On Professions in Warlords of Draenor

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Adam Holisky
December 22nd, 2014
On Professions in Warlords of Draenor

I struggled with how to start this post off -- I didn't want to be negative and rant against professions in Warlords, or be blind and not cover their current state at all. So instead I decided upon a little bit of a meta introductory paragraph that simply says professions are not what we expected. They lack the feel of traditional professions, and seem to exist in a hybrid state of being utterly worthless worthless and slightly annoying.

As the game stands right now, you could never touch professions and you'd miss almost nothing of importance. There is no gear that you need (you may want some of it, but not much, and it is easily substituted with LFR drops), there are no battle pets that are required, and there's nothing but enchanting and inscription that are mildly necessary for a casual player to engage in the game (and at that, all those benefits can be obtained by buying the crafted items off the auction house).

What can be done? Three relatively easy things: more levels of crafted gear, revamping the resource model, and decreasing the reliance on daily cooldowns.


Fix #1: More crafted gear
It's my feeling that the Mists crafted gear worked wonders. It gave not only a leveling option but also an early end-game option. People were able to outfit themselves completely with blue crafted gear, either via their own professions or through the AH. It made life just a little bit (but noticeably) easier for those that had the resources to use this gear, and provided a steady outlet for gold making, and gold sinking, through Mists lifetime.

All Blizzard would need to do is add a set of blue level 100 gear. That's it.

Fix #2: Eliminate cooldown reliance
Now what kind of mats should be required for the new craft gear mentioned above? Nothing that relies on having a cooldown. For cloth gear, straight fur. For leather gear, straight leather. For blacksmithing, straight ore. No special things that you can only make once a day or need to use your garrison to get -- just straight up materials.

When the cooldown need is eliminated in this way, it becomes possible to keep the current model for existing craftable gear. Let the system only allow you to make one epic a week via cooldowns -- that's fine. You'll still have the other blue crafted gear to keep you playing.

Fix #3: Fix the resource allocations
I don't know what to do with all this ore. I have more ore than I ever thought I'd keep. It just keeps stacking up and not going anywhere. There's no reason to sell it for a hundred gold a stack, and there's nothing to do with it but keep churning away at my Engineer cooldown and feeding my alts' professions. And even with all that, I still have more than I can use. And herbs? They're right behind my ore. Quickly I'll have no use for the stacks I'm collecting besides Garrison resources.

Fixing this requires acknowledging that the problem comes from the garrison mines and garden. They reward too much of every mat. I absolutely love the idea that I can get a steady stream of materials in, but when it's a boat load every day... it's too much. If these resource get pulled back a bit, and then other sinks (like the blue crafted gear I'm advocating for) get put into the game, suddenly equilibrium will be had.

I'm not saying that professions in Warlords are terrible, and I'm not saying there's no solution. The solution is pretty easy, I think. No matter what Blizzard comes up with, something should be done.
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