Tuesday, August 05, 2014

BETA : These Foolish Things

Right then, that settles it.

There's a conversation I've been putting off having with myself for a while now, since I knew that professions were undergoing a renaissance in Warlords. As most of my 90's currently exist pretty much exclusively to give me access to professions, what I did with them when the Expansion launched was very much going to be dependant on what I could expect from the changes I saw. What has become abundantly clear in the last few weeks is the level of involvement certain Professions will demand from players: I'm looking particularly at Fishing (always a favourite for me) which is rapidly developing into a reputation grind all of its own. This means trying to set a balance between what I play and what is doable in my playtime, and with Garrisons becoming pretty much a wrapper around everything else... well, things will have to give.

The screenie above from Wowhead's latest patch notes is a fairly damning indicator for me of what I can expect if I wish to 'complete' a Garrison to L3 standard: I'll be expected to complete some fairly involved Achievements in order to access the final level plans for the structures that interest me the most, including the Mine and the Herb Garden, which are both involved in passive gathering of ore and herbs. This could, I suppose, be considered as using Achievements to gate content (which is a first, but hardly surprising) but it does mean that, for the first time, I can genuinely see an advantage to having a Herbalist/Miner active at the same time as I am levelling what constitutes as my Main. Normally I would focus on simply one character in this situation but I believe that the best way to ensure I can max existing professions on Alts without the need to initially roll a Garrison for every one will be to have a two character team levelling simultaneously. I am grateful therefore for the insight Beta has given me for allowing me a chance to prepare myself for this task beforehand.

No more Refining :(

What this means is that P and K, Mogging Hunters extraordinaire, will be the basis of my thrust into Warlords. Currently the Professions they cover are Leatherworking and Skinning (P) and Engineering/Mining (K) As I already posses another max level Engineer in K's specialisation I'll be dropping the skill from her this week and taking her to Herbalism at 600. What has become apparent is that Work Order completion in your Garrison depend on certain materials being gathered, and without a gatherer I am going to assume the rate of completion of items will be held up, especially as it is unclear what kind of gathering rates I can reasonably expect from my Garrison 'plots.'

This will *hopefully* therefore mean that I am able to place Buildings without the need to 'discover' a specific set of blueprints via questing (as we have been told you can purchase all buildings regardless of having to quest for them.) If that is the case, I can start planning a path. These are my current thoughts for Small Plot Choice:

P's Small Plots:
  • Tannery (LW bonus)
  • Storehouse (extra storage)
  • Salvage Yard (Productivity test)
  • Enchanter's Study (Not simply because of new enchants but as a complement to general utility ^^)

K's Small Plots:
  • Alchemy Lab (Potions)
  • Gem Boutique (DUH)
  • Scribes Quarters (Darkmoon cards)
  • Tailoring Emporium (Plush Elekk ^^)

The rationale behind K's four choices are simple: each of these does (potentially) offer an advantage for End Game play: potions still matter, so do bags, I'll still require gems and presumably if I have herb surpluses creating Darkmoon Decks could have some merit financially. P's choices cover the usefulness of salvage, Enchants which still maintain value in game and what extra storage will mean in the long term for any player as opposed to simply going full-out on professions.

This then makes the 'choices' available to me as Garrison Outposts really simple: P takes one path, and K the other, which allows me to stack options for growth and progression. The Sparring Arena has had some interesting options introduced in the latest build so it is likely P will take that in Gorgrond and allow K to have the Lumber Mill, whereas I will stick with the Dwarven Bunker in Talador and give K the Mage Tower option.


Therefore, for the first time in 10 years, I'm not looking at what character I'll level first, but what CHARACTERS will be doing the work. If this is Blizzard's way of ensuring I'll upgrade both accounts, it's certainly a shrewd move, but the reality is more subtle: if I want to maximise output on everyone, I'm going to need to make some decisions now.

That's the great thing about planning: being ready is the best advantage you'll ever have.

1 comment:

Joar said...

So as someone who has all the professions scattered across all my various level 90's, including each of the gathering professions at least 3 times, I'm feeling pretty good about this. It looks like it's going to be business as usual for the Joaraholic!