I spent way too much time in WoW this weekend, it was great! I have been mostly focused on my disc priest main for the expansion, but I had a little time to branch out into alts and their professions too. As it stands now I have a mini stable of alts in the new content:
Disc Priest 120, Tailoring maxed, Alchemy ~100
Feral Druid 113, Herbalism maxed, Enchanting ~70
Frost Mage 111, Mining ~30, Jewelcrafting ~50
Afflic. Warlock 110, Inscription ~110, Alchemy 1
WW Monk 110, Mining ~10, JC 1
I want to talk about professions in BfA, because I’m quite frustrated with them already. First the good, though: most of the quest and dungeon gating that existed in Legion is gone. I could level my tailoring all the way to max without having to jump through any extra hoops. I also really like the way they restructured professions, with each expansion having its own separate leveling range. It makes everything really clear.
Unfortunately that is all the good I really have to say about professions. Now on to the bad. Gathering profs still have quest and dungeon gating. I actually enjoyed the quests and thought it was working really well right up until I hit the one for anchorweed. For the uninitiated, anchorweed is the rare herb necessary for crafting all the flasks in BfA. Rank 1 of anchorweed gathering can be bought as normal from the trainer. Rank 2 is already gated not just by a quest, but by a dungeon quest. Not only that, but the dungeon you have to run is an alliance leveling dungeon, which means there is no way to get past rank 1 as a horde character until you hit 120 and unlock the alliance-side dungeons. I’m not sure if the alliance quest is in the same dungeon, or if theirs is gated in a horde dungeon. I still haven’t hit 120 on my herbalist, so I have no idea what rank 3 of anchorweed requires. I have an unsettling suspicion it is going to send me to a mythic dungeon, let’s hope I’m wrong!
Speaking of mythics, that’s another concern I have about professions. Almost all of the higher level gear and items that can be crafted require hydrocores. The mouseover text says they can be obtained in Zandalar and Kul Tiras dungeons, but that is a lie. They can only be earned through mythics, and they are bind on pickup. That means to craft the fancy epic pants I can make with my tailor, I need to first run mythic dungeons, which drop gear the same level or higher than the item I am trying to craft. Once again this renders crafted items useless for the people who enjoy crafting with alts. We were warned about this but it didn’t sink in until I started actually getting around to crafting in-game, only to be disappointed. While I hope to do a few mythics, maybe, on my main, I absolutely do not ever want to do them on my crafting alts.
This leads into another annoyance with crafting in BfA. Right now, crafting is the only way to get follower equipment for your war campaign followers. I think this is a really cool idea, in theory. My tailor can craft equipment that lets followers bring back extra cloth. Or she could craft it, if she had run mythics to get hydrocores. Yup, almost all follower equipment for this expansion is dependent on crafters running mythics. Until sunday evening I did a scan of the AH a couple times a day, and on my server there were 0 follower items listed. Last night there were 2, if you wanted to spend 900,000 gold. This was a really neat idea that could have given every profession something relevant to sell, but the implementation feels awful. Sure the prices will come down, but a huge reason I have crafting alts is to make things like this for myself, only I can’t because it requires mythic dungeons. I am going to hope that Blizz eventually adds hydrocores to world quests or missions to help alleviate this issue, but I am not going to hold my breath.
I was really hoping that after the terrible state of professions in Legion that BfA would feel much better. Instead I am going to be mostly ignoring them for yet another expansion.