But can't the same be said for pretty much EVERY aspect of every MMO to date? I haven't encountered a single MMO that didn't feel like 'work' at some point.
True enough. But the reason I pointed out that taking two gathering skills can be work is because in many threads I’ve read there seems to be the perception that taking gathering skills means both fast and easy money. And though I agree that it’s easier than leveling up a production skill, there is often still some work involved.
And as far as making your own upgrades goes, I used to have that perspective. But then I saw that the armor made by smiths is almost designed to be inferior to drops.
I agree with this as well. And Blizzard has even admitted as much on more than one occasion. As they put it, crafted equipment is meant to fill in some of the gaps between dropped items. I feel the true usefulness of player crafted equipment depends on your play style. If you group a lot and spend a lot of time in instances where you have access to bind on pickup items, player crafted items will be greatly inferior. For myself, I think I’ve been in a total of three instances and I stared playing WoW the day it was released. Most of the gear my level 40 rogue is wearing is player made. So again, it depends on your play style.
And to be honest, in every MMORPG I’ve played over the last six years, mob dropped items have almost always been better than player made items. On top of that, in most of those games choosing to pursue a craft usually meant pouring large amounts of money into it. EverQuest was especially bad about that. About the only real reason to become a crafter in EQ was because you enjoyed making things. I’ve noticed that Blizzard chose to be much kinder to crafters in WoW. If you gather your own supplies, which is extremely easy compared to EQ, especially during the first 200 or so skill points, you will actually make a bit more money selling to NPCs than you spend on supplies like silk thread or hot spices.
All that having been said, I feel professions in WoW are more or less the same as every other MMORPG. If you enjoy crafting then go for it. If you don’t enjoy crafting then take up gathering professions for some extra cash and be done with it.