Friday, March 27, 2015

World of Warcraft: The Re-implementation of Profession Perks (Professions Overhaul Part 1)

When Warlords of Draenor came around, there was a significant amount of reworking related to numerous aspects of the game. One set of changes involved the removal of all stat bonuses associated with professions since it by design made some professions superior to others. I thought this change was a good one since as it was at the time, crafting professions were far superior to gathering professions in terms of how much raw stats they provided. However, Warlords of Draenor introduced additional problems through the implementation of Garrisons that not only made gathering professions inferior (though to be fair patch 6.1 helped to make gathering professions more profitable due to daily traders) but made crafting professions seemingly bland due to the lacking number of recipes. In addition, professions almost seem pointless since a player can craft some items through specific Garrison buildings and most of the professions provide (almost) no personal benefit.

However, there is a way to have professions provide personal benefits that aren't just a bunch of free stats. As I mention here, having professions provide benefits that aren't a hard increase in character power but are useful nonetheless. In the case of the professions that provide such benefits already, I will acknowledge them and make additional modifications if I feel it is needed. These benefits will not work in a (competitive) PvP environment unless stated otherwise. With all of that said, here's some ideas of what professions could provide for the character:


While the Mixology passive already provides a lot of benefits in the form of doubling the duration of flask buffs and there are a few alchemist-specific items, there could be additional benefits such as an improved Endless Healing Potion that scales with player level.


In the spirit of the buff provided by the Forge when a follower is working at it, one of the perks of Blacksmithing could be that durability damage is reduced by as much as half. In addition, Blacksmiths could repair their own equipment at will and all equipment crafted by them is Indestructible (including items crafted by tokens and the like). While the latter benefit is technically redundant with the reduced durability damage perk, the idea is that Blacksmiths don't have to pay much for repairs and having to pay absolutely nothing is strictly better than paying 50% less. In addition, the crafted equipment with the Indestructible attribute can be sold, allowing other players to benefit.


Enchanters could disenchant enchanted equipment to salvage the enchantment materials, receiving up to half of the materials used (rounded down). Like with Mixology, this would only work with enchants the Enchanter knows. For instance, if an Enchanter knows Mark of the Thunderlord and disenchants a weapon enchanted with it, they receive 7 Temporal Crystals, 5 Fractured Temporal Crystals, and 5 Sorcerous Air. These materials would be in addition to materials received normally through disenchanting.

In addition, Enchanters could create enchanted teleportation stones usable by other Enchanters that can transport them to places such as the Dalaran Crater, the front of Karazhan, the front of East Dire Maul, NordrassilTempest Keep, Oshu'gun (in Outland Nagrand), Coldarra, Dalaran, the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Throne of ThunderZangarra, and the front of Highmaul. These items would have 10 charges, no cooldown, and level requirements (mostly to prevent lower level players from entering higher level zones).


Engineering boasts major non-stat benefits such as belt enchants that share cooldowns with potions, slow fall effects on their cloak, and a variety of exclusive gadgets with a wide array of features, including teleportation and jumping repeatedly (very useful in Draenor). Therefore, Engineering doesn't need any additional benefits.


Herbalists could have access to a heal over time (one tick per 2 seconds for 6 seconds) for a modest amount of health (slightly more than a Healthstone) on a minute-long cooldown that shares with potions. When an herb is harvested, all remaining cooldowns would be reduced by 50%. In addition, when an Herbalist suffers Nature, Frost, or Fire damage, or is healed by their profession skill heal over time effect, movement speed is increased by 5%, stacking up to 3 times, for 6 seconds.


Scribes would no longer need to use Tome of the Clear Mind to remove their glyphs or reset talents. In addition, when Scribes reach level 25, 50, 75, and 100, they learn a random additional major glyph effect (aside from the ones learned normally through leveling). Scribes could also use up to five minor glyphs at any given time instead of three.


Jewelcrafters could cut Taladite gems usable only by them that provide the same amount of stats as a Greater Taladite gem but are dramatically cheaper to make (10 Taladite gems, for instance). In addition, Jewelcrafters could create additional utility crystals usable only by them, such as a warding crystal that keeps hostile enemies from attacking you for a time.


Back in the Burning Crusade, Leatherworkers had various drums that provided effects to the group, which were made unusable at higher levels. While on exists to this very day that provides a group buff, there are some effects that could be worth putting on drums (that aren't usable in competitive PvP). For instance, there could be a new version of Drums of Panic that uses Draenor materials. There could also be new drums that cause an area slow, area silence, and other control effects. These would be instant cast and share cooldowns with potions while having a 1 minute cooldown themselves.

In addition, Leatherworkers could craft a special die usable only by them that can be rolled once per day to receive some gold, helpful consumables (such as buff food or potions), or a token that, when consumed, increases the chance of earning equipment off of a bonus roll (there would be a prompt during the bonus roll to use it and the item would be Unique).


Miners would naturally be more durable, allowing them to put up a damage absorption shield on a 1 minute cooldown equal to slightly less than a Healthstone for 6 seconds. This effect shares a cooldown with potions. Mining a node increases movement speed by 50% for 5 seconds and allows instant mounting during that time. In addition, when a Miner suffers physical damage, their next attack on a creature that isn't a player or player-owned would stun for 1 second. This effect has a 15 second internal cooldown and enemies stunned cannot be stunned again by the same effect for 10 seconds.


Skinners would naturally be more agile, allowing them to increase their movement speed by 50% for 10 seconds, though the bonus decays over time at a rate of 5% per second and has a 1 minute cooldown that shares with potions. However, skinning a creature resets the duration and maximum bonus of the effect and allows the Skinner to track nearby skinnable corpses for 10 seconds. In addition, Skinners can now track all living skinnable enemies.


Tailors could craft a special bag for themselves that is 2 slots larger than the largest bag available (at the moment, that is Hexweave at 30 slots), resulting in an additional 8 slots worth of inventory space (or more if bags are used in the bank bag slots). These bags would also not require too much material to craft. This isn't quite as flashy as the other bonuses, but additional inventory space can be a fantastic perk in itself.

Final Statements

These profession perks aren't necessarily made with balance in mind but rather to incentivize players to pick up professions that suit their playstyle the best. A good number of the perks are generally not comparable with what another profession offers. However, in the case that there are some comparable mechanics (such as between Mining and Herbalism), balance would be ideal, with professions having more limited access to bonuses having a stronger version of the mechanic to compensate for the lack of variety. Aside from that and what I mentioned regarding the issues with professions mentioned above, I hope that a feature like this is added into the game since as it stands, only a few professions have such benefits which is in itself, imbalanced.

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