Sunday, September 30, 2007

Did Alchemy Draw the BoP Short Stick? (Bit of a Rant)

When I began playing, I chose Herbalism and Alchemy as my professions. At the time, my decision was based more on the fact that I had just started a real life herb garden in the back yard and less on what herbalism and it's sister profession, Alchemy, could do for me and my character or guild.

Honestly, I'd never really given my profession choices much thought until BC and the new and interesting BoP items that all the other professions seemed to get. Sure, Alchemist can make the Alchemist Stone, +15 to all stats and a 40% boosts to health and mana potions but, I'm a druid and always in Bear form...tanking. I don't drink very many potions. Yes, the +15 to stats is nice, but once you get into Heroic instances and Kara, you need and can get, better. Honestly, by the time I got the rep to purchase the recipe, I had better trinkets.

But, this post isn't so much about me complaining about the quality of Alchemy's BoP item, it's more about the quantity of Alchemy's BoP items...or, lack thereof.

I spent the last two and a half days compiling a list of all the BoP items for each of the professions and let me tell you that, other than healing, it was the most tedious task I've ever done. ;p But, I'm stubborn and once I started I felt compelled to finish it. Mainly, I wanted to assess the percentage of BoP items that each profession had to see if I was justified in feeling like alchemy was the red-headed step-child of the profession world and my conclusion is....YES!

Alchemy has 1 BoP item out of 177 items we can make or transmute. That is a staggering 1/2%! Compare that to Jewelcrafting that has 12% of it's items BoP!!!

Honestly, I'd like to see some potions, elixiers, and/or flasks that are BoP and are somewhere around 30% better than the current options. Maybe a few general ones that all alchemist can make and then have some specific to our specialization. Potion masters could make potions 50% better. Elixir masters could make elixiers with +10 to all stats. Transmute masters could make better trinkets, etc.

I really think they did a great job with Jewelcrafting and their creativity in giving them statues that can heal them, figurines for trinkets, and some really nice gems for end game...especially when end game is all about the socketed items. Now I'd like to see that carried over into the other, older professions. At least make us feel like our choices were still good ones rather than feeling like we need to switch to Jewelcrafting. ;)

Ok, /end rant. If you want to view the BoP items for the various professions, I have them linked below. If not, no need to scroll down further.

Alchemy - 1 out of 177 items; 1/2%.

Blacksmithing - 6 out of 324 items; 2%. Including Sub-categories - 43 out of 367; 12%.

Armorsmithing - 10 out of 12 items; 84%.

Weaponsmithing - 3 out of 7 items; 43%.

Master Axesmithing - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Master Hammersmith - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Master Swordsmithing - 8 out of 8 items; 100%.

Enchanting - 5 out of 216 items (excluding rods); 2%.

Engineering - 12 out of 190 items; 6%. Including Sub-categories - 25 out of 228; 11%

Gnomish Engineering - 6 out of 18 items; 34%.

Goblin Engineering - 7 out of 20 items; 35%.

Jewelcrafting - 28 out of 237 items; 12%

Leatherworking - 8 out of 329 items; 2%. Including Sub-categories - 26 out of 355; 7%

Dragonscale Leatherworking - 8 out of 12 items; 67%.

Elemental Leatherworking - 5 out of 7 items; 71%.

Tribal Leatherworking - 5 out of 7 items; 71%.

Tailoring - 8 out of 302 items; 3%. Including Sub-categories - 17 out of 311; 5%.

Mooncloth Tailoring - 3 out of 3 items; 100%.

Shadoweave Tailoring 3 out of 3 items; 100%.

Spellfire Tailoring - 3 out of 3 items; 100%.


BigBearButt said...

A few thoughts on this....

First, you are a godlike individual for putting together this great list, the awesome info, etc.

Second, damn you for posting this one day after I got 75% of the way through making the same list for a post I was going to make :) I saw your comment about making that list, just a little too late. If I use your list now I'll feel like a thief cause I'll be duplicating your hard work and just adding a lame comparison of what benefits feral druids best. Heck, thats the easy part.

Third... /agree about the Alchemy.

Fourth... on your Engineering list, don't forget that the list of BOP goggles shouldn't really count as that high a percent, since a character only sees the recipes that his character can actually use. Druids don't see the mail and plate patterns, and unless I'm totally goofy, I don't think off the top of my head that we see cloth patterns either. We do have access to all leather patterns, I know one druid that made the epic healer/caster goggles as well as the Deathblow that I have.

In conclusion..... you are like unto a god.... darn you!

BigBearButt said...

Upon reflection, I realized that I need to make a correction....

You are like unto a GODDESS.

My bad :)

Ferocious Bite said...


I was about 60% through the list when I saw your post! So, I say, great minds think alike, and if I'm Goddess like, then you're God like.

I did not know we would not be able to see BoP items we could not wear. And, I agree that the 'overall' percentages are wrong, for that reason as well as the fact that if you pick Goblin Engineering you don't have access to Gnomish, etc...for all the other professions with specializations. But, honestly, after I got that list made, I was soooo out of the mood to do any accompanying post for it what so ever...I'm sure you can understand having made most of the list yourself. ;p I just wish I had caught you in time. I look forward to reading your post now. :)

BigBearButt said...

I'm working on it... I stole your source code for the list outright, since your links are already present in html, and I'm reworking it to eliminate stuff that is 100% non-druid usable (plate, anyone?) but after that it's going to be comparative analysis of apples and oranges... so as far along as I am now it might still be tomorrow before it gets done.

But it will be something that I know I'd like to see, and it wouldn't be so far along without you, that's for sure :)

Phaelia said...

yOne thing to consider when comparing Alchemy to other "production" tradeskills is that, while BoP blue and purple items come and go, Alchemy-produced potions, elixirs, and flasks will always be awesome and useful. I have Leatherworking and, while there are a limited number of BoP items, they are either a) crap or b) inaccessible due to my guild. Tailoring, on the hand, rocks my socks (and darns them, as well). But that isn't to say that I don't think that Alchemy is similarly amazing. It would be nice if the Alchemist's Stone didn't need to be equipped to provide its benefit, though. =/

BigBearButt said...

I agree, Phaelia, you can't make a decision on a profession solely on BOP gear...

and I also agree that Alchemy is a very very valuable profession....

But I do think that it is good to see, what benefits having a profession can give you that others can't get just by buying your wares at the AH. And in that regard, I think Alchemy definitely dserves some love.

Ferocious Bite said...

@ Phaelia

Yes, Alchemy is always useful whereas in other professions you can 'out grow' the items. But, at least, with the exception of the Alchemist Stone, you can buy all of Alchemy's items. Meaning it's not a mandatory profession for any class...just a nice one. ;) In the example you gave for tailoring...that profession is mandatory for Priests, Warlocks, and Mages because of the BoP robes, etc. Honestly, I'd like to see professions have more end game BoP items for multiple classes so we have to weigh our profession choice more thoroughly and so all Holy Priests don't have the same Mooncloth gear...basically, make us struggle with the choice!

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the comment above is coming from a Bear Druid's point of view.

From a Shaman healer point of view, this is a great trinket. I am a JC. I find all but a select few BoP JC items are viable for my build's endgame. Add to this that Nihilum's Shaman Healer guide touts the Alchemist's stone as the trinket to have until you get the Memento of Tyrande. Shaman find use the bonuses to all stats except Spirit, and mana-starved casters benefit from the 40% increase in mana pots.

If you take into account the viability of each profession's BoP items in each stage of the game for a specific class/build/role when comparing it to the Alchemist Stone, I think you'd find that the robustness of the Alchemist Stone provides its profession's depth.