Depending on which side of the debate you choose to stand, or even if you like to stick in the middle and see both points of view, it would be hard to disagree with the fundamental change that’s been wrought in the ‘casual’ side of Legion gameplay. The plan from day one was to give players a choice, but not to handicap them when doing so. That means, in Professions terms, everybody gets the same ‘basic’ set of recipes to play with. However, as time goes on (and 2 plus 3 star recipes are discovered,) you become more efficient in producing those items. They just take less raw materials to create each time.
For those of us with Completionist hats on, this is a bit like being tortured in a dark room. I’ll make no bones about my annoyance that I could only find one recipe at 3 stars that was easily purchasable, and that I still have ten points to progress making just this item. As Kurn has pointed out, this does go against the basic modus operandi of crafting, until I realise Activision Blizzard are sending me a message. I’m not supposed to have maxxed my skill after a month in the game. If they’d wanted me to have done that, I’d have been given recipes to do so. This is supposed to be the long game, and present crafting that matters. In fact, I can see myself farming for the three star recipes long after Legion’s legacy content, because their significance is only around the amount of raw material required to complete them. If this is about making Professions long term and important again? I’m just as well served getting my last ten points from doing the two Darkmoon Faire quests that award 5 skill points each in October and November.
This is as much about making this content last as is the case anywhere else in game.
As a player I feel the need to do things a certain way. The problem comes that ‘my way’ is not necessarily ‘the best way’: a lot of people spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to pronounce they have the best strat or the surefire means of progress, or making gold, or anything else in between. What I think this Expansion is trying to teach players like me is that there is no right way this time, there’s just options. If you can’t feel complete with L1 recipes because somehow the L3’s are the only best way? I think you missed the point. This game forces completionism in a lot of ways, mostly ‘gated’ behind Achievement thresholds that simply indicate you did X hours of legwork. There’s no skill reflected in the progression, a lot of the time, just a heck of a lot of luck and patience. Learning to let those go and concentrate on other things, for me at least, is proving quite difficult. However, the fact remains that once I hit 800, it doesn’t matter. I can do that in two months or twenty minutes if I choose to waste the materials to do so. In this case, I’m better off selling the leather and going to Darkmoon Island.
Choice can be a harsh mistress, after all.
What this also says to me is that I should be thinking more about getting the alts running for their particular journeys than I have already, because there is this issue with timing and gating to overcome. What I feel is going to happen is that at least a couple of people might end up with Artefacts before Saturday, so I can throw them into zones and pick up the breadcrumb quests to allow them to learn past 700 skill, then everybody goes to the Faire on Saturday and starts advancing their craft on a monthly basis, even if I don’t actually level anybody in between. That seems a better use of time I have now than fretting over the fact I can’t get a recipe in a Mythic dungeon. If there’s going to be progress, I have to try and release myself from a tyranny that is entirely of my own creation. I can play a main the entire Expansion and ignore all of this but it’s not what I want or indeed what is enjoyable. I’ll chip away at Reputations slowly with World Quests, and having a week of them supplying extra reputation as is now the case? So much the better.
However, I get now what has to be done. This isn’t a fault of the design process. It’s not something to be critical at a Designer for. Once I can afford all the Stage One recipes from the Suramar Trainer? That’s it, there is nothing else, only the ability to be more efficient. I do not fail if I don’t have everything at Level Three, it just takes more legwork to make. This is not ruining my enjoyment when there are other, easily accessible alternatives that simply take more time. It’s at moments like this I’m rather glad I’ve stopped reading Guides or listening to people telling me how I could do stuff so much better, because that’s actually how my enjoyment of this game ends up being ruined over time. I’m happy being an outlier. I’ll cope without everything straight away.
This is the way things work best for everybody going forward.