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Blizzard Development Q&A: Disappointing, and nearly non-existent, profession and economic news

Today’s Q&A hosted on the Battle.net World of Warcraft site was the first of what they hope to be many such sessions. While the developers answered a host of mostly class balance questions over the hour and a bit session, very little information was given to give us hints to what the economic face will be like when Mist of Pandaria goes live. One of the most interesting pieces we got was this:

The new cap for professions is 600 and we are currently not planning to add a new profession. We are hoping that pet battles will offer a fun, new type of activity for players to do that offers an alternative to player power progression.

While the cap raised to 600 is no surprise, what I did find surprising and disappointing was the fact that Blizzard eschewed developing a new profession and instead focused on creating the pet battle system. There can be two interpretations for this in my mind:

  • Blizzard doesn’t consider developing new economic content a priority or an issue, and was possibly dissuaded from a new profession due to the relative flop that was Archaeology
  • Blizzard is confident that the new pet system will be it’s own mini-profession that any character can access and will provided a new source of income for characters, and possibly expanding current professions to create more pets and creating more uses for less enticing professions (engineering)

Another interesting tidbit came almost accidentally

We aren’t happy at all with Prime glyphs because they are no-brainers (but often mathy to figure that out). We want to expand the Major glyphs because that is where the real decisions lie. Not sure of the future of Primes quite yet. They *might* go away. (Don’t freak, scribes!)

Of course the first thing you do when someone tells you not to panic/freak is do just that, panic or freak. If Blizzard just hacks these from the game scribes will essentially loose at least a third of their usefulness, taking an already shaky profession out at the knees. This supports me theory though that Blizzard has been dissuaded by past results to avoid making new professions, this is the second expansion in a row possibly that they are nerfing this profession after it’s release in Wrath of the Lich King. I sincerely hope they find some new product for scribes to make, because as some have pointed out it has the potential to become a dead end profession once the market is saturated.

Another interesting fact to note is that they seem to be sticking with the rest XP boost Pandaren will be getting (which apparently means their rested XP bar – the blue one – will last longer than other races). I am greatly curious as to what effect this will have on class distribution later on (“Why play a Paladin when I could level a Warrior faster?”). On that note, they are also keeping the food buff in but will balance it to be similar to racials such as the Worgen 1% crit bonus.

The last piece of information I want to touch upon from this Q&A is that Blizzard is planning on having two separate player hubs (cities?) for Horde and Alliance on Pandaria, but they don’t know what yet to do about those who simply want to mind their own business while posting auctions and the like

We will have separate player hubs for both the Horde and Alliance on Pandaria. Separate hubs means we do not have to make them sanctuary and will encourage world PVP. These hubs will have access to an AH, Bank and general vendors. Valor, conquest, profession and faction vendors will be scattered around the world to encourage travel.

Yes, we certainly don’t want you to always be back-stabbed while you are setting up your auctions. However, if a group of the opposing faction wants to form a raid and attack your city, we want them to have a chance to be successful. So yes and no. =)

I’m interested in what they do about this, especially on PvE realms (but only from a curiosity standpoint, I play on a PvP realm), because the placement of my bank alts depend on it!

Questions I tried to ask but didn’t get answered:

  • How will the Pandaren starting zone’s Auction House work if the players are neutral when they start?
    • Will it be neutral?
    • Will it be separate, if so how will it be supplied?
    • What will happen with Pandaren and the Remote Auction House?
  • Any word on lifting the 10 characters per realm cap?
  • Ghostcrawler promised me a moose!
  • Any chance of fixing perks like Bountiful Bags not working for Greater Celestial Essences?
  • Any plans for removing the dailies requirement for Jewelcrafting?
  • Any chance of Jewelcrafting getting some useful jewellery in the upcoming expansion?
  • Seriously, WHERE IS MY MOOSE!

I’ve posted my notes I took from the Q&A on questions even remotely related to gold and the economy for those who are interested.

 

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.

3 comments

  1. Foo

    Personally I am not surprised about the lack of new professions.

    They are a tacked on mini-game. Blizzard makes some effort to ensure some profitability for your main professions and to discourage single player domination of all markets. However they do not work too hard to balance them.

    Crafters for profit are the 1%. We will get more information later. Keep an eye on Kaliope‘s blog for breaking information.

  2. Eric Dekker

    Yea I can’t wait for the beta to come around, I’m really glad I opted for the annual pass to guarantee me a beta spot.

  3. Dee

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