WoW: random crafting recipe discovery

Over the years World of Warcraft has had a creeping adoption of a mechanic whereby you discover new recipes for a given crafting profession via a daily recipe. One of the first was  Alchemy in the Wrath era, which had Northrend Alchemy research.


Up to this point all professions followed the basic pattern of training new recipes for money at a profession trainer. There were rare drops of recipes from world creatures (meh) or as an object to pick up in dungeons (yay!). I am biased in favouring the explorer-style model of finding rare recipes – you could go into Blackrock Depths and find specific engineering and alchemy recipes by clicking on a “hidden in plain sight” item. Random drops from creatures in the world (e.g. jewelcrafting trinkets from creatures in certain Cataclysm zones) are ok but though it can be annoying effectively having to grind random creatures to get them.

But the daily cooldown recipe approach locks crafting progression behind a pernicious RNG barrier with a timer. This was repeated in Mists with the random recipe procs from potion manufacture recipes though without the strict 24 hour timer. There are other examples in game as well, for instance the facets of research for jewelcrafting or the scroll of wisdom for scribes. Personally, given how easy it is to make money in the game, I’d much rather see the recipes on the trainer and be able to buy them as I chose. Looking at the untrained recipe list was always part and parcel of the excitement of leveling a profession, part of the motivation to keep leveling to the skill cap.


Certainly it does draw out the process of learning new recipes over time, but then why is this actually necessary? Perhaps this it is just part and parcel of Blizzard’s recent allergy to having NPC trainers for anything in game?

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3 Responses to WoW: random crafting recipe discovery

  1. Rohan says:

    I think the idea is more to encourage trade and allow crafters to make more money from crafting. The RNG mechanism reduces the number of crafters able to make a given item, which reduces supply, which increases prices. It also means that you might need to search for a specific crafter to make your item, since not every crafter would have it.

    In Vanilla/TBC, they would sometimes do this by having the recipe be a random drop in raids. But that meant that only cutting-edge raiders really had a shot at getting the crafting items which everyone wanted. This is a different means of accomplishing that same goal.

  2. Of course, the cynical response is to say that they’re just trying to get you to keep playing by making it take longer. Though I think Rohan has a point as well!

  3. tk says:

    I disagree with Rohan for once, in case he was talking about the new way of learning recipes. If it was about artificially increasing the price of certain goods through a daily timer I completely agree with his reasoning.
    The RNG in practice makes it a lot easier to discover all recipes really fast. I searched for 1-3 profitable potions and bought the herbs -> sold the potions for a minimum profit (500g total or so). After around 100-150 potions I had learned every recipe available. It took me 10 minutes max.

    I do not see many benefits of this mechanic if it did not intend to make faster/easier the process faster. It removes the niche of mob based recipes, reputation grinds and vendor recipes. This can be seen as an improvement, although I did like grinding them. These recipes, from my experience, generally had higher profit margins and had less sellers. I liked a slightly more diverse market, although I doubt that the average person would care.
    It did not simplify the leveling process.if this was Blizzards intention. I have encountered 3 people so far posting ‘LF alchemist’ in trade while stuck at 525 alchemy because they did not fully understand the transition between the 2 systems.

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