World of Warcraft Enchanting: How It’s Changed Since You Last Played

WoW is much more of a part-time hobby for a lot of people these days – more and more, we at the Pot see people unsubscribing for six months, a year or more, then coming back when new content appeals to them.

But if you’re coming back to WoW, particularly after a good while off, or even if you’re just swapping back to a character you haven’t played in a while, it can be a damn confusing place. So, here’s the first of our quick guides to what’s changed in WoW since the Olden Days – starting off with the profession that has probably changed the most, Enchanting.

Here’s our quick-start guide to what you need to know, what has changed since TBC and even Wrath, and what’s just not that important.

Changes To Enchanting In Cataclysm

If you’ve not played in a while, there are some assumptions you might have about Enchanting that aren’t true any more.

  • You don’t need to carry a ton of rods around. These days, rather than all being separate, Enchanting rods are used to “upgrade” to the next level of rod. As a 525 Enchanter, you’ll just need a Runed Elementium Rod to do all your enchanting.
  • You can now sell enchants on the Auction House. Wrath of the Lich King introduced Enchanting Scrolls, which you can use to make your Enchants portable. That allows you to easily sell enchants without having to bark on Trade for ages, and also means that…
  • Enchanting now makes tons of money. It used to be that Disenchanting was the only easy way to make money, but that’s no longer true. Read our guide to popular Cataclysm enchants for tips on easy ways to make gold with Enchanting, if you’re so inclined.
  • Disenchanting isn’t as useful as it used to be. Blizzard introduced “auto-disenchant” in dungeons – if one of your party is an enchanter, everyone gets the option to disenchant loot. That means that the market for disenchanted materials is no longer as hot as it used to be – although you can still make good money.
  • Enchanting’s no longer the only way to augment your gear. Wheras in Vanilla it was Enchant or Nothing, in Cataclysm there’s a dizzying variety of upgrades for gear, from gems through Blacksmithing and Leatherworking items, to reputation-based upgrades. Just because you’re an enchanter doesn’t mean you won’t be hunting the AH for gear enhancements.

Stuff That Stayed The Same

Not everything’s changed – sadly, in some cases.

  • Enchanting’s still expensive to level. Very, very expensive. There are a number of ways to make it cheaper, but it’s still going to cost more than just about any other profession (Jewelcrafting might be worse) to level it to maximum. Your enchanting rods alone will cost thousands of gold, particularly if you buy all the materials from the AH.
  • Tactically, it’s probably better to let someone else be the guild enchanter. Enchanting gives you a couple of nice ring enchants, but isn’t going to have a huge impact on your utility in a raid or dungeon. Then again, neither’s any other profession, and you can make a bunch of gold from Enchanting.
  • Enchants are still vital. Whether you’re an enchanter or not, enchants are still the greatest improvement you can make to your gear, even considering new professions like Jewelcrafting. A single weapon enchant can make a noticable difference to your DPS, healing or survivability, and other enchants are, slot-for-slot, generally more powerful than the gems that can be put in their place.

So is it still worth taking?

Absolutely. As of Cataclysm, Enchanting is still one of the strongest professions – if you want to put the time and effort in, it’ll make you more gold than any other profession bar perhaps Jewelcrafting. Its personal buffs are decent, taking it helps out your guildies in several ways (Disenchant in dungeons and having a pet enchanter), and with the Scroll market, it’s no longer only a profession for people who really, really like talking in Trade.

Get out there and enchant something already!

Anything we’ve forgotten? Let us know below!