synergistic with my Herbalism.
That’s right… I powerleveled Inscription on my Druid this weekend.
As of this time, I am level 411 Inscription, and I could certainly be well over 425 but once I hit 400 I stopped intentionally leveling.
Thanks to some stored low level herbs I had on an alt from before Wrath released, the contributions of herbs from our Guild Bank, and donations from Ishvi, Felsprite and Cassie, I only invested a little less than 600g in powerleveling to 400.
That includes buying many stacks of Adder’s Tongue from the Auction House.
My first item of business?
To craft a Northrend Darkmoon Card, using the Icy Pigments I had received while leveling the last stretch.
The Five of Nobles. Worth, on our AH, 1000g.
So, powerlevel a Profession, break even on the first crafted item. Not too bad. IF I were intending to sell, that is.
See, I had initially intended to level Windshadow in Inscription way back in the first place, as soon as the Profession was available.
I held off, mainly, because it seemed we had at least four other guildies that frantically powerleveled it overnight, the day it came out in Patch 3.0.
So, okay… plenty of folks have Glyphs available, so why bother?
Well, there are three reasons why I decided to bother as a Feral Druid. Hell, not bother… get EXCITED.
1) Shoulder enchants for self-only, that are very nice, and pretty cheap. Ones for tanking and for DPS. And for casting, too, of course.
2) Make your own level VIII Scrolls, DIRT CHEAP, for Agility, Stamina, Intellect and Wisdom. I’m seriously talking dirt cheap max level scrolls here. And that’s like having free stat food x4 for every fight, especially if you don’t have a Mage or a Priest giving their particular buffs.
3) Crafted Darkmoon Cards that sell insanely well, and can, in time, provide what is in my opinion the best damn tanking or DPS trinket in the game, the Darkmoon Card: Greatness.
Yeah, that last item? that’s the one that appeals most strongly to my inner collector geek.
See, you can make a random Northrend Darkmoon Card with Inscription at level 400. The mat cost is very, very high if you buy your Herbs off the AH. And when you do it, you craft one card at random from one of four possible decks. Of those decks, none of them are anywhere near in demand as the Nobles deck, which provides as a reward the choice of one of four Darkmoon Card: Greatness.
The Darkmoon Card: Greatness is what you choose when you turn it in. Options are +90 Strength, +90 Agility, +90 Intellect and +90 Spirit.
The kicker, of course, is that special ability. When you cast a spell or deal damage, you have a chance to proc +300 to your highest stat for 15 seconds, from among Strength, Agility, Intellect or Spirit.
It is, in effect, much like the Idol of Terror. But with effects that differ depending on class and gear choices.
But, because Stamina is so common on our tanking gear, and is NOT a choice among the stats affected, it almost guarentees that a Feral Tanking Druid, choosing the +90 Agility stat, will also get +300 Agility on a proc for 15 seconds. And god, if you’ve got enough Stamina already, proccing +300 Agility is sweet!
And because it does boost your highest stat, and because you can choose which of the four types you want, the Nobles deck will be in high demand for a long time to come, from many classes.
It’s going to be a huge pain in the ass for non-Inscribers to get.
There is no cooldown for making the cards… if you want to blow 50,000g on herbs, and they are available to buy, knock yourself out.
But there are four decks. And 8 cards possible in each deck. And it’s pure random chance which card you happen to get when you make it. And yes, you absolutely can get doubles. And triples.
None of the other three decks are nearly as popular as the Nobles deck. Average prices for each Nobles card that I’ve seen is 1000g.
I personally decided that being able to enchant my tanking shoulders, make very cheap level VIII Agility scrolls for my raiding and Heroics, and be able to work towards my own Darkmoon Card: Greatness and satisfy my collector instincts was reason enough to drop Mining.
Too bad the epics you can craft as an Inscriptionist (Inscriptionist, Inscriber… I need to pick one) are for off-hands, and are pertty useless for Feral Druids. Ah well.
I was level 75 when I started leveling Inscrioption this weekend. I dinged 400, and made a card. I got a Nobles card, as I think I already mentioned.
I then played the game this weekend, had fun, and leveled to 77 by last night. I can now finally fly as a Druid, and farm my own bloody Northrend Herbs.
I made two more cards. I got a card from the Undeath deck, and another Nobles card.
That’s two out of eight of the Nobles deck… and now, all I have to do is farm Herbs, make cards, and develop a network of other card crafters to trade with when I get doubles… becasue I’d rather trade Noble cards with friends that are also building decks, than sell them on the AH for the cash to buy Herbs. It would be perfectly viable, but I think it would be more fun to play card trader.
So all my leather will be crafted by my darling wife, and there is a LOT of it… but the hard stuff… why, the hard stuff, the expensive stuff… that I’m making for myself.
Funny how things work out, sometimes, isn’t it? I didn’t plan on it, but the most expensive stuff to craft, I’m able to make on my own, using my own mats. It just takes time.
There are so many, many ways to make money in this game now. Mining and Herbing to sell your mats straight… farming Eternals with Engineering… making Pots and Elixirs and Flasks for raiders… Darkmoon Cards, and Titansteel, and Dragon’s Eyes, and Belt Buckles, and Enchant Scrolls, and Mammoth Cutter ammo, and Arctic Furs, and Epic Armor and Weapons, oh my. The list is just a mile long.
Anybody really feel their Profession got shafted at the AH? Because they all look very nice for making money to me.