14 March 2011

Who chooses my professions?

I just want to say that west Japan was generally unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami, and I am just fine. I have also heard from those I know in eastern Japan, and aside from some very scary shaking and disheveled apartments, they are fine. (I don't know anyone living in Sendai) If you are interested in donating to victim relief organizations, you can check out HuffPo's list here or the Japanese Red Cross here. My condolences to those affected by the quake.


What is the value of a profession to a player, to the character, and to the community? As I mentioned, I dropped Aka's Leatherworking in favor of mining, leveling it over the course of a few days. Leatherworking was the first of Aka's initial professions, along with skinning. As a noob drood, my rogue buddy suggested I get those two as a pair to make things for myself. I took both to 450 in Wrath, made myself the epic crafted boots, and changed skinning for Tailoring.

Tailoring was only temporary. I wanted the flying carpets to help me reach 100 mounts. While I collected Frostweave I took advantage of the spellthreads and such, but after I made the carpets I switched to Engineering (also for mounts...and pets :3). Fortunately I had gotten my paladin to 80 and could mine the leveling mats. The problem is that at the moment, I don't have a high-level skinner OR miner.

I asked guildies for advice - they are the community my professions contribute to. In general, 2 crafting professions buff a raiding character more than gathering ones. I don't have Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing, but LW gives a nice bracer buff (assuming any crafted epics are replaced in raids), and Engi has tinker buffs and now cogwheels. By trading my +int buff for stam, was I gimping my healing, and therefore the raid? My RL's advice was to suck it up and buy mats to level both crafting professions, in the interest of saving LW. Is it my responsibility to the raid to level professions in accordance with their needs?

I asked my Insane buddy for advice - he suggested that I level my paladin to farm for myself (the only problem being that my paladin is a miner; my skinner is a level 65 DK bank alt). In terms of character benefit, is it better to neglect dailies and dungeons on my main in order to quest and farm on two toons?

I asked manfriend for advice - he said he always prefers having a toon to be self-sufficient with professions, so if I wouldn't give up Engi for skinning, I might as well drop LW for mining. Especially because as he knows, I work very infrequently on my alts when I'm focused on Aka. Is it more important to level professions than to play the way I want?

When it comes to my raid group, we are not as hard core as some. We require appropriate gear, enchants, and gems, consumables, strat prep, and honoring scheduled commitments. However, we do not require toons to have the most ideal professions or spec (unless something is seriously off). Although the first list contains requirements for a single toon that benefit the whole, the next two are considered personal choices left to the player. Indeed, even people with main toons with crafting professions will raid on surrogates (raid-ready alts with a high loot priority that compensate for group composition and player burnout) with random professions. I don't mean to suggest that this is better or worse than other methods - if I joined a guild that required certain profs, specs, time commitments, etc, I would be agreeing to honor them. My guild, however, does not dictate this particular decision.

Which brings me to the character, which is closely tied to my preferences. Without external pressure from the guild, I had internal pressure to keep the sweet bracer lining, not to mention it is the last of my starter professions, and one that I put lots of time, money, and effort into. But weighing that against my resistance to leveling alts and my unwillingness to spend gold on leveling mats, the choice was clear.

In the end, I choose my professions. Although I am committed to successful guild raids, at the moment professions are not crucial to them. And without this change, it's unlikely that I would have leveled either profession until much too late; at least now I can get my engi together in time to be useful.


  1. Glad to hear you (and your friends) are ok :)

    Good luck with the engineering - even when your guild doesn't require you to have optimum professions, I understand how hard it is to decide which ones to take in order to contribute!

  2. I feel where your coming from on this one. I generally play at very random sporadic times, so a lot of times I don't have time to even do a dungeon often. As such since I'm not playing a lot I just generally don't have as much money as many other players. Which makes crafting professions a bit of an issue for me. I do have mining up to almost maxed (its 500 something), but my enchanting is stuck at 350ish range. At this point I have a few k gold and could easily get enchanting up to above 450, but I'm hesistant to because I don't know if I'll ever raise up the funds to max it (its exspensive) so I'm debating dropping it. All of my guilds so far have been ok with it, but I'm worried this will handicap me when I can play more. Whats your thoughts on my dilema?

  3. @Rebecca: Thanks. My friends are now in for rolling blackouts to conserve energy, so I feel bad flipping out about the minor earthquake we had in west Japan last night. (Definitely not used to the floor wiggling under me) I got engi up pretty quickly and made my sick-nasty caster goggles, and I secretly love chasing down yellow dots to mine. The weird thing is that I have all this pyrite and I don't know what to do with it...

    @Tamek: Because mining doesn't really dovetail with enchanting, it might be a bit harder for you to level up. However, if you don't want to drop either (for instance, dropping ench for BS or JC to match with mining, or dropping mining for tailoring to make greens to DE) I think you can still level both. Mining is gathering only, so you can sell your ore, smelt and sell bars, or crush and sell gems. You could even enlist a buddy to help you turn your ore into more profitable types of bars/gems/items to sell. Then, using that money, you can buy items to supplement your enchanting, be they greens to DE or dusts and shards (do an AH search before you buy!!). I recently picked up my warlock's enchanting and despite not leveling tailoring (stuck at 445) I have been able to get up to 475 and sell enchants as I go. Every BOE I find I send to be DE'd, and very slowly I have accumulated enough enchanting mats to level. I always do an AH search to see which of my leveling enchants would sell for the most gold, and then I get some vellum and go nuts. It's slow, but it's progressing! Sorry about the novel; does that answer your question?

  4. yea its just one of those things I guess (such a chore). If I can get it up to the cata areas I still have plenty of quests left in deepholm/vash/hyjal so I could probably just farm some greens for myself. It'll be quite the grind though. Oh well, thanks for the advice!

  5. first time poster here, love the blog. It's one of the few I can read at work.

    I have 10 toons on Azgalor, none is considered a main, yet all 10 support each other in one form or another. There are some repeats (mage/priest/lock all have tailoring) but in general it works out pretty nice. The toons are spread among several guilds as well but none require a profession to join.

    I don't raid that much as playtime is about an hour a day, maybe 2-3 on weekends. Sometimes I have time to do a complete set of dailies.

    Having all professions also allows me to make copious amounts of gold as needed with dailies.

    Flutterkicks - Azgalor US (Alliance)

  6. My Druid (main) used to be a enchanter / miner (at level 70) and I decided to get LWing. I dropped mining, learned skinning and spent a single weekend levelling it to max and skinning all the mats I needed to to level my LWing to max.

    I got ready for LK by specifically levelling a skinning / herbing alt to 70 (when the raiding had died down a little) and when LK came out just ran arround skinning stuff when I had a spare moment. (did a similar thing for cata)

    I can see levelling a character from fresh with gathering professions when there is still interesting content to do on you main a bit of a pain though but consider doing it at the end of Cata.

    The other option a friend of mine used was as a LW / Herber. You always need more herbs for flasks but you rarely need a continual supply of skins. So he just herbed and sold them for inflated AH prices and bought the skins he needed for inflated AH prices.

  7. I just saw where you are actually located from the blogger map on MMO Melting Pot - good to hear you are okay! some of the pictures we get to see on the news here are really frightening. I have a friend myself who is in Tokio and he keeps telling me people are a lot more relaxed there, than we are here...not sure if I can believe that.

    anyway, professions; I have a very mixed relationship to professions in MMOs, maybe because I've never seen them implemented in a very meaningful way. they're usually a chore that I neglect as much as I can - the only time I ever bothered was in TBC when the tailoring sets were basically replacing the first tier level.
    but as long as professions are as linear and progressive as they're usually in MMOs, they hold very little interest to me. what I'd like to see is freedom: to define what you want to learn first yourself. and to mix and experiment with recipes of your own.
    I think FF11 online had this to some extent where the system allowed you to combine any given materials and see what happens. I think that's pretty awesome. it would also help if the items you create are actually more than vendor trash. but that's hard to circumvent.

  8. Here's my breakdown:
    85 War Mine/BS
    85 Rogue Mine/Eng
    80 Lock Tailor/Ench
    85 Hunter Herb/Alc
    85 Shammy Ench/JC
    85 Druid Skin/Leather
    85 Pally Mine/BS
    81 Priest Tailor/Incrip
    83 DK Mine
    85 Mage Tailor/Skinning

    I found a good mod called whoneedsthis, it tells me generally who can use whatever I pick up.

    Hope all is well in Japan, I'm in Korea. We feel your pain over here. I've got several military friends at Yokota and Misawa who have not responded to calls and emails...I know they are quite busy asisting the Japanese government with recovery efforts.

  9. Hey Sarge: That's quite a stable of alts! It's awesome that they can all make things for each other (and for AH spec :B). I initially planned that for myself, giving a paladin alt herbing/mining just to keep bringing in mats, but I quickly realized that I'm too damn lazy to play alts and farm when I would rather being doing stupid achievements on my main :/ Just out of curiousity - can you read my blog at work because it's not blocked, or because I have a relatively clean vocabulary? :B At my office no one can really read English, but they always ask me about the pictures on blogs that I read >_>;;; "Yea this is um...this is just a fun website...about a game..."

    Berdache, I love the idea of LW and herbing. Herbs are generally a high demand sort of item, but skins stop being awesome pretty quickly. Except for the rare ones, I guess. I'll keep that in mind the next time I juggle professions :O

    Syl: It really is very low-key here. I mean, people are definitely watching the news, and I've talked about it with coworkers and the like, but in my area especially people are just like "Yep, that thing happened. Better donate some money." One of my buddy's principal's sons hasn't reported in in a few days and even he is keeping it on the DL. So it's a weird combination of not-panic and/or secret-panic.

    And yeah, I feel like I just leveled LW to get my epic boots (in wrath) and then it was like....oh, leg patches I guess. I feel a lot more satisfied with engi because even though I only made one piece to wear for myself, I still have all sorts of useful gadgets like Jeeves and MOLLE, and my tinkers :)

  10. @redcow: Its one of the few that are not blocked. I realised a long time ago gear is cheaper if you farm 90% of the mats yourself. The only thing I can't farm right now is orbs. Having them being soulbound is outright stupid, though if I remember correctly, frozen orbs were soulbound at the start of wrath?

    Had no playtime tonight, back in the office till 1am...love these 16 hour days...

    Road trip tomorrow down south to Daegu at 6am, not looking forward to it.

    Hope all is well over there across the water. We did not feel anything here in South Korea.