04 September 2008

A Tale of Two Professions

I've now leveled two crafting professions to 375. They provide an interesting comparison.

Alamein is a leatherworker. There wasn't a lot of thought in the choice -- not much more than "she wears leather armor, so she should be a leatherworker." It's worked out fairly well. The drums are quite nice, though we have to be careful since both Wyrmm and Firegrin are also leatherworker/percussionists. We just have to time our drumming so that it doesn't overlap. But the biggest benefit has been the Windhawk Set. Alamein is unlikely to get rid of that until fairly far into WotLK. It's not only a strong set, but its bonuses work very well for switching back and forth between Resto and Balance.

Sali is an Engineer. I really chose it just because it sounded fun, and it has been. The [Destruction Holo-gogs] are top notch. The trinkets are great for early levels, and the mote extractor is great for making money. However, mages get less use out of engineering than most classes. All the bombs are pretty much useless, since mages can do that kind of thing better anyway. That also rules out Goblin engineering as a specialty. Goblin engineering isn't bad but the [Gnomish Poultryizer] is rather pointless too due to Polymorph. And the crazy +stamina on trinkets isn't all that helpful either. And there's not much you can sell as an engineer that will make you much money. So while I'm still enjoying it, it's not a huge advantage to me either.

I expected the benefits to be different, but I was surprised at how different the leveling experience was. The first factor is that Sali, as a gnome, gets the +15 skill bonus. When it comes to leveling those final points to 375, that's huge. She got the last 5 points all from making parts -- felsteel stabilizer and so forth. With Alamein it was a real struggle to reach 375 -- even more so before the 2.3.0 patch that reduced rep requirements to get drum patterns.

The second part is that 375 skill was huge for leatherworking but anticlimactic for engineering. With leatherworking, 375 meant that Alamein could make the Windhawk set -- the whole reason Alamein took the profession. For engineering, Sali could make her epic goggles at 350 skill. While the new epic goggles are fantastic, they rendered all the old goggles obsolete. So the gnomish schematics learned at 375 are pointless. I am interested in making the [Gyro-balanced Khorium Destroyer] for Firegrin, so 375 still has some value. But for Sali, there's nothing worthwhile at 375.

If I had to theorycraft, there's no comparison: leatherworking is both harder and more beneficial. I got three quality armor pieces and a whole array of drums to use. Engineering gets me a great helm and not a whole lot more. But beyond the straight stats, it's just a lot of fun. And that's worth a lot! I'm not sure what WotLK will bring. I haven't seen anything special yet for either profession; I'm sure that the high-end itemization isn't around yet. I'm curious whether they'll advance the specializations; in particular I'm looking forward to seeing whether leatherworking continues to give me good gear. We'll see how it goes!

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