Making Crafting Professions Relevant Again
Crafting professions used to be a popular and relevant part of World of Warcraft. How does the Messiah think they can be made so again?
When World of Warcraft was first released and players were levelling, professions felt relevant to the game. Leveling was much slower, gear was harder to get, and if you wanted some decent gear, you really needed to create it for yourself.
Fast forward to today, where levelling is insanely fast (and soon to be irrelevant with the boost to 90 option), and profession gear is only really viable for a short time. Is there any way to make profession items viable long term, is there a way to make crafting professions feel relevant in the game again?
Current Relevancy of Professions
Right now in the game, crafting professions and the gear they create is not exactly relevant. Sure, when an expansion comes out the trinkets that are produced by Inscriptionests are in high demand for a while, but by the 3rd patch, they are worth fractions of what they were at the beginning. Also any of the good gear that is craftable when an expansion launches, is quickly outdated as soon as the first patch is released. Even before that, the base gear is normally far inferior to the first set of raid gear.
This makes more crafting gear nothing more than a quick stop gap for players to fill in a few item levels so that they can get into a raid to get better gear. Many players go through the effort of crafting it and never even equip it, they just need it in their bags for the ilevel boost and then sell it.
So, how could Blizzard make professions a little more relevant in the net expansion?
Provide More Crafting Options
One of the biggest complaints is that there are very few options for gear through the crafting system. Currently there are only a very few viable items that you could craft with the system once you are a high level. Then when each patch is released, the previous items are rendered obsolete and the new patch only provides a piece or two that can be made.
For crafting to be useful and relevant in the game, many more options need to be provided. Make this a way to fill in those items that you haven’t gotten to drop in a raid to help fill in your sets.
This could be as simple as making each new patch come with the same one or two high quality crafted items that are at about raid level as happens now and then filling holes. By this I mean providing new recipies for all other slots that the profession can make, but at the previous raid item level.
This has two big benefits. Firstly, raid players can upgrade to fill in spots they missed. Secondly, players that do not raid, can craft items and come up to the previous raid level of gear. This makes it relevant to both raiding players and casual players without greatly upsetting the balance, since the gear will be the last raid level and not the current.
Allow Crafting of Better Gear
Is there a way to make professions
like leatherworking relevant again?
In addition to the above item of more gear, I think that the balance should be upset a little. Make some crafted gear that is just as good or even better than the raid gear. This way it makes the crafted gear relevant and desirable.
It however should, in my opinion, be able to be crafted without having to raid. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it simple to craft, but I do want it to be able to be created by everyone.
This gear could tie into the game much the way the Legendary quest chain in Mists of Pandaria did, with multiple steps and quests to complete before you gain access to them. It could also tie into the patch daily quests that are released.
Blizzard has made many items available this way already, however almost all of them are only really available to you if you raid to complete them. My thought would be to have more chasing around for rare ingredients, rare world spawns, massive amounts of materials, and progressing through a big storyline. This would then justify the items being as good as or better than raid gear, since it would equate to just as much time and effort to obtain them.
Allow upgrades Scaling Gear Levels
Lastly, something that I think could add a lot to crafting and one that is a big sticking point to me. To create crafted items, you spend all sorts of time and effort creating them when they come out, and then they are irrelevant shortly after.
Sure, I know this is true of pretty much all gear. But crafted gear should be a little different. You made it after all, you should be able to make it better. I would love to see a system where crafted gear can be upgraded several times as new tiers come out. It doesn’t have to be forever, or even to be as good as the next tier, but at least let it scale with some effort. That would allow the profession gear to feel relevant for longer.
I think it would be awesome to have some sort of system in place that would keep the gear you craft at least close to viable for a little longer. Consider the following with the assumption that each new patch adds 10 item levels to the best new gear
Allow gear that was crafted as ilevel 500 be upgraded with some effort to 508 with the next patch, then 516 with the next, then 524 the next and 532 the next.
It will fall behind over several patches, but the first patch after it is released, it would be 80% of the patches upgrade level, the next one it would only be 60% and so on. That makes it relevant and useful for the patch it is released for and at least 2 more after. Best of all, it could be at least semi-useful further past that if you are unlucky with drops.
The above ideas are just some of the things that I believe would help make crafting professions relevant in World of Warcarft again.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe professions are useful as they are? If so, why, what is good about them now? If you do not believe they are currently relevant in the game, do you have different ideas about what would make them relevant and interesting again?
Either way, make your comments known for all in the section below.