Blizzcon Wrap-Up

So Blizzcon ended yesterday and there's a lot of buzz flying around about the new Pandaria expansion. One thing I'm noticing from our crafting circles is some apparent misinformation about what was said in the panel discussions. I watched every panel that might have touched on crafting issues (Opening Ceremony, Intro to MoP, Dungeons/Raids, Items/Prof and Open Q/A) and my take on those discussions is different than what's being reported.

The main problem I'm seeing is that the transcripts are not reflecting the tone of these conversations. For example, the Jewelcrafting mount was not a commitment in my opinion. They mentioned a new crafted mount, the player asked what profession and the panelist threw out JC as a possibility. They also threw out Herbalism in the next sentence. To me this indicates that it's still in the air, but it's currently being reported as if it's a confirmed thing. Now perhaps all the fan noise will sway them, but I felt that they were mostly confirming a new crafted mount and mostly hedging on which profession would get it.

Also, some of the reports are kind of paraphrasing what gets said and that changes the tone as well. With regard to Engineering buffs, that whole question went back and forth a few times as far as how they feel about them. My sense was that they feel Engineering enchants have the tendency to be OP, so they don't want to make specific promises on adding more "cool stuff". The key is that they want to do it, but they need to keep things balanced within the professions. The fact that they asked for feedback from players is kind of a confirmation that they aren't sure how to give us those awesome cool buffs without creating other kinds of balance problems.

I feel the same about the epic wands, which some are interpreting as a confirmed plan. To me it felt like they were just kind of agreeing to agree, not necessarily confirming that this was already in the works. I may have misunderstood that, but the tone of that response seemed kind of non-committal. I do think this change in the melee/ranged slot situation is a good opportunity to bring back wands. On the other hand I'm not convinced that Enchanters need more love. Maybe Scribes should get wands ;)

They also said that they want to give Archaeology some love and remove some of the grindy nature from it. They confirmed that there will be no new raid drop Enchants in 4.3, but there will be a new minor glyph for Shadow Priests. They might consider adding some "chaos orb" type items to JC so crafters can have unique items to make that don't play into the "undercutting" mania.

Something that hasn't been talked about much at all but to my mind is a big game changer is the battle pet system. I don't know if you guys really payed attention to the panelist coverage on this, but it was specifically stated that companion (aka battle) pets would become account bound in 5.0. This will give players access to all their pets no matter which toon they are on, presumably so they don't have to collect and level the same pet 5 or 10 times. From the crafter's perspective, this is a huge shake-up. Once companion pets become account bound, there will no longer be the possibility of selling other players the same pet for all their toons. Likely this will drastically cut into the pet market. No one seems to have picked up on this that I can see. This is the biggest news that came out of Blizzcon as far as I'm concerned.

The other thing I've taken away is the sense that professions have not really been fleshed out yet. There was no serious commitment on any profession changes. And we were specifically invited to share our ideas on Engineering in the official forums. Personally, I'd take this as an opportunity to share ANY ideas you have on professions. Since it sounds like nothing is really set in stone at this stage, now is the perfect time for you guys to champion the kinds of things you want to see. We can even start a new round of polls and brainstorming if you like :)

10 comments:

  1. First, I would like to thank you for all of your hard efforts in rounding all of this info together. I really appreciate your work.

    Secondly, I think Blizzard still has their blinders on when it comes to professions and maybe they are on the cusp of it, since, IIRC, they mentioned having an acheeve for players who had all of the profs maxed. I think they seriously underestimate our presences and I would like to see that really go somewhere. As for making JC stuff raid connected, I think they are in for some major disappointments. A lot, 85%, according to a WoW Insider author, don't raid. They say raiding might be easier, but geeze, an ugly pug can put a lot of folks off for good.

    Finally, I think Blizz would do well to make an NPC out of Kaliope. You've worked hard and deserve the commendation:)

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  2. I wouldn't be concerned about pets becoming BoA impacting the pet markets. However many lost sales might have occurred will be buried 50 ft deep under the demand for more pets by people who probably didn't care about pets too much before. Especially if the crafted pets are better than ones from the various vendors.

    For example, I'm not much of a pet guy because you can only really have one out at a time, I usually forget to press the button when I zone into a heroic, etc. But I might end up enjoying the pet combat minigame. Suddenly, I do care about getting a whole bunch of pets.

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  3. You are too kind Debbie and I thank you =) I agree that I'm not a fan of the chaos orb idea, it's bad enough having to do heroics on three toons for LW/TL/BS. I appreciate the sentiment of the player who wants to stand out from the gem cutting crowd, but I'm sure there are other ways to make that happen. I'm encouraged by the fact that they've stated their intent to have multiple paths to Justice Points, which will be a step in the right direction for non-raiders.

    Az: I'm not concerned for now, because as you say this will spark interest in players who never collected before. My concern is more centered on the 5.0 side of life. In Cata my Engineer made most of her money from crafted pets. And I expect we'll see a buying frenzy pre-5.0 while folks beef up their collection.

    Beyond that I think crafted pets will follow the trajectory of the glyphs after they were made permanent. That was a sad day for Scribes and Engineers may well find them on the same path once the initial wave from 5.0 subsides. Moving forward I expect the larger part of the pet market to be eventually be in pets that have been leveled up for the buyer. Obviously that's probably around 5.1 or so, but I want to make sure our Engineers are prepared for this change.

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  4. Hey Kaliope, just wanted to say I agree with most of the interpretations you had from the panels. I do seem to remember the panelists being quite definite about the crafted wands though. And I thought they had mentioned the possibility of a mount that required multiple professions to craft, followed by the JC and herbalism suggestions. As usual with plans this early everything is subject to change, so in essence everything is speculative.

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  5. Can't find a way to edit the previous post, but I rewatched the Q&A re the mounts and wands.
    On the crafted wands, Tom Chilton's answer was "Definitely", and I got the impression that it's something they are planning, but haven't done yet.
    On the mounts question, GC said they had a very cool idea, but didn't want to talk about it. When pushed, he replied "Maybe Jewelcrafting" and one the other panelists added Herbalism.

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  6. I'm hopeful that they'll give engineers something to make up for the BoAccount pets, similar to the way they gave inscriptionists "Scratchcards" when they made glyphs buy-once-per-char.

    At the moment, I can sell pets, an occasional chopper, a gun every 5 heroics, and parts to other engineers. There just isn't the same volume of sales to allow engineering to compete with professions like JC.

    I'm more or less resigned to engineers never making alot of money. My main character is, and will likely always be an engineer because I designed him around the idea of throwing sticks of dynamite, and shouting "You may be about to die, but I'll take me with you!" Engineers are a lousy choice when it comes to raid-dropped recipes (and he's an alchemist as well :( ).

    I have all of the professions, so I'm not going to scream murder if engineering were to lose all its moneymaking potential. Blizz seems to have little or no interest in "balancing professions" in terms of profitability. On the other hand, before Lich King, they made no effort to balance raiding benefits from professions, and I was surprised when they finally did it; so they might eventually decide each profession needs something.

    Perhaps the reforger will disappear, and engineers will be the only source for "Reforge A to B kits." As the number of kits required would be huge, if I were designing it, I'd have 2 sets of kits, one for reducing a stat, and another for raising it, and either combining it beforehand or requiring both to work. Or alternately one kit per attribute, and the first time you use a kit on an item, it always reduces the stat, a second kit raises a different one.

    If I were designing it, I'd make the kits require metal, and an appropriate pot for the stat in question. That'd give the alchemists a boost as well to make up for the cauldrons and the one-pot-per-battle added in WotLK.

    Do people Agree/Disagree? :)

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  7. Mike: Thanks for the clarifications, it's nice to get a second opinion from someone who actually watched the conversations :) I'm really surprised at how many folks are reporting some of these items as facts, especially the Jewelcrafting mount. The vibe I got from watching their answers is that this is all speculative and they were responding more to what they'd like to do rather than what they already have in the works. That whole "Path of the Titans" thing was more solid than any of these ideas, with mockups and everything and it was scrapped. So I don't take anything that was said this weekend as a commitment. Just sayin' ;)

    Anon: I'm totally with you on Engineers getting a replacement consumable to fill in the hole that account wide pets will create. I like your reforge idea and I was tracking the same direction. I thought they could give Engineers a consumable tinker object that would let players add a level to a battle pet. I'm sure they'd need limitations on it, but I think letting us sell something that enhances battle pets somehow would be a good way to get us back in the pet game :)

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  8. Or they could give the engineers the ability to craft the items used by companion pets, if the item customization for pets makes it in.

    Kill our ability to profit from a lot of pet sales and replace it with pet weapons for all pets. Nice trade.

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  9. About the pet becoming boa. I don't think it will affect the marked that much. I for one only collcet on one of my toons. I don't buy 5 engineer pets for all my characters and I think many do it the same way. 1 char you build up collections/achivs and so on, on.

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  10. I see the demand for pets going up not down. I don't know of many people who collect things on all their toons, so the majority of sales is one per account. The pet battles is going to get a lot more people interested in buying pets who were previously not interested.

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