Insider Trader: Leatherworking in alpha, and profession changes for patch 2.4.3

Amanda Miller
A. Miller|06.20.08

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Insider Trader: Leatherworking in alpha, and profession changes for patch 2.4.3
Although there is information being leaked about the upcoming expansion Wrath of the Lich King, because of the alpha testing that is currently underway, it is too soon to tell what will make it into the final copy, and what will not. Furthermore, most things will be changed, and there are details that may never be leaked until, of course, release.

Still, it is a valuable experience to peer into Blizzard's process of designing, reforming, and progressing the game's professions. This week, Insider Trader will focus on analyzing the tentative progression of the leatherworking trade.

In addition, we'll take a brief look at professions-related changes in the upcoming patch 2.4.3. While mounts at level 30 and Haris Pilton might be first in your mind, Blizzard isn't overlooking the trade sector this round.

Leatherworking kits in alpha testing
Kits have been the staple of the leatherworker's bag of tricks since before the craftsman has access to any talent trees. They offer cheap leveling, additional armor or other buffs, and have the market cornered when it comes to "enchants" for the leg slot.

Kits are commonly consumed in quantity as the craftsman changes gear, hands them out to friends, and sells excess on the auction house. It is not surprising then that it seems that Wrath will bring a whole new set of kits, although with a surprising twist that I hope doesn't make it to the expansion.

Currently, it appears as though the kits can only be used on items in your possession, in your bank, bags, mail, or on your character. In addition, using a kit on an item will bind it to you, preventing you from selling it.

All of the kits leaked thus far have this condition forced upon them. I personally would not mind it for some of the best kits. After all, each profession has equivalent bind on pick-up items that can only be enjoyed by those who actually take the time and make the investment to fully level that profession.

Still, with eight kits leaked thus far, I am beginning to worry. Will I need to change from Scryers to Aldor to get the proper leg kits for my character? Will some of my alts end up dropping their professions in favor of leatherworking, if other professions do not get similar exclusive bonuses that make it worth their while?

Will my auction profits take a hit? Will I have no cheap kits to help me level my leatherworking to the new skill cap? Questions, questions. Let's hope at least that the kits will be items that can be traded and sold, and used by non-leatherworkers. If this were the case, the only thing it would prevent us from doing is attaching a kit to a bind on equip world drop, and then selling it on the auction house. Considering most people who do this choose the wrong kit anyway, I'd be happy to see the option removed.

Of course, it is entirely possible that Blizz implemented this for the alpha testing solely, and will remove it for most, if not all, kits before the expansion goes live.

In fact, I suspect this might be true, as the leaked information shows one kit that adds 70 attack power and 18 critical strike rating, and yet another that adds 100 attack power and 36 critical strike rating. Although both will bind your item to you, it seems logical that the less valuable kit might, in the end, not.

Along these lines, I wonder if some of the leg armor kits from The Burning Crusade will be changed to work in the same manner, assuming that Blizzard is intending these items to go forward as-is.

Drums in alpha testing
Drums were introduced in the first expansion, and were a big hit. In fact, many raiding guilds began requiring certain characters to drop one of their professions and pick up leatherworking, just so they could have certain drums going during raids. Nihilum was one of the guilds that made this change.

Drums are a leatherworkers-only item, and let us apply one of a number of helpful buffs to all party members in range. So far, we will see an upgrade to drums we've already seen, and have been using, as well as an ever-useful set that will increase hit rating for the party. Hopefully we'll see even more new drums in the future.

In fact, it would be great if we were given more unique and fun items. Personally, I'd like a leather reclining chair, a trench coat, and some sort of hammock or cot for naps. You know what? I'd even settle for better elemental shaman pieces, especially early on, and some love for the Moonkin. They wear leather too Blizz!

Test realm notes for patch 2.4.3
There are quite a few interesting changes on the horizon for crafters as of this upcoming patch. First of all, there are a few fixes. Juicy bear burgers will correctly be buffing your healing as well as spell damage, as was originally intended. Green quality gems will be popping up in your mining nodes once more, and the Philosopher's Stone will require 200 Alchemy.

Jewelcrafters will be pleased to note that the beneficial effects cast by their trinkets can no longer be dispelled, which should make their usage more common and viable, especially in pvp.

Tailors will find the most changes in this patch, and might want to start working on their Sporeggar reputation, because Mycah will be able to teach you how to make 28 slot herb bags. At Steamwheedle Port in Tanaris, you'll find two new recipes, a jacket and a pair of pants. In addition, the cooldown for regular mooncloth is getting removed.

It's always nice to see little details being added, and minor adjustments being made. I'm also excited to add new patterns to my collection. Will you be on the test realms checking out these changes?

What changes to your professions would you like to see prior to Wrath, as well as with it? Are you thinking about changing professions prior to the expansion?

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Be sure to visit our guide to maximizing leatherworking, the test realm patch 2.4.3 notes, or read about everything Wrath.

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