I'm sure all of you are well aware of the various color rankings that go with tradeskills in terms of skill progression. Orange recipes are a guaranteed point (most of the time), yellow is a likely point, etc. During the Burning Crusade beta, I saw Thottbot start adding these color designations to their recipe listings and I definitely wondered where they were getting that information from. Obviously at the same time I was leveling various professions and taking my own notes, but I did not plan to add that information to my recipes. I considered that type of data to be more appropriate for the guides, but even there I've mostly left it out.
My thinking on this was that the color designations will change, Blizzard often sneaks them in undocumented. If I include them in my guides, they will become stale pretty quickly and I'll just end up getting constant complaints from users. On the other hand, if I don't include hard and fast lists of recipes to craft for each point from 1-375 and instead rely on sharing general guidelines and tips, my guide is still relevant and gives readers the flexibility to make their own assessment on what to craft based on what works best for their character. Everyone has different materials they can collect, so what's easy for one person can be a nightmare for someone else. For example, when I was working on the last ten points in Tailoring I made mostly Wizardweave items. Since I had an enchanter to feed me the dream dust, it wasn't a problem for me. Someone else might prefer Runecloth armor if they can easily collect Ironweb silks, or Brightcloth if they have a miner to collect ore for them.
At any rate, I've gotten several emails from users asking for the color coding data on our site. The main issue for me with doing that, is I would have to steal it from Thottbot verbatim. Not that I mind data sharing when appropriate, obviously I use other sites for the drop rate links. But in this case, I have no way to confirm what they are posting. For me to put it on Crafter's Tome and hope it's right just makes me feel a bit uneasy. I mean, what if they just did the same thing I did and took notes while someone leveled a profession in Beta? I know for a fact that several professions have undergone major overhauls since then, Jewelcrafting went through one during Beta that I had to adjust for after release. So right off the bat, my not knowing how stale their data is could cause trouble.
Then, there's the fact that their recipe lists are kind of a mess right now. Many of the trainer recipes aren't even categorized properly. To me that is just a scary indication of their data reliability that gives me no comfort at all. So we have 1) mystery data with no known source... from 2) site that clearly has accuracy issues in other areas. I don't know about you guys, but this isn't adding up to a ringing endorsement for me.
But I guess the main thing for me is the fact that I know many of you count on me to bring you accurate information. If I include Thottbot's color-coding information, I can't even partially ensure it's accuracy. The only way that anyone would be able to do that for color coding would be to re-level each profession whenever Blizzard publishes a progression change and madly hope they don't do too many unpublished changes that will seriously compromise your work. I don't think it's reasonable for any site to provide this, the in-game costs would be astronomical.
I'll be the first to say that if Blizzard ever does make this information available through their UI or otherwise, I'll be happy to include it on our site. As long as it's accurate, it can help anyone budget their funds appropriately. But if it's wrong, it can cost people money and I really don't want to be responsible for that. In the meantime I will continue to share what information I can, give tips where I can and leave some of the decisions to you folks on what works best for leveling your professions.
I just wanted to let everyone know where I stand on this issue, but feel free to let me know what you guys think!