Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
 
Messing with the player economy

There are a few players in World of Warcraft who choose their crafting professions by regarding immaterial aspects like role-playing. Of course a dwarven warrior should have mining and smithing as professions, otherwise he wouldn't be a proper dwarf! But everybody else tends to see professions as a way to make gold, which is even more important if gold now can buy you subscription time and save you real money.

Now Warlords of Draenor introduced huge changes to crafting professions. It made it easier to pick up a new crafting profession and level it up without having to go through all of the old content, you can level a profession like tailoring or smithing from 1 to 700 with only WoD materials. WoD also significantly changed the relation between gathering professions and crafting professions: It allowed everybody to gather WoD materials in the safety of their own garrison in sufficient quantities for crafting, and without needing to have the gathering profession at all. Gathering professions like mining or herbalism became unprofitable. While at the same time the crafting professions (with the exception of alchemy) were turned into a source of passive income: Just do your daily transmute and your work orders, and you'll make thousands of gold every month from your garrison.

As a consequence a large number of players dropped their now useless gathering professions and went for two profitable crafting professions instead. My warrior got double screwed by having herbalism and alchemy before WoD; now he has smithing and tailoring to "pay the rent". But as Azuriel points out patch 6.2 suddenly requires people to have maxed out gathering professions again, as it introduces a new high-level crafting material "Felblight", which is gathered in the new zone Tanaan Jungle using gathering professions. Crap, I haven't got a single high-level character with a gathering profession any more.

I don't think I am the only one. It was pretty evident and common knowledge up to this point that gathering professions had become somewhat useless (I don't even spend the time to gather the free resources in my garrisons any more). Lots of people dropped them. And I guess that will mess mightily with the supply of Felblight. Yes, you can level up mining or herbalism again in your garrison, but going from 1 to 700 will take over a month that way. And while the initial price of Felblight will be high, you never know how it will evolve in the long term and whether that justifies dropping a crafting profession and putting all that effort into leveling a gathering profession again.

I think Blizzard dropped the ball on crafting in Warlords of Draenor. Them now backpedaling on gathering professions only makes things worse.

Comments:
This somewhat surprises me. I had previously thought they might be changing all the gathering professions into secondary professions, so everyone can have all of them if they want. That certainly would have fit with how they did garrisons.

Then again, given how they have handled professions in general this expansion, it is hard to believe they put any intelligent thought at all into it.
 
I also dropped gather professions. Without a flying mount, gathering resources in the world is just too painful, what with monsters attacking you and the perchance to place the resources up on ridges, etc.

I actually miss spending time on occasion gathering resources. But when I gather resources, I want to GATHER RESOURCES, not fight the environment. I already fought the environment exploring the zone.
 
I agree Blizzard dropped the ball on crafting in Warlords of Draenor. And gathering was over-nerfed, perhaps to combat botting. And now over-corrected.

Unfortunately, a lot/most players don't see crafting as a way to make gold but as a way to make [raid] gear for themselves.

INO, a problem is the economy trying to accommodate this SPG lifestyle. If every high end gear from a profession required BoE subcomponents from four other professions, people would be in the habit of the AH (or shudder /trade) being required for crafting.

E.g. when LW needed an iron buckle from BS. Or BS needed a transmuted bar.
 
I got two things out of this:

1. the old "WoW is my second job" is now literal and not a metaphor

2. They guaranteed at least an additional month of subscription time on everyone who dumped gathering professions as they rush to get back to 700.
 
I think there actually went some thought into WoD professions with the main goal to combat botting. Requiring daily use of cooldowns and making gathering pretty unimportant has driven out a lot of gathering bots.

But gating professions behind daily logins is goddamn tedious and offputting for a lot of players. The feeling of "I have to log in every day to make gold" is a negative one.

I think most players do not play every day and would rather put like two hours on a weekend into goldmaking by gathering stuff and process it.

WoD professions per se are not bad, but they really should have revived the Cataclysm way of the Taylor, ie weekly cooldowns. That and capping your valor points by 7 5mans per week instead of 1 every day was the greatest innovation of Cataclysm. All the raids are weekly, why not professions and other stuff.

Now Blizzard introduces improvements for gathering professions again, and I fear we will see a rise in gathering bots again. Farming is a mindless activity that I personally avoid as much as I can. But I can see how other players find that fun, I do fish from time to time listening to an audio book. But still mindless and bots don't get bored.

The biggest mistake of the felblight IMO is making them aquirable via fishing. At the beginning of WoD the amount of fish on the AH was so enormous that it couldn't ever be gotten by normal play (yes I did the math).
 
bryksom says:
"I think there actually went some thought into WoD professions with the main goal to combat botting. Requiring daily use of cooldowns and making gathering pretty unimportant has driven out a lot of gathering bots."

I agree with this. Which is why I don't understand why they also let you have a full Garrison per character. You can have 50 characters on one account, so a "farmer" can have that many Garrisons spread across many servers.

 
But now you have to spend more time playing to level up those gathering professions again... sounds like it is working as intended to me.
 
I wonder if there's gold in levelling up a gatherer pre-6.2? Or will it be good enough to have fishing...
 
Requiring daily use of cooldowns and making gathering pretty unimportant has driven out a lot of gathering bots.

...and a lot of legitimate, human players. It's an insane strategy to commit to only to turn around and go back in the 11th hour. Do dropped professions still start back at level 1?

The biggest mistake of the felblight IMO is making them aquirable via fishing.

It's actually fairly genius in the sense that these will be naturally-occurring hotspots of brutal PvP activity. People fight over ore/herb nodes already, but fishing nodes typically require 60+ seconds to complete each, and they are usually concentrated in a thin strip of the zone (beaches) instead of all over. It's going to be awful on my server, but I can respect the design, minus all the dumb stuff they did up to this point.
 
Requiring daily use of cooldowns and making gathering pretty unimportant has driven out a lot of gathering bots.

...and a lot of legitimate, human players. It's an insane strategy to commit to only to turn around and go back in the 11th hour.


Is it? I'm not sure it is coincidence this is happening soon after the Token dealt a heavy blow to third party gold sellers. They may regard their efforts against botting as unnecessary now.
 
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