4 Apr 2010

The Impossible Saronite

I’ve been setting myself goals for my characters recently in order to give me more of a reason to play them. For Curio I’ve decided to go for the Mekgineer’s Chopper, as it’s the only character I have that would suit it. As a result I’ve started this long grind of mining ores, making titansteel and selling anything I can on the auctionhouse.

I sometimes wonder if I’m strange by saying that Curio should have the motorbike, Shaemus should have all the pets and my other characters should have stuff relevant to them. It’s as if I have a picture of them in my mind about how they go about their lives and the kind of things they would obtain given half a chance. I see Curio as being in a workshop surrounded by gadgets and always having something to tinker on, so the bike is a natural fit for him.

Managing the auctionhouse is proving to be a bit of a slog. Price things too low and they get bought and relisted by someone else, while pricing things too high means that they never shift. I’ve seen the price of Frozen orbs drop from about 70g each when 3.3.3 came out to about 14g now. It’s got to the stage where I can by the orbs, exchange them for Frost Lotuses and sell them at auction for about 10g profit a time. Crazy.

In order to get stuff to sell, I’ve been mining. It started off as a way to gather enough Titansteel to make the chopper, but it’s now been a way for me to gather items to then sell at auction. I’m getting a fair supply of Saronite and various types of Eternals. Gems and titanium ore go to my fiancée’s jewelcrafter for prospecting, with any epic gems being sold. It means she gets to keep the blues and greens, as well as any titanium powder.

So far it’s not been a bad process. I’ve made about 3,000 gold so far with which to buy the remaining parts I need. It’s something I’m able to work on when things are slow, as well as being one of those gentle activities that provides a balance to pugging or raiding. I also feel like I’m achieving something with every gold coin that gets me closer to my goal.

It has got me thinking though about the overall crafting process within Warcraft. I’m not so sure what it’s like in other MMOs, but in order to be able to craft in this game you also need to be a sufficiently high level to gather the materials needed. Items that are difficult to craft require special patterns or plans that commonly require a reputation grind or raid instance farm in order to obtain.

I’m beginning to wonder if it would be viable in an MMO to have crafting as a different levelling path that would work independently of character level. Is it feasible to allow players to focus on adventuring, PVP or crafting as a way of increasing skill and providing different taught skills for each path. I’m sure something like this has been tried before in other MMOs, but I’d be interested to know if it worked or fell flat.

And why the Impossible Saronite? On my mining route around Icecrown, there are a couple of ore nodes that are impossible to harvest safely. Most of them can be cleared away without too much trouble. There’s the odd one though that pings up on my map, only for me to leave it as soon as I see what’s surrounding it. Having to battle four 80-elites just for a scrap of saronite just isn’t worth it.

I’ve always been a fan of crafting in MMOs, as I love to create items that are useful to my character and others. I ended up maxing out Tailoring back in vanilla before I hit the level cap as I was that keen on getting all the patterns I could. I’m still a collectionist, trying to get as many recipies, patterns etc on as many characters as possible. I just find it a touch irritating when my professions are made useless either because far better gear can be collected in dungeons or because the best patterns are rare drops from raid dungeon bosses.

Still, at least I can make a chopper. You can’t say that isn’t cool…

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