World of Warcraft Endgame Professions Critique

Actually, it’s mostly about leatherworking in WoW. But it applies generally to the other secondary WoW professions.

Having now leveled every profession except Engineering through the functional end of WotLK (425+) I have some basic complaints about the endgame LW in WotLK that weren’t present in any of the previous incarnations of the game; things I would like to see not happen again in Cataclysm.

The first one is mats. None of the professions require you to initiate a sequence 100 times in order for you to make one item of ‘epic’ quality, other than LW. Heavy Borean Leather, which is manufactured at a rate of 6 to 1 from Borean Leather (twice as much as Heavy Knothide Leather, and there is no classic equivalent to this process that I know of) the skinner/Leatherworker if they want to make level 78 to 80 items, takes Borean Leather skinning drops and combine them to make Heavy Borean leather, which does not drop. One item for about a stack of 20 Heavy Borean Leather. Crafted epic items which are promptly replaced as soon as Heroic dungeon level gear is available because that gear is superior. This bottleneck of mats has literally caused me to abandon the practice of making gear for my alts, in favor of simply repetitavely running dungeons in order to obtain badges and points for gear that is far superior, and cheaper from a time/gold spent perspective.

The other issue is patterns. There aren’t enough of them, especially at endgame. Full sets of mail, leather (and plate for BS) should be available every 10 levels or so (and they should be able to be worn at vaguely the same time, unlike the patterns in BC) When new content is added to endgame, trainer patterns for the gear that drops there (or similar to that) should be made available. Doing this would actually stimulate profession usage, and gameplay at endgame levels, broadening the already tending to narrow focus of endgame play.

I’d really like to see a blue post that addresses my concerns here. I see this as a serious flaw in game design, that the profs are left out of the endgame play, other than vanity items like engineering choppers and the like. Please, please make Blacksmithing and Leatherworking(and tailoring! tailoring at least has bags to make. Leveled a mage to 80 just farming mats and making bags for my other alts) relevant at endgame. Reduce the boredom repetitive dungeoning brings. Please.

New World of Warcraft forum location the post above can be found here.

I’m working through Cataclysm Leatherworking profession now, and I just hit the leather roadblock again. 50 kills to make one item? Bloodied Wyrmhide Shoulders, just as an example. Not to mention the rare as all hell volatile water? 10 of them? For shoulders that will be replaced as soon as you get a heroic drop?

Did you people think about drop rates and relative work to create items before you programmed it? Or just pull numbers out of a convenient orifice? Because if point systems are structured as they were in Wrath of the Lich King, I’m once again going to be (borrrriiiinnnnnng!) endlessly repeating dungeons in order to gear toons rather than doing the even more (borrrriiiinnnng!) lengthy work of farming leather for gear. Ya’ll are making me think I need to find another game.

If a pattern of a particular level requires a particular weight of leather, then skinnables of that level should drop that item. Basic rule of thumb in game design. It’s strange that I need to remind the programmers at Blizzard about this.

FIX THIS!! It’s a simple thing to change the skinning drops, so change them!

Looking back from 8 years in the future, I find my frustration at endgame crafting amusing. In every single expansion after this one, endgame crafting has been utterly ridiculous when it comes to the amount of mats necessary to craft an item of endgame gear. I’m sure this is done to make it as hard to get superior gear as it is to get it through working dungeon and group instances. It’s actually much harder to make your own gear in endgame than it is to keep running instances to get it, and the crafted gear is never the best in game for long, nor is it usually upgraded to match the latter parts of an expansion. The only time it has been upgradable and useful in my experience was during the end of the last expansion, Broken Isles, and then only for things like alchemy trinkets. So, not worth the time to maintain most of the professions.

I still obsess about them, but I frequently wonder why these days.  

Gaming’s Potential Contribution to the World

People ask me all the time “Why do you spend so much time playing that game” Warcraft is but the latest in a long line of game obsessions of mine (been working on that post for awhile now. That one and a religion one and a citizenship one and a disability one…) This is the first explanation of why that ever rang true to me. It’s also an explanation of what gaming might be able to do for the world.

Can’t Pirate Starcraft II? Says who?

From Structured Dream

I just read a review by Matt Peckham mentioning the lack of free “pirated” versions of the long-anticipated game, StarCraft II, which he sums up as: “PC gaming 1, pirates 0”. In his view, “PC gaming” is pitted against players who want to play, but are resistant to being forced to pay $60 or more, in advance, to a secretive corporation, which is part of an even more secretive, corporate, profit-maximizing conglomerate.

Pirates 85, actually. That’s the count on for Starcraft II. I paid for my copy, as I pay for my WoW usage (I want to play on the official servers, not the private ones that are free) but it’s hardly the case that the game(s) can’t be pirated.

But I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The question then becomes, how do these entertainment employees make money if they can’t charge for their product? Fee for service (as in the WoW public servers) shouldn’t be a problem, but that’s what kept me from playing the game for years. What bothers me is they still charge for the game (and they still charge for 10 year old games on the battlenet site, BTW) even though they will charge you to use their servers as well. That feels like double billing to me.

Player vs. Player, the Newb Curse?

We were in a Warsong Gulch Battleground tonight. Started off pretty good, we got a capture right out of the box. Looked like a quick victory. Then two different (I think) idiot toons from Jubei’Thos server picked up the flag, two different times. Both of them went afk long enough together for the timer to expire on the battleground. We killed the horde flag carriers at least 10 times, and these (two?) idiots were never around to capture the flag a second time, which would have insured we won the BG. Finally, with about 30 seconds to go, the second one chats “What do I do with the flag?” and drops it. Luckily another ally picked it up, and the timer expired before the horde could return their flag and capture ours. Is it possible that someone could be that ignorant of gameplay at level 80? I find that hard to believe.

Facebook status posted in the Frosty Wyrm Riders guild group. I’m modifying the group to be a general fandom group (August 7th, 2018) and adding my old Star Trek club members to it, as well as fan friends who know how to play nice with others. All the old posts are leaving us. 

Red dragons over Northrend. Frosty Wyrm Riders Group Cover Photo


Noblegarden Event

I ran three toons through the event this year. I’ll get more of them through it next year. As far as spring celebrations go, this one is pretty tame.


Editor’s note. I deleted this toon last year (2018) when I abandoned my Horde cohort on Terenas server. I deleted her even though she was once my main Horde toon. Death Knights are one of the easiest classes to level since they start at 55 and are generally level 58 when they get out into the regular map. I’ve recreated her on several servers over the years, but this one was the original. RIP Rasmuerta.

Wrath of the Lich King is PVP paradise.

…Because I hadn’t bothered to do any PVP until this expansion pack for World of Warcraft. Wintergrasp is an excellent world PVP area. Of course, I can’t speak for endgame PVP before this expansion since I never have had a toon at max level in any expansion pack before Wrath of the Lich King. But, man, I am sure liking this.

Working on that new Loremaster achievement.
Seeing the forest for the trees.
A druid healing circle.

First Attempt at The Pit of Saron

Tarashal has earned the The Pit of Saron achievement on Muradin. #wow

World of Warcraft March 22, 2010 (Facebook)

We wiped three times on Forgemaster Garfrost, then the tank bailed on us. Then we sat around for twenty minutes shifting druid forms, dancing and telling jokes until the new tank shows up (30000 vs 15000 hp) who promptly kills that boss. Then we wipe again on next battle, Krick and Ick. We finally got that boss down and through the never-ending gauntlet that leads to the last boss. That boss we downed without too much trouble.

It’s hard stuff, heroic is insane!!

Editor’s note, March 22, 2020. Oddly enough, the timewalking dungeons for this weekend are the Wrath of the Lich King heroics. The random dungeon I was tanking yesterday was this one. Synchronicity.

The Forgemaster Garfrost fight hasn’t worked right since they modified the dungeon to fit into the scalable fights that World of Warcraft Timewalking Dungeons have to be. The Wrath of the Lich King heroics are tougher than the heroics that came after them, but not as tough as the Burning Crusade heroics were. At least, this is the way they are in Timewalking events. Who knows what they were like at the time?

I didn’t play endgame in Burning Crusade until well after it was surpassed by later content. Like old raids, old heroics always look easy. Trying to do them at level with the gear you would have had then is a completely different animal. I remember that the final three heroics that lead to Icecrown Citadel were significantly harder than the heroics that were part of the original Wrath of the Lich King content. I see now that they were trying to make them as challenging (and exclusive) as they remembered Burning Crusade heroics being.