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Insider Trader: Engineering your Cataclysm


While a lot of news has already been circulating about crafting in Cataclysm, there wasn't much information out there for engineers. Boubouille updated MMO-Champion today about that situation, saying the lack of data is probably because the items aren't flagged as being for engineering. However, the master of data mining was able to pull together some basic information about engineering in Cataclysm, giving us a tantalizing hint of what the future's going to be like for the mad machinists.

Of course, the staple engineering item ever since the Burning Crusade have been helmets and goggles. The quality of these items were so exceptional that you could see enterprising engineers wearing them deep into each expansion. The goggles possess fantastic stats customized to the engineer's specific raid role and they're darn styling, too. What's not to love?

Now, granted, there's not a lot of differentiation between "healer" and "damage dealer" for spell users. However, if Blizzard created a different item for every particular spec, the whole situation could get far too unwieldy. And since the killshades will probably be first-tier gear, then it's good enough for those first couple of raids. Of course, we're still in Cataclysm's beta, so anything could change.

Engineer-only enhancements

But Mike, you ask, what about the rest of the engineer-only enhancements? Well, let's take a look below.

  • Gnome-Matic Phase Fingers Permanently attaches gnome-matic phase finger technology to a pair of gloves, allowing a skilled engineer to increase their haste rating by 340 for 12 sec. The gloves can only be activated every minute.
  • Quickflip Deflection Plates Permanently attaches quickflip deflection plates onto gloves, allowing you to increase your armor by 1500 for 12 sec. Gloves can only be activated once every minute. Attaching the armor webbing causes the gloves to become soulbound. An Engineering skill of 500 is required to keep the webbing active.
  • Tazik Shocker Permanently attaches a tazik shocker to your gloves, allowing a skilled engineer to deal 1654 to 2020 nature damage to an enemy at long range. The shocker can only be used once every 45 sec. Can only be used on the engineer's gloves, and doing so will cause them to become soulbound.
  • Spinal Healing Injector Permanently attaches a specialized injector kit to your belt, allowing you to inject a Mythical Healing Potion directly into your bloodstream for increased effect. Only a skilled engineer can activate the modified belt. Can only be attached to your own belt, and doing so causes the belt to become soulbound.
  • Z50 Mana Gulper Permanently attaches a specialized injector kit to your belt, allowing you to power-drink a Mythical Mana Potion for increased effect. Only a skilled engineer can activate the modified belt. Can only be attached to your own belt, and doing so causes the belt to become soulbound.
Like the Wrath of a Lich King engineering enhancements, these abilities are all fairly context sensitive and situational. (Although, really, they all seem totally awesome at first.) The phase fingers are obviously a nice boost to classes looking for extra haste. The deflection plates will be nice for tanks riding the armor cap, but armor cooldowns aren't usually the best bang for the buck. Only these two enhancements provide a direct stat bonus.

The Tazik Shocker will be interesting. Remember, for the most part, it's hard to evaluate numbers right now. Since the current damage from Lightning Generator and other effects are in the same range, will the final damage be a lot? Is it nothing? Is it game breaking? Who the hell knows. Maybe melee classes will worship this enchant for the flexibility of a ranged attack, or perhaps we'll mock its meaningless amount of damage. The mana gulper and healing injector are nice little bonuses for the engineer who wants their mana or health potions attached to their belt.

Cogs and pumps: the future!

The other thing that Boubouille has dug up is the new kind of gem socket called "Hydraulics/Cogwheels socket." I think our little steampunk want-to-be engineers have figured out how to add power to armor. This socket seems to function like a gem socket in which only two items can be placed: cogwheels or hydraulic pumps. Again, it's beta, so we don't know much about how this addition will work. But the new engineering-socket would definitely allow engineers to keep parity with the other professions in terms of crafter-bonus.

The bonuses themselves are below, divided by whether it's a hydraulic or a cogwheel.

All in all, these various new enhancements all look very promising for engineers. For the last time in this post, this is all beta material. So any or all of it could change in a moment's notice. Still, it looks like the cogs and pumps could be the solution to many engineers' prayers: a demonstrable way to have in-craft bonuses similar to the other professions.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling subculture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking and the methods behind the madness.

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