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What if we got away with the entire idea of 'the blacksmith can craft these items'? Instead, you level the blacksmith up and with each level he can attach more affixes to an item. You bring him white items and he adds X number of affixes to them with a cost depending on how many affixes and what item, and the affixes determined by the ilvl of the white item. If you bring him a superior item it has an increased chance to craft with that item's innate affix (i.e. a 'balanced' weapon has a higher chance to craft with IAS).
This improves crafting (though by itself it doesn't fix it) and, more importantly, provides an actual end-game use for white items like we had with runewords in D2.
Alternately, you could find plans that are a list of broad-ranging affixes (i.e. 50-200 str, 2-10% CC) that you could then craft onto any kind of white item. The max roll would be limited by what kind of item (you can't craft bracers with 10% CC for instance) but other than that all items are fair game. Sort of a legendary that can be applied to any kind of item.
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