This article is a copy of "The Burning Crusade Townhall", an official article by Blizzard Entertainment. It presented information about a variety of things in the Warcraft universe. The original article, formerly located at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/townhall/, did not survive the overhaul of the World of Warcraft Official Website.
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With the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, many core aspects of the game will be improved, expanding the choices available to players and streamlining some gameplay elements. For example, new raid encounters are being designed for a maximum of 25 players, and the PvP system will change how honor works in the game. Following this general strategy of making gameplay even more rewarding and expanding the playing experience with new, interesting content, the professions of World of Warcraft are also set to receive major updates to ensure that they remain a fun and worthwhile part of your adventures in Azeroth and beyond.
When the time came to begin the professions update for the expansion, the dev team took a very close look at all the work that had gone into the profession system so far. There were some things the team felt could be improved in World of Warcraft's professions to make them more interesting, more valid, and most importantly, even more fun. The expansion will allow the dev team to upgrade the profession system, and to provide players with cool new gadgets, equipment, and consumables that will help them brave the many challenges of Outland.
On the following pages, you'll find a brief summary of what changes you can expect to see in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade for each profession. Keep in mind that there is always a chance that these plans may change, but this is what's on the drawing board at the moment.
We felt that alchemy needed some way to allow players to specialize in specific areas, but the dev team wanted to avoid limiting the recipes a player could learn. As a result, alchemy specialization will be included with a twist. Alchemists will be able to specialize in Potions, Elixirs, or Transmutation. By focusing in one of these three fields, you have a chance to produce two goods instead of one when you make an item belonging to your specialization.
The most exciting innovation in blacksmithing will be the ability for blacksmith players to make epic quality items that only they can wield. A master swordsmith will be able to forge a special sword for him(or her)self, and a suit of epic armor awaits the master armorsmith. The smith will be able to upgrade these special items, so they will always be a solid item for the smith to wear or wield no matter what stage of the game he or she is in. To allow everyone to take advantage of this, blacksmith specialists will be allowed to change their focus in The Burning Crusade.
The planned changes to enchanting will include many brand-new enchantments, such as the new Spellsurge and Battlemaster weapon enchantments, and improved wizard and mana oils. There will even be enchantments that you can cast on your rings, assuming you can find the well-hidden formulae.
Engineers will discover schematics for many new and intense gadgets from the inventive minds of the Gnomish (and Goblin) R&D labs – such as Nigh Invulnerability Belts and yes, Rocket Launchers. You will be able to use a Mote Extractor to gather resources from clouds of gas and magic found in various parts of Outland. An important tool being added for the raiding engineers is the ability to make various colored smoke flares to mark important locations.
There will be new, rare herbs only found in Outland, and some will bestow (or inflict) strange effects on the herbalist who picks them. Also, plant beasts roam the shattered lands beyond the Dark Portal, and their alien forms hold rare ingredients only harvestable by herbalists. You will "skin" the plant beasts using your herbalism skill to acquire the ingredients they are carrying, much like skinners harvest beast hides for leather.
Jewelcrafting allows the creation of necklaces, rings, trinkets and socketable gems. Many items in the Burning Crusade are equipped with colored sockets, and fitting your item with cut gems will provide you with special bonuses. Also, if you match all the colors on the socketed item with the right types of gems, you'll receive an additional bonus to the stats you get from the individual jewels. You can read more about jewelcrafting here.
The improvements to leatherworking are all about more, more, more. There will be more high-end armor sets that provide viable protection even when players make it into the end-game dungeons and raids. The dev team is also adding new armor kits that are an upgrade over the current ones, fairly easy to make, and a very good alternative when you cannot get that high-end enchantment. There will even be leatherworking leg enhancements that are better than the ones from Zul'Gurub!
What mining really needed was a few more types of metal at the endgame, so those have been added. In the expansion, there will be two types of high-end base metals (Fel Iron and Adamantite) and two rare metals (Eternium and Khorium). Also, just like herbalists, miners will find that some of the strange inhabitants of Outland yield up rare materials for the forge-fires when they're slain. Miners will be able to "skin" these monsters to gain the materials used by engineers and blacksmiths to make their unique items.
Tailoring doesn't have many powerful high-end items, so more are being added for the expansion. You will also be able to specialize in one of three types of tailoring. As with alchemy, each specialization of tailoring will give you a chance to make more of a base material than you'd normally obtain. Also, tailors will be able to make and use a nifty consumable item that should prove to be especially useful in PvP situations – the thrown net!