Tobold's Blog
Friday, December 19, 2008
A tailoring adventure

And you thought that crafting in World of Warcraft was staid and boring...

I haven't played my level 70 mage a lot in Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that won't change anytime soon. But he does have inscription and tailoring, and so I've been leveling his tradeskills. Whenever frostweave cloth was reasonably priced (30 gold or less per stack), I bought it and skilled my tailoring with it. So I arrived at the point where I can make level 80 epics out of the new WotLK specialized tissues: Ebonweave, moonshroud, and spellweave. As you can create those tissues only once every 4 days, I thought it would be a good idea to start making those now.

But then I discovered a small problem with that plan: To make the special cloth, you need to be at special locations. And while you can make all three types with any tailor of the right skill level, you will produce 2 cloth per recipe in the one field you specialized in. My mage had chosen shadoweave tailoring in the Burning Crusade, so now I need to make ebonweave for maximum efficiency. But to do so, I would need to be at the Altar of the Ebon Depths in the Forgotten Depths under Icecrown Citadel, a hard to reach place in a level 80 zone. One would need to be ridiculously stupid to try to get there at level 70, without a flying mount. So, of course, I went.

I made my way without problems to Crystalsong Forest, and entered Icecrown from there. But the only way to get to the Icecrown Citadel from there is to do a huge semi-circle around Ymirheim, crossing a large plains full of level 80 undead armies. So of course I died. And died again, and again, and again. Every time I rezzed a little bit further towards my goal, using blink and invisibility when possible to approach further. After a long and gruesome journey I finally reached Icecrown Citadel and jumped into the Forgotten Depths. But approaching the altar I aggro one of the level 80 lurkers there, and can't get rid of him. No problem, I'll just die once more, right? Unfortunately it turns out that when you die in the Forgotten Depths, you don't turn into a ghost that can travel back to his corpse. You just pop up alive in Ymirheim, a long way from Icecrown Citadel.

At that point I gave up my plan to make ebonweave. The ebonweave epics will be nice one day for my mage, having spell hit rating, but aren't useful for my priest who is already 80. The big change in Wrath of the Lich King crafting is that the epics you craft aren't restricted to the crafter any more. So I traveled to Shattrath, paid 170 gold to change specialization from shadow to moon, got the mats for moonshroud, went to the much easier to reach location in Dragonblight and made the moonshroud there. I also picked up some cheap moonshroud on the AH, and already made the gloves and sent them to my priest. There are only 2 epics of each type, gloves and robe, and in comparison with the AH prices for a single cloth like that, respecialization is cheap. I'll just go back to shadoweave tailoring when I need it.

Nevertheless I'm wondering what design genius decided to make the crafting of spellweave (near Nexus in Borean Tundra) and moonshroud easily accessible for level 70, but making the crafting of ebonweave virtually impossible without at least having level 77. Aren't the three specializations supposed to be equal?
I've not checked them in detail, but in general if the advantage of the ebonweave set for your mage is that it has lots of +hit, do you need +hit in any big numbers before you start raiding ? its an extremely useful stat for raids, but bordering on useless until you hit level cap.

I realise you are trying to stockpile mats from a 4 day CD receipe to be efficient, but I assume the locations are equally accessable at 80, which is probably the design principle here

Think about how the 3 cloths worked in tbc.....
Primal Mooncloth, any lightwell, of which there are plenty in low level areas or even inside main cities
Spellclith - Anywhere in netherstorm, including many safe-ish areas (although you did get attacked after making it)
Shadowweave - A particular altar in SMV, never tried to, but I imagine that would be tough to get to on foot, 10 levels lower than the zone

Are these equally matched in difficulty if you tried to do them at 60 ?
No, so this is not a new "problem"

What are the relative prices of the diferent cloths on your server ? Can you not just nake spellweave/mooshroud to sell, and buy the ebonweave with the profits ?

Tbh I've often thought I might quite like tradeskills restricted a bit by to be 450, you'd need to be level 80, 375 should require 70, 300 requires 60 etc...although I do realise the numbers wouldnt be "clean" it would stop people having max tradeskill characters at low levels....something which I've always been a bit uncomfortable with
I sold my Ebonweave cooldown at level 75 or 76, before I had my flying mount. Now THAT was some fun, getting led around Icecrown by a mage who would phase out every so often because he had done all the quest chains.
To paraphrase Orwell: all specializations are equal, but some are more equal. ;)
Not evenly matched at all. From a design perspective, they wanted to give players the option of easy, medium, and hard. You pick your flavor.
I was going to say, up until you mentioned that you didn't turn into a ghost at the last location, that you could simple die, travel to the nearest graveyard and then log out/in to rez at that location.
One does not simply walk into Icecrown....
Tobold -

How are you planning on getting your last couple tailoring skillups to 440 so you can make the Moonshroud Robe? I'm at 431 tailoring right now and have a bunch of useful things I'll be making for myself through 435, then I'll make Moonshroud Gloves to get to 436. But after that my options appear to narrow. My first thought was to make Frostsavage items over and over again even though the pattern is yellow and not a guaranteed skillup, just because the materials are so much cheaper.

As for Ebonweave, you've just nicely explained why it is 250G a piece on my server while Moonshroud is 150G a piece. Spellweave here is down below 100G at times - I guess the fire/arcane mages and destro locks here are REALLY not liking the complete lack of +Stam on any of the Spellweave epics.

Now that you mention it, though, your Ebonweave adventure is pretty similar to the Shadowcloth manufacturing process in Burning Crusade. For those of you non-tailors reading this, it involved running down a hellish ravine in Shadowmoon Valley filled with crocolisks, air elementals, and hostile blood elves. I remember having a completely identical corpse-jumping adventure there on my priest when he was level 60 and just hit 350 in tailoring. And then I remember not going there ever again until getting my flying mount 10 levels later. So Blizzard is nothing if not consistent here.

One last thing - I'm pretty amused by the completely bizarre atmosphere/surroundings of the Forgotton Depths where you make Ebonweave. I missed the whole Ahn'Qiraj thing - I started playing WoW a bit too late for that - so it's fun for me to see firsthand Blizzard revisiting its Lovecraft/Cthulhu parody in this latest expansion.

Packetloss - Gorefiend(US-PVP)
How are you planning on getting your last couple tailoring skillups to 440 so you can make the Moonshroud Robe?

Frostweave bags still yellow until 440,
Sounds like typical Blizzard craft planning. All crafts are not equal, and all specializations are not equal (neither within nor between crafts). My main is a Leatherworker/Enchanter, so I'm pretty used to being the red-headed stepchild of crafters compared to Tailoring and Blacksmithing. For whatever reason, Blizzard just can't make all the craft skills equally good, even when they're functionally the same (leatherworking/tailoring).
One does not simply walk into Icecrown....

Yes, you do. You totally do.
One can argue that it is unfair to those who picked shadow/ebonwave.
But the game is already easier than it ever was. Yes, Ebonweave is not really possible for lowest Wotlk level characters, while spellfire and mooncloth specializations have no problems.

And this is really a problem? That your low level alt cannot get Ebonweave tailoring handed on a silver platter with some extra goodies?
warlock summons ftw.
I'm bored at work so I'm commenting okay, leave me be.

How were they fair in TBC? For my spellweave I had to kill a mob which was quite nasty at lvl67. I even needed a rogue to help me get my spellcloth 'attunement' because I had to fight two of those mobs as a deep fire mage. You made your mooncloth and all and got a pretty buff. What did we get? Near death is what we got.
@packetlost, tobold: you don't have to be slvl 440 to have Moonshroud robe. All you need is the materials and 10G tip, and 5 mins on trade channel :-)
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