professional opinion

August 18, 2009

There’s a post up over at Wowenomics which speculates about the most profitable crafting professions and how that might have changed between patches. There is no armoury data that helps us relate professions to profits, but the post prompted me to have another look at the distribution of professions in general. This is the current state of play:

Patch 3.2 Patch 3.0.8
Mining 20% 20%
Herbalism 12% 13%
Enchanting 11% 10%
Jewelcrafting 9% 5%
Skinning 9% 13%
Tailoring 8% 9%
Alchemy 8% 8%
Blacksmithing 7% 7%
Engineering 6% 6%
Leatherworking 6% 7%
Inscription 4% 3%

There’s a lot less change in there than I was expecting, give that professions get worked over with the nerf bat just as classes do. I’ve marked the two most dramatic shifts: jewelcrafting and skinning. Jewelcrafting may indeed genuinely have been buffed to the point where people are more enthusiastic for it. The decline in skinning I’m not so sure about.

There has been a significant decline in some of the leather-wearing classes such as rogues and hunters; perhaps that has affected the crafting demand for hide. Certainly the classes that are flavour of the month want heavy metal and not the skins of small furry animals.

I see I’ve got a lot of visitors over the last day or so from here. The author of that post has come up with a simple but interesting datamining idea – producing a consolidated list of the most popular gems to aid people playing the AH.

Unfortunately it isn’t really correct to add the percentage values in my tables since they are relative measures designed to show what is popular by spec. But the population in each class/spec combination varies wildly which make it impossible to go from that to a general count.

However, your humble dataminer stands ready to help with questions like this. I ran a query on gems across the overall sample and came up with the following list. The numbers are the total count of each gem and for comparison’s sake there are 171,148 characters in this sample who have at least one gem. I’ve chopped the table off at 5000, but the list goes all the way down to various cuts of shattered and opaque Dark Jade which are worn by one toon only in the sample.

Be aware that this is not a random sample – it is biased with a lot of higher level twinks, who could be expected to be gemmed up to the gills. But since twinking players are ones most happy to splash the cash, maybe that is no bad thing.

Runed Scarlet Ruby 67720
Solid Sky Sapphire 50331
Bold Scarlet Ruby 39622
Rigid Autumn’s Glow 27453
Balanced Twilight Opal 26209
Delicate Scarlet Ruby 20147
Smooth Autumn’s Glow 18689
Chaotic Skyflare Diamond 17878
Bright Scarlet Ruby 16895
Brilliant Autumn’s Glow 14784
Runed Bloodstone 13025
Potent Monarch Topaz 11621
Bold Bloodstone 11099
Sovereign Twilight Opal 10407
Pristine Monarch Topaz 10371
Luminous Monarch Topaz 10257
Sparkling Sky Sapphire 9610
Glowing Twilight Opal 9414
Purified Twilight Opal 8304
Relentless Earthsiege Diamond 8057
Enduring Forest Emerald 8049
Veiled Monarch Topaz 7508
Deadly Monarch Topaz 7491
Vivid Forest Emerald 7483
Runed Dragon’s Eye 7376
Royal Twilight Opal 7337
Thick Autumn’s Glow 7069
Austere Earthsiege Diamond 7066
Solid Chalcedony 6857
Ember Skyflare Diamond 6604
Dazzling Forest Emerald 6482
Glowing Nightseye 6344
Bold Dragon’s Eye 6100
Steady Forest Emerald 6072
Smooth Sun Crystal 5793
Inscribed Monarch Topaz 5724
Jagged Forest Emerald 5701
Perfect Runed Bloodstone 5658
Regal Twilight Opal 5332
Reckless Monarch Topaz 5136
Kharmaa’s Grace 5116

Let me say I’m right with you on questions about the WoW economy. The AH is one of the more inspired minigames in WoW. It’s a sort of non-zero-sum PvP where skill actually counts for something and you can’t twink your way to stardom. Even with Auctioneer, you still have to think about what the data is telling you. So, I’ve added consolidated reports to my to-do list. Anybody with other suggestions for reports that have an economic focus is welcome to leave a comment.