Enchanting is a primary profession in which characters may enchant gear and craft a variety of items with useful effects.
Enchanting is used to augment the stats of gear, such as more strength, intellect, etc.; resistance to a particular branch of magic; increased spell damage or healing; increased speed (attack speed, mount speed etc.); or a variety of other effects. Enchanters also create specialty use items, such as [Wizard Oil] and trade goods, such as [Enchanted Leather].
The following groups of characters have particular uses for many enchanter abilities:
- Twinks. Persons who have decided to create a character to play in different brackets in the battlegrounds reach a limit on gear upgrades. The popular twinking brackets are levels 19 and 29, and less so 39 and 49. These are the most lucrative markets for those whose skill level is 300 or less in enchanting. This is so because the Burning Crusade enchants were limited by Blizzard to items of level 35 or above. Even so, only the top-end enchants will be of any interest to twinks, so you need to have a skill level around 300 to have access to the most sought-after enchants.
- Weapon glows. This is where those with lower-level enchanting skills can profit. Many enchants make weapons glow in various colors. [Enchant Weapon - Demonslaying] (orange), [Enchant Weapon - Fiery Weapon] (red) and [Enchant Weapon - Superior Striking] (blue) are three of the more popular glow enchants. As in other professions, the more popular enchanting formulas can't be learned from a trainer; they are drops and must be purchased through the AH, or in some cases can only be bought from a vendor after a certain level of reputation has been reached. The agility enchant for weapons, very popular with rogue twinks, is one requiring reputation to buy. Expect to pay quite a bit for the formulas for the more popular glow enchants. It is also worth noting that many of the richer high level players on RP servers (although this is not exclusive to them) may pay for weapon glows simply for the aesthetic aspect.
- High End. Characters level 35 and up can use the high-end enchants introduced by the Burning Crusade. For the most part, these enchants have made the pre-Burning Crusade enchants obsolete for high-end characters. Some of the older enchants are still useful -- such as the riding speed enchant -- so investigate before deciding whether to buy a formula. Again, the most desirable high-end enchants are not available through a trainer. Some are only available from a boss in an instance and are bind-on-pickup so they can't be traded. As a result, you will likely be level 70 before you are able to be trained in the more valuable high-end enchants.
- Products. Enchanting products can be profitable and ease the cost of gaining skills. Look into creating oils and enchanted leather and thorium. Check how easy it is for you to get the materials, and what the prevailing prices are before investing heavily. On some servers, selling enchanted leather can be quite profitable; on others it is more of a break-even proposition.
Now that you know what categories of enchants sell, don't be surprised that no one is interested in your low-level enchants as you raise your skills. Those do not fall into the above categories, so few will want them, even if free. In those early times, your most valuable enchanting skill will be disenchanting. As an aside, disenchanting is one way to make tailoring profitable, as you can learn which crafted tailored items will generate dusts and essences -- even shards -- that sell for a higher price than the value of the materials. Depending on the economy on your server, it is sometimes possible with a tailoring/enchanting combination to put a considerable stockpile of gold for purchasing your mount in the bank well before you reach level 40.
Disenchanting will also be vital to your progress and success, since a vital part of enchanting is farming components. If you don't farm shards, essences and dusts, and instead rely on people bringing you the materials, you will only be paid tips like any lock picker. Considering how much you will be spending on formulas and training, it would take droves of tips to let you break even, much less make a profit like what's possible with online bingo. Instead, you want to farm the materials so you can include the market price for them in the cost of your services, making money both ways. That said, farming the high-demand items, such as [Large Brilliant Shards], requires runs through level 60 or higher instances, as these can only be obtained by disenchanting high-level blue items.
As you can see, enchanting requires a fairly good understanding of the mechanics of the game. You need to be familiar with what stats are of interest to which players and why so that you can determine which enchants will be of value, and to be able to advise players who might be unsure.
Unlike other professions, enchanting requires salesmanship. Blizzard does not have a method for enchanters to create enchants that can be sold on the AH like librams or a leatherworker's armor enhancement kits. As a result, to sell your services, you have to be a good salesperson, or be willing to spam the trade channel with your offerings. You essentially have to build up a clientèle for your services. This can often be an unpleasant experience, as many players are ignorant about what enchants do and about how much some of the materials cost. Often you will spend considerable time educating a person about what enchants are available only to end up being called greedy or scaring them away when they learn the price. If you don't like spending a lot of time in a major city hawking your wares until you build a customer base, enchanting might not be for you. On the other hand, those who target specific segments, planning formula acquisitions accordingly, can be quite successful.
One last word of advice. An enchanter can enchant his own gear, plus the gear of anyone who can open a trade window with him. Therefore, you can't enchant your own alts' gear (unless you're enchanting BoE gear that has not become soulbound yet). It is usually a good idea to have an "enchanting buddy" who has recipes similar to yours. With a good buddy you can each enchants one another's alts.
Enchanters use magical formulas to grant permanent augmentation to armor, weapons and other items. Enchanting recipes require the use of special Enchanting ingredients which can be gathered by disenchanting items of uncommon or better quality or found as loot. Using these ingredients enchanters can make items more powerful.
Low-level enchants (below skill 250) require rather large amounts of expensive components, but can hardly be sold. Even attempts to give them away for free can fail. Thus enchanters frequently end up re-enchanting the same item dozens of times just to increase their skill.
Leveling enchanting is possible just with the materials gained from disenchanting items you find yourself and items from quests, but due to the slow rate, buying materials from the AH or having friends or members of your guild supply you with items or materials can be quite a boost. Farming magic items for disenchanting is not recommended, thus enchanting is a profession for players with either backup from a guild, enough money to buy most of the materials, or a lot of patience.
A common tip is to disenchant items created with tailoring. This is an easy way to obtain dusts and essence, however, depending on the item and your server, selling either the cloth or the item and buying enchanting materials with the money gained can be more effective.
Magical elements (shards, essences and dusts) are needed as Enchanting ingredients; all of which can be created with disenchanting. Some magical elements can be found as loot or purchased from the Auction House or Vendors in limited quantities.
- Dust: more often disenchants from Uncommon Armor and less often from Uncommon Weapons.
- Essence: more often disenchants from Uncommon Weapons and less often from Uncommon Armor. Three Lesser Essences can be converted to one Greater Essence of the same type, and vice versa.
- Shard: usually disenchants from Rare and Epic items ( < 60) and rarely from Uncommon items.
- [Nexus Crystal]: always disenchants from Epic items (51-60) and rarely from any Rare items (51-60).
- [Void Crystal]: always disenchants from Epic items (>60) and rarely from any Rare items (61+).
Disenchanting requires a certain amount of skill to perform, depending on the level of the item being disenchanted:
Enchanter Crafted Items
Enchanters can create useful consumables and items for players.
Wizard Oils, Mana Oils, and some Wands are enchanter-crafted items.
The craftable wands, [Lesser Magic Wand], [Greater Magic Wand], [Lesser Mystic Wand], and [Greater Mystic Wand] are of use, as they compete with quest reward and dropped wands in DPS.
If you can use wands (cloth casters: Mage, Priest, or Warlock) and do not have access to twink hand-me-downs, the Lesser Magic Wand is almost certainly the first wand you will have access to - a big advantage at low levels.
- The craftable wands do arcane type damage.
- The consumable Oils are applied to weapons in the same manner of Sharpening stones and Poisons.
- They are temporary enchants that do not stack with Sharpening stones, Weightstones, Flametongue Weapon, Windfury Weapon, Poisons, or Alchemical Oils.
The two types of oils an Enchanter can make are Wizard Oils (additional spell damage, various strengths) and Mana Oils (additional mana recovery, various strengths)
These are (mostly?) only useful to blue bar classes.
Although a Warrior or Rogue with an item that casts a spell could possibly benefit from Wizard Oil - I don't know if the game mechanics take this into account, but I do know that they have better temporary enchantment options.
Items such as [Smoking Heart of the Mountain] and the Runed Enchanting Rods are BOP.
The Runed Enchanting Rods are needed for Enchanting (for all except the most rudimentary recipes).
They have no use outside of enchanting.
They are upgraded to the next more powerful Enchanting Rod in succession; the current Enchanting Rod is consumed as a reagent in the creation of the next Enchanting Rod.
(The more powerful Enchanting Rod functions as all of the lower Enchanting Rods; you do not need to maintain one of each.) Since they are BoP, you can expect to be making exactly one of each kind of Enchanting Rod.
- [Enchanted Leather] and [Enchanted Thorium Bar] are crafting Reagents in demand by other Professions.