Legion: Profession Alts

“Strategy is buying a bottle of fine wine when you take a lady out for dinner. Tactics is getting her to drink it.”
Frank Muir

Legion: Profession Alts

Now is the time, I think. I am on a raid schedule again. My raider still has a lot to do in Suramar etc. But, I am beginning to put time into my Profession Alts.

I use Wow-Professions Leveling Guides. I have been using this site since WotLK along with its farming guides as well.

This site is clean, simple and clear. Step-by-step with advice when it matters like:
If you plan to make your Alchemy trinket [Infernal Alchemist Stone], then you should wait until you reach exactly 739, then craft the trinket. You get 5 points for crafting the trinket when it’s orange. It turns yellow at 740, so if you craft it at 739, your skill will jump to 744.

For me, I want Alchemy first to support my Raider. Surprised, this Alt is “friendly” in three zones at only 104. Best guess is that my Main was pushing for Honored for the shoulder enchants the first time around.

One must realize that the Profession Alt has to jump through a series of hoops to get viable and productive. At least to 110 and with some gear to hold one’s own against mobs. Anticipate a few quests in Suramar as well.

You will unlock the flask recipes sold by Patricia Egan after you finish “Testing the Calibration” quest. (around 26th quest in the quest chain)

It is a bit of a trap having Profession Alts in Legion. You can’t just park them and feed them mats. Knowing how far to go with your character is the key to staying reasonable in your efforts.

So far, the biggest hassle are the dungeon runs with profession quests. The dungeons themselves, I think are fine — it is the Cue Time. Average Wait Time and Actual Time rarely line up and you can wait … and wait.

Ranking Cooking

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”
Julia Child

Ranking Cooking

I made a mistake.

I thought that the more you cooked a recipe that it would trigger the next rank up. Not at all, not even close. One learns the next rank by research with Nomi.

Be patient, only cook up what you need at the time. Look at the Unlearned list on your nifty profession pane and aim for your best food. The amount of food “burned” on Nomi is a lot less than you would by cooking.

Only cook enough for what you need. Don’t cook what you don’t need, let the research fill your recipe list.

The caution is that in some later patch that we are sure to get newer and more powerful recipes. Over-investing now by thinking that these are our “end game” recipes could be a mistake.

Keep an eye on the Unlearned so you are not investing research mats into recipes you already know as that would be a dead end.

The same seems to be true for Herbaling. It is not the volume of materials gathered but the quests you get along the way. I don’t know if you can push it to force a profession quest.

So, I am done cooking! I have my 375 haste buff food. I’m done. All I need to do is passively encourage Nomi to keep doing research. I see that with the community feast that the buff would be 200 which is a lot lower than my best personal food.

Make your own choice. The Dev Chat sessions taught us that Blizzard considers buff foods and flasks to be for players who min/max rather than the norm. So, in normal and heroic dungeons and raids; why buff up?

Still, if it is provided in the game as part of the journey design; I am in. I love to be buff!

Professionally Disturbed

“Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”
Sylvia Plath

Professionally Disturbed

Today’s Date: September 11, 2016
Players Log: Waiting for hotfixes from the top.

Let us use Bendak’s First 10 Days of Legion as a spring board with his specific rant on Engineering. It is a good rant but he is not alone, writers are ranting while red-faced with righteous rage.

I’ve mentioned it before that I have felt that the Crafting Professions are a time choice via investment that would almost make it exclusive to other content. Meaning, to be successful in crafting gear that you’d not take the time to dungeon or raid or, really, have the time!

Many of the players who said that WoD “ruined” professions with their ease of mats and the high-quality of gear are now shocked that they got what they asked for. It is brutal and we saw it coming: that O-Forge to destroy gear to make better is a flaming flag of frustration.

I won’t go down the Crafting path.

My Engineers will wait. I am quite content with crafting Goblin Gliders, Jeeves and the world-wide portals. I have a mail box. Praise Elune that they did not nerf that stuff to force us into Reaves! That would have killed it. As it stands, I’ll wait for items that are not consumed at high cost.

Cooking and Fishing are awesome!

Herbing and Mining — well, they are what they are. I’ve yet to see hot clusters of nodes as a “go to” place to farm gather mats.

The Professions are a rough road.

The adage of “wait to max to go back to do professions” is still true but in a different light. I think I’ll wait until much later, perhaps patch 7.2, to look at investing in my stuff and, by then, hope that it is fixed.

Legion: Black Barracuda

“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.”
Dorothy Parker

Legion: Black Barracuda Schools

My goals are like spokes on a wheel with myself at the center.

I don’t have a single goal like PvP or Super Raider, though those could be spokes for me to follow. Some goals support others in that I am currently focused on finding a Haste recipe to support my Resto-Druid when running dungeons and raids.

So far I have found only two real “hot spots” for fishing. I suspect that just yesterday that we got a hot-fix to ramp up the pools for Black Barracuda.

Black Barracuda Schools are found out in the “open water” which means that it is not tied to a zone. The best fishing for them is Azuregale Bay in the Suramar Zone; the rough coordinates are 81 53. No longer do you need to run around and around in circles the entire Broken Isles.

Runescale Koi Schools are found at Irongrove Retreat, also in Suramar. The coordinates are 25 31 and this is also a flight point, so super easy. Non-stop fishing is a relief and for farming materials.

Fishing these two spots, even though in Suramar is no threat since it is in the water and away from mobs. A hunter with the Water Strider pet, the Angler’s Fishing Raft are my two methods but there are many ways within the game.

Currently I use GatherMate2 and Gathermate_Sharing. These two addons mean I can share my “finds” with my guild and I can look at the map to see patterns.

I wrote before about the Arcane Lure and will remind you to chase the sleeping murloc when you toss him back in!

Happy fishing!

azuregale bay: suramar: black baraccuda schools: 81 53
irongrove retreat: suramar: runescale koi: 25 31

Guessing at Professions

Professor Roy Hinkley: I want all of you to know that the attaché case is missing and until it is recovered you are all suspects!
Gilligan: Does that mean none of us can leave the island?

Guessing at Professions

My Dad once used a term called “an educated guess”. It would suggest that having only limited facts that one could claim a conclusion based on the facts given and then supported by past experiences. Inherent in that is the qualifier “guess”!

My Educated Guess for Legion is that Crafting Professions will be a mini-game as time demanding as being a Raider or a PvPer or any of the other major time sinks in the World of Warcraft. We know as Raiders, for example, that stepping into the PvP scene that we are seriously out-gunned by the full-time players. They have spent the time, practice, effort, macros, action bars to finely tune their skill set. I admire all of that from afar as I choose not to invest what game time I have to play in that arena.

Therefore, I have chosen to vastly limit my Professions; even though I don’t really know the full extent of the time involved in honoring the crafting professions offered in Legion.

My two “mains”, a hunter with mining and engineering. And a druid with herbing and engineering. It is my suspicion that engineering will be just as demanding in gathering as leatherworking or blacksmithing in that our stuff will be consumables to support our gadgets.

If the Crafting Professions are not as a weighty burden as I imagine, then I will branch out my other Alts into action. My fear, again, is the endless cycle of creating gear and burning it for the upgrades; with no end in sight.

My desire is to play the game as an activity more than crafting up for the opportunity to play.

Like Misdirections wrote in the beautiful piece Philosophical Thoughts on Endings and Beginnings; we are right on the teetering edge of jumping into Legion. No one, not even Blizzard, knows how the expansion will play out. My Educated Guess is that Professions will be a debilitating time sink that could pull me away from my favorite thing: group content.

And so, I act on that now; leaping out with hope that my educated guess is right.

Legion: The Beta Fish Test

“It’s said in Hollywood that you should always forgive your enemies – because you never know when you’ll have to work with them.”
Lana Turner

Legion: The Beta Fish Test

I was doing some cleaning of my bags. My main had a Lure Master Tackle Box bag for fish, which I’d rather have as a hexweave bag but it was full of fish. In WoD I had six different baits, hooks and worms, and then three different versions of each fish; tiny, regular and enormous. I hadn’t actively kept things tidy and clean, when I got some fish; I’d toss them in the bag and move on.

Eventually, when my shipyards settled down, I put the fishing net on my submarines. With six shipyards, I chose an Alt with no professions to store all of that fish in the reagent tab. Now all of my level 100 characters are maxed cooking and first aid, even the ones who have never fished! I replaced those nets, I was drowning in fish!

Wondering if I could replace that Tackle Box bag for a hexweave bag, I went onto the Beta and headed for the open, yet broken, shores.

Both of my mains have the Angler’s Fishing Raft. It sits in the bottom left of my backpack since that bag is small and can stay open to re-set the ten minute timer. I clicked on my raft and … bam … it was a toy. Fun, I suppose, but I couldn’t put the icon back in my backpack. Precious action bar space or a favorite toy are my two choices.

The Angler’s Raft is faster than a ground mount. Tapping the space bar will make you zoooooom across the water. It’s great, everyone should have one. Safely fishing in the water instead of being attacked by a pathing mob on the shore is golden.

I fished for about thirty minutes, some of that was traveling about for fun. It was raining hard in one area and looked great.

I fished up three different fish in my experiment; Silver Mackerel, Cursed Queenfish and Black Barracuda. No little, medium, large fish at all! Yay. The Silver Mackerel looks to be the generic fish caught outside of a pool, the Queenfish is regional to Azsuna and the Barracuda must be dedicated to the ocean or outer shores.

I did catch a Message in a Beer Bottle. It gave up a two-minute lure for rare fish, of which I caught none.

Fishing Level seems to have no bearing on my success. The one lure that I had was a specialty item (of which I am sure that there are many), meant to be used right away for a short time span.

As far as I can tell, we won’t need fishing hats and lures to boost our fishing level and get better success.

I am guessing that fishing will take up about seven bag slots, a different type of fish for each zone.

There will be no need for a dedicated fishing bag in Legion.

Legion: Professions Realized

“The year I was born, 1956, was the peak year for babies being born, and there are more people essentially our age than anybody else. We could crush these new generations if we decided too.”
Tom Hanks

Legion: Professions Realized

I talked with my Guild Master for about two hours last night. Bouncing around ideas, weighing pros and cons, long term benefit and the fun factor were all topics balanced and measured. Everyone has a Guild Master like this, right?

We both agreed that change is difficult and it is in our nature to resist change. Understanding that the simple “change” can be a hurdle, it was then much easier to see new ways to come up with solutions. Embrace change, so to speak.

I have two Mains who do very different things and are played differently. I have a Hunter who feels strong and confident when questing, farming and simply running about the world. I have a Healer who will have to some questing but feels more like a cog in a larger group machine and is sometimes adrift or wimpy when soloing world content.

My goal is to level my Artifact and be strong and ready when the time comes to group up with my friends. This means play time invested, especially early in the expansion with a guess at about three months to level up and then taper off.

It would be easy to get distracted with my Alt Profession Factory and try to fill the ice cube tray. Having all the factory working and feeding my Main with flasks, gems, glyphs and whatever else needs to come later in the expansion; gradually and gently. Having my Main forge the pathway to 110 will make it much easier for my lesser Alts to follow.

The fun factor is important to me and most people. The most fun that I’ve had with professions is Engineering with it’s gizmos, portals, robots, gliders, mailboxes and Jeeves. Much more fun than having an easy gem to socket or a piece of gear to craft over and over and over again. My Man, Jeeves.

Here is what I am doing:
My Hunter is currently an Engineer and Jewelcrafter. I’ll drop JC and pick up mining. With mining, I can serve my profession and spend time on my Main; independent. In three months (best guess) I will have gotten most of the Engineering products completed and will have stock-piled Blood of Sargeras. Then, I will consider dropping mining and picking up Jewelcrafting again.

My Healer is a Leatherworker and Herbalist. I’ll drop Leatherworking for Engineering and it’s fun factor and the helps to raid groups like repairs etc. I’ll keep Herbalism as my gathering but use the excess ore from my farming Hunter to support Engineering. This way I am getting my Blood of Sargeras by playing yet eventually (in a year) my Druid will be an ace Herbalist. The herbs picked will either go to my future Alchemist, waiting in the wings, or to the Auction House for gold.

NB: many of the engineering portals and stuff will become toys and accessible to any character of mine who has Engineering. This is why the avenue for my Healer will be pretty easy.

My Gathering Alt has dual gathering. A Worgen hunter with the skinning racial was leveled with a gathering intention. To avoid the stockpiling of useless BoP Blood of Sageras, I will drop mining and pick up Leatherworking. All of the leather currently in my Healers reagent bank will go to my Worgen to level up as needed (which is not much). This will happen, but at the end of the day when it’s Grind Time, baby.

Eventually my Alchemist (who is level 100 and geared) will work to get to 110. As the Artifact is of minimal importance, doing the Artifact quest and then getting to 110 by any means (pet battles?) will open up the World Quests. Then my Alchemist can do the minimal profession questing and mostly serving my Mains again. This could be a slow road and that is okay. The same with my other profession Alts, but Alchemy with the pots and flasks will come first.

All of this is to point my Main Hunter and Main Healer to be able to focus on advancement and progress in the game. Early on, my Hunter will experience all of the fun questing zones, toy collecting and new content. Early on, my Healer will experience the dungeons, world bosses and group content that is new and exciting.

Resetting my professions to allow the “time spent” to heavily focus on my Mains will mean that I enjoy the game as a player with as much depth as possible.

The Blood of Sargeras: Time Spent Playing

“I am never writing a breakup record again, by the way. I’m done with being a bitter witch.”

The Blood of Sargeras: Time Spent Playing

In the developers chat on Twitch, professions were covered. The first questions were all about the Blood of Sargeras, the key crafting material for all professions.

Blood of Sargeras is a measure of how much you are playing the game. It isn’t supposed to be a gatherer specific crafting item where everyone else has to struggle to get it.

The above quote is not quite misleading but it it needs a qualifier. Blood of Sargeras is a measure of how much one character is playing the game would be a lot more accurate.

Maybe we have a new currency and measurement in WoW, the Time Price.

We listened to the presentation and came away feeling that we could have dual crafting professions. And we can. And this is encouraging. However, parking the character with dual crafting while you farm and grind mountains of materials will yield no Blood of Sargeras on that parked character. The balance of “time” between the two characters has now divided your success rate in half; or the time needed for your dual crafter is doubled except it is “dual crafting” and so quadrupled.

Dual Crafting is a time sink and a punishment.

The Blood of Sargeras is a RNG drop in most cases. RNG. Random. There will be few World Quests that feature the Blood of Sargeras as a reward. The bulk of your collecting will be “playing the game.” The smile and shrug of how much stuff one gains is open to feedback and we welcome your questions.

As they say in court, “what would a reasonable man do”? Prudence demands that a moderate player would be a crafter/gatherer. As much as we’d like the benefits of dual crafting, the Time Price is very high.

If I don’t like people, won’t join a guild, hate raiding, shudder at the LFR, refuse to do dungeons and have a grinding OCD: then dual crafting might make a kind of sense. My main can compete with anyone, as clearly seen by my eight pieces of 850 crafted gear; my status is secure.

It is a timed burn to grind mats on an Alt with the intention of sending them to a Main. The Time Price is staggering to get any edge or feeling of progress or power. Watcher’s mantra of “An Alt should not support a Main” is the litany of Legion; don’t fight it, winning comes at too high a price.

Beta Blues: My Copy

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Henri Matisse

Beta Blues: My Copy

NB: Resto-Druid; Leatherworking, Herbalism.

It is nice to finally be able to copy my character over to the Beta. Some of my questions have finally been answered.

1. The Leatherworking Stat Tent will only work in Draenor.

2. The Drums of the Forgotten Kings does work in Legion. A 4% buff to Intellect is nothing to complain about. I did not have a chance to party with anyone to see if the party-wide buff worked.

3. I visited the Fishing Trainer in (new) Dalaran. I trained so I could level to 800 but saw no fishing daily quests from Marcia. Same with Cooking (yes training, no daily quests, no recipes to buy).

4. The Leatherworking Trainer was willing to train me if would I give up some Legion skins with a note on the quest “if you don’t have skinning, you can get them from another source like the Auction House.”

5. The Herbalism Trainer offered no training. I took a flight path to Azsuna, got on my chopper and rode down the road. I found ONE herb node. It was a kind of auto-training for Legion herbs that flashed on my screen. In my fifteen minutes in this zone, I saw no other herb nodes to pick.

6. My stats on my gear stayed the same except Spirit was converted to Versatility.

7. The Class Trinket from Archimonde will work only to level 109 (tooltip note). Will it turn gray at level 110, I don’t know.

7a. My Class Trinket is socketed with a +50 haste gem which is now a +160 haste gem, as if by magic.

8. I killed a level 100 bear in my Affinity Talent. I took almost no damage from the bear, but it still took …. freaking forever. I’m in 728 gear. I didn’t time it, but it felt like two full minutes. In any case, the mob did not fall over from a shot of Moonfire.
8a. The nameplates are different. I can’t tell if I’m in range of a hostile mob. I think, in time, it must be something to merely get used to understanding.

9. I fished a couple of gray items in the (new) Dalaran fountain. They were points towards the Achievement. I can confirm that you can troll everyone by jumping on a mount and parking in the fountain. It still feels way too small in consideration of the anticipated numbers of players wanting the Fishing Artifact.

10. My garrison had no gold missions. My Treasure Hunter trait is now Extreme Scavenger. I laughed when I turned in my 100% missions and failed them all (gold missions, perhaps?). I laughed when I failed all my Shipyard missions, sinking half of my fleet. Bittersweet, to be sure.

Clearly, it is the Beta/PTR. Yesterday I tried the Character Transfer and was rejected, loading screened, disconnected and could not fly in Draenor — I ran to the next flight point but it didn’t work either.

This morning, everything was much smoother. I am happy to help stress test, can I say that I work for Blizzard now? As a rabid fan, seeing the future is pretty fun; as a studied mature adult, I’m careful not to do TOO much as I want to enjoy the game as designed.

The main thing that worries me, questing as a healer, is semi-confirmed: it sucks.

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.