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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Talking The profession overhaul is epic.

    I gave my initial thoughts on Mists of Pandaria in my blog the other day, generally opening up how I feel the expansion has gone in its early days (for me, very well – enjoying it a lot in the main). I do want to touch on one of the bigger innovations, however, and it's one that really had me worried going in; professions.

    Like many, I love professions.

    My gripe with them over the last few years is that they’ve been dumbed-down and streamlined to near pointlessness, with no actual gameplay value in them in lieu of being performance enhancers. In Mists of Pandaria, you can level up to the maximum of 600 with one type of material, no special requirements of any kind and, in general, it’s the easiest it’s ever been.

    And it’s awesome.

    The thing is, the streamlining has happened in both an intelligent and imaginative way while reintroducing the gameplay value to those who love being diverse crafters. Basically, the performance-related aspect of professions implies that they can never be how they were in previous incarnations. Raiders and other people who simply want to cap ‘em out would never accept a painful (or expensive) grind that became a requirement just for raid bonuses.

    Because of that fact, my blacksmithing and jewelcrafting now only require one type of bar/ore in order to level them up, and you can get skill points for the most innocuous of crafts pretty much all the way to the skill cap of 600. In the case of blacksmithing, your raid bonuses are simply upgraded at the appropriate level. For jewelcrafting, every time you prospect you get a chance at finding shards among the gems – once you find ten of these shards, you can create the Serpent’s Eye which is the jeweller’s gem of this expansion and every pattern for the jeweller’s gem comes straight from the trainer.

    What’s even easier is that if you’re using an alt as a profession flunky, you needn’t worry about their capability to fly just in order to get out there and gather for you. The southern end of the Jade Forest has materials in abundance, which means a few cycles of the area about a third of the way up the map will see you with a bagful of whatever you’re trying to collect. This will be the only material you need to hit the big ding of 600, and all you’ll need to get your raiding bonuses (with the exception of, I think, alchemy - I know it's a nuisance).

    It’s streamlining, to the highest degree.

    So, where’s the gameplay value?

    Herein lies the magic.

    All of the gameplay happens at the cap of 600. This is where collectors and completionists can start to have their fun, and there’s plenty to be had. If you want to get all of the blacksmithing plans, you’re going to need to fix your reputation with the Klaxxi as well as having to mine yourself some Kypparite ore which is rare. Not only that, but PvP plans are held in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and will cost you a Spirit of Harmony each – that’s a lot of spirits if you want ‘em all. What this does is ensure that you can grind them out quickly if you choose to and want to be “the” crafter everyone comes to, but it also implies that you’ll eventually get there simply by playing the game and picking up your motes. In the case of jewelcrafting, you can build up your stock of rare designs by discovering one per day, dictated by the colour of gem you’re seeking.

    Here’s how it works:
    1. I want the Fractured design.
    2. I collect three of the yellow gems.
    3. I go for the discovery by consuming the gems, and learn a yellow design.
    4. I hope for the Fractured to come up. :P

    There’s a bit of RNG in here, but not enough to make it frustrating (even despite the Bold and Fractured plans being THE LAST TO APPEAR FOR ME -.-) and you can speed up the process by using three Spirits of Harmony to get a random design. What’s even better is that if you only have, say, three of a colour that you already know all the designs for, you can still go for the discovery and get a random design you don’t have.

    Once more, you can either go for all the designs as quickly as possible or you can essentially let them come to you. Meta gems designs drop from pretty much everywhere, and there’s a vendor in the Jade Forest that can sell you necklace and ring designs for a Spirit of Harmony.

    This is flat-out great design. It’s imaginative, it’s fun, it adds legitimate gameplay value to professions that many players like, and it manages to do all of that without ostracizing raiders who merely want to get their performance bonuses. I appreciate some professions are a wee bit more painful than others (I read a lot of “Golden Lotus” talk in /g), but the idea is universal – it’s easy to get to the 600 mark with your profession, but entirely up to you how quickly you want to become that crafting resource you’ve not been able to be since The Burning Crusade.

    What’s even better about all this is the way cooking has been designed. For those not in the know, there are now six “ways” of cooking and each has their own skill point bar. You can, for example, get to 600 points in the Way of the Steamer, but still be down at 525 in the Way of the Wok. What’s key here, is that your base cooking skill is taken from whatever’s highest and only the specializations need the extra work. Imagine that level of depth being applied to blacksmithing, tailoring and leatherworking (hinted at by the Crab of Calamity on Twitter) and we’re looking at a bright, bright future for our professions.

    Make no mistake, this is a rabbit out of the hat. I was worried that this streamlining was going to kill any actual enjoyment in professions, seeing them essentially become the pointless farce that Justice Points have become as a result of MoP.

    Yet, here we are, and the result is literally thrilling. Fishing and archaeology still need touching up in my view, but even they’ve come on thanks to daily quest requirements making a certain amount of their grinding practically passive. Mists of Pandaria has seriously done a great job with our professions, and the developers should be commended for it.

    Big ups on this one, Blizzard.

    Big, BIG ups.

  2. #2
    I agree with pretty much everything you said.
    I love that capping a prof is no longer 99% of the grind. It's frustrating, especially with alts, to have to dump so much time and materials in to leveling up to the cap for whatever raid benefit that brings.

    I love the new cooking 'ways' and gives me great hope for the return of the various specs in other profs.
    I also love how leveling cooking and fishing on alts is now a breeze. Cooking now have a set of leveling recipes with vendor bought goods and fishing has the new skill book (though it is expensive).

    All we need now is a use for First Aid.

  3. #3
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    I love it aswell, specially the changes to Enchanting and Alchemy. (My two proffessions). The fact that you get only a few plans to start with, and the rest comes by discovering recipes is just amazing. They could take alchemy to one more level. And that is experimenting, like I wonder what I get if I put this and this herb together. Would be really fun.

    Or for enchanting, all you need is dust. For everything else, you just need a little more dust. Change dust into EVERYTHING. Love it. And you can even change it back. And no more fiddling with Lesser Essence or Lesser shards (yes you do get these, but if they aren't in stacks of 3, they are useless). Love it. So to say.

    Cooking. Well, I don't know what to say, it's just amazing. They could expand other professions with this system as well. Like enchanting, Str, Stam, Agi, Int, Spi, Proc-based. Would be awesome, alchemy is close to it with the specializations, but they could add it further, everytime you transmute something, you get points towards transmutation, giving you a higher chance of proccing the higher you are. Same for elixir and potion.

    Say you start with one spec (Lets take transmutation for the sake of it). You will always be able to get a proc from this, as this is your main spec, but you also learn Elixir and Potion. So everytime you do a potion, you get points in potion mastery. And the highest spec gives you points towards Alchemy as a whole. This means that you could go one way and level it up to max, and that is it. Or you could max out all three specs, making you a Grand Alchemist. That can proc extras no matter what you do.


    Overall, I really like it.
    "If you are going to do something, including being an alcoholic, don't half-ass it. /Cheers." - Vezrah, 2012

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks they’ve done a great job here; I’ve been very critical of certain things Blizzard have done over the last few years, but this is a quantum leap for professions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judge40 View Post
    All we need now is a use for First Aid.
    I like the idea of “battle bandages”, essentially bandages that heal for less than normal ones but that provide a HoT and don’t break on damage. I’m also not sure why they stopped making the anti-venoms, as there’s very clear gameplay value in that; the ability to clear your own debuffs while out questing or while fighting dungeon and raid bosses would have a lot of utility.

    Hell, you could even go down the specialization route – you can become a salve expert for bleeds, an ointment expert for diseases, or a venom expert for poisons. I do worry, however, if that would end up as just another necessary grind for characters, but the steps they’ve taken with other professions in MoP highlights clearly that they needn’t be.

  5. #5
    I also do like the respawns on stuff, it is awsome to not have to get frustrated to pick up the ore you need.
    Oh and engineering this time got LOTS of awesome stuff. <3 LOTS

    Oh and I do love how they structured cooking, a little bit too much tied to the farm as design in my opinion but I love the farm as well so it does not bother me.

    and the fact that you can convert old mats that you do not need anymore in baskets for reputation >>

  6. #6
    The multi skill ups is so, SO nice. Also the tinkers added make Engi leveling a breeze in WOTLK mats.

  7. #7
    Stood in the Fire Exploitbat's Avatar
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    Nothing of this really matters for me because of Spirit of Harmony. I'm not gonna play my alts enough to get enough of them. I'm very disappointed in the profession part of Pandaria, and I also think that leveling my professions is more fun than using them at cap, but right now it is too easy which isn't fun.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Exploitbat View Post
    Nothing of this really matters for me because of Spirit of Harmony. I'm not gonna play my alts enough to get enough of them. I'm very disappointed in the profession part of Pandaria, and I also think that leveling my professions is more fun than using them at cap, but right now it is too easy which isn't fun.
    Id be willing to bet that Spirits wont be BoP for long. Similar to how Orbs were converted in BoEs in previous expansions shortly after their release, Spirits will become BoE or at least BoA.

  9. #9
    I like:

    The fact that crafters now have to get off their backsides instead of just churning the ah. It makes people go out and play. It reminds me of when you used to have to go out and hunt certain recipes.

    I dislike:

    We really just have ghost iron and Green tea. Variety in herbs and ores used to make it more interesting. Professions have been capped for most people before they have left the first zone.

  10. #10
    Stood in the Fire Schaapa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkwing1232 View Post
    Id be willing to bet that Spirits wont be BoP for long. Similar to how Orbs were converted in BoEs in previous expansions shortly after their release, Spirits will become BoE or at least BoA.
    My guess is 5.1 patch. They probably did it because they didn't want the AH to be flooded with the stuff, although on some high pop realms there probably are large quantities of crafted items. Albeit at a high price.
    Surrounded by idiots

  11. #11
    Fractured was the first yellow gem I got...and Bold was the first red I got. I consider myself lucky.

  12. #12
    I haven't hit all professions yet, but I'm loving the changes too. I am sure people who are altaholics and completionists probably don't like all the faction grinding they have to do, but I usually just go for the specific recipes I want anyway so it shouldn't be too bad.

  13. #13
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exploitbat View Post
    Nothing of this really matters for me because of Spirit of Harmony. I'm not gonna play my alts enough to get enough of them. I'm very disappointed in the profession part of Pandaria, and I also think that leveling my professions is more fun than using them at cap, but right now it is too easy which isn't fun.
    I think Spirits of Harmony are a great addition, largely because of the impact on alts. I'm not an alt-player and don't believe the game should be designed around them, yet professions are currently easy for alts to level and get what they need out of. However, if you simply feel levelling professions is more fun then, yeah, I can see why it's a bummer.

    Oh, and I'd like the motes to remain BoP but with the drop rate of them turned up a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eltoshen View Post
    Fractured was the first yellow gem I got...and Bold was the first red I got. I consider myself lucky.
    I hate you. :P

  14. #14
    Spirit of harmony says hello OP:

    Since patch I did:

    Loremaster, fuss all questes in MOP

    Daylies since I hot 90 somewhat early

    Random 5 mans, and the odd extrea grind/mobs.

    By doing all this I've only gotten 17 spirits of harmony, fuss I cant craft good items to play the AH with. No fucking fun inn this system. Dont tell me to get off my ass, when I already did alot of mob killing in MOP, but all that only gave enough for just myself to buy 1 LW recipe, and craft 2 BOE's.
    One reason for WoW decline I often hear is that its an old game and naturally people get bored with it. But TV is much older and people still watch that. Surely if a thing you once enjoyed keept staying fun, you would still use it?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightelfsb View Post
    Spirit of harmony says hello OP:

    Since patch I did:

    Loremaster, fuss all questes in MOP

    Daylies since I hot 90 somewhat early

    Random 5 mans, and the odd extrea grind/mobs.

    By doing all this I've only gotten 17 spirits of harmony, fuss I cant craft good items to play the AH with. No fucking fun inn this system. Dont tell me to get off my ass, when I already did alot of mob killing in MOP, but all that only gave enough for just myself to buy 1 LW recipe, and craft 2 BOE's.
    Plant songbell seeds everyday, I think you can plant max 16 a day at exalted. Requires very little time, next day you can harvest motes. But yeah, it kind of sucks for playing the AH, but look at it this way the relative rarity of the items should keep prices higher where as if the mats were easy they would flood the market driving your profits down.

  16. #16
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightelfsb View Post
    Spirit of harmony says hello OP:

    Since patch I did:

    Loremaster, fuss all questes in MOP

    Daylies since I hot 90 somewhat early

    Random 5 mans, and the odd extrea grind/mobs.

    By doing all this I've only gotten 17 spirits of harmony, fuss I cant craft good items to play the AH with. No fucking fun inn this system. Dont tell me to get off my ass, when I already did alot of mob killing in MOP, but all that only gave enough for just myself to buy 1 LW recipe, and craft 2 BOE's.
    So... You can choose if you want to take your profession further (gold making), but it's entirely optional? That's a plus point, in my opinion. Piling BoE's onto the AH shouldn't be a goal of the profession system, at all - it's supposed to be an activity in and of itself and it's up to you how far you want to take it.

    You're being given the choice to grind, you're not being forced to.

    How is this a "bad thing"?

  17. #17
    Choice as you call, is what I called gated content. Different POV's

    If I wanted to log on, fly to Tillers markets, plant 16 seeds every day in MOP (After a long booring gated grind), just so I could make items, then Id play a free to play MMO, where content useally aint that good. This is wow...oh wait, by making everything daily gated people dont run out of content so fast, so people stays subbed.
    One reason for WoW decline I often hear is that its an old game and naturally people get bored with it. But TV is much older and people still watch that. Surely if a thing you once enjoyed keept staying fun, you would still use it?

  18. #18
    Great that I can get my tailor alts to 600 without a struggle and get them creating Imperial Silk.

    Sucks that I have nothing to do with that silk until August Celestials Exalted.

    Sticking all the "good" stuff behind tedious rep grinds and SoH farming was really a dick move.

  19. #19
    A small downside is the Living Steel Belt Buckle, Tailor and LW leg enhancements are only available after doing lots of dailies, this while Inscription Epic shoulder enchants are learned at the trainer. I can live with the fact that I cant create those now, as those chars are lvl 85, but I doubt that I wanna do dailies again when I hit 90 with those characters. Perhaps buying these patterns with Spirits of Harmony would have been a better idea, because now I feel I have to do dread wastes on my BS, while I didnt really like the area. And my LW has to do 8 days of Golden Lotus dailies, still a bit of a grind, especially if you did them on your main already.

    It is also a bit weird that LW and tailoring do not have PvE ilvl 450 gear, where BS does.

    Also, I like the new cooking, but it really needs its own bag/bank. I need lots and lots of everything, but where to put it. I would like some sort of cooking bank near my farm.

  20. #20
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farabee View Post
    Sticking all the "good" stuff behind tedious rep grinds and SoH farming was really a dick move.
    I agree that some of the choices are a bit awkward. I like the fact many plans/designs/patterns are behind reputation grinds, so long as chasing them down is optional (in most cases, it is). At the moment, however, things like the belt buckle and leg armour really shouldn’t be behind reputation grinds as they’re necessary for endgame PvE players.

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