Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alchemy changes & content patch

Blizzard started to release information about the upcoming changes to the professions. The alchemy changes are connected to Tigole's announcement that Blizz wants to rework the amount of consumables needed for raids. The changes for alchemy include
# Elixirs now stack in two categories, Battle (Offensive) and Guardian (Defensive) Elixirs. You can only have one of each type of Elixir up at a time. As a result Elixirs now stack with class abilities such as "Arcane Intellect."
# Four new defensive elixirs have been added. Two are on trainers, one is in Halaa and one is in Cenarion Expedition.
# "Flask of Petrification" can no longer be turned off during its duration, but it now will clear all threat from all monsters for the duration of the effect. Though monsters may reaquire you after the effect ends.
# The cost to purchase Imbued Vials has been reduced.

The cost for the vials is only very minor compared to what some herbs cost at the AH. Some main problems still won't be fixed with this and questions remain. For me the food buffs via cooking seem to be in good order, fishing will get slightly buffed with the patch as well. So it looks like you'll only be able to have one elixir of each type (offensive/defensive) on you at a time, which will stack with buffs (remains to be seen what the new elixirs will be like), which is most likely more benefitial to casters. Question is: Will flasks count as some type of elixir? If not, why should they still procc for elixir master? All the elixir masters trying to reasoning why flasks should procc for them makes me tired anyway. I can understand they try to defend it, but at the moment potion and elixir master are nowhere near par. One main reason for this is that the new major protection potions are way to expensive to produce and for ~30g a potion, no one is using them.

I'm really disappointed with the state of alchemy and my mastery (being potion). Thulf has always been one of the best alchemists on Argent Dawn, since release. As alchemy is easy to level, many people have alts being alchemists which satisfy their "normal" potion needs - a fact that makes it harder for us "fulltime" alchemists to brew in bulk to maybe discover additional recipes. There is a demand for high-end potions, but still it's too easy to obtain all the recipes, or at least was in old "vanilla" WoW. The new discovery system is just too random to do any good. While i embrace the idea of having some variety between the crafters, a serious alchemist brewing thousands of potions can still be unlucky and not discover a single new recipe. I discovered one flask so far, while i know some others who only brew very seldom already got 2-3 new recipes. My main gripe with the situation elixir vs. potions is, beside the major prot pots, that the new 15sec boost potions are not useful enough to be in demand. Maybe if they would not share the same cooldown with eg. mana/healing potions people would consider them more. I know ALL BoE alchemy recipes and most BoP ones as well, still it does not put me in a situation where some of the pots, I'm one of the few alchemists to know the recipe, are in high demand. The cost vs. usefulness just does not cut it. The main potion i get some joy out of my mastery is the Ironshield one, but that's about it for the moment. So IMO Blizzard also needs to rework the level of potion use vs. elixir use.

Back to the changes for consumables: The posted changes don't really change *that* much. Depending on how the new elixirs will be and what herbs they'll use, i forsee some new bottlenecks for herbs, as eg. only certain types of potions are being valued best and therefore demand for those herbs will go up while some other elixirs won't be bothered much about anymore. So far there is no word about maybe improving the herb supply a little bit by eg. give one more from each node. Oh, i just got one Lichen from the node, the rest i have to share with the other three herbalists in my group. If it will still be possible to use flask + 2x elixir + food buffs + weapon buffs, etc. It won't really change that much (at least not for tanks or healers)... although for some weak geared raids some of the DPS race fights could prove more troublesome. There are rumours about flasks using up both slots for elixirs, but nothing definite yet. Blue said they'll most likely release more info on the alchemy changes at the end of the week. As it was stated the preview does not include all changes, this will stay interesting. The reduced amount of potions you can use will have a slight impact on the amount of gold/farm time invested in raiding but it's still not enough to make up for a whole night of wiping at new content wit new pots each go, where you maybe spend 20-30 pots of each type per night. So hopefully there is more to come... I can understand Blizzard does not want to retune every encounter due to heavy changes, but if you eg. look at the AP you can gain from pots/flasks the mentioned change is minimal and does in no way reduce the necessity of potting up for difficult encounters.

Blizzard also released a sneakpeak into new content for the upcoming patch 2.1.0. Looks like more "casual" lvl 70 content will be implemented, which is nice. Even if some talk about upcoming Skettis becoming the new Silithius and fear the new content will be equally grind orientated, we'll have to wait and see. Maybe Blizzard learned from those past mistakes, maybe not. Nether Drakes will be implemented as well, the non-armored ones. Looks like the already existing questline will continue in some way. The Netherdrake mount will be 280% (epic) speed, while the armored ones from arena will be 310%. I'm not sure if I'll bother to obtain one. I'm not really fond of their looks and might only go for it if it's a difficult thing to obtain (yes, I'm an achiever *g*). I really would like to know where the PvE counterpart for the 310% mount can be acquired.. only time will tell.

On a last sidenote, in addition to AtlasLoot i started to use SellFish, which adds sell values (selling stuff to a vendor) to your items. Useful if your bag space is limited and you have to decide what stuff to throw away.

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At 10/4/07 15:49, Blogger Cort said...

Let me make sure I understand this correctly... Elixirs will stack with buffs now, but you can only have one elixir at a time on? So Elixir of Major Firepower won't stack with Adept's Elixir? Is that correct?

At 11/4/07 00:26, Blogger Thulf said...

Aye, that's how i understand it.. as both elixirs you mentioned will most likely count as being "offensive".

At 12/4/07 00:57, Anonymous Salmons said...

Hey there,

still reading your blog with much interest ;)

After rerolling, and being an alchemist, I think all of this really sucks. I am most in favor in some sort of "recipe grinding", like they did with the old flasks. Reached exalted with all the required factions, so I can make all of them now --> e.g. working pays off :)

The discovery system stinks on the one hand (made over 6000 pots, no discovery), but in a way it's always exiting to brew some pots (guess you know the feeling ;)).

The fact that elixirs won't stack anymore is probably the end of my current "raidspec". I use an arcane build, simply because it offers more survivability, and use a lot of elixirs (and also flask of supreme power) to stay on par with the fire mages. After the new "improved" system is introduced I guess this will end. Quite depressing.... :*(

Oh well, nice to see you posted something about alchemy changes, the official forums were a little confusing for me!

And, please keep making new posts, they are always very informative, and I am trying to promote your blog on my new server (people always tell me how much they like it ;)).

Tata Thulfie,

-the gnome formerly known as Salmons-

At 12/4/07 11:19, Blogger Thulf said...

Thanks for the nice words about my blog. Despite not that many comment-discussions, sometimes I'm surprised who reads it if the conversation comes to it. ;)

The idea behind the alchemy discovery system, that not all alchemists are equal, is nice... but the reality sucks for many alchemists. Basicly crafting in WoW is just way too boring, you can't really do anything and beside very few rare epic recipes all crafters are equally skilled and if you're one of the top-crafters in your area you only have a small window of opportunity to make serious money from it.

If the system would be more complicated and would allow you to experiment more with combines and create different results then others, it would be much more interesting... but that's not WoW. World of Warcraft is no rocket science and never will be. When it comes to the crafting system, that always bugged me. The next MMORPG that can attract me definately will need a better crafting system... even DAoC was more fun crafting then WoW.

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