Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Professions and earning - with some entitlement

Last weekend Blizzard announced the removal of Path of the Titans, introduced "meduim glyphs" and dropped the news that glyphs would be learned instead of consumed. This means once you learn the glyph, you can switch it in and out as needed. Every Healadin who's ever swapped between the Seal of Wisdom and Seal of Light glyphs just for Dreamwalker cheered. These cheers weren't heard though, as they were drowned out by a single piercing sound.


This was the only sound I heard from inscriptionists (yeah, scribes, I know) as they rushed to the forums to protest this unfair treatment. I'm honestly surprised Jimmy Hoffa didn't rise from his grave to protest the unfair treatment that was being presented here. Rallies were called, pickets were drawn up, and naked Gnome marches were formed. A warlock summoned up the soul of Samuel Gompers, and a formation of strikers prepared to assault the Blizzard HQ.

Forget the Paladin nerfs, the days of Tseric calling for all warriors to be prot (if you remember the 5th of November - good on ya), or the constant shuffling of DK cooldowns. This change to inscription was obviously THE MOST important thing to come from a weekend of press releases.

How we make our money

One of Blizzards goals, and one that they struggled with for a long time with Engineering, is making sure that every profession has some sort of profitibility. From repeat sales (gems), to high priced options (Get to the choppah!), every profession currently has the ability to make the player some level of money. While all professions certainly aren't created equal, after all there are only so many belt buckles that are needed any given week, at least some possibility for profit exists. All signs from Blizzard have pointed to an increases in this trend, and a clear desire to not have any profession in the unenviable position of Vanilla engineers.

Given this, I think we can reasonably expect that Blizzard will include some other form of cash crop for scribes, even if it isn't as lucritive as the glyph market is today (50g per glyph? wtf). Between some type of Darkmoon card, offhands, and the mentioned glyph for actually changing a learned glyph - I think the scribes will be in great shape. This leads me to another point though.

Sense of entitlement

Much like the cryfest issued forth by raiders who lamented their equal tier of gear becoming available to any player who bothered to spend a few days in heroics, this is another round of players lamenting the loss of something that really wasn't theirs to begin with. Being upset that your cash cow is gone, after putting forth the money/effort to level that skill is a poor argument in my opinion. You've gotten the benifits (better shoulder enchants, sales, etc) for the duration of this expansion- expecting it to stay status quo through the next expansion is unrealistic.

I think it would certainly be better if every profession was either completely self containted (only JCs could use Gems, etc), but that would pretty much kill the WoW economy and remove a lot of the MMO feel - OR if each profession was able to generate an effective cash flow without much issue. This isn't the case now though (yes, it is much easier), but it's come a long way.


I think my point here, is that the game changes all the time. The mount/epic/profession you grind out today, may very well become commonplace tomorrow. This doesn't devalue the item or achievment (personal, not in game) because you had it 'first', or at least longer than the next guy to get it. I mean, my Thunderfury was great (still is), but it's certainly much more common now - and it's really pretty useless as far as tanking/threat goes in content that's two expansions out. This doesn't devalue the item though - and the plethora of engineers that cropped up once the AH was opened in Dalaran doesn't devalue my parachute cloak.

Look to the future, sure - but don't kid yourself. You've gotten your value from the item/profession - focus on what you'll have to do to stay competitive when the actual information and expansion are released.

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