PTR Alchemy Changes

Hang onto your Frost Lotuses, people. MMO Champion has just datamined a huge change to alchemy for 3.1:

All flasks recipes will now create 2 flasks for the same amount of ingredients but now last 1 hour instead of 2.

Oh noes! The sky is falling!

Maybe not, but the prices of flasks certainly will be. The only silver lining here is that PTR sellers say that flasks are stacking to 20 (a net buff) and proccing up to 10 per combine.

Quick Analysis

1. This change benefits flask buyers. Now they will be able to buy flasks to suit the typical raid time for their guild as opposed to “wasting” an hour or so on a flask.

2. This change is a slight disadvantage to elixir-specced alchemists. We didn’t usually mind wasting an hour on our 4-hour flasks. On the whole, I predict less sales volume for those of us who sold large amounts of flasks. Our customers will probably stay the same–raiders. You can’t make a noob flask just by making it more convenient! He’ll still say it’s too expensive. The customer’s gain here is the seller’s loss. The same players will buy less total flask hours. I’m not sure what will happen to the price–it may all settle out to about the same margins, but it may not.

3. This change is a HUGE setback for stockpilers. Thankfully I’ve been selling out my stock every day. I’m down to 5 flasks of the Frost Wyrm and 4 flasks of Mojo. I guess I’ll sell the former before the market reacts and drink the latter.

4. The biggest losers here are guild banks. Many of those–including Conquest’s–have stockpiled hundreds of flasks. To those guilds (psst, Matt)–I recommend selling what you can now or just letting raiders drink them for the full effect. Hold off on all future combines at least until there’s an answer on what happens to old stock. My guess is that all flasks, including ones made before the patch, will become 1 hour duration, but players and guilds will not receive doubles. That’s in line with past policy changes, for example, already-acquired Je’Tze’s Bells did not change from soulbound to BoE when the item lost its BoP status.

Anyway, time to rethink my flask business!

Edit: Stockpilers are safe! We’ll be able to trade in one of the old flasks for two of the new. Read the blue post on the subject below.

As many of you have learned, we will be reducing the duration of flask effects so that they only last one hour. However, all recipes that create flasks will create two instead of one for the same material cost. Additionally, we will be increasing stack size from 5 to 20 as we anticipate players will need to carry more flasks at a given time. Vendor value for flasks has also been reduced to keep the auction house deposit low.

Our goal with the change was to allow players greater flexibility when determining how long they plan to raid, as currently we were seeing many players balance time spent raiding around flask duration. We also anticipate that this change will make using flasks in dungeons and battlegrounds a more reasonable decision for players. Though this change will not occur until patch 3.1.0, we wanted to give as much advance notice as possible in case some of you who are stockpiling flasks would prefer to wait to do so until the change is implemented.

We realize players who currently have stockpiled a lot of flasks may feel like they will lose money with this change, since their current flasks will only last for half as long once 3.1.0 goes live. To partially remedy this, we are going to allow players to exchange any current Northrend flasks (Flask of the Frost Wyrm, Flask of Stoneblood, Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of Pure Mojo) for two flasks with the shorter duration. Flasks from older content will not be grandfathered in, and going forward, it will only be possible to make the flasks with a one hour duration.

On Min-Maxing Professions

On Min-Maxing Professions

a-long-walk-off-a-short-cliff

Ever since her creation, Sydera has been a dual crafter. She toiled not, and neither did she spin. I’ve changed the specific crafting professions a few times for one raid advantage or another, but in late BC I decided on Enchanting and Alchemy. I took on Alchemy–without an herbalist alt–then for the Alchemist’s Stone, which was a best-in-slot trinket at the time. I still love Enchanting and Alchemy for raiding. They combine a raid advantage with convenience. The self-only ring enchants continue to be strong, and I love being able to disenchant my old gear and turn it into a useful commodity. Moreover, I always raid with a flask or dual elixirs, and I enjoy the boost to those consumables when it counts. My favorite raiding advantage, though, would have to be the four-hour flasks. The psychological effect is quite positive, and I would say that the boost to morale counts more than the actual gold saved.

However, the big disadvantage to Sydera has always been that she can’t extract anything useful from the game world while she’s questing. Lately I’ve been buying herbs and selling the resultant flasks on the AH. I always make a little bit of money, mostly because of the procs from being elixir-specced, but it’s nothing fantastic. The bulk of my gold earning in Wrath has been from selling the BoE Emblem of Valor bracers. However, it wasn’t quite enough for me.

Min-maxing for raiding is always my priority, but I need money too. The primary reason has nothing to do with me. Rather, the recent discussions of relative tank health among the four classes coupled with the imminent release of a more difficult raid dungeon prompted my A#1 Tank and Significant Other, Briolante, to make a plan to level jewelcrafting to replace his herbalism. The problem? My flask business and his glyph business didn’t make enough money to support a profession change, especially with Ulduar and its higher repair bills looming. So, enter Part B of the min-maxing plan: my under-utilized, underprivileged paladin alt, Marfisa.

professional-marfi

Marfi was my second WoW character, but she was the first one to leave her starting area. I raided with her in Classic, back when I didn’t know what I was doing, and I healed through Kara with her in early BC. She’s been Retribution since mid-BC, but I didn’t really do much with her even when Ret was the Flavor of the Month (for about 10 minutes at patch 3.0). In the last three weeks, however, Briolante and I tag team-leveled her up to 77, and she has a brand-new shiny fully-leveled herbalism to go with the mining she’s had since Dire Maul was a cool new place to go. As for Brio’s jewelcrafting, the last I checked, it was at 200, so we’re moving right along.

Now, I know I could have gone about this differently, focusing on earning money through the AH to buy ore and herbs, but I chose to level an alt for gathering because it’s a solution that will work not just for now, and for this profession change, but future ones should we choose to do so. In the next expansion, Marfi might be leveling skinning instead of herbalism, but now that she’s close to max level, she’s in a good position to be a helper-gatherer over again should things change. With Crusader Aura to help out and the movement speed increase for Ret, she’s an excellent choice for a hunt-n-fetcher as well. My warlock would have been a poor choice in comparison.

For me, leveling an alt just to service my household’s two raiding mains was an extreme move. Now I’ll use Marfi to provide herbs to Syd and herbs and ore to Brio. I have to say, I’m liking the convenience of it. I’ve already made some flasks on Syd just on the herbs I used to level, and I can tell you, I’m not going to be hoarding Frost Lotus anymore. But who knows when poor Marfi will hit 80! Probably in 6 months, when she gets there purely through killing those pesky mobs that like to stand next to my Icethorn.

Here’s what I told my guild when I dinged 450 herbalism. They were teasing me about my ambition to buy a Je’Tze’s Bell, which sells for about 8,000g on my server.

I said: “Now that I’m a gatherer, money is like dirt. There’s always more lying around on the ground.”

I’m proud to say that I came up with that truly terrible pun on the fly.

My question to you, dear readers, is this:

How far will you go to min-max your character?

Guest Post: 3.0 Professions for the Priest (and Clothies)

This is a guest post written by Galadria.

Hello Matt’s Readers!  For those of you who remember me, I’m back playing WoW and writing my blog again.  For those of you who don’t, I’m Galadria and I write Galadria’s Corner (yes I renamed it… again) formerly The Light and The Dark formerly The Holy Light.  I’ve got raiding experience on 2 level 70 Priests, one Holy and one Shadow, and I’m now rolling new toons on a new server, another Priest and now a Warlock (they’re both 40ish at the moment).  Without further ado, here’s my thoughts on Professions in Wrath!

Professions have taken a slightly different flavor in WotLK. Each has its own unique benefits, even the gathering professions. It seems to me that Blizz decided to balance not only classes, but professions. Tailoring was so incredibly OP for casters that I felt I didn’t have a choice but to learn Tailoring or be horribly gimped in raid.  With each profession having something special, the selection of your professions requires a little more thought (especially if you’re leveling new toons like I am!). The information included is from the Beta and WoWHead’s WotLK site. Since WotLK isn’t live yet this data isn’t set in stone there are likely to be a few changes. When the expansion goes live I’ll let you know what changed and how (over at my blog, or course, so add me to your reader if you haven’t already!  /shameless plug off). With the disclaimers out of the way, here we go!

Alchemy

  • Double duration on Flasks and Elixirs
  • Increased effects of Flasks & Elixirs (it appears that the increased effects are 37 spellpower for flasks and 19 spellpower for Battle Elixirs, not sure about Guardian Elixirs)
  • BoP trinket (Mercurial Alchemist Stone) that will increase effects of Pots by 40%. The highest mana potion grants 4200 to 4400 and we’ll assume that the average is in the middle. Adding 40% gives 6020 mana.  Let’s assume for simplicity’s sake that boss fights are 5 mins (I’ve heard as low a 3 and up to 8).  Over a 5 min boss fight, the unbuffed mana pot gives 71.5 MP5, the buffed is 100.3 MP5.  Using the same logic for health pots, with the largest being about 3600 plus 40% gives 5040, giving 12 HPS unbuffed and 16.8 HPS buffed (I’m not sure how meaningful that statistic is, but there you go… I did the math for you!)
  • If PvP is your thing, there are also craftable Arena potions.

The Bottom Line: Alchemy can be a great profession for anyone. The double duration will save you money and I think the Alchemy stone will be very valuable with the potion changes (my gut is telling me that this is going to be one of the more powerful profession benefits available, but nothing is set in stone yet).  It can also be a money maker if you can get your hands on some of the rare or discovered recipes.  If you are going to be an Alchemist I highly recommend Herbalism to go with it so you don’t have to purchase Herbs.

Blacksmithing

  • Extra Socket for Bracers and Gloves
  • Entry level BoP Epic Weapon

The Bottom Line: I can’t recommend Blacksmithing for any caster since we can’t use the majority of the crafted products.

Enchanting

  • Enchanter only Ring enchants that give 19 spell power or 24 stamina

The Bottom Line: I think we’ll find Enchanting to be less tedious to level and make money off of than it used to be with the introduction of scrolls.  A friend told me that she was actually able to make a little money selling the enchanted scrolls that she made while leveling Enchanting.  While it’s a pain to level, Enchanting requires no gathering profession and therefore pairs well with Tailoring or any gathering profession for money making.  To me the ring enchants aren’t enough to make me level the profession, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good option for any caster (as it has always been!)

Engineering

  • Mounts
  • Utility enchants for gloves (rocket launcher, haste)
  • Portable Mailbox and Vendor
  • Epic Helmets – This is a level 72 helmet, I’m sure there will be a level 80 one but I can’t anything on WoWHead right now.

The Bottom Line: I’m not sure Engineering is a great choice for a caster… but I don’t think it’s a bad one either.  The Repair Bot brings a lot of utility to raid and there’s no denying the mounts are really cool.  If Engineering is your thing I can’t knock you for it.

Herbalism

  • Lifeblood: a self HoT that scales with Herbalism level, costs no mana, and does not trigger the GCD. At it’s current incarnation Rank 6, available at 450 Herbalism grants 2000 health over 5 seconds with a 3 min cooldown. If used every time it’s available it averages out to 11 HPS.
  • Fire Seed: increases spellpower by 200 for 10 seconds with a 1 min cooldown. It also increases damage taken by 10% and reduces all resistances to zero. Shares a cooldown with other crafted consumables (Drums and Grenades but not Pots, Healthstones, or Mana Gems)
  • Herbalism provides the raw materials for the crafting professions of Alchemy and Inscription

The Bottom Line: As far as gathering professions go, Herbalism is my favorite and the 2 crafting professions Herbalism benefits are both useful to a caster. If you need a profession to make money for you Herbalism can be a good choice, especially since there are now 2 crafting professions that benefit from it and therefore more demand.  Also, Lifeblood has saved my tail more than once!!

Inscription

  • Scroll of Recall – consumable hearthstone with a 20 min cooldown that is separate from regular hearthstone
  • BoP Off-Hands – There’s a PvP oriented one (or Lock tank) and a general caster one.  Both look to be pretty good.
  • Scribe only Shoulder enchants – these are MUCH better than the reputation versions
  • The extra Glyph slot was taken out.

The Bottom Line: I can tell you from personal experience that the Scroll of Recall is HIGHLY useful, but it’s not a raid benefit.  The shoulder enchants are much better than the reputation versions and don’t require a rep grind on top of it. I’m leveling Inscription on my Priest and really liking it!  If you are going to have Inscription for a profession I recommend Herbalism to go with it so you will have easy access to the raw materials for Milling.

Jewelcrafting

  • Slightly better epic gemsyou can equip up to 3 and they are prismatic to match any socket color.  The JC only gems have 7 crit, haste, or hit, 3 MP5, 11 sta, or 9 sp more than their counterparts.  These are epic gems so to see this benefit you’ll need gear you’re willing to put epic gems in!
  • Entry level BoP trinketsHealer, or Caster DPS

The Bottom Line: Jewelcrafting can be a money maker if you can get the high-end patterns, though it is very expensive to level (second only to Blacksmithing).  If you are going to have this as a profession I would recommend Mining to go with it so you have easy access to the ore for Prospecting.

Leatherworking

The Bottom Line: Leatherworking is like Blacksmithing, I can’t recommend it for a caster

Mining

  • Health bonus that scales with mining level
  • Mining provides the raw materials for the crafting professions of Blacksmithing and Jewlecrafting and is recommended for Engineering.

The Bottom Line: If you are a Jewelcrafter, Mining is a good choice for your second profession.  Also not a bad idea to accompany Engineering.  I also know several people that have paired it with Enchanting to make money

Skinning

  • Bonus to Crit rating (now that Crit is a uniform stat this will benefit melee as well as casters)
  • Skinning provides the raw materials for the crafting profession Leatherworking.

The Bottom Line: If you need money Mining or Herbalism will make you a lot more money and Leatherworking just doesn’t benefit us.  However, if you are going to have 2 gathering professions for leveling or on an alt skinning pairs well with the others since you can’t track herbs and mineral nodes at the same time.

Tailoring

The Bottom Line: It appears that Tailoring won’t be practically necessary for clothies this time around. Yay! I have never really liked Tailoring, the only reason I had it was to get the gear. That said, Tailoring is nice because it requires no gathering profession and can be easy to level while you level your toon since you are always picking up cloth. Bags can be a money maker on some servers (my experience is that it will be more profitable on low-pop servers).

There you have it!  You can look at the BOP benefits of each and see which suits your playstyle best.  I think we’ll see a lot more variety in professions this time around.  I’m really looking forward to seeing where the expansion takes us.

Wrath Priest Tailoring Set

Is there going to be a Primal Mooncloth equivalent in the expansion?

In a word, yes there will be. The next layer of cloth is called Moonshroud. Here’s the two tailoring items we can make from them in order to bootstrap ourselves into Naxx:

Moonshroud Gloves
Moonshroud Robe

Gloves requirements:

4 Moonshroud
4 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
1 Eternium Thread
1 Frozen Orb (Primal Nether equivalent)

Robe requirements:

8 Moonshroud
6 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
1 Eternium Thread
1 Frozen Orb

A Bolt of Imbued Frostweave takes 3 Bolt of Frostweave. A Bolt of Frostweave takes 5 Frostweave Cloth

A Bolt of Imbued Frostweave takes 15 Frostweave. The Robe takes 90 Frostweave and the Gloves take 60.

I think.

Assuming I carried the 1 right.

You can learn these from the Grand Master Tailoring Trainers in Dalaran or Howling Fjord.

There’s some great discussion going on right now in Plusheal about Priest professions. Others are discussing the future of Priestly trades. Why not jump in and join them?

Over 1000 Herbs Required to Level Inscription to 350

At least, that’s according to Siha’s Inscription guide. If you’re planning on becoming a glyph maker and picking up this profession, consider this an excellent starting point. If you’re the farmer and want to know what to stock pile, according to Siha:

Shopping List

The bottom line: based on all of the above, here’s what you’ll need to level Inscription as high as possible when 3.0.2 goes live.

  • 150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
  • 60x Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, or Swiftthistle
  • 150x Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, or Wild Steelbloom
  • 140x Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, or Wintersbite
  • 210x Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, or Sungrass
  • 350x Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • 360x Any Outland herbs

That’s a lot of grass to stockpile.

11 Excuses: How to Tell the Real Life Professions of Your Healers

11 Excuses: How to Tell the Real Life Professions of Your Healers

The people that play World of Warcraft come from all manner of job backgrounds and disciplines. Many of us are students. Some of us work in the office. No doubt there are players who come from military backgrounds. But did you know you can tell what kind of job your healer has when you put him on the spot? It’s true! It might not be relevant, but you might find it interesting to know what supports the fix of the WoW playing healer! I guarantee you that someone out there has uttered these words*!

*Note: Not a real guarantee.

Lawyer

"Do you have any evidence with which to base your claim on that it was, in fact, my lack of heals that cause my client, this tank, to lose health and subsequently die?"

Politician

"Think of the big picture. Our cause is just. I believe we have to stay the course. There is a concept known as acceptable casualties. The loss of a tank, in this case, certainly falls under that. As long as we complete our mission, then everything is perfectly alright."

Forensics

"Judging by the position of the tank relative to me and taking into account the time of death, I do not believe that I was the cause of the death of this player. I was within 40 yards and the heals were coming out. There is no logical reason as to why I let him die."

Doctor

"We don’t know what his cause of death is just yet. Blame cannot be issued until we establish how the player died. Pull up WoW Web Stats. I want combat logs of the last 5 players who interacted with the dead player."

Coach

"Let’s see the replay tapes again. I want a play by play break down. If you watch it, it helps prove that his dying had nothing to do with me at all!"

Accountant

"The numbers don’t properly add up. My heals more than made up the difference between that and the damage taken."

Psychic

"Your death was foretold. I was merely allowing the prophecy to come to pass."

Teacher

teacher

"You did not follow proper tanking instructions. You get an F in tanking. "

Marketing

"It’s a terrible tragedy that you died in a raid. This is an excellent example of why you should buy my Flask of Fortification! It boosts your stamina by 30! More stamina means you live longer, right? With the right mix of herbs and a small fee of, you can have 500 additional health and higher defense rating! If you act now, I’ll even throw in a free Spicy Crawdad! Limited time only, act now!"

Mafia

mafia

"3000 gold and half a dozen Crimson Spinels says that I didn’t cause the raid to wipe. Capice?"

Computer Technician

"Go restart your computer. That will solve most problems 99% of the time including tank deaths. There is no reason to blame anybody."

On a completely different note, there appear to be no photos of psychics anywhere.

+81 Healing vs Spellsurge

A special big worldofmatticus.com shoutout to Netherlord who was kind enough to give me the recipe for Spellsurge at no cost at all. Thank you VERY much sir and welcome to Carnage!

Here is an important question that needs to be answered. You’ve hit 70 and you just got that ultimate 1H mace or that ultimate healing staff. What enchant do I put on it? Do I want an additional +81 Healing or Spellsurge? Neither of them are cheap to begin with but both will really benefit healers. But, let the analysis begin.

81 Healing

This enchant increases the amount of healing you can potentially do by 81. It’s sold by a vendor (Almaador, at the center of town) and requires you to be revered to learn how to perform the enchant.

Spellsurge

This enchant offers a unique mechanic in that it does not offer a constant benefit like 81 Healing does. It’s a random world drop so you might have a better chance of winning the lottery instead of getting it. The tooltip suggests that it has a 3% chance of proccing the effect which provides 100 mana over a period of 10 seconds to your entire party. But for the effect to occur, your party members need to be within 30 yards of each other.

Analysis

So which is the better one to get? 81 Healing will increase your healing by that amount. Assuming you heal for 1000 points without any modifiers, then 1000 casts of that same flash heal will net about 1,081,000 healed. But Spellsurge restores mana over time. Furthermore the effect stacks from multiple players who have that enchant on their weapon. So, if 5 players had it and all 5 procced, you’re looking at 500 mana over 10 seconds to everybody in the party. I’ve seen on the WoW Forums as well as WoWWiki that the actual proc percentage is approximately 15%. If you’re in the raid environment, it wouldn’t work if all 25 players had it. It applies strictly to your party within the raid. It’s important to keep in mind that Spellsurge has a hidden cooldown of approximately 50 seconds. That means that if you kept spamming any kind of spell, the Spellsurge effect can only happen once every 50 seconds assuming it does proc.

Ideally, I’d be able to test this in a lab setting with three groups: An experimental group with all 81 healing, an experimental group with all Spellsurge, and control group. But alas, I don’t have access to such resources.

The Argument for 81 Healing

If you don’t see yourself raiding very often or if you are placed in a group that does not have a whole lot of other casters in it, then you will want to augment your own heals and add that extra power. Who needs Spellsurge if you’re going to be the poor guy who has to sacrifice 81 healing so that everyone else in your party can get that extra mana back?

The Argument for Spellsurge

On the other hand, as you progress through the game you will begin to encounter bosses that will test your endurance. If you can work with four other spellcasters and agree to get this enchant, your longevity will increase by a lot. You will see a lot of mana returned. More mana means you last longer, right? Utilitarianism is the the concept of the day.

The Middle Ground

Get both. All you really need is two weapons. Don’t forget that you can switch weapons while in combat. So slap Spellsurge on a mace that as mp5 or Spirit or something that helps you regenerate mana. Keep your 81 Healing on the weapon that you use most of the time. If you start running out of gas, switch from your Healing mace to your Spellsurge mace and let the rest of the group know. Now if you really want to be fancy, pick up another mace or staff which has high intellect and put 30 Int on it. Equip it before the encounter so you have a high starting mana pool. Once you get a spell or two off, switch back to your healing mace. You will essentially be getting an extra flash heal or two. That’s my personal opinion. Be flexible, adapt your enchants to your needs.

Anyways, back to Fathomlord now. We were able to take down the Shaman and the Priest. Pretty good progress… 3 more hours left. I love my macbook. It lets me blog and raid at the same time. Doing it in windowed mode will lag. I’m tempted to install WoW on it and see how it performs, but I purchased my Macbook purely for academic reasons.