Disenchanting is the process of breaking down (yes, we mean "destroying") armor or weapons of uncommon (green), rare (blue) or epic (purple) quality into magical elements (crystals, shards, essences and dusts), which can then be used to enchant other gear. Also known as DEing and sharding, disenchanting is the primary means of "gathering" or "creating" materials for enchanting (an important point that explains why enchanters sometimes get touchy about their "rights" to loot drops for sharding.)
When a drop is not an upgrade ("need") for any given player, it's considered a "greed" roll. If there's an enchanter in the group, he or she may volunteer to DE the unneeded loot. The value of the enchanting component often outstrips the value of the original drop, either to a vendor or through the Auction House. This is especially true for unused BoP items, which always end up getting sold to a vendor.
At this point, we'd like to direct your attention to a recent Insider Trader column, Who keeps the shards?. Go on, click on over and read it, then come back. We'll wait right here.
Got a little better handle on the matter? Hang on, class, we have one more assigned reading for today: Are disenchanters getting robbed by rolls?
"Up until recently, all I had to do was say 'Do you want me to DE?' and it was understood and accepted that we would roll for shards at the end -- at least for those who did not get a BoP upgrade," writes Sarabande. "But lately, just asking that is not sufficient."
The WoW Rookie solution: Speak up and lock down a looting procedure before your group gets under way. "How are we handling shards, guys? Can anyone here DE?" keeps it above-board, friendly and clear.
Points to consider:
Once the group has made a decision:
- Is everyone in the group willing to let the enchanter keep any loot that's not Needed?
- If you have an enchanter willing to shard drops for randoming, will you roll and distribute shards at the end of the run or after every drop?
- Will you be sharding all un-Needed drops or only BoPs?
- What if someone leaves early?
- Is there an enchanter in the group who still need mats for leveling or buying high-end Enchanting recipes (some require shards for purchase)?
- If your group decides to shard and distribute, press Pass (the "X" at the top right-hand corner of the loot roll box) on any drops you're not rolling Need for.
- Don't be a jerk about "outing" enchanters who prefer to take their chances with a Greed roll and DE their own wins afterwards. They've undoubtedly lived through their share of DEing controversies. Put the Armory down, boy, and give them their peace.
- If your group has decided to distribute shards at the end of a run, don't forget to stick around!
Remember, the only hard-and-fast rule when it comes to sharding drops in a group is to communicate
and decide as a group how to handle things before the run begins. Have fun!
WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80. Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.