Engineering has never really been a true "gold making profession". Never in the history of World of Warcraft has someone said "I want to make gold in a productive fashion" and someone suggested "You should definitely get Engineering to rake in the gold". In fact if I made a list of all the crafting professions in order of gold making prowess/priority to get, Engineering would probably be on the bottom of the list. No, you don't get Engineering for gold making, you get it for the cool perks. PvPers and PvEers alike swear by engineering for the awesome on demand burst damage and speed bursts, others enjoy being able to summon Jeeves or a mailbox at the drop of a hat, while others still prefer to use the quirky and entertaining vanity items that sometimes backfire, and the hilarity that ensues. It seems that Blizzard is trying to change that in Warlords of Draenor, by giving Engineers a stable source of possible income.
Engineering as a gold making profession in MoP has been pretty blasé to say the least. They got their Ghost Iron Dragonling trinkets and matching Gears to sell, which did fairly well. A couple expensive mounts to craft and sell, and end game Scopes and guns that required Spirit of Harmony to craft. Overall, not an impressive lot.
In Patch 5.1, during the 5.2 Beta, Engineers were promised new gold making avenues in the form of 2 pets and a mount, that went along with a new Blacksmithing Lightning Steel Cooldown. Very cool indeed, but it was not meant to be, and the pets and mounts were delayed to 5.4. Now I must say, for a few months the mounts and pets sold well, and there was quite a big profit to be made, but every crafting profession had the same to say during 5.4, if not better. A couple months down the road and these new mounts and pets are going for mat price on most servers. Not very impressive from a gold making standpoint.
With both the Alpha Patch Notes we saw that Blizzard is focusing on a more "balanced" view in WoW, even more so than in Cata/MoP. They've changed racial buffs across the board, and have balanced classes and profession buffs as well. Engineering is not a safe harbor from these changes, in regards to items such as Nitro Boosts and EMP generators.
In a recent interview on Final Boss Podcast, Celestalon directly addressed Engineering saying "Let Engineers make them and sell them to everyone, and let everyone use those, but at a reduced effectiveness." On top of that, looking at the datamined profession changes, we saw that some items previously only usable by Engineers had been made Bind on Use such as:
- GUMM-E - MOLL-E usable by non-Engineers.
- Findle's Loot-a-rang - seems to be a non-Engineer version of the Loot-A-Rang
- Ultimate Gnomish Army Knife - A Gnomish Army Knife that does not require Engineering to use. Also, the rez can be cast in combat.
Now I know that a lot of Engineers aren't going to be pleased with these changes. I'm not a huge fan of Engineering as I focus mainly on gold making, but some of these vanity items that are slated to be usable by non-Engineers is what makes Engineers fun to play. I know that a lot of Engineers are most likely going to be upset with the changes to their profession, but as far as gold making goes, I think that it will do a lot to make Engineering a much more viable profession for making gold.
It is going to be interesting to see how they implement this, I would think selling these items such as something like a Thermal Anvil that has charges would be the best route, but as of the current moment it doesn't look like they're doing that. Maybe having the items usable by non-Engineers attached to a daily cooldown of sorts. To me that seems much more likely. I'd personally want a portable mailbox on literally all of my alts, so it's something I'd be willing to spend a great deal on, depending on the price, although I'll be crafting my own. It will be very interesting to see how these changes come out once they're implemented on the Alpha/Beta.