Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Pandaria jewelcrafting

I tend to be a fan of crafting in most MMORPGs. I tried every craft in World of Warcraft, and in Cataclysm I had most of them maxed out on some alt, constantly sending stuff from one character to the other. My "main", as far as I can say to have one, is a holy priest with mining and jewelcrafting. That used to be not a bad choice in previous expansions. But in Mists of Pandaria I am not at all happy with that choice.

It is hard to get good statistical data for that, but it appears to me that there are less items in MoP with gem slots. For example I have an iLevel of 450, which is good enough to open all heroic dungeons, and only 10 points away from the first LFR raids; but I do not have a single gem slot anywhere. I looked through the vendors, and the justice point items don't appear to have any gem slots. Of the valor point items only about half have gem slots. On the one hand that makes life easier for everybody, as you don't have to worry about gemming up before you have high-end raid gear; but on the other hand that means there is no market for gems.

My second problem with jewelcrafting is that it doesn't need spirits of harmony. My alts would need them, but as I haven't leveled them yet and the motes and spirits are bind on pickup my alts are starved of them and can't craft anything good. My priest has lots of spirits of harmony, but the only recipe that even uses them is one to learn a random gem recipe faster than once a day. Not really useful.

Related to that is the fact that you can't craft any epic rings or necklaces. There are some okay-ish blue iLevel 450 jewelry items you can craft, but not the epic iLevel 476 items other professions get. What you can craft instead is mounts, but that is a rather bad deal too: There is only one mount shape to craft, a tiger in various colors to use various gems. You need cloud serpent reputation to get the recipes. And then in spite of not being all that special, the mounts are horribly expensive, using a 20,000 gold vendor item as part of their recipe. As you have to grind that cloud serpent rep anyway, you're much better off getting the cloud serpent mount, which looks a lot better and is a lot cheaper.

So overall I find jewelcrafting to be one of the weakest crafting skills in this expansion. Unfortunately WoW isn't a game in which you can switch crafts easily. It'll be faster to level my alts to 90 than to switch crafting skills around between my characters.

I've been pretty unimpressed with Pandaria crafting. Alchemy used to be pretty great, especially with the mixology and the very useful bonus from your alchemist's stone and BoP infinite potions.

Now... There's not really any benefit. The trinket gets quickly out-dated, potions are virtually useless so mixology is of little to no benefit, and no more perma-pots either. Hard nerfing, there.
they will fix it "soon" (10 months or next expansion)..

I agree with you and I can say that the crafting in general is bad in MoP. Spirit of Harmony should be bind on account and you shouldn't be forced to do dailies in order to be able to craft!

I have raised my Tailoring to 600, I am doing every day that imperial silk and now that I have enough of them guess what?I cannot use them...leg enchants, epic crafts, need reputation with a faction that I can only earn through alternatives. Now everytime I come home from my work, I have to start a new work, the dailies. No thanks, I am not a muppet.

My paladin is my farmer. Herbalism mining that provide the goods for the alts. I have 15 spirits of harmony in my paladin I cannot use! And don't tell me to buy a stack of windwool cloth or a spirit dust with my spirit of harmony..I am amazed that they think of this as alternative way for spirits of harmony...
There aren't sockets in your gear because most of it is obtained before the level cap. Blizzard didn't want players to have to worry about socketing gems as they leveled up since that gear is replaced to quickly, so all the pre-heroic items don't have sockets (for the most part). If you look at heroic and up, you'll see plenty of sockets for your gems.
" It'll be faster to level my alts to 90 than to switch crafting skills around between my characters."
That is simply not true.
It will be cheaper, yes. But not faster :)
Same situation for me: I'm jewelcrafter/alchemist. The only use I have for spirits of harmony is using them to buy golden lotus to craft flasks.

I am optimist and I hope that this is a prelude to more new fantastic crafts made available later on, but I'm not holding my breath.

BTW WoW crafting has always been the old crap "get components, press button", so it's not like I'm expecting much from it.... but hiding the few useful recipes behind endless rep grinds was not welcome.


There are perma pots. Your old pots update with your new level and give you 320 stats.


I agree that JC has some real issues with capping at 450 gear. However, I have made some pets with SoH which is another reasonable use for them. They really should have had a couple of 470 rings though.

One thing you didn't mention is the fact that the JC only gems are borked - the Str/Int/Dex ones are fine but the ones with secondary stats don't have enough of them. A very poor oversight.
You can use spirits of harmony to research new blue gems without the daily cool-down too.
Crafting in general, and especially for alts is largely useless now. The shift in emphasis for this expansion seems to be: increase daily rep grinds and collecting pets and mounts; decrease the importance of raiding, crafting, pvp and alts.

It kind of makes sense from a business perspective. Creating a new pet or mount is far cheaper than developing a new instance and gear level for all those classes.
Emotionally I agree with you but logically it may just be that the new-to-level-cap gear tends not to have gems. And being able to VP cap without even doing 5 mans, let alone raiding (e.g. dailies & scenarios), combined with LFR, means epics should be available to more people.

The floor/default value for SoH are 3 Golden Lotus since a vendor will sell you 3 GL for a SoG. So SoH have value/opportunity cost for any toon. But yes SoH being BoP not BoA was very inconvenient for people with alts.

A lot of JC profit comes from prospecting ore, not cutting gems. E.g., a major source of enchanting mats are the low level rings & necks made by JCs.


@Shawno: I disagree on the point of 'decrease the importance of raiding'.

RPGs are basically about character growth. Chasing the next increase in power. Raids are still the be-all and end-all of character growth - the most important activity in the game.

If you don't raid, your character stops growing faster than someone who raids. So yeah. I'd say there's still a little while to go before we find alternates ways of people growing their characters' power without the social-heavy clusterfuck pain in the ass raiding.

I see a lot of, "I only raid for the challenge of it," bullshit flung around, but I'll be happy to see just how quickly those absolute liars get shown for what they are if there were ever solo/small-group-friendly ways to advance your character's power to the same as that of a raider.
"Now... There's not really any benefit. The trinket gets quickly out-dated, potions are virtually useless so mixology is of little to no benefit, and no more perma-pots either. Hard nerfing, there."

I don't know how or why you play WoW but these professions output is balanced around raiding.

Specifically, if the trinket is better than ilvl 463 trinkets from LFD then the trinket gets just as quickly out of date as the other crafted items: by VP and raiding.

The other part balanced is the economic value of gimmicks.

The social values differ for everyone. Some like mounts and pets (even if skin/color is only diff), some don't (like Tobold apparently). This is tough to balance due to bias and personal preference.

I only care about the raiding aspect of professions at start of expansion. The other ones I will get eventually (or not). In this context, every crafting profession gives a unique item (which gives an edge over heroic dungeon gear) and also provide a way to somehow increase your stats (in total with roughly 2x160=320 of your primary stat).

The reason _I_ don't like JC is that I can only get 2x320 of primary stat gem instead of double the amount of a secondary stat (such as for example 2x640 haste). This makes JC inferior to BS where you can add 2 gemslots which provide you 2x320 haste AND worse than other professions because you must use red JC gems in the slots. If it also allowed non red JC specific gems the net benefit would be same for JC compared to BS. BS is the only profession which allows more stacking of any color gems. Tailoring and engineering provide a burst which overal is a slight increase, but also requires increased awareness to play with said burst. Still, they're all pretty near each other.

As for spirits of harmony you can farm them on your tiller farm if you are revered with Tillers. You can also spend them on useful reagents which are not BoP/BoA. Which besides being useful once your profession interests are satured, and for alts, is also useful for people with 2 gathering profs.

PS: I see on my server some level 85 alts ask for people to farm for spirits of harmony while in same group. The price this goes for appears to be 600g/10 min (which is 3600g/hour).
BS is also superior in PvP, where you can slot PvP Power gems into the extra glove/bracer sockets. JC does not get JC-only PvP gems.
The thing about the 476 crafted epics is that in the long run, they're all pretty garbage. None of them will last past Mogu'shan Normals(489), Heart of Fear LFR(483) or even Valor gear from vendors(also 489). So, while it's a nice boost to your ilvl for starting content, long term none of the crafted gear is that good.

That said, JC is still one of the better professions out there in the long term(gear upgrades = regemming = profit). Alchemy has always been a good long term money maker, and flasks are the root of that, especially if you have elixir spec to proc multiples. Living Steel transmutes will continue to be a good income source, not only for any newer higher end patterns down the line, but for folks gearing up alts.

As for spirits on dual crafters, buy and sell golden lotus with your spirits. Best ROI is from them. Or buy em and have flasks made. Sell those for a better ROI.

Ultimately, I can't say that I'm surprised by how crafting looks this expansion. This has been a path we've been walking since Blizzard nerfed Alchemy whenever that was, restricting you to a max of two elixirs, or one flask in lieu of that. Since then, every profession's been watered down a little bit more. It's still very possible to do well with any of them, the question remains, and probably has more emphasis on it here than ever before, how much effort do you want to put into it?
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