Inscription: where is it going, what is it doing, and why is the rum gone
I write this on the eve of the 2nd phase of the pre-patch roll-out, presumably with more pre-patch events.
The profession of Inscription has taken a drastic turn, but I have to say that most of that turn has nothing to do with the pre-patch, but rather the AH merging of commodities several weeks ago now.
Let me be more precise.
First of all, let’s recall how money making in Inscription works.
- First, you determine how many inks you will need to produce your glyphs.
- Then, you determine the best herb to buy and mill for maximum yield of necessary pigments (umbral, in this case) to support the creation of glyphs.
- Then, you create said glyphs and sell them for a fixed percentage over cost of manufacture. Basic economics, there, chief.
Since the introduction of the multi-realm commodity auction house, prices of herbs have crashed. Generally, what was hovering around 4g per, is now hovering around 1g per.
That’s a good thing, right?
Well, there’s a mirror to that, and that is that the cost of producing glyphs is likewise commoditized. Glyphs are also a commodity (stackable) across the same realms, so the sell price has in this case crashed. Where we had a comfortable, sustainable market in glyphs (even though they were 100% cosmetic as opposed to functional), now it’s a market operating on razor-thin margins. And this is a problem. Previously, Inscription was a very sustainable way to make gold with out really trying. Now, it’s starting to look a lot like work.
Now, I am not going to start freaking out just yet.
First of all, we are in the flux period between expansions. The Old is fading, the New has not begun. It is probable that there will be an increase in sale prices for glyphs once the new herb (and therefore the new inks, and therefore the new currency for ink traders) settles in. That will not be a data point we can measure until 2022-11-28.
But let’s not forget the original source of this issue, that being the merging of commodity items into whatever realm “grouping” you might be in. That is the existing cause of the market crash for glyphs, and I really don’t see it just going away for DF. So, counter-point, the new market emerges with higher prices for glyphs, but also higher cost for mats and thus not much positive action for profits.
I had had hopes that Inscription would get a new coat of paint in this expansion. Sadly, I think the core crafting changes pretty much ruled out any fundamental changes to Inscription, which is unfortunate. While I feel we should move Inscription back from a cosmetic to a functional craft (similar to, but co-existing with enchanting), I understand that that will take a little bit of planning and such to implement. I just hoped it would be now. We already had our move from the broken tier system for talents, I figured, why not have glyphs re-enter the stage as enhancements on abilities, similar to how enchantments are enhancements on items.
At this points I run out of words, as even the PTR does not present me with options relevant to Dragonflight, but rather it is still anchored to Shadowlands and the old crafting system. I am not worthy of Beta, which, to be fair, I am not actively seeking, either. I have a moral code. But it is at moments like this that it all falls apart.
But currently, it appears that Inscription in Dragonflight will be identical to that in Shadowlands. Sure, the pigments and inks will be different, but it will still boil down to herbs –> inks –> ink trader –> glyph. Now, for a couple of expansions the ink trader went AWOL without any forthcoming explanation, so it is not outside of possibility that the ink trader in Oribos will remain the MVP of Inscription for the next 18 months or however long it takes. I hope not. I hope many things in this regards, but, in all honesty, it really looks like we’re being sent to the back row for this expansion – possibly even worse.