Dragonflight was just announced and surprisingly they actually focused on professions in the announcement video, something I would have never expected, so let’s look at what’s coming!
You can now send crafting orders to other players. These can be posted to an AH like interface, or sent to a specific player or a small group of players. This can be used to have someone craft a BoP item for you, that requires BoP materials only you have. This last part is particularly interesting, as it allows a broader design space to let professions be relevant for progression.
This will obviously have some very profound impacts on the AH and goldmaking gameplay, but until we know more and see players interact with it, we won’t know hot it will play out.
Profession skill revamp
Profession skill is being revamped, and it now includes profession stats. These will at least influence the item quality, which is a new attribute. Higher quality gear has a higher ilvl, and higher quality potions will have stronger effects. It remains to be seen how this will play out, it depends on how easy it is to attain max quality. We could end up seeing everything below max quality very quickly become economically meaningless, as players tend to only care about the true top end, but since quality is decided by material usage, we could also see a thriving market for cheaper, lower quality items.
Profession specializations are coming back
Quality will also be affected by profession specializations, that are coming back. It seems like you will level these by spending skill points, which they have not said anything about how you attain yet. Presumably maxing a specialization will take a lot of effort, as otherwise it is pointless. If you can only have one specialization, then that will help tremendously in keeping barriers to entry high, and profits high with them.
Crafting will apparently happen at crafting tables in the new main hub. This seems kind of cool from a world immersion point of view, but it will be annoying from a crafting PoV. Having the long boi will certainly help a lot as you can then always grab materials with the minimum movement required. For stuff like crafting flasks for a dungeon when you are empty this will be very annoying though.
In addition to all of this you will get special profession gear that gives you various profession stats. This seems lifted straight from New World. Presumably we will figure out what the best stats are and stack those, but it will be nice to specialize based on what you like doing or what you are trying to do in the moment.
This will shake up the goldmaking and profession meta the most it has been shaken up in a long time. Exactly how things will shake up will be very interesting to see, but crafting orders and item quality will certainly transform the profession landscape. Overall the changes seem to have been inspired by New World in some ways, so it will be very interesting to see how it shakes out.