Saturday, February 04, 2012

One Day...

Here I am, failing. Again :(

Yet again, I have failed to win a Fishing Contest.

It's becoming a routine on a Saturday: I'll haver for a bit beforehand, wondering if it's worth trying, then my Husband will remind me that I'll never have a chance if I don't take part. So, off I'll go to Northrend, with hat and rod, my Water Walking potions at the ready, and I'll pick a spot. Five minutes before the contest starts, inevitably, someone will come land next to me. Yes, I'm doing this too, as if to remind me that Fishing is still something people want achievements for. Not just me, lots and lots of people, if today is any indicator.

I know that if I've not seen the fish in under five minutes, that's it. Only a Server collapse leaving me as the only on online will save me from, yet again, failing to get the Blacktip Shark.

Not gonna stop trying though. See you next week... :D

Friday, February 03, 2012

Collecting 'Junk' For Fun and Profit

The Broken are your Friend. This one doubly so...

I know a lot of people who are regular readers here like to play 'Hunt the Rare Spawn' in game. I've been doing it a long time, but with the exception of the Northrend and Outland achievements I rarely keep score or record what I find. However, that all changed when I killed a Rare in the Blasted Lands a few weeks ago and discovered that a much-loved quest in this zone had been linked to rare spawns. It's all to do with Kum'isha, bless him, and his perennial search for the relics of his homeland. Let me explain:

Addons. Is there anything they CAN'T do...? :D

Silver Dragon
is a fabulous addon if you love hunting the silver spawns: it's overriding advantage when bolted into Titan (for me at least) is the ability to see what rares exist in which zone. There's also the benefit that when I find one, a HUGE BOX appears and a sound plays to tell me I've found it:

LOOK I HAVE FOUND A RARE11!!!11!11!! *cough*

Anyway, I digress. Rare spawns sub-60 haven't really been moneyspinners for some time, until the Mog Gear farmers arrived that is, and now any item has the ability to be worth a fortune if it looks right. In the Blasted Lands, they are guaranteed not simply to drop a green quality item, but one of two specific additional items as well:

The Flawless Draenethyst Sphere and Imperfect Draenethyst Fragment have existed in this zone for as long as I can remember, only the mechanic of the quest had changed with the Sundering: before you'd go to Kum'isha who'd give you the quest to hand the items in if you found them. Now they will drop from any of the Rares in the zone: most will give the green quality but the drop rate for the blue is reassuringly common. Handing them in reward you with an Emerald Encrusted Chest for the Sphere: that will contain a blue item and occasionally another green. Hand in the Fragment and you'll get Kum'isha's Junk which rewards simply another green.

What makes this currently such a decent moneymaker, quite apart from the Mog probabilities, is the number of rares one can pick up in the zone if you get there early. This morning, for instance, I found four: Spiteflayer, Mojo, Magronos and one that didn't even exist on my list when I arrived:

Hello Narixxus, you're new!

From these four I pulled a sphere and three fragments, but that's not all. These monsters, especially those in static locations such as caves, seem to share spawn points with the new and improved Azeroth Chests:

Chests = additional profits :D

In that chest? An Orb of Deception. Needless to say, keep your eyes open, there's no telling what you might pick up. This is the only zone with a guaranteed bonus for your rare-hunters out there... unless you know differently...? :D

Not As Intended?

Look. We Won :D

Last night, we progressed.

Regardless on how you view the game, we got help. Last week this help did not exist in the game files, this week it did. We didn't do anything different: everyone had flasks and food buffs. People had geared in LFR. I had 5/5 Tier!Lite and some additional buffs. We were still close to a wipe, but the facts speak for themselves. Ultraxion died, we progressed, and Blizzard's numbers will show that yes, guilds like us who couldn't do the encounter as designed pre-nerf can do it now. Just.

For the record, it's just as satisfying, because 5% is not huge, but it's enough. It's not too much because we far from walked it, there were wipes. Purists however do not judge such criteria as significant, we did this post-nerf, and it doesn't count as progression. Odd really, because that's just what it felt like to me. Just because we didn't do it 'as intended' doesn't mean it doesn't have a measure of meaning or significance. It's the individual consciences of the ten people involved that matter most, it seems to me: I firmly believe nobody in that raid felt they didn't make an effort to make it happen. No-one slacked. Nobody was carried, everyone gave 110%. As a result, it holds an air of legitimacy.

When, therefore, does 'help' count as legitimate, and when does it dip into the realm of 'exploitation'?

The Retri DPS 'buff' wasn't planned. You couldn't turn it off if you wanted to. It was a consequence of something else, totally unrelated, and because it was not formally announced or expected, it became for many, cheating. The game is all about transparency, after all. If you're told, you're golden. So, if you raided with this and knew it was there, and you could see the effect it was having on your progression, does this belittle it or make it less significant? I think that happens in your head, frankly. The 'official' nerf that was put in place has already ensured that 'strict' progression is a thing of the past so this was a bit of a bonus. Now it's gone, as long as you didn't make 30,000g from it or claim summat like a drake for blitzing an entire instance on Heroic, you're okay. If it bothers you that you used it, that's nothing to do with the game and everything to do with your conscience.

Success is measured by a vast number of factors across our society. Trophies and rankings work for sport, lives saved works for medicine. Happiness is a tad harder to accurately quantify, but it's a great deal easier to express. Last night's 5% nerf made many, many people happy and (if there's a plan) will allow a lot more people to progress to the next obstacle in their journey to clearing Dragon Soul on Normal. The paladin bug also made lots of people happy, and those who've played the game for long enough will simply put it's brief blip down to 'one of those things', which many will look back on fondly in the same way they did as that time that 10/25 people all died simultaneously to something utterly stupid on their way to completing the content. However, neither of these takes away from the immovable: the content is no longer strict. The Hardcore have had their final day in the sun this expansion. The next time we get content that will be the yardstick for anyone to accurately measure their abilities in beating the game in terms of the 'Rules' Blizzard sets out to do so, it will come with a Panda accompaniment.

These are the beginnings of the Last Days of Cataclysm. Frankly, the real End cannot come soon enough...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Working the Numbers.

LFR brings the shinies, Apologies if you've not been so lucky...

Lot of talk in the blogsphere about gearing in the last few days, whether it be WoW Insider staffers or Large Furry Druids. It is apparent from this small corner that the process of gearing has changed yet again: been a while since I rocked a five set of anything on anybody. Of course, it's not Tier!Normal it's Tier!Lite, but my dps doesn't seem to mind. Flasked and fed, I was pulling 40k dps plus last night in LFR, and I was rarely out of the top five on the meters. This, for most people, is all that really matters: you look GOOD. However (there's always a caveat) I find myself thinking this morning, is this actually an improvement on the way things were? I know I was a big Naysayer on the LFR thing even before we had it: does this apparent improvement in gearing sources really improve the lot of the average player?

Well, in practical terms, it's a massive boost. Farming in TB is quicker and easier: 'basic' L85 beasts die with ease, and more give up skins in my 60 minute window allowing the Potion of Treasure Finding to randomly gift me with moar chests. If I look at the how many extra skins get sold on the Auction House, I'm betting the financial benefit of more dps is largely unarguable. I took my Rogue out for Part One later last night and again, with application to my rotation and some foods (not even a flask) top 5 dps places were easy to attain. However, and here's the killer (at least for me): there were far better geared people than me doing far less dps.  It was late, and it was LFR: there could be any number of excuses, but what is clear (and this has always been the case) that looking permanently smart does not automatically mean you'll play smart 24/7 too. LFR may teach you how boss fights work, but it doesn't teach you how to play better. That's your task to undertake and not for Blizzard.

I am not the only person who bemoans those who do not come prepared to raids. I'm also not the only person who thinks that people need something more than just being shown what to do. These are people who have been in the game a long time, who remember when raiding meant far more than picking a role and simply pressing a button. This mentality is not easy to distil or reinforce in the more casual player either: if I take my 11 year old as an example he's prepared to grind for something but only when he has exhausted all the easy options. If he can cheat, he will, if someone else has shown him the way first. I find myself thinking that for the majority of those who don't just count Azeroth as their 'home' have this mindset and not the one that assumes that everyone will give 110% regardless of what they are doing. I'm not suggesting this should be the default state, but it might make everyone's life a bit easier if it was, surely?

I suggested in my Professions posts that it would be wonderful to see the ability to tie levelling a craft with learning that it's not just about the best gear, there are other issues to consider (like food, flasks and enchants). Blizzard have a great opportunity when addressing the issue of 'stat inflation' to make armour less of an issue to how people are organised into content. With mogging being increasingly popular (if the prices of sub-80 green gear are any indicator on my server, it's taking off in a big way) it shouldn't be about how you look any more, and it really ought not to be relying on a number you work so you can press a particular button either. We need to balance the need to be better with the mechanics that get us there, and people have to understand that, even on the days when we're not playing at 100%, there's more to this game than just the basics.

Sadly, we have a month to wait until we hear any news on how this all might be changing from the Land of Pandas... but I'm sure we can all find plenty to discuss until then.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Ultimate Warcraft Mix Competition!

Ladies and Gentleman, put on those [Dancing Trousers] and get thinking!

To celebrate three years of utter dross Quality Blogging at this here site, I have decided to offer a Competition guaranteed to bring some joy back into these dark and wet February days (unless you're lucky enough to be reading this in the Southern Hemisphere, where it will be neither of those things, you lucky swines). My love of music, in all its forms, extends into my gaming and far, FAR beyond it, so I though it would be interesting to see what the rest of you use as background music when you've turned the in-game sound off.

Hence, THE ULTIMATE WOW MIXTAPE Competition was born.

That image up there may not be immediately recognisable to some of you youngsters: it's a cassette (don't start... ^^) Once upon a time that was how you passed your music about, before the days of MP3s and iTunes, and that's what I'd like to imagine you're using when you present me with the music you think I should be listening to on my travails around Azeroth and its dependencies. You have 60 minutes of music (two 30 minute sides for the purists) to fill: provide me with your ultimate musical accompaniment for playing the game.

There are no limits or boundaries for your choices: genre, artist, vocal or orchestral: anything goes. I ask only for one other thing: an explanation of why you've picked each track. As a guide therefore I have selected my own hour of Top Quality Tunes with suitable explanatory text, to give you an idea of what I'm looking for:


The Godmother's 'Azeroth's Top Tunes' (Vol 1.)
  1. The Sweet :: Ballroom Blitz (4:02)
    Substitute 'Ballroom' with Alterac and this is my Unofficial Theme for AV's. 40 people piling out of a gate with this playing = WIN.

  2. London Music Works :: Requiem for a Tower. (4:12)
    If there were a theme for the first four minutes when you arrive in a BG, from prepping to running out to your destiny/doom (delete where applicable) then this is it. Imagining you are Legolas is purely optional.

  3. Oasis :: All Around the World (9.20)
    Music for travelling: whether it be those LONG Hippogryff rides across Kalimdor or the boat from Stormwind to Anywhere, this is a song for Public Transport. Hideously upbeat when you're L15 and having to run everywhere too...

  4. Peter Gabriel :: Mercy Street (6.21)
    My unofficial background music for Feralas, before the Sundering, when the trip on the boat to Feathermoon Island was one of the most evocative in game.

  5. The Farm :: Altogether Now (4.01)
    An all-purpose BG anthem, to remind people that this is a War, and sometimes there are more important things to think about than simply camping the Stables. Not that that's going to get me anywhere but still...

  6. Sparks :: This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us (3.06)
    Maiev Shadowsong v Illidan Stormrage. The Black Temple. Unofficial Main Theme :D Frankly, could work for any You vs Big Bad Endgame villain...

  7. The Prodigy :: Firestarter (4.42)
    This is the tune my Warlock would walk onto in an Arena match were I a) any good at PvP and b) we were allowed such things. Needless to say, its a Destruction favourite!

  8. Air :: Cherry Blossom Girl (3.40)
    Teldrassil. Ashenvale before the Sundering. Anywhere where you find lots of Night Elves and Elune's presence is palpable. It's just *calm* and serene and... well, you get the idea.

  9. The Beatles :: Free as a Bird (4.25)
    Druid Flight Form. Nuff said!

  10. Thomas Newman :: Rock Island, 1931 (Road to Perdition Soundtrack) (3.22)
    My Dwarven Starting Area music, when snow needs something special to accompany it... this works, it really does. Wonderfully evocative. Just pretend they're bagpipes, 'kay?

  11. Squeeze :: Take me I'm Yours (2.50)
    Music for traversing Tanaris, preferably post Sundering as you'd be able to do it ON a camel... :D Start at Gadgetzan for additional Goblin interest!

  12. Moby :: Go (Twin Peaks Remix) (4.00)
    No, it's not another battleground song, this one's for Netherstorm. I dunno why, but for me this is all purple and swirly and filled with Etherials and Blood Elves. That's what happens when you play this game for as long as I have... ^^

  13. Moloko :: Indigo (5.37)
    Music for Uldum. Where giant blokes swinging maces at you is all part of a day's work...

Total time : 59.4 minutes. Job dun!


As you can see, that's a combination of a few different styles with some suitable explanation for each one. Now it's your turn... let's see what you have, guys!

The competition is open to anyone with Dancing Trousers, a Soul (innate rhythm is not required) and a love of Music until February 29th (OMG Leap Year) after which time I will choose my three favourite compilations (this assumes of course I get more than three entries, here's hoping) The overall best compilation in the opinion of the Judges (i.e., Me) will be rewarded with a hand-picked, lovingly handled $25 J!nx Gift Voucher to go buy summat awesome and appropriately-themed. This means you only need to provide me with a valid e-mail address to enter. So, what are you waiting for...?

Send your entries to and I'll do my best to acknowledge every entry when it arrives.

I look forward to all your submissions, and to being suitably educated in what the rest of the Blogsphere uses as background gaming accompaniment... :D

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Warning You Now...

I was amazed I'd managed three years. A logo seemed like a good idea...

Tomorrow it's an entirely new month, and a rather special anniversary for this 'ere Blog. I promise not to go on about it too much, and there will be a Competition with at least one Top Quality Prize to entice more of you to stop by. Needless to say, three years doing ANYTHING is fairly impressive in my eyes, so I feel it deserves some kind of commemoration.

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to put the finishing touches to some Stuffs for later...

...and in Other News...

Please to be noting new Anniversary logo. /thanks to Husband.

XP via Elders. Sorted!

Not only did P sneak in 50k from looting (with the minimum of fuss last week) but Bankalt S made it to 85. Once suitably geared I suspect she will be used for faffing whilst I level Alchemy for her to become a Potion Master. As she's not with the L25 Guild there's no point in using her as a gatherer without the bonuses. I will run her through all the Cata Zones mind for cash and gathering opportunities on the side, however. I might well level her fishing however, especially if I get as lucky with pools as I did at the weekend:

We want more fishing pools like this, please...

There's been a couple of moments like this, and it bears repeating that if you want to level a fisherman from scratch do it simply from pools, as it's a guaranteed catch every time. I also did some more Archaeology, in the vain hope I might get another of my rare solves to materialise. I REALLY hope that I'm not waiting another eleven months to see the next one...

Healthy bank balance, P!

That's only my third 375g solve, but that's not the real reason why I took the screenie. If you're a Professions completist and you're looking for missing recipes there's a load of NPC's scattered across the Game World with items tied to reputation. You could do a lot worse than arm yourself with the Ackis Recipe List addon and spend some time picking up the easier ones. I'd forgotten about the Anti-Venom recipe as well, would be great to see more things like that stuck into the game at higher levels (don't start again, calm down...) My biggest source of amazement (and what prompted the screenie) is the fact that the Hallowed Brazier is still available to purchase. Blizzard, did you not take the Tier 0.5 Questline out of the game? If so, why is this still here...?

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Primary Professions Plan

Okay, this is long, and requires a quick bit of explanation. When I was working on my set of posts I took it upon myself to think up how I could realistically standardise all 14 professions so they had the same basic 'structure'. This document (which was all on paper for a while) is the result of my thoughts and was where a lot of subsequent ideas for professions came about. I thought you might be interested to see where my thinking was going. I made some notes too, I apologise in advance for overt flippancy...

I'll also do it in two parts or else it's going to become hugely unwieldy.  Part One therefore is the 10 main professions, Part Two will be the secondaries...

The Basics:

Each Profession is divided into the seven different levels as it currently stands: Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, Artisan, Master, Grand Master and Illustrious Grand Master. At the end of each 'phase' you are required to complete an Apprenticeship, which gives you access to the next. These quests reward you with an achievement and an item specific to your profession that 'evolves' with you. Every profession provides the student with a Storage Bag, a speciality tool or tools, a pet to accompany you (with specific abilities to help you with your profession) and a number of  'vanity' trinkets/bolt-ons to existing gear.

At Level 65 you are sent to an Alliance/Horde Capitol to visit the Azerothian Crafters Guild to begin your training in a Profession Specialisation. This training is not completed until you reach L75 and requires retraining every time you reach Maximum Level (so a retraining programme at L80, L85 and L90) to maintain your skills and abilities.

You cannot retrain a profession specialisation for 90 days. To do so requires a sizeable amount of cash and a contribution of raw materials specific to your new Specialisation to be donated to the Crafters Guild.

There is a Crafters Guild HQ in every major city (where you can pick up Secondary Professions Dailies), but specialist trainers only inhabit certain areas, forcing players to travel to learn the skills they require. Each month, the Guild sends its members a package of goods appropriate to their specific skills.


Blacksmithing Specialisations:

  • Weaponsmith: using metals and raw materials derived from Mining.
  • Armoursmith: using metals and raw materials derived from Mining.
  • Buckles, Bangles and Beads: slots to belts & necklaces. Universal keys for locks and chests. BRING BACK SHARPENING STONES.
Professionalism: Sockets to wrist and waist. Vanity Option = engraved bonuses.

[Please PLEASE PLEASE give BS-ing some love. Something more practical than just the Belt Buckle. They'd be too cool to make pets but they could make Guild Crests or summat ^^]

Engineering Specialisations:
  • Goblin Engineering: Awesome already.
  • Etherial Engineering (thinking portals, using pure energy for weapons)
  • Gnomish Engineering: See Goblin Engineering.
Professionalism: Cogwheel Sockets. Vanity Option = tinkering bonuses (Nitro Boosts etc)

[As it stands, I'd say engineering is the one profession that has the mix of Fun verses Practical sorted. Give them a choice of one extra specialisation to come in line with everyone else and think about giving mailboxes and repair bots that can be made and given to everyone. Let the Engi's keep Jeeves but give him AH access anywhere :D]

Tailoring Specialisations:
  • Armoursmith: using cloth and items gleaned from Blacksmiths and Leatherworkers.
  • Cloak Manufacturer: Tailors become SOLE cloak makers in game.
  • Bags and Threads: Tailors provide specialist bags. Provide Spellthreads to increase stats in ALL leg items.
Professionalism: Spellthreads for cloaks and wrists. Vanity Option = hand-sewn 'mascots' with + stat bonuses. 

[I'm really not sure that tailors should be able gather more cloth than everyone else, but I understand why the ability was introduced. Perhaps if they had more things to make than just cloth-based items. I'm going to address the issues of Specialist Cloth along with specialist Transmutes in my raw Materials post, so don't start asking about what I'm thinking there just yet...]

Leatherworking Specialisations:
  • Weaponsmith: using bones, scales and raw materials derived from Leatherworking.
  • Armoursmith: using bones, scales and raw materials derived from Leatherworking.
  • Buckles, Bangles and Beads: slots to cloaks. Pet armour (all types of pets) Leatherworkers provide extension slots for Tailoring bags.
Professionalism: Increased stats to legs and wrists. Vanity Option = leather-made pennants with + stat bonuses (you can hang them from your mount! Work with me people!)

[Leatherworking, like the BS's, needs some serious love. The introduction of PvP gear that scales with expansion is a serious step in the right direction, and if that could be applied to more patterns lower down the scale... plus, we need more vanity items. If the Darkmoon Faire has me making toys for it once a month, why can't I do that myself?]

Alchemy Specialisations:
  • Commander of Liquids: chance to create additional potions, elixirs and flasks.
  • Commander of Solids: chance to create additional gems via transmutes.
  • Commander of Gasses: chance to create extra Volatiles from the ether.
Professionalism: Alchemist only Trinkets and Potions. Vanity Option: Magical Familiars with + stat bonuses.

[Alchemy's popularity is easy to grasp: three masteries, all with tangible bonuses. The Transmute bonus, when it does proc, is beyond awesome, and frankly it should be the norm across EVERY profession. I'd like to see transmuting metals like Truegold taken away from Alchemists and maybe given to the Blacksmiths, because I think that actually Alchemy gets too much to do. Maybe some fo that needs to be redistributed elsewhere...]

Inscription Specialisations:
  • Scribe of Glyphs: Chance to create extra glyphs when scribing.
  • Scribe of the Darkmoon: Bonus to Darkmoon Card manufacture, plus special items derived from fishing off the Darkmoon Island.
  • Scribe of the Ancients: Able to fashion rare trinkets from combining items found via Archaeology.
Professionalism: Shoulder Inscriptions. Vanity Option: Extra Minor Glyph slot, in which Scribe-only + stat bonuses can be added.  

[Scribes are woefully underused, and too much of what they do is tied to a system of milling that is mind-numbingly repetitive. As a result, I think they need some alternative avenues to pursue, and glyphs need to be far easier to produce. Watch now as Blizzard scrap the glyph system ^^ The whole Darkmoon Card thing needs to be better thought out, and not just limited to trinkets. Plus, we REALLY need to find something useful to do with Archaeology.]

Jewelcrafting Specialisations:
  • Accomplished Lapidarist: Chance to cut better quality stones.
  • Accomplished Jeweller: Chance to create jewellery (neck & finger) with an additional slot/better stats.
  • Amulets and Wards: Chance to create additional trinkets/better quality items using items found via Archaeology.
Professionalism: +3 better quality gems in gear.  Vanity Option: Body Piercings for + stat bonuses. 

[Yes, I suggested body piercings. I also think that no-one really cares about necklaces and rings once you've maxxed out and that's so wrong. Blizzard have proved with the PvP gear it's possible to update patterns to reflect current iLevels, let's see it happen with rings and necklaces that AREN'T linked to BG's. Agaian, JC-ing has a great way to utilise Archaeology items: combine that green quality dig find with a special Ward from a JC-er = Nice Epic item. Is it REALLY that hard?]

Enchanting Specialisations:
  • Enchanting 101: Chance to produce a second scroll when enchanting an item/creating a scroll.
  • Wands and Wings: Wand production, head enchants. YES HEAD ENCHANTS. Chance to create second item when making first.
  • Oils and Hexes: Special oils for +skills, not just magic users! Hexes to give + to damage, healing, major stats.
Professionalism: Enchants for rings, special Enchanting-only bonuses for cloaks. Vanity Option: give the enchanter a nice magical glow with a plus to a stat of their choice. They'll look lovely!

[Enchanting suffers from it's reliance on materials gained from levelling. Maybe it's time to add back some of those items that have been taken away [I'm looking at you, Large Fangs!] to help redress some of the balance and to keep some stability in the market. So, if you want a scroll with agility, you'll need something that's fast to enchant with too. Want Haste? Get some Volatile Air, that sort of thing. Stop taking out materials that give advantage to crafters!]

Skinning Specialisations:
  • Master of the Land Beast:  Extra skins, superior quality items from anything on the Earth.
  • Master of the Sea Beast: Extra skins, superior quality items from anything in the Sea.
  • Master of the Flying Beast: Extra skins, superior quality items from Birds and Dragons and anything else wot flies.
Gathering bones, teeth, scales that can be used by Leatherworkers.

Professionalism: Critical strike increased. Chance to 'adopt' animals whose parents you mindlessly slaughter in your quest for skinning domination ^^

[The gathering professions need more balls, frankly. You gave us XP for gathering, which is good. Now make it about not just gathering skins, how about extras? We get Bloated Stomachs from mobs: how about bones? How about sharp teeth that can be used to make weapons? Make us want to specialise in gathering certain types of skin, so that a Rogue can put items to some uses and Druids can use others. The three strands of Leatherworking were great, back in the day. Maybe it's time to start looking back to specialisations based on class and spec...?.]

Mining Specialisations:

  • Raw Materials: Bonus ore gathers when mining from nodes.
  • Metallurgy and Alloys: Bonus items when manufacturing bars or alloys.
  • Precious Stones: Bonus gem gathers when mining from nodes.
Gathering stone and materials for Blacksmiths, refining metals into forms to be used by Jewelcrafters.

Professionalism: Stamina Increased. Chance to uncover prehistoric creatures trapped underground for thousands of years who will adopt you as their God. (I'm sensing you're not taking this entirely seriously ^^)

[See above re: Skinning. Might be nice, as well as having a pet you can mine, to have larger stones that could be cut down by the JC's into multiples of the same stone. REALLY should bring back uses for stone as well, would be great to see this re-introduced into the Outland/Northrend/Cataclysm nodes.]

Herbalism Specialisations:
  • Finding Flora: Bonus flower gathers when picking nodes.
  • Practicing Pharmacognosy: Bonus healing items to use in First Aid.
  • Green-Fingered Gardener: Bonus edible items to use in Cookery.
Additional materials (as we have) from plants to increase stats, for fun uses (different plant derivatives turn you different colours when swallowed?)

Professionalism: Haste buff. GIEF TRIFFID PET FROM GATHERING HERBS KKTHXBAIBAI. It can eat critters the same way the Crate does... :D

[I think Herbalism has the best deal of the three gathering professions, and really the benefits you get from it ought to be translated across all of them...]

Part Two will follow...:D

Now What?

Right, I'll kill Scourge over here, you farmers go that way...

Well, I've not quite done with the Professions Thang, there's one more post on that. Then it's my Three Year Anniversary (:O) on Thursday and I should probably think about something to celebrate that, really. My husband, who did a drive-by look at the site yesterday, remarked he's 'not a big fan' of my hastily-constructed 3 Year Logo. 'Well, you do better then' I challenged and it appears he will be today, so there might also be some graphical changes to the site as well... ^^

I have wanted to write about the Professions for a LONG TIME. Having finally gotten it all out hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for writing about the game, as I worried it might: far from it. There's a lot I have to say, I just need the right tools to get it all 'out here' and if you'll bear with me, I'll be working on that as the year goes on. It's not like I haven't got anything to do in game either (as I keep realising, hence why I'm in Western Plaguelands wiping out the Forsaken) so I'd expect some observations on that and other gubbins... there's always summat to do in Azeroth.

Needless to say, still the #1 Game of Choice. Not bad for a seven year old behemoth... ^^

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Honing Your Crafts : #5 : Moar Fun KKthxBaiBai!

100% More fun in this than all other professions? Discuss...

Five Ways to Improve Professions In Game.

#5 : Make all Professions as fun as Engineering. Yes, REALLY.

It seems quite a long time since we started this little expedition into the problems and issues with all the Professions: I've covered all the major issues I think need addressing, but I'm a realist. I know that it's highly unlikely that any of this may come to pass with the Coming of the Pandas, because there's just too much to fix in just one hit. Maybe we should just aim for one thing that could be changed for the better: making them more fun. If you want to highlight an area that gets the balance of practical and silly just about spot on, then you're looking at Engineering, because it is awesome.

Engineering is great looking gear, with practical gadgets to make any Azerothian traveller's life easier. Portable mailboxes! Repair bots!  Wormholes to other continents... yes, it has everything. It also has a set of fun additions to gear too (Nitro Boosts are FABULOUS, everyone should have a Parachute Cloak) which mean that the grind to level it is far less of a grind. Yes, it's still hard but you get a choice of  two flying/ground and a ground mount as a reward. There are awesome Engi-only pets too... and you can be either a Goblin or a Gnomish specialist. Frankly it has so much to offer, and there's the problem.

Why can't Tailors get cool stuff other than two pets and the carpets? Why shouldn't Jewelcrafters be able to make brooches and buckles with cool uses? What would be wrong in allowing Leatherworkers ANYTHING FUN AT ALL? (easy now dear) Would it be really that difficult to introduce a range of things to craft, wear and sell across all 14 primaries and secondaries that brought the fun and enthusiasm back into the Professions? There are hints of what could be already in place after all: the Turtle from Fishing, the Epic items from Archaeology, the Dragon Mount from Alchemy. In the very slim hope that someone from Blizzard has read my last five days of rambling and might be open to suggestion at this stage of the game pre-Expansion I say this: if you do ANYTHING to Professions in Pandaland, PLEASE MAKE THEM AS FUN AS EACH OTHER.

Some of us hope that, when all is said and done, it's never just about the End Game, or the Pet Battles, or the PvP, or indeed the professions: all of this makes the game what it is. The fun's been missing from a lot of these places for a while now and it's time to bring it back. The business of gathering and crafting's as good a place as any to start...

One Dwarf and her Claw!

Screenie or it never happened!

It's officially the hardest pet to obtain in my collection. Now I have it, I find myself thinking that actually, it was worth the effort. Still think they need to fix Professions though, and the last part of my Epic Series will be along later... :D

For now, I'll be here thinking what a great looking hand that is... :P