I really like gathering as it's own profession, would it be better combined? Yes as it's more convenient but I still dislike the idea, guess I'm too used to how it is currently as its a system alot of MMOS follow.
With the changes to Sunsong Ranch (higher yield for gathered items) and now blacksmithing, I can see them doing something like making all gathering available to everybody in the future.
Have a pick? You can mine if you have Blacksmithing, Jewelcrafting, or Engineering.
Have a spade? You can pick herbs if you have Alchemy or Inscription.
Have a knife? You can skin creatures you kill/earn loot from as long as you have Leatherworking.
The tradeoff? They let you get your "farm" sooner than level 90. Move it to some reasonable place in Azeroth, like Durotar or Elwyn Forest and allow the low-level characters to generate their materials. If you also happen to find something in the wild, good for you. You get a skill point. Otherwise, just visit your farm periodically and grab what you need to do your professions.
As for major professions themselves, turn them into a legitimate alternate means of gearing a character up. Think akin to the patterns we get from raids now, but for each slot (depending on the profession) and the gear gets as good as it needs to be to enter LFR for the given patch. Alternatively, allow professions to "break down" non-tier gear and learn how to mass-produce it (or something similar) to sell to others. Sellers keep their money-makers, while people who don't want to raid now have another option to gear up. Take that with a grain of salt, as I'm sure there would be serious tweaking/number adjustments made.
I dont think that BS increase with new mats is something that is going into live. I think it is just a way to level up BS on the PTR to test the new thunder forge.
I'd prefer if they way they level up is changed. As the OP said you out level zones before your profession is high enough for the next zone so why not just have gathering professions scale to level? I.E. Westfall is a 10 - 15 zone you can't gather there until your level 10.
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As if gathering is that hard. Takes like an hour to get 200 ghost iron ore.
I like gathering, put on some music, or play Dr. Who on Netflix on my nook and go gather the shit out of Pandaria.
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