Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Jewelcrafting: Cuts, a Comment on Variety
Jewelcrafting is one of the more lucrative professions, and though most gems sell in varying amounts, many patterns seem useless. Also, there's a very uneven spread across the ROYGBP spectrum. Primary stats as well as Mastery for tanks becoming so much more powerful than other options has further reduced the effective variety to cuts.
These are the cuts considered ideal, not counting Resilience gems, with just a bit of my own commentary:
Strength (Strength DPS)
Agility (Agility DPS, Druid tanks)
Intellect (Intellect DPS, Healers)
The red gem slot is straight forward for most players. Just gem your primary stat. Some Resto Shaman prioritize Spirit over Intellect (SS Resto), and non-Druid tanks stack Mastery instead.
Strength/Haste (Unholy, Frost)
Strength/Crit (Fury, Arms)
Agility/Haste (Sub, Combat)
Agility/Mastery (Enhance, Assassin, Feral DPS)
Agility/Dodge (Feral Tanks)
Intellect/Haste (Destro, Afflic, Elemental, Shadow, Holy Pally, Fire, Arcane, Balance)
Parry/Mastery (non-Druid tanks)
Non-Pally healers gem either for Intellect/Haste or Intellect/Mastery (or Intellect/Crit for Resto Druids) as their playstyle dictates. For DPS, however, there's a lot less flexibility. There are Haste caps for some specs, where gemming for Haste to reach a cap is preferred, but for the most part this list shows the ideal option for each spec.
Mastery (non-Druid tanks)
Mastery/Stamina (Druid tanks
Spirit/Mastery (SS Resto)
The green gems fill niche spots, but like yellow, most are useless.
Spirit (SS Resto)
Spell Pen (PvP)
Blue gems fill a niche spot as well, but mostly are used for Spell Pen gems.
Strength/Hit (Strength DPS)
Agility/Stamina (Druid Tanks)
Agility/Hit (Agility DPS)
Intellect/Hit (Mages, Warlocks)
Intellect/Spirit (Healers, Elemental, Shadow, Balance)
There are a small variety of purple gems, but many are eschewed by DPS in favor of a red gem if the socket bonus in question is less than 20 Strength, Agility, or Intellect.
The dominance of Strength, Agility, and Intellect (Mastery for non-Druid tanks) is the fundamental problem. The relative weakness of secondary stats has caused most yellow and blue cuts and even some red cuts to become worthless.
What is the difference between gemming two red sockets with 40 Agility for a 20 Agility bonus or just having 100 passive Agility baked into the item? Using gems is supposed to be an opportunity for customization, but it's now simply an opportunity for failure.
This is a similar problem addressed by the Talent redesign in Cata and further redesign in MoP, where passive bonuses are made baseline. Perhaps this issue can be addressed in a similar way.
*edit* I use The Undermine Journal and WoW Popular as general guidelines for crafting. I assigned orange gems to class/specs according to the guides on Noxxic. My first reaction on visiting Noxxic was "This is newbie crap." After a moment of reflection, I realized that's the whole point. It's no EJ by any means, but it'll answer the most basic questions of how to spec, gem, enchant, reforge, and the basic rotation. "Noxxic is for Newbs" isn't a bad thing to say after all.