31 May 2008

Carpentry for beginners

Kaliope of the excellent WoW crafting blog is campaigning for improvements to the professions system in the next expansion. I'm a big fan of professions and would love to see a lot of her suggestions implemented. If you get chance, pop over to her blog for a browse, and don't forget to vote in her crafters' wishlist poll.

Looking at the professions system, I've long thought there is a gap for one that works with wood — call it carpentry. This would tie in wonderfully with Kaliope's observation that there are some rather large gaps in the list of things that can currently be crafted. But I think the profession could be something more than just a gap filler. It could be what engineering tries to be but fails — the one profession that provides all-round benefit and application regardless of your class, regardless of your spec. The armour professions are class specific; alchemy and enchanting, while powerful, are quite specialised. Carpentry is the perfect all-rounder, an ideal profession for the very casual player.

So here are my top ideas for carpentry items:

  • Staves, bows and crossbows — what I see as the core of carpentry. I think these are the only weapons that can't currently be crafted (not sure about polearms) and fall very neatly under the scope of woodworking. And while we're at it, what about fishing poles?
  • Basic shields and maces — at later levels, these items would more obviously be crafted by blacksmiths, but low-level items could easily be made of wood.
  • Wooden rods for use by enchanters in rare and epic wands. In fact, the scope for synergies with the other professions are endless — bowls for cooking recipes, parts for engineers, handles for weaponsmiths, looms for tailors and frames for leatherworkers. Ok, maybe not endless, but plentiful.
  • Saps to provide temporary weapon or armour buffs, similar to oils, and also for use by other professions. (You see? More synergies.) Perhaps these could only be applied to wooden weapons. It would be good to be able to add temporary enchants to ranged weapons and wands for a change.
  • Idols, totems and relics — it wouldn't be stretching the concept of carpentry to imagine them carving intricate little idols and totems, although I admit relics might strain the imagination (give relic recipes to jewelcrafters?) These are the only three slots that can't be crafted. Casters can carry wands, other classes get ranged weapons. My shaman levelled all the way to Nagraand before picking up a totem. Unlucky? Maybe, but it highlights a general shortage of these items in the game, which is why I think it would be fantastic to have crafted versions.
  • Consumables with on-use effects — in my mind, carpenters would be able to craft a range of items that could heal or protect. I've been mulling over the idea of seeds — the carpenter plants a seed on the ground that takes root and provides a buff for a short duration, say a hot, damage reduction or aoe dot. Seeds are a bit removed from the practicalities of carpentry and probably fit more neatly into the realms of herbalism, so I'm not sure. An alternative would be a range of totem-like items, but then you're stepping into shaman territory.
  • Spears, poison darts and rudimentary traps — the wooden equivalent of an engineer's bombs.
  • Hitching posts — hunters have long bemoaned the pain of stable slots. You might be able to own three pets at once, but this is effectively reduced to two if you want to pick up new skills from other animals. I'm not proposing to radically alter that system, but a hitching post could be a neat way around it. It would enable a hunter to temporarily deposit a pet on the ground (hitched to the post, natch) while he trained a new pet and learned the skill. Perhaps the post would expire after 30 minutes and the pet would be abandoned if not reclaimed — long enough for the hunter to take care of business without the need for another stable slot.
  • Temporary post boxes — how cool would it be to whip up a mailbox in the middle of nowhere and empty your bags back to an alt? Engineers get repair bots, so this isn't so much to ask for.
  • With the advent of siege weapons in Wrath, carpenters could provide essential materials or perhaps have their own epic variety of engine.
  • Standards — consumable flag posts with your guild logo on them. Might be fun in BGs?
  • Toys and trinkets — like wooden trains, non-combat pets, deck chairs, artificial Christmas trees etc. I'm not really into this side of professions, but I know a lot of people get a lot of joy from it. Carpentry is perfect for this kind of stuff.
Clearly this isn't enough to justify a whole new profession, but I'm sure the creative minds a Blizzard would be able to expand on the basic concept.

You would require a gathering profession to support it of course — either via a new profession of woodcutter or lumberjack or through the existing herbalism skill. There are plenty of trees around Azeroth to support a profession, or you could add fallen sticks and logs instead.
I'm sure it could work. I've already cleared my bag slots for chisel and lathe. What do you think?

1 comment:

Kaliope said...

Hey Merlot - thanks for the link to my poll! I like some of your ideas, frankly I think a woodcraft is more relevant than the esoteric "inscription" they are rolling with. Perhaps in the next expansion they'll wise up :)