That sums it up pretty well I think…
Enchanting. It’s a profession. I have it. I think it should give me more.
I’m not going to try to compare enchanting to any other specific profession in detail, I’m just saying that more can be done with enchanting.
It’s an odd profession in that it’s not a gathering profession (well, you kind of gather enchanting materials by disenchanting items) but it isn’t truly a crafting profession (without a vellum, you don’t make a permanent item – not counting wands and oils). It’s the hybrid of professions.
Like most (if not all) crafting professions, enchanting sucks to level on your first character.
If you are already 80 and dropping something to pick up enchanting or have a stable of other characters to help out with materials and expenses it’s not so bad.
But to take the first character you make on a server and level up enchanting is slow, painful, and very expensive. I know, I did it. And my guild suffered through it with not one, but two of us leveling enchanting at the same time!
(It’s a little better now I would think with the vellums – assuming you can afford them or know a scribe. For a from-scratch character that isn’t very likely so it still sucks almost as bad.)
Enchanting started out with some really neat stuff.
When I picked up enchanting and found out I could make my own wands (and they were decent wands, too!) I was pretty stoked.
I was looking forward to crafting and using wands that I made for many levels (I think it’s really cool to get to use something I made)… until I noticed that there were no more to train. The last one of the 4 you can learn requires level 30 to equip and gets replaced soon after; there is a handful of quest reward wands that easily match the Greater Mystic Wand.
My guess is that Blizzard is still holding out some hope of a woodcrafting profession (it was briefly mentioned at BlizzCon as an idea they’ve been tossing around for a while) and they were possibly planning on higher ranked wands going to woodcrafting.
OK, then there were the weapon oils.
Getting the materials for weapon oils was a real PITA on my first character.
When I finally got to the point where I could afford to purchase them or could trade items with guildmates for them we were getting close to what was end-game at the time – level 70.
I stockpiled oil. Made oodles of it. Was planning on getting into this raiding thing and wanted to be prepared.
And then came Northrend.
I replaced my level 70 weapon (can’t even remember what it was now…), went to apply the oil, and promptly had a fit.
Weapon oils (and sharpening stones/weightstones) didn’t work on the new ilevel weapons.
Blizzard said something about people spending more time farming the mats for consumables “required” to raid than they were actually spending raiding.
So I sent all the oils to my little priest and whipped up a few of the lower level ones to tide him over until he was a big enough boy to use the good ones.
Except he’s using the BoA staff, which is treated as a level 1 item.
So wands are out of the picture by around level 30 and the oils don’t even have a showing for most alts these days.
I can disenchant.
This is great for old items being replaced and useless quest rewards.
It’s really good at the lower levels when you’re wearing greens. That armor might be dust and the weapon might be an essence. Go to blues for your shards and you’re set.
But when you’ve hit end-game and you’re sharding your old purples, all you get is abyss crystals.
I don’t know about on your server, but with the constant farming of 5-man Trial of the Champion, abyss crystals are easy (and cheap) to come by on mine.
The guild bank is full of them from our raids.
Know what we don’t have? Infinite dust. Need moar dust pl0x.
The downside to disenchanting: as the enchanter in the guild that is on more often than not, it has sort of fallen to me to take all the donated greens out of the bank and churn them into dust and essences.
Since there is no command for mass disenchant (which I would be terrified to use, “whoops, all your PvP gear is now shards, have a nice day!”), it takes me a while to plow through the mess of crap and return the dust and essences to the bank.
I can enchant my rings.
That’s pretty cool, it basically gives me the equivalent of 2 spell power gems. Or attack power or stamina. Not a lot of choices, good thing I just want spell power.
On the whole, enchanting just seems like such a passive profession.
Engineers get cool toys to play with: frag belts, wormholes, exploding sheep.
Blacksmiths get to make stuff that people can see and use. Some enchants make glows… but on a lot of the top-end gear the weapon already has an inherent glow built-in and masks any enchant glow you might add.
Tailors also make visible, usable items and get a couple mounts! Plus, who doesn’t need bags?
Alchemists are never in danger of running out of work, we all still need our flasks. They also get some sort of increased bonus when using flasks/potions they made for themselves.
Jewelcrafters make some pretty sweet trinkets, my little priest digs his mana owl. People also seem to regem gear a lot more than reenchant it.
I’ve not gotten my scribe up very high yet, but he’s my money machine. People swap glyphs like they’re pulling them off a toilet paper roll.
As an enchanter, people only want your services when they get a new piece of gear – which can be a long time waiting in a raiding environment.
You can make vellums and store or sell the enchants, but the vellums aren’t cheap – it’s not like blacksmiths or tailors or jewelcrafters or engineers or alchemists or scribes get charged an additional fee to put their wares in the auction house, which is essentially what the vellums are.
Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining about the vellums! I wanted something like that for a long time. But I was hoping it would be something integral to the enchanting profession, not a dependency on another. It completely makes sense they way it’s set up, just inconvenient if you don’t have a scribe readily accessible to provide vellums without gouging you on the price.
In my experience, people are more likely to tip for other crafting professions. I’ve always made much better tips off my tailoring than my enchanting; even though I’ve done more enchanting work than tailoring work. The patterns are just as hard to come by, people – tip your enchanters!
With the anticipated changes to item stats in Cataclysm, I’m wondering: what’s going to happen to enchanting?
I’ve noticed that with the exception of armor penetration, the official words are that some stats are being removed from items. They haven’t said that the stats such as spell power and attack power are being removed from the game, just from the base item.
“Spell Power is being removed from items as well. Don’t panic, we’ll be improving Intellect so that it provides mana and Spell Power.“
This would mean that the stats are still there, just not out of the box on an item. This means that gems and enchants would still be completely valid ways to customize your gear as you do today.
I think it would also fit in with what little I’ve seen about the reforging feature.
With reforging you “can reduce a single statistic on applicable items and convert the lost points into another stat not already on the item“.
From what I’ve pieced together, only the basic stats (strength, spirit, agility, stamina, intellect) would be present on gear.
That leaves reforging open to manipulating secondary stats like attack power and spell power. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to convert stamina into strength or dodge and they’ve alluded to caster DPS not needing/getting/wanting spirit. (Finally!)
I’m hoping in Cataclysm they take the time to look at enchanting again and give it some polish. It would nice to be able to make more “things” that are usable/visible (enchanted exploding sheep? please?) or to have the profession provide a service that is needed on a more consistent basis.