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Filed under: Blacksmithing

Insider Trader: Blacksmith and Jewelcrafting


We talked a few weeks ago about the ability bonuses exclusive to each profession. The idea behind this, of course, is that the majority of these bonuses are relatively equal to one another. If you're a master of your profession, you can expect to receive about 80 Attack Power or 47 Spell Power. You could also pick up an additional 60 Stamina if you're an Enchanter or a Miner.

These are the most common bonuses available to all the professions. However, there are a lot more stats in the game than just Spell Power, Attack Power, and Stamina. (Although, it's a fairly reasonable argument that these are three "sexiest" stats in the game, since they tend to be the centerpiece of many e-peen arguments.)

Especially when you're coming up in the ranks as a new character, there are other stats that are even more important. For example, Hit Rating is frequently regarded as a must have stat. If you're not at the appropriate hit cap for your class, you can never achieve your maximum damage.

This is one of the ways Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting really shine. These two stats have the ability to laser-focus manage exactly how your crafting bonus will buff your character. Let's take a look behind the cut and start breaking down these two crafting abilities.

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Insider Trader (Professions)

AddOn Spotlight: Advanced Trade Skill Window

AddOn Spotlight takes a look at the little bits of Lua and XML that make our interfaces special. From bar mods to unit frames and beyond, if it goes in your AddOns folder, we'll cover it here.

For anyone that has tried leveling up a profession, you know that it can be a bit of a grind. This can be especially true with things like engineering or jewelcrafting that have little parts that you have to make in order to make the actual items. Even leatherworking has the ability to upgrade leather from one grade to a better grade and still make something out of it. All of this can be confusing, especially with the categories that Blizzard has setup in the normal trade window. Advanced Trade Skill Window can help out with that problem.

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Filed under: Mining, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Add-Ons, Jewelcrafting, AddOn Spotlight, Inscription

Breakfast Topic: Crafting pride

For some reason, crafting has always been a big part of massively multiplayer games. Maybe it's their quality as loot-collecting simulators, but from the very early graphical MMOs, players have almost always been able to create and modify and trade and sell items of their own. Though we don't talk about it as a mechanic much (you press a button and get what you crafted, what's the big deal), it's certainly one of the main reasons people play World of Warcraft, and the crafting system has come to not only fuel the economy, but has ended up becoming one of the best ways to show off and present your customized character.

So our question today is: what's your favorite or most important crafting item? I'm in the middle of leveling my paladin, and he's just now reaching the highest reaches of Engineering, which is a skill I've never leveled up before, but have always wanted to. I haven't gotten together the gold for epic flying yet (well on my way at level 73), but I did make normal flying machine as soon as I could. And my big goal with this character, other than getting him raiding ASAP, is to make the Mekgineer's Chopper -- ever since we first saw it in the early days of Wrath, I've planned to get a character up high enough to make it. I know, I know, I can buy it, but for me it's a crafting thing -- I want to go out, find what I need to find, and craft it with my own virtual hands.

Any other crafted items that have you wanting to make something for yourself?

Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Making money

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2.2 madness


The shining feature of patch 3.2.2 will be Onyxia's return, and of course, the already infamous Ony mount, but there are some profession changes coming too. As always, they can be found in the latest patch notes, although you'll have to scroll past the Brood Mother to find them.

This week's Insider Trader will analyze these changes and tell you what they mean for you.

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Filed under: Mining, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 updates and Engineering analysis

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the past few weeks, Insider Trader has been discussing and analyzing the changes to professions set to go live with patch 3.2:
This week's column will be devoted to updating you on some of the newer changes, clarifying as many details as possible, and analyzing some of those juicy Engineering changes.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Insider Trader (Professions)

Insider Trader: Patch 3.2 profession change analysis


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the past few days, some upcoming professions changes for Patch 3.2 have been announced, and although they are not as detailed as they could be, several of the changes will have quite an impact.

First and foremost, every profession-specific buff is being upgraded. This includes an Enchanter's ability to enhance their own rings, a Leatherworker's bracer enchants, and more. For a complete list of the current profession bonuses, check out Insider Trader's guide to Profession-Specific Buffs, parts one through three.

These buffs also answer some of the concerns surrounding the upcoming Jewelcrafting nerf that epic gems might be introduced without a buff to the Dragon's Eyes, which, in combination with the fact that these gems will no longer be prismatic, would effectively squash the Jewelcrafting bonus.

Jewelcrafters will also do well to note that they will be able to acquire epic gems by prospecting Titanium. Combined with a Blacksmith's two extra prismatic sockets, this powerful duo is one of the most popular profession combinations.

In addition, Engineers will be seeing some welcome changes to their profession that may make it more appealing. Unfortunately, some of the details have not been made public, so the competitiveness of their self buffs, for example, remains to be seen.

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Features, Insider Trader (Professions)

Epic gems and profession changes in Patch 3.2

With all the things I'm waiting to hear about in patch 3.2, completely unforeseen news takes me by surprise. Bornakk just revealed that epic gems are coming in that patch, as well as some changes to other professions.

Jewelcrafters will be able to buy epic gem cut patterns with their Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Tokens. Raw epic gems will be available from prospecting Titanium Ore and alchemy transmutations, and will also be buyable with both honor and Emblems of Heroism.

Given that the availability of epic gems raises the value of the Blacksmithing perk (extra sockets), other professions are having their perks buffed. Details after the cut.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Patches, News items, Jewelcrafting, Inscription

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 3

Mining
Miners are given Toughness, an ability that at max rank, awards +50 stamina. This is a lovely bonus for tanks! A tank's talents will take this well beyond +500 hp, and stamina is also multiplied by buffs and talents such as Blessing of Kings (and not all stats are). This is also going to be helpful in PvP, where stamina is especially important.

Herbalism
Herbalists get Lifeblood, a self-heal, that at max rank, awards +2000 HP over 5 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. This can be used in or out of combat, and the spell effect entails flowers sprouting up from the ground all around the character.

It is difficult to gauge the actual benefit of this ability across classes and in different situations. In the last few seconds of a close fight, where it is you or them, even a small boost in HP could bump you up to victory. Then again, tanks benefit more from stamina due to talents that factor in your total stamina to then award you with extra stamina (Sacred Duty), increased power (Touched by the Light), and other benefits. It is also difficult to say whether an extra boost in damage might also be worth more than this small heal in a tough spot.

Almost all classes find this ability helpful while leveling and soloing. Raiders will often use it to top themselves off or buy some time until their next heal.

Skinning
Skinners become Masters of Anatomy, and gain 32 critical strike rating, which is equal to 0.70% crit. This is especially useful to classes who have talents that boost stats based on your crit rating, increase your crit by a %, or where your crit rating actually grants you other stats, such as mana for holy paladins.

The Skinning and Mining bonuses equate to about 2 gems worth of stats, and Lifeblood is all about how you use it.

Conclusion and Comparison
As you can see, for most of the professions, the benefits and stat increases are approximately equal. Let's use spell power to demonstrate this:
  • JC: +39.
  • Enchanting: +38.
  • Inscription: +37.
  • Tailoring: 250 SP for 15 seconds of every 45 seconds+. This averages to +83 SP in ideal conditions (meaning, it procs on your next heal after the cooldown is up). In fact, it will likely always be under, though somewhat near, this ideal. A more realistic average is +75 SP.
  • LW: +37.
  • Blacksmithing: +38.
  • Engineers: +18 and a parachute.
  • Alchemy: +37.
As you can see, the profession bonuses are basically equivalent, and this is true across each stat. There are some exceptions. As I noted earlier, the Engineering enchants are not only meant to increase your stats, but also combine your gadgets, absorbing them into your everyday armor. Without this absorption, the only way to use them would be to take off your super special raiding/PvP gear in favor of a piece of gear or trinket that you carry around for special occasions. Because of this convenience, they seem to eat up itemization points.

Still, there are several that are still worth taking, even over other options available for that slot. The Tailoring enchant noted above is currently being debated as OP, and may be subject to tweaking in the future. It is also worth noting that because this is a passive proc, it is not always going to be utilized. You might proc it near the end of a fight, for example, or when you're topping someone off between pulls, and waste most of the added spell power.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Check out part 1 of this Guide to Profession-Specific Buffs!



Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Last week, Insider Trader discussed the profession-only bonuses associated with Inscription, Jewelcrafting and Enchanting. This week, I'm going to walk you through the rest of them, and include a final summary and comparison at the end.

Tailoring Perks

Tailors have the ability to enchant their own cloaks. Other players can get cloak enchants from Enchanters, although the Tailoring ones are superior in many cases.
  • Darkglow Embroidery: Chance to restore 300 mana on spell cast. There seems to be a 60 second internal cooldown, with a proc rate of 35%, which is equal to 25 mp5.
  • Lightweave Embroidery: Chance on spell cast to increase your spellpower by 250 for 15 seconds.
  • Swordguard Embroidery: Chance for melee and ranged attacks to sometimes increase your attack power by 300 for 15 seconds.
There seems to be a 45 second internal cooldown on Lightweave and Swordguard, meaning that for 15 seconds out of every 45 seconds (+, if you don't proc it on the next hit, but they do seem to proc within a hit or three), you have the effect. This averages out to 83 SP, and 100 AP respectively, in ideal conditions. Depending on your luck with procs, the average decreases the longer it takes you to proc it again.

For example, after 45 seconds, each spell has a chance to proc the effect. If you managed it at the 50 second mark, the average becomes +75 SP.

Casters who are not Tailors can currently choose between Enchant Cloak - Wisdom and Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.

Wisdom grants you a measly 10 spirit, as well as a now obsolete 2% threat reduction. The +23 haste rating is nice, but provides neither mana nor spellpower.

Enchant Cloak - Major Agility grants you +22 agility to cloak. Agility is inefficient to everyone except rogues, hunters, shamans and druid cats, who would get +22 AP from it as well as the crit/dodge/armor. In terms of attack power alone, the Swordguard enchant is the clear winner.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Insider Trader: Farming recipes in Northrend


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week, Insider Trader will be listing the locations and mobs that will drop recipes to help you complete your collection and expand your knowledge to boost sales.

Because this list is meant to be a reference for planning out your next farming expedition, I will not be including "world drops" that can drop from nearly any mob in a given zone or from a specific level of mobs across zones.

Ulduar
There are several epic crafting recipes that will drop in Ulduar. They have a chance to drop from each of the bosses on Heroic mode (25-man), although 10-man groups can also acquire them by downing the bosses on Hard mode.

Currently, there are two Enchanting formulas, six Blacksmithing plans, eight Leatherworking patterns and four Tailoring patterns that fall under this category.

Given Ulduar's close associations with Engineering, many people have been quite vocal about the lack of schematics in the dungeon, although many of the mobs can be harvested for parts and vendor junk.

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Items, Tips, Economy, Instances, Jewelcrafting, Features, Insider Trader (Professions)

Lichborne: Outland leveling Supplemental: Professions and Dungeons


Two major questions remain from our Outland Leveling advice column from last week: Is it worth it to run Dungeons, and is it worth it to level a Profession? In both cases, the answer is: It depends.

I know that sounds like a bit of a copout, but it is true. You can pretty much level straight to 70 and even 80 without ever touching a dungeon or learning a profession and do just fine. That said, there are certainly advantages to delving into dungeons or putting your Gnomish Army Knife to actual use. Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Blacksmithing, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Alts, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Blacksmith


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-second in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

Blacksmiths are known for being brawny folk -- hammering pieces of metal together is not easy work after all. But in World of Warcraft, even the smallest gnome or scrawniest elf can be a great blacksmith. Azeroth is a land where even the smallest people can wield the biggest of axes, so it would follow that they could craft them too, as well as any other sort of armor or weapon that they could imagine.

Typically, however, even in Azeroth, blacksmiths are, by and large, members of a class that can use plate mail and heavy weapons, such as a warrior, a death knight, or a paladin, just as tailors are usually spellcasters of some kind. So even if a blacksmith appears scrawny on the outside, he or she is very likely still quite brawny on the inside. Underneath that elf's pretty skin are muscles of steel!

Being a blacksmith implies a state of mind as much as it does a state of body, however. Working with metals is not something for the light hearted. The weight, the heat, and all the soot are not for people who like to keep their clothes clean at all times, for instance. It's also not a very socially-oriented profession, requiring long hours spent hammering away at something until it reaches perfection, often using lots of material in the learning process before you finally get one right. Blacksmiths of lore tend to be patient and hardy people, tempered and perfected by their work, like good, hard steel.

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Blacksmithing, Lore, RP, Death Knight, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Insider Trader: Assessing the gear-crafting trades


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

In the World of Warcraft, there are three types of craftspeople: those that gather, those that enhance, and those that create gear. They are not mutually exclusive. For example, Scribes can create off-hand weaponry in addition to glyphs and Jewelcrafters can prospect gems from raw materials.

Gathering professions are known to be money-makers, and in addition, when asked, many players will also list the enhancement professions as well:
  • Inscription, although it is currently suffering from a lack of demand created by the introduction of dual-specs with patch 3.1.
  • Jewelcrafting is on the list, not because of its ability to create gear such as rings, but mainly because of the Prospecting and gems, cut or raw.
  • Enchanting is often stated, not only because of the enchants that can be created and even auctioned, but also because of the Disenchanting ability.
To balance this out, one would assume that the gear-crafting professions of Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing must be incredibly useful, if not lucrative. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. This week, Insider Trader will be discussing the state of these professions. For a similar assessment of Engineering, check out The state of Engineering in 3.1.

I am especially interested in reader input and brainstorming, so don't forget to read through the comments section at the end of the article!

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Filed under: Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Time is Money: Owning your own guild bank


Kebina Trudough here, offering you the best gold making secrets they don't want you to know about! I was like you once, poor and homely, before I discovered my patented system. Now you too can fill your pockets with the good stuff without ever breaking a sweat! Why spend all your time toiling when you could be vacationing in the Hot Springs? I'm not offering these tips for 100 gold, or 90 gold, or even 50 gold! No, not even 20 gold! My system is yours for FREE! Satisfaction guaranteed or I'll give you a full refund (handling charges may apply).

A character's bank is a special place meant to store gear, consumables, novelty items and a whole mess of other things (and I do mean mess!). Because of this, many players have at least one "bank alt" which is an additional character created primarily to house and auction items.

The value of your banker's ability to store things should not be underestimated. Today, I will walk you through the steps to and costs of purchasing bank space, and show you an example of how it can be utilized to help you make gold.

Banking Costs: Guild vs. Personal
Every bank alt should purchase the first four bag slots within their own personal banks. This will cost you a total of 36g10s, and require that you purchase actual bags to place in those slots. The more slots the bags can hold, the more storage you will have.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Economy, Features, Guides, Making money, Alts, Inscription, Time Is Money

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