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Posts with tag professions

WoW Archivist: A Glyphmas story

Scrolls of glyphs
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Professions in Warlords of Draenor feel completely different than at any other era in WoW. Creating powerful items is no longer a matter of farming, luck, or gold. Instead, we have to produce their key ingredients via garrison work orders. Leveling crafting professions is no longer about creating a bunch of useless items that we instantly vendor or disenchant, and reaching max level is now a slow burn instead of a quick grind. This is the first expansion where I haven't hit max level on all my professions within the first week or two.

The profession that has changed the most is the most recent: Wrath of the Lich King's inscription, added in 2008. Even the interface changed: the glyph window was originally part of the spellbook UI, not the talent pane. Because of those changes, for a few very special weeks, inscription transformed the financial futures of countless WoW players. I was one of them. We called it Glyphmas, and it was magical.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Upcoming alchemy and jewelcrafting changes


Rygarius has just announced some upcoming changes to the alchemy and jewelcrafting professions. Based on player feedback, alchemy recipes will now require more herbs (and no meat or fish) and jewelcrafting recipes will require less herbs (and more ore).

Rygarius
We're giving a heads up on adjustments being made based on player feedback over the amount of herbs used in recipes by Alchemy and Jewelcrafting. The adjustment will increase the amount of herbs an Alchemist needs and decrease the herb costs for Jewelcrafters.

Overview of Changes:

Alchemy
  • Combat potion recipes no longer requires Crescent Oil and meat/fish, and will require herbs instead.
  • Flask recipes will use more herbs, increasing the number of herbs needed from one type of herb to two.
Jewelcrafting
  • Tier 1 gem recipes will require more ore and less herbs.
  • Tier 2 gem recipes will no longer require herbs and instead require a tier 1 gem.
In summary, these changes are not active yet. But once the change is active, Alchemists will need more herbs, and Jewelcrafting will need less.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

WRUP: We have a lot of feelings about professions edition

Another weekend is upon us, which means it's time once again for WRUP! The journey through Warlords continues on, and as we've explored more of the game, a common complaint amongst the team has been about the game's profession changes. While Blizzard has worked to streamline professions, not all of us (or, really, any of us) are quite happy with the end result. So just what's wrong with professions? A lot.

If you want to see what we're doing in game this week -- plus a laundry-list of professions complaints -- read on. And, of course, leave us a comment to say just what you're playing this weekend... and let us know what you think about the state of professions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: The professional grind

WoW's professions have changed a lot between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor, making professions perhaps as easy as they've ever been for both leveling and crafting. Catch-up methods have made professions easier to level from zero while garrisons give us the ability to have limited access to any profession even if we didn't bother (or didn't have the profession slot) to level it.

But while professions have always been a grind, I find the removal of the grind to be nearly as much of a problem. While professions may be much more streamlined, a lot of the variety has been removed, too: there are fewer items to craft (due to a removal of low-quality craftables that were rarely used) and the things you can craft typically require a large quantity of a single material rather than sending you on an epic quest to gather bits and pieces from around the world. In theory, I like making crafting more straightforward. But in practice, it means crafting is reduced to pressing a single button to create work orders for days (or weeks) until you can finally create something. The new system may be easier, but it seems a lot less interesting, too.

So tell me, readers: just what do you think of professions in Warlords? Are you enjoying the new way of crafting, with the ease of gathering and queuing up work orders from your garrison? Or do you find yourself nostalgic for crafting systems past?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

WoW Archivist: Epics

Bulwark of Azzinoth
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Leveling through Draenor has been a blast, but as a player from classic WoW, a few things have struck me as incredibly strange. Triple-digit numbers in the guild panel. Sending NPCs to do quests on my behalf. And most of all, getting epic armor and weapons from solo leveling quests.

Many players in classic WoW (and not just raiders) opposed making epics more available to players. They called Blizzard's evolving attitude a slippery slope. "What's next," they argued, "epics for doing solo quests?" They never actually imagined that would happen. In 2005 it would have been unthinkable. Eight years later, here we are. But it's all been by design -- an evolving design with many steps along the way. Let's look at how we got here, one random drop at a time.

The few, the proud, the epic

In early classic WoW, only one path allowed you to deck out your character in purple items: 40-player raiding. Other raiding didn't cut it. Bosses in the 15-player (later 10-player) Upper Blackrock Spire dropped rares. Even bosses in the 20-player raids, Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, dropped mostly rares when they first opened their instance portals. Only their end bosses consistently dropped epic loot.

Outside of 40-man raids, a handful of bosses had a very small chance to drop an epic item. Emperor Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths had a tiny chance to drop Ironfoe. The "tribute run" chest from Dire Maul very rarely offered up Treant's Bane -- and I'll never forget the joy in my warrior friend's voice when it dropped for him, all those years ago. DM was also the source of the highly coveted tanking weapon Quel'Serrar, but the quest item to obtain it had an incredibly low drop rate.

Back then, even the recipes to craft epics (such as the awesome Force Reactive Disk) could only be obtained from 40-player raids.

Even if you were raiding with 39 of your closest online friends, earning purples was no picnic. With two drops per boss at first, odds of getting an item on any given run were slim. You could complete a full clear without a single drop for your class and spec. Each epic you equipped generally represented several weeks of endgame effort. When a player sauntered through Orgrimmar or Ironforge in head-to-toe purples, players knew this was a person who had spent many, many hours on that character.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

BlizzCon 2014 interviews feature Cory Stockton, Alex Afrasiabi

Just in case you missed it in the madness of Warlords of Draenor's launch, WoW Insider had the opportunity to interview not one but two developers this year at BlizzCon 2014. Both interviews were posted earlier this week and are well worth the look -- and may have been missed in the flood of Warlords expansion announcements and updates.

For those with more of a bent towards lore, the interview with World of Warcraft's Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi focused on the story behind the expansion, including discussion on alternate universes, some surprising stories about Garrosh Hellscream and the development of Warlords, and even an interesting tidbit about alternate Azeroth.

For those with more of a technical bent and burning questions about Warlords of Draenor's features and content, check out our interview with Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton. In the interview, we take an in-depth look at garrisons and their development, the new look of Warcraft's professions, and some cool new things to look forward to with transmogrification, as well as a few other fun features of the latest expansion.


Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor

Garrisons, professions and more with Cory Stockton

Warlords of Draenor has arrived, with tons of new content, quests, dungeons, raids, zones, and of course garrisons! During BlizzCon 2014, we sat down with Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton to discuss the development and design behind the new feature, in addition to a closer look at the changes to professions and profession design in Warlords of Draenor. But what's a talk with Mumper without a little transmog talk thrown into the mix -- and it appears we've got more transmog changes on the distant horizon that we'd originally thought.

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor

How professions are changing in Warlords of Draenor

Like with every expansion before it, Warlords of Draenor will be shaking things up. Professions will get their skill caps increased to 700 and you'll find new recipes (and new epic gear) waiting for you in Draenor. But it's not all business as usual: some major changes in Warlords will be shaking up how professions work and how they fit in with the rest of the game. Blizzard's goal here seems targeted to opening up player choice: you shouldn't be forced into a profession or be penalized for not having or leveling one. This doesn't mean that the advantages of having a profession are going away, but come Warlords some unique bonuses will be gone, people without a profession will have additional access to it, and leveling professions will be more straightforward for players who might not have focused on professions in the past.

Here are the biggest changes:
  • Profession-based bonuses are gone. And, though we may be losing some perks, with the stat squish and resultant rebalancing in Warlords, this is the ideal time for Blizzard to make this switch. The end result is that you won't have to pick a profession for a specific combat bonus... but can have whichever professions you most want.
  • You can gather anything in Draenor, regardless of skill level. We saw this happen with mining and herbalism in Pandaria in patch 5.3, and now it's expanded to cover all gathering professions, making it easier to level up a gathering profession from zero. Players with higher skill levels will gather more materials than players with lower skill levels.
  • In addition to gathering professions being easier to level, crafting professions all have catch-up recipes that will let you level from zero onward using Draenor materials. This will probably make it more expensive if you plan on buying materials (since everyone will be looking for the same new-world materials), but less of a nuisance if you're gathering your own.
  • Garrison buildings will allow you limited access to professions you don't have... or improve your abilities in professions you do have.
Want to know all the details? Read on to see just what's happening for professions in Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

Choosing the right Garrison buildings for you

Once you head through the Dark Portal in Warlords of Draenor, you're going to be faced with a variety of choices, particularly when it comes to building your garrison for the first time. While the process may seem like a complicated jumble of various bonuses and purposes, it's actually relatively easy to get your garrison up and running -- and your first few buildings will be handed to you right off the bat. As you continue to level, however, you're going to face more and more choices in regards to what to place in your Draenor stronghold.

Garrison buildings are also tied into professions in Warlords, although not quite as rigidly as you might think. Instead, what the buildings do is offer you a way to craft items that involve professions you might not already have trained. It's about flexibility and choice. It's also not something that's going to take up the majority of your time while you're in Draenor. Your garrison is fully capable of functioning on its own, once you've handed out the orders. So how do you pick what's right for you? It's a personal decision, but here are some things you want to keep in mind when you're getting started.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Work orders

If you played Mists of Pandaria you probably know about the work order. Introduced to the farm as part of a reputation gaining system, it's been expanded for the garrison in Warlords of Draenor, and it allows you to use various buildings to create items. In the above SS, I used the Alchemy Lab to combine two reagents gathered from random bag drops - Blackrock ore and Frostweed - to complete the work order. After a day, a crate spawns in the Alchemy Lab which you can loot and gain what you made.

At present it seems randomized - I couldn't tell you what I just made. But it definitely seems to be a way to make use of reagents without having the alchemy skill - or other skills, if talking about other buildings like the Engineering, Enchanting or Scribe ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Professional

Let's play pretend for a moment: imagine an Azeroth that is at peace. The wars have ended, we've beaten all of the bad guys, and it's time to rebuild. Your class no longer matters. There's no need for violent adventurers, your skill in murder and mayhem is obsolete. You are now defined by your profession. Your profession is, in essence, your class. In such a scenario, what profession would you take up? What would you choose as your daily grind?

Let's assume secondary professions are included here. The fun option, in my opinion, would be archaeology. You'd still get to explore the world and have adventures! Realistically, though, I don't think I would mind being a full-time chef. Within the rules of Warcraft, cooks gather most of their own ingredients. As a player, I like killing things. In real life, I love gardening. Skilled cooking requires both, so why not be a chef? I even briefly considered attending culinary school. In Azeroth, maybe I'd do it.

What about you? Maybe you'd be a full-time angler. Heck, El already does it.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Garrisons and their role in Warlords of Draenor

We're all talking about garrisons these days. Whether it's how they're going to work, where they're going to be, or what we're going to do with them they're the big new feature for Warlords of Draenor and we're all constantly worrying at the bone to try and squeeze more information out of them. It's understandable. Players have wanted something akin to player housing for years, and the garrison goes beyond that - it's effectively your own fortified town. It brings back memories for players of old school pen and paper RPG's like me of hitting the end of the expert levels in D&D and getting a dominion.

We've recently found out that the garrison will be heavily integrated into the leveling experience, requiring it to have a stable location (Frostfire Ridge for Horde, Shadowmoon Valley for Alliance) and that there will be specific racial-themed buildings for the professions section of your garrison. There's even going to be group content for garrisons. Mumper has even assured us that the garrison will not be required to level. Meanwhile, Muffinus has asked players who, out of the entire World of Warcraft, would they want as a follower - I'm personally pulling for Rexxar and Marhsall Windsor. Yes, I know.

What this all means is in flux, of course, as Mumper himself acknowledges - design is iterative, and changes happen. We're still waiting for more details, but what I wanted to talk about now is how the garrison is shaping up to become one of those rare things, a feature that can completely transform your playing experience in fundamental ways, yet not directly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead interviews Warlords developers at PAX East

Our friends over at Wowhead are attending PAX East this weekend, and Perculia had a chance to sit down and interview Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor. A variety of topics were discussed -- Garrisons were discussed in detail, as well as raid cooldowns, the strengths and weaknesses of the Timeless Isle, professions and the removal of damage bonuses, and much more.

One of the more exciting discussions addressed the issue of storage space. Mentioned in the interview was the new toy box tab that will rid your bags of all the interesting gadgets and toys you find while questing. But that's not all -- most profession materials will stack to 100 in the new expansion, and gathered quest items from kill and carry quests will be tracked, but not actually take up space in your bags. And perhaps the most exciting news from the interview (for me, anyway) is that at long last, transmogrification fanatics will be getting a second tab of Void Storage in which to squirrel away their favorite fashions. You can listen to the full audio from the interview above -- it's well worth checking out.


Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

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Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Professions divorced from combat in 6.0

Armored draenei
The Warlords of Draenor 6.0 patch notes brought many surprises, but one of the biggest is that professions will no longer provide bonuses that affect combat.

Amidst the endless sea of notes, it's easy to miss these two sentences that will forever change the role of professions in WoW:
Warlords of Draenor: Alpha Patch Notes
Some of our goals with Professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory "min/max" selection. To that end, we're removing the direct combat benefits of Professions.

For many years, theorycrafters and min/max'ers have baked profession bonuses into their calculations. The crit from skinning, the Synapse Springs of engineers, the eye gems of jewelcrafters, the warmer wrists of leatherworkers, etc. -- all of them have affected which professions are "best" for certain specs.

In recent expansions we've seen Blizzard try to make the bonuses more or less even across specs, with mixed success. Now, all of these bonuses are headed to the chopping block in patch 6.0, at least in their current incarnations.

Maxed-out professions will no longer be essential for high-end PvE or PvP activities. We will no longer need to weigh our personal preference against possible combat advantages. In fact, players will be able to skip leveling professions at all, if they choose, without penalty to their character's performance. This strikes me as a good change.

Will professions only provide an economic advantage from 6.0 on? Or will they give us other bonuses, such as extra lesser charms, bonus pet battle XP, or faster garrison construction? Will Blizzard tweak the existing combat-related recipes to provide different bonuses? Or will the developers remove them entirely? Many questions remain to be answered as the alpha progresses!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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