Dragonflight’s profession revamp brings quality levels to crafting and gathering
When Dragonflight launches later this year, it brings with it an expansion of the current profession system that promises to turn a lackluster system into a more robust and lucrative one. In Blizzard’s latest update on professions, we learn more about the quality characteristic of both crated items and gathered items — the better the materials and skill going into the craft, the better it will be.
Not only will we be able to make high-quality gear, but it will be easier than ever for players — whether they’re crafters or not — to get that gear. The new craft order system lets you put in orders for crafted gear with an Auction House-style interface. Players ask for what they want and provide any materials they have, and crafters can fill the bid to get them their crafted piece. This will provide players the opportunity to use crafted gear in the highest levels of gameplay and make professions a much more desirable activity than in the current game.
Let’s dig in to exactly how professions will work in Dragonflight.
Now you’re crafting (and gathering) with quality
The quality system will have five tiers for equipment and three tiers for materials and consumables. For the equipment, the quality will dictate the ilevel of the crafted item, although the range isn’t very broad — the example given was ilvl 270 for tier 1 and ilvl 280 for tier 5, which is less than the standard difference between normal and heroic gear. The narrow spread should help tier 1 and tier 2 gear remain viable alternatives for players to equip and crafters to sell at a profit.
The materials for crafting will have three quality levels that will assist in improving the quality of the finished product. This quality level only applies to materials that are gathered via a primary profession such as ore or leather; materials that come via secondary professions or drops (such as meat, fish, and cloth) will not have a quality. Blizzard hasn’t specified how raw material quality is determined, but it’s likely a combination of profession skill and node rarity/type.
Consumables such as food and potions will also have three quality levels, with variable benefits to higher quality based on the consumable. Possibilities include longer duration, a more powerful effect, or more charges in the case of items with multiple uses by default.
How crafting will work in Dragonflight
The quality of the crafted item will be the result of two main factors: recipe difficulty and crafting skill. The former is an inherent characteristic of a recipe, with better items having a higher base difficulty. It’s important to note that recipe difficulty is not directly related to the profession skill needed to learn the recipe. In fact, as part of the new system the best recipes won’t be gated behind max skill and will instead be available about halfway to max — this will reduce the number of skillup items that regularly flood the auction house and are sold at losses.
The recipe difficulty can be modified with optional crafting reagents that provide a benefit. For example, if you want to guarantee critical strike and mastery as the secondary stats of a crafted item, you can apply an optional reagent which in turn increases the difficulty. The quality system comes into play here as well, as a higher quality reagent will not increase the difficulty as much as one of lower quality.
Crafting skill starts with your profession skill, and is potentially increased with bonuses from finishing reagents, profession-specific gear that provides skill bonuses (similar to current Engineering goggles that provide +20 Engineering), consumables, and specializations. When all the numbers are tallied if your crafting skill exceeds the recipe difficulty then the resulting craft will be of maximum quality. If the crafting skill is lower than the recipe difficulty, the craft will be of lower quality based on how much lower — fortunately the UI will tell you exactly what the quality will be so there’s no guesswork involved.
Unless you like RNG, in which case, there’s another factor: inspiration. This new crafting statistic gives a percentage chance to get a boost to your crafting skill while performing the craft, potentially creating an item with a higher quality than you normally are capable of. There’s no penalty for not getting inspired, so it’s a nice touch.
There are other new crafting skills available, such as multicraft (a chance to craft additional items — consumables only), crafting speed, and resourcefulness (a chance to use fewer materials in the craft). You’ll be able to increase these skills through the use of an optional finishing reagent or through stats on your crafting gear.
While the examples we’ve seen makes it look like it’ll be on the easy side to craft highest quality items, the reality is that there will be a ton of effort behind it, with the need for highest quality components at every step of the way. As a result, producing the best gear and consumables will be optimally coordinated in guilds, with gathering and crafting higher quality materials at every step. The profession skill will actually be harder to max than in previous expansions, as getting to max will require a lot of high-end production — or potentially many months of visiting the Darkmoon Faire.
Crafted gear will no longer fall behind
Because the craft order interface allows the use of soulbound items, there is now a way for players to craft content appropriate for the difficulty of buyer; crafters will be able to craft heroic- and mythic-appropriate equipment for individuals. Players who run mythic content will receive drops that can be used as optional reagents to make the crafted item mythic as well, and since there are reagents that give specific stats, crafted items can be exactly what they player desires for the content they’re in.
There will still be crafted gear that can be sold on the auction house — items crafted with soulbound reagents are bound to the player putting in the order — but it will effectively be starter gear for end-game content. Because the crafted gear can be better customized than drops from the loot table, there is a limit of five pieces of crafted gear (currently unknown if that applies to BOE crafted gear) that a player can equip, with 2H weapons counting twice against that limit. Since you’ll be using soulbound drops from your activities to have activity-appropriate gear crafted it’s essentially a less-flexible and profession-dependent currency system for acquiring equipment in slots you’ve been unlucky with.
The changes to professions forthcoming in Dragonflight are interesting if a little complex, as they’ll result in a crafting becoming a more desired skill set for a player to have access to. If successful I would expect guilds to work to recruit not only players doing the target content but also players who can assist the guild in having the proper consumables and equipment. The perennial question of whether it can make a profession profitable without pricing out the average player is still present, but the foundation for the system is at least built with the hope of an affirmative answer.
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