Standard disclaimer — if you want to be completely surprised about everything when Battle for Azeroth goes live, don’t read this.
Over the weekend I did a little more investigation of professions in Battle for Azeroth. For myself, it is one thing to read a general description of how they will work and another to actually see the system in action. There is still not a lot I could find, but I did get a couple of screen shots and saw a bit more of the new system in play.
Recall that the next expansion will see the compartmentalization of professions into groups organized by expansions. The basic groups are:
This is a tailoring screen, but the categories are the same for all crafting professions.
In the screen shot above, the little boxes are for keeping track of your progress in each category. I do not know if “progress” for each means a sort of leveling up to a proficiency number, or if it is more of a tally of the number of each pattern or recipe or what have you for each category. It is, however, expressed as x/y (for example, 1/100).
(As we are not yet permitted to import Legion characters into the beta, and as I have not maxed out any new characters in a profession, all I can show is what the interface looks like when you first learn a profession. I assume when the expansion goes live, if you have characters who have had the same crafting profession for several expansions, that most or at least many of the categories will be already maxed out.)
As you can see from the screen shot, there is a baseline “vanilla” category and one for each of the expansions — BC, Wrath, Cata, Mists, WoD, Legion, and BfA. You have to get training for each category, and when you first do so you are given a few of the recipes for that expansion. To complete the category, you simply pursue more recipes and experience in that geographic area — visiting trainers, making items, getting random drops, or soloing old instances and raids. In other words, you learn the profession for each category the same way players did when the particular expansion was current. I think this means — though I am not 100% certain — that includes earning the appropriate faction rep for some of the recipes.
Here’s an example of what I am talking about when I say you get “a few” basic recipes to start you off:
Where do you train for each category? You can train vanilla and Cata in your capital city. For the other categories, you must visit the geographic area of that expansion to train for that category. However, you can train in a new profession anywhere there is a trainer — in that case you will train in vanilla and in the baseline category for the area you are in. You go to the same trainers players went to when that particular expansion was current, so that means sometimes they are scattered about in the expansion’s geographic area. For example, I took a character to Hellfire Peninsula, to Shattrath, and I was able to learn baseline vanilla blacksmithing as well as baseline Outlands blacksmithing from Kradu Grimblade in the Lower City. I had to go back to Stormwind to train Cata blacksmithing baseline.
I have not yet discovered how you unlock the quest lines for crafting professions. For gathering professions, you get the quests the same way as you did for Legion — that is, the quest breadcrumb pops up randomly for you when you gather mats and you turn it in back at your trainer, where you will get some follow-ons.
Gathering professions will eventually — I think — work pretty much the same as crafting professions — that is, they will have expansion categories you can level up in, and in general you need to train for them in the geographic areas for the particular expansion. So for example if you train herbalism in Tiragarde Sound, you get baseline herbalism plus Kul Tiran herbalism. That is how I think they will work.
However, they seem thus far to be incomplete. Skinning and herbalism offer only some of the categories thus far. Mining seems to offer all categories, but you can only train in vanilla. Same with skinning as far as initial training goes, plus even when you train, you do not get any skill ups for actually skinning beasts (possibly due to the fact that you cannot train in Kul Tiran skinning).
Here’s what I mean about skinning categories — note these are “unlearned” even though I trained with the Tiragarde Sound skinning trainer.
And the only categories I was able to learn were vanilla and Cata (though I had to go to Stormwind to learn that — if you train in KT you only thus far get vanilla):
As to abundance of gathering mats, it is too soon to tell. Blizz is still working on node locations, so sometimes you will not have any mining nodes, or you may have masses and masses of herbs.
And of course the bad news is that, when you do finally get profession quest lines unlocked, nearly every profession (gathering included) will require running group activities such as dungeons and eventually raids to complete them. Most players absolutely hated this feature in Legion, so of course Blizz doubles down on it in BfA.
Still, that horrible Blizz practice notwithstanding, I do think professions in BfA are a slight improvement over Legion. I will try to level my LW up a bit as I continue leveling my character, so as to have more info on crafted items at higher levels.
That’s it for today.