Tobold's Blog
Thursday, December 27, 2007
World of Warcraft enchanting

I know it isn't optimal, but my World of Warcraft level 70 characters are running around without enchantments on their gear. One problem is that I never know when I'll get the next upgrade, so spending lots of money on an enchantment for an item that might be replaced tomorrow doesn't seem worth it. But the even bigger problem is that it is so damn difficult to get your stuff enchanted.

When you hear an enchanter in the trade channel offering enchants, more often than not he asks you to "bring your own mats". Which is pretty stupid, as only enchanters can produce the dusts and shards in the first place. As non-enchanter I can only get the materials from the auction house, and then I don't know what the going rate is for most of them, and risk overpaying if I buy them in a hurry. If the enchanter doesn't properly link his enchantment, I don't even have an in-game way to find out what the mats are, I need to look them up on some website. By the time I have everything together, the enchanter has logged off or joined a group and is now in the middle of a dungeon.

And I really don't understand what the added value of that system is supposed to be. Forcing strangers to meet each other? World of Warcraft already has itemized enchantments, so-called augments, for example the Aldor and Scryer inscriptions.

Why can't an enchanter simply produce such augments with his craft, portable enchantments that can be sold via the auction house?

The main advantage for the enchanter would be that it is a lot easier to make a profit if he sells enchantments via the auction house. When my priest still was enchanter, he found other players notoriously unwilling to pay anything for enchanting services. I was supposed to spend hundreds of gold on rare enchanting recipes, and then do enchants for free if the mats were provided. Now he is jewelcrafter, and while people still want rare gem designs done for free if they bring the raw gems, at least I can sell crafted gems on the auction house for more than the price of the raw gems. Why can't enchanting work like that?

If enchantments were available from the auction house, a lot more people would use them. Right now enchantments are mainly used for the players at the top of the game. If you are still leveling or gathering gear at a steady pace, enchantments are just too complicated to get to make them worth while. If you could buy them on the auction house, you could get a cheaper enchantment for the gear you hope to replace soon without losing all the time hunting for materials and an enchanter with the right recipe. Right now enchanting is a fringe tradeskill. Making enchantments tradeable would make it accessible for more players.
You might have read in the future patch notes that it will be possible to sell the enchants via the auction house (with the exception of rare ones).
I don't remember though if it's due in 2.3.2 or 2.4 (Sunwell Plateau) patch.
In my experience enchanting was by far the cheapest/easiest/most profitable profession that i ever picked up. The key was patience, which was quite easy considering i went to school 5 days a week and had merely 1-2 hours of playing time each night Here is how it worked:

1-375: Acquired my own mats by either DE'ing my old gear or finding bargains on AH. I then stood on top of the Orgrimmar bank and advertised through a macro Free (yes free) enchants with my mats. All i added was that "Tips are appreciated". For the next 2 hours the cash would (usually) flow in. The key was to selectively give out my enchants.. If a lvl 2 opens trade and places their starter gear in for enchants i would proceed to ignore them or explain that they will get better gear in 5 minutes. The average tip from an alt would be anywhere from 50s-20g depending on how nice the person felt (most were incredulous that i was giving free enchants and were thus very generous). After a night on the job i was generally fresh out of mats, but in the black on cash and 40-50 levels higher.

375 enchanting: Can't glorify this part. I made a fortune here, but at the cost of hours spent farming BoP world drop recipes. Once i had them, however, I was a very hot commodity and my plan was the same. Equipped with a nifty enchant macro/mod that allowed players to browse my available enchants/mats required through whispers, i stationed myself in shattrath and watched the money flow in once again. I advertised enchants with both my mats or theirs, but in all honesty "my mats" meant buying mats off AH and then overpricing their value in the enchant. Thanks to most people's distrust of "giving" hundreds of gold worth of mats to an enchanter and praying that they wont run off, i more often than not sold enchants for upwards of 300g when the mats were less than half that.

Oh yeah, and just as a side note: Before i left for LOTRO i discovered a rather interesting bug in enchanting simply through the course of my business. If all in one trade transaction the following happens:
1. Another player's item is enchanted with my mats
2. That player places his copy of the same mats for the enchant into the trade window to give to me
3. That player gives me a tip
... then upon accepting the trade both players would be disconnected by the server. after logging in (and panicking that they were scammed) the player recieving their enchant will find their item enchanted and their mats (that they traded) gone as expected. However, upon logging in I (the enchanter) always found that i recieved the tip and the other player's mats as expected, but that my personal mats (those that i used to do his enchant) had not disappeared. Thus, the other player basically gave me a tip and a set of mats for free. I am not sure if this was ever a reported bug or if it was fixed, but it is the only true "flaw" that i can see in the enchanting system as it stands.
Personally, I don't find the enchanting materials a problem. I have a level 35 druid with 275 enchanting, and she can disenchant any bind-on-equip item in the game. Every time my main finds a worthless green, I send it to my alt and disenchant it.

Although I did level her up back in the day when Disenchanting didn't stop giving skillups after 75..
Regarding the comment of "enchanting was by far the cheapest", that's discounting the profit that one could have made by either selling the gear or selling the mats.

Typically, enchanting 1-375 will make you spend a lot of time to farm reputation to get some juicy enchants and, above all, between all enchanting rods that you need to keep upgrading every 50 skill points or so and the mats you either buy or *don't* sell to use, enchanting will cost you somewhere above 2000g to level.

And if you try to do it "cheaply" and only do enchants with other people's mats, then you're in for a long time leveling your skill, and considering the time you're advertising that you could have been making gold, you're still not doing it cheaply, just doing it *apparently* cheaper... Time also equates to gold.

I've also read something about selling enchants in the AH, think it's 2.4 (2.3.2 is a minor changes patch).
Forgot to add that, on my main level 70 druid, I had to drop Herbalism to pickup enchanting as a simple thing as a +25 AGI on 2H was simply nowhere to be found. Tried for over two weeks to find someone who could do it and in the end had to pick up enchanting and level it and farm the rep for that recipe... I've been doing it mostly for myself and my alts.
I hope they do add sellable enchants. I heard some rumblings about the possibility, but never a solid patch.

I do have to disagree with you on this part of your post:

"When you hear an enchanter in the trade channel offering enchants, more often than not he asks you to "bring your own mats". Which is pretty stupid, as only enchanters can produce the dusts and shards in the first place."

Many enchanting patterns call for materials that aren't usually available without a great amount of time spent by the enchanter - prismatic shards, for example, can only be obtained regularly from high-level blues, mostly acquired from instances. Even then, people scoff at enchanters taking blues soley for the purpose of being enchanting mats.

Also, take things such as void crystals. Its likely if you're raiding, void crystals go to your guild, not into your own stash so you can sell enchants. How else would enchanters get void crystals to use to make money themselves if they don't have the people requesting the enchant bring them?

When I was heavy into enchanting on my hunter (I know, odd combination), I would usually keep mats around for simple enchants that only required arcane dust and planar essences, but beyond that, people had to bring their own mats.

Its also a lot easier to put "bring your own mats" in your macro message than specifying which enchants you can perform with your mats and which ones people have to bring their own mats for.

I do, however, agree with the rest of your post. Sorry to go on this rant. ;)
I agree with you Tobold. As an enchanter myself, there are 2 things that bother me:

1. As I'm 38 years old and I don't have much time per day to play, I don't want to lose this time by just standing in Shattrath and selling enchants.

2. With all the other professions you can craft and send many useful things to your alts, but not with enchanting. I have to look for an enchanter to do an enchant for my alts.

I wish I could sell my enchants in AH or send them to my alts / friends. Plz Blizzard, fix it :)
I hope the prices for enchants go down if they become avaliable on the AH. Most enchanters overprice their enchants because they have to either 'keep stock' of rare, expensive mats, or they need to buy these mats of the AH at higher prices.

Also the caster mats seem to be priced silly higher then the the melee mats. Atleast on my server deathwing. I recently got +15 spell damage for my bracers on my lock and it cost me close to 300g using my mats I purchsed of the AH. I then bought the +26 attack power for my rogue and it costed me maybe 30g? It was really the mats that were required that made the difference. 26 attack power is in the ball park of being just as effective to a melee as 15 spell is to a caster. The same thing happens with the +40 spell damage enchant(about 400g for mats) and the savagry(70 ap, about 150g for mats).

Enchanting the most pricey profession to buy from, and most pricey to level. I'd say even more then engineering which I've leveled to 300 for 1000g. Didn't bother with 375.
I was recently offering to do Fiery Enchants, one for 25g or two for 40g, and I was practically laughed out of Ironforge. I even had someone ask if it was free. Now I do SM Cath and Herod DE Runs, netting 8 to 10 Shards an hour, then I sell sets of 4 shards for 30g on the AH (ind. price is 8g on my server), and they sell, every single time.

A marketing story a professor once told me went like this: A man's dog had puppies, so he put a sign out the front of his house, "Puppies. Free to good home." Nobody stopped by and at the end of the week he still had every single puppy. So on Saturday he changed the sign to read "Puppies. $50 each." By the end of the day he'd sold the lot.
I've always thought Blizzard's explanation for requiring player interaction with Enchanting was a crock of sh**. I have a 375 enchanter, and I've never really made any money off it. I enchant for myself, friends, guildmates, and the occasional pugger that wants an enchant.

Sitting around a city advertising enchants is not gold-per-hour efficient compared to just running dailies or even grinding primals. It's also far more boring than either of those other options, and it runs the risk of giving 0 return if nobody is looking for what you're offering.

The 'bring your own mats' thing is perfectly sensible. It gives the person buying the enchant complete control over how much he/she wants to spend, which makes most people happy. Most enchanters also don't have the stock of supplies to offer their own materials since they have to compete against every group member for every green/blue drop to get materials, unlike miners, herbalists, and skinners who only have to fight others of their kind.

I do hope that Blizzard will change enchanting to a production craft instead of a service craft, but there is no definite plan in place at this time.
I look at the WoW tradeskills as an extra "personal advancement" system. I gave up long ago believing Blizzard would make crafting a socially interactive experience with it's own meta-game involved.

Between the current "race to the bottom" auction house and focus on Bind on Making recipes for most professions, the social interactivity of WoW crafting is non-existent.

Anything a crafter makes and sells on the AH is inevitably bought out by scalpers and resold.

Anything actually worth making is not sellable due to it being BoP. So, it is nothing but another advancement system for our toons.
From my experience enchanters will usually enchant for free if you bring your mats or will charge a premium if you use theirs. There's only one enchanter I know that regularly charges regardless of whether mats are supplied or not. I usually always tip even if free because most enchanters are very nice and extremely appreciative of it (which means they'll remember you fondly and get you on their Christmas Card list).

I have never had a problem getting my stuff enchanted by posting "WTB name your enchant have mats" in the trade channel. Always buy your own mats because it's usually cheaper. And a good tip is to know what enchants you're looking for in before you want your enchant. WoW Wiki has a good reference for what enchantments are for what along with their mats -

Plus bringing your own mats, knowing what you want and what goes into it, makes an enchanter's life sooooo much easier. You become a joy to work with.

Now I don't know about the level 70 gear, but I know that getting a good enchant can make a piece of gear last several levels past when I would upgrade - this can be worth the investment. Especially on blues or higher.

If you have the coin, some I always try to have on my alts (especially those in battlegrounds) are Fiery Enchant (cheap and high proc) and one of the Leg Armor enchants (one example is Clefthide that gives +30 Stamina and +10 Agility...woot!).

Og's Ledger
Yeah. That's something that's bugged me since the early days of WoW and is still a problem to this day. Enchanting would serve exactly the same function if you crafted tradeable augments that put the enchantments on gear, with the only difference being that enchantments would be more readily available and easier to sell.
A couple comments from a 375 enchanter.

First no sane enchanter ever sells enchants unless its "your mats". The reason is people never believe what mats cost. Large prismatic shards are currently going for 24-30g on my server. If I want to sell an enchant with 4 of these required for 100g (which is losing money) people will honestly think I'm trying to rip them off. Its ridiculous and stupid and not worth the hassle.

Second, as an enchanter I *DONT* want to be able to create enchants and sell them on the AH. Currently enchanting is 100% free to level, just offer up enchants for free with your mats. I make my money by disenchanting items and selling the mats. Its a great system and works just great.

If you don't want to get ripped off on buying mats, ask the enchanter if the current AH prices are reasonble. Its that simple.
I've been struggling with leveling enchanting. So much so, I have 3 or 4 rare enchanting patterns (+4 stats, +30 spell damage [NNIJA MC RECIPE!], Lifestealing) in the bank in case I ever do so.

One of the things that keeps me from doing so is the fact that I hate sitting in town. I hate sitting in town waiting for a PUG. I hate sitting in town waiting on a BG queue. I hate sitting in town barking my wares. Yet, with Enchanting that's the ONLY way you can sell your stuff.

After so long with no updates from Blizz, I'm betting Inscription will make a scroll that can be Augmented by Enchanters and sold on the AH. AND the basic scroll won't be powerful enough for lvl 150 enchants. And that won't be good enough for 225 enchants... and so on and so on. The lvl 450 scroll would probably cost 100g in mats to make... that way the AH enchants will be more expensive than the "normal" kind.
Another thing to note. Enchanting is the only profession where you CANNOT help your alts. LW? Alch? BS? JC? All the products of those professions can be sent to your alts. The only thing you can send to your alts with enchanting are BOE's, not BOP's... (and you're gonna do that? Yeah, right)

Sufferer (US-CC)
I made a big chunk of my epic flying mount money dealing in level-70 enchanting mats with a bank character and a level 40 275+ enchanter alt.

I don't have any problem giving mats to an enchanter or crafter. I've never been cheated yet.

Frankly, I don't think that inscriptions would be to the advantage of enchanters (other than enchanting BOP gear for alts), since history shows that crafted items typically sell for less than the mats.
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