Monday, March 4, 2013

Future profession changes, 10th 90, Patch Day

My pet beagle used to do her dance everytime she was done with a bath.  This mostly consisted of her running in circles around the house and rubbing all over the carpet.  Beagle owners commonly refer to this as the beagle dance.  I always like to believe she was thrilled the bath was over (she hated them giving me a look of pure sadness throughout them) and that it was party time.  I feel the same whenever we move from an initial release to the first patch in every expansion.  They always feel like they are not 100% polished, always have bugs and junk that was never fixed from beta up through the day of the next patch, and then we get to see the polish in later patches and play a game as it was intended.  But I'll still do a beagle dance because I'm freaking glad the release patch is over.

But professions, those are another matter.

Like a Broken Record!

I hate harping on about the topic from last Tuesday, but in all seriousness the system is weak.  Actually, weak is a bad word for it.  Terrible.

Quandry:  People want to power level through professions faster.

Answer:  We'll use current content materials, and consult with Furor to come up with the amount of materials needed (note, he designed the AQ War Effort).

The reason I hate this solution is that it's going to end up being outdated by the next expansion when a new material is introduced and then they have to play catchup.  Blizzard is absolutely slow when it comes to updating game mechanics for professions historically.  Do I trust them to stay faithful to the entire system?  Absolutely not, look at other professions and their requirements.  Heck, look at the bugs that are still in the game that are still in the game with us.  I would say by Patch 6.3 they'll probably update it, but until then you're headed to Pandaria if you're short on Adamantite and Outlands isn't producing much.  I simply don't like when they make a big change/introduction, because I know that it's yet another thing they won't be faithful about with maintaining it.

When Cataclysm arrived, we got to see +2, 3, 4, and 5 skill upgrades for making something, and I was jumping for joy.  By MoP the system from 500-600 was almost entirely +2 through +4 throughout the process.  Both of these changes were exciting and made the system much more tolerable - I'm a person that juggles professions constantly.  However, the direction they're headed is to give a current content alternative, and what would the game look like when they do this for all professions?  I think you see where I'm going with this.

Worse, I can easily see them revisiting the quantity requirements as soon as the unwashed masses see this system and start complaining that it requires too many materials.  Remember this is a first of several changes to come.

Rather than add, they need to enhance.  A true revamp would be to go back to each profession, and grant various recipes the ability to give more levels than just one.  So instead of "Craft 100 Rough Grinding Stones" or "Blow 400 Ghost Iron Bars", you go "Copper Gloves, +2".  Or crafting a Classic Epic would have the opportunity to give +5.  This would be a VERY welcome change to the Iron through Saronite climb.  Its more well rounded and doesn't require constant revisiting - no changing materials from Ghost Iron/Windwool Cloth/Exotic Leather to whatever 6.0 requires.  The Wizards at Blizzard make great games, but maintaining them is not always in the deck.

My guess is the developer meeting went like this:  "What takes less coding time?  Add quests to an existing NPC?  Ok, we'll go that direction.  Someone go get Afrasiabi, this is beyond our ability."

Zerohour's 5.2 Preparation

As expected, March 5th is patch day.  I think we knew this for certain 3 weeks ago when they told us we still had time to valor cap.  Did anyone not know this already?

With only a few hours before the resubs begin, the screams of "why don't the vendor gib epicz for JP?", people blowing up the official forums for not having Thunderking available on LFR the first week, and people cancel their account again within 24 hours of release, this is what I'm doing in preparation:

1)  Finished my 10th level 90, who is a Leatherworking Tailor.  And a monk, which are insanely fun to play.  I recommend them.
2)  Not making anymore LW/Tailor Contender's gear until I see what happens Tuesday to their prices.
3)  Monday night I'll probably do dailies on the monk, maybe a dungeon.
4)  Perform many last minute snatch and grabs off the auction house picking up last minute materials.  For some reason people decide to practically vendor mats the day before a patch.
5)  Nothing else.  My normal routine.  I stockpile all the time, not just for patches.  There's no reason to hoard things anymore, that mindset now lives with Elvis.

Zerohour's Tuesday Schedule

Assuming I can log into my server without a 2 hour queue...

1)  Do Tillers planting
2)  Dailies on the Monk, while looking for the LW cooldown recipes to drop.
3)  Dailies on the Warrior, while looking for the LW cooldown recipes to drop.
4)  Dailies on the Hunter, while looking for the LW cooldown recipes to drop.
5)  Blow CDs on the LWs after locating the recipes, and the Tailors.
6)  If time's left over, do the new dailies on my main.
7)  In between watch prices and see if I can score some bargains.
8)  Profit off the weak
9)  Protest changes on official forums

This almost felt like a bit of pointless drivel, but whatever.  It's pretty much all I have planned since LFR isn't coming out, and I'm done with 5.0 stuff.

Margin Call - Week of  February 24th

Last week I had a record low week not seen since about November.  Not even worth the screenshot!  Only 254,000 in sales for the week, and I know damn good and well why.  People were more interested in waiting for the patch, and I suspect many chose to take the week off from playing.  The expected release date has been around for a while, since the blue post was nice enough to spell it out 3 weeks ago.

This always happens, but the amusing part is that there's no reason to take a break from WoW anymore unless you are completely caught up across all characters.  You can leave, but when you come back you will be right where you left off at.  Dailies to do, alts to gear, no catchup gear.  Once that sinks in I think we'll see better week-before-patch numbers.  I'm anticipating some deep six figure weeks to come here.

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