Thursday, January 16, 2014

What WoD Needs: A Profession Update

This is the third in a series of posts about what I believe warlords could use.  Part 1 - Non raiding gearing optionsPart 2 - Intelligent zone design.

What WoD Needs.  Part 3: A Profession Update

When cataclysm came out blizzard effectively destroyed the leveling experience completely.  Not only by redesigning the old world and ruining the classic feel of it and destroying the leveling time line by effectively bouncing you thru time while leveling instead of continually moving forward but they speed up the leveling process to light speed.

When they decided that destroying the leveling experience in the old world was a better choice of the design team than making new content they also decided to do a half ass job of it.  If you can't do an unnecessary job poorly, why do it?

They changed the world but they did not change the professions to match with the new changed world.  Meaning that you are leveling at light speed but your professions still level at a snails pace.  What is worse is if you happen to be a double gatherer because when they redesigned zones they forgot to redesign where things like mining nodes and herbalism nodes were. 

Sure, they made some minor adjustments, but as anyone that has leveled a miner and an herbalist together since cataclysm will tell you there are various zones you will run into where if you were sitting at 120 skill level in both mining and herbalism you would be too high in herbalism to gain skill points because all the herbs were lower and you would be too low in mining so you could not mine anything. 

McFly.  Hello McFly.  Think McFly think.  If a character is of the appropriate level to do quests in that area then you can figure what would be the appropriate level their skills should be at that time and the herbs and ore in that area should be around that skill level.  Don't you think?  The herbs should not be grey so you get no skill points off them and the mining nodes should not require you to need another 60 skill levels before you can mine them.

That is just the tip of the iceberg with the problems of leveling since cataclysm destroyed the entire leveling process.  Later on came the cross realm zones.  Oh joy, more assholes, more griefers and more competition for quest mobs that sometimes take forever to respawn.  Oh, and more competition for my gaterables too, gee thanks blizzard, you are too kind.

So not only was it hard enough to find a node you could pick that would give you a skill up but now you had massively more people than everyone was used to fighting you for those nodes.  Worse was, and remains, all those fliers that run around grabbing everything so there is nothing for you leaving you even further behind than you already were thanks to bad zone redesign.

Don't think skinning was fine either just because I did not mention it.  It too suffered from the same thing mining and herbing did.  You would go from one zone where the animal skins were grey and no longer offering any skill ups to the very next zone where you could not even skin the animals because they were too high even if that zone was the next logical zone of the new, and horrible, leveling design.

Now to the crafting professions and they are even worse.  We will start with leather working because in my opinion that one is the biggest culprit out there when it comes to professions that are horrible to level. 

Being you level so fast now and keeping up with your skills is hard enough you might often times find yourself spending hours upon hours of skinning mobs that are grey to you, where you are not even getting experience or skill ups, just to get enough leather so you can keep up with your professions as you level.  You just need too much leather to level leather working and the speed of leveling means you will never really get a decent amount of stock to work with any longer.  The days of spending a week of playing in a zone and killing enough animals to keep up with your leather working are gone, they have been gone for a long time. 

In late wrath you could start to tell it was getting a little rough, but doable, to level a crafting profession with your character.  But it was not exactly what we would call horrible.  Mildly annoying maybe, a little frustrating sometimes, but not horrible.  When the changes to the old world came with cataclysm and the speed of leveling got turned up to 11 it was all bets are off.  You can no longer level your crafting professions with your character unless you wanted to waste a butt load of time or a butt load of gold buying materials.

And it is not just the leather and not having enough of it, or the herbs and not having enough of them, or the ore and not having enough of it, or the cloth and not having enough of it, it is the other stuff.  You are not in a zone very long any more so there is usually no way in hell you will collect  materials to get 100s of motes of water so you can make primals to make 1 or 2 pieces for 1 or 2 skill levels.

Many professions have stages where you are stuck with needing what are now very rare materials in large amounts and unless you plan to farm for a long time or spend a lot of gold you can not reasonably get these things meaning you are doing what I do on a lot of my alts now.  I wait for the darkmoon fair when I hit those rough points to get a free five skill points and hopefully skip over it.  It is either that or try to farm 40 primal waters or buy them for 30 gold a piece off the auction house.  Being I am wasting all my time in 3 and 4 hour LFRs with horrible players I do not have the time to go farm all that and being I am cheap I will never pay for some thing on the auction house that I could farm if I wanted to.

Crafting professions might be the easiest to fix with the sped up leveling speed.  Just reduce the cost needed to make items.  If something needed 8 primal waters, make it 1 now.  Lets face it, that is an old item you are making and you will either just vendor it or disenchant it.  It is not something you are going to wear, or if you do it is not something you are going to wear long.  It is not top of the line gear any longer and it should not require top of the line materials or large quantities of items.  It is something you are just making for a skill point.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Beside lowering the ridiculous amount of rare materials needed for some items, they need to boost all items that need things like that to 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 point craftings.  While they have done so with many they have not done so with all.  Try engineering now.  There are many times you will be in a range where you need lots and lots of materials, some rarer than others, and everything just gives you 1 skill point.  Ouch.

It is not just the rare stuff that needs to be adjusted, it is all stuff.  We get less leather, less ore, less cloth, because we are leveling so damn fast.  Do we really need 18 pieces of leather to make something for 1 point?  Some times we can pass entire zones where that leather can be skinned and only get 18 pieces of leather, total.  So we can only make one thing?  Really? 

Lower things to need 5 or less pieces of leather, bars of metal or bolts of cloth.  We might still out pace it with the stupidly fast leveling speed of the game but at least if we are 4 skill points off we only need to go back to get 20 pieces of leather and not go back to get 72 pieces of leather, or 144 ore, or 288 pieces of cloth. 

Get real blizzard, lower the requirements to make low level craftable items.  There is no reason for them to be expensive like that in this new world or fast level and quickly replaced items.  It is not like anyone is making those crafted items while leveling to use because the second they make it to use it the next quest reward they get will be 10 times better than what was just crafted.

Leveling crafting professions by making gear is a means to an end and there is no reason for it to be so intensive any longer being the leveling of your character isn't.  This worked when leveling took time.  When you would end up killing 500 boars before moving to the next zone and end up with 500 leather in your bag before you move to the next level it worked, you could keep up.  But now you can do some quests and never even get one quest that has you kill something that you can skin before you are moving to the next zone. 

Now your skinning and your leather working is behind and you are left with the choice of doing old stuff that offers you nothing just to catch up or to continue leveling.  Please tell me this is not one of those things you were talking about when you said you like to offer people choices blizzard because that is not a choice, that is cruel.

Mists has done a fair job with adding a few catch up mechanics for a few professions but once again like always blizzard half assed it.  Lets take cooking for our first example of how blizzard did a good job and then half assed it because they never think about the future.   They design everything as if it is going to be the last thing they ever add to the game.

They made it so you could never even train cooking and once you get to the farm you can power level all the way up to 530.  I actually did that with one of my most recently leveled 90s.  It was quite nice to be able to ignore cooking and think I can just get to it later.  The problem is I now sit at 530 and most likely will never move from 530 unless I do the darkmoon fair to get 5 points.  And that is their design flaw.

You need to choose at least one of the "ways" to get your cooking any further.  Sure I have done it on many of my characters and could do it on all of them if I want to.  But lets be honest, they take a butt load of materials to level and I would rather just sell all those materials and make myself a few grand than level cooking.  Even more so if that character is one of those 90s I have that fly solo on a server.  The gold means more than leveling up one of the "ways" to 600 to increase my cooking.  I'll visit the fair and I will eventually get my cooking to 600.  That is "if" I remember to do the fair, which I rarely do lately.

They need to add some more everyday cooking options to level cooking.  Ones that are not part of the "ways" that need a million things to level up.  Like I said, we can all level cooking fine now if we wanted to because we are playing this expansion for weeks, months and as it looks even years but what happens when someone comes along next expansion that is new, or with an alt, and they get to this part and they level through mists in a matter of 8 hours or less and never get enough materials to level up all the way though one of the "ways"?  Are they meant to come back and farm materials on their farm and kill mobs in the world and fish up dozens of polls and get lots of ironpaw tokens just so they can catch up on their cooking?  Really blizzard, you are going to make people go through all that crap in old content to level a profession or wait months for the darkmoon fair to catch them up?

Maybe you plan to add something in warlords that gets you from 530 on to keep the catch up going but there is no real reason for that.  You could have just added some everyday food options so people could have finished leveling cooking without the need of learning one of the ways if they did not want to.  Did you not think what it would be like leveling up cooking once the content was old and people were not spending months on end in it?  Stop freaking designing everything as if it is the last thing you will ever add to the game.  Think about how it will work for the next expansion too.

This is the biggest problem with professions.  Each one seems to always be designed as if this will be the last time you will ever level it and they try to make it last longer to level but once it is old that lasting longer just becomes a roadblock to a character that is speed leveling through that zone or expansion because of their desire to push everyone to the end game.

Designing like that would be fine if they adjusted it once the content was no longer current.  Like if they added the everyday cooking options to the catch up trainer on the farm once warlords comes out so people are not caught in the farm forever if they want to play catch up doing one of the ways.  But blizzard won't do that. 

It would be fine if cloth patterns took 10 bolts each now but once the next expansion comes that will be a road block.  It would be okay if they fixed it and made it 2 bolts once the content is old, but they don't.  So adjusting the professions once they are old, I would like to see that in warlords for sure.

But wait, there is more on the topic of professions which I would like to see change.

I would like to see the crafting professions become more a part of the gearing process, if people so wished.  Each new tier there should be new weapons that can be made, or clothing that can be made, and not just a new set of legs and waist like this tier.

The ideal design would be to do 2 pieces like the legs and the waist at the current raid level, like they are now but also to have other slots that can be made for a few more pieces of gear.  Maybe 2 pieces at flex level and 2 pieces at LFR level.  All different ones of course.  So you could effectively have 6 pieces of gear.

Then trinkets and rings and necks, why not keep them up to date?  The starter rings and neck that a jewel crafter could make were useless in every single sense of the world.  450?  Are you kidding me?  The trinkets were nice as always but once the expansion moved on where are the new trinkets.  Where are any useful rings or necks.

Something like the engineer helm is awesome when you hit max level, but why are there not upgrade for it throughout the entire expansion?  Make it that each new tier an engineer can upgrade their helm to keep it current.  Make it so a scribe can upgrade their darkmoon trinket, even if they can not upgrade the others.  Make it so professions that can make items, even more so soulbound ones, are not only useful at the beginning of the expansion but throughout the entire expansion.

Making some weapons, even if they are lower leveled then the current raid would be a bang up catch up mechanic and great for crafters.  What is the best ranged weapon a hunter can get?  Got me and I have a bunch at 90.  Want to know why I do not know what the best weapon that can be made for a hunter is, because it sucked and was not even as good as the one you could get from the scenario that gave you a guaranteed 450 from doing the quest. 

What is the best off hand?  476 I believe.  But some classes got 502 weapons stuff.  Not all, but a few.  That is what all classes needed, a 502 crafted weapon.  Do you know how much different the LFR would look if only these timeless geared people had a weapon better than the 429 they had from questing or the 450 they had if they were smart enough to do the scenario?  Sure they would still be bad, but a player being bad with a 502 weapon will do double what a person doing bad with a 429 weapon would.

I would like to see crafted items be more prevalent, more useful, and more accessible.  Accessible is a key.  No more needing raid materials to make them.  Sure guilds like mine have 100s of spirits in the bank and if someone needs a 553 piece we just crank them out one ASAP.  But for someone that does not raid, does not have an enchanter that raids, does not have a huge depth of friends to ask for assistance or a guild that will make it for them like mine, they are screwed because they need to pay an arm and a leg at the auction house for it.  If they insist on keeping the materials as raid materials, at least make them also purchasable with valor or justice too.  It only seems reasonable.

Speaking of crafting materials lets talk about spirits of harmony.   They really need to make things like this tradable or at the very least BoA.  My shaman is a healer and as such she did not exactly go out grinding things to get spirits which means as my blacksmith she could not make any gear for my plate wearers and she could not make the 502 weapons which would have been nice for them.

Or how about my hunter, my main and my beloved, the one I spend a lot of time on and do a lot of things with.  I've spend, no exaggeration what so ever, over 1000 spirits of harmony on things like golden lotus because I had no other use for them on my hunter.  It would have been nice to send some over to my leather worker so he could have crafted me some gear or stuff to sell.  Or to my blacksmith so she could have made my plate wearers some gear.  Or to my engineer so he could have made me some scopes.

Materials like the spirits of harmony need to be made tradable and I would love to see that happen in warlords or at the absolute least making them bind on account.  No more of this soulbound bull shit for things that would have or could have been put to much better use on characters other than the ones that have them.

Mists also added a very nice catch up system for mining and herbalism but once again, as always, they half assed it.  You can skip leveling them all the way to pandaria and just pick herbs on the island and mine nodes on the island and get fragments instead of full ore or full herbs.  This is a fantastic idea and a great way to smooth out the leveling process but why is it only in one area.

What I would like to see in warlords is that concept extended to skinning as well and throughout the entirety of the game.  Everything should be like that.  If you are high enough you get the item, if you are not high enough you get a fragment of the item.  That way you can play catch up as you level instead of waiting until end game to try and do it.

Don't you think it would be better to catch up as you go then to get to the max and grind it out?  I am sure some will see where I am coming from.  The catch up mechanic for herbs and ore need to be from the old world on, every herb, every ore and every skin throughout the entire leveling process.  That would be great, that would be doing it smart and not half assing it like they did.

So, to summarize, what WoD needs in terms of professions.

1) A more fluid gathering process from zone to zone.
2) A quicker leveling process for crafting professions.
3) Removal or great reductions of old items to need lesser found materials.
4) More multiple skill up craftings for high cost items.
5) Extended catch up mechanics for gathering.
6) More craftable gear.
7) Purchasable raid materials, with valor for example.
8) No bound random drop crafting items.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with professions and I see no reason why they can not do most if not all of the things I suggested quite easily.  Professions can be a much more useful and a much more enjoyable part of the game even more so if we are going to be losing profession bonuses and the only benefit of a profession will be what it can do.  It would be nice if it could do more and could be less stressful or annoying to level.  I would like to see that addressed in warlords.


  1. Call me crazy but I don't think a requirement of a good crafting system is that you can level it while leveling your character. Hell when I leveled my original hunter I remember not being able to keep up either. That's not to say that WoW's crafting system can't use work but the complaint that you can't level a craft while leveling isn't compelling to me.

    1. I always like to level my professions with my character. From my first ever character to even new alts I make now. I level them with my character. That is just good design.

      I would not call you crazy for doing it differently, that is just how you like to do it. But the fact is that the level of the profession is intended to be good for the level of the player. So if you are leveling as you go you would make yourself 30 gear when you are 30 and 40 gear when you are 40 and 50 gear when you are 50 and so forth and so on. Professions should, as intended, level with your character.

      Sure, you would never wear any of that crap gear it makes any longer as quests drop give better gear most of the time or you out level it so quickly, but that doesn't mean it still should not level with you.

  2. One profession they did "right" that should be extended to the other crafting professions is inscription. Luckily, you can buy older types of ink for the most up-to-date ink at a 1 to 1 cost. If they allowed for you to trade, for example, one piece of windwool cloth for one piece of frostweave cloth, that would be a huge QOL improvement.

    1. I agree, in part only. Inscription was fantastic when they added it. It used herbs from all levels which meant that you needed everything all the time even at max level.

      As soon as cataclysm came out and now mists they ruined it. You will no longer need herbs from those 2 expansion once you move on, those herbs are completely useless. They kind of messed it up. They should have kept with the original design where everything mattered.

      Now all you need are herbs up to wrath, anything else is useless. All you will do is make garbage after wrath level and forget about it. The only reason to even level inscription past wrath level is for the profession bonus and to make some massive gold at the beginning of an expansion for making darkmoon cards.

      I do like your trade cloth for one to the other idea. It is actually pretty good. I would not mind seeing that added for every profession like that. Somewhere where you can always trade the current cloth for an older one, one to one.

    2. @Anon - That trade-down mechanic is really only of value to a max-level Insc who's looking to make old glyphs, though. When leveling you can't actually craft the top-level ink in order to trade down, you're stuck with the AH which is usually priced significantly above the actual cost of the mats that go into the ink. Generally I find buying the appropriate herb is a much cheaper way to make low level inks than buying current ink on the AH.

      @Grumpy - I agree with you here more than in your original post, I think it's a net positive to the game when the older mats actually have a functional use rather than being used literally as currency. I go into that a bit more below.

    3. I think all professions should use materials from all throughout the game. I made a professions post about that a long time ago. Inscription was just so perfectly made when it came out, sadly they lost that big time.

    4. There's some value in that but mostly there's just risk, needing early game items that people just vendor at this point could result in professions being nearly impossible to level. I'll admit, though, that I keep a bank full of mats on my engineers especially, I never knew when some old mat would show up as a requirement for a later recipe. Didn't notice that happening much in my most recent leveling but it seemed to be back in the day. I'd have mixed feelings if they went that route, I just think the potential downside is a lot more significant than the minimal upside.

    5. I don't think so. Going back and getting some old skins on your skinner would be super easy. And it would create a market for those skins forever as well. I am not talking needing 60 think leather for a current set of boots, but needing 2 pieces would be a nice touch to keep the materials flowing.

      I guess the upside is more immersion than anything else. Using older leather just makes sense. Needed a buckle a blacksmith makes with iron bars for all pants makes sense. It would just "feel" better. Not sure if it would be better however.

  3. I don't have any answers about what should happen with professions but I have a few comments.

    I've leveled all but alch and ench on new toons the past couple of months (side-effect of having 4 new max-level toons via RAF), I didn't find any of them painful to level (gathering or crafting), some I almost or did break even on by the time they hit max level and 2 months after I started doing RAF my gold equivalent value is up about 20K from where I was when I started, almost entirely from the new professions, my gold level was basically flat before I started doing this.
    Considering I leveled BS/JC/Eng/Tail/Insc/Alch(2nd) in that time along with the 3 gathering professions, I think that's a pretty good result.

    Most of the major leveling holes for the professions (my all-time least favourite is the Goldthorn phase for alchs) have generally been minimized or removed, these days you can almost avoid Goldthorn entirely either due to changed skill ranges or the addition of new alternate recipes or both. Similarly, where you used to run into constraints on things like primals (using your example), these days there are usually 1 or 2 other options in the same skill range if other secondary items are more available or are cheaper.

    Before I went through this I thought the Blacksmith/Mining/Herbing catch-up mechanics were a good thing but I'm not so sure anymore. If all professions had those you'd basically have to implement a trade system like Anon references above so low-level mats would have some value. It would also have significant impact on secondary markets... BT runs would be a lot less profitable without crafting demand for primal water, for instance. Those things actually matter to some of us. If everything's worth the same price, a lot of gameplay for us is lost in the process. There should still be value in optimal and cost to sub-optimal.

    In terms of gathering professions, I had no issues keeping current because I factored them into my leveling. My skinner (doing self-RAF) was almost entirely leveling via killing mobs to skin... my follow toon was getting equivalent XP and my skinning skill was generally above my personal level, I was (intentionally) usually killing mobs in the high orange / low red level range to skin. I was also able to mostly keep current with LW with that process, bought a few stacks here and there as necessary but it wasn't a big deal. With mining/herbing I mostly quested since the follow toons didn't benefit from that XP but aside from one or two outliers (Blindweed is really mis-placed, that's the only example I can think of, it's 75 skill too high for where they generally put it), the skill ranges seemed okay, even with my dual-gather mining/herbing toon. I never noticed red mining and grey herbs at the same skill level in one zone, although it's possible that happens in zones I didn't quest through. Seems unlikely, though.

    Overall, I have mostly positive feelings looking back at the process. I've been through it all before, though, so the view might be a bit different for someone doing it for the first time and learning some of the lessons I already know for the first time.

    1. You had no problem leveling your professions because you are a knowledgeable player with resources and experience.

      I recently leveled enchanting on 2 characters and engineering on another. It did not cost me really anything and the time investment was minimal. I had no problems.

      Now, even with my knowledge, experience, and history, if I try to do that exact same thing on servers where I have a single character it would take forever to do. Yes, forever. Unless I raided the AH which in turn would mean I would need a mini fortune to do it which again would take a while to make.

      You can not compare knowledgeable players such as yourself or me leveling a profession to that of the average warcraft player. Look at the broader picture and remember that we are the exception, not the rule.

    2. Experience, yes. Resources, not on that server. I only had one max-level toon on that server with a maxed profession, alchemy, which isn't at all useful when helping other toons level professions. While leveling those other professions I actually leveled enchanting on that toon at the same time as a secondary profession. I also didn't have an unlimited gold reserve like I have on other servers, I had about 30K when I started and that had to hold up to support a bunch of toons who were suddenly having to gem/ench/reforge gear via TI tokens and I never dropped below 25K during the process. Honestly, I was expecting to come out of the profession leveling nearly broke... that it didn't go that way was a legitimate surprise to me, that's why I felt it was worth mentioning. That would have happened in the past so they apparently HAVE been making some changes to make it less painful even if they seem minor to the point of not noticing.

      But yes, having leveled each profession at least twice before certainly makes for a smoother experience. Thing is, it should... experience should have some value even for things like professions, not just in other aspects of gameplay.

    3. I still think the experience played a huge part. It is why I can so easily and cheaply level professions now, experience.

      I am surprised that you did not spend more however which would lead me to believe you either have a very reasonable AH on your server or you went and spent time to farm everything. Because I know if you were light in hypnotic dust on my server and needed to buy it you would easily go through that entire 30K just to get through that phase of leveling enchanting when it goes for 800 gold + a stack.

    4. Yep, but I'm not sure I see that as a problem. What's wrong with professions having some tricks where once you're done you think to yourself "Man, I learned some lessons there, if I ever do that again I'll know what I'm doing"? If it's just the equivalent of buying 10K gold worth of Ghost Iron and crafting... whatever the item is you craft to do that route... at that point you may as well just pay 10K for a leveled profession, why even bother giving it any sort of gameplay? I'm not looking to single-handedly take up the "professions are amazing gameplay!" mantle, that's hardly my opinion, but there's something to be said for at least a bit of complexity and hunting and maybe even some farming or asking buddies to help out if necessary.

      Oh, I did have some resources, they weren't leveled in a vacuum... I'd leveled an herbalist/miner earlier and had kept some of the mats around for later (sold some, too, though, at the time I needed some gold) and I was leveling each gathering profession at the same time as all the crafting professions... the synergies between professions also helped, I was able to make almost anything I needed. Mostly I just paid attention and used the cheapest route to ticks vs the fastest, there were times I'd drive a recipe into grey if it was neutral or positive gold to make it (bags, specific levels of gear for DE, a few random items here and there that actually sell on that AH... I'm still new to large servers so I'm figuring it all out as I go). I almost never farm myself, though, that's one of the first lessons I learned about making gold... sell high, buy low, farm as little as possible. :) It's a bit different on a leveling toon, though, when they'll get benefit from doing it. My Skin/LW basically farmed his way to 85... exaggerating a bit but at least 70% of the XP would have come from mob kills to be skinned. Since the level rate wasn't far off questing I didn't consider that farming, it was just an alternate leveling path... in Cat I had a toon level fully from 80-85 doing nothing but herbing and mining. Same thing. To me, farming is when you do it without getting any secondary benefit from it (profession ticks, XP, etc).

      As for Hypnotic Dust, that's one of the very few outlier items out there... on all 3 of my servers they usually sell for 300-400g/stack so it's not quite as bad as on yours but that price should be reflected in the price of Embersilk Bags... those are 95% of the demand for that dust, if the bags aren't also selling for 800g then I don't know why anyone would buy the dust. I also do a once-a-day scan for green gear in that level range and buy out anything below a threshold price. I rarely find a lot of gear at my price after that scan but there are usually a few pieces up and occasionally someone has just leveled a profession through there and put a bunch up for 5g/ea... at your server prices that'd be a 100g+ profit scan on a bad day and 1000g+ on a good one. Do it if you aren't, others are, you may as well do it too. :)

    5. Every profession has those tricks for the easier things for the skill points. Those are the things that make it easier for us because we know they are there.

      Oddly enough the bags are only 400-500. It is amazing how cheap the bags are when the dust is so expensive. At least there are some "ok" spots to farm greens if you are lucky.

    6. I remember when those same bags (slot 22) were 200, then inflation and greed hit.

      But I was leveling Iceyrose this weekend- She was a 400 something flower picker when I decided, nah, got one flower picker but I would love another enchanter - so got her all the way up to her level of 74 becasue I had all the dusts except 2 and had to spend 300 gold at the AH, but well worth it for what was required was actually cheap for most of it - then ran into a road bloc - had to level her to 75 to get her up to 525 and now another road block - have to get her to 80. :( She's at 77, half way to 78, but since I havent played her in a couple days, I hope I can make her to 80 by Sunday. (DMF don't cha know).


    7. Always try to do the fair on alts you do not play much. I always tend to forget, but the experience and the skill ups are awesome.

  4. I recently leveled a tailor/enchanter. If I didn't have bank loads full of cloth that I had been hoarding for ages, I would have been screwed. I still ran out of Frostweave, so that mage is stuck with really low First aid skills... I have a ton of netherweave left though so I've been making some bags, but that's just to get rid of the cloth... A couple of gold profit per bag isn't worth my time...

    They definitely get it out of whack though. For example, I maxxed out Alchemy and Herbalism from 525 to 600 on my hunter before I even hit 90. However, my mage needed excess cloth from herself, my hunter, and my DK to level tailoring from 525 to 600.

    Oh, man, don't even get me started on SoH... I've wasted 100s of them on Golden Lotus as well because there was nothing else to use them for on my hunter. They say they want us out in the world, but if they were BoA, at least one of our toons would still be out in the world... so there's no excuse for them to be soulbound.

    1. I had the same experiences leveling tailoring. Tons of netherweave, no frostweave. Worst was my most recent character through cataclysm content got 18 pieces of embersilk throughout the entire leveling process. 18? How the F am I supposed to level like that.

      At least there are no longer different rods for enchanting. I had a priest on another server that got to the point where I stopped playing it because I made the mistake of making it a tailor and enchanter and just could not keep up with the high cost of materials I needed to by, rods even more so. I skipped buying flying just to try to keep my professions up. When they removed rods I went back and leveled it but it was still brutal. Ran into that frostweave problem you mentioned.

      My hunter, while leveling to 90, gathered enough herbs to level his alch, my mages alch, my warlocks alch, my DKs inscription, and I sent friends a lot of herbs too. All that and I made myself a darkmoon card right away too. All from one character leveling and picking herbs while doing so.

      My tailor, like yours, needed the cloth from 6 characters leveling and my main farming the crap out of stuff, to level up.

      I agree, there is no excuse for them not being at least BoA. As you said, what difference does it make if I am out in the world on my shaman or my hunter, I am still out in the world.

  5. I enjoy reading your blog but it's getting hard to swallow this whole 'cata destroyed leveling' thing. When i leveled my main way back i found questing so boring and uninspiring, nothing can redeem it to this day. Dungeons or no go. Tank. No danger. Just mobs that took longer to die. The only quest i recall was one in wrath where i needed another person to throw some potion into a cauldron. And yes, i did loremaster then and after cata as well.

    1. I liked the feel of being sent all over the world on my first character and the sense of exploration. I liked dangers around every corner when you were first entering an area.

      Cata is "go 5 yards and pick this up", "go kill 5 of these things just a few steps from where we are currently standing", "go collect that thing in the building right over there". There is no exploration, there is no challenge. Everyone gets funneled straight into stormwind or org as soon as possible and works from there.

      Now to the terrain changes. Have you even attempted to level in the night elf area after you come down from the tree with broken land all over the place? It is just annoying in every meaning of the word.

      Then the biggest kicker of them all on why I think cata destroyed leveling. The story used to be fluid, even if a little confusing because things had to be changed in the past for some stuff. You would go from vanialla (lets call it 5 years ago) to BC (lets call it three years ago) to wrath (lets call it current. As you progressed you progressed through the story.

      Now it is like this. You go from vanilla (lets call it 3 year ago) to BC ( lets call it 7 years ago so you are now going back in time) to wrath (lets call it 5 years ago, so you are still in the past) to cata (lets call it 3 years ago so not if feels current) to mists (lets call it current.) So what are you? A fucking time traveler now?

      How it should have been if they never screwed with it and left good enough alone, maybe just smoothed out the questing some is this. You go from vanilla (lets call it 10 years ago) to BC (lets call it 8 years ago) to wrath (lets call it 5 years ago) to cata (lets call it 2 years ago) to mists (lets call it current).

      You would be moving in a fluid way through the storyline, as it should be, instead of bouncing through time because cataclysm destroyed the leveling process.

      You are entitled to your opinion that it was not that bad but mine remains the same. There was no need to fuck up the time line like that. None what so ever. Update the old world, sure, but there was no reason to change it. That is why I say cataclysm destroyed the leveling process.

    2. you got me confused. but I think you are saying, nothing really makes sense in questing. There are some areas that send one to a different zone, but, the different add-ons don't really do that until Mists, then you are directed again.

    3. They made questing super linear in cataclysm and it remains that way in mists with a little leeway here and there. Over all questing is really streamlined. Even in the old redesigned world it seems a lot more straight forward now.

    4. ah, ok, got'cha now. Thanks GE.

      All I know, is I can skip whole areas while questing to level up and that I like. For example, I haven't done anything on the Night Elf side of the world. And haven't really done but a few quests in only 55% of Eastern Kingdoms before going to Northrend and there I am close 79 and only done Borean Tundra, a very few quests in Dragon Blight and went directly to K3, that once I hit that, I will be going to the new cata lands and will prob only do 1 full and half of another that will get me to 85 and off to Panda land where if it is like the others toons I did, I will only do parts of 3 or 4 and get to 90. So, yeah, it is super easy.

      Like James, I did Loremaster when it first came out, did in with Cata and one toon did all of the Mists. But my others - 'eh. No need, with those being shared, every toon gets it. Which is good and bad. but I am glad mounts are shared!

    5. They funnel alliance to the eastern kingdoms now. Even if you start a night elf they will send you to stormwind. I don't really like that idea of putting everyone in the same place personally. It ruins the experience of exploring. But for their purpose, it makes the world seem fuller than it really is.

  6. One idea I've had is to treat it how they used to treat Valor/Justice. A profession squish if you will, to equal the item squish. Eliminate the 16 different types of materials you need to level a profession. Just like the current mining if you level only in Pandaria is nuggets vs ore. You would have old mats and new mats. When the next patch comes the new becomes old and you recollect the new. This is in addition to some of the other changes you mentioned, but basically while leveling you'd be collecting all old leather no matter where you were until you hit the current content. It would be useful until your profession also made it to current level at which point you were need the new mats to level up.

    1. Something like that would make a lot of sense. Like if you are not up to heavy leather yet you would get heavy leather scraps instead of not being able to skin it at all.

      It makes too much sense really and that is why blizzard would never add it to the game. Things that make sense do not go over will with the designers of the game. It is almost like they take offense to the people that point out a better way to do things that they will not do it just to spite them.