The Discombobulator Box (TM)

I listen to Inside Azeroth every week (go find them over here: and in the most recent episode, #20 Please pass the Salty, there was some discussion about a change I hadn’t heard of involving loot rolls.

Someone found something somewhere stating that in the next expansion there may be a new addition to the loot window: Need, Greed, Disenchant, and Pass.

Of course, no one really knows what this means, looks like or how it will function so speculation abounded.

(I am too lazy to track down the source or verbiage of the change. I’ll wait to see it on MMO Champ.)

What also abounded was a discussion of loot distribution off bosses – namely items doomed to be sharded.

With the addition of being able to trade BoP drops for 2 hours after a raid/instance, it has significantly changed the way we handle useless drops.

In guild runs it was never an issue, anything useless was passed off to the enchanter to dutifully shard and toss the results into the guild bank.

In PuG runs however, there used to be 2 options.

Option 1 involves everyone needing/greeding and doing whatever they wanted to with it after the run. If you were an enchanter, great, if not, vendor that purple.

Or, if you were a highly organized PuG…

Option 2 involved unwanted items being picked up by the enchanter. They could be sharded and rolled for on the spot or (the way we used to do it in my old guild) save them until the end and try to distribute the shards as equally as possible (assuming the enchanter doesn’t bolt with your purplez).

And it was with option 2 that the discussion was surrounding.

Option 2 kind of screws the enchanter. They leveled enchanting. It’s because of their work (and gold and sweat and tears) that anyone has a chance at a shard from an item.

Do herbalists ever offer a roll on the herbs they’re picking in an instance?

Do miners ever offer a roll on the ore they’re mining in an instance?

Do skinners ever offer a roll on the leather they’re peeling off carcasses in an instance?

Do engineers ever offer a roll on the [Sprung Whirlygig] they’re extracting from mechanicals in an instance?

Not in any group I have ever run in.

I say open roll on the useless drops.

IF there is an enchanter in the group, offer a tip to get the item disenchanted. If there’s not an enchanter in the group, suck it up and vendor the item like you would normally.

But that really wasn’t what I wanted this post to be about.

I was thinking about the groups that didn’t have enchanters.

And somehow I also started thinking about engineering providing nifty services.

Try to follow me, I’m not even sure if I follow me here.

Enchanters pretty well hold the market on enchanting materials, we are our own worst enemies.

You can level any gathering profession just by running around and, well, gathering shit.

Enchanting is stuck in an awkward spot where it is it’s own gathering and crafting profession combined.

You cannot level the disenchanting (gathering) portion without also leveling the enchanting (crafting) portion.

There are no “infinite dust” nodes in the world to go tap, no “essence” creatures to slay, no “shard” plants to pick.

Gathering toons are what help keep the prices in check for leather, herbs, and ore.

You can’t roll a DK and run around Azeroth/Outlands and be able to “gather” enchanting mats. You can pick up greens to DE (assuming they drop), but you still have to enchant stuff to move to the next level of disenchanting.

It would be like an herbalist having to make bouquets or something before they could move to the next tier of picking herbs.

Enchanters throttle their own market on materials. Not only is it expensive for a non-enchanter to get the mats for their new gear to be enchanted, but it can be painfully expensive for an enchanter to progress in the skill.

Enter the engineer.

Make a pattern for a Dicombobulator Box.

This box would, on use, disenchant a selected item in the engineer’s inventory.

There would be different levels as the engineer progressed, just as enchanters require higher level enchanting rods to unlock higher enchants. Maybe the Discombobulator Box 1000 can be upgraded to the Discombobulator Box 2000, etc.

It would be an item in the engineer’s inventory, BoP, and probably requires something tricky to create. I’m thinking at the very least, it should require the same mats as an enchanting rod of the same level. Plus bolts and frames and whatever other gizmos they have. Sprockets?

Being an engineering device, however, there needs to be a chance for failure. There would be a percentage chance that the item is vaporized and lost.

Engineers would have a way to make some coin. This is going to be important as it sounds like there could be more ammo changes in the future for hunters. And honestly, having your gold potential tied to one class is really bad. And engineers still can’t make me exploding sheep that I can use.

More useless drops could be converted into enchanting materials. I can’t imagine there are enough engineers out there that this would cause a catastrophic flood of the market, but it might be enough to make enchanting mats not suck so bad to get.

What do you think?


9 comments on “The Discombobulator Box (TM)

  1. smart001 says:

    I will tell you, as a high level engineer, this is a great idea. There are a few ways for engineers to make money on the AH (yetis, frogs, squirrels, ammunition and maybe a few others, though those are my main ways). However, the market is limited to hunters and pet collectors who do not have those particular pet. These are a small population of the server so I do not make a lot of money doing it.

    Ammunition changes will get rid of the mammoth cutters and sarronite razor heads (the arrows don’t sell nearly as well anyway), and will significantly impact my income.

    Now, being able to disenchant something? That is great. Almost everyone wants enchants of some sort, and this will bring the already crazy market down a little. Plus, that is just an engineery thing. For crying out loud, I have the jeeves pattern and can access my bank from anywhere with it (once i build the damn thing). I can offer repair bots and resurrect people. I can enchant my gloves, boots, belt, hat, cloak, build trinkets…all that stuff is great. Being able to disenchant just fits.

    Additionally, I would say you are correct, there would need to be a (small) fail rate. Again, this fits the flavor of engineering. However, if it is too great of a fail rate (Goblin Jumper cables?) nobody will use it because it is becoming a sinkhole for potentially valuable materials, but if you only fail say…1 in ten times, I think that would be about right. I think my gnomish army knife is said to have a 75% success rate at resurrecting, but it seems to me it rarely fails.

    I am starting to ramble, but I do love the idea…

    oh…for crying out loud, an engineer make a friggin motorcycle…


  2. smart001 says:

    hmmm, it seems i forgot to mention…no crazy cooldowns are necessary. Or make it “Ten attempts in an hour” or something like that. MOLL-E is great because the CD is only 2 hours…but it sucked when it was 8 hours. An overly long CD will make this almost worthless.


  3. theerivs says:

    Speaking as an enchanter…ahh no. You know how much it costs to level enchanting, now you want engineers to impede on our turf.

    As an enchanter I get more shards because half the time no one fricking wants them.

    But the chose is mine, and thats what it should remain to be as an enchanter. Do you want to be nice and disenchant stuff for people, or not.


  4. Dark/Soth says:


    Will that logic work on a miner/JC you go into a 5man with? “Do you want to be nice and mine that node and prospect it into a gem for me, or not?”


  5. Pellex on Hyjal says:

    (Hi, you don’t know me, but I’ve been dropping by for a while to read this blog!)

    I too leveled enchanting at the same time as I leveled my first character, and I did it without regular guild donations of greens *and* before the advent of vellum. So I feel somewhat qualified to offer an opinion here.

    Your model assumes an enchanter who does more buying of mats than selling. No doubt the Discombobulator Box would benefit someone who levels enchanting this way.

    However, I almost never bought mats while I leveled my enchanting. I ground the stuff myself or did instances to get loot to DE. If I didn’t have the mats at a given moment, I just waited to get the enchanting points.

    Instead, I went through the game *selling* my extra enchanting mats–the ones from DE’ing stuff at a lower level than I was currently at, which wouldn’t give me a skill point to use or an upgrade to my gear enchants. Since I didn’t have a gathering profession (my other profession is tailoring), enchanting materials and fish were my main sources of income while leveling. Driving down the price of enchanting mats would actually *hurt* an enchanter who leveled the profession this way.

    Also, I don’t believe any other gathering profession (and enchanting is half a gathering profession) has that degree of access to its materials on the part of characters who haven’t leveled that profession. What I mean is this: If you’re not an herbalist, you have very few ways to get herbs. Only a small number of mobs drop random ones (the lashers in Maraudon, for instance). If you’re not a skinner, the only way to get leather is to fish for it. If you’re not a miner, you have very little access to ore. You pretty much have to go to the auction house. So why shouldn’t enchanting operate on the same system?


  6. Rurjaos says:

    Why not build a Discombulato-Bot?
    Crystal = ilvl200 + 1 Major Essence
    Shard = ilvl187 + 1 Minor Essence
    3 Major Essence = ilvl174 + 3 Dust


  7. smart001 says:

    in an attempt to not turn this

    “into a copy of the enchanters vs. the rest of the world posts over on the official forums.”

    this comment has been deleted

    but i will say i still love the idea


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