I’ve been having a problem since 3.1 that maybe some of you have also experienced. I was excited by the idea of getting my hands of some of these new Books of Glyph Mastery that randomly teach new glyphs. The problem is that despite all my best efforts, I could never manage to get one. I tried really hard, I did the tournament dailies each day on 2 toons and killed the Icecrown mobs. I spent a couple of hours farming in Storm Peaks. To this day I have yet to loot one. About a week in I gave up and bought one off the auction for 300g. My guild leader was also kind enough to give me one that he got in a raid, thanks for that!!
But I’m starting to get frustrated because this patch has been out for weeks now and I’ve learned 2 whole glyphs. The only way I can see to get the other 55 is to buy more books from the auction. Even with the price coming down from thousands to an average of 200g this past week, that would still run me about 11,000g. I’m sorry, I’m not about to sink that into my profession just to learn recipes. If I were power-leveling it all the way up, then maybe that would be a reasonable expense. But just to acquire the drop recipes, I don’t believe it is.
Perhaps Blizzard had hoped this generic book concept would keep prices low because of the random aspect, but it’s had the opposite effect. All of the book are priced at the same high level because sellers know that they all have a chance to give the buyer a good recipe. That’s not really true at this point though, even the newer glyphs have mostly been deflated by now. So there’s no chance you’d make your money back with the current market, but you still have to invest huge amounts of gold to learn all the recipes.
The fact is, we’ve seen this pattern before with Jewelcrafting and it was unpopular then. Jewelcrafters also have world drop recipes which are seriously overpriced, but at least in their situation they can pick and choose which designs to invest in. Scribes don’t have that option and therefore no way to selectively make recipe purchases according to their personal needs. So once again we end up in a situation where some tradeskills are at a heavy disadvantage to others because of the high expense of recipe acquisition. At least Jewelcrafters can offset that a bit with the profits they make from cut gems, I don’t believe glyphs are nearly as lucrative in that regard.
Frankly, I’d be fine if this whole world drop category went away altogether. I assume the purpose of it is to have a subset of recipes that are not widely available and therefore create stronger demand for those items. It just doesn’t seem to be working that way in reality and right now the Scribe part seems like a fail to me. I prefer the faction and dungeon/raid system much better, because it gives players a way to target the items they are interested in and work towards those targets. I also think the Discovery system is a workable mechanic, at least while the discoveries are still ongoing. Once the bulk of the players have discovered most or all recipes then you’re back to market glut.
The problem with world drop recipes in this scenario is that too many items are included and they are predominantly the cream of the crop glyphs. I would prefer to see world drops used for recipes that are very niche oriented or highly specialized in some way. I’m not sure how this would fit Scribes, but for Jewelcrafting I could see jewelry and trinket recipes being good items for world drops. But if world drops went this route, we’d still have the problem of restricting access to recipes so those that have them can make a decent profit. I have a plan for that too :)
I’d like to see specializations come back, I was bummed that they were dropped. That said, I really like the shift to personal buffs that are the perk of having a profession, I think that’s a great change from BoP gear. What I’d like to see instead is the idea of specializations as they currently apply to Alchemists (and maybe Tailors). Let each tradeskill specialize in a particular subset of recipes (transmutes, elixirs, potions) and gain access to cool recipes through their specialization. I think this would solve the problem of every crafter having easy access to every recipe, while still allowing individual crafters reasonable access to good recipes.
With Scribes I think a Specialization option could be a bit tricky. Since the bulk of our items are glyphs, the only way to divide them into groups would be by class. I’m sure some folks wouldn’t appreciate that and I’ll admit that I like being able to make glyphs for all my alts. On the other hand with the prices being as low as they are now, it wouldn’t be a burden if my alts had to purchase them either. Given a choice between the two, I think I’d prefer for my Scribe to have a decent income with a subset of specialized glyphs, even if it meant my other toons would have to buy their own glyphs at higher prices. Dividing the glyphs could be done either by class or by role, you could make a case either way. And I’m not claiming that this plan would be perfect either, no system is perfect. But given the choice between specializing my Scribe and spending up to 11k for books of randomness, I think I’d happily specialize.