To Keep or Not to Keep, THAT is the question

And now for some reader mail... regular visitor Teneightyp writes:

I love the crafting portion of the game.  I started out 3 years ago on my now main as a miner/Engineer and loved every bit of engineering.  However when The Burning Crusade came out, I really liked the idea of being a Jewelcrafter and making more stuff for my own good, and the good of my fellow guildies. 
Guild Banks made this significantly easier to get my gem supply house up and running for our small guild (10-15 friends).  But then last fall (2007) I read about all of the new BoE recipe drops from the high end raid content for BoP pieces (places I knew I would never get to raid).  With my guild stuck in the beginning of KZ, I saw the AH and Leatherworking as my path to new upgraded gear.

It has worked out great, with your help, I dropped my mining and powerlevelled my hunter up to 375 Leatherworking.  I made myself the Ebon Netherscale set, got a recipe pattern for the Boots of the Crimson Hawk, and then eventually the Shoulders of Lightning Reflexes.  Combine that with my Drums of Battle which I use in every boss fight always, and High end leatherworking was a great bump to my performance and a huge boost to my character not otherwise available to me.

Fast forward to today.  I'm struggling with what I should do about Leatherworking in the new expansion.  I'm in a tight spot because I now have 2 crafting professions and no gathering professions.  Leaving me with some very expensive levelling prospects.  However, upon further investigation on your site and others.  Blizzard has apparently removed all of the BoP incentive pieces from the LWing endgame?  The only piece that appears different is the Fur Linings for the bracers.  I suppose the leg enchants are the different mat cost for the LWer, but for the same affect.  To me it makes me wonder why I should continue to spend the time and material cost for all of the skill points to not have an additional incentive?  Am I missing something?


I would be happy to give my fellow guildie LWers the leather needed for a certain recipe from the trainer, along with the leather to buy it and that would be a whole lot cheaper to me in the long run.  Then I can drop my LWing and go back to mining to at least support one of my professions with some raw materials.  So to that end, I figure I must be missing something but I can't figure out what it may be?  Is there any BoP Dragonscale LWing suit (ebon netherscale-ish) out there i'm missing?

Thanks for trusting us with this serious dilemma Ten!  I'm highlighting this email I received because I think it covers a topic many of you have been wrestling with.  We talked about the issue of BoP gear in a previous post, where Blizzard officially stated that they were abandoning that concept.  They haven't completely removed it yet, but clearly it's been de-emphasized in what we've seen so far.

Right now Ten is in the same situation that Kaliope is in, probably some of you out there as well.  She dropped skinning for Inscription and now has two primary skills and no gathering skills.  She cries every time she walks past a clump of dead critters and has to leave the skins just lying there.  Luckily I have other accounts at my disposal that I can use for gathering if necessary, but that doesn't help Ten now does it?

Blizzard says they are doing away with crafted BoP gear because they don't want players to feel that they need a particular profession in order to excel or be competitive with anyone else.  This means that theoretically Ten doesn't *need* to keep Leatherworking in order to maximize his damage output.  Yes, Leatherworkers have the bracer enchants.  Almost every profession has certain buffs they can use as a crafter, but none are of the same power that the BoP gear provided.  If you assume that Blizzard is sticking to this plan, then Ten can drop LW and pick up Mining with no worries.  I can't imagine how expensive it would be to level JC on purchased ore, the prices for ore and herbs are insane right now.  So I completely understand why this issue is troubling for him.

I would also like to point out something else that maybe a lot of you haven't noticed yet, which I believe will also change the raiding picture for the better.  Faction gear appears to be more generously distributed and pre-raid oriented.  All the numbers aren't in yet for every class, but Shadowpanther.net has their rogue gear rankings updated and there are some nice rep items that are best-in-slot blues.  For myself, I'm looking at a situation where I can gear my rogue Krystella in crafted leather, a few rep/group quest items and a couple of daggers from my Blacksmith and she'll be ready for some major stabby-stabby action in Naxxramas.

When considering a tradeskill change, try to step back and look at the big picture with all professions since everyone has the ability to share now.  If you drop a trade you already have, how many items can you buy or commission elsewhere that will help with your pre-raid gear?  If the answer is most or all, I think it confirms that preserving a particular profession is not necessary for you.  In Ten's case I know without even looking it up that there are 2-3 epic pieces from LW, a beefy epic gun from Engineers, and some nice rings/necklaces/trinkets that he can make himself if he keeps JC.  Right there is at least half his gear, just throw a few other items into the mix and he'd probably be fine for Naxx.

Hopefully Ten is out there happily mining copper ore with all the new Deathknights on his server :)  Still, I hope this post gets some of you thinking about changes you'd like to make.  While the competition might be tough out there for herbs and ore, these sky high prices are enough to motivate anyone!  Feel free to email other questions you'd like to see covered here and I'll do my best to answer them.

12 comments:

  1. I'm pretty much stuck on the same boat being an Alchemist and a Tailor. I've talked myself into keeping Tailoring as I'm very interested in riding my very own magic carpet, the various bags, and it is pretty self sufficient without requiring a gathering profession but I'm at a quandary about Alchemy. Being a warlock, an Affliction one at that, I rarely use potions (health or mana) and I'm such a cheapskate on elixirs and flasks that I haven't used them ever since I quit seriously raiding a while ago. The few things I know that are Alchemist only doesn't really sway me in keeping the profession, like the endless potion thing... it's basically a trinket that does take up a trinket slot, if I was a priest or a mage I would probably be very interested but being a mana-independent spec, I'm not seeing the benifit? I have a few other toons that are waiting to level from 70 so I was thinking of switching to Engineering as they have a few kewl toys I want and my warrior can cover the mining part for my switch. Whacha think?

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  2. I'm in the same quandary only limited more so. I've decided to keep tailoring on my priest only because I went out of my way to buy a lot of patterns. I'm not too impressed with the magic carpet mount though.

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  3. Reading the e-mail was weird; it was like someone leafed through my brain, picked up something that bugged me and then e-mailed it...

    Leatherworking provides a bonues of +80 Attack Power over the regular bracers' enchant, which is level with all the other bonuses (like Crit rating from Skinning). The benefits you get are item enchants which are available only to your own Soulbound gear, but are more-or-less equal across professions.

    I think Blizzard are trying to make all professions similar to Jewelcrafting: you make stuff you use but mainly sell to other players (for example, the level 74-78 sets available in both Leather and Mail versions aren't bad at all for people coming from TBC with world drops and quest rewards only).

    As a Hunter, Engineering is *really* attractive to me: the new gun, ammo, scopes... But they're all BoE, and though would cost me an arm and a leg, I can just buy them. And since I enjoy Skinning and Leatherworking, I can just keep them. I think that should be your main concern: what you must enjoy doing.

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  4. Kinz: I also have Alchemy/Tailoring on my Warlock and I agree that they are the least potion dependent class I've played. I use him mostly to supply my other toons with consumables, he doesn't use them himself. I think Engineering is a reasonable switch if you have a miner in your line-up, although again I'd wonder if a warlock truly needs that either. Your warlock would be fine with no professions, they are that self-sufficient. I think I'm with Kivshani on this, pick something that will give you enjoyment :)

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  5. Since the BOP removed, gear is not a reason to have a profession. You can wear LW made epics/blues and not being LW yourself. Unless you are especially fond of your bracer enchant, drop it.

    Tailoring is a harder issue, since they have the cooldowned Moonshroud/Spellweave/Ebonweave creation and due to being of short supply, they are really expensive to buy, and also great profit to sell.

    These issues were covered by my last Essential post: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2008/11/profitable-tradeskills.html

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  6. Kaliope,

    Thanks again for the advice, pushing me over the edge. I levelled mining all weekend and last night got my first cobalt node! Woohoo. It did get much quicker when I got to Outland with my epic flier being able to pass all of the Deathknights out there that I followed past every copper/tin/iron/mithril and thorium node out there.

    Your blog post on mining the quest ores around the Wetlands and Arathi worked out great.

    I thought that I would drop another interesting point on your readers as well. On my server the Saronite ores are cheaper than Cobalt ores right now, about 80g per stack versus 100g per stack. My theory is this is due to the huge demand of people beginning to level their crafting professions coupled with the influx of people who rushed through to the higher zones to level faster. As a result, I'm planning on selling all of my Cobalt ore now anyway, and buying Saronite ore until the prices stabalize better, or I start gathering Saronite myself :-) Because I imagine that since all I'm doing is prospecting it all anyway, Saronite should yield me much better results.

    Thanks again for the advice, and keep up the good work.

    -1080p

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  7. Thank Kaliope for the advice and to everyone else as well. I was reading the Greedy golbin's blog about being able to make a killing on the market being part of the first wave to tradeskill cap and whatnot but then as I thought about it today, gold making have never been my problem so I could probably make some nice profit from leveling my Alchemy to xmute for profits or making pots for profit, yet as Kivshani and you have mentioned would I really enjoy it? nah, I wouldn't so I will be switching to Engineering as soon as my Warrior gets to playing.

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  8. 1080p: Gratz on getting your mining up so quickly! Prospecting Saronite is probably the way to go, from what I've seen you get blue gems more often from it. I'm sending my cobalt to my blacksmith right now, so she can level up her smithing. Cobalt is starting to come down on my server, so take advantage while the getting is good :)

    Kinz: I'm glad we were able to help you make a decision, Engineering is always a fun craft to have so enjoy and good luck!

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  9. I have mixed feelings about the professions changes, particularly the bop issue..
    At any rate. I primarily raised my DK's JC via purchased stuff. I had a 375 miner, but focused on my DK completely these first two weeks of LK. It probably cost me 3-4k g, whereas my DK guildie who didn't have a miner at all spent about 6k (the difference is I had many of my 0-350 mats and mined maybe a third of my cobalt). If you're careful, you can sell some crafted items for a profit, particularly the blues. Of course, as more and more people raise their profession, profit margins will dwindle. I've made some good money buying saronite, prospecting it, and selling about half the gems and using the other half for leveling JC. Ironically enough, I'm staring to make back a good portion of my original investment.

    Anyway, JC is the one profession I'm really happy about, and I have everything but engi and alchi to at least 380 on some toon. JC allows crafting your own gems that are very powerful, but in general, I've found that as a precursor to hard-core raiding I'd rather gem but not enchant my blue/low level epic gear and JC is perfect for that.

    My guild has cleared all the 10-man content and last night did half of 25-man naxx, the 25-man wintergrasp boss, and Sapphiron. You don't have to be full epic to succeed in these entry-level raids. Many of my guildies (and myself) were in mostly blues when we hit Naxx-10 and still managed to do full clears the first week.

    Professions should mostly be preference based now and not on min-maxing your toon (although I admit that there is a little of that at least). If you feel the need to gather to make money, more power to you, but I really don't think it's needed. Hopefully crafting has its niche profit areas with boe gear, but also there's plenty of other ways to make money fast.

    Good luck everyone!

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  10. Just another quick note, slightly offtopic. The homepage of the WoWarmory lists the world's first achievements, and I noticed that Krystella is listed as the WORLD's FIRST 450 Jewelcrafter, across all realms.

    Now, that is an achievement. Mucho Gratz!

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  11. I had until recently min/maxed my professions across 2 accounts and numerous 70's.
    I scoured the net for the info i could on what was happening to profs and bop crafted gear and recently rehashed multiple toons' profs to max efficiency.
    Pretty much dropping the bop gear has allowed me atleast to organize better and have fun with my toons now with multiple gatherers etc

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  12. Now that Bind on Pickup gear is less of an issue, perhaps you could go through the various professions and compare the extra 'perik" benefits of each profession? Such as alchemy gets bonus to potions/flasks/elixers, tailoring gets northern cloth scavaging (I'm wondering how well this actually works, any info is appreciated), Engineering gets the mote extractor, Blacksmithign sockets, etc etc. I think this would give people a better idea of what profession they should actually choose, rather than gear. Thanks.

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