Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Not enough enchanters?

Patch 3.0.8. still hasn't arrived, but we're hearing more and more news about the changes it will bring. And one change is a major review of all the new enchanting recipes that Wrath of the Lich King introduced. As the situation is now, dusts and essences are simply too expensive, and unless you are wearing epic gear, most enchantments would be more expensive than the armor piece itself, which doesn't make sense. So what went wrong?

Enchanting was never the most popular or most profitable profession. So when Blizzard introduced inscription as new profession, a lot of the people who took up that new profession dropped enchanting for it. At least on my server there aren't all that many enchanters left. In 5-man groups more often than not nowadays there is not a single enchanter, so that bind-on-pickup gear nobody needs ends up being vendored instead of disenchanted. At the same time the other crafting professions now make more useful items, so that the auction house isn't full of cheap crafted items that can be disenchanted. Less enchanters also means less quest rewards being turned into enchanting materials. The fewer enchanters there are, the less enchanting materials are being made, and with low supply the prices are high.

Unless a lot of people go back to enchanting, after having found out that inscription is even less profitable, there is a risk of a permanent shortage of enchanting materials. What Blizzard could to change that is to make it possible to disenchant items for other players, for example in the "not for trade" field of the trading window. So every player who gathered a couple of soulbound items could hire an enchanter to disenchant those items for him, for a fee, and receive the materials. Until then we'll see a lot of rare and epic items vendored, and enchantments remaining unaffordable, even after the patch.
I don't think it has much to do with the number of enchanters. I'm an enchanter at about 427 skill, and the amount of dust/essence required is unusually high. Right now, my enchants that I skill up on require a full stack of infinite dust or greater essences per single enchant. Also, all the BoP gear that gets disenchanted becomes shards, not dust/essences. I have a ton of shards, but not enough dust/essence.
I don't think the problem is so much a lack of enchanters, more that the items being dropped in 5 mans and above disenchants into Dream Shards. Since these are only used to purchase recipes they aren't much use in creating anything. This left my character with all of the recipes but barely any materials to make anything. The sheer number of dusts needed in some of the high level enchants is rather high to say the least, and meant quite some 'green' farming in order to obtain the number required. Bringing this cost down whilst introducing the need for shards should help people be able to gather materials far easier and is a sensible move in my opinion.
The problem I see with enchanting is the gatherers and the crafters are always the same people. With all other professions, you can have gatherers who have no real interest in crafting, simply selling, and crafters who don't do their own gathering. Now, to some extent you do have some enchanters who just DE items, and don't enchant anything any longer at high levels, but while leveling the dusts and essences you create are necessary to level your profession, this keeps the supply of materials down considerably, and compounds the fact that farming things to DE isn't nearly as easy as it is with any other profession.

The beautiful thing about inscription is I can farm everything I need to level with out much additional effort than what I put in to get herbalism up there. I created a DK, and other than making a few extra rounds in STV, The Hinterlands, and then spending time leveling as I farm in the plaugelands my Inscription skill has followed my herbalism skill nicely.

If you try picking up enchanting and getting to 300 in a few hours without blowing a ton in the AH, there's no chance.

What I think could correct this is along the lines of allowing enchanters to DE items for others, but make it easier. Have a NPC who can DE items for anyone. This would greatly increase the supply of materials, and while it doesn't fix the issue with the difficulty of farming your own materials, should make it much more affordable to level enchanting.
Less enchanters may be an aspect, but there is more. Our guild is still good supplied with Enchanters, nearly every instance run we made while leveling up (which are many, we did instances every afternoon) was with an enchanter present. Still it was not enough. Everything needs more enchanting mats, especially dust. I am an tailor, but without enchanting (got alchemy instead). In the past that was never a problem, you didn't need many enchanting-mats for tailoring. But to level "the northrend points" I needed the help of THREE enchanters. Two of those gave me what they could spare without hurting their own profession (they are only enchanters, no tailors) and another one was kind enough to diss all the boe-greens I sent him. And with all that help dust was still always in high demand. If you gave me three stacks, they were gone in minutes and gave me perhaps one skillpoint.
Enchanting mats are high because this is where enchanters make all of their money. I can (until patch 3.08) make an item for 9g in mats that dischenchatns into ~22g worth of enchanting mats.

The armor vellum III and weapon vellum III are often quite pricey if purchased from the AH, and I have found that the market for enchanted scrolls is lukewarm at best compared to the market for enchanting mats. Additionally, the scrolls are usually sold for less than the cost of mats simply due to enchanters producing items for skill up and not for profit.

Enchanting mats are always going to be high so long as the enchanted scroll market is not supported by Blizzard. The AH UI is horrible for these scrolls as they are just lumped into one giant category to shift through. I don't know why they haven't made enchanted scrolls their own category with seperate sections for each body part, like you see with equipment.

Enchanting also could use some sprucing up now that every profession offers some benefits. Ring enchants compared to say two extra sockets or the inscription shoulder enchants or the BoP gems from jewelcrafting? They need to add in enchanting daily quests and really go back through all of the non-jewelcrafting-inscription-alchemy professions and do some updating.
I am skill 450, no problems doing so. I bought cheap greens when WotLK came out, I am also a tailor where all skilled objects I can disenchant. My girlfriend is inscriptor and I had the pergaments to enchant them and sold all of them in the AH as well. So all in all maybe 5k gold to get to 450, maybe less as I don't know what I got from sales of the pergaments in total
I made a side deal with one of our guild enchanters when WOTLK was released. I told him I would send ALL of my green (and Blue) BOE items to disenchant if he would split the mats with me 50-50. He readly agreed and I have a lot of dust.

Sure, I could just asked for all the dust/essance since he was a guild member, but I figure you don't get something for nothing and the dust/essance is worth more then the shards.

I like the idea above about desenchanting BOP items through the trade window.

I've also heard our jewcrafters complain about the same issue about having to do dailies to obtain tolkens for recipees.
In general, Enchanting has always seemed to be somewhat of a money sink. But what distinguishes it from the other profs, is that it's a multi-function profession, being both gathering and crafting. And if you're worried about profitability, then treat it as a pure gathering profession, and only gather mats from d/e'ing, which you'll sell in the AH.
I would actually like to see an item that is cheap to make for enchanters to make and allows people to disenchant their own items

Vial of DE, stack size: 20, disenchants target item
I know a lot of people complain about the dust being needed in high quantities but I haven't even found that to be an issue. But that's partly because of the way my greens disenchant.

According to Enchantrix, my armor disenchants 75% of the time into 3-5 dust. Great. In contrast, the weapons disenchant into essence 75% of the time. Not true. I get more dust from the weapons than I get essence thereby increasing the amount of dust I have at all times. At one point I had 200 dust after 4 days and finally started selling it. It's the essence I can't get my hands on.

Is anyone else having this problem?
I dont think this analysis is correct. Price of enchanting mats goes up & down a lot on my server, and there's never usually a shortage. Its an interesting argument but I've seen no evidence to back it up. Except maybe that some enchanters have switched. But inscription is not super-sexy either, and doesnt seem to be much of a money maker, except the occassional darkmoon nobles card (if you're lucky)
It's true I'm at 428 enchanting and I'm finding it very hard to find the essences for a reasonable price. What's worse is that the inscription scrolls really didn't help as much as I thought they would. They're expensive to buy and there isn't much demand for any of the higher-end enchants. As a result you can really only make a little bit of gp selling the inexpensive lower skill enchants like icewalker or super stats on scrolls.
I don't like the idea of being able to DE others' soulbound items. That will further reduce the incentive to become an enchanter, since it removes their income advantage, resulting in even fewer enchanters available during instance runs. And a lot more whispers from people asking you to DE their soulbound stuff -- very annoying!
There are many problems with crafting in WOTLK in my opinion. The worst is that it requires so much materials to level it. My main is a warlock which is now 80 with enchanting 425 and tailoring 425. I've got a deathknight alt which is now 78, and I've sent ALL my cloth and BOE items received to the warlock for tailoring/enchanting. Should it really take two leveled characters almost to 80 to reach two thirds of the way to the cap? And that's of course with all the cloth items also created being disenchanted. Something is very very wrong with the materials needed to skill right now. I can't spend money on the AH to gain skillpoints because that would take a ton of money when dust costs 100-110g per stack.

Also, why is all the stuff created while skilling worthless? While leveling tailoring there wasn't one item I could actually have use of until getting the frostweave bag recipe, besides disenchanting. But then of course the skill points were lagging behind so bad, again because of too much materials needed that when I could finally create something I could actually use I already had much better through questing or drops.
The main problem with enchanting is the amount of mats needed to do 1 enchant in the 415-440 range. Super stats to chest is relatively cheap. Powerful Stats goes for about 15x the cost...for 2 extra stats to chest. If you actually get Powerful stats, you must also have a Traveling Tundra mount, or be an idiot.

Half the enchants you get at 430 and up are so expensive that no one wants them. Why get something slightly better than what you already have...for 15-20 times as much gold buying the mats?

Apparently Blizzard is dropping the mats required for enchants, so this may help a little bit. Making recipes cost less abyss crystals would, by itself, make the enchants much more reasonable. On my server, using the example above, you get +8 stats to chest for maybe 30g of mats. For the +10 stats to chest, the infinite dust is quadrupled (not too bad), but 4 abyss crystals are now needed, each one costing about 150g. Want +10 stats to chest? You have to be prepared to spend 600 gold for it. Or, you can pick up +8 stats for 30 gold. Guess which one stops giving skill-ups the soonest?

About disenchanting other people's gear...I guess it would be helpful to an extent, but not too terribly much. Ultimately the people who even get upgrades more than once or twice are people who are at least wearing blue gear. As is, dream shards are relatively cheap. I don't even roll for them when I do an instance on my non-enchanting toons, as I can get those easy. In fact, dare I say that if other players could get their gear disenchanted by enchanters or NPCs, while prices would likely drop, enchanting would become even less profitable. The only time I really care about cheap enchanting mats, as an enchanter, is when I'm trying to level it up. Otherwise, the only time you can "make" money as an enchanter is selling disenchanted dust, essences, etc. I'd be careful about screwing around with how enchanting mats enter the game. I definitely don't want them to be worthless rather than extremely expensive as they are now. To me, decreasing the amount of mats needed for enchants would make the enchants more enticing for people to get as the total amount of gold to spend for the set of mats would go down. And the sooner every enchanter is max enchanting, the sooner they start releasing their mats into the AH and starting the great undercutting cycle that will eventually lower the prices. If other enchanters are like me, they hold onto their mats to level enchanting...which works much like trying to hold sand.
There is quite a few things they could do to revive enchanting. I used it as a farmer profession for disenchanting loot, and then 2ndary as a way to make my alts funner to play. The main issues with Enchanting are:

1.) Too little reward for your effort/gold spent. You get a one time use enchant that attaches to a weapon that will most likely beccome soulbound. Its like investing in buying gold lace for toilet paper.

a.) A solution would be streamline the mats to actually drop from mobs within the enchants lvl range(have them be non-vendable, and not expire on AH). The fact they have to come from otherwise useful or vendable gear (like boe or soulbound blues) just shows poor hindsight from the developers on what they wanted professions to be. This would greatly help the lack of supply issue and encourage enchanting and bring it back uptu speed with the difficulty of lvling professions.

2.) Enchanting suffers from mudflation terribly. An enchant you get that statwise is good for lvl 50-57 wrists for +HP is only useful for gear on a char that wants that enchant (which is not even needed with how easy pve mode is on WoW). There just is no demand for enchants that have no purpose other than fluff or twinking. This could easily change if they were to make instances scale in diffficulty and reward, (leaving the best rewards for those that would go through the effort to twink gear). This would help alot of professions accross the board, such as leatherworking/blacksmithing/tailoring. I would also suggest as an added benefit of creating enchants for your own gear is that an enchanter can remove the enchant to be resold when finished. The same for the other professions too. One time use items are a burdon specially if they were hard to get in the first place. You could easily arrange it in a way where they have a cooldown before they can be removed, and also make them non-vendable at a npc just to make sure they get put towards the community.

3.) i could go on.. list long enough i guess.

Expensive? Since when? When anyone can make a few hundred gold per day just doing some easy dailies, I don't see how enchanting materials are really that bad, at least for the lower end stuff (i.e. not abyss crystals). Yeah, "best-in-slot" enchants cost a bunch but you only put those on best-in-slot items so it's worth it.

Also, you say "unless you are wearing epic gear" but if you are enchanting your blues you are doing it wrong. Enchanting is for endgame epic items, not blues. Don't waste the materials and money until you have something really good and as I say above don't spend tons for the best enchants unless you have the best items.

One change in the patch will help which is that they are altering the materials requirements to use more of the dream shards and less of the other stuff. This will help since dream shards are relatively cheap, which is somewhat backwards.
I agree with Rohan about not enough dust. I've been DE everything I come across; quest rewards, all my other toons BOE greens and I still have no where near enough dust to level my enchanting. The only way to progress my enchanting is to buy greens on the AH or wait till i get enough BOE drops. Dust is more valuable to me that shards atm. Give us more dust and/or decrease the amount that enchants need (yes i understand that 3.0.8 is doing this.)
I don't see why being able to DE BOP Blues should cut into an Enchanter's income. A smart Enchanter will have an Add-On that tells him (to a certain percentage) what Mats the item is likely to DE into, and the resale price of said Mats.

Nublet whispers you, "U DE [Hammer of Thumpiness] plz. K?"
You whisper Nublet, "Sure. I'll DE that for 10g."
Nublet whispers you, "10g? WTF?"
You whisper Nublet, "The [Hammer of Thumpiness] will DE into an Atomic Shard, which you can sell for 20g. You want DE? You pay me 10g."
Nublet whispers you, "WTF? U Noob! All U do is push a butten!"
Nublet whispers you, "UR GAY!!!"
Nublet whispers you, "Did U hear me??? I sed UR GAY!!!"
Nublet is being ignored.

All Nublets aside, when a Crafter can enhance a BOP Item through the Trade/Do Not Trade window, the only reason why an Enchanter can't Disenchant a BOP item is griefing, and the possibility of Gold Farmers/Account Hackers DEing literally everything on a hacked account through a high-level Disenchanter on another Account. And that's probably why Blizzard will never allow DEing of BOP items through the Trade/Do Not Trade window.
The data doesn't really support an enchanter crisis theory. I'm just doing some armoury data crunching on professions now and enchanting is represented near the top of the most popular professions lists. Out of a sample of about 100K toons we get these as the top profession sets:

16032 Skinning/Leatherworking
15307 Herbalism/Alchemy
13568 Mining/Blacksmithing
12481 Tailoring/ **ENCHANTING**
11226 Mining/Engineering

Inscription seems to be the one left out in the cold as it doesn't appear until much further down the list:
4630 Inscription/Herbalism
> What Blizzard could to change that is to make it possible to disenchant items for other players,
> for example in the "not for trade" field of the trading window. So every player who gathered
> a couple of soulbound items could hire an enchanter to disenchant those items for him,
> for a fee, and receive the materials.

I gather that they haven't yet done this as it'll make it easier for account thieves to make more gold from a compromised account. Shards will usually more expensive than the vendor value, and are less recoverable than gold. (They intercept a fair amount of gold these days)
@capn john: AWESOME
Maybe its just me, but I've never seen my professions as a means to make money, I really, genuinely dont understand why so many people think they need gold in WoW.....what the heck do you spend it on ??

Back in tbc, I raided all the way to half way through Sunwell, raiding on average 5 nights a I had to finance all the consumables and repair bills that came with it... so I cant see how anyone had higher costs that I did in order to keep a character going

My character was (and still is) a tailor/enchanter, and I never once used the skills to make gold, I even gave free enchants to random people who asked politely in Shatt (their mats) and I never once sold a single chanting material on the simply wasnt fact I had so much gold from dailies and general loot money that I financed mounts for 3 alts with it....

In the end, I had so many dusts/essesnces that I just vendored BoE greens that dropped

Yes, enchanting takes a while to level, because its harder to farm the materials, but honestly, what's the rush ? why do people think they need to be 450 skill in everything immediately
It cant be PvE players surely ? The tier 7 raids are so ridiculously easy that the best enchants are simply not needed.....and by the time the next raid comes out and (assuming its harder) the top enchants are needed, the supply of mats will have gone up due to most raid teams being geared from Naxx, therefore more stuff getting sharded
It's not so much a shortage of enchanters, at least on the two servers where I play, as an actual and very real shortage of green gear to DE for raw materials.

I am a "grinder". I like to just go out and kill things solo a lot. I also like to grind factions. Both of these entail lots and lots of killing, so I've gotten pretty familiar with drop rates. The drop rate on green items in Northrend is much lower than it was in Outlands. I have seen AH prices on a single Greater Cosmic Essence at 30g.

A good many enchanters on my old server (I transferred a week ago off a high-pop realm to a med-pop) had blanket offers out to pay people to mail COD green items to them for 15g per item. I also regularly saw enchanters offering to pay up to 100g to anyone who let them do an enchant that got them a skill point (how's that - they pay YOU, you don't have to tip!). Enchanters are that desperate to skill up and can't afford to just buy the mats.

Inscription is not the answer. People who are trying to use inscription to skill up are finding that the enchanted vellums are worth less than the prices of the raw mats, if they can sell the enchants at all. The only one I've had success selling is Mongoose - apparently there's only one better for rogues in Northrend, and it takes 6 abyss so they are still buying Mongoose from me quite a lot. I made Mongoose scrolls out of my leftover Outland mats and sold those, and I am still doing Mongoose for people in Dalaran. Sadly I get no skill ups for doing it!

So the change to the recipes that's coming in 3.0.8 is very much needed. I stopped skilling my enchanter at 410, as soon as word leaked that the mats were going to change. I had DE'ed all my quest rewards the whole way and also every green I found on both my main and my alt (which is not many, again the green drop rate in Northrend is very low), and I'm now just holding all that stuff so I can finish skilling up on the lower costs.

The only other thing Blizzard could have done would be to up the drop rate on greens, and thus increase the supply of raw enchant materials, but clearly they decided for reasons of their own that they don't want to put that much green into the world.
Aren't all crafting professions super expensive? I'm not sure why enchanters are whining....atleast they get their gathering/crafting profession rolled into one. I personally took mining/blacksmithing on my DK. I've been leveling them together. Currently at 400 mining/340 black smithing. All the ore I've mined I kept to level my blacksmithing. Dispite that I've also spent many additional hours farming ore for mats. This is why my mining skill is so much higher then my BS skill. Even still I've spent about 1000g at the AH on ore and other mats. If I wasn't a miner I'd imagine I would need to drop 5k+ to get my BS to 450.

I personally see professions as a side game. I understand they should not be trivial leveling the amount of time and money it takes to go from 0 to 450 for crafting professions seems unreasonable....atleast for some of them. Leatherworking/skinning is a win win. Leather is so easy to obtain from skinning it makes me sick. I have two leatherworker/skinners and they were both able to keep their profession skill maxed with out any extra effort other then skinning mobs they used to level their character. Leather also is way too expensive on the AH considering how ez it is to obtain.
Interesting. As I'd just recently bought the xpac and started levelling a Death Knight to see if it was my speed or not I was shocked to see how much mediocre greens are going for on the auction house. 100+ gold for pieces that would not even be worn by most toons seemed to be about average and I just assumed that the economy had gone crazy while I hadn't been playing. Sounds more like people preying on the enchanters need to get these materials through DE'ing.
As others have commented, I don't think it's a problem with the number of enchanters, it's the amount of mats required versus the amount gained from the actual DE process.

I recently sent 7 level 75+ greens to a guild enchanter for DE. The return was 2 essences and 21 dust. The enchantment I wanted needed aprox. 40 dust and 8 essences. I mean that is absolutely rediculous.

The next patch will reduce the amount of dust and essences needed for enchantments but won't do anything to create a supply.

I understand how end-game enchants such as beserking can and should be expensice expensive, but simple bracer enchants should NOT cost 150g in materials.

I check our AH last night and a stack of dust was selling for 80g.

I decided that I'll wait a week before I get my new gear enchanted to save a few hundred gold.

Actually, a vendor-bought level-80 head enchant also costs 150g (excluding a small rep discount):
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