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. 

Fishing in Northrend

During the Beta I had every intention of writing about Fishing, but I got sidetracked by a significant change in the skill-up ratio.  After one particular patch, I was getting skill points every 4-5 catches and I went from 375 to 450 in just a few hours.  I went to El's web site to see if others were experiencing the same thing, but I was the first to post about it.  Within a few days the change was confirmed and it persisted through the rest of Beta.  Still, no one was certain if this was a permanent change.

Inscription 360-390

I was quite sad that I didn't get a chance to level Inscription in the Beta, I would have liked to provide some insight into the progression before it went Live.  Luckily I was able to get Kaliope to Dalaran last night (thank you Oldone for getting our guild into the city!!) and visit the Inscription trainer.  And thanks to my newly leveled Herbalism, I was able to hang out in higher zones and farm the herbs needed without fighting the throngs of levelers.

The Crafting Diva Earns Her Crown

Like I'm sure some of you did, I picked up my copy of WotLK at 12am this morning.  My main purpose in doing so was to get a jump start on professions so I could stay in front of the wave of crafting activities.  Since it's my task to report on tradeskills, I wanted to at least try to be a frontrunner :)

Kaliope's Guide to Crafting in Northrend (WotLK)

Wrath of the Lich King is making it's debut tonight and I wanted to use this last post to remind us of all the handy information that's been posted in the last two months.  It doesn't seem reasonable to make my fellow gamers wade through all my posts to find the one item they need to reference.  That's why I'm compiling a comprehensive listing of what I believe are the key posts you may want to refer to when you hit Northrend tomorrow.

Final WotLK Updates for Recipe Lists

The past weekend revolved around a major push to get all my final changes onto the Crafter's Tome site.  I know that everyone will be flocking to Northrend and I want to have as much information available as I can. 

WotLK Specialty Gear ~ MIA?

I've mentioned a few times in previous posts that the Specialization trainers have not been populated with new WotLK recipes.  Up until the last day of Beta I continued to check for these items and sent several bug reports that commented on their absence.  Well today it seems we have our answer, at least this is the first Blue post I've seen on the matter:

"There will not be a Stormherald type weapon "high level crafter only". There are however a fair number of epic crafted BoE weapons that smiths will be able to make in LK.

We didn't like the vast number of people who felt they were required to be Blacksmiths in order to get a good weapon. Players should choose their trade skills based on what they enjoy, not what they feel they must do."

For more details, view the whole thread on MMO-Champion's Blue Tracker here.

Right now it looks like the crafted BOE Epics we've seen so far are the crafted Epics... period.  No longer will players be chained to a profession purely for the beefy items it can provide.  In addition, this will give crafters some nice gear to sell that other players might actually pay good money to buy, which should be a nice perk.

It remains to be seen how much effort is involved in crafting these items, but at least epic recipes won't be the sole domain of mega-raiders or those willing to pay mega-gold for just one epic recipe.  Kaliope had only two epic recipes, the 2 from Karazhan rep, primarily because I just didn't want to shell out that kind of cash.  What can I say people - I'm cheap!  But at this point it looks like anyone who's willing to put in the time and farm the mats can make and sell epic gear, which I think is a more reasonable approach.  This change should also put more entry-level epics in the hands of casuals and hopefully make raid progression smoother than it was with Burning Crusade (Yes, I'm looking at you Karazhan!).

It looks like the self-enchants/buffs/trinkets are the only reason to keep a profession at this point.  If you've been considering a change, now is the time to do it.  At least we got a little advance notice, five days may not be enough time to fully power a profession to 375, but it's better than no warning at all :)

Final Pre-WotLK Status on Inscription

I've gotten a few emails regarding Minor glyphs on Crafter's Tome, asking when they are going up and offering help.  The biggest obstacle I had was that our database had no option to separate Major/Minor.  I knew this would be an issue for folks wanting to search the list, so I held off on posting them until I had a solution.  Well, it's not ideal but we've come up with a way to work around the problem for now and I've started putting Minor Glyphs in the Inscription list.  Right now we've got about a third of them up and I'll continue expanding that number over the next week or so.

Beta has Ended...

The Lich King Beta test officially ended at 12am today.  As we speak I am loitering in Dalaran, waiting for the lights to go out and the curtain to close.  I'm sad to see it go, especially since I had only begun my final check of all recipes this past weekend.  I made it through just five of the eleven recipe lists before the announcement, so they caught me off-guard with the timing.  With Burning Crusade they took down the beta server about three days before launch (basically, the weekend before) and I assumed a similar time frame for this beta cycle.  So in the spirit of catching as many last minute changes as possible, I waited until the 2 week point to even start my final review.