Wednesday, December 26, 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.

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