Five Ways to Improve Professions In Game.
#4 : Stop treating Professions separately from levelling.  Encourage people by using them to play better.

It’s not hard to get yourself optimised. Really, it’s not…

I run a fair few LFG and LFR’s in an average week. When I look at some people’s gear I get a little sad inside: no enchants, no gems. Lots of PvP gear. Very few people eat any more, even fewer use flasks. Why is this? Are prices really that high on other servers? Those people who roll on inappropriately statted gear, do they simply not understand how to play their classes? I suspect part of the problem lies with the speed at which the average individual can now level: if your only real aim is End Game, then why worry about how to get there? Perhaps it’s time to make Professions MORE of a part of the levelling process and not less, and to give people (via learning their crafts) a chance to understand how to use these primary and secondary skills to their advantage:

  • There are two quests for every class at 20 and 50 for weapons. Why not do the same for Armour (with the optimal stats for each class, options for hybrids) to teach people what gear they need to be rolling on? How about quests to make food that when they eat it gives them better stats, in EVERY expansion area? Link these up with professions quests that promote people to make the same food and drink, and comparable armour pieces, and then (gasp!) suggest they visit an Auction House to sell them? There are a ton of ‘how to’ instructions from levels 1-10 but after that things go a bit quiet: nothing wrong with reminding people what they need to do along the way…
  • One of things I enjoyed a great deal when I was learning Leatherworking the first time around was the prerequisite quests: taking them out made sense when the 1-85 grind became less about hanging around and more about sprinting to End Game. What might help to educate is if those quests were reintroduced but at different levels, linked with my proposed ‘Specialisation’ quest at L65. This is another great way to teach people about how different stats are required for different classes.
  • I’d like to see more quest rewards of gems, enchants and especially glyphs. This might pique people’s interests as to what other ‘enhancements’ are available for their gears and make them investigate the options. I also think that instead of simply offering raw gems from vendors it might be an idea to provide precut gems (with lesser stats than JC-er versions) instead, actively pushing people onto the path of gemming.
  • On that point, it’s probably time to make Faction Vendors easier to find and to send people to them in both Northrend and Outland… ^^ Perhaps wearing a faction’s tabard could start a quest line that sends you back to them when an items you could use in a profession is available?

It’s often the case that people level themselves first and then go back afterwards to level the professions they’re told on the Internet are the best for their class at 85. It might not be an idea to start telling people more in game what is good for them so they can make more informed choices for themselves, and to start that process from the moment they roll a character. After all, every day can be a school day if you’re given the encouragement to learn…

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