I am an engineer no longer… for the third time now.
This is a familiar journey for me, I’ve ditched the profession two times previously. The first time was while leveling Rhidach and not even at max, so no skin off my nose. Then, while gearing for TBC raids, I picked it up again for the Tankatronic Goggles — I still remember that grind really well, I had mining as the profession I was going to replace, so I went on a massive ore-fest. I gathered all the mats, dropped mining, and worked on leveling engineering into the wee hours, finally hitting 375 around 3 am.
Going into Wrath, I dropped it again and managed to stay away for a good year. But then only to pick it up again in May of 2009 when it was shaping up to be a massive EH boost due to the armor gloves tinker.
In my longest stretch of being an engineer in forever, I held on for dear life as long as I could. Through nerfs a-plenty going into Cataclysm, and after that. There was never going to be as good a time for Engineering as right after 4.0 when tinkers stacked with enchants and weren’t balanced around that consideration yet. It was all downhill from there.
Now armor is nigh-useless as a bonus stat, our belt tinkers will invariably kill us, and the glorious promise of a pseudo-gap closer has been squashed.
When I first mentioned on Twitter that I was strongly considering dropping the profession, I was interested at the people that dubbed me one of the last major holdouts for engineering. I think they’re giving me too much credit — I’m simply the last dope to realize I could steal an orphan and make an end-run for the life boats, rather than go down with the ship.
As to what to replace engineering with, for a long time I’ve been eyeing alchemy with a greedy look. The idea of a bonus that actually helps in PVE — whether it’s the extra 40 mastery and 15 resistance from elixirs, or the 120 extra stamina from flasks — is all kinds of awesome.
So, on Thursday last week I spent the better part of the day herbing on my level 75 druid and gathering a huge stockpile as recommended by one of those profession powerleveling guides. I was also helped by Ildara, the most amazing friend in the world, who gave me all the Cata herbs I needed as well as access to the leftovers of her Wrath-era stockpile.
By the end of the night I easily had all the Vanilla/TBC herbs I needed, plus extras, and was able to grind out the whole deal in about two hours. Including the time needed to run Black Morass for Elixir Mastery — and thanks to Antigen for willingly tagging along and making it much less boring to trudge through.
Next steps for me are definitely to get the druid up to 85 so he can start farming current-level herbs for me, that way I don’t have to continue to rely on the kindness of strangers for my supply.
In the end, I’m happy that I’ve got a second useful raiding profession again, though I’m deeply unhappy I had to drop engineering to do it. It’s become apparent though that any use engineering had during Wrath was a fluke, and it’d be follow to expect for a repeat performance.