Saturday, February 02, 2013


It's grey 'coz it's not ready yet... ^^

It is with some satisfaction that it is now clear my observations on the Blacksmithing 'projects' buried away in Wowhead's datamaining was correct: there is indeed a major revamp to the profession incoming for 5.2. What makes me more excited, and that is what it is, are the potential possibilities this change has for the entire Professions aspect of the game. I touched on some of the immediate consequences in an earlier post but on reflection these are the tip of a pretty sizable iceberg. The ramifications of this change are significant, and stretch far beyond the auspices of crafting.

The Blacksmithing 'model' follows the Cookery one that you'll encounter in Halfhill pretty closely: however, instead of having to buy your raw materials, you gather them. With a bit of thought we can extend the thinking to allow us to use the same 'tools' to simplify every profession:

  • Leatherworking should use Exotic Leather and Prismatic Scale.
  • Tailoring should use Windwool Cloth exclusively
  • Alchemy should use Pandarian Herbs
  • Inscription should use Pandaran Herbs plus additional 'inks' purchasable from a vendor (like cookery)
  • Jewelcrafting should use Ghost Iron Ore and Pandaran gems.
  • Engineering should use Ghost Iron Ore with additional 'parts' purchasable from a vendor (like cookery)
  • Enchanting will follow the Cookery model with new 'dusts' purchasable from a vendor (like cookery)
The relative simplicity this will create has a huge number of advantages:

  • Far simpler to learn a profession for bonuses
  • Far simpler to swap professions when required
  • Only gathering required from Pandaria, forcing people into the current expansion
  • People creating 'mules' to make profession alts will be greatly reduced
  • No requirement for obscure or hard to find mats from previous expansions
However perhaps the biggest single advantage to this change will have nothing to do with the professions at all, and everything to do with the amount of bag space you will potentially be able to free when it is not necessary to have four expansion's worth of crafting materials at your disposal to complete the grind from 1-600. Those materials are only relevant for twinking, for mogging and for vanity. There could well be an awful lot of L1 bankalts out of a job as a result of this change, but that too has advantages: freeing up character spots for further expansions, allowing people to spend less time organising an enormous amount of material and more time actually playing the game.

This change will have a direct and immediate relevance to anyone who chooses to level an alt with a gathering profession. In fact, I can see a situation where absolutely no-one will want to level anything other than Mining, Herbalism or Skinning until they get to 85: you'll want to make sure you have a gathering skill that reflects the Profession you'll take once you've finished Cataclysm content and you'll want to ensure you can gather everything and anything the moment to set foot in Pandaria. I suspect there will be a residual market for anything gathered as you go from 1-85: bear in mind that all existing Azerothian patterns can be learnt in the BS model so (for instance) as a Scribe in the new model you'll still be able to mill any low level herbs, but there'll be no need to pay 200g for a stack on the AH when you can get your levelling points simply with Pandarian gathers.

What is not yet clear, and why (I believe) we'll not see every profession instantly converted to the new models, is the effect this will have on the Warcraft economy, especially in terms of AH markets. I'm looking forward to hearing how the community reacts to this: my personal thoughts on this are that this will move a lot of people out of what are (in effect) niche markets, especially with low level mat sales, and into the same basic group of key commodities. It should add value to those materials required to level, and promote more aggressive pricing as a result. On the flip side I also feel that there could be opportunities for the canny (especially the more established players) to start further diversifying into items that will not be readily available if people simply level a profession to get access to the most current items. Consider it the 'Etsy' Effect: hand crafted armour and weapons, oddities from expansions past, especially if these items have a distinctive look. Mogging markets may have been quiet, but I know from the end of the last expansion they have the potential to return with a vengeance.

I was asked by a Guildie today whether they should wait to level Blacksmithing now or carry on with their task: my response was instant. I'd wait until 5.2. The amount of effort it takes to level any profession currently is completely out of keeping with the speed of levelling itself. This new model conveniently simplifies the process and should encourage a whole new generation of people to take up professions for the benefits they provide.

I just hope someone has something lined up for all the L1 bankalts that could be out of a job as a result...


farli said...

i'm a level 70 warrior (BS/mining) and i need to go to pandaria to mine ghost iron ore now?

Hmm it makes more sense I pick up this cobalt all over the place and turn it into a nice tanking set.

Perhaps we are closer now to having every slot a boa item because blizzard does'nt want us to wear what we craft as we level up.

30g Ghost iron ore
30 stacks per hour
= 900g per HOUR Wow

Making BS only require GI wont increase the price of ghost iron ore.

Thankfully not every wow player reads patch notes so people will still level BS the "slow" way.

*strokes thorium ore stockpile*


The Godmother said...

Farli, I have to say, I don't think you are a rule. I think you're an exception. I also think that Blizzard know this, and although you are free to sit on your stockpiles, I sense the days of Old World Gold might actually be at an end... ^^

Grimmtooth said...

I imagine a major effect on the market will be to concentrate farmers in the higher level zones.

O joy O rapture.

Inscription already has something like this with the ink vendor. You can trade one $CURRENT_COMMON_INK for any lower level common ink. All a gatherer needs to do is gather Green Tea Leaves and you've got access to all extant glyph recipes.

To me this really looks like it's a blow to low-level mat farmers, which is odd since they haven't done anything that terrible as far as I can tell. In some zones, they're the only ones to visit; they don't do anything against the ToS or disrupt anyone else's game other than the usual node ganking, which happens everywhere, and most importantly for Blizz, they pay a subscription every month. So I'm puzzled as to whether or not this is an unplanned consequence.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it. Pretty much all of the professions need revamping, but mostly that's just a little love, removing unneeded trash recipes or acknowledging changes in the game that got overlooked in the past (Looking at YOU, armorsmithing versus weaponsmithing). But maybe they'll make it fun. That would be nice.

Andrew Sutherland said...

I am hoping it is an account thing. Getting the Zen Master achievement unlocks the path to quick learn that profession across your your whole account.

Dwism said...

My biggest worry over this.... and I'd like to add that it is a change I LOVE (although my hunter would have loved to have had this information 2 weeks ago), is that if you one day decide to stop being an alchemist, and want to be a blacksmith. what do you do if you want your gathering profession to change alongside this? Grind loads of mats, you can only sell for vendor price? or use them to supplement the levelling? and what do you do with any surplus materials? *any* old level mats will be void... or will they?

Will special rare vanity items be available to make with panda mats? if so, wont the raw material price for those skyrocket?

exciting days ahead

Yoco said...

I see how this change is going to be necessary at some point in WoW's lifetime - but it is sad to see one of my sources of income go. And probably the best source of income for new characters - the easiest way to get some cash on a new realm.

It also kindof removes the fun of leveling a tradeskill. Figuring out what the best path to level a tradeskill is, given the economic realities of your particular realm (and not just blindly following a guide) is something I consider fun.