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Filed under: Herbalism

Patch 3.0.2 guide to the new Gathering Profession Abilities


The new gathering profession abilities were undocumented in the patch notes, but they are definitely live in Patch 3.0.2. I was very pleased to discover that my Herbalist Druid has a new self heal and that my Skinner Rogue and Miner Paladin also had some unexpected goodies. Over the summer, Blizzard experimented with some abilities for all of the professions, but all that are live in the patch are the ones for the gathering professions. At least Mixology is trainable, and other ones may be available, though undocumented in the patch notes. This will be covered in a later post.

Each ability can be found in your Spellbook under the General Skills tab. They have 6 ranks, with 5 being the maximum you are able to achieve before Wrath of the Lich King. The first rank is acquired with Journeyman or the skill of 75 and scales with your profession's rank. So, for example, a Master Herbalist will have Rank 5 of Lifeblood. Details for each ability are after the break.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Patches

Ask a Beta Tester: It's all about the money


We have a lot of profession questions today, but also a few about Achievements, the Beast Mastery 51-point talent, and what happens when you push Death Knights off a cliff:

Riley
asks...

How is the Shaman Hex ability working? Does the target still have control of movement and does the PvP trinket work against it?

Hex is a the crowd-control spell for Shamans referenced by the devs at the class panel here, and it's been tinkered with a lot since we first heard about it. It was originally meant to be more of an emergency-only, short-duration CC. In its present form, Hex's duration has been increased to 30 seconds and it doesn't necessarily break on damage. However, in PvP the target can control where they go, the PvP trinket does work (you can also shapeshift out of it as a Druid), and it's considered a curse and can be dispelled by Mages, Druids, and restoration Shamans (who will have the ability do dispel curses with a 31-point talent Cleanse Spirit). Think of it as a somewhat odd combination of Counterspell, Fear, and Polymorph.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Shaman, Herbalism, Alchemy, Engineering, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Expansions, Features, Classes, Making money, Enchants, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Achievements

Ask a Beta Tester: The Alchemist


Apologies to Paulo Coelho fans for borrowing his title, but we have two Alchemy-related questions to start us off today, in addition to questions on Blacksmithing, cinematics, and dailies:

Horizons asks...

Do the alchemy specializations in wrath still work the same way as they do now in BC? For example, will I still have a chance of getting 5 wrath potions even when I'm leveling starting at 375 such as Wrath Elixirs or Icy mana potions? And will transmute spec ever be fixed?

Yup, alchemy specializations work the exact same way in Wrath. As a potions master, I've already procced a few, but don't expect to see the Runic Mana or Runic Healing potion recipes until...I want to say it's 410 Alchemy. You'll skill up on the array of new elixirs like Elixir of Mighty Thoughts and Elixir of Mighty Agility until then, but do save mats for the new Alchemy trinkets that become available at (I think) 400, like Mighty Alchemist's Stone. We'll have more information soon on materials you'll start getting in Northrend that you'll want to set aside for crafting.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Guides, Classes, Making money, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

Inscription gets researching recipes in build 8970

In the small patch that was applied to the Beta servers last night, there were a few Inscription tweaks. Of course there were some minor tweaks to various class glyphs, but the most interesting change came in the form of 2 new recipes: Minor Inscription Research and Northrend Inscription Research.

The former creates items that may teach you a new minor glyph, while the latter creates items that may teach you a new major glyph. Minor Inscription Research looks to be a very cheap spell, using the basic Moonglow Ink, while Northrend Inscription Research is a little more expensive, requiring Ink of the Sea and Snowfall Ink, both of which are created with pigments made from milling Northrend herbs. Both abilities also have a 20 hour cooldown, so no spamming them to collect all the glyphs even if you do lay in a massive stockpile of ink and parchment.

It's sort of like the old spell research for casters from Everquest combined with the alchemy discovery system. Of course, you don't have to gather rare drops like with research, and in theory, you won't have to make hundreds of items hoping for a discovery like discovery.

The type and caliber of the glyphs to be discovered this way is still unknown. If they turn out to be some of the better or more desirable recipes, though, it should certainly give Inscriptionists a good cash flow, as not everyone will know the glyph in question. The 20 hour cooldown and the uncommon pigments needed for the Northrend recipe should add to this is well. It's an intriguing new mechanic for the class, and we'll be interested to see how well it fares. As long as the discovery rate of unique glyphs is relatively high, it should do well enough.

Filed under: Herbalism, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

The state of Inscription

One thing I know is this: the 8962 beta patch which downloaded last night is not going to be the last beta patch we see. How do I know this? Because there are still no Warrior, Death Knight, or minor glyphs available to train yet. Yes, I know what some websites are reporting about Death Knight glyphs, but I assure that these glyphs are not at the trainers. The lack of clear information on the topic is making it interesting to be a scribe on the beta servers. (And by "interesting" I mean "lame.") While I'm standing in front of the trainer looking at the list of available glyphs, people on the Trade channel are calling me an idiot because I have no DK glyphs because they read about them. (Lolwut?) But my graphic for this post is my proof. They're not available yet, people!

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Filed under: Warrior, Herbalism, Enchanting, Items, Expansions, Making money, Enchants, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Should your GM be able to tax you?

This idea's been floated before, but a few people on the forums have responded pretty enthusiastically to the notion of introducing a "guild income tax." Others...not so much so. Basically, there was a proposal made in the Beta forums that Blizzard give GM's/officers the ability to levy a percentage-based tax on members' earnings. Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, saying that it "was an interesting idea" and they're considering options for improving guild administration, but there was no way they could program a change like this in time for Wrath. Bear in mind that the original tax being suggested would apply to your toon both inside and out of raids (although no one was seriously suggesting that the tax should apply to non-raiding members of the guild).

I have to admit that I'm not too keen on the idea of a broad-based "income tax" on players, if only because the game's current mechanics make it all but certain that the main beneficiaries will be people who either can't (due to class/spec) or won't put much gold into the guild coffers. Moreover, the taxation idea acts as an incentive for people not to guild their alts, thus avoiding taxation entirely on toons that are usually the real means of support for a raiding main (someone remind me to go reserve a hunter named Swissbank). As an herbalist/alchemist, I farm a lot for friends and have been known to chuck the guild bank a few hundred gold from time to time. Maybe I'd save time and money under a system that required me to hand over 2-3% of my income, but still. Being taxed removes an element of individual responsibility, and it certainly takes away the nice feeling you have for voluntarily helping others.

If nothing else the idea's given rise to a few nice jokes (Cacora of Hellscream: "Do I get money back at the end of the year if I claim multiple alts as dependents?"), but the final word may well belong to Grig from Whisperwind: "So, Blizzard is considering taking one of the most universally loathed concepts from real life and adding it to a game. Why, they'd be silly not to do it."

Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Economy, Making money

Breakfast Topic: Professions and Leveling

The debate over whether Death Knights should get a free hand up on their primary professions continues to rage, but what actually interests me most are some of the arguments put forth by those opposed to Death Knights getting "free" tradeskills. Some of them are saying that it doesn't matter that Death Knights have to wait, because people should wait until max level to deal with professions anyway.

This is a completely alien concept to me. On any new character, the first thing I do upon hitting level 6 is run to the nearest profession trainers to learn my chosen professions. I like being able to doing something about those herbs and mineral nodes I see while I'm leveling. I can go do some tradeskilling if I start getting bored of leveling, and I can use the final product for my own leveling process, or sell the raw materials on the AH for a nice chunk of change.

I can't really fathom waiting for maximum level before I started a profession in earnest. Why go back to Elwynn forest to harvest bushels of Peacebloom at level 70 when you could have done it from level 1-11 while you were there?

So here's something that may be considered somewhat of a companion question to yesterday's profession question: Do you level your professions while you level up, or do you leave them until after you've leveled up?

Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Making money, Inscription

Breakfast Topic: What profession will you be going for in Wrath?


With Wrath's release inching closer and closer, we've had a flood of profession information coming in. The latest Blizzcast gave up some insight into the future of professions, and we've seen rumors and recipe lists for quite a few professions. Even gathering professions aren't immune to the fun, with some nice little innate bonuses being granting to mining, skinning and herbalism.

So, with Wrath coming, it's the perfect time to take inventory of your tradeskills and decide which way you're going to go. Will you drop Leatherworking now that you don't need the drums for raiding? Will you head over to Inscription so you can trick out your own spells and skills? Will you go strictly gathering for the buffs and for selling off raw materials to everyone trying to level their professions?

In short, what profession will be your primary pursuit in Wrath of the Lich King?

What Profession will you pursue in Wrath?
Inscription2892 (24.5%)
Alchemy1068 (9.0%)
Blacksmithing1171 (9.9%)
Enchanting844 (7.1%)
Tailoring1041 (8.8%)
Jewelcrafting756 (6.4%)
Leatherworking968 (8.2%)
Engineering1688 (14.3%)
I'm going with gathering skills1379 (11.7%)

Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Profession News: Potion Sickness gone, Herbalists get new ability

It was perhaps one of the most unexpected and controversial changes to hit Wrath Beta: Potion Sickness, the debuff that spelled the end of chain-chugging by allowing only one potion to be quaffed per combat and no more. Some people loved, since it would cut down on pre-raid farming and perhaps allow for bosses to be balanced more around classes and roles and less around Haste, Ironshield, and Destruction potions. Some saw it as a major nerf to Alchemists and to casters who were used to chaining mana pots to stay in the blue.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW TCG

Hands-on with Inscription in the Wrath Beta

By now you've heard of inscription, the new trade skill coming with Wrath of the Lich King. We've already given you a few sneak peeks, looking at glyphs, enchantment scrolls, and other beta insights. This time, though we had a chance to fiddle with Inscription directly, on the Beta servers themselves. The trade skill is most obviously only in the very first stages of implementation, but there's still enough to play around with to get an idea of how it will all work once things go live.

To start off with, we needed to do a little running. There's no inscription trainers to be found in Dalaran or any of the capitals. We found one in Vengeance Landing, so it seems likely that Alliance could find one in Valgarde as well. However, there are no Inscription suppliers nearby, so you'll still have to run to Dalaran to get the Scribe Tools and parchment you need for most recipes.

It's probably a given that that'll change for the better as we get closer to live, but for now it's a pain. You'll probably want to go buy the Scribe Tools and stock up on parchment before you go to train if you're doing it in Beta. Luckily, Light Parchments stack up to 20, so you can carry a lot -- be warned though, most of the scrolls you make out of them only stack to 5.

Anyhow, to the meat.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, News items, Expansions, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Inscription details: Glyphs, runewords, and more

We found out a little bit about inscription and what materials it might need when the Wrath of the Lich King beta debuted last week, and yesterday we learned that they will be helping Enchanters use the auction house, but we were still left wondering about what was originally promoted as the central purpose of the new profession: enhancing spells. Thanks to the WotLK Wiki, we now have some information on that very intriguing functionality.

  • Spells will be enhanced by Glyphs, which will be created by inscribers and will be tradable (though there may be some inscriber-only Glyphs).
  • Glyphs come in three sizes: Minor, Lesser, and Greater. Minor Glyphs have small effects or cosmetic changes, Lesser Glyphs give moderate upgrades to spells, and Greater Glyphs give major upgrades to spells.
  • Each character has six Glyph slots: two Minor, two Lesser, and two Greater. The screenshot shown here is the Glyph interface, available to every character. The slots at top and bottom are for Greater Glyphs, those at top-right and top-left are for Lesser, and the sad-looking ones at bottom-left and bottom-right are for Minor glyphs.
  • There is an ability called Glyph Mastery that's categorized under Inscription which gives access to an additional Glyph slot for the inscriber, but it is unknown how this ability is attained. Maybe it's a specialization, like other professions have.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Passive buffs for gatherers

We've seen some interesting things come out of the Wrath beta already for some of the crafting professions, including Jewelcrafting, Alchemy, Enchanting, and the new Inscription. But what about us humble gatherers? Skinners, Herbalists, and Miners need love too. Well, it looks like Blizz is ready to give us some of that love, at least for Skinners and Miners. Check out the following spells:

Note that those buffs are passive. 35 stam all the time for all grand master miners, and 25 crit rating for grand master skinners. Each of those abilities have six ranks, which I take to correspond to the six ranks of profession skill: apprentice, journeyman, expert, artisan, master, and the new grand master.

This is awesome stuff, if you ask me. My analysis is that these benefits are meant to stand in for the epic BoP items that the production professions get access to. Why there is no benefit for herbalism is something of a mystery; it might not be implemented yet, or it might be absent on purpose. Natalie pointed out that it might be because several herbs already give buffs when you pick them, so that's another possibility.

I think these benefits are low enough that people with maxed-out professions aren't going to be dropping them just to get the extra 35 stam, but high enough to provide a meaningful, stabbity perk for those who've just about had it with skinning their ten-thousandth beast (who am I kidding, skinning is fun). Good change, and I do hope we see something for herbalism.

Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Skinning, Wrath of the Lich King

Buying your way through raid content

There's a new game in town, and Artirius of the Aerie Peak server has noticed it, and admittedly, so have I. With attunements gone, it is now possible for any level 70 to go in and see tier 5 and 6 content whenever they want. Of course, they don't generally have a prayer of actually downing bosses unless they have 20-24 well geared people to help them out.

That's where gold comes in. With a few thousand gold, you can buy your way into a tier 6 group that doesn't need the tier 6 armor and go along for the ride. A few hours later, you come out on the other end with Illidan dead and a few shiny new drops, even if you've never set foot in Karazhan.

It's not just people trying to buy these slots in the trade channel either. As Artirius observes, many raid groups are actively soliciting for buyers for their raid slots. On my own server, one Horde group is trading tier 6 runs for large quantities of certain herbs, promising that all but a few select drops will go to the people who buy their slots with stacks of Netherbloom and Ghost Mushrooms.

So what's causing this?

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Alchemy, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Making money

Insider Trader: A discussion of our trade channel


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

This week, Insider Trader will be starting a discussion about trade channel in World of Warcraft, including its usefulness to its likability, abuse, and role in the game.

At first glance, trade channel is supposed to be a channel linking all major cities, providing a forum for craftsmen and buyers to meet up and exchange goods and services.

Within this context, players make a living, purchase gear and consumables, research goods and services, make friends and business associates, and learn the ins and outs of server economy.

Unfortunately, when asked their opinions of trade channel, many players describe it as annoying, useless, or offensive, and many keep it turned off permanently. Still others seem to hover in trade chat, spending a great deal of time in it either chatting, selling or sometimes, buying.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Insider Trader: Professions from the Wrath alpha

This week, Insider Trader will be taking a further look into the future of professions in World of Warcraft.

Although Wrath of the Lich King is still only in alpha testing, what little we do know, though it might change, helps us anticipate the direction Blizzard is taking.

In fact, we can even begin to see what the army of Death Knight Inscribers might take as their second profession, which will undoubtedly have repercussions on the market.

Not only will the amount of competition skyrocket, but opportunities to make a buck selling to lazy Death Knights will abound.

For these and more details, head on through the break.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Cooking, First Aid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions), Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

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