The Leatherworker's Lament

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and while we're at it, why can't we make backpacks?
Source: Wikipedia

In 5.2, every one of the Big Three armor-making professions - leatherworking, tailoring, and blacksmithing - got a daily cooldown. (Well, to be fair, tailoring didn’t get a new cooldown; this was just added to the pre-existing Imperial Cloth cooldown.) This daily cooldown would also teach you one of two things - an i458 PvP pattern, or an i522 crafting pattern. What you learn is random.

Seems fine - maybe a month or so of effort and you’ll know everything, right?

Profession Materials required for daily Specs/types serviced Potential pool of recipes
Blacksmithing 10 Ghost Iron Bars 7 (prot paladin, holy paladin, prot warrior, blood DK, frost/unholy DK, arms/fury warrior, ret paladin) 38 (the link displays slightly more, but the 12 weapons are not part of the random learning pool)
Tailoring 8 Bolts of Windwool Cloth (40 cloth) 4 (holy/disc priest, shadow priest, mage, warlock) 40
Leatherworking 20 Exotic Leather OR 20 Prismatic Scales (shared cooldown) 9 (feral/guardian druid, balance druid, resto druid, brewmaster/windwalker monk, mistweaver monk, hunter, resto shaman, enhancement shaman, elemental shaman) 82

Eighty. Fucking. Two.

I try to keep my profanity for things that are important, dear reader, and this is one of them. See, I had a brief glimmer of hope in 5.2 when they introduced two separate cooldowns for 5.2’s recipe list - Magnificence of Scales uses the far rarer Prismatic Scales, as opposed to Magnificence of Leather, which it shares a cooldown with. I hoped that perhaps Magnificence of Scales would teach you mail patterns, and Magnificence of Leather a leather pattern, cutting that pool of potential recipes – well, not quite in half, but for those of us digging for mail patterns it would make it a heck of a lot more convenient. But… no. Hopes dashed.

Patch 5.4 is bringing a bunch of new recipes for most professions (including a bunch of cool minor glyphs - I really need four minor glyphs slots at this rate - and the long-delayed engineering patterns, finally). When I saw the boatload of PvP patterns (blue i476 pieces), I wasn’t too initially worried, because I assumed they would replace the ones we knew, much like what happened to the craftable PvP gear in Cataclysm. And then…

If anyone would know, it’s Kalliope.

So what’s the situation look like for 5.4’s new crafting items?

Profession Materials required for daily Potential pool of recipes
Blacksmithing 1 Trillium Bar OR 1 Trillium Bar + 1 Spirit of War (bypasses cooldown) 41 (the increase appears to come from 3 craftable shields)
Tailoring 10 Windwool Bolts (50 cloth) OR 10 Windwool Bolts (50 cloth) + 1 Spirit of War (bypasses cooldown) 40
Leatherworking 2 Magnificent Hide (100 leather OR 40 leather + 2 days) OR 2 Magnificent Hide (100 leather OR 40 leather + 2 days) + 1 Spirit of War (bypasses cooldown) 82

Blacksmithing’s pool of potential recipes increased slightly, but the materials are a measly trillium bar. That’s basically Sunsong Ranch’s output if you plant Snakeroot. Hell, sometimes you can get multiple bars per day.

Tailoring has the same pool of random recipes, but their material costs increased slightly (10 bolts vs. 8). The upside is it appears you don’t have to be anywhere in particular to create Celestial Cloth.

Leatherworking, on the other hand, has the same pool of recipes (eighty-fucking-two), and our cooldown requires either 2 days of materials to do a single daily (if you want to save on materials) or 100 leather. This just gets more and more unreasonable. Frankly, I consider it lucky that Blizzard only has one set of PvP gear for brewmasters and windwalkers, as well as a single set for ferals and guardians, or that’d be another 10 pieces right there.

This is just getting silly, though. Leatherworking needs some serious addressing if this is the road they plan to go down in the future.

Possible solutions

Splitting leatherworking into two professions. This is the messiest of all possible solutions, but I know I, for one, would gladly take mailworking and leave the leatherworking to people who really need it, like our recipe-collecting guardian tank. Or, heck, I could level it on my rogue, who has no professions at the moment. But this would force people to choose, and I can see where that wouldn’t be fun.

Bring back specializations. Leather Specialist vs. Mail Specialist. This doesn’t void people’s work up to this point, and has the advantage that down the road you could switch if necessary without, again, invalidating your work to this point. The problem is that the idea of recipes you can’t get at all makes a completionist’s eye start twitching, and while I’m certainly not a leatherworking completionist, I know one and I can imagine how he’d feel.

Separate dailies. When the Magnificence recipes first appeared on the PTR, immediate speculation was that MoScales would teach mail recipes, while MoLeather would teach leather recipes. This turned out not to be the case, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be the case in the future. This is probably the best option overall - let me learn all my mail recipes first, then I’ll get to leather afterwards. There is literally no downside to this other than the perceived rarity of Mists’ scales vs. leather - and really, I just need to farm more turtles instead of mushan and goats. Not a huge deal.


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