Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WoW Analysis: Scrolls of Wisdom (or Lack Thereof)

In World of Warcraft, professions are a feature that players can make use of in order to produce goods, whether it is equipment, consumables, materials, or personal gadgets and effects. One feature associated with professions is most have a "daily cooldown" that creates a rare material, limiting the ability to mass produce certain powerful goods, often culminating into equipment or some sort of vanity object like a mount. These daily cooldowns are often relevant for the entirety of the expansion they are introduced in, if not for longer due to a demand for items crafted . For instance, Truegold, a Cataclysm daily cooldown, is still relevant due to it being a component of Vial of the Sands, an expensive two-person mount. This doesn't stop some products of daily cooldowns from falling under a pall of obscurity due to them becoming obsoleted, though their relevance in the past was great.

However, one product has essentially reached a point of nearly complete uselessness. This item, as the article's title states, is the Scroll of Wisdom. While additions like the Timeless Isle and streamlined gear progression contributed a great deal to making this product obsolete, the sheer lack of any additional items that can be crafted from Scrolls of Wisdom after the first Mists of Pandaria tier also ensured the death of a potentially high-demand rare material. While the Bind on Account items are somewhat useful, players will only need one of each item for their account. The other items created by Scrolls of Wisdom ultimately result in item level 476 equipment, which are easily outclassed by item level 496 equipment acquired from the aforementioned Timeless Isle.
Look at all those scrolls...
To put the uselessness of the Scroll of Wisdom into perspective, let us consider the other daily cooldown-produced goods and their uses at the time of this writing. Given that Mists of Pandaria is nearing its end as a relevant content expansion, this means the following goods may become obsoleted, but at least they'll be obsolete at the appropriate time of a new expansion's release:
  • Living Steel, made through Alchemy, can be used to make numerous vanity pieces, mostly in the form of mounts and pets but also a bag and the Blingtron 4000. In the case of some of these items, the Engineering-crafted Jard's Peculiar Energy Source is used to make them as well.
    • Both of these materials are highly likely to be useful after Warlords of Draenor's release, so though the Jard's Peculiar Energy Source was added in Patch 5.4, it will still be relevant to create.
    • Living Steel can also be used to craft a weapon chain and belt buckle. The latter is a consumable enhancement that can be effectively used by every player at level cap.
  • Magnificent Hide, made through Leatherworking, can be used to make a bag, leg armor, and the recently added Drums of Rage that help provide groups with a very potent long-cooldown haste effect. It can also be used to make Hardened Magnificent Hide, which can make strong endgame gear of an item level of 553, which puts them on par with Siege of Orgrimmar normal drops.
    • Gear made from Hardened Magnificent Hide will probably become obsolete when Warlords of Draenor releases. Magnificent Hide will probably still be useful to make Drums of Rage with.
  • Imperial Silk, made by Tailors, while used to make obsolete equipment like Scrolls of Wisdom, can also be made into spellthreads and a 28-slot bag. Tailors can also make Celestial Cloth, which can be used to make item level 553 gear like Hardened Magnificent Hide.
    • The 28-slot bag alone will probably make Imperial Silk worth making, even in the following expansion (though there is a 30-slot bag apparently).
  • While Lightning Steel Ingot isn't exactly relevant, Balanced Trillium is essentially the bigger brother to the prior Blacksmith-crafted incarnation. Like some of the aforementioned materials, it can be used to craft item level 553 equipment as well.
    • These materials will definitively go obsolete in the following expansion, thus making them second to Scrolls of Wisdom in terms of useless daily cooldowns this expansion. Balaced Trillium is relevant at the time of this writing, however, unlike Scroll of Wisdom.
  • Jewelcrafting researches can only be done once a day and while they are inefficient, they are intended to learn gem cuts, which have been relevant the entire expansion due to the nature of gems and socketed equipment. Even without the valuable knowledge of gem cuts, the gem yield from the researches is at least better than an item that vendors for 5 silver.
In conclusion, dumping excess Scrolls of Wisdom is harder than dumping excess Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. What I find weird is that Inscription creates a consumable shoulder enchants, but they instead require a single Starlight Ink, which is ultimately produced by milling herbs. While it may be too late to fix an issue that's been around for most of the expansion, given the pattern of daily cooldowns being used to craft consumable enchants, why not have Scrolls of Wisdom be used to make shoulder enchants instead? In addition, given the number of techniques to learn glyphs that drop in the world, the Scroll of Wisdom recipe could be used to research those glyphs. Hopefully this mistake will not be repeated in the next expansion at the very least.

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