Yesterday a new post came out from Blizzard on Professions in their "Ask a Dev" series. I found the information interesting but not earth-shattering. Some of the items they mention are things we've been talking about for a good while now. Unfortunately they give no timelines, so this doesn't help any of us make plans. I would say the biggest nugget that might influence you now is the understanding that some profession-related items will become easier to acquire "soon". If you are benefiting from the scarcity of those things, you should cash in as much as you can before the change occurs.
I think the biggest news from yesterday is the confirmation that Chaos Orbs will go BOE at some point. For those of you profiting off these items, enjoy the ride while you can :) Personally I look forward to these being transferable so I can make nice items for my alts without having to gear them all up for heroics. My engineer will be able to make her epic helm eventually, yay! I think this methodology is a good compromise between exclusivity and easy availability. As the expansion progresses, our crafted epics will become less desirable anyway. There's no harm in easing the path to them once the front line raiders move on from this tier of content.
Another big announcement is that Books of Glyph Mastery will no longer provide exclusive recipes at some point. While many of us were speculating that their functionality would have to change, I didn't anticipate that they would go in this direction. I thought at least some of these recipes would move to the trainers. I think this solution is rather elegant though. Adding these recipes to the research table means that new Scribes will have to invest some time to learn all the recipes. The books will be completely optional while providing a way for some to shorten the recipe collection process.
I'm going to lump all of the various comments on Archaeology under the umbrella of "Archaeology still needs work". That's the gist of what I get from the Dev remarks on it. It looks like one of the ways they plan to boost it is with daily quests. I'm not sure I'd go that direction with it unless they are bringing something new to the table via daily questing. We already have a large number of daily quests in the game with just three professions. If Archaeology quests don't provide some tangible benefit beyond free skill points, I predict they will lose their luster very quickly. If they follow through on the hint to let players gain extra fragments via daily quests - that would provide solid, long term value to us "diggers".
On the subject of daily quests - I would have to guess that the biggest road block to expanding this idea is the sheer number of quests that would have to be managed. Already I've lost interest in the Fishing and Cooking quests. The Jewelcrafting quests are only getting done because I don't have to leave town (mostly) and I want the tokens. I'm not sure it's a good idea to expand these to the point where you spend an hour every day doing crafting dailies. Even the Crafting Diva wouldn't stick with that!
Quest consolidation might be a good thing here. Design a robust set of daily quests with one type of token that's used for a variety of recipe types. Not only do you reduce the amount of design work- you'd increase the perceived variety to the players (30 quests on rotation instead of six JC, six Fishing, etc). AND you'd be giving crafters those elusive "interesting choices" by requiring them to choose how to spend their tokens across multiple professions. I've brought this idea up before and I still think it's a workable alternative to daily profession recipe glut.
As for dead ideas, it looks like we can add upgradable items to the list. This experiment from Burning Crusade clearly got a thumbs-down from the Devs. And if we read between the lines here we can extrapolate a pecking order for profession gear. They don't want crafted gear to have BiS items because it forces raiders into crafting. While I agree with them that I don't want obligatory raiders in my sandpit, it's a shame that crafters can't have anything nice because of raider "gotta have it" mentality. Surely there's something cool that crafters can get for themselves? I don't have an answer to this question, I'm just dreaming aloud =)
Wands are probably another pipe dream although I'm not sure why. From the response it looks like there's a tricky issue here that they chose not to bring up. Most likely in an effort to avoid insane QQ over whatever it is. I'm drawing a blank as to what the problem might be, maybe someone else has a thought?
They also touched on the old-world tradeskill progression in terms of difficulty. I think we should expect to see more unusual ingredients being removed from recipes and possibly more recipes moving to trainers. This process has actually been going on since late Wrath and is likely to continue from the looks of their response.
And finally, it appears that they're still tossing around the mini-game idea. Mini-games are starting to feel like the new dance studio. It never happened with Fishing and now it's being theoretically expanded to Archaeology. It might be better to avoid bringing up mini-games at all unless they actually get a green light. At least that's my view. I'd rather not hear about features that are still at pie-in-the-sky stage. It's fine to acknowledge that certain professions need work and that there are solutions on the table to address the "boring" factor. But teasing us with ideas that never come to fruition after months of hearing about them is rather torturous. Sorta like that Path of Titans thing that caused so much drama....
Overall some interesting information and a few nice changes to look forward to, but nothing game changing. What do you guys think?