A recent comment to one of my blog posts made me reevaluate my plans for Patch 4.3. In my last blog Preparing for Patch 4.3 I recommended stockpiling mats to plan for the new crafting recipes coming out. However I forgot that Blizzard tends to throw us crafters a few curve balls. Fortunately my oversight was identified by Achieve from the Achieve Commitment Blog. The purpose of my post was to introduce the reader to the new recipes and show which mats were needed for them. One of the reoccurring items was Essence of Destruction. As this is a new item in the game without too much information on it I chose to ignore it for the purpose of my post. This was a mistake. As Achieve pointed out “IMO, the new epic recipes are not the strongest gamble. Expecting the need for a raid drop x 4 to craft them, and those drops not likely to fall out of the LFR... There will be a lot of stockpilers for those material, and no demand due to the lack of drops...”
Another comment by MoxNix of The Gold Mint blog on my post Beware: Speculation also caused me to think about the roadblocks that Blizzard tends to put into the game. The topic under discussion was referring to epic gems and Ghostcrawlers statements about the rarity of them. MoxNix made the comment “Of course since then we've datamined transmutes so maybe they've changed their minds about how difficult it will be obtain epic gems.” This caused me to take a step back and wonder if there was more to it then what we know.
If you haven’t been playing WoW for very long then you are not aware how Blizzard attempts to control the game by placing requirements, or roadblocks, into the game. These are used to control player progression. They can be controls as simple as reputation requirements or faction standing requirements to keep players from progressing too fast. You encounter these controls every day without realizing it. You require Rep with certain factions to buy items, you require valor points to obtain an important upgrade, you require achievements to get a shiny new title. These roadblocks are placed through the game for one reason. Control.
This is not meant to imply that these roadblocks are bad. They are not. In and of themselves they add variety and interest to the game. They provide new challenges and keep players returning to old content. The important part to remember is that they exist.
Its when we forget that these roadblocks exist is when we make mistakes in our planning. In my previous two posts I forgot this important fact. I forgot to include these roadblocks in my planning for the new patch. Fortunately the above two commenters, Achieve and MoxNix, caught my mistake.
Its not what you know, but what you don’t know, that will get you into trouble. Anyone remember patch 4.2? We all were prepared to start crafting the new gear the day of the release. I remember logging in planning to snatch up all the new recipes It was only then that I found out that Blizzard had put a roadblock out in front of us. It actually required us to run the new dailies for 28 days straight before we were able to unlock the recipes. Then after the obligatory 28 day daily grind we hit the second roadblock. One of the main materials required were Living Embers that only dropped in raids. I don’t know about your server but these are only just beginning to appear on my auction house. Both of these roadblocks were time sinks that prevented large amounts of crafted items from reaching the auction house.
Therefore, we must consider what time sink roadblocks Blizzard may implement in this patch. Let us consider the new profession recipes. With the exception of some PvP recipes, we don’t know how we will obtain these. What we do know is that Blizzard has announced that there will be profession recipes available in the new Darkmoon Faire. This gives us multiple time sink delays. If the patch is released when Darkmoon Faire is not running then we must wait for the faire. Once the faire arrives how will the recipes be sold? Will we be required to run dailies for tokens to purchase them like we were forced to run MC dailies? Will we be able to purchase them for gold? If they have limited of dailies for tokens will we be able to buy all the recipes in one week or must they be purchased over two or more months? Will there be a Darkmoon Faire reputation requirement to purchase some or all the recipes? Some recipes available at honored, some at revered, and the rest at exalted? Or will the recipes actually come from another source such as raid drops? We know that epic gems will have a chance to drop from raid bosses. We also know (from PTR datamining) that Alchemists will be able to transmute epic gems. What we don’t know is if they will have a cooldown or not. Will they have a daily cooldown (one transmute per day) or a weekly cooldown (one epic gem transmute every 7 days)?
Next lets discuss the limited materials roadblock. In addition to the timesink roadblock Blizzard likes to limit selected materials to slow or delay the production of crafted items. Many remember the rare and hard to get items previously. Materials such as Primordial Saronite in Wrath and Living Embers in Cata. There are also bind on person items that are eventually released to bind on equip status later. Items such as Frozen Orbs in Wrath and soon to be released Chaos Orbs in Cata. Unknown if tailors Dreamcloth will become unbound in this patch or not.
Last lets discuss the cost roadblock. Blizzard may place an extremely high cost on a recipe that is difficult for most players to obtain. An example is the tailor recipes that required dreamcloth to purchase or the blacksmithing recipes that cost hardened elementium bars to purchase. These items were extremely difficult to obtain when the recipes were originally released. We do know for certain (thanks to the PTR) that Blizzard has implemented this tactic for the PvP crafted armor recipes. Leatherworking PvP recipes will cost 80 Heavy Savage Leathers per recipe. New leatherworking PvP cloak recipes will be trainable for gold. Blacksmithing PvP recipes will cost 60 Elementium Bars, 4 Hardened Elementium Bars, and 15 Pyrium Bars per recipe. New Inscription PvP Relic Recipes will be trainable for gold. Jewelcrafting crafted PvP rings and necklaces will be trainable for gold. New Tailoring PvP recipes will be trainable for gold. As you can see Blizzard has implemented some control over how fast a player can receive these recipes. Blacksmithing and Leatherworking have high numbers of material cost for them. Tailoring recipes cost over 100 gold each. With 17 new tailoring recipes that requires an initial investment of 1700 gold just for the PvP armor recipes. In addition, once the recipe is learned each requires a large amount of mats to craft.
As you see Blizzard can and will place roadblocks in front of us. The trick is to be prepared, have a backup plan. Watch out for new information and change your buying/stockpiling habits as needed. Be prepared to wait it out if necessary. Try to think ahead and anticipate.
Some random thoughts wandering through my mind:
Has anyone else noticed that Living Embers and Truegold are not included in the materials required for crafting ANY of the new recipes? Does anyone else find that unusual? I have doubts that Blizzard would completely abandon them so soon after their release. I wonder if they might be required to purchase the new PvE recipes? Will the new Essence of Destruction be BoP or tradeable?