Yesterday afternoon I was in a pretty bad mood. I had destroyed a part of my main character in Lord of the Rings Online. It wasn’t until later that evening when I could apply a salve to my character’s gaping wound that I felt better. It wasn’t my fault, but the change needed to happen. I had to switch crafting professions.
My go to crafting in most MMOs are always consumables. In early World of Warcraft days I was a herbalist potion-maker, and in Lord of the Rings Online I easily chose the Historian profession, which gives access to the Scholar skills. Scholars make all sorts of wonderful consumables like potions of every color, battle scrolls, and bow chants. They can also make dyes for clothing, books for hunters, and legendary items for loremasters and minstrels. They are a fun profession to have, but Turbine made me change (and I am only slightly being facetious).
There are many tiers of potions, which mostly follow the leveling curve. With Siege of Mirkwood expanding the game, there is yet another tier with the codeword “Steeped.” The new faction of goldie elves loves Steeped potions, and for basically nothing in terms of the barter items any player can be fully stocked with potions. So the Scholar’s bread and butter for the Auction Hall is gone to an NPC vendor. This basically left me with black dye for a way to meaningfully make money because the rate of return on the other items was so pitifully low.
On the other hand, Turbine gave the weapon crafters a huge boon since level 65 legendary items are either only dropped by mobs or crafted. The choice was obvious to me. I was no longer gaining what I felt were meaningful benefits to the Scholar profession, and I decided that making my own legendary items was a better fit.
So, I clicked through the multiple warnings telling me that I would lose all knowledge and rank of my Scholarly self. I knew this full well, but it did not make it any easier. I still felt like a year of thick memories and achievements were dumped down the drain. Hopefully I would re-emerge from the harsh chrysalis stronger and more sure of my character, but something truer than what can be found on a stat page was lost.
There is a reason, developers, that I don’t like alt’ing. I don’t like your decisions to insulate my characters from one another save for a pittance like legacy items or a shared bank account. I have achieved something already, and I don’t want to grind through veritably everything all over again to prove myself again. It’s bad enough that you make me level an alt as some compensatory passtime when my main is at the end game ready to rock’n’roll. If you were happy to acknowledge some of my hard won accomplishments like killing 450 wargs in Angmar or gaining Kindred reputation with Rivendell to any degree, I would be happier to alt.
To my knowledge, Guild Wars is the only MMO that even comes close with their account-based Hall of Monuments. Even then I feel that working on my main is more meaningful than distributing the workload throughout the various other characters because progress is not shared for the majority of accomplishments. And, that’s the bottom line. What is meaningful to me. Some people love re-creating the journey through another pair of eyes. Some people love the challenge of killing another 450 wargs to get a trait on their new character. I do not.
So, I will miss the Scholar profession, but it was an educated choice I made. I am excited about my new profession cranking out hundreds of swords and prospecting metals instead of pillaging artifacts of the past. What pains me is that except for a few stock piled black dyes and a ton of potions which were made on the eve of the change, I have no acknowledgment of my time as a master Scholar. This clean slate business, either alt’ing on a fresh, clean character or choosing a new crafting profession, just feels anathema to the persistence we hold so dear in our genre. The persistence of me.
well, maybe towards those other… jokers, but not you