Legion: Professions in the Balance

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
Pablo Picasso

Legion: Professions in the Balance

I’ve done what research that I can. If you can think of it, I have done it: websites, blogs, videos, data-mining sites and the rest. Sometimes I see information and wonder but what does it “mean”? When it comes to things like professions, there is the broader context of game play: ease of access, hefty or simple quests, even class choices come into consideration.

Some information is coming out like the Twitch Dev Chat and luckily we see writers like Misdirections responding and trying to figure it out. There will be a Profession Dev Chat on Twitch on June 23rd. This is the interview that will, hopefully, resolve and give us some direction on how to move forward.

The fulcrum is the Bind on Pick-up crafting material: Blood of Sargeras.

Even though we are not playing Legion yet, they have promised “more”. Gotta laugh at that one! It isn’t just that single material, of course; we have to get the other crafting mats, recipes, recipe ranks and so on.

Imagination One:
Legion is easy! Anyone can take an Alt quickly into zones and farm up a ton of mats; the skinner can stack mobs with aoe and skin easily, herb and mining nodes are plentiful and on clear pathways with little mob resistance. Respawn rates make us giggle and we path up and down watching our XP and Artifact Power go up, up, up. The profession quests are speedy and rewarding, plentiful materials make it easy to create and then burn to ash our goods. Flasks and potions are mailed to our Mains.

Imagination Two:
Legion takes forever! The Artifact line, the slow rep grind in each zone and pathing mobs won’t let you breathe: each zone has only one Inn to change talents. Every mining node gives small but precious xp and you had to fight to get to the node. It is a savage land, yet again! You don’t dare bring an Alt over as it will distract from the need to level, get powerful; grind the zones one single trudging step at a time. It is so frustrating that you begin to cue for dungeons.

Imagination Three:
Legion is balanced! It is balanced for healers who are questing to level up their Artifact, get zone rep, gathering mats and it is challenging but freaking fun! Tanks, melee and ranged are confident and will see you questing and party up with you on a whim; you make new friends. You don’t get lost, each path is unique and you soon anticipate what is over the rise. You can feel the progress. Everything is meaningful.

The Profession Dev chat will answer some questions and it will be great. But, choosing to drop your second crafting profession for a gathering profession on your Main (do it right now, it will take forever to level gathering before Legion) needs information that we simply don’t have.

How long does it take to get to level 110?
How long does it take to finish each and all of the rep zones?
How long does it take to max professions?
How easy or hard are the leveling zones once you get gear on your 110?
Can the BoP mat drops support two crafting profession without feeling starved?
Will the crafted profession gear be worthwhile for an extended time?
Will the next patch blow up all of our efforts?
Will a 20 minute dungeon replace your 5 hour investment in crafted gear?
What is the intention with crafting professions? Are they designed for non-raiders?

With all of the leveling zones (not Suramar) being set to “scale” the experience is always the same. You can’t go back to the level 102 zone in 109 gear and trash the place. In other words, you never “arrive”. Those funny achievements called Ready for Raiding will mock our experience in Legion.

There are so many questions, unknowns and variables at this time that making an informed decision is impossible. Guessing and hoping feels terrible. Being wrong and changing your choices in mid-expansion is a nasty bitter time sink, moving backwards.

When you visit an Art Gallery opening, you can visit with the Artist. The first question is often: what is your intention. The second question is: do you have something to say.
Looking at professions without knowing the intention is looking at mere blobs of color on a canvas. Not knowing the goal for End Game, the viewer could easily dismiss the work and move to the free drinks station.

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