Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cooking now rules the Secondary Professions

When I first started playing World of Warcraft back in the day the best secondary profession to have maxed out was fishing. This was simply because it was great for making money. The random trash that you caught actually sold for a decent amount to vendors. People were making a fortune just by sitting in Ogrimmar or Stormwind and building up their fishing skill. If you were willing to travel a bit you could make even more money since several in-demand potions required special types of fish. Underwater breathing in particular was highly sought after since there weren't as many ways to get it back then. As more options were added to cooking and alchemy it became less dependent on fishing.

I think it was about this time that bandaging started to become more important. A lot of classes didn't have self healing capabilities and it became necessary for them to max out first aid. I know warriors in particular found it necessary especially if they wanted to level by solo questing. Blizzard most have thought this was unfair and they've slowly added many self healing abilities into the game. However, I don't think the first aid skill has scaled up at the same pace as gear in the expansions. In the original World of Warcraft a heavy runecloth bandage always returned a sizable amount of health. But the increases of stamina on modern gear have made it so bandages returns a much smaller percentage of health.

I know a heavy netherweave bandage in the Burning Crusade returned 3,400 health, which was about half my life before I got my hands on epic raiding gear. Nowadays though a heavy frostweave bandage in Wrath of the Lich King returns 5,800 health which is only about a third of my life in level 78 gear. I know several people who have over 20,000 hitpoints at level 80 and this is without any epic gear. While bandaging seems adjusted for standard gear inflation it seems to quickly fall behind at the end game. I think this plays a big role in why it's not as vital a secondary profession as it used to be. Even the higher level dense frostweave bandage probably won't heal more then 50% of a player's life if they have Naxxaramas gear. It's gotten to the point where eating cooked food is better then bandaging since its easy to get and adds decent stats.

Cooking used to just help players recover mana and hitpoints faster then if they ate normal bought food. It was a handy profession since it saved you from buying food or drinks, but it wasn't particularly vital. This of course changed when Blizzard added a few high level recipes that increased player statistics. Raiding guilds started using stat food as part of their strategy to max out buffs for raid encounters. This did cause some resentment for casual players since early stat recipes like Chamaeroks Chops often required raid encounters to learn. Eventually, Blizzard decided that stat food should be more widely available and gave them to trainers in the Burning Crusade.

Wrath of the Lich King followed the same trend and several powerful recipes can be learned from the trainers in the starting zones. Most of these recipes use drops from normal mobs and raise vital stats like stamina or crit rating. Even more impressive is that once a player has maxed out their cooking skill they can learn recipes which give them different abilities. Dalaran has a daily quest which gives out special recipes for gaining the ability to track humanoids or beasts. There's even feast recipes that allow players to basically lay out a mage table. People can then click on the feast to regain health, mana, and even gain a bonus stat. Its a great way to start out a dungeon run and nothing beats shouting out FEAST like in those snickers commercials.


Saylah said...

Back when I was playing I always hoped that cooking would be elevated to primary profession status or gain recipes that last 30 minutes. Crafting whore that I am, I kept cooking and fishing maxed on my characters from the beginning.

I like cooking in general. I did it as a profession in EQ2 as well. Mmm, buffs.