Flasks, finally

Over the weekend I spent some time on a couple of alts, ones I am working on mainly for professions, but ones that I hope will allow me to get a break every now and then from the gear and rep grind on my main.

The alt I have spent the most time on so far is my druid — balance with resto attunement. She is an herbalist/alchemist, so that seemed like the most critical profession combo for me, at least the one that might save me the most gold in the long run. I leveled her over a month ago, but it has been a long slog to get her to the point where she can actually produce the pots and flasks I use on my main.

Balance has really improved as a play style in Legion, I think. Of course, this is the opinion of a rank amateur at the spec, but I find myself enjoying it far more than I did in WoD. While she is not well geared at all yet — 801 ilevel — I find both questing and herb gathering fun. The defensive capabilities are awesome when you need to avoid mobs or use the “run like hell” tactic, and having played a hunter forever, it is refreshing to be able to do so much self healing in order to survive some encounters.

The 7.1 change making Suramar and World Quests account-wide really helped, too. It allows me to focus on profession development and the factions that will give me some needed recipes, along with some modest artifact and class hall development activities. I don’t feel any real need to go beyond something like level 15 or 20 on my artifact traits. I will probably eventually get a resto artifact and level that to a minimum of 13-15, just to be able to heal some low level stuff in a pinch.

I did as much as I could with professions while leveling the druid, but there are level gates that prevent you from doing a lot until you have reached 110. And the crafting quest lines still seem far, far too onerous. There are something like 40 quests required just to get to the point where you can make basic combat flasks. While this in itself is not horrible — I am generally in favor of making people do some work to develop their professions — it is the nature of the quests that seems way out of line. For one thing, there seem to be a lot that require you to craft a significant number of relatively expensive and time-consuming items just to turn them in to the quest-giver. That is, unlike what has been usual in the past for professions (think engineering, for example), you do not get quest credit just for crafting the item but for giving it up. No longer can you craft 20 widgets, complete the quest, then sell or use the widgets. Nope, those are just freebies that get tossed into the bit bucket.

The other bad design — in my opinion — for crafting professions is the too-frequent requirement to do instances in order to complete a quest. And in at least one case for alchemy it is not just a matter of completing a dungeon but in fact you must unlock and defeat a special quest-related boss within the instance. This is the step that had been holding me back, and the one I finally completed over the weekend, with the help of a couple of generous guildies. The quest is Demon’s Bile, and I had tried it a couple of times using the group finder, only to have the groups pretty much laugh at me when I asked if we could do the special boss. No one wanted to take the extra time. Luckily, I always asked up front, so I was able to drop group when they said no. The quest is a critical step in being able to craft flasks, so without it much of your alchemy profession is useless. After this step, there are maybe half a dozen or more quests that make you run around all over Azeroth before you can get the desired recipes, but Demon’s Bile is a big hurdle.

I am not actually sure that going beyond Level 1 flasks is worth the effort at this point. I will be crafting them mainly for my own characters, so the fact that I won’t get the RNG drops of a couple extra here and there does not seem like such a big deal. I might try for a couple of Level 2s, which I think I can get via faction reps, but that is about it. It is not worth running mythics and high level group activities (for which you need decent gear, etc.) just for the off chance of maybe possibly getting a random drop of a Level 3 recipe.

Of course, without Level 3 recipes it will be basically impossible to reach 800, since the Level 1s grey out pretty quickly, but I am not sure I really care. I will not be able to craft raid cauldrons, but honestly there is not a lot of value in those in Legion anyway, in my opinion. They are horribly expensive to produce, and the flasks you get from them are no better than individual ones in terms of either stats or the time they last. Cauldrons in Legion seem designed as welfare for players too cheap to buy their own. So I really do not feel bad that I will not be able to produce them. I can make flasks for myself as well as donate some to the guild bank every week, so that is fine.

In general, I think I have decided that Level 3 recipes, and even reaching max profession level, is just not worth it for crafting professions in Legion. My main is a LW who is stuck at somewhere around 775. Eventually I will get the reps needed to fill in recipes for some pieces I don’t currently have, but getting the Level 2 recipes for some of the ones I do have is far too expensive (20 gems that still run into the thousands of gold each in the Auction House for one, for example) to be worth it. Especially since the gear I could craft with them tops out at 855. I can craft what I need by using a few more mats than it would take at Level 3, and so what if it takes more leather or scales to make — I have tons and tons of leather, scales, and Blood of Sargeras. I think it is too bad that maxing out professions is out of reach for a lot of players in Legion, but as I have pointed out before this expansion requires many of us to lower our game goals and expectations.

I do think it will be worth a certain amount of effort to max out gathering professions, though, and I intend to try for most of the ones I have. Gathering in Legion seems to take a lot longer than it did in Mists (I don’t count WoD where you could pretty much “gather” in garrison), and being able to get more items per node seems like a valuable skill to me.

Next up for profession leveling: my miner/JC, who happens also to be a hunter. I should reach 110 sometime this weekend. I have not really researched the quests required to learn useful gems, but I am expecting quite a lot of annoying requirements. And, like my other crafting professions, I doubt if I will progress beyond Level 1 recipes for many. (As an aside, my spec strategy for this, my second hunter, is to start out as BM and get my artifact to trait level 13 — BM being useful for leveling and soloing — then switch to MM as her main spec.)

Beyond these two alts, I think my third will be my Mistweaver monk, who has enchanting and engineering for professions. I am not too excited about engineering this expansion, but enchanting might be useful to me. I am not sure how many Bloods I will need for her, and getting them might be a challenge with no gathering skills (possibly have to depend entirely on world quests?). Also, being a healer, she should be more of a challenge to level up, but I will give it a try anyway.

Still, that is quite a ways off. For now, I am working on flask making and hoping there are not any more special-needs dungeon quests for the remainder of my baseline crafting professions. Diminished expectations ftw!!!!!

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

7 Responses to Flasks, finally

  1. Marathal says:

    Yeah. Took me a few goes to get my profession queat in Violet Hold. Finally got a group, well a tank and healer, that stuck around to help me. It was not easy to be sure with 3 people.

  2. Grumsta says:

    It’s the level 2 dps raid potion recipes that frustrated me the most. The tooltip said they were obtained through discovery, but in fact they drop from bosses in the two dungeons gated behind Nightfallen rep: Court of Stars and the Arcway. Now I just need our dear old friend RNG to provide the third star after my guild helped me out.

    The 7.1 changes have made the xpac at least alt-bearable if not outright alt-friendly. My Scribe/Enchanter hit 110 this week, and getting the flight whistle and access to WQ straight away was wonderful. My limited time will go into getting his third artefact slot opened up, and after that get his Enchanting recipes sorted. Inscription is much lower down the priority list. He can already do all the 150 ring enchants which were very easy to do (much simpler than the early Alchemy quests).

    I’ve only levelled up two characters so far, but each has been a very different experience thanks to the Class Hall quests, profession quests, and of course the classes and specs themselves.

    There are only two aspects I’m not keen on. The first is the obvious dependency on RNG for way too much progression. The second is the Nightfallen questline, which I completed last night on my main to complete Pathfinder part 1. It’s waaaay too long, pretty tedious, and I don’t feel any connection to the protagonists whatsoever: I genuinely do not care two hoots about it. I don’t mind sneaking around, but I do hate the WoD-esque dead ends and general frustration trying to navigate the city. As someone pointed out on Reddit yesterday: how come Thunder Totem gets a map but Suramar City doesn’t?

    I’d much prefer to do the 7.1 Suramar quest chain with my DK in Blood spec, but I cannot face having to go through all that again on another character. I’ve done enough to open the quest hub up, but that’s as much as I can face.

    • Fiannor says:

      That is encouraging to hear about enchanting.

      What you said about the Nightfallen and Suramar really hit a chord with me. I still have 6k rep to go to hit exalted with them so that I can finish that for my Pathfinder. The reason it is taking me so long is that I absolutely loathe Suramar and everything to do with it, so I have to force myself to do the dailies that will yield the rep. Like you, I do not find the story line the least bit compelling — in fact the whole “enable their addiction” theme is downright disturbing, as is the idea that some nefarious ruler is using a combination of addiction and starvation to control a population.

      I find it immensely frustrating that you can’t continue quest lines until you hit certain rep gates, yet there are only a few paltry ways to get rep if you are not doing actual quest lines. On top of that, as you point out, the movement mechanics — especially in terms of invisible walls and dead ends — are terrible, either by design or because of shoddy attention to detail. I found the “disguise” mechanic for Suramar city amusing for approximately 2 days, but now it is just another reason for me to put off doing those dailies. There are still one or two that I cannot figure out how to get to without multiple deaths, mainly because the little blue circle police are everywhere in that area, and there is no apparent way to avoid them (invisible walls, etc.). All for a daily that yields a whopping 75 rep.

      Plus, the huge amount of time it takes me to do NF world quests means I have a lot less time to do other WQs that I enjoy far more. Once I finish the Suramar quest line, I intend to spend as little time there as possible.

      End of rant — I told you that you hit a chord ….

      • Grumsta says:

        Something to bear in mind: Legion Pathfinder Part 1 isn’t just gated behind Nightfallen rep; it’s also gated behind the questline progression (which you also need rep for, surprise surprise).

        In short: you have to complete the entire Suramar questline to get Pathfinder Part 1, and doing so will give you the rep you need for Exalted anyway.

        This could save you from the howls of frustration I heard from guild mates a couple of weeks back who’d ground their rep to Exalted through WQs but still couldn’t enter the two Mythic dungeons because they hadn’t completed the quest chain far enough.

        The speed boost from completing Part 1 is nice, but I shudder at what more we will need to do to “earn” flying in Legion. Part 1 contains more than the whole of WoD Pathfinder already, and (for those of us who don’t enjoy Suramar) is far more frustrating.

        If you’re really struggling in Suramar try to talk a player with a reasonably strong tank character (840 ish plus) and team up. Killing the mobs is much more satisfying, even cathartic, compared to sneaking past them 😉

      • Fiannor says:

        Yup, I have done the quest line as far as I can go, but it seems like a Catch-22 that you can’t continue the quest line until you reach close to exalted (it was the same with the other NF rep stages), and it is extremely slow and sloggy to reach that point unless you can do a lot of quest line type quests. It really is the perfect way to force greatly increased play time, a gate there is no getting around.

        As for flying, I am fully expecting that the initial Pathfinder is just the tip of the iceberg, that there will be lots more time-consuming and gated requirements before it is complete.There is a Blizz management faction that detests the whole idea of flying in the game, and I really believe Legion is the penultimate step in eliminating it completely for all new content. They suffered a gigantic backlash when they tried to get rid of it suddenly in WoD, so I think they have decided on the frog-in-a-pot-of-ever-warmer-water approach. Expect to see them point to perks like the whistle and possibly some yet-to-be-introduced things as evidence that no one needs flying any more. As for flying in Legion, we will not see it before 7.3, if then. In fact, whatever the patch schedule, I think the earliest time we will get it is towards the end of next year, and possibly as late as early 2018.

  3. I think I would like to watch Blizzcon this week, even with the rabid fans; someone has got to take the profession designers to task and make them accountable.

    • Fiannor says:

      It should be interesting to see if there are actually any comments on it. Unfortunately, Blizz frequently drinks their own Kool-Aid, so they often continue to give ridiculous justification for unpopular mechanics far beyond the point where anyone with more than two brain cells believes them — for example, the stupid contention that RNG is really the only way to have fun for everything from getting gear to advancing in professions.

      The current official line for professions is that Legion has made them “relevant” again, that they are vastly profitable and “fun” for anyone willing to work at them, and that doing so represents an alternate play style that “many players” have asked for. The reality is that the current profession setup precludes using alts for anything but raid-level endgame play, as that is the development level needed to make professions useful. Thus, under cover of “listening to players”, Blizz has implemented what has been a personal prejudice of the new Game Director — namely, that people should not be able to have alts that serve the basic purpose of supporting their main, that the only acceptable reason to have them is to play them the same way you play your main. And now, by god, you HAVE to do it that way, BWAAAAAHAHAHA!

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