Engineering and the Bling Bling

Since Tobold is covering most of the other tradeskills in the Burning Crusade, I'll cover Engineering, my tradeskill. Short version: Engineering is the Bling-Bling of WoW: It's expensive and mostly useless.

Before the Burning Crusade, Engineering was commonly seen as the PvP profession. It argueably still holds that title, but it's nowhere as good as before. Engineering did get new bombs and grenades, and these are still the bread and butter of engineers. A well-placed stun is always useful in PvP, and can give you the advantage in many fights. However, that's about the only really useful thing in Engineering now.

Aside from the grenades, Engineering was mostly known as the trinket profession. Deathrays, jumper cables, reflectors, combat pets, net-o-matics.. An engineer had a trinket for every occassion. With the introduction of Jewelcrafting, Engineering mostly lost that mantle. We did get some new trinkets, but we lost most of our previous trinkets due to diminishing returns. A Hyper-Radiant Flame Reflector is not going to stop a pyroblast from a level 70 mage. In addition, the new trinkets are less impressive than their stats would suggest. For example, the Goblin Rocket Launcher is completely useless against flying targets. It won't dismount them, it won't stun them, it won't even damage them.

The third category of items craftable with Engineering is various helmets, goggles and boots. While pre-Burning Crusade had a selection of cloth, leather and mail helms, the arrival of Jewelcrafting changed the focus a bit. Useful goggles are now for gnomes only, and new items are mostly leather.

The fourth and final category is guns and bullets. We got those as well, but the prices are.. well.. prohibitive. For example, my primary way of skilling up Engineering past 360 is the Felsteel Boomstick. To craft one, you need 20 Adamantite Ore, 56 Fel Iron Ore and 32 Eternium Ore. Getting the Adamantite and the Fel Iron isn't really a problem, but the Eternium is. It is an Uncommon drop from various veins. All in all, a Rare-quality gun is more expensive than many craftable Epic-quality melee weapons. Would you spend all that effort to obtain the materials or would you rather make a quick instance run and get a better one?

So for the four main uses for engineering, a mage like me can use.. one. Suffice to say, I'm looking forward for that Engineering revamp.

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