The Skinny on Skinning in Patch 2.1

Well, I have some good news and some bad news. Or I guess you could more accurately say that reviews are mixed. I’m not sure what to tell you guys really. I did two tests of skinning on the test realm and one went well, one did not. I guess you’ll have to be the judge:

As you know, I used the Blackwind Sabercats (found in the Skethyl Mountains) as my Black Morass comparison beast. These mobs range from 70-71, about as close as you can get to the dungeon level beasts outside of a dungeon. Since I had already done number crunching with them I thought they would make a good test case for the changes to skinning too. Plus the fact that they are the highest mobs you can find, so hopefully the skinning increase would be more obvious too.

I skinned 25 of these on the PTR vs 24 on my live realm. In case you don’t remember the drop rates from my live test, here they are again:

Knothide Leather: 16 out of 24 skins
Knothide Scraps: 8 out of 24 skins

Pretty much a 66% drop rate on leather, 33% rate on scraps. Now here are the numbers for the PTR skins:

Knothide Leather: 19 out of 25 skins
Knothide Scraps: 6 out of 25 skins

Now from this sample it looks like the drop rate for leather is up slightly. The downside is that yes indeed, six of my cats dropped one scrap. This after we were told “Skinning higher level creatures will give more leather; you will no longer get a single leather scrap.” I’m really hoping this is just a wrinkle in the plan. On the other hand…

I went to Cosmowrench in Netherstorm and skinned the 67-69 warp chasers and skywing critters and got:

Knothide Leather: 5 out of 15
Knothide Scraps: 23 out of 15 (yes, you read that right)
Wind Scale: 1 out of 15

Nine of the fifteen mobs dropped scraps, each of those mob dropped 2-3 scraps and no mob dropped just one scrap. So the drop rate on knothide was much lower than my Blackwind cats, but I did get the multiples on the scraps as promised. So for this area I was able to confirm the changes on scraps, although I still think the drop rate on full leather is too low. Almost twice as many mobs are dropping scraps compared with full leather. From this I would guess they didn’t adjust the drop rate of knothide leather, they just beefed up the volume of scraps you receive when you get scraps.

At this point I’m not sure what I think happened. Somehow my cats got overlooked in the updating process? They appear to be minimally affected based on my results. If we assume that the Cosmowrench sampling is indicative of the actual change that was made, those results aren’t terribly exciting either. More scraps, but no meaningful increase in full leather drops. As I said at the start, up to you folks to decide if this is a worthwhile improvement…


11 Responses to “The Skinny on Skinning in Patch 2.1”

  1. Xavier Says:

    I have been following your skinning tests and they have perked my curiosity quite a bit. I am not a skinner myself, but I know several people that could use this information.

    I do have one request if you are willing to take the time. I would like to compare the results of the tests that you have performed so far with results from skinning the cats that roam the edges of Skettis (Flying mount area in Terokkar). I am not certain about their respawn rate so their numbers may be too few to make it a valuable skinning location, but you would probably be able to tell that better than me. Still, I have found that the drop rate for many other valuable mats in the flying mount areas is considerable when compared to anywhere else.

  2. kaliope Says:

    Xavier: The Skettis area is actually where my Blackwind cats are located, I should have been more specific :) Currently on the live servers there are several spots around the lake in Skettis that have sabercats, which should be enough to support at least two and possibly three people. I happen to be slow as a semi-feral druid, I’m sure a hunter or warlock would plow through mobs faster than me, so you’d want to factor that in. I was there a few days ago with an undead warlock and we were fine in our respective areas.

    On the PTR, they removed most of the sabercats and replaced them with warp stalkers and some new bird mobs, so the only spot that still has cats is the cave itself. I’d estimate that there are 8-10 total cats inside and just outside the cave area. This would really only be enough to support one person, the respawn time is a little fast for my druid but probably fine for a hunter/lock. I haven’t tried skinning the warp stalkers in the area to see what they produce, but they are level 70+ so I would hope you’d still get decent leather drops from them also.

  3. Dan Says:

    Did they bother to add any sort of mote gathering with skinning at all? This is the worst part of current skinning in my opinion. It is the only gathering prof that gets no motes as a side effect. I thought for sure they would fix that…

  4. kaliope Says:

    Nope, I got no motes during the time I was skinning. I would think if motes were added I would have seen at least one out of the 25 cats I skinned. I totally agree that skinning deserves motes, but so far we have nada :(

  5. Xavier Says:

    I do agree that motes should have a drop rate with skinning, but adding that feature in now as opposed to pre tbc release is trickier than it seems. For one, the direct effect it would have on the economy in regards to the prices of primals. Keep in mind that the easier it is to obtain a material, the less valuable it becomes. Primal shadow is a prime example of what I mean. Also, primal life and earth are much cheaper than mana, fire, water, and air because of how many motes of earth and life come from herbing and mining. You can expect the same thing to happen if a type of mote were to drop from skinning.

    The next big reason, and most important imho, are all of those primal mat requirements for nearly every profession. All of that gear, major protection potions, primal might, you name it. Blizz decided how difficult it should be to craft each individual item. If they added motes to skinning, then they would have to reconsider every item which used that primal and possibly change the requirements for most of them in order to maintain the same difficulty level for crafting. If they ignored that huge task then there would be high risk of many items becoming less valuable to players simply due to the ease of obtaining them. Just think about how much easier it would be to make primal mooncloth bags if primal water dropped to the price of primal earth? Granted making primal mooncloth requires a spec and a cooldown, but I never seemed to have issues finding people in shattrath to trade me the cloth for mats along with a small tip. Overall, this is a very difficult task and it is easy to make mistakes. Blizz recognizes how easy this kind of mistake is to make which is why they probably finalized the decisions regarding motes and other mats as far as how easy they are to farm and then made all of the gear requirements afterwards.

    Aside from those reasons, I am sure Blizz could list at least half a dozen other complications with adding a drop rate for a particular mote with skinning. Keep in mind that despite all of these reasons, I still believe that Blizz should at least evaluate what it would take to keep the game balanced and add this feature. It would be a fine improvement to the game.

  6. Justin Says:

    Just as a question…which mote do you think would be appropriate to add to skinnable mobs?


  7. Dan Says:

    I was thinking life- like an herbalist gets life motes for skinning bog mobs in zang. It just seems odd that an herbalist can skin life motes, and a skinner can’t. =/

  8. kaliope Says:

    I think Xavier makes a valid point and it’s a true shame that Blizz didn’t evaluate this prior to release. Logically speaking I think motes of life make the most sense for skinning, since the source is a beast-mob. On the other hand if you were looking keep the economy balanced, I would put air or fire with skinning because those two types are outrageously priced compared to the other motes. If skinners could gather fire/air motes by skinning it would very likely bring those prices in line with the other types of motes.

    If they really feel the need to CYA they could just randomize the whole gathering/mote system completely and then none of the motes would be imbalanced with any other, at least as far as the gathering professions are concerned.

  9. Xavier Says:

    I would choose primal mana for several reasons. First, the places to farm primal mana are limited in comparison to other primals. Second, from a role playing perspective, mana is often linked with purity and life so it makes some sense that it comes from living creatures. Third, mana is does not come from any other gathering profession.

    Lastly, primal mana doesn’t seem to be “in demand” as much as the other primals in terms of crafting so it may help reduce the task of keeping the game balanced as well as open some great opportunities. On my server, primal mana is expensive to buy mostly because people don’t run across it very often. Those who do are often farming it to craft something specific or they want primal might. Adding mote of mana to skinning would shift the economic balance, but Blizz could also take advantage of that opportunity by adding several new crafting recipes, plans, etc which make greater use of primal mana. The goal would be to keep the demand for primal mana the same despite the increase in drops and availability on the AH. It would also add new content to the game which is always fun.

  10. Teokai Says:

    About the discussion as to which motes drop for skinners, why not base it off the type of mob? The basilisks near the Skald in BEM could drop fire motes, the mana worms in Netherstorm drop mana, the wing serpents drop air, etc. This would make sense to me. It wouldn’t have to be a significant drop rate either, in order to protect the crafting difficulty.

    Possibly lowering the drop rate for miners and herbalists for motes of earth and life would seem to solve the problem of flooding the game with extra motes. Just a thought…

  11. kaliope Says:

    I like that idea too Teokai – that way we’d have some variety. Interested plan, I sure hope they do something!

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