Monday, February 28, 2011

Gathering Professions

One of the trends I really dislike in modern WoW is the idea that raiding characters should have two crafting professions and zero gathering professions. This is done because the crafting profession perks are generally more powerful and flexible than the perks granted by the gathering professions.

I don't really play alts, so having a gathering alt is out. What I like best about crafting is the "self-sufficiency" of it. Of making your own gear or items from scratch. And this current trend cuts directly against that.

I was talking to a friend, Tharok, and we were discussing crafting in Rift. In Rift, each crafting profession requires materials from two gathering professions. For example, Armorsmithing mainly requires materials from Mining, but some recipes also use leather from Butchering. Rift does give you 3 profession slots, so you can take both gathering professions. Or you could take 2 crafting professions (like Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing) and the main gathering profession (Mining). Then you would just buy extra materials from the Auction House when necessary.

In any case, Tharok made a suggestion that is brilliant in its simplicity: why not eliminate gathering professions altogether?.

The idea would be that if you take a profession like Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting, you would automatically get the ability to mine ore. This immediately simplifies professions immensely. Of course, you would reduce the number of professions you could take to one or two.

There are already a couple of professions in WoW that work this way: Enchanting and Tailoring. Enchanting generates its own raw materials, as does tailoring. There's no extra gathering profession. And honestly, those two professions are fine on their own. They aren't hurt, or are less fun, by the lack of a gathering profession.

The counter-argument against this idea is that the gathering professions are necessary to the economy in some fashion. But I'm not sure that this is the case. Cloth and enchanting materials are still sold and traded on the AH.

And even if it did hurt the economy, I would prefer this change because it makes crafting simpler and more useful (and maybe even more fun) for each individual player.


RJ said...

One could argue that Tailoring is, in fact, Enchanting's gathering profession...

The way Rift works for crafting reminds me of LotRO. LotRO also gives you three professions, except the way it works is that you choose "vocations", and the vocations give you two crafting and one gathering profession. Generally the gathering profession works well with one of the crafting professions, so to build the other one requires working with other players.

Redbeard said...

I like that idea. A lot. Or better yet, have the ability to do any of the gathering professions, but you have to level them just like anything else. The time sink involved means that you'll tend to focus on one, but the ability is there if you want it.

standinthebluecircle said...

My shaman is an engineer and enchanter and it really kills me that I can't gather motes any longer with Engineering.

I really dislike gathering professions and even though I have an herbalist and miner alt, I prefer just to buy mats on AH craft something.

I can't even be bothered to switch toons. The good thing is now that the gathering bonzanza of the xpac drop is over, one can make a tidy profit crafting and selling their wares.

Carson 63000 said...

Didn't EverQuest 2 solve this problem six years ago by making you pick one crafting profession but allowing everyone to learn every gathering skill?

Stormy said...

I've always wondered why enchanters were the only profession that could take gear, break it down, and take useful component parts from it. For example, my priest should be able to use her [Gold-Plated Seam Ripper] to break down unneeded gear and salvage the cloth from it.

Rohan said...

Stormy, that's actually an ability in Rift crafting. For example, my Armorsmith can "salvage" plate or chain armor and get some components from them.

Stabs said...

Gathering professions do serve a useful purpose in allowing new players to catch up.

I started a new character in Cata and because I was Herb/Miner I was able to buy all my mount abilities pretty much as they became available. This was only possible because it is an old server and things like Thorium have an auction house value way above the gold rewards you get from regular gameplay.

Anonymous said...

Enchanting became a free gathering profession for everyone, whether you spent time to lvl it or not.

Stubborn said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I also feel that crafting professions should be able to craft items of equivalent value to drops from bosses. The materials could still be drops from bosses (i.e. Primal Saronite), but I dislike how armor-style crafting professions eventually become obsolete whereas potion-style crafting (or enchating, jewelcrafting, etc) are always valuable to have.

I'm further irritated by the Xp granted to gathering professions now. I see no use for that expect to allow farmers to level now without having to quest beyond level 4, and the disparity between the gathering professions (herbalism being better than mining being better than skinning - which gets no extra XP) adds to the lunacy of it all.

Yyidth said...

Rift actually has a complete set of 2 crafting and 1 gathering profession also (basically the 2 gathering and 1 crafting is not entirely accurate). Take butchering, outfitter and runecrafting. Butchering and mob cloth drops server as the gathering skills for outfitter, and in turn outfitter servers as the gathering skill for runecrafting.

Anonymous said...

Enchanting may not necessarily have a gathering profession attached to it but, because of its various enchanting rods, it does rely on Blacksmithing, Mining, Jewelcrafting and Alchemy at one or more points in order to progress.

Just to be clear, these recipes are not optional they MUST be learned and made in order to get past a certain point in levelling the profession.

No other profession relies on so many others in order to progress.

Shannon said...

You may like the set up in Everquest II. Everyone can do all the gathering professions, you just have to level them up as you go to different worlds. Then you get to choose two crafting professions. So I can gather herbs, mine, fish, etc., but I focus on leveling up the ones I use for my crafts which are cooking and scribing.

Shannon said...

Oh I guess Carson already mentioned EQII! Sorry. :D I'll add though that in EQII the graphics of crafting are much more interesting and the results are actually useful.

Kring said...

I like your idea.

But in the end you are complaining that you don't have access to all areas of the game. Optimizing for progression raiding locks you out of farming.

There are other examples.


Playing something else then a druid or paladin locks you out of at least one PvE role. If you play a single role class, you're locked out of both the tank and heal role. (Again, playing an alt is not the be all, end all solution. :)


Or not raiding locks you out of the "gearing out your character" game. I enjoy spending hours on wowhead and with simulationcraft to calculate a gear set for an alt much more then spending hours raiding itself. But it's pointless at the moment as gearing up an alt is not as easy as it was in WotLK.

Anonymous said...

They should get rid of crafting altogether, period. At least any type of crafting that provides raid benefits. Superfluous-type crafting like colouring your armour and that would be a better way to go. Just like I would hate if I had to PvP to stay competitive in raiding (PvP weapons, anyone?) I hate that I have to invest time, and gold, in a crafting profession to be considered raid-viable in a serious raiding guild. What's even more aggravating is when they change the bonuses/items of professions and you could be expected to level an entirely new profession to take advantage of it (old-school battle drums anyone?), or you are looked down on.

TLDR: Make crafting professions have no impact on character performance.

jonreece said...
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jonreece said...

Honestly, I prefer the crafting in either EQII or in Guild Wars (classic GW, not the upcoming GW2, where we have no data yet).

In EQII, as others have said, gathering can be done by anyone on every type of resource node, raising skills that are independent of your crafting skills. Your crafting (if you do any) is raised independently of your adventuring level, and you can if you want have a character who is a pure crafter, though he'll need resources gathered by others in various zones. Much of the gear a crafter produces is very worthwhile, especially while leveling.

In Guild Wars, you can't be a crafter at all. But anyone can gather materials for crafting from drops (well, from using a "Salvage Kit" on drops). You can take these materials to NPC crafters, who (for a fee) will craft you various armors in the game. The market in GW is around mats, but there is no crafting mini-game.

Either make crafting independent, useful, and fun (like in EQ2) or marginalize it so you are just a customer (like in GW). Either way, let anyone gather mats.