Ghostcrawler is at it yet again… first it was mourning the introduction of flight into the game and now it’s the fact that people can develop every profession and not have to rely on other players… oh QQ more please.
1. But it gives some people an advantage!!!!
Yes, it does. Just as doing dailies, grinding reps, running heroics, running raids, doing PVP – all that gives benefits and advantages to those that do it. I can’t expect to go into a PVP match with the same gear and practice as someone who specializes in it – not without putting some time and effort into gearing and becoming practiced at it. When I hit exalted with Shaohao, I’ll have the advantage of having a mount. It’s really the same principal. And while you may not have an engineer to make the new shiny mount, you’ll be able to get it cheaper on the AH as a result of more people having the profession. And usually, the benefits of me having developed all the professions on my main server go toward my guildmates and friends more than myself. Heck, I’ve even helped out random people because so many alts = lots of extra mats I don’t need.
Consider also, leveling 5 death knights gives me an advantage as a death knight, just as leveling multiple paladins gives my husband more practice and advantage there. Should we then restrict alts? Or perhaps we should eliminate them entirely? Yes, going to an extreme here, but not everyone is going to be equal in terms of game, nor should we try and force them to be.
2. But Profession alts don’t get played actively!
For most people. do alts really get played to the level of their mains? I mean, I know a few people, including some bloggers like this who CHOOSE to maintain a few alts to near the same level based on what their raid might need. However, most people don’t play their alts as much as their mains. I know several people who leveled alts to 90 strictly for the Quintessential Quintet achievement and people who leveled a horde simply for the Double Agent achievement [and let's not even discuss the "Master of All" achievement wholly endorsing having all the professions]. People who didn’t use their time to do that don’t have the advantage of those achievements… not that there’s anything really to them other than the points. These alts don’t often even HAVE professions and hit 90 and are forgotten, so they’re played even LESS than profession alts.
Playing alts is an important part of some people’s gameplay. I know that I love mine and the Alt Appreciation weeks have shown that a number of people enjoy them as well.
3. But you don’t understand! You’ve developed all the professions on your server.
On my main server, yes. On my 2 alt servers I’ve been left to fend for myself. Alliance side Argent Dawn, I’m having to live without a Jewelcrafter, Scribe, or an Alchemist. The fact that there are a number of JC’s and Alchemists tends to drive down the prices there to affordable levels [though glyphs tend to be pricey]. I make a little bit there selling pets and enchants and manage to buy what I need, or a cheaper version of it. I don’t like having to ask for help from guildies but I’ve been fortunate to be able to find someone there when I’ve needed something. Eventually I’ll probably slap a profession on one of my professionless alts there and level something. I get in the mood to profession now and again.
Horde side Argent Dawn and Alliance Thorium Brotherhood [my old server] – These servers are so dead that if you don’t have it or can’t make it – you just go without. I know people who have sat in trade for large parts of their game time for days trying to find a JC who can make a particular cut. Forcing people to sit in a city, looking for a particular item… well isn’t city sitting why they were trying to get us out in the world?
4. One other consideration people are forgetting [and that I touched on above] is that limiting professions in such a way will cause supply to fall drastically and prices to skyrocket. Some of the very people who provide items on the cheap do that in multiple professions. And if you think I won’t use my two professions in the two profession scenario to make money to cover my other expenses and then some, you’d be silly.
In summation, the more time you put in, of course the more advantages and benefits you’re going to have [and the faster you'll attain them]. I don’t disagree that some changes could be made to make professions a little better – perhaps making them align more with leveling or make them more meaningful for the character that has them, but forcing people to choose only two per account or some such just to be limiting and eliminate the work of others is just asinine.
Besides, having those alts can often lead to discovering new joys in the game – it’s how I discovered that I enjoy tanking for instance – I got dissatisfied with my warlock and the hubby needed a tank and well I had a max level dps dk who I could swap to tank and well… there you go. And with the profession benefits it allows a small measure of customization of an alt – something that seems to gradually be going away with all the homogenization going on.
Personally I find it somewhat interesting that Ghostcrawler is so offended by these things that would just about be impossible to remove from game without major subscriber loss. It seems as if perhaps he’s either no longer interested in playing personally or that perhaps Blizzard wants to get rid of some of its player base. I mean the logical conclusion to all this is that we end up with one toon, no alts. And I think we all know that’s not practical considering the number of people into alting. And for people not interested in endgame raiding/LFR/PVP – that’s about all they have. I see a lot of wistfulness for the “good old days” but I submit that while they are the “old days” not everything about them was as “good” as people want to remember.