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BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions


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Over the course of several BlizzCon panels, we've been treated to a preview of how professions will be changing in Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • The new title and level cap.
  • Revamped skill gains.
  • Archaeology, the new profession!
  • Reforging, a new dimension to crafting professions.
  • Hints about the future of Engineering, Fishing, and Gathering.
  • Information about things we wanted to see, but won't.

The basics:
Level cap and title
Although we will only be gaining five character levels, the level cap for professions will indeed be going up by 75 skill points, bringing the cap to 525. Because we've already been "Grand Masters," our new title will be "Illustrious."

In case you're wondering, good old Dictionary.com indicates that this means that we will be "well-known," "highly distinguished," "renowned" and/or "famous."

Multiple skill gains
They're changing the way that we earn professions skills. Making five green-quality boots might net you one skill point, while making one blue-quality boot might net you five skill points.

This should be quite a welcome change. It may not, in the end, help us skill up faster, but what it certainly will do is shuffle a lot of our crafting to inexpensive gear. In other words, we will no longer be making blues or even epics over and over trying to get skill points and failing because they are green level.

New!
Archaeology
As discussed earlier, Archaeology will be a new secondary profession that will allow us to customize our characters in new and exciting ways. During the recent panel on Class, Itemization/Items and Professions, we learned that the profession is still heavily under development.

This is good and bad news. It does mean that we won't be able to learn everything about it right away, but it also means that they're putting a lot of work and thought into it. I, personally, can't wait.

Archaeologists will visit the many ruin sites all around the world, and believe me, there are going to be more of them. While there, they will engage in research and make Archaeological Notes. You will also collect Artifacts, which will open up the Paths of the Titans.

Going down a path will allow you to customize your character, and handing in Artifacts to your Titan cult will open up rewards like:
  • Vanity pets.
  • Titles.
  • Teleportation that take you to a place you've never been to before.
  • Items you might dig up on-site.
You will make discoveries, and based on the path you choose, you will earn passive bonuses and even new abilities! The paths will not be limited by class.

The in-development UI was also previewed at the BlizzCon Panel, and looked very much like a journal. It also included checklists of things "to do" and things you've already done.

Over the last couple of weeks, Insider Trader has discussed was in which professions could be more progressive. Rather than hitting a cap and stopping, they could be continuous, and it looks like Archaeology will be a step in this direction.

Reforging

I have good news, and bad news. To an extent, we will be able to customize our gear! Unfortunately, this will extend to stats, but not to appearance.

Rather than a new profession, Reforging will be a skill granted to Engineers, Jewelcrafters, Blacksmiths, Tailors and Leatherworkers. They will be able to take a piece of gear that corresponds to their profession (for example, cloth armor for a Tailor) and reduce one stat. They will then take those stat points and add them back to the piece as a different stat.

There are a couple of hitches, of course. The new stats have to be something that isn't already on the item. For example, with a pair of boots that grants Intellect, Spirit and Stamina, you cannot simply reduce or blast away the Stamina in order to get more Intellect. You could add +hit though!

This manipulation of stats will be applicable to all items, not just crafted ones. In addition, if you do not have one of the above professions, you will be able to get the same work done from someone who does.

Hints at things to come:
Engineers
It seems like they have a lot in store for Engineers that is still in development. They want to make changes along the same lines as those introduced with patch 3.2. This includes that offer convenience services, such as banking, as well as new vanity pets, toys and of course, the possibility for failures of the catastrophic and hilarious sort.

Fishing
There are some "big changes" coming to Fishing, but they weren't at liberty to divulge details. They did promise that it would be "more fun."

Gathering
They are looking into ways to make Gathering professions more interesting, but so far, have not offered any details.

One thing that did become apparent is that we might find a decreased use for consumable reagents such as Frost Lotus. Guilds will be able to allocate points into their new Talent Trees to not only increase the effectiveness of flasks and potions, but allow us to purchase a "reagent" and use it instead.

What we won't be seeing:
Woodworking
Despite the fact that so many players would be thrilled to see a Woodworking profession implemented, it definitely won't be this expansion. In fact, we may never see it.

Instead, certain items such as staves that can't currently be crafted will likely be added into existing professions such as Engineering.

Mounts
We won't be crafting 310% speed mounts. That is, unless the recipe ended up being tied to an achievement that granted you a 310% mount first. Still, it didn't sound like this was in the works.

Repairs
We won't be given the ability to repair the gear that is associated with our professions (such as cloth gear for Tailors). While this would fit quite neatly into the new Reforging skill, Blizzard feels that repair costs are quite fair. In fact, in the upcoming expansion, guilds will be able to lessen those repair costs and even increase the amount of gold dropping from trash and bosses, by investing Guild Talent Points.

Filed under: Fishing, Cataclysm, BlizzCon, Insider Trader (Professions), Features, Expansions, Blizzard, Analysis / Opinion, Engineering, Archaeology

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