Let’s start taking a deeper look at the DF professions, starting with Blacksmithing. Things are looking a lot more fleshed out now than during alpha, so let’s see how it looks.
You can see the recipe types available in the screenshot below. Most of them are self-explanatory, with the most opaque one being “Stonework” which is weapon stones and sharpening stones, including ones for your profession tool.
The main goldmaking potential will be in weapons, armor and profession tools as these are the non-stackable, power increasing items players will be competing for heavily early on.
For all three of these categories you will have to specialize to get the basic recipes. Ultimately you will have to pick one of the three to focus on first. Now, depending on knowledge rates and how the market turns out any optimized strategy based on current knowledge could be a complete waste, but we’ll look at some scenarios for getting to max quality effectively. It is in fact not currently possible to reach 325 for alloys consistently, and you will need to rely on inspiration procs to get Q3 alloys, even with a profession bonus and max skill. As such you do not want to put more points into alloy specific nodes than what will get you to exactly 325 when inspiration procs. Depending on your inspiration bonus, you can get away with stuff like using q1 base materials and still getting the same quantity of Q3 materials though, which will be quite useful. If you craft alloys you will want to stack inspiration heavily to get your proc chance as high as possible.
Max quality materials matters a lot
Adding full max quality materials to a recipe will increase your profession skill by +75 compared to quality 1 materials. This is the single biggest bonus you can get. With blacksmithing having access to melting alloys, if you are the first player in your region able to melt max quality bars, you can potentially make a LOT of gold
Q5 base ilvl
One important potential breakpoint is to consistently craft quality 5 of the basic item level variant. To get there for weapon you need a minimum of 53 knowledge. You would then put any combination of 28 points into the first two nodes and 25 into the final node. You would need max skill from all profession item slots, as well as the finishing reagent Illustrious Insight which costs 50 Artisan’s mettle, and will be limited in supply. To get q5 without insight, you would need another 30 knowledge spread over the nodes that give profession skill for weapons, with Hammer Control in the generic tree being the best value in terms of skill per points, but the base weapon nodes double dipping in unlocking new recipes.
If you want to add an embellishment you would then need another 25 skill, which for the most part translates to 25 more knowledge, which is a total of 78 knowledge. Embellishments are very powerful, much more so than +2 item level, but as always we expect players to heavily prefer the best option, even if it is close. You would just split the 25 knowledge between the base nodes in the crafting tree you went for, or the Hammer Control tree.
Q5 embellished mythic ilvl
In addition to everything else there are the primal infusions that increase item level to raid level. This adds another 50 in recipe skill required. You can get to the required 375 skill with every profession bonus available. You need all the generic nodes, Illustrious insight and q3 materials. If you do not have a blacksmithing racial you will then barely hit the required level, with 2 points to spare. This means you can skip two points in the final nodes of every end-game recipe. The total knowledge requirement for this is about 120.
The power of the racial
For max quality crafting the racial is incredibly strong. You can avoid the last 5 points of every end node and still consistently craft q5 gear. This will get you to the end point of the first recipe a little faster than your competition, and you will get to third and fourth a full week ahead of anyone without the bonus.
What about lower quality gear?
It’s possible that low quality gear ends up selling really well. Getting q1 only requires skill 50 and the relevant knowledge. This will also help you level up as you can craft a lot of different recipes. Then add the potential heroic and mythic upgrade items, which have much larger effects than +10 ilvl from quality. You’ll only get the q1 opportunity at launch however, as we can expect it to be gone down the line when everyone has the required skill for q5 consistently.
Leveling the profession?
Leveling is actually going to be very hard. To get to max skill you will have to craft various epic recipes which include BoP material costs. It’s not unlikely you will have to pay players to send you crafting orders so you can get it up, unless you find enough public orders to get you through. Recrafting might help, as recrafting gear is quite cheap, so players might be willing to just slam out a q1 weapon on day 1, but long term the demand will be for higher quality gear.