Bornakk just announced on the forums that Jewelcrafters are about to see a new nerf, and as a result, people are already beginning to weigh the benefits of switching to a different profession for min-maxing, or working out how they are going to re-itemize their gear.
In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon's Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.
This probably won't be enough to entice players to drop the profession, but it is a bit of a blow. Stratfu points out that because Mage T8 is equipped primarily with yellow and blue sockets, the only way to actually meet socket bonus requirements will be to use sub-par gems.
The JC-only Runed Dragon's Eye offers +32 spell power, and currently fits into any socket, conforming to meet the necessary color requirements. This is compared to the +19 spell power that the rest of us folks get from Runed Scarlet Rubies. While Jewelcrafters will still be able to use these gems, they won't be able to stick them just anywhere.
Breaking it down
Jewelcrafters can equip three of these soon-to-be-not-prismatic gems, and the fact is that for many classes, red gems offer the best stats in many cases. That is the main reason that Scarlet Rubies sell for often double the price of any other comparable gem on the market. For some classes, their gear simply will not include three red sockets.
Another example would be tier 8 and tier 8.5 sets for protection Paladins. While they benefit most from blue gems, their sets have only one blue socket!
While it may seem to some to be an easy compromise to forgo a socket bonus or use a different gem, it does mean that some classes simply won't benefit from being Jewelcrafters as much as other classes. Not being able to take advantage of your own profession's rewards for leveling it seems counter-intuitive, and unfair to the affected classes.
Would this mean that min-maxing guilds would suddenly prefer, for example, a Jewelcrafting prot Warrior over a JC prot Paladin, simply because the Warrior can squeeze more out of his/her stats? After all, tanks are becoming increasingly homogenized. Many fights no longer require a specific class. Unfortunately, many high-end guilds do block people from raid slots for not having the right profession, for example.
The Jewelcrafting Token compensation is also a curious mechanic. Will the Dragons Eyes disappear entirely, or will your equipped and/or cut gems disappear? Unlikely. Most likely, you will log in to find your once prismatic gems converted into their corresponding colors. The tokens will be handed out as a means of compensation for the fact that many players will have to replace them.
But why JC?
Presumably this nerf comes as a response to the popularity of the profession. Not only is it one of, if not the, best gold making professions in the game, it is also considered a must for min-maxing your raiding gear. In fact, many high-end guilds require that their raiders become Jewelcrafters and either Enchanters or Blacksmiths in addition.
When Blizzard finally decides to add epic gems into the game, this nerf will hit the JC community even harder if the gems aren't buffed significantly, as Stratfu mentions. After all, each profession has its profession-only perks, and if they don't scale, and new ones are not introduced in their place, we'd all feel like Engineers carrying around old Arcanite Dragonlings and the like.
Of course, there is no need for panic. Patch 3.2 may not be the epic gem patch, meaning that we may yet see buffs to the Dragon's Eye gems that have not yet been announced.
What do you think about this change? How are you going to have to re-work your gear? Is this actually going to affect your decision to take up, or keep, the Jewelcrafting profession?
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