As I said in my previous post, my theme for the next week or so will be Wrath of the Lich King. People are thinking alot about it these days, what with the furor of 2.4 dying down and the realization that there will be nothing new to do until the expansion hits the shelves. Unfortunately, this dead zone is also coinciding with the summer months, when more players tend to drift away to greener pastures (and greener lawns, heh). I hear lots of talk about taking breaks for awhile, so perhaps there's also some burnout setting in.
Honestly, it's been a wild ride for the past 17 months. If you had told me that BC would rejuvenate the game for another 12+ months I would have laughed at that idea, but that's pretty much what happened. Blizzard has done a good job of keeping the game fresh with fairly frequent content updates. They've also broadened it's appeal to a wider variety of people, beefing up PvP for those who prefer that style of play and making high-end PvE accessible to more players through Heroics. Clearly they realize this since they're expanding on the small raid/small dungeon concept by providing a 10-man option for every new raid instance in WotLK.
And as much as we crafters like to bemoan the marketability of our goods, they did improve on crafting as well. Prior to Burning Crusade, there was nothing my leatherworker could make to generate cash. Like many other casual players, I used to farm essences and other high-end crafting ingredients to make money. Tailors were only good for runecloth bags, which weren't exactly lucrative. Blacksmiths had nothing if they weren't also raiders and Engineers had nothing period. Pretty much the only crafters that were making money were Enchanters and Alchemists. Not that this is much different today, but at least every other profession has *something* they can make that no one else provides. Leatherworkers have leg armor, Tailors have spellthread and Engineers can farm primals if nothing else. I think Blacksmiths are still in need of a strong consumable item, from what I can tell they are nothing without an epic recipe of some sort.
Blizzard even gave cooks and fisherfolk some viability with better buff foods that players will actually pay for. Plus they have daily cooking/fishing quests that enable you to make a bit of cash even if you aren't farming goodies for the auction. All in all we've seen some great strides in crafting, but of course there's always room for improvement.
So I want to put the question out to my readers, what would you ask Blizzard to improve if they allowed user suggestions? What goodies would be on your Top 5 list to Greatfather Winter? I'll kick things off with my thoughts:
1. Stronger upgrade path for BoP epics - I think Blizz was on the right track with the Smithing weapons, but this concept should be extended to all gear professions. My specialized leather hasn't helped my druid since the last half of Karazhan. Considering the mats and effort that go into these items, shouldn't they be best in category? It's not like I was able to make myself a full set of armor, just 3 pieces. But why shouldn't I be able to upgrade each item with Tier 5 or Tier 6 instance drops? Just add a Nether Vortex or some Hearts of Darkness and call it good. I know Blizz acknowledges this one, since they had it on their own ToDo list at a major trade show. I want to see this happen because I was very bummed that my Windhawk set didn't even see me through Kara. Considering all the friggin' Primal Airs I had to farm to make it, I wish it wasn't just sitting in my bank collecting dust. You're on notice Blizz, I'm saving it just in case :P
2. Give Blacksmiths some love -- please! Most other professions have a crafted consumable they can make, and our sharpening stones do not count. From what I can tell, no one uses them with any frequency. And I don't really consider the epic BoE recipes fair, those are seriously expensive! I suspect you'd be lucky to break even after spending 500+ gold on the recipe and maybe making a handful of the actual item for other players. Other professions got nice sellable recipes from faction vendors, why not us? I'm crying foul here - come up with something new for smiths please.
3. Let enchanters sell some thing on the Auction - something else I know is rattling around the rumor mill. I realize we can sell oils, but that's pretty lame IMO. I kind of like the prevailing notion of limiting which enchants would be available this way, but it would at least give us barker-averse folks a way to profit from our hard work. Right now my enchanter only makes money farming primals... with her Engineering helm. I know, how stupid was I when I got drunk and did that to myself??
4. More consistent itemization - this covers almost all professions. There are a number of gaps in the professions where you have a high level of an item, but not a low level. Or a low level of something, but no beefier version in the upper tiers. Perhaps some of this is intended, I really can't say. It just seems odd to me that there is no Transmute XX to Air, no Fel Iron Arrows, no Flashing or Subtle Blood Garnet, no buff food with +Defense on it ... I could go on forever here. These seem like obvious gaps that anyone could spot during alpha testing if they took the time to review recipes lists in such a manner (hint hint... I'm available!).
5. More fun stuff!! Seriously, we all enjoy collecting silly pets and goofy items in the game. How come we can't make shirts and party dresses anymore? Where's the new and improved leather ball or Mechanical Egbert?? Granted, we did get the Winter Veil outfits, but that's about it. I'd like to see more novelty craftables.
6. Ok, I said five but I'm throwing in a bonus one. Give us dyes!! 'Nuff said.
So let's talk people, what's on your list?