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Shield specialization suggestion? Serious!


Sharkantos, a level 67 paladin from the Netherlands, wrote us with a question about blacksmithing specializations yesterday. "As you all know you can specialize in armorsmithing and weaponsmithing," he wrote. "Isn't it a bit odd that you can make epic chestpieces etc., but no shields? Shieldcrafting would be a 'normal' option, I guess...."

This brings up a subject that has always interested me. How come some professions have much better specialization options than others? There are three types of weaponsmithing with wonderful upgradable weapons, but all armorsmiths get is a semi-crappy breastplate that tries to do too much for too many specs. How come you can't craft a wonderful BOP tanking shield, or for that matter, some decent tank armor sets?

I figure that the best type of specialization is the sort that gives you little bonuses instead of forcing a chocie that will cut you out of half your recipes. That's why I love the alchemy specializations more than tailoring/engineering/leatherworking. But there are two specialization-less professions out there -- enchanting and jewelcrafting. These could easily accomodate "bonus" specializations like alchemy. Here are some ideas:


  • Disenchanting spec: Givesa greater chance to get the most valuable materials from disenchanting. Alternatively, it could give you a chance to proc more of whichever shard/essence/dust comes from the disenchanting.
  • Thriftiness spec: Gives you a percentage chance to get all the materials back from doing an enchant. Kind of like transmute spec, in that it'll proc lots of arguments in trade channel.
  • Potency spec: Gives your enchants a percentage chance to be stronger than usual (for example, Major Healing could give you 90 plus healing to a weapon instead of 81.)


  • Prospecting spec: Gives you a greater chance to prospect rare gems, or alternatively, lets you prospect with only 4 ore instead of 5.
  • Gemcutting spec: Like transmute spec, this can (rarely) proc to give you multiple amounts of whatever gem you're cutting, or it could give you a chance to cut slightly more powerful gems.
  • Jewelry spec: Gives you access to much more powerful necklace and ring patterns. I know, I know, but the necklace and ring patterns kind of suck and there need to be better ones somehow.

What kind of specs would you like to see in your professions?

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