While the Cataclysm updates to many of the professions are still deep in development, we wanted to share some of the work that's been going on, as well as a high-level look at any lessons learned or changes to their underlying philosophies during the design process. Please be aware that not all professions have the same extent of information available right now, but each is receiving the same love and attention as the next.
Take heed of these teasers as you look forward to your new rank of Illustrious Grand Master!
- Perks will continue to exist across all professions, and will upgraded appropriately.
Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring
- Many of the green (and possibly some blue) items made during the process of leveling these professions will contain random stats. In most examples, two stats on these items will be set, and two will be random. The idea with these items is to mix up the skill leveling items so you're not just, for example, creating 10 pairs of boots that are all exactly the same.
- Superior-quality items that require more materials than other recipes in the same skill range provide multiple skill-ups. For example, if a recipe takes three times the reagents, it will give you three skill-ups.
- We didn't feel like we were getting much flexibility from specializations, so they have been removed for all three of these professions. The intent was to help people diversify their profession to feel different from that of other players, but through other professions we've found systems that work better to this end, such as simply making recipes available that you can earn over time.
- To follow up the previous change, all items that required a specialization are now useable by anyone.
- Tailoring the high-end Cataclysm items will center around a single cloth type that can be crafted through five different recipes -- each with their own material components and a long cooldown.
- All three professions will create their starter sets of PVP gear, which will be upgraded with new recipes every season. In general, these are meant to keep pace as an entry-level PvP set below whatever the current Hero Point set is.
- New elixirs will be about 75% as strong as flasks. So you can get more total stat points with two elixirs, but flasks will still be the best at giving you a single offensive or defensive stat.
- New unique material used by nearly all high-level recipes will be created by alchemists on a one-day cooldown.
- New Mysterious Potion created with common materials restores health and mana in a massively random range, as well as sometimes granting the benefit of another potion. The health and mana range is from 1-20,000 and is able to crit. The minimum amount restored, however, is scaled upwards by the Alchemy skill, making it a great choice for alchemists to keep for themselves.
- All potions and elixirs now use the same basic vial type. Flasks still use a fancy vial.
- New Alchemist Stone.
- In general, material component costs for most recipes are more moderate in how much they require, while the highest-end recipes will still require large quantities. The goal of this change is to make the leveling recipes more consistent and not create unintended roadblocks in getting to the higher skill levels.
- An enchanter vanity pet is being added.
New Cataclysm weapon enchantment preview:
- Avalanche -- Chance to deal Nature damage on melee hit/spell hit.
- Elemental Slayer -- As expected, this enchantment helps players deal devastating damage to elemental creatures.
- Hurricane -- A stacking haste proc.
- Heartsong -- Mana regeneration through increased Spirit when chain-casting spells.
- Many more maximum-level enchantments are still in progress.
- Engineering is still being designed, but expect new unpredictable gadgets to use on yourself or enemies. Toys, explosives, and even a new vanity pet or two. Oh, and powerful mechanical bows and crossbows in addition to guns.
- In general, we want Engineering to remain a tradeskill mainly focused on creating fun or useful gadgets for the engineer, but we are exploring options for items that can be sold to other players for profit.
- With the large number of class changes coming with Cataclysm, many existing glyphs will see new functionality.
- Minor glyphs are woefully uneven from one class to the next right now, so they're a focus for us to clean them up and try to ensure that everyone has minor glyphs they're excited about.
- New Darkmoon Cards will be added, with hopes they'll all be as awesome as the Greatness card.
- We'll be adding more major glyphs as well, but in the hopes of making them as balanced as possible, we'll likely wait until after the expansion ships to add any for the new abilities in Cataclysm.
- New and more desirable off-hand and relic recipes will be added.
- Some gem colors have changed! Hit is now blue. Mastery and Dodge are yellow. Intellect is now red. These simple changes have created a much more diverse matrix of gem cuts.
- New Jewelcrafting dailies will be introduced.
- Many cuts are being added to support the new Mastery stat.
- Some new Cataclysm jewelry recipes have completely random properties, and can sometimes create superior and epic versions.
- Jewelcrafters will have some fun new (and potentially lucrative) vanity items, including fist weapons, rhinestone sunglasses, monocles, and stardust (sprinkle on players for entertainment).
Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining
- All Cataclysm herbs have the chance of containing Volatile Life.
- There won't be a new Lotus equivalent in Cataclysm. Alchemists will use the more reliably-found Volatile Life to create the new high level flasks.
- "Heartblossom -- Named for its deep red color, this delicate flower grows close to the ground, and always in pairs. If one blossom is taken, the other flower begins to wilt immediately and dies soon after. It is considered very unlucky to disturb a Heartblossom without blessing it first."
- Savage Leather, the basic Cataclysm leather, can be gathered from most creatures found in the expansion areas and can be converted to Heavy Savage Leather at a 6:1 rate.
- Pristine Hide, the rare Cataclysm hide, can be found when skinning creatures in the expansion areas, or be converted from Heavy Savage Leather.
- Obsidian is the new common mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, and Volatile Shadow.
- Elementium is the new uncommon mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems, Volatile Fire, Volatile Water, or Volatile Earth.
- Pyrite is the new rare mineral found when mining in Cataclysm, and can contain gems and Volatile Fire.
- Previous Elementium Ore and Bar used for classic quests will be renamed to Elementium Ingot and Hardened Elementium Bar.
- We like the gathering perks as they are; not a game-changing bonus but something themed and fun. But as all tradeskills are in the design stages these are still being discussed to a degree.
- Cooking is still in the early stages, but we plan on continuing with daily quests, feasts, and some fun new recipes.
- We liked the cooking dailies that had players picking up items that spawned in the world near the quest giver, so most if not all new cooking dailies will work similarly.
- Bandages will have a short cast time and put a heal over time effect on the target for 8 seconds. This effect is broken by damage.
- Three new bandages! That's right: THREE!
- "Dense Embersilk Bandage" Heals for 34,800 over 8 seconds. Requires 3 Embersilk to create.
- Lots of new fish and other fun items to catch! Fish are still used to make premium food.
- New fishing dailies.
Professions will be getting a retrofit in Cataclysm. The listed changes aren't really anything exotic or a departure from their current methodology regarding professions and their rewards.
Each profession will continue to give a relatively homogeneous boost to stats, be it Stamina, Attack Power, or Spell Power. Gathering professions will have all new resources that will behave similar to how they do now. For example, if you mine any mineral node you'll have the chance at getting gems and elemental essences similar to what happened when you mined a titanium vein in Wrath of the Lich King.
None of the changes is particularly groundbreaking, but it's just a neat list to peruse as players try to figure out what their approach to farming, gold making, and crafting will be in the upcoming expansion.
One change that struck me as being pretty cool is the new enchanting recipes. These new enchants are much more situational and potentially more unpredictable than the current set of enchantments. Elemental Slayer, for instance, will allow players to enchant their weapon to proc "devastating" levels of damage to elementals only. Enchants like the undead and demonic equivalents of the past were typically overshadowed by stronger, universally viable procs like Crusader and Berserking. It might be a nice change of pace to have enchants that fill specific niches of content instead of using the same enchant throughout an entire expansion.
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