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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Community Blog Topic: Should professions be account-wide?

It's been ages since I took part in a WoW Insider Community Blog Topic. I've missed a few completely, there was a couple of topics I wasn't sure enough about to write a post etc but never fear - I'm back!

This weeks topic comes from Robin Torres - who asks "Should professions be account-wide?". And for anyone, who like me, always has to think is that 'profession with one 'f' or two hmm... how many 's' again' I know how you feel!

I guess it would be wrong of me to write this blog post without crediting my boyfriend. Not because he got me into playing WoW or because he similarly got me into reading WoW Insider but because what I am about to talk about is based upon something he once mentioned and that he thinks would benefit the game. So he it is, credit to the boyf and a little plug - follow him on twitter @EnunciatingEnd and read his sporadic blog posts over at Enunciating Endeavours.

On with the post...

I like the primary professions as they are. I think each character should have professions that are not only unique to them but that were leveled with the character as if they were learning a trade. I know some people like to level their characters and then go back and level their professions but this doesn't work for me. There is currenty 11 primary professions in-game, all of which have some advantage to either the character themselves, a specific class etc.

Secondary professions are a completely different matter. There are four secondary professions; Archaeology, Cooking, First Aid and Fishing. Now with their only being four this means there is a lot greater potential for you to end up repeating the leveling of the same profession a number of times. What makes this worse is that they have little if any benefit to your characters and you could easily cope without any of them.

But, they are mini-games of their own and provide hours of entertainment (well for me atleast). I  have several characters with fishing at varying skill levels, one archaeologist (with the intention of leveling more), two cooks and a kinda first aider.

So you're probably wondering what this amazing idea that came from the aforementioned conversation is... shared secondary professions!!!

I'm talking you level fishing once and all your characters can now fish at whatever skill you're at.

Imagine you're questing on a lowbie and there it is - that elusive Winter Squid pool that you need for The Oceanographer. But there's a problem, this character doesn't have fishing and by the time you log a character with fishing and get to the pool it's gone. With shared secondary profs this wouldnt be a problem at all, you'd just cast away. [Remember: you don't even need a fishing rod to fish now].

How do I envision this whole shared secondary professions working? I'm not saying that every character you ever roll should have access to your 600 skill in First Aid or whatever. I'd see it working well being either server specific (like heirlooms are) or server-faction specific (so hordies on Silvermoon can't access the skill levels you've unlocked on alliance Silvermoon chars).

Admitedly this means that potentially you may only ever level the secondary profs the once. The qusestion is how many people actually level any of the secondary professions multiple times for the leveling experience? Personally I level them not for the hell of leveling but so I can fish on multiple characters or make use of the random bits of meat I collect on my travels without always having to post stuff. I also think it would encourage people that wouldn't ordinarily level the secondary professions to atleast consider doing so.

In conclusion, I'd leave the primary professions as they are but I'd like to see the secondary's to be shared to some extent to not only make them more accessible to those of us that bother leveling them but also more appealing to those that ignore them.


  1. I think that too that the secondary ones could be account wide, and then the main ones should stay unique so you couldn't take advantage of all the "goodies" in them.

  2. I've though about this a lot myself and as much as I would like to see something like this implemented, it is very, very easy to mess up and make completely unbalanced. My idea is not allowing all characters to learn all professions (major overkill in my eyes) as this will destroy the in-game economy I think, there would be no point in selling gear as everyone can make that same one (depending on materials of course), however after thinking about the collection profs, I think it would be feasible to allow all chars to learn all of those, but only making 1 (possibly 2) crafting professions available per char.

    Now, I have been annoyed with the profession system when I've attained new gear from a raid or from crafting, only to spend what feels like a whole day swapping characters making gems and enchants to finish it off. For example if I get a nice big upgrade from a raid, I would really like to use it from that point on, but at the moment I have to wait until the end of the raid, then start the logging into all my different chars to get the gear sorted, then use it the next week.

    What I think should be done is to allow alts professions to be used across to other chars without needing to log over. Not all professions mind, maybe just enchanting and jewelcrafting (as they don't need you to be in proximity to anvils/forges etc) and you can use the materials from the alts bags and have them appear in your inventory for gems or directly enchant onto your gear. Other limitations can be used too to keep it fair, for example you can't level up in this way. If you want to make an enchant to level it up, then you need to do it from the char that has the prof, and if gear can be crafted in this way only BoE gear can be made, not BoP.

    Overall, I think I prefer the idea of allowing 1 or 2 crafting profs per char, and being able to use it account-wide (limited to same race and realm naturally) but you can only level that prof on that char with the prof, allowing each character to learn all of the collecting profs, doing something with the bag system to maybe allow 1 of each collecting profession-related bag to be equipped at the time same in special bag slots reserved only for the profs, so you still get your standard 5 bag slots (maybe reduce the amount in this case, 2-3 is very acceptable I believe).

    1. Hmm logging over to get enchants or cut gems doesnt bother me too much - primarily as my hunter is my JC and who actually uses enchants!?! As you know I rarely do! But I can see why this can be a pain but I suppose this is why guild bank vaults should be stacked full of useful enchants, gems etc. So you can just pop a guild vault remote thingy and sort it there & then.
      I think shared banking could happen to help things like this but not fully. I mean most people just send stuff they collect (lets say herbs) to either their banking character or one they know could utilise the herbs (ie an alchemist). Obviously this costs money albeit not a lot. I think we could see a more restricted version of the Diablo 3 shared bank. I'm thinking more that they first bag in every characters bank is a shared bag. So imagine my hunter has got some herbs from a bag, no use to her so rathet than post them I stick them in this special shared bag and my banker, alchemist, inscriptor etc can all access them. Again this could be a way of making your own gems, enchants etc and having them available to all your chars without the need to log over (assuming youve made them and put them in said special bag).
      I do think shared gathering profs would be amazingly handy but I can't see it happening. As a gut feeling I think it would cause over-saturation of the AHs etc if everyone can mine that copper vein for example.