Mists of Pandaria Beta: Moving Away from Red Gems?

There has been lots of Jewelcrafting news from the beta this past week. Most notably, we heard about not 1, but 5 new mounts that Jewelcrafters can make: Dawnstone Panther, Emerald Panther, Ruby Panther, and the Sapphire Panther, plus you can combine them into the Jeweled Onyx Panther. All signs point to this being the major gold sink that Mists of Pandaria needs to help bring the economy back into balance for the majority of players.

But there's a much more significant development for Jewelcrafters hidden in the beta files: we might be moving away from red gems as the flagship gem. For comparison, here are the "Purified" hybrid gems since Burning Crusade:

Burning Crusade
Common: Purified Shadow Draenite (+3 Intellect, +3 Spirit)
Rare: Purified Nightseye (+4 Intellect, +4 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Shadowsong Amethyst (+5 Intellect, +5 Spirit)

Wrath of the Lich King
Common: Purified Shadow Crystal (+6 Intellect, +6 Spirit)
Common: Perfect Purified Shadow Crystal (+7 Intellect, +7 Spirit)
Rare: Purified Twilight Opal (+8 Intellect, +8 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Dreadstone (+10 Intellect, +10 Spirit)

Common: Purified Nightstone (+15 Intellect, +15 Spirit)
Common: Perfect Purified Nightstone (+18 Intellect, +17 Spirit)
Rare: Purified Demonseye (+20 Intellect, +20 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Shadow Spinel (+25 Intellect, +25 Spirit)

And here are the datamined "Purified" gems in Mists of Pandaria:
Common: Purified Roguestone (+60 Intellect, +120 Spirit)
Rare: Perfect Purified Roguestone (+80 Intellect, +160 Spirit)

Notice the difference? For the first three expansions, there was essentially a 1:1 relationship between primary stats (Intellect in this case) and secondary ones (Spirit). This meant that unless there was a great socket bonus on gear, people would ignore the bonus and just gem primary stats, all of which are red gems. But now the relationship seems to be moving to 1:2. For every point of a primary stat on a hybrid gem, there are two points of secondary stats.

At first, people will happily gem red because that's what they are used to doing. But eventually, knowledge will trickle down that hybrid gems are actually worth more point-for-point than red gems. This fits perfectly with Blizzard design goal of more interesting choices. Talents were revamped to make everything more interesting.

Why wouldn't gems get that treatment? I suspect Blizzard has data that shows a large percentage of people simply gem red in most sockets and they don't like it. They want players to have to think about their choices and weigh all the options. Making gems less of a no-brainer is a good thing in their mind.

For Jewelcrafters, this means that you'll be selling other colors (at least, orange/purple hybrids that contain a primary stat) with more frequency. This diversification will help raise the profitability of the profession and normalize prices a bit more across colors. I can see the new ranking for gem values to be:

Lowest: Blue/Yellow (Single stats, none of which are primaries)
Lower Middle: Green (Hybrid stats, none of which are primaries)
Upper Middle: Orange/Yellow (Hybrid stats, some of which are primaries)
Highest: Red (Single stats, most of which are primaries)

The groupings aren't that different from current, but instead of a large gap between Red and all others, the gap between Red and Orange/Yellow will be much smaller, with a larger gap between Orange/Yellow and Green.

So what do you think? Will this change make it live? Will we see more profitable options for Jewelcrafters?

4 comments: on "Mists of Pandaria Beta: Moving Away from Red Gems?"

  1. I'm not sure where you got those gems from, but I did a quick look through wowhead, and not all the gems have the same stat values, I'm assuming there is either a bug in Wowhead's data mining, or Blizz hasn't completed the itemization yet, for instance, take a look at Purfect Veiled Roguestone, which is a +160int +160 hit gem.

  2. >> All signs point to this being the major gold sink that Mists of Pandaria needs to help bring the economy back into balance for the majority of players. <<

    I liked the speculation about the gem colors, but I disagree that the global "WoW economy" is out of whack. Aside from the fact that it is difficult to generalize across hundreds of servers, I just don't see runaway inflation on my servers and I could not speak to any others.

    The vendor-purchased items have not changed. New tiers of food and drink do cost more, but the high level quests and dungeon rewards more than cover this.

    Gathered mats work on supply and demand. If Peacebloom and Silverleaf are selling for 1g or even 5g apiece, that's not an indication that the economy is broken. Instead, it's an indication that if you don't want to gather it yourself, you will pay the person who did gather it, for their time. If anything, this balances gathering professions with crafted professions. If you don't want to pay 5g per Peacebloom, try gathering it yourself. I would. I'd also put it up for auction and pocket the gold.

    Even if there were prized 100k *vendor* mounts, I don't see that reducing the price of Peacebloom on the AH. Especially not even when the mounts are crafted by JC's. JC's are, arguably, the most lucrative profession in all of WoW. All adding a craftable JC mount will do is take gold from some goblins and put it in the bank of JC goblins. In no way, shape or form will this affect the price of Peacebloom.

    tl;dr: There is no inflation. Farm your own mats if you can't afford to buy them. JC mounts will simply line the pockets of JC goblins.

  3. I think unless they change the +spirit stat, it's still more important to go straight +int if it remains higher. Many other casters who use intellect will probably feel the same. We tend to only do hybrid gems if the loss in straight stat is made up by the bonus if we do that. But in this instance, only 1 cloth caster uses spirit & that's priests, but most of their spirit needs are met by gear itself. Meaning that most other casters will skip it. So while it's improved, I think the gem will be treated the same way. Some other gems maybe not. Like with +hit or +crit, but that change won't be too much I imagine.

    The real changes that will determine gem choices are how stats are affected with the Expansion.

  4. Besides, you see those mounts require a ton of straight gems right? Rubies are going to be expensive.

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