Well patch 3.3 has come out and there was much rejoicing. I will avoid discussing the Raid content. I may be raiding it but it is not my main focus of this blog or even my usual goals so I will save comments on it for another day, most likely after the second wing opens in January.
I am sure others around the web were complaining about Titanium ore/bars after 3.2 and the epic gem fiasco but I did not see many suggest the change that I did about a week before I saw the transmute changes hit the 3.3 patch notes. I was ecstatic to see them in there and then actually find that it was implemented when the patch went live. I say that because I think it was lacking from the official 3.3 notes. Anyway the one thing I was surprised about was the speed of which the change propagated throughout the market. It took less than a week for the cost of 1 bar of Titanium to be equal to or now even less than the saronite to transmute into the Titanium bar. Which is to be expected a little bit. On my transmute spec Alchemist about 1 in 10 transmutes is a double or greater proc. One time I got 4 titanium bars from one transmute.
This trend should hopefully continue. There are one or 2 more such improvements could come in lesser 3.3.x patches but especially for Cataclysm we need more of these market stabilizers. How this happens is at initial release of content there are certain fixed quantities. These are node spawn locations. The initial patterns for each crafting profession seem to be somewhat modeled off of the rarity of the fixed materials. Then comes the raid and patch content. They will occasionally add in a few or many new recipes however they usually seem to revolve around a new resource that is added in specific content, i.e. Runic, Crusader Orbs and Epic Gems. In the case of Epic gems one of the ways to acquire them was from prospecting a previously non-prospect-able ore. This caused the Titanium ore/bar price issue I refer to earlier. A similar area that could currently have the same market transition applied is the Eternal Market, which was the Primal Market in BC and Elemental/Essence in Vanilla.
I.E. like with the saronite -> titanium transmute we need to have the elemental/primal/eternal cool downs removed. This will mean that rather than the following table.
Over time we will get the following.
I suggest this because the cost to produce an item in the materials used seems to expect the Earth,Fire,Wind,Water,Life Eternal items to be worth the same and they are not. This would make them be the same. Oh and to prevent infinite Eternal, Primal, Elemental items the Transmute spec Proc should be removed, I know I have one and that will be annoying but we need a straight conversion here, or at least make it a 1/1000 chance. So if you do spend a lot of time and I mean a lot of time constantly transmuting you can get more out than you put in but that really is not the point of this suggestion.
Currently Transmutation is the key trans-formative process in WoW to convert materials. I don’t think this should change but ultimately if such conversions were to be extended adding more to enchanting would also be useful.
To further extend this idea, I hope we see improvements along the following lines in Cataclysm.
Generic Gathering -> Refined Raw Materials -> Processed Materials -> Basic Components -> Complex Components or Finish Product.
This progression is an extension of the current Inscription/Jewel Crafting/Engineering crafting process. I have focused on these 2 professions 1 because Inscription is the newest and one of the better organized profession that Blizzard has made yet. Jewel Crafting was the profession added in The Burning Crusade and is an iteration more advanced than Engineering which was evident when skilling it up. Engineering is one of the best professions because you actually use items you create at lower skill in patterns of higher skill. So there is an intrinsic recycling of materials which in some cases make certain parts of the skilling up process extremely cheap.
So for Alchemy/Inscription you would get something like the following.
Generic Herb (Skill Level x-y), -> Named Herb (Gold Clover, ect) -> Pigment Process -> Specific Ink -> Inscription, Glyph, etc….
Essentially we need to add a generic level appropriate material that is gathered, so Mining nodes would become like Taconite or some similar material. Then different fantasy rock compositions can have a chance to produce current ore in different quantities per stack of 5, like how other professions, prospect, mill etc. For Alchemy I think we need to add a layer from herb -> (potion, elixir, flask). Rather than use raw herbs it should be processed into powders and extracts, same with enchanting. Actually Alchemy and Enchanting should become more closely related and cross feed into one another. Actually come to think of it we already have rough, dense, solid stone coming form mining nodes. If we convert everything to a stone type as the node rather than the mineral or elemental name that would be a good starting point.
As for enchanting I think we should also have some extra gathering process that comes from extracting the magical essence from corpses like skining, herbing, and mining. This would be an alternative method to get Essence of Undeath, Living Essence , Essence of Fire, you get the trend. I also think fel and moon cloth should now be mutually exclusive and are made like spellweave, moonshroud, ebonweave is currently and add an extra one for spellweave equivalent and then we have a parallel between 0-300, 301-375, and 376-450.
I also think that enchanters should have an alternative process to create the special cloths. Now I know most enchanters are tailors as well or at least use to be, so that may be overkill but we really need new alternative ways to balance out high end materials. There should always be more than one way to obtain any crafting material. Even if it is through an exchange vendor it will help to keep AH prices from getting to extreme.
Well that went a little longer than I expected.