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Overlooked Features: Professions Window

With so much being thrown at us at once it’s no wonder that some changes have gone unnoticed. I already mentioned a few of those changes last week a few weeks ago, but today we’re going to take a close look at one overlooked feature in particular – the Professions Window.

I don’t remember what all was said in the patch notes and such regarding the professions window, but I’m pretty sure that out of all of the changes this one most likely wasn’t at the top of your list for things to pay attention to. If you’ve done anything with your professions (and you don’t use an addon to replace the built in window) then you know just from looking at it that there are some new features there.

I’m going to mention a couple of them here, and if you’ve noticed any other new features your self feel free to share them with us in the comments.

Commonly Known Features
The most commonly known and recognized features of the new professions window are the two new buttons up at the top right corner.

The first (top) of those new buttons allows you to link your profession to any channel that you’re currently a part of, including ones like Party and Raid chat, and it also allows you to put in a few words of text either before or after the link in case you’re advertising for business in Trade chat or the like. I’ve used macros for this for a long time so this particular feature didn’t really give me anything new, but it did allow me to delete those macros to make more room for others.

The second button in that corner is the filter button. It allows you to filter your recipes to show only the ones that meet the criteria that you specify. You can have it show only the ones that you’re carrying the mats for right now or you can have it show you only the ones that have a chance to give you a skill point when you make it. You can also sort by equipment slots, item types, and so on depending on which profession you’re looking at.

I really like the filter feature because I’m a pretty serious professions power leveler; As soon as my toons reach the right character level to train the next skill level of their professions I learn it and then power level the profession back to the top again. This feature allows me to skip over all of the useless recipes that I can’t skill up on and only look at what’s available. It also helps me find gear upgrades for specific slots in Leatherworking and Blacksmithing where before my best filters were strictly armor type (cloth, leather, mail, plate) where I needed more specific (plate chest, mail legs, etc).

Overlooked Features
There’s also another component of the new professions window that’s overlooked, or perhaps misunderstood, and that’s the search window. At the very top of the professions window, spreading across the center, is a search box that you can type in to narrow down a search. That’s easy enough to understand, and something you’ve likely already had access to if you’ve used professions addons before.

But that’s not the only thing that search window can do. The addon that I used before 4.0 had a search feature, but it only looked at the names. It saved me a lot of time, especially with Enchanting which was such a beast to sort through otherwise, but names don’t always cut it. This new search window doesn’t just look at the name, it looks at everything. By “everything” I mean it looks at the name, the mats, and the stats or abilities.

Search Window: Stats
Take a look at Enchanting. What if someone asks you, “What enchants do you have that give Agility?” Can you answer that one? Do you know which enchants they are and which equipment slots they go to? Do you know the names of all of them? Enchanting doesn’t hold a strict naming convention, nor does it hold to equipment slots; heck, enchanting doesn’t even stay consistent in which enchants progress across level ranges and which do not. Not every enchant that grants Agility actually has the word Agility in their name. Some have words you could associate with it, like Stealth, but others don’t and might not catch your eye if you’re just scrolling through looking for a specific stat. Mongoose gives Agility, Crusader gives Strength, Ice Walker gives Crit, but the names themselves don’t tell you that if you’re not familiar with the profession.

How about if you’re looking for crafted gear for your freshly dinged level 85 tank. It’s a lot easier to find gear you need if you put Dodge or Parry into the search box. For a Healer, you might want to search for Spirit, Intellect, or Spell Power instead. Caster DPS might be more interested in Critical Strike Rating, or perhaps they’re short on Hit or looking for Haste. Melee DPS might need more Expertise. If you’re getting ready for some PvP it might be a good idea to hit up the local crafters and search for Resilience, or “speed” if you’re looking for new enchants with a speed bonus but don’t know the names for all of the new ones.

The search feature is fantastic for finding specific stats on gear, enchants, and gems because it looks at more than just the name.

Search Window: Materials
If you have a lot of mats sitting around in your bank or spread across your alts, it helps to know what you can do with them. One of your options is to use the built in filter to show only the recipes you have the mats for. While that feature is handy it’s not entirely accurate for getting rid of mats if you don’t have all of the mats on hand, for instance there may be a vendor item you don’t have on hand, or maybe it requires you to craft one other item that you have mats for but haven’t made yet (the wires and settings and such for JC is a good example).

If you use the search feature instead though, then you can see every recipe that uses that particular material. You can also use both a search and a filter at the same time to find an even more focused result, but again the filters like “have mats” or “gives skill ups” will remove recipes that do not fit those categories.

Using the search for a mat allows you to go down your list and see what other mats you might be missing to get rid of some of your stock so that you can either craft items to put on the AH, give/sell to other players, craft to disenchant, or whatever else it is you feel like making. It can also help you decide to get rid of the mats themselves if you see that it only goes into recipes you’re never going to use or ones that are great for leveling and could bring in a lot of profit if you sold the mats raw instead of trying to craft with them. It might also open your eyes to the fact that you don’t even have the recipe that the mat is used for.

If someone in your guild sends a message out to gchat saying, “Hey, can anybody do anything with [random mat]?” You can shift-click that while you have your professions window open to see what all you can make with it and then link the items back if they want something made for them, or if they’re just looking to give it to someone that can do something with it then you’ll know whether or not you can. Remember, mats are rarely restricted to being used in only a single profession, so doing a quick search might even reveal a mat that you didn’t realize (or forgot) that you could use.

Drawbacks
There’s only one drawback I’ve seen to new professions windows so far and it’s really just a minor hassle that’s easy to get around. The problem with it is that it takes priority of your shift-clicks. So if you have the window open at your bank and you want to break one of your stacks of mats in the bank because you know you only need 2-3 of them to craft something and you go to shift-click the stack to take a smaller portion it’s always going to assume you really meant to use the search feature with that shift-click instead. So you can’t break stacks into smaller stacks while you have the professions window open, but all you have to do is close it and then break your stacks as you please, then open it again when you’re ready to craft.

That’s really the only drawback I’ve seen with the new windows. I have experienced a few glitches when using filters where the filter gets applied, then I make something, and then the filter glitches or something and several other recipes pop up in the window (sometimes all of them) even though it shows the filter still in place. But that’s not a drawback so much as it’s just a bug in the system thanks to the expansion.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Guide, Patch Notes, Professions

 

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