Recently in patch 2.1 we were introduced to a new system for potions created through the Alchemy profession. In this new system we found that many potions would no longer stack with other potions in their category. Well, buff potions anyway (you could never stack Alchemy healing potions due to cooldowns). This means that many encounters in the game were made easier for some (no more needing to farm cash for the massive amount of consumables needed) and harder for others (the consumables allowed them to fight a fight that they weren’t equipped for). Well, in a way both good and bad happen at the same time but it’s more of a glass half empty or glass half full scenario.
Let’s first look at the fights. Back when Naxxramas was a hot topic it was decided by many guilds that using every buff potion possible on everyone in the raid was an excellent idea. Many members needed 200-300 gold just to do one day in Naxxramas. This meant that many people needed to massively farm gold in order to keep up. Entire guilds would run MC, BWL, and to some extent AQ40 just to get shards to sell for cash to buy potions and potion reagents. Alchemists were overwhelmed with their new found income.
Soon when the expansion arrived this became common practice. Not only did many guilds have their entire raid stack potions (including the new TBC ones) but they also had their new smaller raids use flasks… on the entire raid. This leaves to wonder why should many people be tied down to stacking potions?
Looking at it from two perspectives… the first being the connivance side (and gameplay wise) it’s pretty stupid. Seriously, why should you have to spend hard earned gold in order to advance through an instance? Why should you find someone to craft all these potions just so you can get a spot to go and get equipment that should be helping you do the instance with less potions? Why are instance mechanics designed as such?
The other perspective is that it allows encounters that are seemingly impossible to be done with both less effort and training. In many cases it’s also not needed, just guilds want to get ahead as fast as possible. However, some encounters do seem as if they require either godly coordination or massive amounts of gear that is only obtainable with previous godly coordination.
So looking at it, it’s both a curse and a boon. It costs a ton and is needed in some encounters by some guilds but it also lets you access content you normally can’t. Of course, thanks to patch 2.1 a lot of the content that was seemingly impossible is now possible with both the right gear and the right potion set-up.
My opinion is that I like the changes, from the perspective of a player. No longer do you need a ridiculous amount of potions nor do you need to farm a lot of gold in order to do some encounters. The fact many encounters were nerfed along with this only makes it that much better.
However, our argument doesn’t end there. While many players may rejoice (or loathe, depending on how much they like sticking to the old ways) there are some who absolutely despise the new changes based on something other than gameplay related issues. Yes, you can probably assume Alchemists are quite upset that there is little reason now to make anything but flasks.
That’s true, very true. Why consume an elixir when it won’t stack with a flask? What would be the point outside of heroics and even then people wouldn’t want to buy mass amounts of elixirs just to do one quick instance. This means that the one entire section of Alchemy is nearly useless. Elixirs are no longer “viable” in raiding, except for people who aren’t using flasks. With the new trend of having everyone in the raid use a flask and since elixirs are only profitable in mass quantities it means that there is little point in making them anymore.
With that, many Alchemist feel that their profession was changed to no longer be balanced. Before they would make potions, elixirs, and flasks and turn a decent profit. Now they only make potions and flasks with elixirs on the backburner.
I don’t have much to say about this, as an retired Alchemist I sort of feel for the change to the profession but I also see where Elixirs still have a use here and there. That and I like the new nerfed instances where so much isn’t required. I like the idea of no longer having to waste massive amounts of cash just to run an instance.
In conclusion, I think it’s a good change as long as people can continue to do instances without the need of all the consumables. I understand where Alchemists are coming from in that they feel they can no longer make as much of a profit anymore but I also see where a lot of other professions don’t make much of a profit to begin with. So it’s sort of like having cake then having it taken away after eating it too. Get what I mean?
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