My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about. This week’s topic is all about professions. You can read Z’s post about this topic right here.
Professions in Legion have changed quite a bit. It’s no longer a case of grinding out crafting items to level up – there is story and questing involved. And quite a lot of RNG. Whether it’s good or not depends on the person you speak to. Me… I am absolutely nowhere with my professions. But I think the changes are good.
My two professions are mining and jewelcrafting. Towards the end of Warlords, when it was becoming apparent that I’d probably want a gathering profession to compliment my crafting profession, I switched things up a bit and made my professions mining and jewelcrafting. The gems were going to be handy, plus there’s that cool toy (which I have not yet made!), so I figured this would be a good choice. So far I have not been able to get to max level on any of my professions. Not mining, not jewel crafting, not fishing, cooking, archaeology or first aid. And I’m not too sure how I feel about it.
It’s an odd thing, because I think it’s drilled into us that we need to have our professions maxed at all times. It’s probably just psychological, but it feels really weird not being maxed out right now. In some ways it makes me feel like I’m not playing the game “correctly” by not having maxed out professions. Like I’m just being lazy or something. Which I promise you, I’m not!
At the moment, I’m 3 points off maxing out my mining. All the nodes are grey, and despite how much I have been mining, I still only have rank 3 in one of the mining skill types. So I just have to keep at it and hope for the best. But I don’t see me getting rank 3 in each skill type for quite some time. Mining nodes aren’t nearly as common as they have been in previous expansions either, and while we don’t have flying it takes longer to get the ore, too. So this one is just a patience thing. The only real benefits to the ranks are that you get more ore from each node, and from what I can see, there’s no real benefit to getting to max level mining anyway. So I’m not overly bothered about this. This one is definitely psychological.
Jewelcrafting on the other hand, is pretty painful. There are a couple of elements to JC that makes it rough to level. Firstly, the base patterns/recipes will only get you so far through the levelling process, and rank 3 doesn’t help much either – at about 784 they turn yellow, and 790 they turn green, which means you have to make a lot of items to level it up.
Now this wouldn’t so much of a problem if gems were easy to come by, but they’re not. I already mentioned above that mining was a little rough. It’s even rougher when I can’t spend excessive amounts of timing farming ore all day. So having ore to prospect is already difficult enough as it is. But it gets worse, because gems just don’t like to drop from the ore. You will always get gem chips (which are essentially useless). If you’re lucky you’ll get small gems (which, once you’re around 764 are usable in 0 JC recipes). Then if the RNG gods smile upon you, you’ll get the big gems. I wish I was exaggerating with this, but I’m not (well, not too much). Thor bought me a 200 stack of each of leystone deposit, and felslate. At the time it cost him around 20,000 gold. (no, there are not too many zeros in there). All up, from both stacks, I got 3 big gems. 3. (the RNG gods really don’t smile upon me).
To make matters worse, there is no levelling up from cutting big gems after a certain point (I forget this one, sorry). And besides, you need to keep your big gems for the rings/necks you’ll need to craft to try to get a skill up after 784. And even then… I have rank 3 for the Vindictive Pandemonite Choker (demon hunter class neck). You know what it takes to craft one of those? 3 Pademonites, 1 Furystone and 2 Infernal Brimstone. So you can now see why the average Joe is needing to charge well over 20k for the class necks.
Right now my Jewelcrafting has hit a lull. Gems are still hard to come by (even more so because I actually need them for raiding now – 5 pieces of my gear have gem sockets!), but what’s even more difficult, is getting the rank 3 patterns to drop. Most of them drop from heroic dungeon bosses. And they’re not a guaranteed drop (which is obvious given I don’t have any of them yet). I’m currently stuck at 785 jewelcrafting until a rank 3 recipe drops so that I can have a chance at getting 1 skill point. It’s not the greatest feeling.
All I can say is thank goodness for the Darkmoon Faire. At the very least, I’ll be max level JC in January (oh god!!) Again, I wouldn’t mind this so much, if it were not for the fact that there is a really nice, strong gem – Saber’s Eye – that can be crafted only at 800 jewel crafting. It gives +200 of your primary stat, so it’s really nice. It’s also expensive to make. But so far, a long way off for me to even think about making.
I’ll be honest – I haven’t touched any of the secondary professions in any meaningful way. I started doing cooking until I realised that Nomi was going to keep burning my food, so I held on to it so I actually had mats to craft my food with. That and Thor managed to get the recipes that I needed, so I just get my mats and send them his way for cooking. Fishing I’ll do if there’s a world quest, but I’m not going out of my way to do it.
First aid has been interesting – without researching it, I have no idea how to level it. However the random times where there has been a quest pop up asking me to go apply first aid to an NPC out in the world has been quite interesting. If there’s a way to trigger those events that would be cool so I can level that up. So far I’ve not come across anything.
And Archaeology. That I’m doing a little bit. Not a lot, but a little. If the digs are nearby I’ll go do them. And obviously the week that the spectral moose mount is up, I’ll be digging up the Broken Isles like crazy!
So overall, my professions are still quite aways off.
How does it feel?
I can’t speak for all of the other professions (although I have touched on Enchanting & Herbalism on my mage, too), but I have to say – I don’t hate it. It does frustrate me, but I don’t hate it. I do like that professions are more challenging. I REALLY like that there are quests and story to go along with levelling the professions (the mining of felslate stuff is really quite gross but awesome). I’m not overly bothered by not being maxed out (though still wish I was!)
I have 2 thoughts on how to potentially make jewel crafting not so brutal to level:
- Have a recipe that allows us to combine 20 small gems into one of the big gems. This was datemined on wowhead at one stage, but it hasn’t made it to the live game. I do wish that it would.
- Make it so that you can level to max level JC with ONLY the base recipes, but in turn, make the drop rates for the higher ranks more rare. This way you’re not relying on RNG twice to get your skills up (RNG first time to get the recipe to drop in the first place, then RNG again every time you craft something in the hopes that it will give you a skill up). People will still be encouraged to farm for the higher ranks so that it’s cheaper to craft the rings/necks given you don’t get a guaranteed item type when you craft it (e.g. I can’t specifically craft a Vindictive Pandemonite Choke of the Quickblade every time – the suffix will always be different.)
What I do like, is that professions give you gold. I’ve managed to craft 3 of the Demon Hunter necks, and sold all 3 for a reasonable amount, as well as a couple of the rings. The random crafting mats (like fish, meats etc) that I pick up while doing World Quests are all selling for a pretty good amount, too. So it does feel rewarding to craft and sell things.
I don’t think professions are in a bad place at all. In fact, I think they’re doing quite well. They’re not perfect – there are definitely some improvements that can be made (Nomi, hon, I’m looking at you! You’re better than this!!) But I don’t think they’re worth the public outcry. Honestly, I think it’s mostly psychological.
Overall, I like what has been done with professions in Legion. I’m looking forward to seeing them progress over the expansion.