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.