World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Professions Preview

Blizzard has posted a preview of the new and updated profession system in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Source)

With Dragonflight development in full swing, you will soon get a chance to try out the new and updated profession system in World of Warcraft. This system has been designed to provide greater depth and engagement, allowing you—the crafters of Azeroth—to differentiate yourselves and stand out from your peers.

Before diving into the details of crafting, it’s worth noting that there are three main pillars to revamped professions:

  • Crafting Orders
  • Profession Specializations
  • Crafting and Gathering with quality

In this preview, we’re focusing on crafting with quality, but before diving into that topic, a quick summary of the other two for context.

Crafting Orders

Crafting orders are a new way for you to place an order for almost any Dragon Isles crafting recipe using an Auction House-like interface. This new service will be provided to you nearly free of charge by representatives of the Artisan’s Consortium, a new trade organization recently founded with its first Branch in the Dragon Isles.

When placing an order, there are three options that you can set for who can fulfill it: available to anyone, guild-members only, or a specific individual. Tradeable reagents can be provided by you or the crafter while certain special reagents may only be provided by one or the other. In particular, Soulbound reagents will often need to be provided by you when placing an order for a Soulbound item.
Insert UI of Placing a crafting order

You will also be able to customize the order further by including various Optional Reagents depending on the recipe, dictating exactly what you want to be crafted. For example, many equipment recipes will allow you to specify secondary stats, similar to Missives from Shadowlands.

Once you are finished customizing the order, you will decide on an offered commission to the crafter, pay a small posting fee, and send it off.
Insert UI of Placing a crafting order List

Crafters can then view these orders, fill in any missing reagents, craft the item, and collect the commission (minus a small cut for the Artisan’s Consortium of course!). The finished item will then be delivered to you in the mail.

On the other end of the transaction as a crafter, this will be a great new way for you to earn gold, increase your skill, and most importantly, help craft for your friends and guildmates. If you focus on quality and customer service, you might even build up your own following of customers and lock in steady business.

Profession Specializations

Profession specializations will allow you to specialize in your primary crafting and gathering professions once you’ve reached a high enough skill. You will earn specialization points through a variety of activities and get to spend them to permanently improve different areas of your profession.

This will be one of the main ways you can differentiate yourself from your peers, as there will be many areas of each profession to specialize in. More to come on this feature a bit later!

Crafting with Quality

Quality and its Effects

New to World of Warcraft is the concept of crafting quality, both for crafted items and many gathered reagents. This is not to be confused with rarity such as Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary, which will remain unchanged and isn’t directly related to crafting quality.

Crafted equipment will have five levels of possible quality, while many other crafted and gathered items such as potions and ores will have three levels of quality.
Insert Crafting Quality Icons

For crafted equipment, quality will primarily modify item level, with each level of quality increasing it by a small amount. For example, a piece of crafted leveling gear might be item level 270/272/274/277/280 at quality////. In all cases, the goal is to have quality matter enough for it to be worth your effort to achieve higher qualities, without having the gains be so large that the lowest quality versions don’t feel worthwhile.

For crafted items such as consumables that have quality, the effects of quality are a bit more varied. For most, a higher quality will result in a more powerful effect, but in some cases, it might come in other forms of variation such as longer duration, more charges, etc. Note that there is an expectation that low-quality versions of these items will sell for less, but this will provide a niche for those who don’t want to spend a lot of gold to be able to make use of the full suite of crafted items. It will also be cheaper to craft lower-quality versions of these items for a variety of reasons.
Insert Image of Alchemy UI

For reagents that have quality, that quality value will serve as a major input into crafting. Crafting with higher quality basic reagents will directly provide bonus skill when crafting with them (more on that below).

Finishing Reagents are a new type of reagent that can be used to improve aspects of the crafting process— increasing skill or crafting stats for instance. Higher quality versions of these will have stronger effects on crafting.
Insert tooltip for Finishing Reagent Brood Salt Q1

Lastly, please note that not all gathered reagents will have quality. The core reagents gathered by the primary gathering professions of mining (ores), skinning (skins, scales, hides), and herbalism (herbs) will have quality, as well as reagents crafted by the primary professions (e.g. cloth bolts, metal alloys, etc.). Other reagents such as meat, cloth, fish, and elements that can be gathered by anyone will not.

Determining Quality - the Crafting Process

When crafting an item, there are two main elements of note.

The Recipe Difficulty will determine how hard it is to craft the recipe at a higher quality. Recipe Difficulty will also change when you include Optional Reagents, which can modify it up or down depending on their effects and quality, sometimes significantly.
Insert Tooltip for Q1 and 3 of Draconic Missive of the Fireflash

Your Crafting Skill is determined by your base skill in your profession (e.g. Dragon Isles Tailoring) but can be modified by a variety of factors, including the quality of the reagents you use, Finishing Reagents, profession gear with skill bonuses, various bonuses provided by consumables, and most significantly, your profession specialization. As you can see in the below image, your crafting UI will make it clear based on all of these factors what quality you are expected to craft your item at.
Insert Image of Blacksmithing UI

As you craft your item, there is a small amount of randomness added to your skill roll to represent the natural variation in your crafting execution. In addition, if you have any Inspiration— a new crafting stat— you have a chance to become inspired, gaining a significant amount of bonus skill during the craft. This means you may do better than you expected, but never worse!

In the end, your final Crafting Skill will be compared against the Recipe Difficulty. If that skill is higher than the difficulty, you will craft the item at maximum quality, otherwise, the quality will depend on where your skill falls comparatively.

Additional Crafting Stats

In addition to your primary Crafting Skill, there are several secondary crafting stats that can affect crafting of new Dragon Isles recipes, and which you can specialize and gear towards. These are as follows:

  • Inspiration - You have a x% chance to be inspired, crafting this recipe with extra skill.
    • Inspiration is for those of you who love rolling the dice and getting lucky on some bonus quality. It’s also a way to craft items at a higher quality than your natural skill and a specialization would allow when you get lucky.
  • Resourcefulness - You have a x% chance to use fewer tradable reagents such as ore.
    • If you are trying to squeeze every drop of profit out of your crafts, then this is the stat for you.
  • Multicraft - You have a x% chance to craft additional items. Only works on recipes for stackable items.
    • We have long loved the feeling of crafting extra items from various abilities like Potion Master in Burning Crusade. Multicraft cements this as a permanent crafting stat for those of you who love that moment of crafting a bit extra!
  • Crafting Speed - Crafting is x% faster.
    • For those of you who mass produce crafts for the Auction House, or just want to save a few seconds now and then, crafting speed is a stat to help you create those items a bit faster.

Quality Philosophy

Many players will want to craft the best of the best and will settle for nothing less. With that in mind, we want to share a bit about our philosophy for quality and difficulty tuning for recipes.

For many early and lower-tier recipes such as for leveling gear, starter potions, and more, right as you learn them, your general crafting skill may be low enough that you will tend to craft them at the lowest quality. These recipes aren’t meant to be difficult though, and through gaining a higher skill in your profession or specializing in paths that make you generally better, these recipes will tend to become easy to make at max quality, even with low-quality reagents.

On the other hand, many of the recipes for the high-end items, particularly gear with powerful Optional Reagents and top-tier consumables, will be extremely difficult to craft at the highest quality. In fact, the goal in these situations is that only the best of the best can make them at the highest quality, and only by using every tool at your disposal.

What this means in practice is that if you wanted to craft the most difficult recipes at max quality— for example— a chest with an item level equivalent to that of Mythic raids (yes, this will be possible), you would likely need to:

  • Fully specialize in crafting that type of gear.
  • Use all top-quality reagents, both required and optional— all of which would require extremely skilled gatherers and crafters as well.
  • Use the best profession gear you can find, which would also likely require highly specialized crafters to make.

On top of that, you would either need to get lucky with Inspiration or use a valuable Finishing Reagent that boosts skill to guarantee the item is crafted at top quality. In other words, it will take the contribution of many skilled crafters and gatherers, as well as some luck or extra resources to make those best items at the highest quality.

The goal here is to make sure crafting the best of the best, or having it crafted for you, will be no small feat, and one to be proud of. We also want to emphasize that you will never need to rely on luck. Luck can be of much help to you if you want to focus on Inspiration, but it’s never necessary.

We also hope this means crafting the very highest quality items turns out to be very lucrative, while also being something that a large guild could coordinate to do on their own. Please note though that the goal is not to have high-end gear cost anything remotely approaching the costs of top Legendaries in Shadowlands. In general, we don’t expect the base reagents to be nearly as expensive, and most of the effort to become highly specialized will be through play, not spending gold. Even if for a time only a few players can make the best items at the highest quality, getting an item crafted at a lower quality will be much more achievable. Lower quality items will also only be slightly less powerful, in contrast to the tiers of Legendaries in Shadowlands. Finally, you will be able to get lower quality equipment recrafted to higher quality later by a more skilled crafter for minimal reagents. More details will be forthcoming on recrafting.

Profession Skilling Philosophy

In Dragonflight, you will gain skill in your professions similar to the way you have in the past. There will be one main difference though for primary crafting professions. Instead of needing to max your skill to learn all recipes, you will only need to skill up about halfway. The intent is that you won’t feel the need to rush to max out your profession skill, but instead can slow down halfway, content in knowing you can learn any recipe you get your hands on. It should also mean that while you are filling crafting orders for others, or making useful items for yourself, your guild, or to sell, that you will continue to gain skill. Finally, it should mean many fewer items will be made just to skill up, thus flooding the market and diminishing their value. This is also true because much of the latter half of your profession skill will be earned through crafting high end items that require specially earned Soulbound reagents. Since as an individual crafter, you cannot earn enough of these on your own to max your profession, you will often need to fill orders from others to maximize your profession skill.

A Few Dragonflight Specific Crafting Details

Powerful Crafted Equipment

In Dragonflight, you will find many recipes for extremely powerful craftable equipment. In fact, every primary crafting profession can craft one or more pieces, all of which work under a shared system with the following attributes:

  • Up to five of these crafted pieces can be equipped at once, with 2-handed weapons counting as two.
  • All of them start at an item level range near to normal raids, increasing with quality. Through earned Optional Reagents, they can be brought up to Heroic and even Mythic raid item levels, making them competitive with some of the best gear you can find.
  • All are Soulbound, so you’ll either need to craft them yourself or have someone craft them for you through a crafting order.
  • Each piece of crafted equipment will require several types of Soulbound reagents that you will need to earn to craft it and improve it further with Optional Reagents.
    • One type of reagent will come from various challenging activities including dungeons, raids, PvP, and adventuring in some dangerous outdoor areas. You will need to earn a fair amount of this reagent to craft a piece of equipment, more for significant pieces. You can also use this reagent to construct an Optional Reagent to bring this equipment up to around heroic raid item level.
    • A second type of reagent will come from a series of quests that award you enough to craft one piece of equipment. Additional stages of these quests will become available to everyone every few weeks.
    • To upgrade this equipment to around Mythic raid item level, you will need to acquire a final reagent that can only be obtained in the highest tiers of content - Mythic raids, the highest levels of Mythic+, and highly rated PvP.

Philosophically, the goal of this system is to have professions be a meaningful source of high-end gear, elevating the importance and value of professions. As a crafter, you’ll need to go to significant effort to gain the skill, specialization, and recipes necessary to craft this gear, but it should be well worth it!

As a user of this gear, you will also need to go out and acquire many of the reagents yourself. The Soulbound reagents are designed to provide a means of deterministic, incremental progress towards gear of your choice while doing the activity(s) of your choice. In addition, the quest-acquired reagent mentioned above will limit how quickly you can acquire high-end crafted gear. This will prevent it from overwhelming other sources of gear while giving you the freedom to choose from where and how quickly you want to acquire the other reagents.

Alchemy and Phials in the Dragon Isles

You will find many strange and wondrous concoctions to discover during your Alchemical experimentations on the Dragon Isles. One of these is the standardization of the Phial as an innovative replacement for the Flask. Phials work very similarly to Flasks, lasting through death and counting as both a Battle and Guardian Elixir. The main difference is they tend to require about half the reagents to craft and last half as long, but two can be drunk together to get the duration of a Flask, for extra flexibility.

The reason this flexibility is beneficial is that a wide variety of Phials can be discovered, each with their own unique uses. The experienced adventurer may even find that they want to switch Phials from battle to battle, hence the added flexibility of a shorter duration. Just a few of the many options can be seen below (numbers very much not final):
Insert Flask Tooltips for Phial of Static Empowerment, Phial of Charged Isolation, Phial of Tepid Versatility

Note that because of the wide variety of Phials you may want to consider, you will not find a Cauldron recipe for Phials in the Dragon Isles, but you will find one for the most powerful craftable potions.

Finally, you may be wondering about Alchemists and Phial duration. Not to worry, Alchemists who choose to specialize in Phials will discover the secret to making Phials last significantly longer for them.

This is just the start of what we have planned for professions in Dragonflight. Check back here on the official site for more as we progress through development. Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing your impressions and thoughts.

We’ll see you in the Dragon Isles!