Let’s talk about garrisons. As of the latest build:
- You’ll be able to collect ore and herbs from your Mine/Herb Garden even if you don’t have the appropriate gathering skill. Tapping these nodes currently provides experience (we’ll see if that sticks around) and currently respawns very quickly (which according to Stockton is merely to facilitate testing). You are still unable to gather these materials outside of your garrison, however.
- The Alliance finally has a plans vendor in the Town Hall, and prices for level 1 blueprints have been dramatically reduced. Notably, only the small buildings (all except the Salvage Yard) are available to build; medium buildings remain on the vendor but are locked, and large building plans are supposedly unlocked from questing in later zones.
- In addition, while the small buildings CAN be built, not all of them are fully functional. The Alchemy Lab and Gem Boutique appear to be partially working, but we’ll get to that later.
Meanwhile, in professions land:
Many of the gear-crafting professions have picked up new recipes as the builds progress, but something else that stands out is this: among the new recipes for Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, and Tailoring, you can craft a consumable item that will allow you to reroll the secondary stats on a piece of gear you’ve crafted with an iLvl greater than 640. There are also other items that will let you upgrade a piece of crafted gear from iLvl 640 to 655, and from 655 to 665. Blacksmithing has had recipes with the same effects for a few builds now. Welcome to a world where you get to keep some of your crafted gear relevant for longer.
Leatherworking has picked up 36-slot bag recipes for Leatherworking, Inscription and Mining. This is a curious addition, since ore will stack to 200 (as do leather and herbs), but according to rewards systems designer Russ Petersen, “why not?”
Fundamentally, there’s not a lot to say regarding big changes to the professions themselves, but there’s a lot to talk about regarding the interaction between garrison-based profession buildings and the professions a character has. Specifically, I want to talk about how the buildings behave differently based on your character’s professions.
Here’s what it looks like so far at this stage of the beta:
- Profession buildings have two NPCs you can interact with. One of these NPCs will always be an assistant who allows you to start Work Orders. What the other one does depends on whether or not you have the profession.
- If you have the corresponding crafting profession, then the other NPC will offer you recipes, which you need to purchase using a profession-specific currency that you generate from doing your daily cooldown. (Previously, it appeared that you also generated this from follower missions, but that doesn’t seem to be functional on the beta currently.)
- If you do not have the corresponding crafting profession, then the other NPC will act as a crafter, taking your raw materials and turning them into whatever gear you’re requesting. (This appears to be separate from the Work Orders function, but I haven’t been able to test it properly yet.)
Ultimately, this appears to address part of the issue I noticed with profession buildings in the past; essentially, the building’s value to you should be consistent whether you have the profession or not.
Having the profession with the building means the following:
- You can craft that profession’s gear or consumables for yourself and others.
- Your daily cooldown is more cost-effective in terms of raw materials, AND it generates the “Secrets” currency that you need for higher-level recipes. It also resets at midnight server time instead of being a strict 24-hour cycle.
- The only limit on your recipe accrual is how you choose to spend your secrets.
- You can still use the Work Orders if you don’t need secrets and/or want to generate a lot of BoP materials quickly for your crafting, which lets you circumvent your daily cooldown at the cost of more raw materials invested.
- Once you’ve acquired all the recipes, you can keep doing your daily cooldown and getting some gold out of it via the Small Sack of Gold secret exchange.
- Unrelated to the building, every profession has a quartermaster who’ll take items you find in the world that (with the investment of some raw materials) will support your garrison. (Whether that’s in the form of resources or follower equipment is currently unclear.)
Not having the profession means the following:
- You have an NPC who can craft that profession’s gear or consumables for you. (This appears to happen instantaneously instead of being a work order.)
- Instead of being gated by secrets, it appears that you might be gated by the level of the building to craft higher-level equipment.
- You’re entirely dependent on Work Orders for your BoP crafting materials, but all other things being equal, that means you’re just less efficient with materials and produce one fewer Work Order per day in comparison to a player with that profession. Given how accessible raw materials will be (since you don’t need gathering skills to collect raw mats from the mine/herb garden, and because those will be in all garrisons) that efficiency hit might not really be noticeable.
What this means is that having a profession building will give you a slower and somewhat more expensive crafter at your disposal, but it also means that you’ll be much more self-sufficient as opposed to relying on guildmates or the Auction House for crafted gear and consumables.
Of course, what that also means is that if you have a profession and don’t take the building, you won’t be able to learn most of the new recipes in WoD content. That pretty much means there’s never a case where you don’t want to take the building for the professions your character has. Given that you’ll only have three small buildings to choose from, this means that people with two non-gathering professions will really only have one building choice to make. And that third slot is up for grabs between picking up a profession building vs. getting a Storehouse or a Salvage Yard.
Let’s sum up:
- Currently, if you have a non-gathering profession, you should always build the profession building for it.
- If you have a gathering profession, that frees up one of your small plots for another profession building of your choice, since the Mine and Herb Garden are technically free and the Barn (which supplies leather, cloth, and meat) is a medium building.
This gets into a greater discussion about what kind of considerations one should make when selecting professions, since the professions you choose for your character will inform the buildings you pick. We’ll cover that in a future post, though.
For now, we’ll keep you posted on garrison and profession changes as the builds progress ever closer to the expansion’s release. Expect a LOT more iteration on this stuff going forward.