My alt and profession mindset for Warlords, Part 2: Changes

With little information about professions other than that “change is coming” and some other small points, I’ve stood pat with respect to my current professions, for now. Of course, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been considering some rearrangement…

However, with Celestalon’s recent tweet (H/T The Godmother) stating that primary stat gems are gone in 6.0, my thoughts on changes I will make at that point are becoming more cemented in my brain. More info will determine whether I make these changes a reality, but right now they seem fairly certain to happen.

What are they, you ask?

Well, in light of my earlier post about how I will be paring down the number of toons I level to max by almost half in WoD – and thus, paring down my profession burden – I have been thinking practically about which toons I want to rely on for mats, especially when considering that farms will not be coming with us to WoD. Even if, as The Godmother suggests, professions make no raid-valuable gear in WoD, I’ll still want max-level profs on the toons that I will be playing, for various reasons. But with the expected re-tooling coming, the way I’ve crafted for the past couple of years will change, and the ‘no primary stats on gems’ theme is a perfect example of a good reason to review what I do on which toons.

Hunter

Case in point: my hunter, who is my main and the toon that I am likely to play far more than any other in WoD, is currently a Leatherworker. I used to have that paired with Skinning, but changed it in Cataclysm for Blacksmithing and the superior 2-extra-Agi-gem bonus. While this has obviously served me well for raiding purposes, it’s been a tad inconvenient in terms of supplying my own leather. My alternatives for leather included the farm, my druid, and leveling my extra hunter – none of which is quite like supplying your own leather.

As such, I’m seriously leaning toward switching Mushan back to a LW/SK. I’m going into the xpac with a different mindset than previous ones, and I plan on immersing myself in playing this toon, rather than getting several profs off the ground ASAP, and trying to make a ton of gold at the AH, and so on. So self-sufficiency on the leather front will be nice, while I should be able to provide for myself financially otherwise. The hunter will lead the way. The rest will follow in their own time.

Druid

Speaking of the druid, I’m considering making Ana an Herbalist instead of a Skinner. She’s a Leatherworker, but since I mainly play her as a healer, it would be nice to have a profession that doesn’t rely on killing mobs in order to gather anything in significant numbers. Additionally, since I’m thinking of retiring my paladin, it would be nice to have a source of herbs.

Having two LWs would be redundant, but I have a hard time changing her main prof to, for instance, Alchemy (and hence deleting the thus completely redundant paladin), because I have years of rare and epic recipes on her that I am loathe to get rid of. The option is not entirely off the table, but it would be a very hard thing for me to pull the trigger on.

Warrior

Droignon is a Blacksmith and a Miner. He shall remain so: both professions are well-suited to a Prot warrior, regardless of any forthcoming changes.

Mage

Currently, Modhriel’s a Tailor (which he will continue to be) and a JC (which is up in the air, but which he will probably continue to be). I don’t have any plans for this one; at any rate, he’s low on the priority list).

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The main point is that my hunter is likely to become a Skinner again after more than three years away from the profession. In the spirit of simplifying things and not being as hardcore and nit-picky about the game – and in the interest of complementary professions on my main toon – I like the way this feels. Assuming that Skinning still boosts Critical Strike chance in Warlords, the profession is useful in that regard, so I don’t feel that I’m giving up too much by doing so. And the interplay between the professions feels more natural to me than having the two crafting profs. And that’s how it felt the first time I ever paired the two.

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Custom-Fit Professions

 Aka “I’m doing it wrong!” At least, by this topic’s premise. :)

This week’s Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth is from Effraeti, who asks:

Professions are fun for some and a necessary evil for others.

Some of us have farming professions. Some of us have crafting professions. Some of us have a little bit of everything! Professions are leveled because they fit our style of play, help us in raiding, allow us to outfit our alts, and make us money.

What professions do you have on your main? Do his/her professions fit their personality? Why did you choose them? If you chose professions based on your character and not on gaming needs, would that change some of their professions they use?

(This can include the secondary professions of archaeology, fishing, cooking, and first aid too!)

I have eight toons that are level 85. I won’t be talking about all of them, but several will come into the discussion, even though this BAST specifically asks for mains. Since I like to run my mouth (so to speak), I’ll take that liberty here – I just can’t help myself.

Mushan – hunter (main) – Leatherworking, Blacksmithing

Mushan is a max level LW/BS, and each secondary profession is also maxed with the exception of Archaeology, which I’ve only ever touched on my druid (who is max level in all of her profs).

The Blacksmithing portion of that line was something that came along later – in other words, he didn’t start off as a LW/BS. Rather, he was what I believe a hunter will generally be, and that is a Skinner and Leatherworker who is also skilled in Fishing (and should also be skilled in outdoor Cooking, although that distinction is not necessarily available to us in WoW).

After I had been 85 for a while, I leveled my mage, paladin, and then my warrior to 85. The warrior is a Blacksmith and Miner, and was my first toon to reach 525 with those professions. I tend to be someone who knows the merits of each profession for the most part, but I hadn’t necessarily made the jump to ‘min-maxing’ with professions on any one character before Cataclysm. While I certainly made sure the professions themselves were maxed on my most-played toons, and I applied their benefits properly (extra +Agi to wrists for LWs, for instance), every single character had a gathering profession, which made them all fairly self-reliant.

I made Mushan a LW, even though my druid is a LW as well, for a few reasons: 1) I’m one of the three people total who actually enjoy Leatherworking (which many people view as the worst prof); 2) I feel hunters naturally gravitate toward leatherworking as a skill that complements their main job (hunting and killing prey, and then putting every part of the animal to good use); and 3) I already understood the aforementioned benefits of being a LW from a +Agi perspective.

However, after I leveled Blacksmithing on Droignon, something happened that is completely typical of me: I fell in love with the extra sockets.

SAAAAAH-KEHTS!!

I’ve always loved sockets. So much fun to be able to add whatever you want to your gear! Of course, I’ve seen people do stupid stuff with their sockets (like the max-level hunter on my server who has had a Misty Chrysoprase (+5 Crit, +4 Spirit) in one of his/her yellow sockets since 4.1, at least). And of course, for min-max purposes, there are restrictions on what you should prioritize (like Agility for hunters). Still, there’s something about socketing a gem that pleases me a little too much.

Anyway, after re-awakening to the joy of even more sockets on my warrior, I decided that I needed those sockets on my hunter.

SAAAAAH-KEHTS!!

So my hunter is a Blacksmith now instead of a Skinner. And he has +100 Agility from that now, instead of the +80 Crit or whatever you get from Skinning. And I’m very, very happy with the way all those sockets look on his armory.

I know, crazy, right?

Silly, at least.

But it also means more DPS, and I love that. Even if the fact that my hunter is a Blacksmith doesn’t make as much sense as being a Skinner – although, to be fair, a smithing-hunter is not necessarily outside the realm of possibility, when one thinks about it.

Being a BS on my hunter is one of the few things that I don’t necessarily love about my hunter from a fantasy standpoint. But I do love those extra sockets, so I’m generally glad I changed it. I don’t know how I’ll feel about that when I have to level both crafting professions up to 600, without the benefits of self-gathering, but I suppose I’ll live – and I’ll like all the extra Agility in MoP!

Anacrusa – druid (main alt) – Leatherworking, Skinning

Anacrusa was my first 70, my first 80, my first 85. But she wasn’t my first 60. That was a hunter by the name of Bloodheim, which I abandoned before Wrath came out and deleted in 2009 at the tender age of 63. At this point, I generally sucked at everything in the game, and the hunter was no exception. I hated mana as a hunter resource, hated managing it, and just didn’t enjoy the toon after a while. I eventually got used to mana when I made Mushan, but I really enjoyed the switch to focus, and have never looked back.

Anyway, Bloodheim was a LW/SK. And when I gave him up for the druid back in mid-07, I chose to make Anacrusa a LW/SK also, since I could make some of my own gear, and since I enjoy LW, as I said before. But I don’t really feel that it fits best with my character from a fantasy or story standpoint.

If my druid fit my idea of what a druid is, she would be an Herbalist first. She would plant, nurse, and harvest herbs as part of the nature concept that is a large part of druidism. I wasn’t thinking about that when I made her, though, so now she’s a bloodthirsty killer who wields skinning knife with her bloody paw.

She would also be a healer (if I were actually good at that), and she would likely be…

I don’t know that I feel that Alchemy is necessarily a great fit for any class that isn’t a warlock, priest, mage or, maybe, death knight, but I can’t think of another profession that is really better. Maybe Inscription, which is tame – you write magical glyphs and tomes and so on. Eh. But yeah, while I think that Alchemy is a great fit story-wise for mages and warlocks in particular, it can be argued that it can be an acceptable fit for classes that can heal, so from that perspective, my druid – were I to make her again – might be an Alchemist/Herbalist. However, like I said, she is a bloodthirsty killer who uses her kills to make stuff out of.

Ah well. I enjoy it, and it’s made me a lot of gold. I enjoy skinning, too. It’s nice to be able to feel like I’m using everything I take off the beasts (and yetis) that I kill.

Droignon – warrior (alt) – Blacksmithing, Mining

Yeah. This one is – while not perfect – very nice both from the standpoint that he’s a tank (extra Stam, etc.) and because he can make his own gear and weapons and harvest his own materials. Additionally, he’s a big strong warrior, so he can carry all of those rocks around with him, no problem. Love it.

Theophilos – mage (alt) – Tailoring, Jewelcrafting

If I go with what I said earlier, I would say that Theophilos should be two of the following: Enchanter, Alchemist, Scribe, Jewelcrafter, Tailor, and maybe Herbalist – in order from most fitting to least.

In reality, he’s a JC because I wanted to have a JC among my stable of toons. He’s a Tailor because that’s an easy connection to make. But if I had to choose again, and didn’t need any professions for practical purposes, for story purposes I’d make him an Enchanter/Tailor, weaving spells into cloth and vellum to make magical items for himself and others.

But it’s not a toon I’m as dedicated to, in general, as I am to the first three on this list. So practical wins out.

Abenadari – paladin (alt) – Alchemy, Herbalism

So here we are, with my paladin, who I actually created before my druid, doing the jobs that I currently envision would be most appropriate for my druid. I wouldn’t think that a paladin, beacon of light that one is, would be getting all down with nature and chemicals. If I were to choose again, I would probably make her some kind of combination of Scribe, Blacksmith, Enchanter.

But she’s my max level Alchemist, and because of that she still exists. I don’t feel like leveling Alchemy again. If I do level another Alchemist, she may go, because I don’t love playing paladins, but I don’t anticipate that happening in the foreseeable future. Besides, I would have a tough time deleting her anyway, for Transmute cooldown reasons.

Closing

At any rate, that’s probably too much info about some of the characters I play the most, their professions, why I chose them, and how well I think their professions fit with the characters themselves.

Above all, I have professions because I use them, and sometimes they fit better with the toons than others. Between my eight 85s, I have every profession covered except for Engineering and Enchanting (and my girlfriend is an Enchanter, so that’s effectively covered, too). I’ll likely get to those eventually. I have some toons – like my other hunter Ghilleadh – who are simply gatherers, because that is easy and profitable, and I have less problems with resources than I used to simply because I play those toons and gather as I go.

The only toon where I have redundant crafting professions is Mushan – since I already have a LW and a BS, seperately – and that’s because he’s also the only toon that I’ve chosen professions for based primarily on min-maxing and DPS.

But yes, if I went into the game fresh, with the knowledge I have now, I might choose my profession-toon alignment differently, because I become immersed in my characters to varying levels, and professions are certainly a part of that.

Thanks for the great Shared Topic, Effraeti!

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


Lower bids, slightly higher buyouts – why?

This may reveal me to be a complete noob, but I’m curious:

Why do some people list consumable items on the Auction House with starting bids that are lower than buyout prices?

By “consumable items,” I’m referring to anything that is a “use once and it’s gone” good.  These items include gems, enchants, food/flasks/potions, belt buckles, and raw materials – you buy it, you use it, and you buy more when you need more.  In contrast, there are gear pieces, weapons, rare mounts/pets, and other hard-to-get items, but I’m not talking about these types of things in this post.

(Or something.)

For the past several months, I’ve made the bulk of my money from gem sales.  That’s not all that I’ve sold, but it represents the majority of my income.

My server is a fairly busy one when it comes to AH competition.  At least, it is on the Alliance side; I can’t speak for the Horde.  Anyway, there are a number of people there who take the AH very seriously, and competition is usually strong for sales of what I refer to as consumable items.  The gem market is included in this.

I find it odd, though, when I see gems listed at “bid: 66g 99s 99c, buyout: 68g 99s 99c” with six of them listed, all in a row.  I see this all the time.

As a buyer, I can’t imagine looking at that listing and saying to myself, “Well, well. I think I might just place a bid on one of these gems!”

Generally, if a player needs a gem, he or she simply buys the gem that has the lowest buyout.  Such a player is not going to “wait, and hope” that his bid will win.  After all, the AH lists all of the same items in order from lowest buyout to highest by default.  Due to several factors – the abundance of gold in the game (relative to prices), the fact that these items are not necessarily rare (they can be produced all day as long as there are raw materials available), and the fact that the player usually plans to use the item right away – the lower bid price seems superfluous to me.

If someone is selling the Reins of Poseidus, I understand having a lower bid value.  But for consumable goods, I don’t.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not an AH expert.  I’m a smart guy, and I have more than enough gold at this point (and the confidence that I can make plenty more), but I don’t play a pro AH game by any stretch of the imagination.  So perhaps I’m missing something obvious.

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc.  Comments are welcome!


Mists of Pandaria: Deciding how to level, and which toon to level first

For the majority of my experience playing WoW, there has been a hierarchy to my assortment of characters.

Decisions, decisions…

Once I began to enjoy playing my druid back in Burning Crusade, she became my “main.”  When Wrath of the Lich King was released, Anacrusa was my only level 70 toon* – followed by my paladin at around 56, and no other characters that still exist today – and she became my first level 80 character as well.  When Cataclysm dropped, I had three level 80 characters: Anacrusa, Mushan, and my paladin, Abenadari.  I still considered Ana to be my main, and finished leveling her to 85 less than four days after launch.  I then proceeded to level Mushan, and, eventually, Abenadari.  I have since leveled five others to max, but they are all either new characters in Cata (warrior, mage, hunter alt, rogue) or were just there from before (druid).

*I used to be horrible at this game, and that included leveling.  I started playing a month or so after BC released, and in the early fall of 2008, one of my co-workers bet me that I couldn’t get her to 70 before Wrath dropped.  I was pretty happy to meet that challenge with more than a month to spare… but, yeah.  A year and a half to level a toon to 70.  It was pretty bad!

With the upcoming release of Mists of Pandaria, I’m considering more and more the idea of bucking tradition and changing up the order in which I level my characters – or, at least, in changing which toon gets to play through first.

For some people, this is a non-issue.  You play the character that’s the most fun first, or you start with the character you want to get gear for soonest.  Or you stick with tradition and start with the toon you’ve always leveled first.  Or, you start from scratch and roll a new class or race first, because that’s the new and exciting thing to do.

All of these scenarios are perfectly fine.  Depending on your goals and play style, you can level any way you like.

I personally anticipate some changes to my priorities with the release of MoP, and they will likely affect the order in which I level my toons.  What follow are some of the things I am taking into consideration as I inch closer to making a decision.

The profession quandary, part one

All of these characters are on the same server, are Alliance, and have maxed professions.

  • Anacrusa: Leatherworking/Skinning
  • Mushan: Leatherworking/Blacksmithing
  • Abenadari: Alchemy/Herbalism
  • Droignon: Mining/Blacksmithing
  • Ghilleadh: Skinning/Mining
  • Theophilos: Jewelcrafting/Tailoring
  • Mydnas: Inscription/Herbalism
  • Avacrusa: Skinning/Herbalism

Of these toons, I have three skinners, three herbalists, and two miners.  I have six with crafting professions, and two who are just gatherers.  Now, the gathering professions on most of these toons are not optimal from a min-max standpoint, but that doesn’t matter to me.  I have only one character – Mushan – who is anywhere near optimized, with LW for the sweet bracer enchant and BS for the two extra sockets.

Now here’s my issue relating to the question of “who first?”

If I level Anacrusa first, I have a built-in way to gather materials for Leatherworking for either her or Mushan.  Now, the experts in gold-making would consider me a complete failure for even considering that train of thought: you should sell your mats at insanely high prices on the Auction House during the first couple of weeks to take advantage of all the suckers who feel the need to level their crafting professions right away.  I’m not saying they’re wrong; I’m just saying that leveling my Skinning and Leatherworking while leveling my toon is something I’ve done in the past without spending all kinds of gold on my own mats.

However, the situation I’m considering – leveling Mushan first – would both take me out of the AH frenzy with regard to selling leather AND leave me with a level 90 toon who has no mats for either of his crafting professions.

I know that there are people who spend the first few days of an expansion farming mats and making huge sums of gold on the AH.  This is something I considered doing for about a half-second before canning the idea.  While people like Euripides get all tingly playing the AH meta game, the idea of spending the first several days of an expansion that we’ve been anticipating for year or so farming mats (in brutal competition with other farmers), in lieu of experiencing the discovery and leveling portions of new content, is anathema to me.  Leveling has its own issues with bottlenecking and so on, but not like farming.

Hey, I think I just convinced myself that leveling Anacrusa for Mushan’s leather is not a priority!

The profession quandary, part two

That being said, I do enjoy making money on the Auction House.

While this discussion isn’t very relevant to how I will decide who to level first – the choice is either Anacrusa or Mushan, end of story – it is a factor in my opening-weeks in-game strategy.  Currently, I make most of my money selling gems and transmutes, with a few other miscellaneous crafted items (leg enchants, flasks/potions, etc.) coming into play.  I’m not one of the gold-capped, but I am sitting in a very good place right now, gold-wise, and I will likely be taking advantage of the initial buying frenzy in ways that won’t require me to farm MoP mats right out of the gate.

Will I sacrifice a lot of gold-earning potential that way? Yes.  Is that going to hurt me?  I don’t think so.

However, things are different for me than they were when Cata launched.  Back then, I had two LW/Skinners (Mushan dropped Skinning for BS later), one Alch/Herbalist, and one Scribe/Herbalist, so it wasn’t too difficult to level my crafting professions along the way and eventually get stuff into the AH.  At the time, I was mainly selling glyphs anyway, and old mats worked fine for that.

Now, though, as MoP gets into full swing those first several weeks, I will have** to feed ore to my Jewelcrafter for gems and my hunter for Blacksmithing (if it’s necessary to do so to get the new sockets if there are any), herbs to my Alchemist and Inscriptionist, leather (and other mats) to my hunter for Leatherworking, and so on.  These aren’t Day One or Week One priorities, but I will have to figure out how I want to handle leveling those toons and/or professions, how much gold I’ll want to spend, and so on.

**all things being relative

Because I do want to continue to make a modest amount of gold on the AH.  I also enjoy professions to some extent, to the point where I like using my mats to level my crafting, and use crafted items for myself, because I find the experience a little more immersive that way.

I think it’s a good balance for me.

The tradition quandary

Tradition falls squarely in the Anacrusa camp, as I indicated in the opening paragraphs, and, like I wrote last week, letting go of a main can be difficult, particularly if you’ve been attached to him or her for a long time.  However, I have a feeling that tradition and character attachment might not be enough of a draw for me this time.  Nothing is permanent, and I shouldn’t stick with something because it’s what I’ve always done if it isn’t what I really feel is the best thing to do.

The raiding priority quandary

Ok, this isn’t really a quandary; it’s more of an acceptance of change.  At the end of Wrath, I had not yet changed raiding mains, and didn’t intend to.  However, I’m not even sure if I will use my druid competitively in MoP (yes, it’s becoming even less likely than it was in that post), but it’s almost certain that I will be raiding on Mushan.  While there may be a ramp up period of a few weeks before my guild starts to raid – I don’t know for sure, because I wasn’t in this guild at the start of Cata – my number one priority in the weeks following launch will be getting him ready for raiding.

The awesomesauce quandary

Also not really a quandary.  Leveling as a hunter in MoP will be totally awesome, just like it was in Cata.  On the other side of the coin, the idea of leveling as a druid of any stripe in MoP makes me about as excited as watching According to Jim.  That is, not very excited.  Since I’ll be looking to really enjoy the leveling experience, I’d prefer to play Mushan.

The decision

I’m leaning toward opening Mists of Pandaria by leveling Mushan.  Writing this post has helped me more clearly define how I feel about any issues that I might have had with that.  I think it’s time to cast tradition aside in this case.

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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc.  Comments are welcome!


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