Blizzard is trying something new this expansion in regards to professions. Instead of the classic “make x number of widgets”, each profession now has quests. These quests require you to travel all over the Broken Isles to learn from other masters of the trade. There are some quests that require you to enter dungeons (even the Mythic-only dungeons). Leveling your professions has always been a necessary evil and often times quite taxing. The quests do seem to add new depth to them instead of standing by the forge smelting 300 bars. However I can see how the constant queuing for dungeons may eventually feel burdensome and mundane.
I have completed the full gambit of quests and dungeons for tailoring and enchanting. I’m working on mining and engineering now (yay! my paladin is 110!). I don’t feel like its too annoying to have to go into 3 or 4 different dungeons, yet. I may feel differently by the end of the year when I’m working on a 5th or 6th alt. Especially since I’m not too happy about a profession quest that is gated behind a Mythic dungeon (that requires 4,000 Honored rep to unlock).
Will This Kill Professions?
I know of some players that just won’t bother with professions; a choice they made long before this expansion. I’m sure there are some players who begrudgingly pick up professions perhaps for end-game content or just a means to make money. It does beg the question as to whether this new mechanic for professions will do more harm than good. Technically, you don’t have to complete the quests to reach 800 skill points in your profession. In fact, you can still reach the max level doing it the old fashioned way, however you will need to complete a few quests to learn some recipes.
Logistically, I’m still on the fence about the changes. When you think about it, the effort you need to max out a profession is pretty comparable to running a couple of dungeons. If you wanted to make that one “orange” item, that you know would give you the last point you need, you needed to farm for days or spend a small fortune in gold.
Speaking of spending a small fortune, you also have to keep in mind that this method means you don’t have to purchase new recipes from a trainer. Each quest may teach you a new recipe, so imagine the gold you are saving by not having to buy every new recipe. In fact you are actually making money because some of the quests also reward gold.
Ranking Seems Superfluous
Most Legion crafting professions now have three ranks (indicated by stars). The only advantage you receive with each new rank is fewer materials needed to craft the item. I think this is a great advantage for the early part of the expansion but as more people level more alts, the quantity of materials becomes less of a concern. Therefore I think the ranking becomes superfluous when the only benefit is fewer materials. I would much prefer a crafting model similar to the crafting mechanic used in Star Wars: The Old Republic where each higher “rank” has better stats.
Actually, when I think about it, perhaps each higher “rank” should have a greater probability of upgrading the item upon completion. The highest (crafted) item level I have seen, thus far, is 815 but World Quests are awarding items much higher than that. I think World Quests are great but they are slowly marginalizing Tailoring, Leatherworking and Blacksmithing to transmog professions.
So has leveling your professions become an inconvenient frivolity? It may depend on what your end-game goals are. If you are raiding Normal/Heroic/Mythic content then some professions will provide excellent supplements toward those goals. Granted this will come mostly in the form of Enchanting, Alchemy and Jewelcrafting. I appreciate that Blizzard tried to make professions more interesting. It’s unfortunate that they put so much hard work into these profession quests but the rewards are hardly worth the effort. I expect to see some tweaks to professions in upcoming content patches.