Today, I want to talk about the state of professions in Dragonflight. Specifically, I want to discuss how they are really doing based on the feedback I've received and my own experiences. It's important to note that our experiences with profession changes in Dragonflight can depend on many factors, including realm size, realm demographics, the professions we choose, our playstyle, how much we play the game, and how much we invest in our characters. My goal with this video is not to persuade anyone, but rather to invite discussion and share ideas and stories. It's also worth mentioning that some WoW developers may be watching this sort of content, so let's try to be polite.
In my opinion, the profession changes were marketed as a revamp or overhaul that moved away from the old system of obtaining recipes, making items, and hoping they sell on the auction house or trade chat. The idea of specializations was limited to a few professions and, in some cases, we could sell those specializations. However, I think there's a combination of the WoW team and players forgetting or denying that professions are a form of player vs player interaction. In most MMOs, there are solo, co-op, and PVP versions of professions. In Dragonflight, going solo with professions would mean running a lot of alts to be self-sufficient at every level of production. Going co-op means working with a tight-knit group like a guild to meet goals and thrive together. The PVP version involves competing for business.
Looking at the first few weeks of Dragonflight, it was not surprising that Gathering professions had a huge win at the start. With season one just starting, we are starting to see the normalization of supply and demand of gathered goods, but there is still good money to be made for gatherers. Meanwhile, crafting professions started off as they usually do, leveling up and making a lot of items that we aren't going to use while we work towards specialization points. Many of these items are bind on equipped and can be sold on the auction house, leading to crafting orders taking a bit of a hit. However, as we progress through the expansion and reach higher levels, it seems that crafting professions are starting to pick up and hold their own.
Crafting orders were initially a difficult or even impossible weekly quest for some players because the market for bind on equipped (BoE) leveling items was not viable. However, profession gear was one of the first things that regular players could get access to in order to differentiate themselves from others, which became a cutthroat business. Some players were able to exploit the Artisans Consortium reputation by completing all available profession quests for the faction and switching between professions until they had a large amount of reputation and access to recipes before anyone else. Other profession tool recipes were only accessible through high renown, leading some players to grind or exploit the system in order to get these recipes.
Professions are largely a system that pits players against one another and, while frustrating, it's important to respect the hustle. Crafting orders are a cool idea, but they also hyperfocus on the demographics of a given realm, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of specializations and professions. Specializations are a window into how a character and its operator (the player) identify themselves, but they don't bring a lot of excitement when players have to specialize in just parts or gathering because they are on a low population realm and crafting orders would not work very well.
On the largest realms, which tend to focus on PVE content and contain the top 100-200 guilds, there is a desire for the best versions of items and competitive markets for player crafters. However, they still have the traffic and are expected to thrive. Player gatherers, on the other hand, don't use crafting orders and instead just use the regular auction house or trade chat to sell their goods. Smaller realms tend to focus more on PVP content and have less traffic, leading to less demand for items and a less competitive market for player crafters.
During the pre-season, professions focused a lot on preparation and building the crafting industry. The biggest users of crafting orders were probably crafters themselves trying to make top tier profession tools. This was followed by those who were lucky enough to have high-end Titan training matrixes or crazy enough to have Primal infusions. In hindsight, it seems that Dragonflight created a problem for itself by making so much gear available in the outdoor world. It was great that there was so much gear available, to the point where players could outgear Mythic zero content without even stepping into an instance, but it would have been better if there were more Titan matrixes dropping from world content to increase the variety of cool items we get. These matrixes are currently limited to Mythic zeros, which can only be run once a week, and a world quest that refreshes twice a week. It would be great if these Titan matrixes were also tradable account-wide.
When season one started, Sparks of Ingenuity became available and we're starting to see more activity for higher end crafted items. However, the start of season one also highlighted the specific nuances of supply and demand from players. The recipe for the Elemental Lariat neck became available through Primal invasions and instantly became the must-have item. Jewel crafting was the winningest profession early in the season, as expected based on patches 9.1 and 9.2. In those patches, players were able to wear one special crafted piece of gear that could be infused with extra item level, and the most popular combination was to infuse this item level into necks and rings for the highest secondary gain. This time, other crafting professions are just waiting in line for the next spot to be made available, as player behavior will just have people move from the best item to the next best item and so on.
Professions are largely a player-driven system with windows of opportunity for players to capitalize on demand and make a profit. It's frustrating when the fantasy of crafting feels shattered, but it's important to remember that professions are not just about making a profit. They are also about self-sufficiency, teamwork, and personal fulfillment. It's up to players to find their own balance between these goals and to decide how much time and effort they During the pre-season, professions focused a lot on preparation and building the crafting industry. The biggest users of crafting orders were crafters themselves trying to make top tier profession tools, followed by those with Primal infusions or high-end Titan training matrixes. In hindsight, Dragonflight may have created a problem for itself by making so much gear available in the outdoor world. It would have been great if these Titan matrixes were also tradable account-wide and if there were daily refresh World quests. At the start of season one, the recipe for the Elemental Lariat neck became available through Primal invasions and instantly became the must-have item and recipe. Jewel crafting was the winning profession early in the season because players wanted to infuse one special crafted piece of gear with extra item level, typically in necks and rings. However, this led to other crafting professions feeling left out of the market and waiting for the next opportunity to be made available. Professions are largely a player-driven system with a focus on competition and, while frustrating, it's important to respect the hustle.
asked if they can reset their specialization points because they made a mistake or it turns out their specialization that they chose doesn't work out very well and I feel bad about that especially as a content creator who tried to help and I myself fell victim to this too like my engineering specs are not in a good place at all but anyway any method that we try to sell the idea of respects it’s not going to work for a very simple reason that by the time that you do respect it's too late even if respects were there from the start even if there was like a cooldown or a cost or a penalty by the time you did it by the time you respect it would be too late because you're still competing with everyone the goal that you lost or that you saw pass by its already gone it’s already spent you're not going to be able to somehow get that back.
Funny enough though not I'm thinking about this funny enough this is one of those arguments where we can say uh yeah it is too late might as well let us do it anyway because otherwise my profession is literally dead so I might as well not give up hope I’ve also been observing a lot of debates over crafting orders as well like some people want public orders public crafting orders to have a quality requirement.
Now there are a few immediate problems that I see with that like if we give players an opportunity to care about quality in public orders we're going to see up and coming Crafters who are just coming into the game seeing what's going on who can only make like rank ones or twos because they're still leveling up they’re going to feel totally left outby this system it kind of sucks or it would definitely suck to learn a cool recipe that's effectively worthless until you spec hard enough into it to guarantee like a rank three or four or higher people on low pop Realms they already have trouble fulfilling orders to skill up and it would be that much worse if clients could choose quality and basically keep those Crafters down and locked out now to be fair it does suck as a client if you were to get good materials you know plug it into the crafting order system only to have like a rank one or rank two being spit back at you and expectations have clearly been subverted but that's also a lesson learned.
The approach towards public orders really is to expect low quality and so put in low quality it's a system of convenience I think when trade chat is not able to answer your most immediate needs at the moment but if you do want something high quality you got to be patient you don't want to use public orders just ask to talk to someone in trade if a crafter is on or they’ll definitely answer because they are hungry and they want your business but if no one answers then the crafter that you need clearly isn't available or they’re not on they're not present so you can just wait or you can settle fora public order just do yourself a favor and go cheap there's also talk from people who want region-wide crafting orders you know whether they're public or personal or both because you know consider folks who have friends on other servers it kind of sucks that they can’t help out one another through crafting order interactions and as much as I want it to be like the best Shield crafter in the region.
that also can create some very big problems like what if I was an actual big streamer right and Regional crafting orders were a thing like I know what I would do as a you know million dollar streamer or whatever I would announce that I'm doing some blacksmithing work like hey guys I'm on Twitch I'm live I'm doing blacksmith and stuff send me your work orders let’s have a chat and people would probably just line up for them to have me make something for them like they would do it just for the sake of me reading their name or whatever funny thing they have to say in the comments I would effectively be enriching myself with stream traffic while taking your guys gold tips and I'd be reading off messages and so on and so forth I would have like this definitive outside advantage over other blacksmiths that Would actually make real money off of doing too and I think that just wouldn’t be fair.
Now I could I can't see public orders being region-wide to address the crafting order drought that many experience on smaller Realms but I’m also a little bit nervous that doing so wouldn’t so much solve that problem as much as it would share the entire problem and I think that the wow team has to gather more data and probably do some back-end work before that can become a thing so even if it is going to happen, we'll probably have to wait awhile overall though I'm somewhere between neutral and happy leaning closer to happy with how professions have turned out so far in dragonflight enjoying does require good decision making and a lot of interaction in game which might have been kind of the goal it’s a game that's how I'm seeing this it’s a game but it's not the kind of game where everyone where every experience is good where you know where everyone wins there are winners and losers, no one likes being a loser or they don't like being stuck on a loser realm and there are some more there’s some immediate improvements that's I think would help like I was saying this earlier like open up the low-level Market with more Titan matrixes and consider Regional public orders but you know maybe adjust the crafting order to guess ensure some more fair play now I said earlier that I'm not here talking as if I'm right about stuff, I’m just sharing my thoughts and I'd like you to share your own thoughts and experiences and feedback too and that's all I've got stay safe stay healthy and stay Breezy!
How Dragonflight Professions Are Doing 4 Weeks Later - Discussion and Feedback
Professions in Dragonflight went through a a big revamp and in its current state it shines a light on the consequences of our choices from profession to realm to whatever specialization might be a good idea. How'd it turn out?