Monday, March 03, 2008

Ask Coriel: Enchanting Scrolls

Jordrah of Ravencrest writes:
I was wondering what your opinion on the Enchantment "scrolls" that Blizzard has put up on the Arena Tournament PTR. If these were implemented on the Live servers (as of now they are only available on the Arena Tournament PTR).

How do you think they would affect the AH economy as well as raiding and PvP? Would enchanters be pleased or angry about such a change? Should there only be certain enchantments available as scrolls: only low level enchantments as a way to get rid of low level mats there might be laying around; should high level enchants such as Mongoose and Executioner only be available through an actual enchanter and still require the interaction? Also, what about these scrolls be use ala Mithril Spurs and Counter-Weight style where you are free to craft them and sell them but it is a requirement to find a crafter to apply them to your gear?

Jeez that was a lot, but I still have more! Ha ha.

Another thing that the enchanting scrolls and the recent change to Primal Nethers and Vortexes made me think about was: what if enchanters were to get their own BoP reagent needed for certain high level enchants (Mongoose and Executioner-like enchants from WotLK). Let's call it a Primal Shard or Nether Crystal (I know kind of lame). I was thinking that instead of being a drop like Primal Nethers and Vortexes are, they would be available through disenchanting. Something like a 10% chance upon disenchanting Rare items and a 50% chance upon disenchanting Epic items. I figured a change such as this would allow enchanters to have something that lets them charge for enchants beyond just a tip (which can be woefully low from some people) yet a relatively high chance to get them from disenchanting would keep them at a level where they would be somewhat valuable yet not overpriced. Another way for them to be gained could also be another enchanting recipe that would turn several Void Crystals or Large Prismatic Shards into a Nether Crystal.

Before I answer the question, let me tell a story about selling enchants.

Back in pre-TBC days, Fiery was a very popular weapon enchant, and it required 4 Small Radiant Shards. One day, I was in Ironforge and an enchanter (we'll call him Tim), started hawking Fiery in Trade Chat.

Tim: Levelling up Enchanting. Will pay you 1 gold to enchant Fiery if you provide mats.

Amused, I checked the Auction House. Sure enough, all the Small Radiant Shards were up for double the normal buyout, all being sold by Tim.

I sent Tim a tell congratulating him on his scheme, and he confirmed that he had several sales that day, making a healthy profit.

Anyways, one of the big problems with Enchanting is that you can't enchant gear for your alts. Scrolls solve that problem nicely, and is one reason I don't expect scrolls to require an enchanter to use. So I don't think the mithril spurs model is a good idea.

The interaction on the economy will be interesting. I don't think enchanters need a BoP mat, because the supply of materials is controlled *entirely* by enchanters. It's like jewelcrafting, but even more extreme. It really depends on how many enchanters continue to sell materials versus the number of enchanters who switch to selling enchants.

Part of the problem is that is very hard to justify a crafting fee when the buyer provides the materials. So the harder it is for the buyer to get materials, the higher the premium the finished product can command. Theoretically, enchanting would be very lucrative if the enchanter provided materials, because the number of capable enchanters available at any one time is low, but in practice everyone buys the materials first, then finds an enchanter and tips them a gold or two.

So my predictions are, if enchanting moves to the scrolls:
  1. Supply of enchanting mats dries up. Enchanters will keep their mats and produce enchants for sale, much the same way that jewelcrafters keep raw gems and sell finished gems.
  2. Price of enchants increases.
  3. However, it will be much easier to find and purchase the enchant you want using the AH.

More convenience for everyone, but higher prices for everyone as well.


  1. Regardless of price changes, etc., it's been a long time coming for Enchanting.

    Blizzard always mentioned that Enchanting was a "hardcore" profession (hell, one of the middle trainers was in Uldaman) only for the dedicated.. boosting your stats here and there was alot different in Vanilla WoW. TBC has been out for over a year, it's long outdated.

    Now? With JC gems, spellthreads, legkits, hell, even basic Knothide patches that give 10STA to multiple slots.. "+X stat to +Y slot" is no longer hardpressed to find, and you don't always have to go to Enchanters.

    At the very least, I'm looking forward to better enchanting my alts/twinks without relying on others of the trade.

  2. Hey Coriel,

    first of all, thanks for responding to my question, kinda made my day while i was sitting in english class :P

    anyways, my feeling on a bop reagent for enchanters come from the fact taht many people nowadays are picking up enchanting as a gathering profession and nothing else. they will level it up to 300 to be able to disenchant level 70 rares and epics and sell the mats on the AH. In my opinion this leads to overpricing of mats and enchants since the price for enchants becomes based on what the price for the mats is on the AH, or at most 5 less gold.

    it also means that there is an inundation of enchanting mats on the AH, but little capable enchanters to enchant your gear. which, at times, ends up being the same as there being no mats on the AH and having to rely on an enchanter to have your mats.

    also, i used to have enchanting and it was great while leveling b/c i was able to de my old gear and enchant my new gear. but once i was geared enough and started doing kara i dropped it because the mats where going to the guild bank and there were other more capable enchanters (i also wanted a deep thunder im still working on) and while i do feel that the move towards more availability of enchants, i do feel like enchanting is one of those professions that would require more interaction than JC. I mean just having an enchanting scroll wouldnt let your average meat-head warrior make his arena weapon even more devastating

  3. I can't see it really changing the availability of enchanting mats. Shards generally come from instancing, and if there is an enchanter in the group, I'm pretty sure we are still going to roll on the shards.

    And I'll keep sending my boe greens to my friend, or my alt, and getting my mats that way.

  4. Inscriptions are supposed arrive with WotLK. This is slated to be similar to enchanting but of course with the convenience of being able to sell your services as an item on the AH. Sort of a hybridization of enchanting and alchemy.

    Blizzard will really need to up the ante to entice people to keep enchanting imo.

  5. Ah, Fiery Weapon and the Small Radiant Shards (my next band name, btw). I sad such a great time with them pre-BC. I quickly discovered that it was more profitable to sell the shards on the AH than to try to sell Fiery enchants to people - for one thing, I couldn't beat the enchant price of those who were levelling and doing it for free.

    Instead, I sold all mine on the AH. I watched it a couple times a day, buying low and selling high. And THEN I found a Rogue enchanter to farm SM for me, who was willing to sell me the shards for half what I would sell them for. He got up-front money, and I made a tidy profit whenever the shards finally sold. God, those were good times. I got tired of levelling my toon (in the mid-40s at the time) and would never leave Ironforge; you could say I was playing a different game than most WoWers. :)

  6. "At the very least, I'm looking forward to better enchanting my alts/twinks without relying on others of the trade."


    Blizzard has said that, should scolls go live, the super-high level enchants will most likely require player interaction.

    So your Mongoose, Executioner, etc. will still be limited. But if I want to put Lifestealing on a bunch of level 29 daggers... :)

    Personally, I think Blizzard should rethink Inscription as advertised. Intead, Inscription should be to Enchanting as Shadoweave / Spellfire / Primal Mooncloth is to Tailoring.

    Alas, I don't work for Blizzard. :(

  7. Well they are talking about wotlk so it wi ll be mongoose 2.0 that is rare.

    But as an enchanter I look forward to it. I have little interest in selling enchants face to face. Its no signficant gain over simply hoping on a gathering alt and doing quests/dailys and has the pain of argueing price,waiting time and the risk of scams.

    It will make leveling enchanting easier. Their are people willing to sell +x to bracers for below cost and their are people prepared to pay for it but in terms of time cost most enchanter simply enchant their own gear 200 times.

    The big bonus for me is enchanting alts. I know of at least 3 people who have brought a second account and moved their enchanter to get around that hassle.

    The tournament test realm has buyable enchants right now btw.


  8. I think the enchanting will be fantastic.

    You generally only see a handful of enchanters on each server making money through the profession. Unless you count selling the mats, which I don't because that won't give me enchanting points. I'm assuming making those scrolls will advance the profession.

    Also, you won't have to do the wasteful practice of repeat enchanting. This way other people can benefit from your skill, and you'll get some money out of it as well.

    It's a nice way to reach a wider amount of people without hanging around the trade channel and hoping someone will want the enchant.

  9. Enchanting is just like any other profession. I have a jewelcrafter, and people are constantly complaining about the prices some crafters charge for cut gems. However those same people will go out and sell a design in the AH for anywhere between 400g-1000g. I had a mage once tell me that he charged gold for water, and when people would bitch, he'd tell them that it was the servers fault for selling the Conjure Water book at an ungodly price (90-100g at the time).

    Do you blame Enchanters for overpriced mats, JC's for selling cut gems at 50-60g a pop. Hell I tried to get the JC's on my server to band together and sell our gems at a flat rate across the board, if only people were smart enough to realize what a monopoly could be created that way.

    Gotta love/hate free market economies.