Tobold's Blog
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Crafting self-sufficiency

Morvelaira started an interesting project on her blog: She is trying to find "the most efficient and profitable way to become self-sufficient in World of Warcraft crafting? (Self-sufficient, in this case, meaning having all professions maxed on one server.)" Starting on a server where she has no other character, from scratch, she is trying to assemble a set of characters who between them cover all the tradeskills of World of Warcraft.

I guess the main problem will be the gathering skills. Because the crafting skills you can max out as early as level 65. For the gathering skills you'll need to visit some Northrend zones which would be rather perilous for level 65 characters. In any case, even if it's all Death Knights, leveling at least 6 characters to 65 is already a project by itself.

So I'm wishing Morvelaira good luck, and hope she's keeping us updated on her progress via her blog.
I'm pretty sure if you took all the time you'd spend leveling the characters, getting recipes, leveling the skill, and so on, and instead spent it on farming gold, you would be able to buy everything you would really need, with enough left over for an epic mount or two.
I suspect the most efficient way involves using the auction house to replace gathering skills. But whether or not she considers that to be self sufficient, I don't know. Also requires a pretty lively server with lots of people selling materials.

(I'd start with tailoring and enchanting to raise some cash.)
I don't really understand this "self sufficient" thing. If you have gold, you can buy all (except BoP). So being self-sufficient = having enough gold for everything.
As an aside, I find the self sufficiency thing kind of unefficient. I mean, I started a new DK on a new server, I took herbs and inscription and made enough money to buy the stuff I needed for it. To me, that's self sufficient and efficient. But curious to see how her less efficient experiment goes ;)
I wonder if she will start out with two gathering professions or take inscription and herbalism to immediately enter the money making business.

Self sufficiency is possible, but how will she define it?

As being able to produce every general tool/equipment their chars could use, or will she include fancy faction gear/stuff that is Bind of Acquire anyways?
It's called "having fun", Gevlon. Otherwise known as "because I can".

It's basically the virtual equivalent of bouncing a tennis ball against a wall for ten hours a day, which is something that will occupy a child for an entire somewhere vacation.

I was under the impression you have to be 68 to go to Northrend. Have I got that wrong?
1) Last time I checked you can only create one deathknight per server. So you'll have to level 5 characters from 0 to 65 and a deathknight, which in my book ranks close to "no life".

2) What's the use? The whole point of tradeskills in mmorpgs is that you have to... trade. One player picks A, another player picks B and you trade so everyone is happy.

3) A much more efficient way to be self sufficient is to just concentrate on your main and buy everything he can't make. You'll be making a lot more gold by using for example one character with glyph making. For the time and gold it takes to level an alt to maximum level and get its profession to maximum you could have bought tons of stuff. And guildies usually make items for very low to zero profit.
I agree that focusing on wealth rather than self-crafting would be more efficient. I also think that's beside the point.

We all set goals for ourselves in this kind of games so why should be "Having all crafting professions maxed" be any less worthy a goal than "reach the gold cap" or "get all dungeon achievements"?
I've leveled most of the professions, not out of a desire for self-sufficiency, but because when I make a ton of alts and hate not having professions, I inevitably end up with all of them.

If she's really trying to be self-sufficient and efficient, she'll not buy or sell in the player economy until she's maxed them all out. That would mean that it's most efficient to level a gathering-crafting character for each of them if she plans to get gathered material inevitably as she run by nodes while questing. If she plans to farm, then a small number of gathering characters could feed the crafters.

@Gevlon: That's not what self-sufficient means. I'd have expected you to be more careful with criticism based on word definitions since the pwned incident.
Just for the record, I know this project is masochistic, overly time consuming, and doesn't fit into the way the game is "meant to be played". However, I've had the thought now, and I can't turn back until I can answer the question to my own satisfaction.

Perhaps once it's all accomplished, I'll take a look back and try to assess the value of doing this.

Also, Carra said that the whole point of having tradeskills is that you have to trade. I disagree. While there's the odd recipe here and there that is dependent on ingredients from a different trade, it's not nearly as prevalent as it would need to be in order to foster trade. The trade in tradeskills then refers to having something to trade at the end of the day. A option, really, not a requirement.
For some players, crafting is the game and maxing all available professions is part of their progression plan. EQ2 is a perfect example where many players do nothing but craft. While others max out every single profession across alts. It's their side project or meta game.

For me crafting is like a tick in MMOs. Even if the system sucks I must max all professions I'm allowed to take even secondary ones. I did it in WOW across the first 3 alts because to me, it's part of my character and a goal.
Being self-sufficient also means not having to spend the gold you've already earned. I cut my own gems, make my own glyphs, mix my own flasks. I pay materials cost for everything and don't even pay tips. Over time, this adds up.

(With multi-boxing and RAF bonuses, stuffing an account full of 60's only takes a week. There's really no reason not to fill up the account with trade alts.)
I've actually done that. it took a while, because I was doing it as I played, fairly leisurely, but at this time, I have every profession maxed out. Gathering can be taken care of in 2 ways. pick a character that will have the easiest time killing things for your skinner and possibly miner. druids make exceptional miners/herbalists because of flight form (no need to dismount/mount). Or, you can make gold instead and buy materials you need. the choice depends on what you enjoy doing more - farming materials or farming gold.

personally I have 1.5 farming toon in case AH doesn't have what I need (which happens often enough to justify both having farming toons and all these professions at my beck and call - my DK skins/mines and my druid herbs)

why did I do it?

1. i enjoy leveling professions both in real life and in game. I'm that crazy person who will learn how to make anything and everything from scratch. I find it fun to know the way things work.
2. I started leveling profession after being frustrated with trying to find something I needed and no one was selling it. I hate sitting in trade spamming for crafters, or haunting the AH, hoping someone posts the item I need.
3. I'm better at crafting then pure gold making. I don't completely suck at making gold (epic flyers for all my characters and about 40k in backup gold with me only doing dailies for rep or if I feel like it will attest to that), but I don't enjoy it as much as crafting. as a consequence of not having to buy anything, making gold has actually gotten a lot easier.
Interesting experiment, although from a gold making perspective you should prioritize the highest profit professions first.

The problem is we don't have that much time to keep up with every profession, it takes me 2 hours an evening to fully craft and stock the AH with inscription materials.

Imagine how much longer it'd take if I had to go farm 25 stacks of herbs before I could start crafting? you outsource that lower gold/hour task to others.

I see it as a great learning experience and I will be following it for sure, you can then focus on which professions make you the most gold on your server after you're done.
I suspect the most efficient way involves using the auction house to replace gathering skills.

The problem with using the AH, is that there are people who monitor the demand of reagents and will adjust the pricing accordingly(upward) if they see a spike in the demand, especially when your name is attached to every purchase.

I know on my server there are guilds devoted to controlling the prices of materials at a certain level, and if they see someone buying runecloth(for example) in large quantities, they jack the prices until the player stops buying.

It's next to impossible to be self sufficient without gathering your own mats.
Don't be obtuse. Being 'self sufficient' is a hedge against the unpredictable and unstable nature of the AH system. It gives one options to play more spontanously and gives you the power as a customer to reject sellers whose offers you do not like.

Of course, this is done as an experiment so falls under the same principles as 'raiding in blue gear'. It's nice to see how well you can do in it but not practical or desirable for most players.

My account is self sufficient for all professions but it was not really planned and was a natural outgrowth of my desire to experience and understand all aspects of the game. Once it got to the point of self sufficiency it would have been silly not to use this to save myself tons of gold.
Self-suficient... in an MMO... mmmmkay.
"having enough gold for everything"

Gevlon, that's only true if you're coasting on the back of others. Self sufficiency is an entirely different thing. In English, anyway.
Crafting skills are money pits. True, you can start to make some return after you hit skill cap and get rare recipes but compared to alternatives to making gold, it is time and effort wasted.

I have toons with JC, BS, Alch, Enchanting, And tailoring all maxed out. Having spent all that money and energy, I know I will never see any return on that. Would I do it again, probably but only because I like crafting -- but never to make money or be self sufficient.
I'm sort of like Leah, above. I had all professions maxed by the end of TBC, and now I'm getting there again. There was no particular reason or plan behind it, but simply a result of having many alts. As to Carra's denigrating comment, I can only say that I feel like I have more lives than Super Mario, thank you. :)

To Leah's great tips, I'd like to add that engineers make awesome farmers since they can suck up those nice elemental clouds that can be found here and there. Also, I generally try to stay away from combining mining and herbalism in one toon since the nodes don't show up on my minimap at the same time (I do use Gatherer, but it's not nearly as helpful knowing where the nodes *might* be as knowing where they *are*).

Interestingly, I've found tailoring and LW to be among the hardest to level this time around. Leatherworking was a bit painful in TBC too, and I suspect the real reason is that I only have one skinner, thus making the gathering bit that much slower (I'm not against buying on the AH, but doing it systematically would be contrary to my purposes, which appear to be exactly identical with Leah's: having a good time playing a game I enjoy). Tailoring is probably similar. Previously, all toons would get the same amount of cloth while questing, and all of the surplus stuff (yes, if it isn't a healer I tend to level First Aid as well every time, and yes, I always level in those "slow" specs, like resto and prot ;)). Since Wrath, however, the tailors have their special cloth-finding ability. I suspect that this is the explanation.

Anyway, good luck in your endeavour, Morvelaira. I hope you find what you're looking for! :)
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