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TL:DR-Remove Bracer/Gloves sockets for Blacksmiths, replace with mainhand-only weapon "refinements".
Profession bonuses are currently being calculated on one basic scale - the value of two additional gems on your gear. For the most part, this works very well - LW Fur Lining and Tailoring Embroideries replacing the basic enchants, Engineering Tinkers providing a brief surge of added stats/special effects, Alchemists getting added effects from elixirs/flasks.
There is, however, an outlier. Blacksmithing doesn't just provide the value of two gems, it actually provides two extra gems. This was a source of much contention in 4.3 when epic gems were introduced, as BS became the only profession to receive additional stats as a result (by being able to socket two additional epic gems, rather than two rare gems). Now, with the addition of PvP Power as a socketable stat, BS is the only profession able to add PvP Power as their profession bonus (at this time, there is no JC equivalent to Stormy River's Heart, nor is there an equivalent for any other profession). PvP Power will vastly outscale primary stats for damage/healing in any PvP environment, meaning that BS will become a mandatory PvP profession just as Engineering was several expansions ago. The "value of two gems" model doesn't work if one group is able to benefit in ways that nobody else can.
As I do not believe in raising an issue without providing a solution, I propose the following replacement profession bonuses for Blacksmiths:
Weapons are one of the few pieces of gear that do not currently use a profession bonus. I believe that BS should be able to apply a "refinement" to a single weapon as a secondary enchantment, similar to how tinkers on gloves stack with enchants. If implemented, they would remain in effect if the player is disarmed, and would only be enabled on weapons equipped in the main hand to prevent balancing issues with dual-wielders.
-Weighted Weapon - Attach a heavy pommel to your main-hand weapon, causing you to swing with greater force. Increases Strength by 320.
-Sharpened Weapon - Hone the edges of your main-hand weapon, allowing you more control over the point of impact with your foe. Increases Agility by 320.
-Reinforced Weapon - Coat your main-hand weapon in a dense polymer, helping you absorb the force of an attack. Increases Stamina by 480.
-Focused Weapon - Imbue a runic symbol into your main-hand weapon, attuning you to the natural ley lines of the world. Increases Intellect by 320.
-Enlightened Weapon - Remove the worldly impurities of your main-hand weapon, letting you bring forth mystical energies more readily. Increases Spirit by 480.
*edited to add Stam/Spirit options
Edited by Mahanik on 10/6/2012 10:53 AM PDT
I was just talking about this the other day and I totally agree.
I miss Weapon Stones and I feel they'd be a better solution than additional sockets.
I don't personally enjoy having to purchase additional gems in order to take advantage of my Profession Perk and at the same time I recognize how much more powerful Blacksmithing is versus the other professions now with the PvP Power gems being introduced.
It's really a win for everyone to move Blacksmithing away from a socket model into more of a Weapon or Armor Augmentation model.
Edited by Vindicare on 10/6/2012 12:09 AM PDT
To clarify, while the weapon stones were the inspiration for this idea, I'm talking about a permanent refinement rather than a consumable.
I know what you mean, it would just be in name only.
However on further thought it would be possible to still have gem sockets without having them become imbalanced later on. Just make it so you can't put epic gems (non-jc ones) in BS sockets. That would solve the issue.
He specifically said that he doesn't, and explained exactly why that is the case.
What is available to JC can be controlled through what patterns are available. What is available to Blacksmithing currently is not - they cannot limit blacksmithing without completely removing the availability of that stat on gems altogether.
With the mass homogenisation that has happened in WoW (I am a fan, don't get me wrong), it is hard to understand why every single profession just doesn't provide EXACTLY the same benefits. It isn't hard to do, and it completely removes the angst of profession balance altogether. By having the bonus there you still ensure that it is a money sink to some degree (since every character raiding needs 2), but you don't force people to level new professions every major change to take advantage of minmaxing something that really shouldn't be part of the raiding meta game.
Correct, Spirit, crit, mastery oh and even stam. All of which the op felt blacksmiths don't need.
I am fine with the little differences, Professions don't need to come out of a cookie cutter. I just get annoyed at a biased suggestion like the OP where to resolve the situation where JC does not have access to one stat choice lets nerf BS out of almost every stat choice..
Regarding not having included Stamina or Spirit refinements, I was drawing my comparison from Engineering's Synapse Springs and LW's Fur Lining (not realizing there was a Stamina option, I'd honestly not looked for one). When I figure out catchy ways to phrase them, I will update the original post to add those.
Regarding making BS "sub-par" to JC, again, that is not my intention in any way. What I am suggesting provides a way to remove cases where BS is able to gain advantages that no other profession can, as well as to avoid potential imbalancing of profession bonuses if/when epic gems are added for Mists.
I never felt that Blacksmiths "don't need" non-primary stats. There are only three situations I can think of, though, where you would benefit from socketing non-primary in a BS socket: PvP Power/Resil (using a profession perk that no other profession can match), tanks that want extra avoidance/mastery in lieu of Stamina, and healers that want Spirit instead of Intellect. The third I will address as I said before, the second is tricky, but the first is something that flatly goes against the intent for professions.
It would solve one issue, but not the one we have now (PvP Power/Resil). This would get both.
It's not just jewelcrafting. No professional bonus comes anywhere near blacksmithing's in terms of flexibility.
Scribes, Enchanters: +320 primary stat or +480 stamina.
Leatherworkers: +330 to a primary stat or +750 stamina -170 dodge or mastery.
Alchemist: +320 primary stat or +480 stamina, elixirs allow (+240 dodge or +480 armor) and +240 to hit, haste, crit, spirit, mastery, or expertise. Really only makes sense for tanks.
Jewelcrafting: +320 to a primary or secondary stat or +480 to stamina.
Engineering: Averages to +320 to a primary stat or dodge.
Tailoring: Averages to +320 to int, +480 to spirit, or +640 to AP.
Mining: +480 to stamina.
Skinning: +480 to crit.
Herbalism: Averages to +480 to haste.
Blacksmithing: +320 to primary, +480 to stamina, or +640 to secondary.
No other profession has the option to take +640 to a secondary stat. The changes suggested would bring blacksmithing in line with other profsessions.
Edited by Keeblik on 10/6/2012 6:31 PM PDT
+320 to spirit as well(spirit flask)
Titan's Grip warriors are currently valuing crit rating over strength, which puts them in the odd situation of having skinning as the second-best profession.
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