Friday, June 25, 2010

My broken profession, let me show you it.

Merlot over at Misery had some observations on Path of the Titans (RIP) and Glyphs, and got me thinking about this profession of mine a bit.

Inscription was at one time supposed to offer players a way to modify themselves in various ways to make each player more unique and more fun to play.

What we got instead was another version of Jewelcrafting, only with herb-based derivatives instead of rock-based.

The "minor" glyphs are generally interesting, in that you can, for example, glyph Polymorph as a mage, or eliminate reagents from Levitate as a priest, and so forth. But they don't have a big impact. It would be nice if there were more "fun" items here and less utilitarian(1), but it's not too bad for Minors.

The "major" glyphs are another story.

Aside: This is, by the way, based on empirical evidence gathered in the process of making a living on the auction house selling glyphs crafted from my own mats. I has nothing to do with the perversions of the free market that emerge when you buy your mats on the AH, too. That's another rant, for another toon.

First of all, let's visit the various fora and blogs and guide sites. If I am a frost mage, there are recommendations for what major glyphs I should have. There will be three, and only three, typically. The data's been boiled down, and there is very little leeway. Same goes for gems, enchants, and even gear.

Then, let's visit the auction house. Again, we see that only a few glyphs for each class actually sell, and most don't sell that well – but the rest are even worse!

The fruits of this profession have devolved, once again, into the same pattern as you see with Enchanting, Alchemy, and Jewelcrafting. That which maximizes your primary abilities and talents, will be popular, and the rest will fall by the wayside.

Which means that I have approximately 350 glyph recipes that served only one purpose: skilling up my profession.  Afterward, you put them on the AH and hope some misguided fool comes along that doesn't read … anything … and coughs up that one or two gold you're desperate enough to accept.

So, 50-75 glyphs sell moderately well if I persist(2), and that's it. I can infer that that corresponds to the number of glyphs that people actually want on my server. But, basically, that's it. That's the total of how many glyphs that are actually useful.

Now, they tell me, Blizzard will add a new rank of glyphs. They will be adding more glyph types to the mix.

I ask you: when 3/4 of the glyphs are for all real intent useless, why on Azeroth would you want to add more to the pile?

I can only hope that, once the dust settles, they look at what they have and start fixing it before they start hanging new abilities off that particular tree.

Oh, and, Blizz? No pressure, but you said this year, and I bet you're still scrambling. Not saying the world is coming to an end – that's for some other bloggers to do – but you might consider slipping the schedule, and making the announcement(3). Otherwise we'll remember it was late and not great. Which seems to be the worst of all possible outcomes.

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(1) – Want to make it real interesting? Take the utility minors and make them majors. Make a priest have to decide between carrying feathers, or giving up that free Levitate.

(2) – Realistically, only about ten sell all that well even if I undercut. The rest are catch as cat can.

(3) – We need more "world is ending" rants to keep interest from waning, natch.