WoW: Cataclysm Professions- Change We Can Believe In?


When I learned that a teaser had been released previewing the changes to be made to crafting in Cataclysm  I was excited, but also a little nervous. Crafting has needed an overhaul for a long time, and finally it seems that Blizzard is stepping up and taking notice. As Sardu point out in today’s Loading…, professions are pretty broken as a whole. Leveling a profession takes time, money, and is largely thankless. Not to mention that most players will find themselves pressured into conformity, forced to take a profession solely based on the benefits it provides for your individual class.

So it was with crossed fingers and baited breath that I began to read over the changes. Hoping against hope that this time at least Blizzard had gotten it right. In some cases Blizzard did indeed make some needed changes, but most of them left me thinking WTF? Here are my thoughts on some of the more notable changes in each category:

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring

Green items made during leveling with random stats?  I personally would much rather know exactly what I am crafting when I craft it. Thankfully these items are usually just vendor trash with very little real value. Perhaps some entertainment can be gleaned from the terrabad stats that are sure to surface.

There are some good changes here as players will finally be rewarded with more skill-ups for making hard to craft patterns. At higher  levels obtaining skill points gets tougher and tougher. Its always seemed rather unfair to me that after breaking the bank, and tramping around rounding up various materials from every corner of the world you only got one lousy skill point to show for your efforts. This change will make leveling these professions a little less frustrating.

Also, while it may be coming a few years to late, Blizzard has finally realized that profession specializations are old and outdated. Thankfully in Cataclysm they will be going the route of the dinosaur and becoming extinct. This change leaves me with mixed feelings as it sounds like specializations will be replaced by long sessions of dreary grinding to obtain special patterns. If this is the case it may leave many wishing for the specializations of the past.

Tailors are in for a change as well but for good or bad I’m not quite sure. High end Tailoring items will center around a single cloth type that can be crafted through five different recipes, each on a long cooldown. So instead of making several types of cloth each with their own separate materials and cooldowns, Tailors will now be doing basically the same thing but only producing one type of cloth.

 I can see the benefits here, since all the items will takeone type of cloth, technically Tailors should be able to obtain the cloth necessary to create items more quickly. Setting it up this way may also prevent cloth prices from skyrocketing, and finding a Tailor willing to give up their cooldown may be easier. Personally I would much rather see one set of components and one cooldown that produced five pieces of cloth, but I tend to rate on the fairly lazy side.

Alchemy

Oh joy another unique material is being introduced to the Alchemy profession that is used by high level recipes and is on a cooldown. It goes without saying that this material will probably be highly overpriced and annoying to get made.

Better news for alchemists comes with the announcement that all potions and elixirs in Cataclysm will use the same vial type, while flasks will use another.  Nothing annoys me more than getting all set to make a potion or elixir only to get the message that somewhere along the line I failed to buy the correct type of vial. Usually I find that I managed to buy every single vial except for the one that I need. Never again will this headache happen. Alchemists everywhere rejoice.

Enchanting

Enchanting has always been, in my opinion, one of the more difficult professions to level. The materials are random and sometimes difficult to get, the enchants are costly, and at low levels almost impossible to sell for any real profit. The slacker inside of me jumps for joy at the news that the material component costs have been reduced for more easy leveling, making Enchanting a more appealing profession by far. A host of new weapon enchantments will also be introduced in Cataclysm and most of them look rather promising. Although I can just imagine how expensive they are going to be. Let’s hope that their corresponding graphics look as awesome as they sound.

Engineering

Engineering is broken. It doesn’t just need fixed it needs thrown in the trash and done over completely. Sadly enough unless other changes present themselves it doesn’t look like this profession is going to get the overhaul it needs. Blizzard intends to keep Engineering as a tradeskill focused on creating fun and useful gadgets instead of actually making the profession actually worthwhile. This was perhaps the biggest disappointment for me. Having leveled an engineer myself I held on to hope that one day the profession would actually let me reap some real benefits. It appears I was mistaken, but Blizzard does seem to see that the Engineering profession is severely lacking in sellable merchandise. As such they will be adding some much needed items that will allow engineers to actually turn a profit. Perhaps the real changes engineers seek will appear next expansion.

Inscription

I almost fell out of my chair when I read the notes for Inscription. Minor glyphs….that people are….excited about?! Can it be? Currently minor glyphs are a joke, most players wouldn’t even notice if they didn‘t have them equipped. It will be most excellent if these were actually beneficial instead of offering mediocre.

Inscriptionists will also now be able to craft relics and let me just say that it’s about time. Waiting on relics to drop from an instance can be frustrating, and if the relic does drop your not even guaranteed to win the roll. Even if the crafted relics aren’t the greatest at least players will be able to fill the slot easily until they luck into the relic they really want.

Jewelcrafting


Some new Cataclysm Jewelcrafting recipes have random properties, and can sometimes create superior and epic versions. Now this is the kind of randomness I can stand behind. While there is a good chance you end up with a rather useless item, there remains the small chance that you actually produce something amazing.

Some gem colors have changed, Hit is blue, Mastery and Dodge are yellow, and Intellect is now red. I am sure what effects this change will have. Either this is going to make matching gem sockets much easier or much harder. While Intellect changing to red (a common healer color) seems like a good deal I’m not sure about the other gems listed, nor can I guess at what other colors gems may be changed to. As such I will reserve judgment on this change until I see it for myself in game.

Rhinestone sunglasses, monocles, and stardust? Adding these purely vanity items to Jewelcrafting brings a little spice to the profession. While this isn’t a major change, I wanted to point out that this should be the platform that Engineering is built on. A viable and profitable profession, with a few quirky items thrown in here and there just for fun.

Herbalism

The new Lotus of Cataclysm will be Volatile Life. I know it’s crazy but I was rather hoping that the new flasks would just take a large amount of commonly found herbs instead of a specialty item. There is hope though, as the notes state that Volatile Life will be easier to find than Lotus, but I still have my doubts. Perhaps they could introduce an enchant that would increase your chances of recieving this byproduct as you herb?

While there are many other changes listed in the profession preview these are the ones that gave me pause. While Blizzard has defiantly recognized that professions as a whole need reworked, and have made great strides in making them better, it seems that they are determined to take two steps back as they take one forward. Thankfully there is still quite a bit of time before Cataclysm actually releases and as these are just previews into the changes that might occur we can hope that more good things are to come. If you haven’t already read the preview for yourself either on the official Blizzard forums or right here at Ten Ton Hammer.

What do you think of the WoW Cataclysm profession changes? Join us on our forums to share your thoughts and opinions.

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