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Ask a Beta Tester: It's all about the money

Allison Robert
Allison Robert|October 11, 2008 9:00 AM

We have a lot of profession questions today, but also a few about Achievements, the Beast Mastery 51-point talent, and what happens when you push Death Knights off a cliff:


How is the Shaman Hex ability working? Does the target still have control of movement and does the PvP trinket work against it?

Hex is a the crowd-control spell for Shamans referenced by the devs at the class panel here, and it's been tinkered with a lot since we first heard about it. It was originally meant to be more of an emergency-only, short-duration CC. In its present form, Hex's duration has been increased to 30 seconds and it doesn't necessarily break on damage. However, in PvP the target can control where they go, the PvP trinket does work (you can also shapeshift out of it as a Druid), and it's considered a curse and can be dispelled by Mages, Druids, and restoration Shamans (who will have the ability do dispel curses with a 31-point talent Cleanse Spirit). Think of it as a somewhat odd combination of Counterspell, Fear, and Polymorph.

Mannas asks...

Can achievements be lost?

Nope. Once you've got it, it's with you permanently even if you delete or sell the items needed for the Achievement (you may be able to replace such items in Dalaran through special vendors -- I've found a tabard vendor selling all the tabards I'm eligible to wear, for example).

Khree asks...

You say that alchemists keep their specializations. Will tailors?

We've gotten this question a lot and I apologize that we haven't had more information, but now I think I know why it's been so hard to get any solid facts. The new specializations will be called Spellweave, Ebonweave, and Moonshroud, and they seem to function in more or less the same fashion that Spellcloth, Shadowcloth, and Mooncloth Tailoring do now. After spending a lot of time in the beta corralling every tailor who had time to talk, what I kept hearing was that nobody seemed to have trained specializations yet, but people seemed fairly sure that your BC choice would have no effect on your Wrath specialization (e.g. you could be a Mooncloth tailor in BC but pick Spellweave or Ebonweave in Wrath). So, as far as I'm aware, you'll be a BC-specialization tailor right up until the moment you pick a Wrath specialty. Whether you can have a BC specialization at the same time as a Wrath specialization...I confess, I'm not sure. I haven't yet found a max-level Tailor in the beta, probably because a lot of tailoring recipes haven't yet been implemented, so leveling it probably isn't that easy (to be fair, tailoring isn't the only profession with this problem). Players have also been disappointed to discover that current high level tailoring products are generally inferior to drops in Naxxramas-10. Whether this will stay true through the game's release or if we'll see level 80 equivalents to, say, Frozen Shadoweave is up in the air, although I'm guessing we will.

I also ran into a very helpful warlock, Azaraelin, who told me that the specialization issue is a murky one in no small part because the Cathedral of Darkness in Icecrown, where Ebonweave has to be made, is essentially unreachable for most players at the moment. A little snooping around the forums also confirmed that finding the exact spot to make it (CoD is a subzone of Icecrown Citadel) was a fairly buggy process as recently as early to mid-September.

If anyone needs more general information on Wrath tailoring, Alex Ziebart had an early look here with some patterns you can expect to train, and Tailors will also get what is essentially a BoP cloak enchantment. You'll also train A Guide To Northern Cloth Scavenging, which increases your chance to find cloth drops off humanoid mobs. This is no small matter. Frostweave cloth is nowhere near as common a drop as netherweave is in Outland, so it also takes a lot longer for people to level up First Aid, and there's just less excess cloth around, period. Obviously this hasn't helped the tailoring situation.

Robert M asks...

What new alchemy trinkets are BoP?

The Indestructible Alchemist's Stone, the Mercurial Alchemist's Stone, and the Mighty Alchemist's Stone. You'll be able to get (most of) the mats for these while you're leveling from 70 to 75, although they will require a fair amount of herbing and (in the Indestructible's case) fishing.

Matt asks...

My alchemy skill is at 375 (on live) but I never bothered to pick up a specialty? Does it make sense to do it now, or should I wait until the xpac?

I'm with Zappo on this one -- I'd try to get through the specialty quests before Wrath hits because it's going to be very hard to get groups for Outland dungeons with people busy leveling in Northrend. The sole exception to this might be if you're a healing class and you're willing to healbot groups full of Death Knights instancing their way through Outland -- but I wouldn't depend on this. Changing your alchemy specialty is just a matter of forking over some cash once you've gotten the quest done, so I'd recommend doing it now.

Realz asks...

Has there been any mention of an Engineering Research?

Not that we're aware of. John Patricelli has a write-up on some of the cooler Engineering things he's seeing on Big Bear Butt, and Zach Yonzon also has a detailed article here, but we've not yet seen any equivalent to Northrend Alchemy Research or Inscription Research.

Wii WIlli asks...

With regards to BM hunters. If we tame exotic pets and then decide to respec later (either with a complete respec to, say, Marks, or just a BM tinkering), will we lose our tamed exotic pets?

As soon as you respec, whatever pet you have out is automatically dismissed and, if it's an exotic pet, can't be resummoned until you pick up Beast Mastery again (pet talent points will also be wiped either way as you'll lose the extra points you get from Beast Mastery). The pet can also be stabled in the meantime (just not taken out), but either way you won't lose it. Petopia has an FAQ on exotic pets here, and Big Red Kitty's been tracking down all the new pet families.

Stormscape asks...

Do Death Knights have any means of surviving a long fall?

Let's just say I would suggest doing the questline in Tanaris to get access to Noggenfogger Elixirs. Or, failing that, skilling up Engineering for this. Or prayer.

Sjb asks...

Another profession question... how profitable will inscription be in the long-term? It seems like after people buy their glyphs, they'll have no need to buy more. Also, how is the enchanting economy affected by the vellum? Does it seem like people are buying more enchantments since they are easier to get on AH?

Especially with dual specs on the way, Inscription looks like it may very well provide a good, or at least steady, income (depending, of course, on your realm and the amount of competition therein). Raiders who min/max are very likely to switch glyphs each time they switch specs, and I can also see that happening for most people who go back and forth between PvE and PvP specs constantly. Hybrids also have the unenviable dilemma of finding many of their glyphs useless or borderline so after a spec switch. For example, I have Glyph of Swiftmend and Glyph of Lifebloom in the beta right now as I've specced resto to heal 5-mans. Both are enormously helpful to resto Druids (I would go so far as to call both virtually necessary for raiding restos), but the Swiftmend glyph is completely pointless after speccing feral to tank anything (as Swiftmend is a 31-point talent in the resto tree), and the Lifebloom glyph isn't far behind.

Re: economy, I'm honestly not sure. The beta server economies are in a state of what I might politely call hyper-inflation. This is reportedly the result of guilds rotating their bank's gold among members for the purpose of copying those characters to the beta, essentially reproducing the guild's savings several times over. Imagine what would happen if your guild could copy the contents of its bank once for each member of the guild without any effort, cost, or consequences. Now imagine what would happen if every guild on your server could do that. That's pretty much the beta economy. Zimbabwe, by contrast, is a model of inflationary restraint.

So I don't want to make too any predictions on the economic impact of Inscription because the beta servers are a massively bad context from which to judge. I will say that it seems like it'll be a lot easier for Enchanters to sell lower-level enchants to people who want them on good leveling blues and/or Heirloom items.

The Wrath of the Lich King beta is in full swing, and the WoW Insider crew is here to sate your curiosity with Ask a Beta Tester! Leave your beta questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em! And if you can't get enough Wrath, don't forget to check WoW Insider's Wrath Roundup page for anything we haven't answered here!