Engineering gets kind of a bad rap. Yes, it’s the only crafting profession that doesn’t have anything consistent to offer to high level players. Yes, it costs a fair bit to level. And in fact some of the most useful features do require grinding out the patterns from obscure mobs.
There is nothing that brings utility to the field like an engineer. Nothing at all. From teleporters to mailboxes to raid repairs to remote-control looting to extra volatiles while gathering – and I do a lot of gathering. The cost of levelling isn’t even that bad, if you compare it to, for instance, blacksmithing or leatherworking – and for all its cost, LW is an absolute whore to try and make cash off. Don’t think I’ve even made back the cost of levelling on my LW – thus far her moment of glory has been outfitting my rogue with early Cata gear and making some PvP leather to replace some of the ilvl 289 greens said rogue had on when hitting 85. The hunter’s near 85 now, so tehre’s some potential for ilvl-cheating there, I suppose.
Inscription’s another prof that seems to scare people off without warranting it. Yes, the big draw of inscription is the glyphs, and glyphs are a super-competitive market with a hundred sharks undercutting any attempt to enter. Or at least on any server I’ve looked at. But scribes do have one big bonus.
They don’t have to do Deepholm*.
In Mists we’re apparently being weaned off needing to grind rep for head and shoulder enchants, and shoulder ‘chants will henceforth be provided by scribes. There’s a plus for the future. For the moment, there’s the fact that you can literally level Inscription with whatever herbs you pick levelling Herbalism. It’s ridiculously cheap compared to other non-gathering profs. There’s no need for bizarre mats – everything you need to level (up to cata, anyway) comes from the same herbs. Levelling’s quick, too… most of your levelling recipes will be glyphs that give 3 points per craft.
I want whoever came up with this to look at leatherworking. Really and truly. Possibly tailoring and BS as well. Levelling those three requires low-drop materials, is uniformly expensive as hell and doesn’t really produce much by way of benefit at top level due to the way crafting mats are currently obtained. The only way to argue that these profs are worth the investment is to assume that the profs were up to 450 already and the sunk cost had been paid at the start of Cata. By comparison, JC and Alchemy are goldmines and are way, way cheaper and easier to level.
tl;dr: don’t diss engineering. A good hard look reveals it’s actually a damn sight less expensive and troublesome to level than a bunch of other profs, and with not much difference in payoff at the end – and it comes out on top in intangibles.
* I am so very, very fucking sick of Therazane and having to do the entire fucking zone to get a basic fucking enchant that every fucking character needs. Deepholm was utterly, absolutely ruined by the design team listening to that guy who can’t get hard unless he watches a 3-hour documentary on animal torture first.