Some of us just don’t have the heart to throw ANYTHING away… ^^

Five Ways to Improve Professions In Game.

#2 :  Use More of the Same Materials, not Less. Make them drop where people play most!

If, like some of us, you were crafting in Vanilla, you’ll remember the single biggest stumbling block to your task was the materials. If Blizzard wanted to make summat hard to craft, they’d make the mobs hard to find. I can remember the sheer joy when AQ and ZG were introduced for the first time and we were presented with new recipes from vendors that required skinning of specialist mobs to take place INSIDE AN INSTANCE, and then the realisation that I’d have to fight (potentially) 19 other people to get them [*] Striking a balance between accessible materials and rarity is something Blizzard have struggled with over the years, but of all the ‘factors’ involved in Crafting, this one is actually far better than it was when the system was introduced. I still don’t have enough Dreamscale for that hunter chestpiece, even now…

However, especially when levelling, finding the right mats is still an issue, and it’s my second issue with the crafting model. Surprisingly, I’m not after Blizzard removing those hard to find items: far from it.

  • A leatherworker’s going to need to skin a mob to level: a miner will need to hit a vein, a herbalist pick a flower. Make sure, when they do, that the mob/node drops additional items that are needed by the other professions. It could be a flower part to help level First Aid, for instance: if miners can harvest gems to help Jewelcrafters and that gem can be sold on the AH, the same should be true of all the items you can ‘harvest’. Make EVERY item you are able to pick up be worthwhile, and not simply at low levels. I’d like to see stone re-introduced to high level mining nodes and patterns introduced to utilise it, and extra items from skinned mobs.
  • Give professions the chance to use more items in construction and not less. Although I appreciate the simplification of many recipes as areas become ‘obsolete’ or are ‘re-imagined’ (Strat and Scholo, I’m looking at you) it is a shame to see an item simply taking two herbs to make (plus a vial) or some leather and thread. There are plenty of opportunities in game for items to be purchasable with tokens (see point #3 tomorrow): why not use the model of the Engineering Chopper as a positive example? Place items on vendors around the world for cash, and Crafters could go and buy them: make them class only or BoP if you’re concerned they could be exploited via the AH.
  • Anyone fishing in Tol Barad or Darkmoon island right now will tell you what a treasure trove of awesomeness the Sealed Crates have become. I quietly cheered when Freya was given the Alchemists Cache in her loot table: what about more Package Love? If Blizzard can use the Darkmoon Artifacts and have them drop of specific mobs in specific Dungeons (with the addition of your Dungeoneering Guide) what’s to stop the same happening for professions? That skinning knife you got when you completed your first Apprentice quest, how about that allows you to collect certain items from mobs you skin in 5 mans? When you mine that ore in the 5 man, you could receive a special Geode… you get the idea.
  • Making the current top end Tailoring Cloth BoP is a blessing for some and a curse for many others, especially if you never get the patterns you need to create updated gears. That needs to change, especially through the process of patches. Although I appreciate the value of making certain patterns only drop in 10/25 man, I think Blizzard might be wise to consider creating an interim level of craftable gear that drops only in LFR. If we’re going to be sensible, that would also correspond with an interim level of gems and a ‘key ingredient’ (Essence of Minor Destruction, anyone?)
  • While we’re on Tailors (and Alchemists), I’d like to see a rethink of the way their materials are handled. I’m not sure making Alchemists the only people who can produce Truegold is a good idea, and that it is the backbone of so many recipes seems odd. Is it not possible for ALL professions to get a Truegold-style material, and for patterns not to simply require the same base group of items to make?

In my ideal crafting world, everything would be recyclable. Any item that a crafter made would have by-products, and they could either be re-used on their own or be combined with other items to make materials another crafter could use in a separate profession. The AH would be full of crafters both selling their wares and their by-products. Maybe it would be possible, as we do with leather and metal right now, to make ‘thicker’ versions or composites of items using those that are more regularly occurring with the rarer drops. Perhaps those giblets that I got from skinning could be used by someone with a Deep Sea Fishing specialisation to catch a special shark. Maybe that plant stem could be crushed by a First Aider to make a HoT Salve…. let’s use more materials to make crafting fun, not take them away because people think it’s ‘too hard’ to find them. Just make them drop off the mobs people use most to level. Make them drop from dungeons if people are simply using LFG to go from 1-85, from BG’s as well.

Most importantly, if so many people are enjoying LFR as a way to see content, give them some crafting love to go with it.

[*] Okay, so there were never 20 skinners in a ZG 20, but you get the idea. If only the concept of the ‘only drops if you have an item in your inventory *thing* had existed back then… ^^

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